Tag Archives: Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer

Bravo Buffy! Sarah Michelle Gellar is disgusted with Vogue, and so am I—I say Sarah’s is the Classiest Tweet I have ever heard of—I SALUTE YOU, SMG!!!! (Fortune and Love Really DO Favor the Brave…)—Vogue has really now Gone to the Dogues….

All I can really say about the Kardashian family is that they appear to epitomize EVERYTHING that’s wrong with the United States, culturally, socially, and economically.  Joss Whedon’s Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer, by contrast, stood as a mythic allegory, bulwark and decently fighting but above all honorable symbol of “truth, Justice, and the American Way” with deep integrity.  Buffy came at the final tail end of “the Good Old Days” of the American Middle Class as it existed in the 20th Century.  The series was known for wonderful dialogue, unique plot situations, memorable characters, but above-all for well-described and portrayed dynamic situational discussions and dissections of moral ambiguity, consistently resolved in favor of right and fair outcomes.  The Buffyverse, although created by a self-proclaimed atheist, was a place where forgiveness and sacrifice and other Christian values (as well as abundant Christian allegory and symbolism, integrated into a world anthropological mythic inventory) were paramount in a world of liberty and self-determination.  The Buffyverse of Sunnydale in Southern California was a deeply troubled place fraught with literal and metaphoric demons who seemed to symbolize both alien invasion and local degeneracy.  The iconic part of the cheerleader turned vampire-slayer Buffy Anne Summers was played by Sarah Michelle Gellar from 1997-2003.  She was among the greatest of all TV heroines…. filled with spunk and saucy character, a truly “All American” girl…. Buffy was particularly popular in the Southeastern United States where violent resistance to invasion and degeneracy has a long and well honored tradition, which apparently appealed to the New England born Joss Whedon who celebrated the same Confederate Rebel tradition in his short-lived Firefly series and its movie sequel Serenity.  Whedon also analyzed the dark depravity and degeneracy of modern Southern California in his Buffy spinoff Angel and the also short-lived Dollhouse (like Angel, set in modern Los Angeles).  These portrayals of Southern California, starring Buffy veterans David Boreanaz and Eliza Dushku, are morally equivalent and in large part indistinguishable, except for magic and paranormal phenomena, from Veronica Mars’ world in the mythic “Jupiter” California.   But earlier this week, Sarah Michelle Gellar came out swinging against degeneracy again, this time with well-pointed sharpened words on Twitter rather than pointed stakes aimed at the hearts of the undead…. although characterizing Kim Kardashian as “undead” would hardly be a stretch of the moral or ethical truth……IMHO……

‘I’m cancelling my subscription!’ Sarah Michelle Gellar slams US Vogue decision to feature Kim Kardashian on its cover

By BOBBIE WHITEMAN

PUBLISHED: 18:45 EST, 21 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:00 EST, 22 March 2014

Sarah Michelle Gellar has slammed US Vogue for featuring reality TV star Kim Kardashian and fiance Kanye West on the cover.

The 36-year-old actress blasted magazine’s editor Anna Wintour’s controversial decision and tweeted: ‘Well……I guess I’m canceling my Vogue subscription. Who is with me???’ 

The Buffy The Vampire star joined a slew of other celebrities and fashion fans who have registered their discontent on Twitter at the choice of the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star for the front of the upscale publication’s April issue.

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'Who's with me?' Sarah Michelle Gellar threatened to drop Vogue after it featured Kim Kardashian and fiance Kanye West on the front cover of its April edition

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‘Who’s with me?’ Sarah Michelle Gellar threatened to drop Vogue after it featured Kim Kardashian and fiance Kanye West on the front cover of its April edition

 

Opting out: A disgusted Sarah Michelle tweeted that she was cancelling her Vogue subscription over the Kimye cover

Opting out: A disgusted Sarah Michelle tweeted that she was cancelling her Vogue subscription over the Kimye cover 

Many question whether the celebrity couple are relevant to the readership.

Influential blogger Bryanboy wrote: ‘Twenty four years of loyalty to American Vogue and then this.’

Outspoken entertainment journalist Nikki Finke also took to her twitter to chime in on the cover, writing: ‘I’m loving the big backlash aimed at Anna Wintour for putting Kim Kardashian on Vogue cover. Issue should come with barf bag.’

But that didn’t seem to bother Anna, who must have counted on a reaction.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2586583/Sarah-Michelle-Gellar-slams-US-Vogue-decision-feature-Kim-Kardashian-cover.html#ixzz2wkJGAfhJ
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I would just personally add that I think there are few human beings more disgusting than the Kardashians and I write (from the Eastern Edge of Beverly Hills) that this town, this State, this Country would be a LOT better off with out them and all the corrupt cultural and social perversion they represent.  When the class war comes—I hope theirs are the first heads off….. but seriously, ALL HATS OFF TO SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR!   On this occasion, she has spoken for me and I hope also for millions…..

“Der Anarch”—Asserting our Sovereign Individuality and Sovereign Citizenship as not only “Anarchen” but also “Ubermenschen” is the only path to resist Totalitarianism in the United States and around the World

You see a lot of insults being heaped these days at the core Constitutional concept of “the sovereign citizen” as a political or philosophical movement these days, as if it were conjured up by a bunch of illiterate hillbillies  who just want to hide their moonshine & pot-liquor from “the feds” and the “revenuers.”  Credible reports from all over the United States suggest that local police are everywhere being taught to watch out for the dangerous “sovereign citizens” who assert their constitutional rights “too often or too loudly” as subversive terrorists.  My perspective on such matters is: MAY THE LORD OUR GOD BLESS, KEEP, AND PROTECT ALL SUBVERSIVE TERRORISTS WHO FIGHT FOR THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, JUST AS HE KEPT AND PROTECTED PATRICK HENRY, GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON, JAMES MADISON, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, and ANDREW JACKSON BEFORE….

And ever since Liza Mundy published my identity as an “Anarchist” (she left out the “Traditional, Jeffersonian, Southern Constitutionalist” modifiers to that label) in the Washington Post on October 6, 2009, I have repeatedly been asked to explain myself—how can I be an “anarchist?”  Doesn’t that mean I just want “chaos?”  Well, up to a point, I will admit that “chaos” to me seems preferable to computer driven and enforced high-tech “order.”  I would rather live in Early Anglo-Saxon or Norse Viking Society or at the edge of the Western Frontier in 18th Century Virginia than in any of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984, or Jerry Brown’s Barbara Boxer’s & Dianne Feinstein’s California 2013.

But it happens that living in a “leaderless” society and accepting no man as an arbiter of YOUR OWN DEFINITION of “good and evil” (or going beyond such things) has a very respectable historical pedigree….  Today I just want to celebrate Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Ernst Jünger— http://www.ernst-juenger.org.  

Ernst Jünger was an anti-Nazi German Conservative and Intellectual of the highest calibre and standing.  He lived until the age of 102, from 1895-1998, beating even my grandmother Helen for longevity (she only made it to 101).  

My political philosophy is fundamentally anti-modern and therefore truly “conservative” whereas Naziism, like George H.W. Bush’s & George W. Bush’s Socialist-Corporatism (which includes Obama and the Clintons, by the way), is fundamentally modernist—embracing technology as a means of oppression and control by monitoring.  

No  “Traditional, Jeffersonian, Southern Constitutionalist” could possibly tolerate the Department of Homeland Security, the National Defense Authorization Act, or any of the now thousands of related executive orders.  GHW Bush, GW Bush, WJ Clinton, HR Clinton, and BH Obama are all fundamentally students and followers of Stalin, Mao, and perhaps even Hitler. (1) 

I am much more a student and follower of Ernst Jünger.

Jünger was among the forerunners of magical realism—a very broad topic into which I think you could integrate everything from Joss Whedon’s Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer TV Series to Terrance Malick’s films (include “To the Wonder” and “Tree of Life”).  A friend of mine from the Ukraine recently commented that Jünger’s view of life and the current historical trajectory involves the “re-mythologization of the world,” the protection, preservation, and restoration of individual imagination, instinct, intuition as major factors in world politics and society.  

My supplement to this is that all historical interpretations and political philosophies are essentially mythologies informed by more-or-less gross reorderings of the events of individual, local, regional, national, continental, and global existence.  The mythology of American Constitutional Law depends entirely (these days) on the so-called “Civil War” of 1861-1865, except to the degree that it is supplemented by the post-1945 One World Religion of the Taboo Holocaust and the Credal virtues of the United Nations.

Jünger’s vision in The Glass Bees (1957, German title: Gläserne Bienen), of a future in which an overmechanized world threatens individualism, could be seen as a direct critique of Artificial (robotic) Intelligence and even this “Aryan Traditionalism” you’re looking at (which reminds me so much of “The Santa Fe Plateau and New Age Alchemy” of Yosi Taitz, Daylight Chemical, and similar companies….)

Jünger was an entomologist as well as a soldier and writer, a “manly man” but sensitive poet with training in botany and zoology, as well as a soldier, his works in general are infused with tremendous details of the natural world.

One of Jünger’s most important literary contributions was the metahistoric figure of Der Anarch (“the sovereign person”), which evolved from his earlier conception of the Waldgänger, or “Forest Goer”.  Der anarch is Jünger’s answer to the question of survival of individual freedom in a totalitarian world, and it is ten thousand times more relevant today than it was 57 years ago as he was writing.  It is developed primarily through the character of Martin Venator in his novel Eumeswil.   Der Anarch IS not only the original “Sovereign Citizen”, at least the original “post Hitlerian” sovereign citizen, he is also a Nietzschean Ubermensch, with the capacity to retake his sovereignty from tyrants and maintain it, like the Superman, even in the forest, even in the Mountains, even in the Desert.

