Sacrilicious!

Today we celebrate High Holy Zombie Day with a marathon of season one of The Walking Dead.

As well as zombie themed foods:

Cocktail wieners aka toes in a variety of red sauces

Liver pate with toasted pita corners

Ham aka Long Pork

and potato & egg salad to remind us of the season of rebirth.

Plus whatever goodies the guests will have imagined – I understand that there is a grave cake in the plan.

No other holiday reminds us of dead and rebirth like spring holidays and christianity has done much to promote zombie culture by centring their entire faith around a cosmic zombie.

In any case, the season of the earth’s rebirth does remind one that without death, there is no rebirth. There is no life without death.

To live, one must eat, which means something else has to die. Nature is red in tooth and claw, and no matter what Captain Kirk said, we cannot chose to not kill…toDAY.

But, unlike zombies, we don’t have to mindlessly consume, we can chose what we kill and eat today.

Zombies and vampires hold much fascination for for because we are obsessed with death – zombies represent our fear of decay and corruption and vampires used to represent cold and impersonal predation, but since the 1970’s , vampires became sexual predators, which, for unclear reasons, was sexier and funnier than plain murdering predators.

In any event, vampires used to represent predatory killers who transitioned into predatory lovers into a “just happen to be dead” regular lover – the attractive scoundrels who can’t hold a day job – in modern supernatural romance to the castrated angsty teens of the Twilight series.

Sleep all day and party all night was the cry of the Lost Boys in the 1980s, but the Twilight gang and others directed at the teen market is plain mopey and whiney – clearly a result of the “Just say no” anti-drug and anti-sex campaigns, because, seriously, bite her already.

Zombies remained our fears of decay, of loss of choice, loss of intellect, demented, base survival drives while vampires became increasingly sexy and exotic, a promise of a better afterlife – eternal life in the here and now, with familiar surroundings.

Probably, the longer we are able to increase our own lifespans, so did vampires become attractive, and with most of us primed with liquid meal replacements, the idea of a life on an all liquid diet, seems less difficult to imagine.

Zombies are undergoing a huge cultural re-imaging. No longer the shuffling, body parts dropping off while murmuring “brains!”.

With movies like Fido and Shaun of the Dead – we have seen a new role for zombies – tamed servants with control collars, our base drives controlled for our entertainment and convenience.

So this holiday weekend allows us to use the dead for all our psychologically comforting needs – be it savior, servant or lover – there’s a dead body out there to provide meaning for you.

Freedom of speech and religion

How to stop tolerating cults and remain within the freedom of speech provisions of secular law is easy:  public health and safety trumps freedom of speech, movement and association.

It’s why there’s prisons to remove dangerous people from society,  it’s why you can’t scream fire in crowded spaces, and it’s why children are removed from bad parents.

Safety trumps speech.

Not tolerating cults is a public health and safety issue – both in terms of mental and physical safety. The trick is that most people think of Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate when they think cults – when really, a cult is any group that provides a framework to understand the world that is outside of reality.

We understand cults as the small amateur, new group on the block and religion when the cult has longevity and many members, basically, religions are cults that have gone professional.

Every religion, no matter how big or small or short or long the history, is a cult.

Every one promotes a separation of it’s members from the mainstream, a non-reality based framework to view the world and to impose upon the world, defines gender roles and morality – well, nothing that’s actually moral, just a simplistic framework that is largely about blindly worshiping authority and subjecting oneself to corporal punishment more often than not. Plenty of self denial for the rank and file, while the rules, especially about sex, does not apply to the elite.

This is why mainstream religions seek to control public school education.

Public schools already promote understanding the world in a non-religious framework that’s why religious groups are demanding equal time but that would mean cutting all the classes in half which wouldn’t be acceptable because it’s too obvious but also too much work.  Instead, selecting for the biggest wedge – the biology subset of science – after all, they don’t insist gravity is just a theory because they don’t want to say it’s their god who sucks.

Religion seeks to wedge in to gain some sciency credentials and cause doubt, which is easy since most people are lazy thinkers and it’s easier when you park your brain and let other people think for you.

Public health and safety is threatened by religion – religions who are against blood transfusions, who take up snake handling, who undermine science education so that porn stars turned actresses can blame vaccines for their kid’s problems instead of on their genetics.

Religion, who claims the dead can rise and leave impressions on rags, centuries after the alleged death.

happy zombie weekend.

We’re BBQing ribs and watching season one of the Walking Dead to celebrate.

Because that TV show, based on a comic book, teaches very good values of what it means to be a Mensch. More than any other book with stories about this holiday weekend.

Atheism is to religion as rehab is to addiction

The discussions that I have been having over the years with believers have recently crystallized for me in a way that wasn’t possible without the internet interactions.

The total gloves off intense arguing brings out the heart of the issues in a way that in person politer conversations never will. Because on the internet, we don’t worry about the consequences of what we say on the other person – and that lowers the inhibitions enough that we also don’t worry about the consequence of what we are saying.

When I read the same false beliefs about atheism over and over, the truth of the godbots position reveals itself.

