CounterPunch supports the Floyd Rebellion and Black Lives Matter.
Please consider supporting an organization working on police accountability, additional resources on the movement and how you can get involved can be found here.

FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Moving Beyond a Propensity For Pretentiousness

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

I have, for much of my life, had a propensity for mimicking birds. Most of my attempts have had little noticeable effect, but some of my vocalizations led to what seemed to occasionally be emotional rebuttals. I sometimes have wondered if this propensity of mine is an attempt to acquire an identity beyond the limited choices generally accepted by members of my species. This possibly stems from my long-time sense that I am lacking in the ability to comprehend so much of what so many other people see as being pragmatic.

Here are a few examples of some reactions from birds to my pretentiousness from years ago. There was a male red-wing blackbird who was so agitated by my ridiculous mimicry of his alerting notes during my territorial incursions that he not only physically induced me to wear a hat to protect my skull, but he even knew the car I drove and would rise up from the adjacent rough fields to challenge me whenever I returned home. There were instances of pairs of Barred Owls who would circle me during some of my moonlit ventures into the wooded riparian slopes of the backwaters of what is now known as the Rock River in Illinois. Their increasingly seeming ghoulish yowling and bill snapping in response to my vocal impersonations (as it was) was both fascinating and terrifying for me on those foolish nocturnal ventures into areas of little interest to most other humans.

These interactions took place in what had been the beloved homeland area of the man called Black Hawk and his community. I can’t help but wonder if Black Hawk’s people played this same game of mimicry when that valley was the center of their existence – before they were tricked, robbed, and brutally evicted via “Treaties” and force by the proud Trump-like imperialists who brought their militarizing, christianized hypocrisy and the commodifications of the faking United States of America into the area and began pragmatically (as they see it) loading the Rock river with toxins. About a decade ago, the river had been determined to be among the worst polluted rivers in the faking USA.

My interactions with the birds were of much more interest to me and felt more genuine than most of my interactions with other humans. I have often thought about the fact that I have no way of knowing the extent of what was in the messages I was sending and receiving when I interacted with these birds, beyond the obvious agitated seasonal aggressiveness which I assume was of a defensive nature. It has also become much more apparent to me over the passing decades that – even as I was of the same species and used the same language as the majority of other people in what – it seems – is our shared culture – there seems to have been an increase in the frequency of fickleness and disconnection displayed between the words of intent and the actions taken by humans. Perhaps Black Hawk would laugh at my supposition of any increase in hypocritical behavior if he were to hear it because he knew and stated, “How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.” in regard to the words of his USA driven attackers. I would counter that the smoothness is hardly limited to “the whites” and that it is now widely worn like a badge of honor in the ever-expanding reach of the mendacity-laden pretense known as the USA..

This disconnect now seems to be the chief component of the so-called culture within which I am living. In more and more instances, it appears that both how we describe and what we describe seem primarily subservient to the use of descriptions as a method of manipulation for private personal profit and the words used can be made to have any meaning as long as their usage primarily contributes to the private profits derived through their use.

This is especially the case in business ventures and the most flamboyantly shifty and dangerous disconnections are regularly displayed by the business ventures known as the political careers of the overwhelming majority of republicans and democrats. The examples of their oily smooth untrustworthiness are almost ubiquitous and, to a great extent, it does not seem to matter where they pretend to position themselves within the sliver of what they claim is a political spectrum.

As I write these words the suppression of “the squad” is of vital importance to most of their supposed colleagues in the central machinery of privatizing capital. This situation has much of the same mentality as when Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, Zachary Taylor and numerous other future leaders in a variety of prominent positions in the faking USA were united in misrepresenting and deviously eradicating Black Hawk and his people 187 years ago. The “squad’ and their supporters are among the “indians” of today (people of India – as the proudly stupid Anglophile ignorance would have it – without realizing) who are largely seen as out of step and as impediments in the road for the pretentiously bipartisan devotees of capitalist imperial supremacy. After Trump attacked them we were told that it – was and was not – a racist attack and the Pelousi (not a typo) democrats and the republicans together manufactured an escape route from responsibility for Trump.The people pushing for a Pence presidency are highly unlikely to achieve anything which would bring about anything beyond a more staid-like illustration of the same corporately worshipping and smugly indifferent predatory pretense of righteousness. The pretense is overwhelmingly bipartisan (if one prefers thinking the democrats and republicans are separate parties).

