About The “Personal Computer Master Race” by: Nick Carter

Attention internet: PLEASE STOP SAYING THIS PHRASE! I can already hear the chorus of “but it’s just a harmless internet joke” or “It’s just about PC Gaming, don’t be a libtard”. Do I really need to explain why this phrase makes me uncomfortable, and has since it first appeared around 2005? I will anyway.

During the hayday of the first XBox and second Playstation in the earliest days of Myspace and Facebook, there was an alternate, earlier internet culture that lived in forums. Sometimes it would be the forum of a specific gaming or news website, sometimes it would be grim grimey places like Something Awful and 4Chan. It is in these places that the term PC Master Race started to circulate, and it’s never gone away.

“PC Master Race”, to be perfectly clear, has zero connection with Political Correctness. In fact, PC Master Race is one of the few Nazi-related catch phrases from the internet that is NOT pejorative: proud Personal Computer devotees have been labeling themselves as members of the PC Master Race for over a decade, originally to shame the owners of Game Cubes and Wiis for being “less evolved”, “lower lifeforms”, “lazy consumers”, “technologically challenged”, or even just poor or basic.

To understand the privilege gap inherent in this term, we only need to look at the cost and upkeep of the two machines: ‘consoles’ are about $300-$600 dollars, and will generally work out of the box. A gaming personal computer might cost upwards of $1,200, needs regular upgrades and maintenance, and demands you spend half of your time fixing problems when it stops working. There is a meritocracy myth at play, where your proud PC user is very self-impressed with their ability to not only afford the costly equipment but also devote themselves to the maintenance of these machines.

Much like the Hot Rod days of years ago, except this time the ‘Hot Rod’ is a computer: an interface for changing the world or escaping it, depending on how you use it. These self-important PC users will proudly proclaim their “Master Race” status on internet forums to let console gamers know who is in charge: this is their turf, and you won’t have a good time if you question them. This war between console gamers and PC gamers was raging for several years, by the time Gamergate occurred in 2014 and united the community behind one vile cause.

In short, Gamergate was a months long attack on several female game developers and journalists (including game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, as well as feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian) who criticized the overt sexism and manipulation in games development and marketing, and the gaming community did not take kindly to this. They went so far as to send death threats, and they would even witchhunt people who criticized them within their own ranks, with games journalists losing their jobs over speaking out in defense of the women who were mercilessly harassed (search for Moviebob + Gamergate for a peak at this madness.) The console and PC gamers united in this case, but it was even earlier that Steve Bannon realized the efficacy of this population. (As mentioned in the book “Devil’s Bargain” by Joshua Green.)

Steve Bannon joined the company ‘Internet Gaming Entertainment’ in 2007, a company founded by Brock Pierce (child actor in The Mighty Ducks, now infamous for his involvement in cryptocurrency). This company paid Chinese gamers to ‘farm’ for gold and items in World of Warcraft, a PC only game. These gold and items would then be sold to western players for real world money. But in dealing with these gamers directly, on an international stage, Steve Bannon could see what the PC Master Race was capable of when compelled to act. Denial of service attacks, doxing, hacking and interfering with public systems… Bannon had tapped into the anarchic Anonymous culture, where masses of impulse driven young men could be persuaded to change course with the right encouragement. These are the same young men who originally claimed to be PC Master Race.

If you’ve read all this, you might be thinking “well, I love my PC, so I’m PC Master Race, it’s not a big deal, just a lighthearted thing.” Just remember you’re willingly attributing to yourself a term of Nazi origin, that not only reflects your privilege but connects you to the movement that elected Donald Trump. The term “PC Master Race” in now indelibly tied to online White Supremacy, that’s to 4Chan’s /pol/ board and the connections it built with white supremacist leaders. And keep in mind there are still people in the world who don’t have a computer, or internet, or even basic access to the news. This is the ‘digital devide’, and when viewed through this lens, the term “PC Master Race” reeks of privilege and authoritarianism.

Consider China: the latest development in Chinese culture is a ‘social rating’ system. Inspired by the U.S. credit rating, this allows the Chinese government to monitor your social network usage, rate you based on the content you share, and allow or deny certain privileges based on your pro-state score. They’ve announced that access to local trains will be denied if your score is too low. (This system was developed for the Chinese government by Blizzard-Activision, the same company that designed World of Warcraft.) Think about how poor credit rating affects US citizens, then imagine what it’s like in China where they don’t even have to disguise it: it exists purely as a form of privilege control. In a civilization that rates you based on your digital social network usage, you won’t be able to afford not using it, much like it’s difficult to afford living in America without credit. In China’s case, you’ll find yourself without social clout. And at the top of this system are the network administrators and coders nessecary to keep this system humming.