Godbots characterize atheism as being another religion that fails to provide all the comfortable things that their religion affords them – a social structure, a set of morals and stories to reinforce the morals (and that the morals are dubious at best isn’t the point, the point is that the morals are provided), a simple explanation of why the world is as it is, a hierarchy of authority and a promise of better times ahead as long as you accept crappy times now. But, only if you behave.

That the morals in the bible are not consistent with what the believers say they are – the bible god is after all a dictator of the most paranoid and petty and genocidal meaning of the word dictator, Jesus was an anti-birth family hippie who was against the establishments and, more likely gay given the intense mother fixation and the constantly surrounded by male flunkies who catered to him so was into chosen family – and the stories in the bible, despite being set in locations that were real and occasionally included a person who was real, the stories in the bible do not align with the history of the known people.

King Herod was dead before the alleged birth of Christ, so could not have ordered children slaughtered to get rid of future competition, plus Herod was concerned with his own sons taking his place, not children born of peasants. Nazareth was a Roman village founded in a later century – and the record keeping Romans had no record of any Jesus character – and if Jesus was all that, no records of him in any contemporary to the times account would be the same as if Elvis had never been written about or photographed, despite all the girls going to his concerts and buying his records.

Atheism has none of that. There is no comfort in atheism, it does not explain the world or provide a moral guide. Atheism is simply without belief. It is the absence of religion with no replacement.

Atheism is to religion as rehab is to addiction.

Only when you stand outside of religion, can you begin to see the real damage that religion has brought – because it is damaging in the same way that the family alcoholic is damaging, generations down the line even.

The damage of religion ranges from the obvious – religiously motivated terrorism such as 9/11, suicide bombers including abortion clinic bombers to the more subtle – retarding social and scientific progress such as the application of human rights to include everyone as the law states but is currently practices as being applied to include only those who are socially acceptable to the religious mainstream.

But the more insidious secular apologists who package information or withhold information because it would incite religious sensibilities – and not just refraining from doing editorial cartoons but actual suppression of scientifically gathered information.

Because of the religion position on homosexuality, that there has been over 1000 species observed engaging in homosexual behaviours, from sex to parenting, this information is not reported or if reported then shared by biologists.

It’s the same impulse that makes police officers not talk about how the war on drugs is a failure until after they retire, or that only retired US generals support the end of don’t ask, don’t tell.

People will not stand up to say that homosexuality is natural and not an issue while there would be career consequences for doing so. People will not stand up and say that the efforts to curb drug use are only serving to ensure more drug use and worse drugs, because of a religiously motivated anti-drug position.

Religion seeks to stamp out drugs, because drugs are a competitor for people’s minds – plus their time and money. People on drugs often interpreted their experience as spiritual, which means that they don’t need religion to guide them spiritually, they just need some good weed and a free afternoon.

After all, many religions got started through use of psychedelics – it’s why they were reserved for shaman or medicine man use only and not for common people. If everyone used, then everyone is their own shaman and the shaman would have to actually do some work to support themselves, instead of being able to trip and be supported by everyone else in the tribe.

Atheism is the safeword that to ends the SMDB spiritual kinkiness that is religion. Atheism ends the misery of trying to live up to an expectation of behaviour that is impossible when everything that is human nature is deemed to be a sin.

Atheism is less work than religion, because there are no stories that are inconsistent with each other or history, no moral system that doesn’t allow for conflict between morals or allow for variables in the life situations, which often are choosing between one bad action or outcome and mitigating the loss as best as one can. Atheism means you get to be human, to make mistakes and learn from them without punishing you eternally for the mistake in the first place.

The downside of atheism and I understand that this is the heart of what scares the believers is that it means that you are on your own. Everything is down to or up to you.

You decide what’s important to you, what’s moral to you, what meaning life has to you.

It means that you put away childish things like parents who decide for you and protect you and reward you when you’re good. It means that you are the grown up – and if you are an adult, especially an adult who has chosen to have children – you don’t get to continue in a childlike state have had an invisible daddy looking over your shoulder and giving you directions and looking out for you.

It means you have to not only be the adult in charge of the child or children, but you have to be the grown up for yourself as well.

Atheism is to reject religion doing the thinking for you and doing and thinking for yourself.

We are all atheists when we are born – we are exposed to religion in our families to varying degrees and by society.

When we look to our society, there is plainly a wide range of religions available – that there are so many and that they can be traced to geographic regions and traced back through history to see a pattern that religion spreads with people in the same way that rats spread the fleas that caused bubonic plague outbreaks along trade routes.

Religion is a human invention, a framework that we once used to explain the world around us – why the sun rose, why the seasons changed, why things happened or didn’t, why why why.

But everything that used to be explained as happy or unhappy gods are now understood because of a natural framework for understanding the world – science – has explained earth orbits the sun, this causes day and night, seasons, we know what causes earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes and we know that throwing virgins into volcanoes is a waste of perfectly good virgins.