I totally believe in the sovereignty of each person and I hate the notion that the sovereign citizen has become the object of such ridicule in our society—a terrorist profile in the target of DHS.  What is clear is that we need to reassert our freedom in more articulate and fluent ways.  Fluency is required and intellectual heritage must be asserted because of the intellectual snobbery bred into us and our by the 20th century.  This snobbery led to such atrocious and fraudulent (incomprehensible) disasters as George W. Bush having degrees from both Harvard and Yale (it’s amazing what money can buy) and Obama attending Columbia, Harvard, and (worst of all) actually teaching at the University of Chicago—teaching constitutional law, no less, at MY alma mater as a successor to Michael W. McConnell—a concept which simply shocks and derails me.

Academic snobbery, which L. Frank Baum once ridiculed as a “Wogglebug Education” even after the Wizard’s dispensation of Brains to the Scarecrow was not a factor in the foundation of America, by men whose minds and mental capacities are simply beyond equal anywhere. No, lack of degrees and academic affiliation quite simply didn’t bother the extremely well-educated under-institutionalized Founding Fathers of the USA such as Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin one little bit….and didn’t actually have much of an impact on intellectual or philosophical careers in the 19th century either—consider that Richard Wagner never went to a music conservatory, Charles Darwin dropped out of Medical School and only grudgingly completed a degree in divinity at Cambridge, which he, oddly enough, never really used….and the lack of formal education completed by such legendary U.S. Presidents as Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln is a part of every schoolboy’s and schoolgirl’s learning—or at least it used to be before modern education norms set in.

In this same spirit, Ernst Jünger rejected all the titles and honors offered him by Hitler’s Third-Reich, and when assigned as a cultural attachee during the occupation of Paris, chose to hang out with subversive and degenerate artists…  This is the true legacy of a genuine Anarchist, and the world would do well to remember how important the “leaderless” spirit can be when “Obama’s going to change things….Obama’s going to make it happen” as some of the children’s school songs now go….

(a)  Unlike so many modern critics of 20th-21st century totalitarianism, I cannot automatically group Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco in the same list as Stalin and his Soviet successors, or Roosevelt and his Keynsian modern American Successors. I think Hitler was in fact much more of an ordinary person than any of these others, but at the same time he had higher and more “humane” [i.e. romantic, not necessarily rational or sensible] ideals than either of the Bushes, the Clintons or Obamas, however grotesquely inept he may have been in achieving, implementing, or realizing those ideals.

‘O Kosmo Gyrisi Pano Kato: Holiday Hell in Holy Week, or Florida Fantasy’s Fatal Dance of the Damned

Do you ever have the feeling that you are overly optimistic, unrealistically positive about the direction our country, and especially its young people, are going in… Well, I have a suggestion about how to rid yourself of that feeling for once and for all: go see this amazing new totally realistic, totally surreal, sociologically real, factual credible, symbolist movie about the collapse of America called “Spring Breakers.”   Oliver Stone’s movie “Savages” last year was a happy walk in the park by comparison….

When a movie ends with the two young bottle-dyed-blonde “heroines” running upside down in florescent string bikinis and pink head-and-face masks with unicorns away from the scene of their mass murder of a greater number of gangsters than died in the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 in Lincoln Park, Chicago—well, you know that the message of the movie is pretty clearly that the World has turned Upside Down (‘O Kosmo Gyrisi Pano Kato).  

That was only the most graphically explicit scene to tell you the movie’s message, much more horrifying was the danse macabre of three fake-blondes wearing those same identical psychedelic swimsuits and the same pink head-and-face masks with unicorns on the forehead dancing to a Britney Spears tune outside under the Florida sky with gigantic (possibly unreal, merely symbolic) automatic assault guns of unclear brand name or identity (bigger and thicker than Uzis, AK-47s or Kalashnikofs, maybe a surreally souped up Special Operations Modification M-4?) held hand to hand in a triangular (with their guns, hexagonal?) round while the Devil plays the piano (rather well…).  

Nothing in the inquisitorial imagination spawned by the Malleus Maleficarum, the 15th-17th century’s nightmarish visions of the Witches’ Sabbath or Walpurgisnacht comes anywhere close to this dance of the three girls and their guns, accompanied by James Franco and Britney Spears’…..

About 8-9 years ago I had a series of dreams wherein my tiny (also fake-blonde) Greek-born ex-wife either became or revealed herself actually to be a murderous Islamic terrorist name Aisha-Fatima—and in my dreams she looked just like these tiny little fake-blonde girls in Spring Breakers….similar masks and swim suits and all….

I highly recommend “Spring Breakers” as an art movie well-worth seeing—but only if you are spiritually prepared to explore Hell and the sins of the damned in much more detail than Dante ever managed in his journey to the Inferno in the company of Virgil.  

But honestly, I can think of no more powerful nor meaningful movie to see during Holy Week 2013 than “Spring Breakers”.  Salvation is pointless unless the world is doomed.  16 years minus just a couple of weeks since Rupert Giles pronounced, at the end of Season I of Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer, that “the world is doomed,” Harmony Korine has proved it is.  I highly recommend my alma mater’s student newspaper’s review, even if its author does not go far enough: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/3/27/spring-breakers-review/.   I fundamentally disagree with the Crimson review in only one regard, this movie clearly IS a masterpiece of Surreal and Symbolist drama.   

Spring Breakers juxtaposes  the horror of modern, degenerate, White Middle Class American Culture with its own ideals of beauty in a manner not seen since “American Beauty” in 1999.  Unfortunately, it’s coming out way too early to be predetermined as candidate for next year’s Oscars, but it is worthy—oh yes, it is worthy.  Another reason, aside from the timing of its release, that this movie probably has no chance is that Spring Breakers is just too real, too true, and too totally damning, with too many sophisticated inversions of racial and sexual stereotypes.

Yes, White Middle Class America is portrayed in this film as deeply degenerate and in desperate need of salvation, but headed exactly the opposite direction.   The story even highlights the utter failure of conventional “pop” Christian religious teaching and culture to make any difference or have any influence, precisely because of its blandness and blindness and politically correct sensitivity to everyone’s desire to be evil.

Yes, indeed.  I have been thinking for a long time that we needed the spiritual reawakening in America that could only be induced by severe shock therapy.  I think Spring Breakers needs to be seen in every Church, every PTA, everywhere.   There is not a single one of the Ten Commandments that isn’t broken repeatedly—no, not a single one, and all by extremely cute little American White College girls.   I do not know whether the inversion of racial and sexual stereotypes in this movie reflects any actual or accurate trends in America today—I only know that I have now seen the movie three times—because the first time I saw it (on Good Friday, no less—it was perfect—on the first night Jesus spent in Hell—I visited there myself—it was GREAT for the soul…..) I was absolutely petrified with shock and horror.  Tonight (April Fool’s Day) the Uptown College Crowd was back from their (simultaneous) Spring Break which coincides, at Tulane and Loyola at least with Holy Week in the Western Churches, including my own (the Episcopal, aka “Anglican” or “C of E”).  

James Franco plays “the Devil” brilliantly—in his very first appearance, as a rapper entertaining the Spring Break Crowd—he’s wearing a cap with the simple inscription “HOPE”—which cynically reminds us of at least two Presidents in the past 21 years or so….and he speaks of achieving aspirations, of “finding yourself”, and, repeatedly, to live the American Dream—just like any good politician from the Dark Side would do…..

I have lived in both Pinellas County (I lived in Tarpon Springs at the north edge of Pinellas—the movie was filmed in St. Petersburg and Clearwater) and Cook County—near all the scenes in this movie and just about 12 blocks from the corner of Dickson & Clark where the St. Valentine’s Massacre took place—I know the Florida landmarks and cultural icons including the suspension bridge over Tampa Bay South to Sarasota that is one of the repeated backdrops of this movie…  

My sincere recommendation is: imagine all you can of evil and sin, and think hard about the battle between good and evil, and then tell me if you are still not shocked and “grossed out” by what you see in this movie—all brilliantly presented so as to highlight the collapse of American Culture and Morality—if there ever really were such things—  This movie is going to occupy my mind and imagination for a very long time, and the moral contrast between the entirely real world (surreally portrayed) of Spring Breakers and the morally imaginary world of metaphor portrayed so realistically in Buffy the Vampire Slayer just sixteen years ago—is something that should preoccupy all Americans who have any dream that we could ever again be a moral and righteous nation…..  

In closing, the Harvard Crimson review (cited above) mentions the marvelous portrayal of the world as seen through drug-addled eyes.  The song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, especially “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes” came to my mind here.  I grew up too close to people who took LSD ever to have wanted to try the stuff myself, but I can tell you that the imagery is much like peyote experiences one can have among the Native Americans of the Southwestern USA, and it just isn’t a pretty sight at all.  

Spring Breakers demands a national dialogue on the meaning of the American Dream, and the wide detour we have taken, and allowed especially several generations of young people now to take, including my own, on the way to finding that dram.

A Prayer for True Memory and History on the 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, President of Washington & Lee University

Since December 9, 2012, I have been staying in the French Quarter, about a 20 minutes to half an hour leisurely walk to Lee Circle where a high pedestal support’s a statute of one of Virginia’s most famous sons, forever looking north because “you never turn your back on the enemy.”  My grandparents raised me to celebrate Marse’ Robert’s birthday and remember and study his life and heroism, both before, during and after the War Between the States.  I have never had any problem keeping his memory because I think he represents all the good values that were and ever could be called “American”—he was an exceedingly intelligent man of principles including loyalty and devotion, hard work, individual responsibility, skill and excellence.

This year I have not yet visited Confederate Memorial Hall, just south of Lee Circle.  It is probably the longest I have ever been in New Orleans without paying at least a quick visit, and there are many reasons for this but one is that it is no longer officially called “Confederate Memorial Hall” but has been recently rechristened “Louisiana’s Civil War Museum at Confederate Memorial Hall.”