This is what I think of when I think PC Master Race: a group so impressed with their provenance over machines and code that they expect and demand privilege commensurate with their importance and devotion to the machinary they run. More and more, the PC Master Race won’t just have a computer at home (and on their cash register at work): the PC Master Race will become network administrators and programmers, becoming more and more involved and entrenched in the machines that will run society in the future. Our financial markets are almost entirely run by software, from a technologist’s point of view it only makes sense to migrate as much of our government and society’s underpinnings to digital automation, and when that happens there will be a great devide between those who are subject to the machines, and those who are master to them: the PC Master Race.

Today it’s a lighthearted term, much like Pepe the Frog was just a funny mascot once. Today Pepe has been commandeered by the authoritarians of the alt-right, and as tech becomes ever more prevalent in our everyday world, soon “PC Master Race” will become a much heavier term. In the meantime, maybe we could stop associating ourselves with facism and convincing ourselves that it’s just an ironic turn of phrase.

Schema Modes and Mind Control: How Poor Mental Health Benefits the State

An Essay By: Big Nick

“Mother doesn’t go out anymore

Just sits at home and rolls her spastic eyes

But every weekend through the door

Come words of wisdom from the world outside

If you want to know ’bout the bishop and the actress

If you want to know how to be a star

If you want to know ’bout the stains on the mattress

You can read it in the Sunday papers”

Joe Jackson – “Sunday papers”, 1979

In the realm of mental health there is a concept called schemas: frameworks through which mental health patients and providers can explore someone’s psyche to find the root cause of their discomfort. Some examples are defectiveness/shame: the belief that the self is broken or intrinsically worthless; abandonment: the belief that the self has been left behind by someone else responsible for it; abuse: the cycle of perpetuating hateful or irresponsible treatment, seeing your trauma as justification for traumatizing others; and so on… there are 18 recognized schemas that a mental health professional can help you explore.

There’s also a punitive schema: a personality mode that causes one to”insist on perfection and demand justice” in accordance with standards that may be unrelenting or unrealistic. This mode can also cause ‘avoidance’ in the form of “isolating oneself from others to protect the ego and/or to avoid disappointment; it can also lead to ‘overcompensation’, meaning in this case to “behave like a ‘doormat'” and let others have their way with no resistance.

Consider the typical Trump supporter’s stance on Hillary Clinton: “LOCK HER UP!” This is clearly a call for punitive action: Hillary should be punished for hosting a private e-mail server for her campaign. But when it comes to Donald Trump’s staff using private e-mail servers, or blatantly lying about all sorts of things (literally every sort of thing), they avoid the topic or flat out excuse the behavior. In the eyes of a Trump support, Hillary is a bad person (shameful even) and should be punished… their strongman Trump is excusable because he’s “one of us” and “very fine people”. There are other schemas that can apply to Trump supports and even Donald Trump himself, in a very similar fashion.

But let’s consider the opposite side as well: https://drhurd.com/2018/01/31/trump-derangement-syndrome/. This article posts about the same mental health point of view, but from the position that Trump Detractors are the ones suffering mental illness. The points are a bit labored, but not invalid: in fact you can just as easily make the same claims about republican politicians and the logic holds up. You can even see clearly defensive behavior in the actions of politicians from across the spectrum as they struggle to defend their actions and increasingly have to rely on the strength of psychological distortion to bolster their fibbing.

Depression has taken hold of our nation and mental illness now rules our politics, from the men and women on Capital Hill down to your grandma and niece on Main St. This article offers one possible explanation for why this is happening. We see that education in America has been suffering (and will continue to suffer as the federal government refuses to stop cutting funding for schools.) What explanation could there be for this? It seems logical that a smart, educated population would best serve the nation, so why would our nation’s leaders seek to limit the possibilities of our nation’s students? To see a clearer picture, let’s look at another realm of mental health called Schema Modes.

Our schemas describe in broad terms how our psyche sees the world and process input, but schema modes describe how our emotions and personal agency interact with this worldview. There are 4 “children modes” which are governed by a “parent mode”. It’s easiest to visualize them:

Children modes:

_________

(Happiness) ______

_____            \

(Anger)___________ \__ ________

_____________    \___|        |

(Impulsiveness)_______|*PARENT*|

_____________     ___|________|

(Vulnerability)___/

There are several states the “Parent” can exist in: mental health providers talk about a dysfunctional parent vs. a health parent. A dysfunctional parent will allow the children to govern each other, or govern them irresponsibly and in ways that reinforce depression. For example, someone who’s not parenting their emotions may give in to drugs or masturbation as a way of satisfying their drive for happiness, which puts impulsiveness in charge of their emotions. Someone may find it satisfying to find people to argue with on the internet, which then puts anger and vulnerability in charge of their emotions. These things can be find in moderation and with intentional use, but when left in charge of our emotional state we start to lose control. Many mental health patients complain of not having control over their lives, and by exploring their schemas can find ways in which they have found ‘control’ in unhealthy ways that contribute to their depression. The goal of mental health treatment is to redevelop the ‘Parent’ mode into a healthy version that intelligently moderates these 4 children with insight and self-compassion.

