Thursday, August 29, 2002

But a man with a gun is told only that which people assume will not provoke him to pull the trigger. Since all authority and government are based on force, the master class, with its burden of omniscience, faces the servile class, with its burden of nescience, precisely as a highwayman faces his victim. Communication is possible only between equals. The master class never abstracts enough information from the servile class to know what is actually going on in the world where the actual productivity of society occurs. Futhermore, the logogram of any authoritarian society remains fairly inflexible as time passes, but everything else in the universe constantly changes. The result can only be progressive disorientation among the rulers. The end is debacle.

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy (499)

Saturday, August 24, 2002

In fact, several kind of sex orgies had been going on in Las Vegas ever since the Veterans of the Sexual Revolution had arrived two days earlier. The Hugh M. Hefner Brigade had taken two stories of the Sands, hired a herd of professional women, and hadn’t yet come out to join the Alfred Kinsey Brigade, the Norman Mailer Guerrillas and the others in marching up and down the Strip, squirting young girls in the crotch with water pistols, passing bottles of hooch back and forth and generally blocking traffic and annoying pedestrians. Dr. Naismith himself, after a few token appearances, had avoided most of the merriment and retired to a private suite to work on his latest fund-raising letter for the Colossus of Yorba Linda Foundation. Actually, VSR, like White Heroes Opposing Red Extremism, was only one of Naismith’s lesser projects and brought in only peanuts. Most of the real veterans of the sexual revolution had succumbed to syphilis, marriage, children, alimony or some such ailment, and few white heroes were prepared to oppose red extremism in the bizarre manner suggested by Naismith’s pamphlets; in both of those cases, he had recognized two nut markets that nobody else was exploiting and had quickly moved in. Even the John Dillinger Died for You Society, of which he was inordinately proud since it was probably the most implausible religion in the long history of humanity’s infatuation with metaphysics, didn’t earn much less per annum than these fancies. The real bread was in the Colossus of Yorba Linda Foundation, which had been successfully raising money for several years to erect a heroic monument, in solid gold and ten feet taller than the statue of Liberty, honoring the martyred former president Richard Milhous Nixon. This monument, paid for entirely by the twenty million Americans who still loved and revered Nixon despite the damnable lies of the Congress, the Justice Department, the press, the TV, the law courts, et al., would stand outside Yorba Linda, Tricky Dicky’s boyhood home, and scowl menacingly toward Asia, warning those gooks not to try to get the jump on Uncle Sammie. Beside the gigantic idol’s right foot, Checkers looked adoringly upward; beneath the left foot was a crushed allegorical figure representing Cesar Chavez. The Great Man held a bunch of lettuce in his right hand and a tape recording in the left. It was all most tasteful, and so appealed to Fundamentalist Americans that hundreds of thousands of dollars had already been collected by the Colossus fund, and Naismith planned to hop to Nepal with the loot at the first sign that contributors or postal inspectors were beginning to wonder when the statue would actually start rising on the plot he had purchased, amid much publicity, after the first few thousand arrived.

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy (418-19)

Saturday, August 17, 2002

These accounts are in no way unique. Most of the COs holding the keys at the nation’s 170 state prisons for women are still men (since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 it has been deemed discriminatory to female guards for prison administrators to segregate their staff by gender: thus the cross-gender guarding). By profession COs are trained to physically and psychologically dominate prisoners. In a world where sex is often fused with motifs of domination, it is no wonder that the combination of male keepers and female charges translates into rape on a mass scale. And while intercourse behind bars is usually a forced, ugly affair, it can often appear “consensual” because of the tremendous power imbalance between women prisoners and their armed male keepers. The lack of overt violence in many such jailhouse liaisons merely reveals the extent of institutionalized violence that inscribes the details of everyday life in women’s prisons. In the ladies’ lockdown bare necessities such as cigarettes, library access, or adequate supplies of soap, become “perks” to be doled out by lecherous predators in uniform. Women who refuse guards’ advances, or dare to complain, face not only poverty and discomfort during confinement, but beatings and solitary confinement.

Christian Parenti, Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (192)

Cut to the jail in Washington, DC, on a June evening. The air is thick, humid, and hot; in contravention of the institution’s rules, all cells are open, soul music bounces off the sticky concrete walls and steel bars. At one end of the tier the officer in charge, Yvonne Walker, is dancing with inmates. Before long one prisoner is half-naked undulating on a table. Soon, Walker is disrobing, while another inmate performs a Bangkok sex trick with a lit cigarette. Guards and prisoners alike cheer wildly.

Christian Parenti, Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (190)