To the Grail Castle: Just down the road a little way, turn left and just over the drawbridge

April 29, 2009

fisherkingThe Fisher King.

I recommend the movie and the myth.

The King provides directions for everyone’s healing:

…a place of comfort and safety is not far away. The specific instructions are to go down the road – whatever road one is involved with at the moment – turn left, which is to say go toward the unconscious or the world of imagination an fantasy, cross the drawbridge – the division between our conscious world and the inner world of imagination – and one will be in the Grail castle, the miraculous place of healing…

A detail of the story is encouraging: Parsifal need only ask the question; he is not required to answer it. Once the question is asked the answer comes from a source greater than his store of personal wisdom.

You get to visit the Castle every night when you sleep.

– – The Fisher King & the Handless Maiden: Understanding the Wounded Feeling Function in Masculine and Feminine Psychology, Robert A. Johnson

Franchisees are revolting, but in a new way this time

April 11, 2009

wolfgrandmaPredatory franchisors and those that continue to profit from their action give the distinct impression that franchisees are a lower form of life. They are:

  1. Slow.
  2. Greedy.
  3. Lazy.

This part-economic, -social and -cultural discrimination performs several very important functions for the elite but most immediately it provides the intellectual grounding for:

…”liberating” franchisees’ life savings by any means possible.

This liberation helps the economy because franchisees’ life savings (by this perspective) are inefficiently husbanded by stupid people. They prove franchisees’ passivity and idiocy every day when they hawk the latest loser business model.

Franchisees deserve what they get because they are a lower form of life.

They have, in modern secular and economic terms, a life unworthy of life (lebensunwertes leben). Everyone in the mob sleeps well because they are simply slaughtering subhumans’ capital heritage for the “common economic good”. The predators are society benefactors: genetic soldiers in the inevitable sacrifice of the weak being trussed-up to feed the strong.

  • This is how the wolf sees himself: improving free enterprise by killing the weak, lame, stupid, slow,  infirm or elderly.

Some, however, are starting to see this Walter Mittyesque view differently. They see modern franchising as a:

bastardization of valid biological natural selection theory mixed in with an infantile parroting of a 4th rate intellectual “stew” of eugenics, laissez-faire dogmatism, propaganda, piracy and mind-numbing self-interest.

Don Sniegowski at Blue MauMau reports today that Over a Thousand Franchisees Demand to See Televised UPS Store Trial.

LOS ANGELES – Against opposition by United Parcel Service, Inc., some 1,400 franchise owners have requested that the Los Angeles Superior Court allow them to see on closed circuit television a class action lawsuit of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees going up against their franchisor.

Further down in the comments, the “How-to-Contribute” is helpfully presented.

Before any valid re-ordering, chaos must reign. This seems to be the way it always happens. It starts in the city of angels but that’s not where it will end.

The cowards have always relied on the fixer but from now on, it’s beyond his reach. Memory, witness and narrative seem to have awoken from a form of spell.

upsstore, mailboxesetc, Peter Thomas

It’s over.

No matter what you’ve lost, Rise Again

January 13, 2009

heartdiagram1I don’t know anything about being on the ocean.

But I try to listen when stories are told about forces of nature that overtake man’s best-laid plans. Coping with disasters, natural and man-made, has been an interest of mine for some time.

Franchising comes on you like a hurricane. It disrupts all relationships, your self-identity, causes such pain and casts you out onto a dung pile. it did it to me and I can tell you, others seem to share my experiences.

But in the midst of it all, there are messages out there calling you to take care and to take heart.

  • Springsteen: Gettin’ beat and then playin’ again,‘Till their strength gives out or their heart gives in, Now who’s the man who thinks he can decide, Whose dreams will live and whose shall be pushed aside, Has he ever walked down these streets at night, And looked into the eyes of…None baby but the brave
  • Dylan: Statues made of match sticks, Crumble into one another, My love winks, she does not bother, She knows too much to argue or to judge.
  • Harrison: I don’t know why nobody told you, how to unfold your love, I don’t know how someone controlled you, they bought and sold you
  • Petty: Baby we ain’t the first, I’m sure a lot of other lover’s been burned, Right now this seems real to you, But it’s one of those things, You gotta feel to be true
  • Cohen: And everybody knows that you’re in trouble, Everybody knows what you’ve been through, From the bloody cross on top of calvary, To the beach of malibu, Everybody knows it’s coming apart, Take one last look at this sacred heart, Before it blows, And everybody knows

One form is through music. You should listen to Stan Rogers as much as you can. If you think this is good, his ballads will kill the part of you that is hardening.

And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.