Can you think of a situation in which someone might benefit from you ‘losing your control’ of your parent mode? Consider the new Star Wars movie: long time fans feel Star Wars Episode 8 is the most emotional ever released, while casual fans and non-fans find the movie not terribly satisfying. These long time fans have willingly sacrificed some of their emotional control to the Star Wars franchise, and subsequently to the Disney and Lucasfilm corporations. This appropriated control can then be used to motivate them to buy merchandise. For those not keeping track, the Star Wars films have grossed $7 Billion over the last 40 years, while the toy lines have grossed $14 Billion. That’s twice as much, and points to a large motivator for Disney to keep people emotionally dependent on an on-going stream of Star Wars content. For more on the relationship between Star Wars, religion and capitalism, I will always recommend reading ŽIŽEK’s “The Revenge of Global Finance”, which predicted the global housing market crash 2 years before it happened: http://inthesetimes.com/article/2122/

For more perspective, here is a story about the failed attempt to indoctrinate China into the Star Wars vision of capitalist-buddhism: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-wars-china-box-office-why-disneys-jedi-mind-trick-isnt-working-china-1075177

So what does this mean for politics?  Imagine, if you will, a world where a large percent of the population gets its information from a state TV news source, where the population is kept in a state of anxiety and depression over state-engineered defectiveness (what is the meaning of a living wage? how many people do you know that make a easily “livable” wage, even in the middle class?) With this “defective parent” mode, the state news can slip in to take its place, and people can get their emotional ‘moderation’ from watching the television. The TV, or internet, or newspaper, whichever source they choose, becomes their new “parent” and tells them what to be happy about, what to be angry about, and when. Especially for an aging population, this is a welcome presence in their lives: as you become older and your mental faculties start to degrade, the desire to let someone else moderate your emotions and develop your opinions for you becomes such an appealing luxury that at some point it appears to become a perceived necessity.

Think of your grandparent who watches Fox News, an aunt or uncle who gets all of his opinions from sports talk radio, a niece or nephew who gets all of their political news from Facebook. All of these people are limiting their worldview by outsourcing their internal parentage to an external media source. All of these modes of media consumption help reinforce the systems of influence and control that propagate white supremacy and homophobia, even in realms where the focus is squarely on the opposite. Using the same means of social control designed to benefit the state or the wealthy will never benefit the working class: it will only normalize and propagate the influence of the more powerful and resource-rich who have been using the same systems to maintain the status quo for generations.

The only way to fight this is to develop two separate but interconnected skills: emotional literacy, and media literacy. You can learn more about these by visiting the following websites: http://medialiteracyproject.org/learn/media-literacy/; https://www.specialeducationalneeds.co.uk/emotional-literacy.html. Both of these skills will give you the power to develop your parent mode: to critically evaluate your own emotions and thoughts, and the emotional messages in the media you consume. Learn to differentiate between entertainment and facts, take agency in how you process information and interact with the world, and avoid the influence of media meant to destroy your self-worth and self-advocacy. Stay strong and keep resisting.

“Sunday papers, don’t ask no questions

Sunday papers, don’t get no lies

Sunday papers, don’t raise objections

Sunday papers, ain’t got no eyes”

“Big Nick”, 2/1/2018

I Fell in Love With a Girl at the Rock Show: Lydia Loveless at Ace of Cups, 09/09/2016 by Amanda Wilson

In December, my husband and I went to see Sleater-Kinney at the Newport. I was supposed to review the show for this website so my husband could write off my drinks, but I never did. The thing I noticed most about the show (the band was amazing as always) was all the MEN.
MEN. Everywhere. Standing in front of me, being loud, wearing ironic t-shirts. When did Sleater-Kinney become cool for men to like? The women in the crowd ranged from incredulous, like me, to visibly hostile. My husband got a pass from the stink-eye because he was with me, and, as always, exceedingly polite.
I’ve continued to mull over that experience for the past year. Thinking about “#1 must have”, We Were Feminists Once and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. What’s happened to the feminist movement in the past ten years, and where do I fit within it? I realized it was time to re-engage. Three audio books later (How to Be a Woman, Bad Feminist, and Shrill), I feel like I’ve regained the beat.

