Challenging the Challengers of the Constitution
Michelle L. Crowley, 4 October 2009
In the last few months, a party of patriarchal parsons has been running around, going to great lengths, actually, to convince the government to repeal the right to an abortion as well as other rights, like same-sex marriages. Like all zealots, they quote the scriptures in terms of their own agenda and indulge in what can only be called hate-speech, in so much at it separates and persecutes.
What I find fascinating about these patriarchal pastors is that they, by definition, have never faced the dilemma of whether to not to have an abortion; moreover, these men have a very particular vision of women, and their submissive wives honor and obey their patriarchal parson husbands. What is disturbing is that the dumbed-down submissive wives assume that women, all women, not just them, are vacuums to be filled with his ideas, a womb to be filled with the master's sperm, an incubator to ensure the continuance of his patriarchal lineage. If a woman chooses to be vacuous, so be it, but why assume all of women would or even should choose to be vacuous? At a cellular level, men arise out of woman regardless of what Genesis says.
What also disturbs me more is that for 4000 years in most places in the world, women been subjugated to those who have no idea about what it means to bear a child. Men have gotten away with defining who women are, and women have given their bodies as objects for possession to them or simply been taken, caste out, or burned at the stake if they resisted because the vulnerability to subjugation is physiological: for most of human history being a women meant being pregnant if sexually active. The sexual revolution for women could only really begin following the invention of the Pill. For most of human history, having sex has meant becoming pregnant and requiring the support of others.
The patriarchal parsons defend themselves based on honoring life. I wonder why a potential human being should be more important or have more rights than a live human being? That kind of thinking, that the not-yet-born matter more than those who are living and their rights, can only arise out of a consciousness that is so disgusted with life that it keeps hoping its participation in the act of creation will improve life or at least carry the hope of that forward. That is not honoring life; that is hating what is with the vague hope for something better in the future. If the patriarchal parsons honored life, they would honor those who are alive, now, not those yet to take their first breath.
So, unless these self-important patriarchal parsons can offer every pregnant woman in this country a supportive context in which to bring potential human beings to fruition and offer every child in whom they invest their hopes a world in which they can fulfill their potentials, they'd best keep their mouths shut about honoring life.
The Psychopathic Nature of HIV
Michelle L. Crowley, June 1, 2008
In applying for a job so that I will not have to sell my house, I contemplated the meaning of this pernicious little bug called HIV that plays in the space where sex and death collide. I believe HIV exists because human beings in this country forgot (or it was propagandized out of us by apartheid) how to value ourselves if we did not belong to what the ruling elite at the time considered acceptable. I know this not because I am black, but because I grew up as a lesbian in the 70s, so I was also taught to hate myself, to not value the person I am, and that I do not have a place in the world. If I had a rand for every time I was told that before I came out, I could probably pay off my bond in one shot.
HIV is a tragedy in this country, but it is also an opportunity to learn how to value ourselves, positive or not. Once it takes root, it is a manageable condition, but to manage it, one must care enough about oneself and one's life to do so: one must value oneself. In African terms, "oneself includes one's community. For many, the counselling that accompanies a positive diagnosis is the first time the door opens to greater empowerment and the expansion of consciousness.
Metaphorically, if I had to diagnose the HI virus, I would say it suffers from a psychopathic personality disorder. It is a fundamentally weak virus; its strength lies in its not caring about how much of itself it kills off as it mutates and proliferates; it cares even less for its host. It settles, most often, among those categories of people who have never been invited to value themselves and their lives; categories of people who believe that at best they will be used, and their experiences have confirmed that. It is the product of a collective hatred for an unalterable social identity that is negative and has been internalized--such conditions are fertile ground upon which this psychopathic virus proliferates. The solution then is to invite people to value themselves, to experience themselves as valuable to themselves and their communities, and to see and honor the value of human beings in general.
In Response to "We are prepared to die for Zuma"
I seem to be having trouble this week coming up with a topic that fires me up enough to write about. I am tired of thinking about how South Africans invite economic disaster by continually telling each other they are poor and are going to suffer. I am also shocked by the lies financial institutions perpetuate in order to line their pockets: One pays to borrow money and then pays to no longer borrow it. Banks are the biggest landowners in this country, and as long as you are bonded to them, you are in the position of serf or peasant. I could, like the unions, express indignation about how CEO's at ESKOM earn in a month what some would never even see in a lifetime and then make their bad management of the energy grid the ordinary citizen's problem. I could rave about ABSA and Woolworths bragging about their best profits yet last quarter at the same time as the consumer is being expected to tighten his or her belt by the Reserve Bank.
I suppose I could express my outrage about what the President of the ANCYL uttered-"We are prepared to die for Zuma! I can think of a great many other things that are worthier of that sacrifice, but I understand his utterance as measure of his passion and commitment to Zuma rather than a literal call to arms. The people who take his statement literally are the one's who have the problem, both those who have been waiting for an excuse to literally take up arms and those who think this is what the ANCYL President was necessarily calling for.