Nothing is more insulting to Lee’s Memory or to the Heritage of the South in general and the Confederate States of America in particular than to refer to the War of 1861-1865 as “the Civil War.”  From the Southern adn Confederate standpoints, that War was as much the “American Civil War” as World Wars I and II were the “European Civil Wars.”   The analogy is fair enough only to the degree that after World War II, first the European Economic Community (E.E.C.) and then the European Union both sought to transform Europe into a new, single Continental Nation.  

The first movie ever filmed to be seen commercially by more than a million people was D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”, released in 1915, based on a historical novel entitled “the Klansman.”  The new nation born during and after the War Between the States was a centralized Republic with a top-heavy Federal Bureaucracy modeled very generally on the economic controls imposed top down from the Imperial Central in the later Roman Empire in a manner which has come to be known as “Byzantine.”

On this 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, son of  Governor Light Horse “Harry” Lee of Virginia, I pray that the honour and integrity of the South will be properly remembered, along with Lee’s individual, unique and irreplaceable, un-reproducable honour and integrity.  

I pray that people will start learning history more fully and accurately, and above all critically, with the understanding that the victors always write history, but that victory in war is not in fact justice in the eyes of God, despite what many of us, including many of us Southerners, believe about the value of “trial-by-battle” in the Mediaeval sense of “Justice by Duel.”  

Even in Mediaeval legal theory, Duels were ONLY fairly calculated to result in a decision by God when the two parties to the duel are equally equipped, armed, trained and skillful.  The armor and the horses had to be comparable and equivalent, and a weaker person had the right to appoint a “champion” to fight in his or her place, as Ilsa von Brabant famously did in Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” which even preserved the notion of combat only coming “at high noon” so that the sun would be in neither combatant’s eyes at the outset.   The title of one of the finest Western movies about a duel, Gary Cooper’s “High Noon” (1950) also retains this reference to the equality of the Sun God (Shamash) who presided over such duels (judicially approved and jury-supervised “trials-by-combat”) even in Ancient Akkad, Asshur (Assyria), and Babylon.

I pray that even under the Dark Skies of the Obama Presidency and all the propaganda coming out in this day and age, that a more just and inquiring notion of history will prevail in the collective, cultural memory of America, and that the virtue and dignity of the Southern and Confederate Constitutional position be realized and recognized, and the glory given to the Victorious Yankee North be tempered by the reality that northern industrialism produced the same identical level of misery and deprivation among white workers as was chronicled by Charles Dickens in England and Victor Hugo in France.  

I pray that people will understand that if we weep for Fantine and her plight in Les Miserables (published precisely in 1862, during the first full year of the War Between the States), we must also recognize the condition of “Free” labor in the North and Europe was in a hundred ways worse and more depraved than the plight of black slaves in the South.  If in no other, this is true in one major regard: only an insane slaveholder would really work his slaves to death, without caring for them as human beings, in that slaves were wealth and capital, and senselessly to destroy the life or health of a slave was like throwing gold into the sea or burning paper money backed by real gold (unlike the trash Federal Reserve Notes we use today).

By contrast, as shown in Dickens’ writings and Hugo’s, and as analyzed by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels and their followers, “free” laborers in the mid-19th Century in the North had no life-long security whatsoever.  

As soon as the “free laborer’s” strength or health should start to fail, that free laborer’s productivity declined or perhaps he was eaten up by the very machines he tended due to “assumption of the risk” by accepting employment.  The “Free Labor” capitalist therefore had a strong motivation to dismiss his worn out workers and throw them into the streets, a version of the “hellish life” captured in Les Miserables was worse than death itself. This reality was revisited (1998) by Joss Whedon in an Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “Anne” in which the residents of Hell work in a 19th Century style factory until they are exhausted and old (in just a short time as it turns out) and thrown back out on the streets of modern Los Angeles to live as homeless derelicts.

All these realities need to be weighed against the supposed virtuous abolition of slavery. And accordingly, I pray that people will begin to think and remember and reflect not only about the history of the 19th century, but of the 20th and even our own times.  Were we the victors REALLY the more virtuous parties in World Wars I and II, for example?  In World War I, the answer is a fairly certain absolute NO.  In World War II, the mythology has grown into a reality and even a political constitution and ecumenical social theory so thick that it is almost impenetrable.  

But if we look, again, at the details, and if we dare to compare the early German rockets or “Buzz Bombs” sent by Wernher von Braun against London in 1944-45 with the American A-Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think we will see that the American weapons were a far more sinister manifestation of technology.  What about the senseless fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945 when the war was almost over?  

Then if we look at the Soviets, whom we supported, and what they did to their own populations (Stalin’s purge of “the Kulaks” for instance, beginning in 1928), was our side as a whole really better than the Germans?

Even if the worst stories are true about German antisemitism, “ethnic cleansing”, and other population reorganizations and purges, no one can state that the Germans actually moved or relocated anywhere nearly as many millions of people as the Soviets and their allies forcibly relocated from the German sectors of East and West Prussia, Silesia, Posen, Danzig, and Eastern Pomerania, even as millions of Poles were uprooted and moved East to replace the Eastern quarter of Germany, after 1945-46.  

The Germans of the Sudetenland were also expelled from their homes of time immemorial.  The thousand year old Eastern boundary of the German people was moved back across Poland and Czechoslovakia to fit Stalin’s plans.  Again, who was guilty of greater genocidal crimes?  Or did Stalin’s relocations of the Poles, the Belarus, the Ukrainians, and the Germans count for nothing?

An since the war, have not the Allied Powers faithfully reenacted the predictions of perpetual war as framed by George Orwell in “1984“?  Have not the Communists become indistinguishable from the Corporate leaders they supposedly fought to overthrow as Orwell similarly predicted in “Animal Farm“?  Is there not evidence that, at least since Pearl Harbor and possibly since the explosion of the Battleship Maine, the United States Government has staged more than a hundred years of False Flag attacks against its own people to make certain that this condition of perpetual warfare exists and that there are more and more justifications (like the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut most recently) to curtail the fundamental freedoms and liberties for which George Washington, and Robert E. Lee, spent their lives fighting?

I pray that Americans will start waking up and thinking about reality, and observe the contradictions inherent in all things, but especially in our official versions of history, and that we will work to examine our past, our present, and our futures to discover and establish deeper and more meaningful truths about the sad story which is the epic of human history.

May everyone in the World in fact look to Robert Edward Lee and the Confederate States of America as emblematic of justice defeated, of liberty lost, and of the dangers of using imbalanced thinking and propaganda as tools of social change. 

As I have written a thousand times if I’ve written it once: Chattel Human Slavery was abolished everywhere in the world (as an openly and officially legal institution, anyhow….) between 1790 and 1930. ONLY in the United States of America did the abolition of legal chattel slavery result in war, and what a coincidence that this happened 13 years after the Communist Manifesto, in a Republican Administration with so many German Communist refugees from Europe in charge, and with Karl Marx’ official blessings and endorsements—none of facts which are EVER taught in American Middle or High School history classes…

Argo, Iran, and the September 1-6 New Horizon International Independent Film Festival & Conference in Tehran

Three weeks ago, on September 29, 2012, I attended a lecture by Mark Weber at the Institute for Historical Review headquartered in Newport Beach, Orange County, California.  It was a major eye-opener for me, and I would encourage anyone and everyone interested in international politics to listen to what Mark Weber had to say:  http://www.ihr.org/audio/MWIran092912.mp3.  

As a matter of fact, as I told Mark Weber after his speech, I think this presentation should be required listening in every college, high school, and army and navy recruitment center in the USA…..especially the latter.

Weber’s address focused on the questions of whether Iran poses a threat of nuclear or convention aggression in the West Asian arena, whether Iran has or plans to acquire or develop nuclear weapons, and whether the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent “saber rattling” against Iran rests on any rational basis.  

Weber answered summarily and categorically “no” to each of these questions, and as background discussed his recent visit to Tehran to speak at the conference held in conjunction with the First Independent International Filmmakers Festival “New Horizon” sponsored by: http://indfilmfest.com/ujcke3, held from September 1-September 6 of this year.

Apparently very few Americans were in attendance, owing doubtless to Iran’s reputation in this country as part of what our penultimate President W. Bush called “Axis of Evil” along with current member North Korea and (former?) member Libya.

Weber’s portrayal of Iran was certainly not of an evil nation or of a people anxious for war or “jihad” against the West, but Iran has had the dubious distinction of straddling all world conflicts as the largest truly “non-aligned” nation in Asia, throughout the 20th and now 21st centuries.  Iran stayed out of World Wars I and was only drawn into World War II, “kicking and screaming” by a joint British-Soviet invasion to secure the oilfields of the country, and Iran declared war on Germany in 1943 and thus became eligible for membership in the newly envisioned but then only just barely nascent United Nations.

What happened after World War II in Iran was one of the least known but most decisive events in shaping the Cold-War and Post-Cold War environments in Europe.

To wit, in 1951, a Democratic-Social reformer  Prime Minister of Iran Mohammed Mosaddeq (also “Massaddegh”), appointed by the Shah, persuaded the Iranian parliament to nationalize the British-owned oil industry, in what became known in the international press as the Abadan Crisis.

The Shah owed his crown to British power and his wealth to British Oil, but he did little or nothing to stop or restrain Mossaddegh. Despite British pressure, including an economic blockade, the nationalization and seizure of all British Oil Interests continued. Mossadegh (the 60th Prime Minister of Iran) left office briefly 1952 but was quickly re-appointed by the shah as the 62nd prime minister, due to a popular uprising in Mossadegh’s support. The Shah himself went briefly into exile in August 1953 after a failed military coup by Imperial Guard Colonel Nematollah Nassiri.  