Summary:
The same old crap is going on
Some good stuff has happened
I still give a shit.
What does any of this have to do with Lydia Loveless’ Real tour kick off at Ace of Cups Thursday night? Nothing, and everything.
I am one of those annoying introverts who is always saying they’ll go to things and then doesn’t, because getting dressed and leaving the house. While introverted parenting is difficult in its own right, I highly recommend a baby as a permanent font of excuses to go nowhere. I had flirted casually with going to this show but not bothered to make concrete plans. When the title of the Facebook event changed to SOLD OUT, I texted my husband a sad face. A few minutes later, I had it on good authority that I would, in fact, be able to get in. A magician never reveals his secrets but one of my posts to Facebook later that night was “there are perks to having a rock star for a husband.” I was super excited but skeptical of my ability to stay up past 9P (at 8:30P my husband made me a cup of coffee). I thought about dressing up but opted for comfort: cut offs, studded belt, ‘Supernatural’ tank top and chemistry themed Toms. I wavered between driving and walking, decided to drive, couldn’t find parking, took my car home, and walked past a giant parking space right in front of the door to Ace of Cups. I know what the words SOLD OUT mean but damn! it was crowded.
I tried to look confident as I walked through the door with the SOLD OUT sign on it. “Amanda Wilson?” I said ,with audible emphasis on the question mark , and there I was, at the top of ‘The List’. I received an unidentifiable hand stamp and made my way to the bar for a G&T. My bartender was gorgeous and I tried not to stare at her in her tight Jack Daniels t-shirt and leather skirt. I wandered to an empty spot on the floor and looked around.
There were a lot of old people there – older than me! Middle-aged men mostly, and lots of women who looked like me (glasses, varying shapes and effort at dress). I remembered my husband told me to look around for people we know. So I went out to the patio, even though I quit smoking almost six years ago. Right out of the door I see Lydia and her sister, Eleanor. “I’m so glad you got in!” says Lydia, embracing me. “Thank you!” I reply, “It’s Mommy’s night out!” I say I feel guilty (“He’ll be OK,” Eleanor reassures me) not for leaving the baby with my husband but because he is a HUGE Lydia Loveless fan. “Really?” Lydia exclaims, “How old is he now?” The answer is eighteen months and ten minutes in the door I’m already the mom showing pictures of her baby to people at the bar. My son demands to listen to Lydia’s records most nights before bed, waving his tiny fist in the air.
We chat and I see some other familiar faces. One of the things we discuss is the intractable misogyny of the music industry; how male music journalists still ask the same stupid questions (“how does it feel to be a woman in music? What does your husband think of your lyrics?”) And how any response gets twisted into a negative (“Old guys like my music becomes ‘Why do you hate old people?”). Looking around, it’s clearly true that old guys like Lydia Loveless’ music. I think about the guys at the Sleater-Kinney show. I like for men to like music made by women. But is something getting lost? I’m not sure yet.
I follow Eleanor upstairs and try to stay out of the way so she can finish the conversation with her sister I initially interrupted. I ask if Eleanor wants a drink, she does but is not sure what. I bring back another G&T and a Fireball and Coke, which is apparently ridiculous evidence of how out of the loop I am regarding cocktails at rock shows. By the time I returned from the bar Eleanor had disappeared into the green room with Lydia. I’m appraising the guy at the door to determine if I can trust him to deliver Eleanor’s beverage when she opens the door and pulls me into the room. “I heard your voice,” she explains. I’ll bet. When I do talk, it’s incredibly loud. This difficulty in modulation contributes to my social anxiety, but I try to embrace it. Eleanor raises her eyebrows almost imperceptibly at the beverage options, taking the G&T and leaving me to sip my cinnamon toast (my husband teased me about it later).
It’s blissfully quiet in the green room. It’s just Lydia and Eleanor in there now, and as we talk as Lydia’s band comes in to make the set list. They say they don’t know what to play so I make helpful suggestions (Steve Earle! Heaven! Midwestern guys! Everything’s gone! The killing time! I would die 4 U!) Most of which I got to hear later. Eleanor introduced me to their brother and his date. A stream of people come in with various concerns. Eleanor says “someone needs to have a talk with the teenager guarding the door. He can’t let just anyone back here.” I feel special. I manage to act mostly normal, except when I try to show everyone the picture of a runaway cat that passed out in a catnip display.
I’m reluctant to describe Lydia’s appearance because a woman’s appearance is always described and because I don’t want to sound weird, but she looked like gold. I’m impressed by her guitar playing, how it gets better and better, and her command of the stage. I consider describing everyone’s appearance to justify this passage- Ben like something out of a country Teen Beat, killing the electric bass as well as he does the upright, Todd, dressed like Willy Wonka (that will be referenced later), his face completely transforming as he shreds the guitar, Jay with his wristband and Radiohead-esque soundscapes and George looking exactly as adorable and boyish as he has probably looked for twenty years, maybe with a shade more scalp showing through, demonstrating measured restraint when needed but a lot of skill. I enjoy the versatility of the live show, the sound reliable and not repetitive.
The set is incredible, mostly songs off the two most recent albums. I dance and feel amazing and remember why I love live music. I hate music reviews generally and refuse to describe the actual music in a series of pointless adjectives. If you aren’t familiar with Lydia’s music and you like Neko Case or Bjork or the 80s go listen to it. Lydia does a few solo songs with her electric guitar in the middle, Billy Bragg style. One of them is “Wild Horses;” her dad comes on stage to sing with her and I weep. Because it’s beautiful, because of the song, and because I don’t have a dad to sing with anymore. Jay plays a loop from Willy Wonka and Eleanor takes the stage, singing “Pure Imagination.” As the band begins the encore to their set she takes an elegant stage dive into the waiting arms of a friend.
The men were all up front, phones out, taking video. Tall and refusing to move. I think of the Sleater-Kinney show. I wonder if we need to start calling ladies to the front again, Bikini Kill style. I think of Lydia’s face in the green room, joking about wearing a gorilla mask, “I want to wear this so I don’t get groped on the way to the stage.” She is 26 years old and a star and she should be focused on what she wants to play and enjoying herself, not worried about some pervert trying to cop a feel when she walks to and from the stage. I feel maternal and possessive and aggressive. I want to say, “She belongs to us. Back off!” But I can’t because of course she only belongs to herself. I did tell her to dedicate “Midwestern Guys” to them in the crowd which she did, but I wonder if the irony was lost on them, like when I made a bunch of metal heads watch Metalocalypse with me and they did not get it. I know that ten years is not so long between our ages but us feminists in our 30s, did we fail her somehow? Thank you, Lydia, for sharing your gift with us.

