Guns & Ammo

"There’s a bubble on the ground."
"Oh,you killed it."
"I killed half of it."

So there I was in the south american lounge enjoying 2 for 4 mojitos with my suicidal speed freak,buxom artillery shell,and my personal and profesional political advisor. I was having a hard time coping with his revised interest in the R word and domestic economics,so I tried to focus on my weekend ahead where I’d get the chance to let it soak in.

The trip was to be an environmental, fundamental trip back to true northwoods living. Rafting and beer,meat and fire.

The drive went as planned,which was good. We aquired the necessary explosives. Upon arrival,we ate,drank heavily. But then we moved to The Bar.

The Bar was the standard raunchy cheap beer and dizzy debauchery. The continuous drone of Black Sabbath into AC/DC into Black Sabbath rattled every failing synapse. My already-dead eyes couldn’t do much but catch the sight of the moonshine-struck bartender; Reclucifer couldn’t help but explore the selection of the burned out hag slash disc jockey. This all didn’t last too long,and we retreated back to the cabin for a bit of rest before the rafting tomorrow.

Preparations the next day were also cheap standard. Our autographs were required for complete absolution of legal guilt and liability; go put on your death blue helmet and lifejacket. Amidst all this,our group has caught another eye. An older husband who seems more interested in our females than his (his family). After cracking a few oddball uncomfortable jokes, we successfully avoid further interaction…

The water was 4 inches below normal; that meant instead of 6 person rafts,we were administered personal "fun-yaks",inflatable rafts that struck me initially as wholly ineffectual as a water-fairing device. However,even in these limited-weight fun-yaks,we were all hung up on rocks every 3 to 4 seconds for a good 300 yards down the Peshtigo. Or,as Reclucifer and I determined,was more like fighting down the Mekong into Cambodia,a reference that would haunt him in several hours’ time. Just like war. Our first drop was about 1′ down into a 4′ funnel of righteousness slamming to the left. Unfortunately for me and my complete misadjustment of my center of gravity,I entered into this frenzy unaware that in the next tick of the universe I was looking into the green-white haze of whitewash and plunging towards the bottom.

I kept two things in mind: There’s a $22 charge for lost paddles. Half of my shocked mind was concentrated fully on my right hand’s grip on that. The second was my glasses floating away from my face in the turmoil in front of me. The other half of my mind was concentrated in angling my left hand just in time to form a tenuous grasp on them. Somehow or other,I surfaced briefly to hear someone repeating our 2 minute crash course in rafting: "Keep your feet downstream." Of course,100% of my mind’s locus was on my hands. I’m half-amazed I heard anything in the roar of the river. Once I came back up the second time,I became more aware of my surroundings,and found my Fun-Yak. It sunk into my mind then that I’d half to try that again.

Onward down the river was a bit better; the rocks had dispersed to a good 30-50 second field,and I understood at a fundamental,spiritual level the remaining drops and waterflows. Needless to say,it was terrific experience and I’ll definitely do it again. Exhausting though…

We recouperate,and prepare. I head to town for supplies – fresh beer,whiskey,and two wood-handled hatchets.

Then,it begins. We imbibe food,drink,etc. The environment closes in on us fast and hard,shifting the entire landscape squarely into the land as twisted as David Lynch. Approximately at sundown,with the black forest outlines looming in on a bluescreen film backdrop and campfire distorting into the wild,the Rules of Engagement are addressed. The park policy of absolutely no fireworks erupts into chaos as every campsite in the park lights off mortar and rocket. The girls decide the policy is terminated – with my blessing. The ensuing sparkler bombardment continues for several hours,on and off. To my horror,the entire valley is filled with a subtle glow of sulfer smoke in the moonlight. The Bar rages forth bellowing the same Black Sabbath and AC/DC songs from the previous night,along with the arrival of a new selection – the little known 30 minute extended version of Footloose. Paranoia grips us all. "I think they’re on to us,with our bubbles and long hair." (not my quote). I wonder how fast we might be able to flee once the natives find us.

Then the fear & loathing truly begins. A Nexus of Spiritual Doom.

Possibly the same man from earlier comes over and informs us of the long-forgotten and decimated policy on fireworks. We oblige,as we’ve run ourselves out of sparklers, and with my second bottle rocket attempt I’ve already nearly killed one of our own. As a side note,bottle rocket wars must only be waged by professionals,with complete removal of innocents. But,this draws out further conversation from that tried soul in cabin #3:

"I had lesions on my brain. I nearly died,and I was sent to the hospital where they performed open-brain surgery. I couldn’t feel anything though. They pulled slices of my brain. 100 pins in my legs. I couldn’t remember anything… I had mind excercises that I used to regain my memory… remember my kids’ names,my wife… you just have to train your mind, and your body follows."

