[-empyre-] WH vs sanctuary cities

Brian Holmes bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com
Wed Mar 29 06:48:07 AEDT 2017


You're not off the mark, Alan. You're also right that blindness is not a
very good word. By blind, I mean blind to consequences that ultimately fold
back on the agents of violence as well as their victims. This is a kind of
blindness that inhabits the most precise forms of vision. But you're a
poet, right? We need new words.

I read a family biography of the Kochs. Smart, precise, driven, violent
people. Maybe we also need a new conception of sight, an ethicopoetics of
sight, so as to see and embrace the world in a different light than these
people do.

On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 2:13 PM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>
>
> Hi Brian, for me the key here is the phrase "the blind violence of war" -
> but this war, these wars, are precisely not blind on any level - not only
> the obvious ones of surveillance, hacking, drones, etc., but also in terems
> of destruction and its consequences. The regime does not care about
> collateral damage; the rich (Mike Davis et al) remain enclaved, and that's
> fundamental. An example is this:
>
> "What the U.S. House of Representatives did today actually a very narrow
> majority of the House was shameful. Cruel. Callous. Venal.
>
> The vote in favor of H.J. Resolution 69, authored by Alaskas Rep. Don
> Young, was 225 to 193. Those 225 members voted to overturn a federal rule
> years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the
> U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  to stop some of the most appalling
> practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management.
> Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears
> from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly
> bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares. The stuff
> of wildlife snuff films."
>
> Again: "This eye-opening gap is also growing rapidly: Over roughly the
> last 15 years, life expectancy increased by 2.34 years for men and 2.91
> years for women who are among the top 5 percent of income earners in
> America, but by just 0.32 and 0.04 years for men and women in the bottom 5
> percent of the income tables.
>
> When we think about income inequality in the United States, we think that
> low-income Americans cant afford to purchase the same homes, live in the
> same neighborhoods, and buy the same goods and services as higher-income
> Americans, says Michael Stepner, a PhD candidate in MITs Department of
> Economics. But the fact that they can on average expect to have 10 or 15
> fewer years of life really demonstrates the level of inequality weve had in
> the United States." (MIT news)
>
> We like to think that war is blind, that somehow it represents a
> fundamentally "crippled" condition. But today that isn't the case; war is
> simply one of many actions carried out by regimes, militia groups, and so
> forth; it is literally daily bread. The US has an increasing number of
> militias, neo-nazi groups, etc., as well.
>
> War is a culling by any means possible.
>
> I find my own theoretical underpinnings, by the way, dissolving in a
> recognition of brute force, a force which has been a long time coming.
> One of our main environmental interests here is in the caretaking of
> manatees off the U.S. eastern coasts. They're dwindling in numbers, but
> they're potentially being taken off the endangered species list (and that
> itself may be eliminated). There are only a few thousand left. For
> researchers and environmentalists, it's easy to identify them - every
> single one of them, except for very young calves, are recognized by the
> brutal scars on their back, left by boat propellers. It would be easy to
> stop this (which also results in death of course) - prop guards are
> inexpensive, but the boaters and skiiers fight back on this. There's no
> blindness here; everyone knows what's happening, manatees are monitored,
> thermoclines of waters around power plants are studied, etc. But people who
> might make a difference don't care.
>
> I think this all of this requires a different model of violence - not
> blind violence, but all-seeing violence, big-data violence which also
> presents foresight and hindsight, theory and analysis - a kind of violence
> where the only blindness might be modeled by snow-blindness, too much
> light, too much knowledge. But data mining also involves totalizations and
> analysis - it's never just raw - and the violence is one, I think, of total
> knowledge and analytics. From the position of a gun collector or
> high-income enclave, no one cares.
>
> And it's a long way from Vietnam, say, where the over-stated Pentagon kill
> stats (etc. etc.) needed unraveling (again I refer to Fire in the Lake).
>
> Finally, there's not, of course, just one or two wars (Native American
> lands, environments), there are many; the country seethes with them...
>
> - Alan (hope I'm not off the mark here)
>
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