-Aew, 09/10/2016.

Columbus City Council Votes on June 20th…One Woman’s Testimony Against the Christian™© War on Reproductive Rights 

Written statement prepared for Columbus Ohio City Council meeting  held 6/14/2015:

My name is Amanda Wilson. I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the State of Ohio. I am a member of North Broadway United Methodist Church. I am a wife and a mother.

Female bodies bear the majority of the burden of bringing new life into the world. This miraculous ability given to the female body comes with significantly increased healthcare costs over the course of one’s reproductive life- from first menses to menopause. I believe that affordable, high quality healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Perhaps the most significant component of affordable, high quality healthcare is access to it. It does not matter if resources exist if women are not able to readily access them. Harassment and intimidation prevent and inhibit women’s access to affordable and high quality reproductive healthcare. The fact that this harassment and intimidation is levied particularly at women is a form of discrimination, when women are already burdened with increased healthcare costs over the course of a lifetime. Yelling at women, criticizing them, cajoling them, praying at them, displaying signs and distributing pamphlets that provide misleading and inaccurate information, all of these activities are forms of harassment and intimidation.

Just Monday, I was walking on East Broad where I saw a women yelling at a couple out back of a reproductive health clinic. She was yelling “You don’t have to do this! Let us help you!” I found her behavior to be disturbing and frightening and it was not even directed at me. This woman was with another woman who had posted a yard sign with misleading information designed to frighten.

I respect every citizen’s right to free speech, protest and prayer. However, activities designed to harass and intimidate women from receiving healthcare at a healthcare facility are not an appropriate expression of a person’s dissent with abortion. Jesus was a teacher who brought a message of radical love, acceptance, and grace into the world. As Christians, we are called upon to share wisdom, not ignorance. To spread love, not fear. To provide care to those in need, not limit their access to care. Because of that, I am called to speak up for the right of women to access affordable, high quality healthcare without the threat of harassment and intimidation. That’s why this ordinance is so important and I urge you to pass it.

Armageddon It (Jesus is Coming, Start Looting vol. 2)

By: Dave Rine
By: Dave Rine

 

