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Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Phil’s website: http://philrockstroh.com/ or at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000711907499
Saturday, November 23, 2013(15 comments)
Fear In A Handful Of Dust: The Sacred Vehemence Of Imagination In A Soulless Age
The economy is chronically depressed. Isotopes of Fukushima are carried on currents of wind and wave. The oceans and seas are rising from humankind-created Climate Change. The world's oceans are being destroyed. The human element evinces the pathology displayed in psychoanalytic consulting rooms: The economic elite are psychopathic; Tea Party types exhibit paranoid displacement while liberals exhibit neurotic insularity.
Sunday, June 2, 2013(5 comments)
The United States of Whatever: Ecocide and the Soul of a Nation
To turn a blind eye to the natural world, as we have done, translates into psychical ecocide. Perception is degraded. Language truncated. Life becomes dispossessed of purpose and meaning. Apropos, the rise and banal persistence of: The United States of Whatever...[Yet] where there exists the implicate order of the soul there exists the wherewithal to rise up and resist the forces that lay siege to one's innate humanity.
Friday, May 31, 2013(5 comments)
Ecocide and the Soul of a Nation
At the front of the political madness enveloping the United States are anti-government, anti-science extremists who reject evidence of global warming and block any response to this existential threat. But the disconnect between environmental destruction and today's humanity goes deeper.
Saturday, April 27, 2013(3 comments)
Within The National (In)Security State: Fear as a Constant Companion
Ask me about my sense of patriotism, and you will receive only silence" because what does not exist cannot speak. But ask me about my sense of affinity with the whole of humanity--about the golden fire of our imagination that binds us to all things, about the cathedral of our bones that binds us to the sorrows of the earth--only if you desire to risk having your ear bent beyond repair by my soliloquies.
Friday, April 26, 2013(2 comments)
America's Locked-Down Insecurity State
Emerging evidence from the Boston Marathon bombings suggests the brutal attack on innocent civilians was motivated by the fury of two brothers against overseas crimes of the U.S. government. In that, the martial-law lockdown of Boston may be a glimpse at the future to come.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013(4 comments)
Tyranny of Deception
Truth has always been a challenging pursuit, often resulting in the persecution of its pursuers. But the modern era offers a special challenge as lies are now the mass-manufactured product of an industry that relentlessly serves the interests of the powerful.
Friday, March 22, 2013(4 comments)
The Cusp of Ecological Disaster
In a world where all emotion is translated into a sales pitch and each thought becomes a talking point, the existential question is how to live a life that embraces real emotion and articulates original thinking.
Saturday, February 9, 2013(2 comments)
Empire of Panic and Illusion
Americans have been sold on the promise of perfect security, whether protecting "the homeland" with gadgets of death or guarding "the homestead" with high-powered assault rifles firing 100-round magazines. But this "safety" is an illusion, making Americans less secure than if they engaged the world around them.
Saturday, February 9, 2013(9 comments)
Empire Of Panic And Ephemera: Applying Rigorous Imagination To America's Paranoid Style
You can attempt to check-out i.e., approach life, as people in the U.S. do, as virtuosos of reality avoidance -- but reality knows your home address: the human psyche. Your psyche is with you for life. You cannot drop off your psyche at an Interstate rest stop, and drive away. Glance in the rear view mirror and it will be lounging in the backseat of your vehicle tapping its foot to the music swelling from the car radio.
Saturday, January 26, 2013(3 comments)
The Great Dismal: "What we speak becomes the house we live in"
At paradigm's end, buffeted and shaken--yet held enthralled within the maelstrom--by the vast and sweeping scope of unsolvable governmental/cultural forces -- we feel the pull of a gravity that feels akin to love. We yearn for some remedy, like lovers whose blazing love threatens to burn away all their moorings and upend all they know.
Friday, January 25, 2013(9 comments)
Overcoming the Great Dismal
The core challenge facing today's U.S. political process is whether the daunting threats to the planet and its people can be addressed, responsibly and cooperatively. Another hope is that in building these solutions, America can break loose from the chains of soulless mediocrity
Friday, December 14, 2012 Grappling with Phantoms
Any nitwit can seek happiness, and, generally, does. But it requires a cultivated courage of the heart to create comedy and beauty out of the material of constant sorrow. Do not shrink from the task of dwelling in the truth of your unique being and living your way into the attendant tales spun by your awakened heart. To cede your own power to the forces of unreasonable power -- is the stuff of tragedy.