Then  on August 19, 1953, a successful coup was organized by the American (CIA) with the active support of the British (MI6) (known as Operation Ajax).   The nominal leader of this coup was headed by a retired army general Fazlollah Zahedi.   The coup included a propaganda campaign of disinformation and outright lies designed to turn the population against Mossaddegh, finally forced Mossaddegh from office.

These events of sixty years ago have lingered bitterly in the memory of Iranians of all classes until the present time. Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason. Found guilty, his sentence reduced to house arrest on his family estate while his foreign minister, Hossein Fatemi, was executed. Zahedi succeeded him as prime minister.  The new British and American supported regime suppressed all opposition to the Shah, specifically the National Front and Communist Tudeh Party.

Last year on this blog I described Josh Tickell’s movie “The Big Fix” as the best documentary ever produced in the United States.  It covered the history of Mossadegh’s deposition by the British oil interests as one of the key starting points for understanding British Petroleum’s complete indifference to democracy and human life seen throughout the 2010 “Deep Horizon” Oil spill and its aftermath off the coast of Louisiana.  

Earlier this year, other pundits proclaimed Dinesh D’Souza’s “Obama 2016″ as the greatest documentary of all time, but D’Souza would clearly NOT have felt at home at the International Filmmaker’s conference in Tehran because of his vociferous support of Israel, and his criticism of Obama for taking a “soft” stance against Iran and the “threat” it poses.

All this brings up a very interesting point, ONLY radicals (of both the right and left) ever have anything good to say about Iran and/or anything bad to say about Israel.  Dinesh D’Souza singled out Dr. Edward Said (Ph.D. 1964, Harvard GSAS) as one of Obama’s personal “Founding Fathers.” Ironically enough Said was a nearly exact contemporary and sometime classmate (in English Literature) together with my late father.  According to Dinesh D’Souza, Said influenced Obama against Israel and shaped his thinking about the Post-Colonial World.  

Again, readers of this Blog know that I despise Barack Hussein Obama with the bloodiest of purple passions, but I cannot say a single bad thing about Edward Said, no do I think that Said was a socialist or anti-American in any of the ways Obama quite clearly is. Indeed, it is somewhat ironic to me that Dinesh D’Souza would attack Said, since they are both Christians born in populations which are overwhelmingly “something else”).

Quite aside from the fact that my father had known him in graduate school, and always spoke highly of him, I attended at least two dozen lectures by Said over the course of about 30 years from New Orleans 70118 to Cambridge 02138 and from New Haven 06511 to Chicago 60637.  I was never once less than overwhelmed by his erudition and articulate presentation of the relationship between the Arab-Islamic and Anglo-Christian worlds.  Said was born Jerusalem to Palestinian Christian parents (his mother hailed from Jesus’ town of Nazareth), and Said advocated justice for the non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs, both Christian and Muslim.  

Whether D’Souza has justly grouped Said with Obama or not, the perception of most “mainstream” conservatives (and centrist liberals) in the United States is that only radicals of the left or right could possibly say anything bad about Israel or anything good about Iran.  Despite admiring Edward Said almost as much as D’Souza claims Obama does, I am generally of a radical right-wing persuasion, if any at all.

Among the radical rightists who have supported Iran are David Duke of Louisiana, whose commentaries on the (in many ways inspiring, and technically irreproachable) movie The 300 (about the Spartan resistance at Thermopylae—a name which means “Hot Springs” in Greek) show how certain pro-Israeli propagandists were preparing to turn the American population against Iran by massive disinformation equivalent to the old American & British Campaigns against Mossaddegh.  See especially: http://www.davidduke.com/?p=2381 “The Movie 300: Neocon Racial Propaganda for War.”

Now I cannot sympathize in the least with David Duke’s obsessive antisemitism, but (again ironically), Duke in all his commentaries on Iran directly echoes Edward Said in his judgment that American perceptions of Iran rest on media disinformation and politically motivated mischaracterizations intended to dehumanize the people of Iran.  

I am probably the only person on planet earth to see a major analytical parallel between David Duke’s racial politics and Edward Said’s post-Colonial, post-modern deconstruction of American popular culture perceptions of Iran. But my analysis fits in with the routine conundrum it is to say that ONLY the radical left-and-right wingers oppose Israel.  

The late William F. Buckley once (back in the 1970s I think, during or shortly after the Henry Kissinger era) satirically commented that so central was Israel to American National Defense Policy that it would make sense to admit Israel as the 51st state of the Union.  Buckley noted in support of this proposal that the 4500 air miles from Washington D.C. to Honolulu are only approximately 1000 miles less than the distance from Washington to Tel Aviv…. and that Guam remains a recognized U.S. Territory at 9,000 miles from Washington….

Mark Weber highlighted, as has Representative Ron Paul, that Israel remains to this day the center of U.S. Foreign Policy—more critical in so many ways than the U.K., Germany, or Japan—

Men of my father’s and grandfather’s generation read the poetry of the East as part of a “Gentleman’s education” (only partly as Colonialists in Said’s interpretation, but also as men seeking deeper understanding of the wisdom of the world, especially in conjunction with the mysticism of their beloved Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

As Mark Weber emphasized, most modern American perceptions divorce the people of Iran from their deep historical traditions of literate civilization, which has produced some of the most distinctive poetry and philosophy of both the pre-Islamic (e.g. Zoroastrian Zend-Avesta) and Islamic (e.g. Ferdowsi’s “Book of Kings” or Shahnama followed by the Sufi [“Sophy”] poets Rumi [The Masnavi and Divan-e Shams], Sadi, Hafiz Shirazi, and Al-Ghazali [e.g. “Alchemy of Happiness”] not to mention Scheherazade’s Thousand and one Nights which I, like countless generations of schoolboys before me, grew up reading in awe and fascination of the “mysterious orient”).

The concept of “mysterious east, land of snake charmers and flying carpets” got at least passing message in Ben Affleck’s new movie Argo which I finally got to see last night (October 19)—delayed by my going on two weeks in Fresno—but Peyton and I finally discovered that they DO have cinemas here…. and we desperately needed a break from the Medical Marijuana/Federal vs. State power constitutional controversies we’ve been working on.  

Argo is an excellent movie, whether you remember just how ashamed you were to be traveling abroad during America’s most disgraceful 444 days in history from November 4 1979-January 20 1981, or whether you’re of the modern (born, like my own son Charlie, in 1992 or after) generation for whom even the name of President Jimmy Carter conjures up nothing more than a little bit of a vague and fuzzy memory that he might or might not have been the first peanut farming Navy Officer from Georgia ever to become President…. and the first (and last) U.S. President to be born in the DEEP South (which does not include Texas) since before the War Between the States of 1861-65.

I remember the Iranian Revolution distinctly and I remember thinking it was a very bad thing.  The Shah had favored the modernization and Westernization of Iran—women could wear dresses without veils and things like that.  

The outrages of the Oil-Based Political Economy became intolerable in 1973—but not only did the American people accept that status quo without revolution, they did not seek to punish the oil companies for their price-gouging and irrational profiteering and the wild fluctuations in the price of oil (with a steady and inexorable upward trend) that has become a permanent feature of our lives…..

In any event, Argo did not “trash” the Islamic Revolutionary Iranians but it portrayed them very much as I remember them from the “mainstream media” in 1979-1981.  They were definitely America’s enemies.  At Chichén Itzá on my archaeological project, one of my student assistants Rafael “Rach” Cobos Palma used to go around with a towel on his head (before “towel-head” was considered a politically incorrect racist epithet) chanting “Death to America” and periodically trying to rattle me by reporting fictitious news items that the price of oil had doubled or tripled and the dollar had accordingly collapsed…. He thought this was the funniest thing on earth since back in those days I was working in Mexico on that extremely advantageous dollar-to-peso exchange rate that prevailed throughout the 1980s.  

Argo was basically historically truthful in all details, so far as I can tell anyhow.  The cast and script were both beyond reproach, from Affleck’s heroic role as Anthony Mendez to John Goodman’s predictably brilliant and humorous performance as John Chambers [Clea Helen D’etienne DuVall has certainly had a fascinating career since she played Marcie Ross the invisible girl in the First Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Episode 11 “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”.]

In any event—Argo reminded me of the first time I bitterly reflected on Iran as a true humiliation to the United States.  We (our UK and US governments and the American and British oil cartels whcih control our governments) created the Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi as an absolute monarch.  He had started out, during his early post-war years as a young King, apparently in favor of Mossaddegh and Constitutional Democracy) and supported him blindly, ignoring the unhappiness of the vast majority of the people of Iran.  

Reza Pahlevi ended his life and career envisioned by many of his people as a blood-sucking vampire.  But the US supported the Shah and, as Argo clearly showed, our intelligence did not anticipate, perceive, or recognize any threat to his rule as late as a month before he fell in 1978.  Our country was then humiliated by the Revolutionary Guard of the nascent Islamic Republic over and over again, not least when Ross Perot sent in a private paramilitary team which literally crashed and burned….

When I first heard that Ronald Reagan might have authorized or encouraged Oliver North to purchase Iranian weapons for the Contras of Iran, my first reaction was that Reagan was aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States and should be impeached for treason—and how could Reagan have done it when he knew all about the hostage crisis and how the Iranians had made us look like mental and moral midgets….McDonald’s munching morons whose only values were comfort and pleasure obtainable with the least possible effort….in thought or work.

Mark Weber’s perspective on Ahmadinejad marks the most major, thoughtful counterposition to the mainstream media views, which were (to the extent they were reasonable) formed and shaped by the Iranian Islamic Revolution and the Hostage Crisis, in which the Iranian actors played the parts of the most-grotesquely brutal haters of America.  As bad as the American role in the Shah’s rise and evolution as a tyrant may have been, there was not a single member of the embassy staff who could possibly have been held responsible.  The Iranians, as shown in Argo were just formulaically bullying their prize captive Americans as spies….and threatening them all with kangaroo trials and public executions…..