The Bible, as any Stryper fan can tell you, is metal as hell.
Don’t believe me? Try this on for size:
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, ‘Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.’”
That’s Revelation 19:17. It comes right before Jesus, that lily-white, blue-eyed hippie from the Sunday school brochures, comes down from heaven at the Battle of Armageddon and just slaughters everybody. And he doesn’t do it alone. When Jesus appears, a few verses earlier, riding a white horse and, “dressed in a robe dipped in blood,” (insert devil horns emoticon) he is rolling deep. As verse 14 states, “The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen.”
When I was in junior high I would dream of someday being a part of that doomsday army. When the rednecks and the rural Ohio 90210 wannabes would be on my case, spitting through their teeth at me like milk snakes and calling me faggot in the hallway, I would fade it all, mutter prayers over my Aldi bag lunch, and face the world with zen tranquility knowing that someday I would get to mob down from heaven with Jesus Christ Almighty at my side and we would roll on all those nonbelievers and wallop their heads off like dandelion tops. And I’d do it all in blazing white, just as clean as Easter Sunday.
I even wanted to write a comic about it someday. I thought it would make people want to become Christians.
Of course, fantasies of apocalyptic violence are not strictly the domain of socially stunted Baptist adolescents. The propaganda magazine for the Islamic Caliphate (IS, ISIS, Daesh, whatever you like to call them) is called Dabiq. Dabiq is basically Islamic for Armageddon. It’s the name of the town in Syria where the end-of-the-world battle is supposed to be fought, according to Islam. So ISIS wants the end of the world too. They too dream of a new order, baptized in blood and sustained by the terrible wrath of Abraham’s god.
But where my rage against the nonbelievers was fed by a dismal home life and social exclusion at the hands of the jocks and hillbillies in America’s breadbasket, theirs was fed by imperial invasion and civil war. They grew up, shocked and in awe, watching their cities get bombed into rubble as their nations crumbled into sectarian bloodletting. Where I prayed for death in the abstract, these black clad millennials from the other side of the world say their prayers with M-16s, lashing out with honest to god brutal murder because death is all they’ve ever known. They were, as the old storyteller would have it, born and bred in the briar patch.
Every time our terrorist enemies attack, taking apocalyptic violence out of the sandy hellhole of the Middle East, where it’s supposed to occur and misplacing it in places like Paris and Brussels, where well-dressed white people are supposed to chill out drinking artisan coffee and pounding strange, we Americans cry out for revenge. And Christians are the worst about it.
Don’t get me wrong. The supposedly rational, erudite, “New Atheists” are likewise quick to pick up the call for murderous revenge against the dark, unthinking Muslim hordes who threaten enlightened Western civilization, eager to prove that atheists can be just as bloodthirsty and nihilistic as any Spanish Inquisitor. But for sheer hyperbolic war-mongering, you flat-out can’t beat an American Christian venting to Facebook after a terrorist attack. It’s as if, on some level, Christians are haunted by the fact that the alleged founder of their religion, the homeless country rabbi who they supposedly regard as God-on-earth, made some pretty irresponsibly pacifistic statements (admonishing his followers to “turn the other cheek,” or whatever the hell), and they want to make it crystal clear that they are NOT about that life. “Forget that mess about turning the other cheek,” the followers of Jesus declare. Their philosophy was more accurately stated by Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan when he said, “Yo, nigga, respect mine, or anger the tech nine.” Turns out, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” was just a folksy, Aramaic way of saying, “Bomb the fuckers into chalk dust and kill their kids so there won’t be any more terrorists.” Peace through indiscriminate slaughter. Like we needed the Son of God to help us come up with that idea.
And now I, too, run the risk of misrepresenting myself. I have begun to talk like one of the porridge-headed cheek-turners who thinks we should all “be the change” and let our tits hang out and kumbaya our way to a better world where life is a big Phish concert that never ends. Any time I suggest that we respond to terror attacks by doing something other than roto-tillering the Islamic world with cluster bombs, people mistakenly assume that I am advocating for nonviolence. This, we are told, is a clash of civilizations, and our enemies don’t share our qualms about killing the innocent. They don’t worship a dead hippie, and they don’t listen to Bob Marley. They speak in gun blasts and peroxide bombs, so we better be ready to answer back in kind.
Bellicose rhetoric, it seems, is the order of the day. And I am happy to engage in some.
But first I have to into question some of the assumptions we commonly make when these sticky issues of violence come up. We assume, for instance, that “our” religion is a peace-loving one and that “our” civilization is morally opposed to slaughtering innocent civilians. These assumptions are lies.