The Mary Ellen Carter, Stan Rogers

She went down last October in a pouring driving rain.
The skipper, he’d been drinking and the Mate, he felt no pain.
Too close to Three Mile Rock, and she was dealt her mortal blow,
And the Mary Ellen Carter settled low.
There were just five of us aboard her when she finally was awash.
We’d worked like hell to save her, all heedless of the cost.
And the groan she gave as she went down, it caused us to proclaim
That the Mary Ellen Carter would rise again.

Well, the owners wrote her off; not a nickel would they spend.
She gave twenty years of service, boys, then met her sorry end.
But insurance paid the loss to them, they let her rest below.
Then they laughed at us and said we had to go.
But we talked of her all winter, some days around the clock,
For she’s worth a quarter million, afloat and at the dock.
And with every jar that hit the bar, we swore we would remain
And make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

Rise again, rise again, that her name not be lost
To the knowledge of men.
Those who loved her best and were with her till the end
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

All spring, now, we’ve been with her on a barge lent by a friend.
Three dives a day in hard hat suit and twice I’ve had the bends.
Thank God it’s only sixty feet and the currents here are slow
Or I’d never have the strength to go below.
But we’ve patched her rents, stopped her vents, dogged hatch and porthole down.
Put cables to her, ‘fore and aft and girded her around.
Tomorrow, noon, we hit the air and then take up the strain.
And watch the Mary Ellen Carter Rise Again.

Rise again, rise again, that her name not be lost
To the knowledge of men.
Those who loved her best and were with her till the end
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

For we couldn’t leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale.
She’d saved our lives so many times, living through the gale
And the laughing, drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave
They won’t be laughing in another day. . .
And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.

Rise again, rise again – though your heart it be broken
And life about to end
No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend.
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.

Is it Heart or Head, above all else?

November 25, 2008

campbellmoyerCAMPBELL: This thing up here….this consciousness thinks it’s running the shop. It’s a secondary organ. It’s a secondary organ of a total human being. And it must not put itself in control.

It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.

Is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity? Or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes?

CAMPBELL: Like Luke Skywalker, not going over but resisting its impersonal claims

MOYER: But I can hear someone out there in the audience…But that isn’t what happens in my own life.

CAMPBELL: You bet it does.

If the person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual- and heart-life and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off-centre. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it’s not the one the body is interested in at all. But the world is full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

In my own life, I have had many opportunities to commit myself to a system. And to go with it. And to obey it’s requirements.

My life has been that of a maverick: I would not submit.

CAMPBELL: Our life evokes our character. And you find out more about yourself at you go on. And it’s very nice to be able to put yourself into situations that will evoke your higher nature, rather than your lower.

The Role of Shame

November 4, 2008

The situation you find yourself in can make you much more vulnerable to authority.

Those that control your environment can be franchisors, lawyers, bankers or even health care professionals. Shame or self-disgust is a very powerful emotion.

Under extreme situations, it is logical to to see extreme behavior.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975

The film’s unauthorized screenplay (by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman) was restructured and adapted from author Ken Kesey’s 1962 popular, best-selling novel of the same name so that it would appeal to contemporary audiences. It won 5 academy awards

Quotes from the film

McMurphy (Jack Nicholson): [when asked about Nurse Ratched] Well, that fucking Nurse, man. She, uh, she ain’t honest.
Dr. Spivey: Oh now, look. Miss Ratched’s one of the finest nurses we’ve got in this institution.
McMurphy: Ha! Well I don’t wanna break up the meeting or nothing, but she’s something of a cunt, ain’t she, Doc?
Dr. Spivey: How do you mean that?

McMurphy: She likes a rigged game, you know what I mean?

A Beautiful Mind

October 31, 2008

Biological diversity is the cornerstone of Darwin’s theories on natural selection. Mankind could not have developed without variations. Some:

  • characteristics (physical and mental) increase the chance of survival are retained (via reproduction) while others that
  • prove to decrease the chance of passing on genes, are allowed to be dropped away.

Diversity is not a weakness; it is an evolutionary strength.

This 2001 movie is the closest artistic rendition I have ever seen of altered or delusional perception. Our notions of what is and is not real, rests on a knife’s edge, at times.

Just a few milligrams of this or that and you’re convinced Martha Washington is your wife!

Please note: The hospital scenes are historically accurate but do not represent the modern practice of psychiatry. I have witnessed an electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) session.

The “bible” for psychiatric disorders is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Currently the American Psychiatric Association published the DSM IV.

  • It is used to classify largely biochemically-based disorders. Not people.

Professor Nash was diagnosed as having schizophrenia (manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social or occupational dysfunction. Onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with approximately 0.4–0.6% of the population affected.)

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