So Iran has suffered from its status as a Non-Aligned nation with significant oil wealth—it was reduced to a quasi-Colonial status right at the end of the Colonial Period, in the early 1950s—and was the first example of a nation colonized primarily for Oil—Oil at any cost, oil above all other human values.   

Mark Weber of the Institute of Historical Review gave a wonderful presentation—he is mostly conceived as a right-winger, although a much more academically respectable right-winger than “Dr.” David Duke with his degree from a rather obscure “Management” school (MAUP) in the Ukraine… 

Equally respectable and more directly politically active than Duke, currently, with less seemingly preposterous baggage, was another American in attendance at the New Horizon Independent Film-Fest in Tehran, Merlin Miller.  Merlin Miller is the Presidential candidate of the newly formed American Third Position “AP3” Party, which just came into existence in or about January 2010, formed and chaired by William D. Johnson, a Nippono-philic Los Angeles lawyer  currently running for Congress in Michigan’s “open” 11th Congressional District.  Merlin Miller has apparently only achieved ballot access in 3 states for the November election and California is not one of them.

What does it say about the United States that the only Americans of any note willing to attend a film festival in Iran are two solid right-wingers (Weber & Miller) and apparently several black film-makers and artists from the extreme left of Detroit and Miami?  Apparently, “core” Hollywood and Beverly Hills media figures were all but totally absent and unrepresented. 

And at this conference in Tehran, I get the impression that very little was said about the American popular conception of Iran—even a relatively positive perspective as formed in Josh Tickell’s 2011 The Big Fix, the mostly neutral but historically accurate portrayal in 2012’s Argo or the negative (but not particularly highlighted) view of Iran suggested in D’Souza’s Obama 2016.

Cultural exchange combined with political dialogue would, in my opinion, produce positive results between Iran and the US—and the American People MUST somehow become educated.  Mark Weber reports and I have independently confirmed that certain polls have shown that 71% of the U.S. population believe that Iran now possesses Nuclear Weapons.  

After the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lies that roped us into Iraq—into COLONIZING Iraq—the American public DESERVE to hear Mark Weber and Merlin Miller speaking out about their recent first hand experience with the Iranian people and in particular with President Ahmadinejad. 

There are two things I don’t believe in: Leprechauns and Coincidence…..you know I’m right about the Leprechauns, don’t you? Look first at the Flyer from the FBI-Department of Homeland Security

FBI DHS 05-12-2012 Terrorist Attacks on Theatres Predicted  AND

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1933086/pg1

OK, I admit it, my title-headline was shamelessly stolen from what Buffy Summers said to Rupert Giles in the third episode of Season III of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled “Faith, Hope, & Trick” (originally aired October 13, 1998).  A la recherche du temps perdu…. But that doesn’t make it any less serious, especially when Gotham Police Chief Gordon says to Robin John Blake “You’re a detective now: you’re not allowed to believe in coincidence anymore.”

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1931198/pg.

As of 6:15 PM on Saturday, July 21, 2012, I had to confess that am SOOO completely jaded and cynical—I feel so ABSOLUTELY certain that the shooting of 70 victims in Aurora, Colorado was a government planned event—designed to coincide with the Small Arms Treaty that Hillary wants to present to the Senate….and take place just before the Republican National Convention.  Anyhow, I am so convinced that this is a government plot that I offer $10,000 to anyone who can convince me otherwise (that would be $10,000.00 in Federal Reserve Notes, unfortunately—no constitutional gold OR Silver available).
This is  a serious offer, I invite presentations of argument, logic, and evidence, which I will happily publish here, and respond to or comment upon as necessary, including admitting I am convinced if I am…
As of Midnight on Wednesday July 25—I can only say I am more convinced than ever—the arsenal James Holmes had collected in his apartment was expensive—and way outside of MY limited arms budget….although one can always dream—anyone who amassed that kind of arsenal, and so carefully booby-trapped his apartment, would have had the sense to plan an escape if he had been for real—the fact that he didn’t even resist arrest is still very poignant evidence in my mind that this was a staged crime meant to be solved and dramatized to the world IMMEDIATELY, THIS MONTH, on the first anniversary of Adreas Breivik’s stupid attacks in Norway…
In my experience, they always time these events to coincide with major gun control efforts, and this is basically the LAST one before we lose all the same rights that the English have lost….
You HAVE heard about the Small Arms Treaty, and Hillary’s treasonous conduct in relation thereto…., haven’t you?  20 miles from Columbine?  You REALLY believe that’s mere coincidence?  GIVE ME A BREAK—Colorado is one of the KEY testing grounds for the New World Order/Brave New World….not to mention the most probable location of the Capitol of Panem….in the Hunger Games…  You should see some of Jesse Ventura’s videos about the Denver Airport…. if you haven’t already.  I think the Capitol of Panem is basically supposed to be—right where Aspen is right now….. not a bad guess, actually….it’s already one of the richest and most elite centers on the North American continent…. I should know….my grandmother and mother used to go there EVERY summer…. My grandfather would stay for the music festival and that was it….
In Suzanne Collins’ Panem, quite meaningfully, the ownership of guns and even bows and arrows was absolutely forbidden to anyone but the Capitol’s “Peacekeepers”—a meaningful cross between Star Wars’ Storm Trooper’s and the Department of Homeland Security….   Individual ownership of arms is nothing short of the SECOND cornerstone of liberty, second ONLY to FREEDOM OF RELIGION, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, the RIGHT to ASSEMBLE, and the RIGHT TO PETITION FOR GRIEVANCES….just as the order of amendments in the Constitution would suggest…
Look at what the Supreme Court wrote just two years and one month ago in MacDonald v. City of Chicago 06-28-2010 McDonald v City of Chicago Ill 130 SCt 3020:

…..we now turn directly to the question whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is incorporated in the concept of due process. In answering that question, as just explained, we must decide whether the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty, Duncan, 391 U.S., at 149, 88 S.Ct. 1444, or as we have said in a related context, whether this right is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721, 117 S.Ct. 2302, 138 L.Ed.2d 772 (1997) (internal quotation marks omitted).

A

Our decision in Heller points unmistakably to the answer. Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day,15 and in Heller, we held that individual self-defense is “the central component ” of the Second Amendment right. 554 U.S., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2801–2802; see also id., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2817 (stating that the “inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right”). Explaining that “the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute” in the home, ibid., we found that this right applies to handguns because they are “the most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep’ and use for protection of one’s home and family,” id., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2818 (some internal quotation marks omitted); see also id., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2817 (noting that handguns are “overwhelmingly chosen by American society for [the] lawful purpose” of self-defense); id., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2818 (“[T]he American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon”). Thus, we concluded, citizens must be permitted “to use [handguns] for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.” Id., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2818.

Heller makes it clear that this right is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” Glucksberg, supra, at 721, 117 S.Ct. 2302 (internal quotation marks omitted). Heller explored the right’s origins, noting that the 1689 English Bill of Rights explicitly protected a right to keep arms for self-defense, 554 U.S., at –––– – ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2797–2798, and that by 1765, Blackstone was able to assert that the right to keep and bear arms was “one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen,” id., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2798.

*3037 Blackstone’s assessment was shared by the American colonists. As we noted in Heller, King George III’s attempt to disarm the colonists in the 1760’s and 1770’s “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms.”16 Id., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2799; see also L. Levy, Origins of the Bill of Rights 137–143 (1999) (hereinafter Levy).

The right to keep and bear arms was considered no less fundamental by those who drafted and ratified the Bill of Rights. “During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric.” Heller, supra, at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2801 (citing Letters from the Federal Farmer III (Oct. 10, 1787), in 2 The Complete Anti–Federalist 234, 242 (H. Storing ed.1981)); see also Federal Farmer: An Additional Number of Letters to the Republican, Letter XVIII (Jan. 25, 1788), in 17 Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution 360, 362–363 (J. Kaminski & G. Saladino eds.1995); S. Halbrook, The Founders’ Second Amendment 171–278 (2008). Federalists responded, not by arguing that the right was insufficiently important to warrant protection but by contending that the right was adequately protected by the Constitution’s assignment of only limited powers to the Federal Government. Heller, supra, at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2801–2802; cf. The Federalist No. 46, p. 296 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (J. Madison). Thus, Antifederalists and Federalists alike agreed that the right to bear arms was fundamental to the newly formed system of government. See Levy 143–149; J. Malcolm, To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo–American Right 155–164 (1994). But those who were fearful that the new Federal Government would infringe traditional rights such as the right to keep and bear arms insisted on the adoption of the Bill of Rights as a condition for ratification of the Constitution. See 1 J. Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 327–331 (2d ed. 1854); 3 id., at 657–661;  4 id., at 242–246, 248–249; see also Levy 26–34; A. Kelly & W. Harbison, The American Constitution: Its Origins and Development 110, 118 (7th ed.1991). This is surely powerful evidence that the right was regarded as fundamental in the sense relevant here.

This understanding persisted in the years immediately following the ratification of the Bill of Rights. In addition to the four States that had adopted Second Amendment analogues before ratification, nine more States adopted state constitutional provisions protecting an individual right to keep and bear arms between 1789 and 1820. Heller, supra, at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2802–2804. Founding-era legal commentators confirmed the importance of the right to early Americans. St. George Tucker, for example, described the right to keep and bear arms as “the true palladium of liberty” and explained that prohibitions on the right would place liberty “on the brink of destruction.” 1 Blackstone’s Commentaries, Editor’s App. 300 (S. Tucker ed. 1803); see also W. Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States of America, 125–126 (2d ed. 1829) (reprint *3038 2009); 3 J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States § 1890, p. 746 (1833) (“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them”).