Though Christianity is theoretically rooted in the worship of a masochistic godman who is quoted as having taught some things that sound militantly pacifistic when computer animated vegetables sing songs about them for little kids, the only reason we know about wishy-washy old JC at all is that a bunch of his followers murdered the shit out of anyone who disagreed with them for hundreds of years. The Christian religion spread across Europe mainly through the actions of emperors like Constantine and Charlemagne, who used the religion to make better subjects of the pagans who they conquered with their armies. You can hang Jesus on a tree for all the good his half-hearted talk of nonviolence did for his emissaries here on earth; Christians had nearly a thousand years of brutal conquest under their belts before they even got to the Crusades. The Crusades against the Muslims and the pogroms against the Jews got so bad that, in 1492, the Islamic Sultans had to organize a flotilla and provide safe haven in the Middle East for thousands of Jews who the Christian Church in Spain was busily working to exterminate. So Christianity also had a few hundred years of crusading on its resume before they even started wiping out the American Indians, or enslaving millions of Africans, or opening the markets of Asia with muskets and gunboats. And all that stuff was well underway even before the Protestants and Catholics started offing each other. Christianity as we know it comes to us crusted with two thousand years of innocent blood.
Now to disprove the notion that the American Empire is somehow adverse to murdering civilians in its pursuit of global hegemony, I need not reach nearly so far back into our history. It was scarcely more than a decade ago that our nation’s military invaded the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. I was just a wallet-chain wearing, green-haired punk kid then, and while I was in the streets with my peacenik friends waving “Drop Bush Not Bombs” banners and trying to start fights with the cops, everyone around us, liberal Democrats included, told us we were being unrealistic. Our ideals didn’t reflect the reality of the world around us, we were told. You can’t fight terrorism with peace. Grow up.
Meanwhile, the sober and realistic adults, the battle-hardened experts in military planning, were making a real difference. In their prosaic wisdom, the masters of war leveled Bagdad and turned cities like Fallujah into outposts of hell. I recall once being told that civilians killed in the bombing of Bagdad “should have left town,” something no one would ever suggest about victims of terrorism in Paris. After invading Iraq, the mature scions of realpolitik thought it would be a bang up job to secure their own power amongst the shambles they had made of that country by turning the various Iraqi religious sects against each other. They knew that this policy would have the likely result of inciting a civil war, and encouraging infiltration by foreign terrorists and militants, and they did it anyway. And, what do you know, Iraq became a haven for Al-Quaeda and the various groups that have now morphed into the Islamic Caliphate. This was part of the prank that our self-important, drone-bombing bureaucrats had been working all along. Bazinga.
And that’s only a small snippet from the montage of unaccountable slaughter that our Empire has been responsible for. To really understand the scope of it, you have to look beyond the million or so dead in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands killed in Afghanistan, and the unnumbered, unnamed people left dead from drone attacks in countries we were never even at war with. You have to consider the victims of proxy wars in Latin America, and the many dictatorial regimes that served as puppets for US business. You have to consider the millions of civilians killed in Vietnam. Sure, think about the Native Americans and the people of the Philippines that our Empire mowed down in its early days, but also think about this: The nation of China is now beginning to do what the United States has done for decades, setting up military bases outside of its own borders, even as our own leaders speak of a “pivot to Asia” in terms of our strategic military priorities. This pivot to a new theater of conflict comes as the horrific violence of the Caliphate makes it clear that the shitstorm of violence we’ve unleashed in the Middle East is not going to abate any time soon.
“Chillax, guys, we got this,” our mature and sagacious leaders tell us as they plunge into conflict wherever markets for US capital are threatened, wielding the most horrendously destructive military force in the history of the human race. It’s the government’s job to keep capitalism going. All we have to do is kill, and die, and pay for everything.
So sorry, Jesus Christ, but nobody’s bought that “love thy neighbor” crap for two thousand years, and it’s time to pack it in. We all read to the end of the book and we figured out you were going to kill everybody anyway, so what the hell? But if violence and apocalypse are indeed the only ways we can be satisfied, I for one would like to suggest we channel our bloodthirsty rage in a more productive direction.