Sometimes I wonder if the Universe deigns that certain ridiculous things be said by people in the spotlight just so that the media will have something to fire us up about, and in taking our positions, divide us. Like Bushes call to arms, "You are either for us or against us, when his troops invaded Iraq, the statement is too ridiculous to be taken seriously. In making such a fuss about the ANCYL Presidents utterance we give it more power than it warrants.
A Comment on Earth Changes
Michelle L. Crowley, May 2009
The ANC won the election, as everyone knew the ANC would, but the victory was less resounding than was hoped. Our bandit President with three wives and a history of unanswered charges against him was inaugurated in the same week as the war machines in Pakistan ground the ailing world economy back into gear, displacing some two million of the 600 billion people on earth within the space of a week. In midst of this, the World Health Organization generated a panic about a flu that jumped across species, from birds, to swine, to humans, and which, if it hits Africa, may prove devastating. Despite being witness to six months of a passing parade of economic, political, and natural disasters, devastation, and carnage served up by the media and its reflection of the human drama, I am still here and if you are reading this, so are you.
Whether the earth warms up or grows colder, we'll all just have to cope with whatever it presents, like cholera in Limpopo, HIV, and now swine flu. I think human beings in general are rather arrogant to think that they know anything at all about Gaia's moods and shifts. We have been on this planet a minuscule amount of time, and have been recording the changes for an even more minuscule amount of time. I am not even sure we understand the organic process that Gaia is, nor how unimportant we actually are in the grand scheme of things. We are important to ourselves, which I guess is why we strive to adapt and cope with whatever we do not control throws at us.
What saddens me most is that the knowledge of earth changes have become a consumer product. Knowledge becomes subjects that thrill, titillate, excite, and instill fear in the public, rather than a search for truth; its role players are likewise subject to market forces, including the scientists who do not attract grants unless they are willing to tow the line to popular culture's current fear-based thought forms. Global warming as an idea functions to offer an illusionary sense of control over Gaia's pissed off response to human beings' exploitation of her and refusal to stop breeding. She labors under six billion people. Gaia is not in control, but she can cast us off or make living here untenable. I think that is within her power. In the meantime, human beings will create stories that allow them and others to fret instead of secure their place in the scheme of things.
Greed and Nuclear Energy
Michelle L. Crowley, April 2011
I am fascinated by how the debate about whether nuclear energy should be pursued or not in the light of the disaster in Japan is framed. Repeatedly, I hear the experts say that all sources for creating energy involves risks, and unless the USA continues to pursue nuclear energy, it will not be able to compete with China. That is exactly the point: Why on earth, literally, do these nations feel the need to compete with each other? Do people in the West not already have enough things to hoard and throw away in their pursuit of the next newest thing to fill their emptiness? Has human greed no limit?
Apparently the human race does not. Even with my own means to earn a buck to sustain myself, I see leaders being expected to do and be more for their followers; they must not only be intellectually and emotionally intelligent, but also culturally intelligent. In turn, employees are being expected to do and be more for the companies that pay them, often for less and less to sustain them. Likewise, I am being expected to be more and do more for the students I help write more eloquent academic papers for less and less return. Once upon a time, one could submit a thesis in long hand, and it was the quality of one's argument that was assessed. These days, the quality of the argument has been sacrificed for a presentation with all the bells and whistles but no real substance. In the end, most of the so-called knowledge produced these days is just more and more of the same rehashed ideas more prettily presented.
Karl Marx, the father of Communism, suggested that technology would liberate us to enjoy our afternoons wandering in the forests writing poetry. Instead, technology under Capitalism has trapped us in a world consumed by greed that expects more and more for less in an effort to win a race that can only end in the destruction of the ground on which we compete.
Dear God, I really do hope time stops on 21 December 2012; it might just be the only chance human beings possess to return to their essence.
Reflections on Regulators and the Looming Economic Meltdown
Michelle L. Crowley, September 25, 2008
The universe seems to be presenting scenarios that remind me about how regulations and regulators castrate people's creative potentials. I watch a teacher waste her energy defending herself against petty transgressions of rules that are arbitrarily imposed by little grey men in little grey suits instead of practicing her art. I watch the team sent to Beijing arrive home without any gold, and regulators are pointing fingers and blaming each other. I receive emails to tell me that if I do not register with some or other regulatory body, I will be thrown in jail.
Any business or individual running a business must be registered with the human rights council, the email announces. When I question the fear-based nature of the appeal--register or go to jail--I receive a response from the website. On the contrary, I am told, they are very optimistic about the future despite the looming crisis. So am I, but for different reasons.
What looming crisis, I wonder? This country moves from crisis to crisis; it always has. In the coming months that will prove to be this country's most enduring feature. For the most part, South Africans are robust and resilient. We survived apartheid and sanctions, we survived a deep and profound transformation out of that oppression, and we are currently surviving the gross mismanagement of tax-payer's money by the people we elected to serve us. We will even survive the ANC's petty ego politics and mud-slinging matches. We will survive because whatever one's so-called race, surviving is what Africans do best.