B1

By the 1850’s, the perceived threat that had prompted the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights—the fear that the National Government would disarm the universal militia—had largely faded as a popular concern, but the right to keep and bear arms was highly valued for purposes of self-defense. See M. Doubler, Civilian in Peace, Soldier in War 87–90 (2003); Amar, Bill of Rights 258–259. Abolitionist authors wrote in support of the right. See L. Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery 66 (1860) (reprint 1965); J. Tiffany, A Treatise on the Unconstitutionality of American Slavery 117–118 (1849) (reprint 1969). And when attempts were made to disarm “Free–Soilers” in “Bloody Kansas,” Senator Charles Sumner, who later played a leading role in the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, proclaimed that “[n]ever was [the rifle] more needed in just self-defense than now in Kansas.” The Crime Against Kansas: The Apologies for the Crime: The True Remedy, Speech of Hon. Charles Sumner in the Senate of the United States 64–65 (1856). Indeed, the 1856 Republican Party Platform protested that in Kansas the constitutional rights of the people had been “fraudulently and violently taken from them” and the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” had been “infringed.” National Party Platforms 1840–1972, p. 27 (5th ed.1973).17

After the Civil War, many of the over 180,000 African Americans who served in the Union Army returned to the States of the old Confederacy, where systematic efforts were made to disarm them and other blacks. See Heller, 554 U.S., at ––––, 128 S.Ct., at 2810; E. Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863–1877, p. 8 (1988) (hereinafter Foner). The laws of some States formally prohibited African Americans from possessing firearms. For example, a Mississippi law provided that “no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife.” Certain Offenses of Freedmen, 1865 Miss. Laws p. 165, § 1, in 1 Documentary History of Reconstruction 289 (W. Fleming ed.1950); see also Regulations for Freedmen in Louisiana, in id., at 279–280; H.R. Exec. Doc. No. 70, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 233, 236 (1866) (describing a Kentucky law); E. McPherson, The Political History of the United States of America During the Period of Reconstruction 40 (1871) (describing a Florida law); id., at 33 (describing an Alabama law).18

*3039 Throughout the South, armed parties, often consisting of ex-Confederate soldiers serving in the state militias, forcibly took firearms from newly freed slaves. In the first session of the 39th Congress, Senator Wilson told his colleagues: “In Mississippi rebel State forces, men who were in the rebel armies, are traversing the State, visiting the freedmen, disarming them, perpetrating murders and outrages upon them; and the same things are done in other sections of the country.” 39th Cong. Globe 40 (1865). The Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction—which was widely reprinted in the press and distributed by Members of the 39th Congress to their constituents shortly after Congress approved the Fourteenth Amendment19—contained numerous examples of such abuses. See, e.g., Joint Committee on Reconstruction, H.R.Rep. No. 30, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 2, pp. 219, 229, 272, pt. 3, pp. 46, 140, pt. 4, pp. 49–50 (1866); see also S. Exec. Doc. No. 2, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 23–24, 26, 36 (1865). In one town, the “marshal [took] all arms from returned colored soldiers, and [was] very prompt in shooting the blacks whenever an opportunity occur[red].” H.R. Exec. Doc. No. 70, at 238 (internal quotation marks omitted). As Senator Wilson put it during the debate on a failed proposal to disband Southern militias: “There is one unbroken chain of testimony from all people that are loyal to this country, that the greatest outrages are perpetrated by armed men who go up and down the country searching houses, disarming people, committing outrages of every kind and description.” 39th Cong. Globe 915 (1866).20

Union Army commanders took steps to secure the right of all citizens to keep and bear arms,21 but the 39th Congress concluded *3040 that legislative action was necessary. Its efforts to safeguard the right to keep and bear arms demonstrate that the right was still recognized to be fundamental.

The most explicit evidence of Congress’ aim appears in § 14 of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act of 1866, which provided that “the right … to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal, including the constitutional right to bear arms, shall be secured to and enjoyed by all the citizens … without respect to race or color, or previous condition of slavery.” 14 Stat. 176–177 (emphasis added).22 Section 14 thus explicitly guaranteed that “all the citizens,” black and white, would have “the constitutional right to bear arms.”

The Civil Rights Act of 1866, 14 Stat. 27, which was considered at the same time as the Freedmen’s Bureau Act, similarly sought to protect the right of all citizens to keep and bear arms.23 Section 1 of the Civil Rights Act guaranteed the “full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens.” Ibid. This language was virtually identical to language in § 14 of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act, 14 Stat. 176–177 (“the right … to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal”). And as noted, the latter provision went on to explain that one of the “laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal” was “the constitutional right to bear arms.” Ibid. Representative Bingham believed that the Civil Rights Act protected the same rights as enumerated in the Freedmen’s Bureau bill, which of course explicitly mentioned the right to keep and bear arms. 39th Cong. Globe 1292. The unavoidable conclusion is that the Civil Rights Act, like the Freedmen’s Bureau Act, aimed to protect “the constitutional *3041 right to bear arms” and not simply to prohibit discrimination. See also Amar, Bill of Rights 264–265 (noting that one of the “core purposes of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and of the Fourteenth Amendment was to redress the grievances” of freedmen who had been stripped of their arms and to “affirm the full and equal right of every citizen to self-defense”).

Congress, however, ultimately deemed these legislative remedies insufficient. Southern resistance, Presidential vetoes, and this Court’s pre-Civil-War precedent persuaded Congress that a constitutional amendment was necessary to provide full protection for the rights of blacks.24 Today, it is generally accepted that the Fourteenth Amendment was understood to provide a constitutional basis for protecting the rights set out in the Civil Rights Act of 1866. See General Building Contractors Assn., Inc. v. Pennsylvania, 458 U.S. 375, 389, 102 S.Ct. 3141, 73 L.Ed.2d 835 (1982); see also Amar, Bill of Rights 187; Calabresi, Two Cheers for Professor Balkin’s Originalism, 103 Nw. U.L.Rev. 663, 669–670 (2009).

In debating the Fourteenth Amendment, the 39th Congress referred to the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right deserving of protection. Senator Samuel Pomeroy described three “indispensable” “safeguards of liberty under our form of Government.” 39th Cong. Globe 1182. One of these, he said, was the right to keep and bear arms:

“Every man … should have the right to bear arms for the defense of himself and family and his homestead. And if the cabin door of the freedman is broken open and the intruder enters for purposes as vile as were known to slavery, then should a well-loaded musket be in the hand of the occupant to send the polluted wretch to another world, where his wretchedness will forever remain complete.” Ibid.

Even those who thought the Fourteenth Amendment unnecessary believed that blacks, as citizens, “have equal right to protection, and to keep and bear arms for self-defense.” Id., at 1073 (Sen. James Nye); see also Foner 258–259.25

Evidence from the period immediately following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment only confirms that the right to keep and bear arms was considered fundamental. In an 1868 speech addressing the disarmament of freedmen, Representative Stevens emphasized the necessity of the right: “Disarm a community and you rob them of the means of defending life. Take away their weapons of defense and you take away the inalienable right of defending liberty.” “The fourteenth amendment, now so happily adopted, settles the whole question.” Cong. Globe, 40th Cong., 2d Sess., 1967. And in debating the Civil Rights Act of 1871, Congress routinely *3042 referred to the right to keep and bear arms and decried the continued disarmament of blacks in the South. See Halbrook, Freedmen 120–131. Finally, legal commentators from the period emphasized the fundamental nature of the right. See, e.g., T. Farrar, Manual of the Constitution of the United States of America § 118, p. 145 (1867) (reprint 1993); J. Pomeroy, An Introduction to the Constitutional Law of the United States § 239, pp. 152–153 (3d ed. 1875).

The right to keep and bear arms was also widely protected by state constitutions at the time when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified. In 1868, 22 of the 37 States in the Union had state constitutional provisions explicitly protecting the right to keep and bear arms. See Calabresi & Agudo, Individual Rights Under State Constitutions when the Fourteenth Amendment was Ratified in 1868: What Rights Are Deeply Rooted in American History and Tradition? 87 Texas L.Rev. 7, 50 (2008).26 Quite a few of these state constitutional guarantees, moreover, explicitly protected the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right to self-defense. See Ala. Const., Art. I, § 28 (1868); Conn. Const., Art. I, § 17 (1818); Ky. Const., Art. XIII, § 25 (1850); Mich. Const., Art. XVIII, § 7 (1850); Miss. Const., Art. I, § 15 (1868); Mo. Const., Art. I, § 8 (1865); Tex. Const., Art. I, § 13 (1869); see also Mont. Const., Art. III, § 13 (1889); Wash. Const., Art. I, § 24 (1889); Wyo. Const., Art. I, § 24 (1889); see also State v. McAdams, 714 P.2d 1236, 1238 (Wyo.1986). What is more, state constitutions adopted during the Reconstruction era by former Confederate States included a right to keep and bear arms. See, e.g., Ark. Const., Art. I, § 5 (1868); Miss. Const., Art. I, § 15 (1868); Tex. Const., Art. I, § 13 (1869). A clear majority of the States in 1868, therefore, recognized the right to keep and bear arms as being among the foundational rights necessary to our system of Government.27

In sum, it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.

*********************************************************************

Given the level of planning apparent in James Holmes little operation on the opening night of Batman, it is quite inconceivable that he acted alone, without substantial assistance and sanctioned cooperation.  So no, I do not believe James Holmes acted alone any more Andreas Breivik “acted alone” in Norway, any more than I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did in Dallas…. Andreas Breivik is just a much more compliant and better trained Patsy than Oswald was—he was going to tell the whole story, and that’s why Jack Ruby shot him….can any sane person believe otherwise?
As for insane people who do believe otherwise, I took note of my dear old flame Orly Taitz’ blog today (July 21 2012—as of 4:07 on Saturday, she had only posted: http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/?p=193776):
In her original post, Orly totally ignored the Small Arms Treaty Coincidence and comes as close to saying absolutely nothing relevant or meaningful about the historical moment and context as one possibly can.   Her arguments were so completely hollow that  I cannot but take them as confirmation that she is part of Obama’s plan….. she is part of the calculated deception of our nation’s population.
So I find it interesting that, just after 4, barely two hours after I posted my original piece on Aurora, Holmes and the Small Arms Treaty, Orly Posted an article apparently attributed to someone name Paul Irey (I don’t know him) http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/?p=193933  Maybe Leprechauns told her she needed to shore up and bolster her credibility…..