Friday, November 16, 2012(8 comments)
After The Flood: Requiem for a Friend, Death Knell for a Dying Paradigm
Personally, I'm done with attempting to persuade idiots by intelligent discourse and fools by plying them with common sense...finished with issuing reasoned warnings to dissemblers and dimwits who claim the iceberg directly in the path of our ocean liner is simply an ice dispenser, conveniently located to refresh our beverages.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012(1 comments)
A Crucible of Political Disenchantment: 'Dismiss Whatever Insults Your Own Soul'
Despite all the cultural cues that we have internalized, one cannot consume, medicate, buy on credit, receive a promotion, vacation, vote, hope, affect a pose of hipster irony, tithe to the church of your choice, receive a hundred FaceBook friendship requests, hit the winning lottery number, support the troops, nor be the recipient of a VIP swag bag in order to stumble your way back to possessing a sense of control and power.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012(1 comments)
Atomized America of Late Capitalism
America's late-stage capitalism, built upon the imagined glories of global empire and the deep deceptions of personalized propaganda, has created a nation that has lost touch with genuine human empathy, a place where mass shootings are weekly events and politics is shouting.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012(2 comments)
Deranged Angels of Self-Preservation
The new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," envisions a social order overturned by a violent and vengeful rabble, a parody of Occupy Wall Street activists transformed into the villains of this pro-One Percent propaganda film.
Thursday, July 26, 2012(13 comments)
In The Land Of Never Was: The last, desperate hours of Climate Chaos deniers -- and capitalist rah-rahs --
On consideration of the path we are heading down, at exponentially increasing speed, uprising would appear to be an appropriate course of action. If you were embarked on a journey across the high seas and discovered the captain and his officers were all suicidal madmen,then mutiny would be a viable option.The data is in: The oceans of the earth are dying; the very air is bedizened with seeds of fire.
Monday, July 9, 2012(4 comments)
After the Fireworks Have Faded: Intimations of Bosons Among a Cacophony of Bozos
On the day that Independence Day is celebrated in the U.S. arrived confirming evidence of the existence of the Boson Particle, a possible connecting component of matter.
Accordingly, let's make a few connections: The present order has wrought economic tyrannies and inevitable environmental collapse, and is proliferate with the seeds of its own destruction.
Sunday, July 1, 2012(3 comments)
Footlong Hot Dogs of the Apocalypse
Editor's note: Since World War II, America's wealth has sheltered the population from harsh realities that other fellow humans face. But that protection is breaking down, from the greed of the super-rich and the stubborn insistence of many Americans to stay focused on their footlong hot dogs and super-gulp drinks, writes Phil Rockstroh.
Monday, June 11, 2012(3 comments)
In The Name Of My Father, Part Two: In the shadow of the corporate state madhouse
Editor's note: Late-stage capitalism has similarities to an aging billionaire terrified of microscopic germs -- imagine Howard Hughes at the end of his days -- trying to extend life by frenetically worrying about invisible dangers, writes Phil Rockstroh in this reflection on his father's death.
Monday, June 11, 2012(7 comments)
Madness of Late-Stage Capitalism
Late-stage capitalism has similarities to an aging billionaire terrified of microscopic germs -- imagine Howard Hughes at the end of his days -- trying to extend life by frenetically worrying about invisible dangers.
Friday, May 18, 2012(2 comments)
In The Name Of My Father: Requiem and Renewal in the Shadow of Wall Street, in the Light of a Georgia Spring
In the Deep South, the dark hue of my father's Native American skin marked him for abuse by belligerent locals. Although he had been deprived of detailed knowledge of his ancestry, his Comanche blood resisted intimidation. His tormentors wounded him deeply, but they also succeeded in opening deep reservoirs of ancestral rage. My father harbored an abiding animus to bullies--a trait he bequeathed to me by blood & circumstance.
Friday, March 30, 2012(1 comments)
On The Nature Of Self-Defeating Convictions: A missive to an estranged southern friend
Depressingly large numbers of people have invested a great amount of time, energy and identity in the maintenance of their reality-defiant attitudes [regarding capitalism]. There is just too much fragile self-esteem, bulwarked by brittle pride, at stake. While self-doubt is the worthy adversary of the wise, belligerent ignorance is the dubious ally of those who fear and resist self-awareness.