I have come to the point that I have no way to believe any republican’s or democrat’s words. Even with my feeling that perhaps three of the four members of “the squad” are showing great bravery and their words are necessary in the face of the overabundance of devious hypocrisy and corruption on the part of so many of their colleagues, I cannot get past the fact that these women are members of one branch of the corruption and that they and most of their supporters will most likely (as is now typical) embrace the democrat version of corruption as we get closer to the great fraudulence of the corporately run conventions.

As was the case with my manipulations of the Red-wing Blackbird and the Barred Owls, the sounds I hear emitting from the participants in the business of this political fraudulence cause me to regularly react. These sounds of the political creatures differ from my interactions with the ornithological world mainly in the fact that the politicos are confident about how others will likely interpret their word sounds while they usually try to use their word sounds to brainwash their listeners into a state of encouragement and participatory actions for more deceiving word sounds of unreliably assumed meanings from the corporate parties. I used to become filled with earnest passions and try to counter the seemingly ever-increasing examples of the disconnect between the words and actions which are so often employed by the political actors, but now I am increasingly convinced that I had and have better connections, more honesty, and the possibility of a better future through my interactions with the birds.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 05, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Jacob F. Lee – Matthew E. Stanley
Direct Action and the Rejection of Monumental History
Louis Proyect
Reflections on My COVID-19 Immunity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mad Bull, Lost Its Way
Stanley L. Cohen
Everywhere is War
Louis Yako
America Has Always Been Burning with Racism: Who is the Enemy?
Jefferson Morley
Showdown on 16th Street
Eve Ottenberg
Killing Workers (and Customers) – With No Liability
Peter Linebaugh
Say Their Names!
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s War on Democracy
Paul Street
Dear History Students
Lola Allen
How Has Bolivia’s de Facto Regime Taken Advantage of COVID-19 to Consolidate Its Power and Repress Political Rivals?
Jonathan Cook
As US protests Show, the Challenge is How to Rise Above the Violence Inherent in State Power
Alvaro Huerta
Police Abuse in America’s Barrios
Ron Jacobs
Generals Are Not the People’s Ally
Daniel Warner
Resilience
Ramzy Baroud
‘Wolf Warrior Diplomacy’: Israel’s China Strategy in Peril
David Yearsley
Dam Nation and Woody Guthrie
Sam Husseini
The Barr Coup 
Richard C. Gross
Bunker Mentality
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
BlackRock is Bailing Out Its ETFs with Fed Money and Taxpayers Eating Losses; It’s Also the Sole Manager for $335 Billion of Federal Employees’ Retirement Funds
Marshall Auerback
The Battle Over Free Speech Online is a Volcano That’s Ready to Blow
David Rosen
Trump’s Election to Lose
Jack Rasmus
Confronting Institutional Racism
Joseph Natoli
Ubu Orange
Gary Olson
Jakarta: Force and Fraud at Home and Abroad. What’s Next?
Sister Karen M. Donahue
I’m Outraged by Trump’s Church Photo-Op
Jaelani Turner-Williams
Racism is a Public Health Crisis
Chuck Collins
As 42.6 Million Americans File for Unemployment, Billionaires Add Half a Trillion Dollars to Their Cumulative Wealth
Jill Richardson
It Doesn’t Matter Who Protested and Who “Rioted”
Richard Ward
A Matter of Focus
Colin Todhunter
Food and Agroecology: Coping with Future Shocks
Ariel Dorfman
Literature in Times of Turmoil
Russell Mokhiber
ICE Wants to Deport Marc Petitpierre to Switzerland
Liz Theoharis
Organizing the Rich or the Poor? Which America Will Be Ours After the Pandemic?
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Social Media Sucks for Reporting News
Denita Jones
Going Back to Work in a Pandemic
Tracey L. Rogers
A Tale of Two Americas
Paul Cantor
Thank You, Peaceful Protesters!
Susan Block
Sadistic Policing
Nicky Reid
Because Imperialists Rape: Anarcha-Feminism In the Ashes of the MeToo Era
Marilyn Bruya
Trump is the Looter to Worry About
Norman Solomon
Solidarity Includes Wearing a Mask at Protests
Kim C. Domenico
Misfit Redemption: Escape from the Cruelty of White Liberal Innocence
John Kendall Hawkins
The Coming Purge of Doppelgängers and the Palast Revolution
Stephen Cooper
America is Burning
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail