Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thus Spake Zarathustra

The New Idol
Section XI of Thus Spake Zarathustra
by Friedrich Nietzsche

Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.
A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now will I say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.
A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it also lies; and this lie creeps from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."
It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.
Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.
This sign I give unto you: every people speaks its language of good and evil: this its neighbor understands not. Its language it has devised for itself in laws and customs.
But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen.
False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it bites, the biting one. False are even its bowels.
Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicates this sign! Verily, it beckons unto the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!
See just how it entices them to it, the many-too-many! How it swallows and chews and re-chews them!
"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating finger of God"—thus roars the monster. And not only the long-eared and short-sighted fall upon their knees!
Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispers its gloomy lies! Ah! it finds out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!
Yea, it finds you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye became of the conflict, and now your weariness serves the new idol!
Heroes and honorable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new idol! Gladly it basks in the sunshine of good consciences,—the cold monster!
Everything will it give you, if you worship it, the new idol: thus it purchases the luster of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.
It seeks to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish artifice has here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors!
Yea, a dying for many has here been devised, which glorifies itself as life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!
The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all—is called "life."
Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft—and everything becomes sickness and trouble unto them!
Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.
Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much money—these impotent ones!
See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.
Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness—as if happiness sat on the throne! Ofttimes sits filth on the throne.—and ofttimes also the throne on filth.
Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly smells their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me, these idolaters.
My brothers, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites! Better break the windows and jump into the open air!
Do go out of the way of the bad odor! Withdraw from the idolatry of the superfluous!
Do go out of the way of the bad odor! Withdraw from the steam of these human sacrifices!
Open still remains the earth for great souls. Empty are still many sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floats the odor of tranquil seas.
Open still remains a free life for great souls. Verily, he who possesses little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate poverty!
There, where the state ceases—there only commences the man who is not superfluous: there commences the song of the necessary ones, the single and irreplaceable melody.
There, where the state ceases—pray look there, my brothers! Do ye not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?—
Thus spake Zarathustra.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Muslims Have Won, With the Help of the Japanese and American Women

Back in the nineteenth century European visitors to the US were astonished, repelled and disgusted by some American habits. Yankee males were addicted to chewing tobacco, which they enthusiastically spit on the floor or wherever. They clumped around the house in heavy boots, sometimes with hobnails or caulks. They were pigs.

 Not anymore. America has joined the Arab world and the Land of the Rising Sun in unofficially banning footwear in houses. Why should this be? It has no doubt come to the attention of many that it is a custom among some cultures not to wear shoes indoors. Americans foolish enough to install light-colored wall-to-wall carpeting are leaders in the drive to make visitors pad about in their stocking feet. The women, and perhaps men as well, who maintain domestic floors seem to feel that forbidding shoes will keep floors cleaner and thus lessen the frequency and intensity of sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. Of course, that's the kind of logic that keeps paper plate and plastic utensil sales growing. The phenomenon has been encouraged as well by new footwear designs, like the silly plastic "Crocs" which are easily removed when entering the neighbor's foyer.

 Does anyone seriously believe that an unshod foot is particularly clean? You might be OK with shaking the neighbor's hand but you're probably not too enthusiastic about shaking his foot. Is there some sort of psychological phobia about the world's outdoor surface detritus that requires it to be kept outside the threshold? The best way Westerners could show unity against fanatical Islam would be to once again allow shoes indoors.

 At my house, there's no compulsion to remove your shoes. Sadly, however, those that don't are usually forced to burn their shoes before they can re-enter their own home.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Colavita Bianchi Women's Cycling Team 2015

One of the most prominent US women's pro cycling teams has announced some changes for the coming year. The Colavita squad now has bicycle manufacturer Bianchi as a title sponsor and supplier of equipment.

Assembled around genuine superstar and three-time NCC individual champion Erica Allar, the Colavita team has added Morgan Brown, Jessica Cutler and Kathryn Donovan to the existing group of Jessica Prinner, Whitney Schultz and Mary Zider.


Erica Allar

Vanderkitten Women's Cyclling Team Is No More

Vanderkitten, an Oakland, CA based women's apparel company and the sponsor of a women's pro cycling team for the last eight years, won't be fielding a squad during the 2015 season.

"The Oakland, USA based apparel company will expand its range next spring and include women from a wider variety of action sports.
 Vanderkitten began as a fashion forward apparel brand, & after 8 seasons as title sponsor of a Pro Women's Cycling Team, will look to focus on initiatives that highlight the most Kick Ass women on the planet. The Pro Cycling Team will be placed on hold for the 2015 season. Despite the upsurge in Pro Women's Cycling media coverage & engagement, the cycling industry was unable to come up with an investment commensurate with the presence & impact of Vanderkitten. VK will always be ready to field a Pro Cycling team when the cycling industry is ready for it. 

Founder & CEO Dave Verrecchia says “In 2006 I set out to ‘change the face of women’s cycling’ by creating a model that matched other action sports and brought excitement and attention to the potential of women’s cycling.  We’ve been the leader in this movement since, and will continue to create exciting cycling apparel while diversifying our product offerings to serve our growing action sports customer base. Vanderkitten will continue to have a very visible profile in women’s cycling on the road and on the dirt.”


One Point Seven Trillion Dollars

This article in left-wing Mother Jones puts the price tag on the "war against terror" since 9/11 at $1.7 trillion. At a minimum. Based on government figures.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Etienne De La Boetie, 1530-1563

Everyone knows that the fire from a little spark will increase and blaze ever higher as long as it finds wood to burn; yet without being quenched by water, but merely by finding no more fuel to feed on, it consumes itself, dies down, and is no longer a flame. Similarly, the more tyrants pillage, the more they crave, the more they ruin and destroy; the more one yields to them, and obeys them, by that much do they become mightier and more formidable, the readier to annihilate and destroy. But if not one thing is yielded to them, if, without any violence they are simply not obeyed, they become naked and undone and as nothing, just as, when the root receives no nourishment, the branch withers and dies. …
All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? …
(Y)ou can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.