 

I say we unfurl our wrath at the people who led us down this path. All the politicians who marshalled the armies and the businesses that profit because of this global empire, how about we tear into them like the Army of God? No more hiding behind the valor of our professional fighting men, it’s time we take matters into our own hands. I mean tying all of our leaders onto flatbed trucks and driving a cross-country tour where we let every kid in America beat on them with a spiked bat. Why keep sending our brothers and sisters off to blow up hapless yokels on the other side of the planet, when the people responsible for all of this death are right here in the States, living in nicer houses than we can afford? Let’s send the Predator drones to their estates and their penthouses and let the terrifying thunder of justice be the last thing they ever hear. If we really believe that bloodshed is the only thing that can make us free, then let it flow and be free at last. If you want violence that bad, go get you some.

When you get down to the heart of it, we don’t love The End of the World because of the killing. It isn’t even the crazy dragon beasts and pillars of flame that really turn us on. What we truly love about the apocalypse is the promise of a better world. What we long for is not Armageddon but the New Jerusalem. That’s the thing we’ve awaited for thousands of years, a new world and a better life.
And we can have it, too, but there’s a catch. In order for the meek to inherit the earth, the beast who owns it now has to die.

Jesus is Coming; Start Looting

 

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By: Dave Rine

This might be hard to believe, but there was a time when I didn’t give a shit about the Bible. That was before I found out the world was about to end.
I remember it like it was the nineties. I remember it like the first time I found a Playboy (which was actually a Penthouse, a mildly frightening disappointment). It was the summer I turned eleven, and as I sat on the living room carpet pretending my stuffed animals could talk, my mom’s second husband was in the kitchen, trying to win my mom back by convincing her that he found Jesus. It was all pretty standard divorced-parent talk, until he got to the part about the Rapture, and the Final Judgement. The world was coming to an end, but that wasn’t all. There was so much more terrifying, awesome shit that was set to go down in the twinkling of an eye. There would be dragons. Mountains would fall flaming from the sky. Massacres, plagues, the mark of the beast, the sun blotted out with blood; this stuff was more exciting than GI Joe, and a hell of a lot more metal than Def Leppard. And unlike GI Joe, all this stuff was supposed to be true.
Hot damn. From that day on, Jack Van Impe and John Hagee became for me what Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees were for normal kids. The Book of Revelation was the ultimate horror kick, because it could all come true at any moment, and if you stayed up late to listen to the really creepy preachers who came on after midnight, you knew it that all of the signs in the bible proved that it was coming soon. The Antichrist was probably already among us. The righteous could be called into the sky this very instant. That first night I went to bed terrified, but by the time I was in junior high and my mom had married a completely unrelated bible thumper, I was unabashedly stoked for the apocalypse. Every day I prayed the Rapture would come before gym class.
And while we all know that the Bible, like Wolverine, is a wonderful book for pubescent psychopaths, I have to confess that I never fully grew out of that phase. There is still that part of me that hopes for the end of the world, that thrills when I see the signs coming to pass. So you can imagine my quiet glee when I checked Twitter the other morning, to see that Sarah Palin had endorsed Donald Trump for president.
So that’s it, right? Time to quit your job and learn how to make gunpowder because the world has had it. Such an obvious and repugnant combination of two such vile political forces can only portend the final coalescence of the Unholy Trinity described in Revelation.
A quick crib here for those of you who may not be apocalyptically bent religious nuts, the Unholy Trinity (like the Holy Trinity, in fact) is not explicitly mentioned in the bible, but is often used by evangelical eschatologists to give their palpably fakakta end times teachings an air of symmetry. Comprised of Satan, The Beast (aka the Antichrist), and the False Prophet, and is best described in Revelation, chapters twelve and thirteen.
Palin, of course, easily fits into the role of the False Prophet, who performs signs and wonders and deceives the people of earth into worshipping the Beast. Throughout her time in the nation spotlight, she has proven herself adroit at spouting brainless platitudes to stir up the fear and hatred in the hearts of all the forlorn and forgotten grannies, church deacons, and Walker, Texas Ranger fans in America who have been arming themselves for civil war. Like John the Revelator’s False Prophet, she is the eager cheerleader for the most violent, hateful and demonic impulses in American politics, shaking her pompoms for Armageddon. With winking, toothy cheer, she extols the doomsday virtues of World War Three, the way the False Prophet displays horns like a lamb and yet speaks like a dragon (Rev. 13:11)
Now, if I am the first person to mention the clear fact that Trump is the Antichrist, it can only be because the left-liberal noise machine has been too busy comparing him to Hitler, Mussolini, Cobra Commander and Yosemite Sam. In the first place, as one of the main duties of the Antichrist in Biblical teleology is to lead the forces of one of the world’s great empires into the battle of Armageddon, it should be noted that the entire Republican presidential field is comprised of eager candidates for the Beast-hood. In every Republican debate, the candidates spend half the night one-upping each other to prove that they are the most turned on by the idea of leaving the Valley of Jehoshaphat coursing with blood. It’s an honest-to-god Antichrist pageant at those debates, and even Hillary Clinton wants to wear that sash.
But Trump does possess certain Antichrist-like attributes that make him stand out from the pack. Not least of these is the fact that Trump already believes himself to be God. Revelation 13:1 describes the Beast arising, “out of the sea,” a phrase which is often taken to mean that the Antichrist will be a gentile, but could also be a reference to Trump’s early rise to prominence in Atlantic City. Perhaps most damning of all, chapter thirteen, verse five states that, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies,” which is as clear a Donald signifier as if the Bible had said, “There was given to him a hairpiece that looked like rice noodles held on with Scotch tape.”
In Matthew, chapter 24, Jesus tells his disciples that the end will not come until, “you see the Abomination of Desolation… standing in the holy place.” This is one of several verses that lead biblical prophecy buffs to insist that, before The Second Coming, the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Of course, when Trump rebuilds the temple, instead of a place of worship, it will be a gaudy and towering hotel and casino. But what do any of the politicians and would-be antichrists of this late stage of capitalism have to offer us besides that same casino swindle? Nothing but a place to watch the pretty lights and pretend we’ll be rich one day, while we dump the fruit of our toil into some rich kid’s pocket and wait for the bombs to fall, that’s the best anybody can do.
So welcome, brethren, to the new apocalypse, where the war-makers will be called sons of God, the privileged, loudmouthed imbeciles will inherit the earth, and the meek are losers who need to stop their crying. Your Kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as in some fake-ass rap video, because that’s the only heaven we’re still allowed to want.