Confessions of a Lifelong-Heroine Addict….(oh well, since I was 6 or 8 I guess, probably not so much before that…)…from Dorothy Gale to Katniss Everdeen

The California Secretary of State having quite literally locked the doors to my running for Senate this year (at least in Tulare and Fresno Counties)—and the California Courts not seeming to offer a sufficient or accessible remedy—I now have time to indulge other (if related) obsessions my life, such as my sufferings from a lifetime of heroine addiction….  

Like almost every other aspect of my life, I blame my mother Alice and grandmother Helen almost equally….

It was my mother and father who, when I was very small, used to take me down by the Thames in Westminster near the Houses of Parliament and show me the statue of Boadicea (aka “Budica”), the last independent Iceni Queen of East Anglia who rebelled and died trying to evict the Roman Conquerors, in whose memory it was said and sung that “Britons never shall be slaves.”  We also took one trip out to Norwich to visit one of the woods where the Iceni supposedly worshipped their own goddess of Victory….called “Budika” in the Ancient British language of the Druids….(my parents were both heavily into historical and comparative linguistics).  Budika/Boadicea in A.D. 60-61 apparently burned Roman Londinium to the ground along with several other cities before being defeated and poisoning herself by the long Roman Road called “Watling Street” which we also visited…. She was a heroine and supposedly a great archer….  

Of course my parents also tried, as heart as their own agitated and addled lives would permit them, to make me aware of a very different heroine, regarding whom they required me to memorize “the Magnificat” from a very early age….”My soul doth magnify the Lord….Abraham and his seed forever…” And yes, the Virgin Mary was indeed a rebellious heroine… and she has remained a heroine to hundreds of millions of people up to the present time….  Later on, I learned to sing the Magnificat and other pieces of Anglo-Catholic “Maryolatry” as a choirboy in the junior Choir at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, under the tutelage of the late, Great Russell J. Brydon (who died just a few months after this post was originally written, in September 2012 at the age of 88:

http://www.dallasnews.com/obituary-headlines/20120906-russell-j.-brydon-jr.-longtime-dallas-church-and-temple-organist-dies-at-88.ece

But it was my grandmother Helen who was something of a heroine in my young eyes herself, and it was Helen who introduced me to the very first literary  (as distinct from Historical or Biblical) heroines of whose stories I ever learned in detail: namely Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and the Roman Goddess Diana and her Sacred Temple by Lake Nemi  near Ariccia (Diana was also an archer…)

The path of fictional heroines from Dorothy Gale’s grey home in Kansas to Katniss* Everdeen’s equally grey home in District 12 of Panem took 108 years….from the first publication of the Wizard of Oz in 1900 through the appearance of archer Katniss Everdeen  Hunger Games in 2008**….is really the history of the idealistic dreams and ultimate failure of the 20th century (idealist dreams in Baum’s time giving way to a more cynical realism by 1939, passing through the somewhat confused “liberation” of the 1960s, sinking into the dark, pessimistic world of Buffy and Angel and finally coming to rest in the despair of District 12 in Panem in 2008—the year Barack Hussein Obama took over from George W. Bush…two different faces for the heartless, soulless, President Snow….)

But the difference in spirit between those two places traces indeed the tragic story of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization (and of the American Dream) in the 20th Century. Major stopping points along the way (for me at least) include 1939 with the Dorothy Gale’s transformation in the person of Judy Garland and Scarlett O’Hara’s complete redefinition of the concept of “progress” in the late 19th century, Jane Fonda’s comic Cat Ballou and Barbarella in the 1960s, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in movie and television from 1992-2003.  

At each of these intervals, the world is more cynical and darker, and the heroines more complex.  Many critics have observed that the “head injury/dream sequence” aspects of the 1939 Movie Wizard of Oz and the metathesis of real individuals to “dreamtime” residents of the Land of Oz (which was COMPLETELY absent from L. Frank Baum’s book) resulted directly from Freudian psychoanalysis and the early popularity of psychology.  The general effect is to radically weaken the power of Oz as metaphor or lesson—but the movie was a wonderful hit—a lightly comic Wagnerian gesammtkunstwerk of acting, visual art, and music, so nobody really cared.  

A lot of the verbal banter and humor in the movie likewise showed a certain “worldly” sophistication with which I think Frank Baum would only have been somewhat congenial. E.G. the Cowardly Lion’s song “there’s just no use denyin’, I’m just a DANDYlion…” and the Wizard’s closing comment to the Scarecrow:

Back where I come from we have universities, 
seats of great learning 
-- where men go to become great thinkers. 
And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more brains than you have .... 
But! They have one thing you haven't got! 
A diploma!

As a former denizen of the great academic halls of Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 and Chicago, Illinois 60637 (from various halls of which august institutions I did, for all the good that it’s done me or the world, get diplomas), and a regular visitor to many other such places, I can tell you that the Wizard here is absolutely right: 

And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more  brains than you have.... 

But such cynicism simply was not part of the original vision of Oz, and although Baum occasionally did occasionally turn such comments to ridicule life back in North America in later books, he did not at all in his first installment in which he remade European folk mythology and archetypes and reshaped them in a very idealized panorama of a world where death was rare if non-existent and even the most evil of men and creatures did not kill for sport or pleasure.

For all of L. Frank Baum’s futuristic visions, I do not think he could have foreseen the transition from the naïve and hardworking life of Kansas to the nightmarish dreamworld of Suzanne Collins’ grim opera—neither a soap opera nor a very lyric, although even in the written version (which I finally got around to reading), music plays an immensely important part in the methathesis of metaphor and character, from Katniss’ Father to Peeta, from Prim to Rue… as between the unnatural National Anthem of the Conquering Capitol and the free world of nature and the poor of the “outlying districts.”

L. Frank Baum’s Oz books in so many was shaped and defined the culture of early-to-mid 20th Century of a predominantly White Christian America, especially after the release of Judy Garland’s movie….***  The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Kansas was stiflingly dull and harsh—the American dream had already, at that point, apparently kind of run aground and needed new life— The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Oz was half atavistic throwback to the Middle Ages, half filled with futuristic wonders (such as Glinda the Good’s Magic Picture, which permitted her what we would now call “live video access” to whatever was going on in Oz or elsewhere earth she was interested.

Dorothy Gale was a simple, pre-teenage girl (Judy Garland was at least ten years older than the original character was portrayed as being in the First Oz Book, but Dorothy Gale remained essentially a-sexual throughout the series, never had a boyfriend or a beau…. perhaps recapitulating some archaic notion of “the Virgin Goddess”,  e.g. Diana Nemorensis or the Virgin Mary or the “Virgin Queen”, Mary again or Queen Elizabeth I) whose strength derived from common sense, great courage, love, and determination.  Dorothy Gale was a generalist who never specialized in anything or focused on any particular trade, profession, or way of earning a living (all throughout the long series of Oz books, in fact).  She was just flexible, imaginative, and practical—kind of a “Renaissance girl” in a very low tech way.

Being a non-specialized generalist seems to be the primary role of all feminine heroes.  Of the earliest three I knew (Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and Diana Nemorensis), if Dorothy Gale had the purest and most asexual identity, Scarlett O’Hara surely had the most impure and sexual.  

It was perhaps for that reason that I was never really taken with her until I was a teenager, even though with my grandparents I religiously had watched Gone with the Wind at every possible opportunity and my grandmother compared the mythic South with the real South over and over again.   Scarlett O’Hara was beautiful, flirtations, and OWNED men in a way that is both fairly realistic and quite cynical.  But the book and movie Gone with the Wind were brilliantly timed between the First and Second World Wars to show that the American War Between the States of 1861-1865 was the first really and truly modern war of total destruction.  

Throughout history, up until Abraham Lincoln loosed Sherman on Georgia and Grant on Virginia, the goal of Conquest Warfare had been to preserve as much of a conquered land’s wealth as possible—so that it could be stolen and appropriated for the victors.  There might have been a lot of talk in Ancient Rome about how “Carthage must be destroyed” and about Salting the Earth once it was vanquished, but Carthage was not only not burnt to the ground and left to rot by the Roman Conquest, it became one of the Great Cities of the Roman Empire, as 20-30 years of Harvard Archaeological excavations in Tunisia have so clearly shown.  Gone with the Wind showed something else when Sherman’s “wind blew through Georgia.”  The purpose was indeed, as the opening lines of both the movie and the book suggested, to wipe out an entire civilization, a way of life—to replace what Marxists call one “mode of production” with another.   NONE of Baum’s villains in Oz were as bad as that, although the movie version of the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty murderous in her general attitude….

One major innovation of Jane Fonda’s heroines Cat Ballou and especially Barbarella in the 1960s was the advent of “free love”, which never appeared even once in any of Baum’s pre-1920 writings, which was only very obliquely alluded to in Gone with the Wind, but which by the 1960s was all anyone really cared about.  

Like Dorothy Gale and Scarlett O’Hara before her, Cat Ballou and Barbarella were unspecialized generalists who could adapt to almost any situation.  They were strong, intelligent, sexy, deadly in a good cause, and then Jane Fonda went to Hanoi….  In retrospect she may have been right to do it because the Vietnam War was totally wrong, a seriously failed experiment in 1984-type “perpetual war”….but Jane Fonda’s actions did not seem positive at the time.  