There’s a moment of something between absolute horror and reflex of sad laughter crossing that inability to fully handle reality. As you meet that line,you either slip and fall away or dive in; and both make you corrupt and evil. I try to ignore the cascading mindfuck into moral and spiritual oblivion and focus on the first thing that comes to mind.

"I bet you had to pay the bill. Insurance didn’t cover,no national health care,that sort of thing?" Politics,of course.
"Nope,I have a $117,000 bill for all that."
"Well, I guess there’s a price tag on human life after all,not just a philisophical one. A real one bought and sold by creditors and financial institutions."

It comes to me afterwards if any of that existed in reality,or if he was some sort of internal reflection of us all, lost in the sulpher soaked woods with The Bar cuing up the next round of Ozzy Ozbourne. Brain lesions and naproxen and a ghost of the present. I hear some distant band clumsily cranking through the woods. Shouting, yelling,screaming,laughing. The girls have gone off down the trail into blackness – west or south or some other direction parallel to this one. Yellows and blues and reds flash into the night skyward. Paraniod rules and delusional behaviour come in waves. Drink more,smoke,adapt, whatever it takes. Not many can be asked to handle reality. You need all the tools you can get.

We go after the girls into that darkness. At this point,Reclucifer falls prey to a blinding and cripling case of some dysentery variant,brought on by excess and possibly my chicken, or perhaps the crucial fear of the realization of that ghost from earlier. I continue on,passed the feral/tribal half-naked frat party blasting terrifying mix of The Band and sophomoric trite… The silent group chanting around a camper… Finally to the electric bash of that distant band and the frenzy of instrumental metal noise. I talk with a drunken promotor who informs me that the band will be famous indeed. They’re on a makeshift stage made from a half-sized trailer and a gas generator,and a handful of par cans 50 yards away from a small tribe of natives. They apparently cannot see me for some reason…

We head back after a slow wandering in the dark. Introspection sets in deep when there’s nothing surrounding you. We pass the windows into those other realities on the path. Each the same as before. Finally,we come back to our cabin – our own little window in hell – with The Bar still going strong,serving screaming drunken women and cheap empty thrills some 200 yards off long into the night,long after exhaustion finally overcomes me,and I drift off into the darkness quietly watching the dancing lights of the final few sparklers on the cabin wall.

Check out,of course,is at 10:00 am,and we have a cabin full of destruction and dirt. Reclucifer woke from his long night doing battle with his internal organs and threatens to kill me in my sleep.

Just like war.

disCorporate.

Faith in Marketplace Accountability. Corporations own patents on Life. The inseperable Democracy and Captialism. Assembly Line of Apathy. Our Church of American Gods.

The struggle of the individual self-interest for profit – the motive and means to a better society. "America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the commongood,but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes."1. The pinnacle of Capitalism is not what Ayn Rand envisioned. Not the utopia of the profit-driven benevolent Righteous businessman,but the rise of the hybridized,intellectual manifestation of the Corporation. An entity whose purpose is Capitalism in its pure and uncut form,like the body of an American God,invested for you.

Markets were built,economies structured and judicial precedents set. Humans grew smarter and transfigured into conglomerates. Monopolies and monogenes. They cultivated profit and influence of the Capitalism of Life,offgasing American byproduct environmental exhaust. Clean, efficient,toxic,profitable. Amidst the deafening roar of the machinery of the marketplace industry,declarations of Freedom are spoken from the Capitalist bishops. Virtues and achievments were built upon them. Would you deny a successful American His due? What He has earned? Through our unique history of labor and tradition?

But these Gods cannot be fallable,so they’re given us their moral platform: The Marketplace Accountability. Balance and freedom form from the Corporate machinery through the marketplace. Where Gods congregate in the name of building a better society. To stand naked before Them and be judged on our consumer power,and to ask them for forgiveness at the alter of the dollar. Marketplace Accountability is the consumer’s platform of prayer to these American Gods.

While children are bred into simple consumer benediction while Corporations patent the genetic makeup of our souls. New lifeforms; lifeforms of health,restoration,power, strength,plague,death,carcinogenic,corruption and authority taxed, sold,copyrighted. Purchased and sold on the great martketplace. Copyrights on food and crop. While the old religions of the world that respected and tended the Earth died off,new and better breeds of beings took hold in the bowels of industry and war and sold us the morphine of apathy.