Friday, March 30, 2012(4 comments)
Nature of Self-Defeating Convictions
Such a large number of those whose lives have been degraded by the deprivations of the present economic order will not focus their anger at Wall Street grifters: If capitalism, by the very nature of the system, allows a swindlers' class to not only legally exist -- but to thrive -- then it follows that there must be something flawed about the nature of capitalism itself.
Monday, March 19, 2012(2 comments)
Police State Blues: "Our rights do not end where the caprice of authoritarian bullies begins."
To express indifference or to be an apologist for the quotidian evils of our time is reprehensible. Like the "good Germans" of the 1930s, you might believe your codified hatreds and commodified longings, manifested by the industrial and military power of the state, will deliver and preserve freedom " but these beliefs, maintained by systems of mechanized force, will, in time, come to debase everything you hold dear.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012(1 comments)
On regaining a spirit of defiance: "I'm worried now but I won't be worried long"
In this regard, predictions of doom are not the stuff of dour old men, afflicted with Cassandra complexes, long, unkempt beards flapping, as they hector passersby with gloomy auguries of a rapidly arriving "time of reckoning"--when what they mean is, their libido is waning, and it feels to them like the end of the world...We're talking peer-reviewed scientific inquiry not crank-speak here. These are dangerous circumstances.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012(2 comments)
My Biohazard Valentine: Love, Work, And Dissent In A Time of Hazmat Suits And Political Hypochondria
One does not have to be a monk, artist, poet, mystic or musician to approach their vocation with élan and ebullience; yet one should grant oneself the right to surrender to ardor while engaging in work. To derive meaning and resonance from life demands artful labor -- the awful daring of choosing to give oneself over to responsibility, thus allowing one to occupy one's occupation, heart and soul.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 A Bio-hazard Valentine of Dissent
The powers-that-be would prefer the common folk to accept their fate quietly, even as many are made surplus to the work force and all are facing global warming's coming devastation of the planet. But more and more people are choosing to make noise through messy dissent.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012(7 comments)
A Journey To The End Of Empire: It is always darkest right before it goes completely black
The times have bestowed on us a shuffle to the graveside of our culture, and, we, like members of a New Orleans-style, second line, funeral procession, must allow our hearts to be saturated by sorrowful songs...When the service is complete, the march away from the boneyard should shake the air with the ebullient noise borne of insistent brass.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012(7 comments)
Occupying Libido: Negotiating a landscape of hypocrisy and hungry ghosts
Obama and Romney manage to hide the malevolent, hungry ghost of empire behind a veneer of soul-defying, daylight normalcy. But Newt Gingrich's bloated carcass displays imperium's murderous id. What has become of the diminishing resources of the world? Newt grows ever fatter and more grotesque as he greedily devours these things. What terrible fate befell the U.S. constitution? Newt dry humped it to dust.
Friday, December 16, 2011(15 comments)
Liberating America's Worldview
Occupy Wall Street protesters appealed to the broader U.S. population -- and even the police -- as fellow members of the 99 percent, but many Americans still fear breaking with the oppressive status quo and most police will follow orders in harsh crackdowns.
Friday, December 16, 2011 Dying Empire Bebop: The Sedition Of Ecstatic Novelty
John Coltrane reported that the conception and creation of his timeless masterpiece, "A Love Supreme" ended his addiction to drugs and alcohol. This soul-reviving suite should be made the suggested soundtrack of every drug and alcohol rehab unit in the United States -- if not played on a repeating loop at every gas station, convenience store, and shopping mall on the planet.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011(7 comments)
"By Imbeciles Who Really Mean It": Lost Verities and Dirty Hippies
Because the vast majority of the populace are deemed "losers, due to how the system is rigged, techniques must be created to displace the rage, born of a sense of powerlessness, that grips the system's exploited underlings. OWS is beginning to change the narrative, align it with reality, & that is an alarming development for the 1 percent; hence, the retooled, amped-up propaganda campaign we're seeing signs of at present.
Thursday, December 1, 2011(3 comments)
Amid The Architecture Of Declining Capitalism: Memes, Death Genes And Real Estate Schemes
Memes are ever-replicating, exponentially reproducing, collectively evolving bits of human thoughtware as our bodies are the hardware. If their resonances remain on in the realm of pixels and soundbites, a meme will translate into little more than pop culture ephemera. Memes must be carried by flesh into the non-virtual world; their human carriers might even be peppered sprayed themselves and carted off to jail.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011(6 comments)
"The Degree To Which You Resist Is The Degree To Which You Are Free"
The first vibrations, closer to tremors, transpired because the ground below us has been fracked of dreams " the void engendered seismological activity. Now, from Cairo, Egypt's Tahrir Square to Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece, to Liberty Park, in New York, New York, to Oscar Grant Park in Oakland, California, we have become like tuning forks, in sympatico with the resonances of the tormented earth.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011(3 comments)
The Police State Makes Its Move: Retaining one's humanity in the face of tyranny
When anyone tells you that dead soldiers died for your freedom, it is your duty to occupy reality and inform them of just how mistaken they are. And if you truly cherish the concepts of freedom and liberty, you just might be called on to face mindless arrays of fascist cops and lose your freedom, for a time, going to jail, so others might, at some point, gain their freedom.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011(2 comments)
Dehumanizing Late-Stage Capitalism
As the populace of the corporate/consumer state, we have been induced, by means of small bribes and hyper-authoritarian coercion, to sign a social contract that sells our essential nature on the cheap, i.e., to be defined (hence diminished) as a consumer, a commuter, an employee, a Republican, a Democrat, a member of a demographic group, a cipher, a s
Wednesday, September 21, 2011(1 comments)
"Rome Wasn't Burned In A Day": Replacing Liberal Timidity With Leftist Passion
The inspired, enduring (very threatening to some) art, music and political action of the era [the 1960s] were not the result of liberal accommodation and compromise. Antithetically, the cause of peace and justice (briefly) made some headway despite liberals not because of them
Monday, September 5, 2011(2 comments)
A Labor Day Tale Of Three Cities: Pittsburgh, Birmingham and New Orleans
At present, in cities such as Birmingham and Pittsburgh, the structures, built in the mechanized fury of the Industrial Age, stand idle"decaying around legions of the unemployed and the woefully underpaid and under-compensated. In the oxidized scream of rust, one can almost hear the wails of rage of those souls who surrendered their life force to erect and work the now abandoned factories, mills and foundries of the nation.
Saturday, August 27, 2011(2 comments)
Idiot Wind: The Eternal Return Of The Politics Of The 1970s
The empire is too pervasive and invasive to avoid our being carriers of its proliferate pathologies; this system weaned us and socialized us, and, even when we rebel against it, our actions are generally restricted within limits set by it.
Otherwise, the consequences would be too crushing for most of us to endure: financial ruin, destitution, homelessness.
Friday, August 12, 2011(6 comments)
Life in an Age of Looting: "Some Will Rob You with a Sixgun and Some with a Fountain Pen"
Here's the lowdown: The Wall Street fraudsters of the swindler class want to refill their coffers and line their pockets (that is, offshore accounts) with Social Security and Medicare funds. That's the nature of the unfolding scam, folks. Oligarchic rule has always been a system defined by legalized looting that leaves a wasteland of want, deprivation, and unfocused rage in its wake.
Thursday, August 4, 2011(2 comments)
"We Would Rather Die In Our Dread"
The so-called "debt crisis" involved a similar dance of deceit and distraction. As was the case, early into the Obama presidency, with the healthcare "debate," the deal was struck before the faux rancorous music began. The fix was in. The moneyed class works the system and those without power and influence get worked over.
Monday, June 13, 2011(4 comments)
On "The Issue Of Character" And Empire
How many times do the prigs, ninnies, and scolds of the U.S. have to repeat this sort of inanity before they grow up and realize that human beings have strong libidos? Libido propels both creativity and contretemps, and it is wise to aver that "the issue of character" should best be evoked and debated, as a general rule, when the situation involves hypocrisy.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011(6 comments)
Leaving a Church of Free-Market Miracles
It is a common (unspoken) fear of the men I grew up around down south that if they were to let go of what little they clutch, nothing would arrive to replace what would be lost.
There will be no place reserved for them and their families in the new situations and novel arrangements that (by their addled take on the situation) elitist environmentalist snobs contrive to force upon them.