In this defiance of the outward semblance of world order sense, Jane Fonda’s characters of both Cat Ballou and Barbarella somehow came to life as defiant outlaws….crossing boundaries that no one else would cross, and doing so with both impunity and (what seemed most shocking at the time) complete immunity from real official sanction.  Like the righteous killer Catherine Ballou who avenged her father’s death in the Wild West—Jane Fonda first enacted herself as a mythic reality and then, by going to Hanoi, remade herself as a historic metaphor—walking through the image of a treacherous act, unscathed, in essence to show that Vietnam was all a staged event….. a dramatic diversion to keep the masses simultaneously afraid, amused and absorbed….  

Fast forward 24 years from Jane Fonda as Barbarella and you arrive the first incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a completely modern LA County San Fernando Valley girl with no hints of modesty or virginity about her…. followed by the much more intriguing evolution of Buffy Summers in the TV Series from virginal high school freshman to intensely sexual college freshman, in a world which is increasingly dark and where reality is increasingly concealed….. Buffy’s Sunnydale was a mythic place, a lot like Los Angeles, while her first boyfriend and lover Angel eventually goes to the real Los Angeles and sets up shop as first as a private detective and then director of a large law firm—two professions which, in Los Angeles at least, possibly in the movies generally, have almost acquired the status of modern Jungian archetypes….  

The increasingly dark and brooding, sad and depressed Buffy Summers never lost her general adaptability—she could never specialize in any profession or line of work any more than Dorothy Gale or Scarlett O’Hara or Catherine Ballou… but the realization that the dark forces of the world were effectively unbeatable and had pre-existed anything good in the world—these were major transformations of the American Dream from the Early 20th Century.  And it was during the 7 televised seasons of Buffy that the 20th Century, which came in with a little girl magically transported by a tornado from dull grey Kansas to a bright and beautiful alternative universe which knew no death, went out during Buffy’s Freshman year at UCLA with a young adult barely out of her teens who was alone in the world, with her small circle of more specialized friends, fighting vampires and the forces of darkness.

And five years after Buffy ended, Katniss Everdeen picked up the bow from her archetypal ancestors the Goddesses Inanna and Diana and Queen Boadicea, and began to hunt for meagre food in the desperately hunger fringes of District 12 (in what was once called Appalachia in what was once called North America).  

The gruesomeness of the Hunger Games apparently shocks some people—I would have thought that Americans had long since forgotten how to be shocked about or by anything.  Children murdering children for sport isn’t the most pleasant of ideas, to be sure. But in that 17-19 year olds have gone off to fight in every war America has ever seen….along with a few 16 year olds here and there, and since the History Channel periodically shows authentic news clips of 15-16 year old resistance “werewolves” in 1945 Post-World War II Germany being shot by firing squads of American Troops, and countless tens of thousands of teenagers have been silently snuffed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, it is hard to believe that the idea of children fighting and dying is really such a big deal to our ever hypocritically squeamish population.

The Hunger Games resonate with so much in our history and culture—with the original Victor Hugo version of Les Miserables (hopelessly buried and lost in the Broadway Musical of the same name), and in Suzanne Collins’ own account with the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.  

But above all the Hunger Games resonates with the year 2012 in which America has taken so many steps towards being a brutal, repressive dictatorship like Panem, already—with idiot fake and fraudulent “Conservatives” like Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich competing with idiot truly fraudulent “Liberals” like Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama competing with one another to see who can shred the Constitution fastest.  

Interesting to me, given that I based my own doctoral dissertation at Harvard in large part on revisiting Frazer’s the Golden Bough and with it Diana’s Temple by Lake Nemi near Ariccia, are the parallels between the Hunger Games and the myths and rituals of Divine Kingship.  There is nothing in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, however, about games or about Tributes being well-fed and allowed every luxury leading up to their deaths.  But precisely this treatment is common in the rites of Divine Kingship, where sacrificial victims, like the individual selected for sacrifice during the rites of Toxcatl among the Aztec, are equated with the God Tezcatlipoca (“Smoking Mirror”) during the last year of their lives, given wonderful food and drink, and then sacrificed.  Similar paradigms of sacrifice are found throughout the world—

And the sacrifice of children, likewise, is extremely common: to the rain gods in Mesoamerica, relic traces of this existed even among the modern Yucatec Maya who tie small children to the legs of the altar during the cha-chaac or rain ceremony—although the children have to do nothing more that happily chirp like rainy season frogs (but woe to the boy who croaks like a dry season Toad—he will be beaten, not sacrificed, but beaten).  The Hebrew Bible itself is filled with child sacrifice (all through the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in particular, are Kings who make their children “walk through the fire”—perhaps most famously the daughter of Jeptha…), and by way of archaeological parallel—the excavations at Carthage have revealed hundreds and thousands of child sacrifices…. Among the Natchez of Mississippi, families sacrificed their children in order to rise in social status from commoners (“Stinkards”) to “Honored” Nobility according to the French records by Dupratz and recounted by John R. Swanton….

And in this sense it is perplexing: sacrifice almost always lead either to elevation in status or to outright deification: why the elite of Panem would not have recognized the risk embodied in Golden Bough-Divine Kingship type of analysis: the sacrificial victim—like the Rex Nemorensis at Ariccia who becomes King by killing the old one in combat, will always become the next king.  

At the end of the first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is poised to become (with Peeta), Queen and King of Panem.  This was not only foreseeable, it was in comparative mythological terms inevitable—and yet Suzanne Collins’ trilogy does not allow this drama to evolve that way.  In part, this may be because technology and traditions of oppression have obliterated the natural succession of Divine Kingship….

But Sir James G. Frazer’s point in writing the Golden Bough was to show that Divine Kingship involving the deification of sacrificial victims and their elevation as Kings is a nearly world-wide phenomenon.  I sit here puzzling at the significance of all the trappings of Divine Kingship and the Golden Bough in the Hunger Games.  

Frank Baum had either borrowed or unconsciously recreated so many motifs from ancient mythology—the Four World Quarters with colors Winkie-yellow Quadlin-red Munchkin-blue and Gillikin-purple with Green for the Center of the Emerald City are like nothing so much as the mythological and symbolic organization of (1) Ancient Mesopotamia, “Land of the Four Quarters” centered on Uruk, (2) Celtic Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connaught, Leinster, and centered on Midhe (Meath) at Tara, and (3) pre-Hispanic Yucatan which, at several Classic sites, is divided into quarters dominated (as recorded on Stelae A & H at Copan) by Tikal, Calakmul, Palenque, and Copan and which even now is divided into four quarters (Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Petén, with Belize claimed by Guatemala and Geographically appearing to be a southern extension of Quintana Roo).

But in Frank Baum’s Oz, kingship is never strong and is always frowned upon, as are all attempts at centralization or standardization of culture, customs, or laws among the four/five regions of Oz.  For that reason, I would assume, there are no hints or traces of divine kingship in Oz—it is a Federal egalitarian Democracy of sorts (even though no one ever votes).  

But by the time of Buffy, as the 20th century closes, the need for a leader has brought forward the Slayer—“one girl in all the world” who fights the Demons.  Now Joss Whedon optimistically ended his series with a devolution of power and prowess from Buffy through the magic of Willow to Millions of “potential” slayers—-but it didn’t quite ring true, in a Television series where even the most outrageous vampiric and magic witchcraft was somehow made to feel “emotionally authentic.”

In the Hunger Games, Dictatorship is the reality and the two victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss & Peeta, are set to become the Divine Kings and possibly the real sovereigns of their land.  Perhaps the need for leadership, the need for someone to save the population, is not yet great enough, but in terms of the political and emotional significance of our story-telling, I think that the journey from Dorothy Gale’s Grey Kansas to Katniss Everdeen’s Grey District 12 tells us the story of the loss of hope and impending doom and despair which was the 20th Century.

*  Katniss is named after a plant called Sagittaria, and my grandmother was born under the sign of Sagittarius—it could be that Katniss reminds me a great deal of my grandmother Helen—similar complexions and faces…. Actress Jennifer Lawrence certainly fits very precisely the image in Suzanne Collins’ book…. and the younger pictures I’ve seen of my grandmother with long hair as a teenager in the time before the U.S. entered WWI….growing up in a place very much like the defeated districts of Panem in the Southern USA.

** In some New Age texts, 108 years is said to be a Venus Cycle, the more ordinary astrological cycle is one of 104 years.  108 is used, but oddly enough, is four years longer than longest calendrical cycle and planetary identity of the Ancient Goddess of Love, namely Inanna/ Ishtar/Aphrodite/Venus.  The calendrical cycles of Venus and the sun are said to “bind” (i.e coincide) every 2920 days, but the ultimate binding of 5 Heliacal Cycles of Venus with 8 Calendar years …. (365 x 8 = 5 x 584 = 2920 x 13 = 37,960 = 2 x 52 years (my current age) = 104 calendar years/105 “tuns” or 360 day periods—the root of the Maya and Aztec Calendars).  Like her Roman Counterpart Diana, Aphrodite and Inanna were both archers—it seems to be the feminine weapon of choice, possibly for purely sexual Freudian reasons, possibly for some mixture of Freudian sexual and Jungian archetypal causation.

*** In the 1970s, Broadway Musical and 1978 movie “the Wiz” the just recently departed Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson did their best to reframe and appropriate the Baum story for African-America in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement (or Fraudulent Civil Rights Fiasco) of the 1950s-60s…. I have never been comfortable Easing on Down the Road with them in that direction…. although my grandfather was a great supporter of alternative all black productions (now almost extinct) because they upheld and even developed, really and truly, the old segregationist’s doctrine of Separate but Equal (we actually attended the Wiz at the Majestic Theater on Broadway as well as an all black revival of Guys & Dolls in my one major summer with him (ever in my life) in 1976.