We know these Gods and we Pray:

Throughout 2004 and 2005 Monsanto filed lawsuits against many smallfarmers in Canada and the U.S. The lawsuits have been on the grounds of patent laws, specifically the sale of crops containing Monsanto’s patented genes as a result of wind carrying seeds from neighboring crops. Posilac,a synthetic drug used to increase milk production in cows,is banned in most first-world countries,with the exception of the United States, where it can be found in much of the milk supply.

Monsanto’s and DOW’s Agent Orange. A judge concluded that Agent Orange was not considered a poison under international law at the time of its use by the US; that the US was not prohibited from using it as an herbicide; and that the companies which produced the substance were not liable for the method of its use by the government.

The Cochabamba protests of 2000 were a series of protests that took place in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba between January and April 2000,because of the privatization of the municipal water supply,which was sold to a private company,International Waters Limited (IWL) of London (a subsidiary of Bechtel Corporation; it operated locally as Aguas de Tunari),at the insistence of the World Bank.

IBM’s New York headquarters and CEO Thomas J. Watson acted through its overseas subsidiaries to provide the Third Reich with punch card machines knowing that the machines could help the Nazis prosecute their "Final Solution." The award-winning book documents how,with New York’s cooperation,IBM’s Geneva office and Dehomag,its German subsidiary,were intimately involved in supporting Nazi atrocities. Black also documents that these machines made the Nazis much more efficient in their efforts

Bechtel has long had close ties to the American government. From 1974 to 1982 George Schultz, former United States Secretary of Treasury and future Secretary of State,was president and director. The late former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was general counsel for Bechtel in the late 1970s. Former deputy Secretary of Energy W. Kenneth Davis was Bechtel’s vice-president. Riley Bechtel,the company’s chair,was on President George W. Bush’s Export Council. Jack Sheehan,a former senior vice-president of Bechtel,was a member of the U.S. Defense Policy Board. The Clinton Administration also appointed senior Bechtel managers to senior positions.

George P. Shultz is the former U.S. Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan,former president of Bechtel,and a former Bechtel director. He also serves on the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

After the 2000 U.S. Census DeLay helped coordinate efforts to redistrict congressional districts in Texas to favor the election of more Republicans. Charges that one of DeLay’s political action committees had violated campaign finance laws led a Travis County,Texas,grand jury to indict him in 2005 on criminal charges of conspiracy to violate election laws

Citizens for America,a pro-Reagan group that helped Oliver North build support for the Nicaraguan contras. Citizens for America staged an unprecedented meeting of anti-Communist rebel leaders known as the Democratic International or Jamba Jamboree in Jamba,Angola. This conference included leaders of the Mujahedeen from Afghanistan,UNITA from Angola, the Contras from Nicaragua and opposition groups from Laos.1

Jack Abramoff,Ralph E. Reed,Jr.,Grover Norquist and Michael Scanlon. Bob Ney. U.S.-made airplane spare parts to the Iranian government—a deal that would have needed special permits because of U.S. sanctions against Tehran," and that "Ney personally lobbied the then Secretary of State Colin Powell to relax U.S. sanctions on Iran."

Abramoff was under investigation by a grand jury in Guam over an alleged plot to control the functions of the courts in that territory,until the prosecutor was removed from office by the Bush administration. 2

Some sort of vicious complacent morality evolved into our present Democracy. We elect other Gods to pacify our guilt,contempt,and fear of other Gods. We elect Gods that we never see,but we assume work on our behalf. But the realm of Gods is for Gods,and the economic Gods of Adam seduce the political Eve in the Garden of the house of the People. Does money buy you candidates? Issues? Policies? How much money does it cost to talk to a Congressman? To pass a Bill? To write a Law? To alter a Constitution? How many votes does it pay to lobby for a bill?

Do you think Marketplace Accountability provides you,the individual consumer,Democratic power? The currency of our democracy is not the Vote but the Investment. Accountability and the markets – political and economic – are flooded by billion dollar multinationals’ influence. Multibillion dollar marketing campaigns. Lawsuits that consume massive amounts of public taxdollars,time,and lives. Justice can be avoided through our faith in Marketplace Accountability. Constitutional rights and human rights can be sacrificed,tolerated,and ignored through our faith in Marketplace Accountability. Americans have faith in their Gods that tell them the Market will hold them Accountable.

Marketplace Accountability. American Gods manufacture profit and power at the rate of extinction.

Rock n’ Roll and the AK-47,this Saturday.

Of all the weapons in the vast soviet arsenal,nothing was moreprofitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947. More commonly knownas the AK-47,or Kalashnikov. It’s the world’s most popular assaultrifle. A weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple 9 poundamalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn’t break,jam, oroverheat. It’ll shoot whether it’s covered in mud or filled with sand.It’s so easy,even a child can use it; and they do. The Soviets put thegun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag.