No such thing as a slaughterhouse - would we lie to you?

We wouldn’t want it, if it came with a mirror

Aphorisms and affirmations are lovely in their place – but not my work today


Writing with a pulse has not ever been “safe” – challenge and provocation is the whole point. In their time, Zola, Dickens and Twain were all radicals, who effectively challenged the state as immoral, and the citizenry as lacking also in their basic moral duty. Their making us uncomfortable, was exactly the part of their effort which helped us all do better over time! (Gandhi and MLK worked this as action).

I am putting together a proper critique of our special Canadian version of the international craze for insane dictatorship-enabling anti-citizen thought control legislation, here known as Bill C-63 (should come with a doom-chord from the orchestra, every time). But before I finish that up, I felt I ought to indulge in a little bit of the sort of principled but challenging speech which could easily run afoul of hostile and imaginative interpretation under the outrageously broad terms, in an attempt to show why protection from discomfort is not the sort of safety we should be seeking (and certainly not something we could ever find long term, along such a determinedly self-delusional path).

Feedback about hazards is constantly needed for course correction! Especially if it is frightening!

No gathering of sanctimonious busybodies would ever allow art to happen, let alone flourish (Hayek was a bastard, but his point – hell is a society in which all is forbidden, except that which committees pre-approve – is not only correct, it even destroyed the rigid lifelong Marxism of a pal of mine)

I won’t assert that any of these are poetry, though I do that sometimes. The one thing they share with a lot of my poetry is that they felt necessary and functional, even if rather overproof (purposefully).

And believe me, some of them make me uncomfortable also.

But you don’t get to pick and choose your tablets, kay?

Enjoy – fulminate – curse me – the military industrial complex – your ancestors – just keep thinking!

Hate Speech is (also) precious speech (the whole point of rights is that they work just as well for the guy you hate, or they don’t actually work at all).

My favourite Canadian Poem of all time is “This poem wants Gordon Shrum to die” by Tom Wayman. He outright called it a “Cursing poem” which it is, and I have never in my life read anything which more perfectly expresses a worker’s anger at a scumbag owner. It is precious, a gem of political art.

Should cruel exploiting capitalists be protected from the hatred of their mistreated workers?

Must we now love those who destroy us for the sake of shaved pennies? That’s better how, exactly?

I hate war – and I hate the scumbags who promote war for political advancement or personal profit of any kind. I really mean hate, they are shitty shitty people, and a whole lot of politicians are like that.

Am I wrong to hate people who cheerfully promote mass killing for personal gain?

Is there any sane moral code anywhere on earth, which does or would ever allow that?

Are our rulers really so powerless and innocent, and we citizens so powerful and corrupt, that they need to be protected from our mean-scary-bad critique? Might it just possibly be the other way around?

So why do we constantly accept their reasons – accept that ‘evil’ others must all die “for goodness”

Is it so that we can prove the moral superiority of our “open” society and unequalled western values, by how professionally we stack their children’s corpses?

Not rhetorical folks, I’m seriously f@cking asking here! What year do we think this is? Decade?

How can we add up our behaviour this century and conclude we are anything less than the greatest danger to all decent (certainly all reality-based) civilizations on the face of this planet we are so sure no one else cares about or can steer, even as we demolish it and slaughter millions of poor folks?

Cheer up though, we finally got a shipment of gender-neutral body bags in kids sizes – talk about long overdue social progress, right? Still leadin’ the world folks, eat our dust! (you might be related)


Many of you will have seen this beauty from George Bellows before – but it confers much clarity about historical judgement and amplifies the moral resolve of war opponents, and so bears repeating.

I could not find a copy of Wayman’s glorious “Cursing poem” which I talked about above, online (you’ll have to look for his brilliant poetry collection “I’ll Be Right Back”). But I did find another from that same book which is online and absolutely freakin’ fantastic. Check it out (he is an underappreciated gem in the working class firmament – seriously – half his best poems are about truly shitty jobs he worked!)

Anyhow – I figure I owe you a serious open and up-beat for a big finish here, right?

If we want to keep thinking and bearing witness we must seek plenty of nourishing heart-food!

(Though I freely admit, weeping and cursing both feel way too appropriate, way too often lately).

I strongly recommend clicking on the PDF link and reading the whole (2 Page) poem first – but once you have (and probably enjoyed some of the inspiring aspects contained in most great poetry) check out his commentary about the reasons he felt it became his most beloved piece. Unhinged HATRED!

Here’s a really strong take on the value of hate from a conservative Toronto writer called Fortissax.

I still live on the left (refuse to concede the ground to the idiot-hypocrite majority) but I read lots of people who I don’t always agree with also, because frankly, nobody has all the clues in one place yet!

More to the point, part of standing for a vital left means recognizing how screwed up we’ve been in our part of the general “who me?” disintegration (“enshitification” is a better word) of our society.

Fortissax takes many positions I don’t (and boy, do I hate that I have to say that), but he also has many strong arguments which are outright heartening. Like I said about Hayek – you don’t have to embrace his later work at the Chicago school of economics (I happen hate it in detail) – but if you can’t answer his challenging book (The Road To Serfdom), you haven’t even thought your own left position through thoroughly yet, let far alone seriously considered the positions of your opponents!

Incidentally, one of my best unexpected wisdom finds this year has been Chas Freeman – who was Nixon’s translator when he met Mao – talk about knowing the long arc of a thing! Look for his and Alestair Crooke’s interviews on Judge Napolitano’s excellent youtube show (evolved organically from a citizens rights focus – into probably the best up-to-date and active anti-war salon on the entire web)

If you prefer a classical left-internationalist approach to anti-war – check out “The Duran” superb!

And if you just plain miss old time leftist rebel spirit, when it wasn’t constantly selling out and being self-harmingly dumb, try the revolutionary blackout network (Sabby Sabs is my personal fave).

They’ll remind you Jill Stein is a candidate, and even let you hear why her futility is heartbreaking! (There has not been a more principled and intelligent candidate for US president in decades).

I am always curious about what you are thinking

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