Author Archive | James Curcio

Wrangling The Giant Vampire Squid

VampireSquidMatt Taibbi has been waiting to watch Goldman Sachs executives go to jail for a while–at least since 2009 when he called Goldman the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Released today, the latest installment of Taibbi’s manifesto against all things Goldman sets up a pretty simple proposition based on the recently released 650-page report from Senator Carl Levin’s Subcommittee on Investigations, detailing the collapse of the American financial system. Taibbi wastes no time with whodunnit paragraphs, instead setting the smoking gun on the doorstep of the Department of Justice. Like a rewriting of the Senate investigator’s above quote, Taibbi declares, “Everything’s fucked up, and it’s time for Goldman Sachs to go to jail. You don’t even have to investigate because the Senate did it for you. Just issue those subpoenas.” (The Atlantic Wire)

Apparently the vampire squid also has an appetite for metal.… Read the rest

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Mythology of Business Part 1: The Veil of Ignorance

shell.jpgThis is part 1 of an excerpted series for Reality Sandwich from the anthology The Immanence of Myth published by Weaponized.

Myth’s central importance does not end with our art or religions. It is not solely a dusty world of broken clay pots and tablets written in dead languages. Our myths determine how we engage with the world, how we enter into it. How we treat ourselves and one another. Far from being archaic relics of the past, myths will determine our future. Even if we are unaware of them, they will continue to affect us.

The advertising used to disseminate films, books and music shows the profound value that mythology has within modern markets. You just need to know what you’re looking for. However, it does not end with the entertainment industry. A brand, any brand in an increasingly interactive media environment, is myth.

This role is made all the more pervasive thanks to the proliferation of instantaneous and virtually limitless communication mediums.… Read the rest

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Who Rules America? Breaking Down the Top 1%

Here's an excerpt from an article by G. William Domhoff on Global Research. This may not exactly be news to some of us, but it certainly re-affirms a lot:
...the bottom line is this: A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.
(Full Article Here)
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The Myth of Work Vs. The Reality of Abuse

ProductionVia Modern Mythology: In the wake of yet another collosal political and social disappointment, I'd like to touch on an issue which, frankly, could be the topic of a book. And it's a book that, if it hasn't been written already, should be written. It needs to be written, and more importantly, it needs to be talked about. Every culture has myths about work. What is acceptable for an employee or employer, what the nature of that relationship should be. It is in the benefit of the employer to have myths throughout the workforce that tie their very identity and sense of self worth into how well they meet that employers demands, and if there aren't forces in place, either enforced through government oversight or the unionization of the workers in some configuration, these myths can run rampant. There is, after all, a word in Japanese for working one's self to death. (They also apparently have a word for eating one's self to ruin. But that's another story.)
(Matt Damon speaks out on the importance of teachers):
This process is not inherently good or bad. As I said in the chapter on initiation in The Immanence of Myth, the prescriptive nature of indoctrination may sound ominous, but many of us know what humans become when left to be feral creatures. They can hardly be called human, at all. However, this process can still break down in any number of ways...
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Goodbye Space Shuttle

Space ShuttleVia Modern Mythology:

Many of you know by now that the US space program, though not ended in its entirety, has been demonstrably downgraded, and now faces an uncertain privatized future.

This isn’t new, the dismantling of the shuttle program is just the external proof of something that has long been in the works: the continued ideology of privatization at work.

I was saddened by this news, but not so much because of the mothballing of a program that is admittedly mired in many ways in an abandoned past.

No. It further shows that our government either doesn’t understand the nature of the scientific endeavor, or more likely, simply doesn’t care. Short term profit has completely overtaken American mythology in the past few decades, and it is leading us into a death spiral from which there may be no escape until we reach the other side of the vortex.… Read the rest

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Elves of the Apocalypse: “Machine Elves” and the Self-Sabotage of Psychedelic Research

Machine ElfBeware the “clockwork [sic] elves” who control the global elite promising them “eternal life, total power, total control, everything you could ever want, just kill everyone […] friendly little guys…” Via Modern Mythology:

Right. Most if not all mythologies include creatures resembling elves. Therefore the archetypal image must be based upon encounters with the Machine … Er … Clockwork Elves. As with all paranoid logic, this argument is easily felled by Occam’s Razor, which advocates that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity,” in short, that the “simplest answer is most likely the correct one.” It is much more plausible to propose that the entities encountered during the DMT-experience could very well bear some measure of resemblance to elves (elongated and angular shapes are common); that one comes to think “if they look like elves, they are elves” at least makes sense!

THERE ARE NO FUCKING MACHINE ELVES!

To be fair, Alex didn’t make this shit up.… Read the rest

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The Weather Underground and Ronald Stark

From Modern Mythology:

Named after that line from a Dylan tune, (“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”) the Weather Underground were a “radical left” organization that seemed to use white guilt to crystallize the need for revolution. Not so much on the methodology, but culturally, the forces that created the WUO couldn’t have been far from our minds when dreaming up the fictional side to the Mother Hive Brain.

Here is a rather good documentary on the Weather Men which is available free online. Watch the whole documentary on YouTube, it’s also available on Netflix On-Demand.

Skilluminati Research has an excellent write up on a figure that had connection with this organization, using more methods sanctioned by the need to counter fascist order with blind chaos, Ronald Stark :

“He had a mission, he explained, to use LSD in order to facilitate the overthrow of the political systems of both the capitalist West and communist East by inducing altered states of consciousness in millions of people.

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The Werewolf Kung Fu Master

sukong-209x300From Human Marvels:

Sometimes a story comes along that contains so many fanciful elements one must assume that it is the work of fiction. Such is the story of Su Kong Tai Djin.

Tai Djin was born in China in 1849. He was born unique, afflicted with hypertrichosis. Unlike Jo-Jo, who would be born a few decades later, Tai Djin was born into a highly superstitious family. As A result they saw his affliction as the work of demons and he was left in the forest to die.

A Shaolin monk traveling through the forest discovered the child and took him back to the Fukien Shaolin Temple. There Tai Djin was raised by the monks.

He was trained in martial arts and it quickly became apparent that he was exceptional in both appearance and ability.

Perhaps the most amazing part of that much the story is true. Su Kong Tai Djin was a real man, he really did have hypertrichosis and he was associated with Shaolin.

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Osama Bin Laden: Myths of Villainy and Deceit

DestroCommentary on the subject of the week, on Modern Mythology:

This is how it works with terrorism, by definition. Our own psychology works against us. Fear, a popular tool of the Bush administration, was used to do a real disservice to their own “war on terror” by painting the picture of this guy hanging out in his underground bunker with Destro, Cobra Commander, and The Joker. (That is should they ever hope to win a “war on terror” — I assume they actually intend to “win” as much as the “war on drugs” could ever be won, as we meanwhile prop up the regimes that supply the materials).

Recent reports say Osama didn’t have a gun. But that’s almost beside the point, since the deed is done and it’s not likely we’re going to be seeing criminal investigations in the assassination of a figure like Osama Bin Laden. In the end he did share at least one thing in common with Saddam Hussein — both of them were tools for US interests for a time, and unlike puppet dictators, these used their own horrific means to their own ends and thus ‘had to be stopped.’ But in a National sense, maybe in an international sense, the blood is on all our hands, and it has been for a long time.

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