The reply suggests the website is acting on behalf of an organization called Total Compliance. That says it all for me. A compliant nation is one in which that nation's most creative potentials have been castrated; a nation that castrates its most creative potentials cannot endure. We wonder why children learn so little at school and why the team sent to Beijing came back with no gold. The explanation is simple: teachers are entangled in rules and the paper work around it, and sport is regulated rather than facilitated. The energy is spent regulating rather than facilitating. The same danger exists for business if Total Compliance has its way. When one combines regulation and a fear of being persecuted for getting something wrong, transgressing a regulation, people become too scared to risk starting up or growing a business that may sustain them and others. Instead, they end up in dead end jobs having the energy sucked out of them for a meager wage; the product of their labor makes someone else rich, most often shareholders who belong to bankers whose greed has resulted in an economic meltdown, the so-called looming crisis. When creative efforts in small businesses are regulated, the chances of a future Bill Gates or the equivalent are substantially reduced.
This country will survive the meltdown because business, particularly small businesses, are driven by people who are creative-people who have learned to regulate themselves. Those in Europe and the USA may not be so lucky; they depend on their governments and bankers to bail them out and set the pace, and that is why the meltdown is happening. Those who are ethical and who act with integrity even when there are no rules will carry this world forward.
Post Script: And what a meltdown it is proving to be. Of course it is all fantasy money, money on paper, money being passed around and in transition, promises of paying interest on paper, and that promise being lent out to someone else. Predictably, the gold price is set to rise. Gold still means something.
More Reflections on the Economic Meltdown
It is whacky world that we live in, one in which it is as hard to take a stand as it is not to take a stand or even waver in the middle of what the Hathors call "nodes of chaos. Since I last wrote, the lies upon which the measure of wealth in the West is measured fell apart spectacularly. I wonder why people are surprised: When 5% of the world is consuming 30% of the world's resources, the imbalance requires correction.
Since the meltdown some six months ago, Obama sowed hope in the face of falling stock markets and material loss. I thought if I heard the opening bars of the American anthem one more time I would puke. Predictably, Africa was there with its begging bowl, as if Obama's African roots feature in the American agenda. Despite his infusion of hope, GM has just folded and the American government is now a reluctant shareholder. I wonder why people are surprised: Car manufacturers invented the production line, a way of working that is not in alignment with the freedom of the human spirit.
As the world reeled and still reels from the realization of just how much money and jobs would be lost, Israel and Palestine continued their ancient spat, using civilian deaths and the destruction of homes and families to gain points off each other. Deeper into Africa and in Sri Lanka, others followed their example. To boot, Iran sent off a "satellite, rattling the world powers with its nuclear war possibilities. Now North Korea has followed suit, launching its own missiles. I wonder why people are surprised: I see the consciousness that gives rise to kamikaze pilots and suicide bombers in the eyes of those who talk on the so-called "rogue states behalf.
As the stock markets limped toward a slow recovery and interest rates went down, ironically cutting into the interest earned on investments that had already lost 40% of their value, the government demonstrated its lack of spiritual sensitivity by focusing on material concerns: it refused the Dalai Lama a visa because it might upset Africa's latest colonizer, China, who is apparently greasing the wheels of many a job creation project. In the midst of a sizable and horrified public response, Trevor Manual demonstrated his ignorance and arrogance by asking, "So who is the Dalai Lama anyhow? I wonder why people are surprised; after all, Trevor Manual is the Minister of Finance. His God is money and the material stuff that makes money possible; the company he keeps is that of the moneylenders.
I wonder if a vote for the ANC was a vote to stay in the third dimension with the moneylenders, magicians, and materialists at a point where human consciousness is shifting beyond the material realm as the measure of all things.
Is Nature Becoming Conscious?
Michelle L. Crowley, July 2011
I have been thinking about where the natural disasters are occurring, contemplating the metaphors and their implications for human consciousness. On the level of natural disasters, Japan tops the pole with an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that has poisoned the earth for all who inhabit her for the 7 million years*. Japan is also the nation that hunts the highest form of water-borne consciousness: whales and dolphins.
On the other side of the world, the nation that poisons the air with its use of fossil fuels and other chemicals and refuses to commit to reducing its emissions is the same nation progressively being torn apart by tornados streaking across inhabited areas.
With respect to disease, an e-coli bug that would not even make the news in Africa, rocks Europe; I would be tempted to call it a terrorist attack, but terrorists always brag about the chaos they have caused. This process is stealthier. The popular media suggests the bacteria are the product of "manure mutations," and I see conspirators against fertilizer companies making some mileage out of that possibility. Was the plot actually that of sinking the Spanish economy still further so the IMF could buy up yet another patch of Europe?
The sea is taking vengeance against a people who slaughter creatures perfectly adapted to their medium; the air, in a chaotic spiral of rage against those who poison her, takes it out on those who consume the products that generate the toxins. Human beings have created a world in which they depend on others for the most basic of needs, food. Is it possible microbes are fighting back to survive being irradiated? Can anyone question the fact that nature is conscious, intentional, intelligent, and sick of the way human beings have raped her?