The gaps in the knowledge of humans is getting smaller, and while we don’t know everything, there is no reason to continue to fill the gaps and cracks with god – the god of the gaps is plaster we don’t need. It’s not a meaningful placeholder, and a placeholder god is.

That god is being made into a gap filling place holder shows just how small and meaningless and useless god is, growing smaller as the gaps narrow.

There are people trying to make god big again, to make god relevant, but that bananas fit the human hand just brings to mind our relationship to monkeys, and the reality is that bananas did not grow where humans originated – Africa.

Further, if that the banana fits our hand proves a design, what then does it say that pineapples don’t fit and many things that we eat don’t fit or that they aren’t fit to eat until cooked? Cooking isn’t natural. We had to develop science and technology before we got to be able to cook foods and take advantage of more resources, freeing up time for non food gathering for the development of technology and culture.

Human brains seek patterns to understand the world, and just because we aren’t sure where the patterns originated, doesn’t mean that we need to add magical or lazy thinking into the mix until we do understand.

Science is a process to uncover answers and build understanding – it is not an answer – it is questioning until we can be satisfied on the balance of information – and when new information comes to light, it can change.

Religion cannot incorporate new ideas and information – not easily and not unless there is some power advantage. This is why there are so many kinds of religion – Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church over the corruption and the Lutheran religion was born.

People who cannot find power within the religious structures in existence, create new religions – John Smith and L. Ron Hubbard most recently – and as the origin of a religion is lost over time – somehow the religion is given a veneer of credibility for sheer staying power – but the basis for religions are all the same – it was the easiest path to power and riches than doing actual work.

Although, it is hard work trying to keep people from noticing what a failure the religion is – which is why religion spreads by fear – people who are afraid are less likely to ask questions and people will tend to fill in gaps to make it make sense for them.

It’s the same process by which people get swindled or kidnapped by people who wish to do them harm. We are accustomed to not questioning what we are told.

Human predators know this and they use our dreams and our desire for those dreams or our good nature against us.

How many times are people lured by vague promises of a person with a camera claiming to be a talent scout – just get into my van and I’ll take you to my studio and get your photo out there and you’ll be famous. Technically true, your picture tends to be in the paper under missing persons until your body is found and your image is alongside other images of other missing women or children. Human predators will tell you anything you want to hear to separate you from everyone else so they can have you alone and vulnerable.

Religion works in the same way – it promises that you’ll be an accepted member of a group – which means excluding people membership to make said membership meaningful – after all, if anyone can join, why join at all?

Religion promises that you’ll be rewarded in the afterlife, as long as you are obedient now – don’t overthrow the power structure, don’t complain about being poor – after all, it’s harder for the poor rich people to get into heaven than poor people so you should be glad to be poor you lucky thing getting into heaven – and you aren’t supposed to wonder why then do all the religious leaders amass personal wealth?

Religion promises that the wicked will be punished so you have to forgive people who trespass against you because they will get their eventually, but there’s also ensuring that everything that is basic to human nature is a trespass against god, so each believer is too scared to stand up for themselves because they don’t want their own trespasses to be noticed.

So, it’s not that big a deal though when you’re caught trespassing against your wife with a younger man as long as you repent later – so why then does it matter what you do, as long as you’re sorry after the fact?

This is why the so called morals of religion aren’t at all moral – it’s not guiding you to not do a thing, it’s about making sure everything you do is something you have to repent for. Simpler then to decide what’s moral and live within your morals than anything goes as long as you’re sorry later – or sorry all the time, since you don’t know when you might die and not have time for a deathbed conversion or repentance.

Religion creates a climate of fear, even for those who are not participants. This takes us back to biologists who don’t talk about what they have observed in the field because of the religious public backlash, which expresses itself in the voting booth in politicians who have no qualm about cutting funding to programs in areas they religiously object to and don’t understand.

This takes us to archeologists who appease the religions by making references to the 1st century CE as “when Jesus walked”, when there is nothing to support that idea, and in fact, that the evidence that we have, indicates that there was no Jesus.

Aside: Common Era (CE) and Before Common Era (BCE) are not substitutions for the traditional BC and AD – they are a wholesale replacement which changed the framework for understanding time. The reason that the numbers do not change and have the appearance of being the same measure since they date to the same century is that there is little to be gain by undertaking another global calendar change like the Gregorian-Julian switch – there is a cost that we can use in better things than remaking the whole system – a calendar system which used Norse gods to name the days and other pagan faiths for naming months and so forth.

Especially since the Jesus story is clearly a rehash of Osiris, Lazarus and other earlier religious characters with virgin moms, and a birth light show and smart guys and who later challenged the authorities, was betrayed by a flunky and later killed and rose from the grave to inspire the faithful. A “fact” pattern that fits the Elvis Presley Story too. If not virginal, Gladys has attained a certain sainted status in Elvisworld.

What the Romans were best at was keeping their god pantheon flexible – they didn’t get too attached to their gods, so that when they conquered another nation, they could more easily assimilate the new people by pointing out that each worshipped the same gods, just called by different names.

This is what inter-faith committees assert today- that it’s all the same one god, worshipped in different ways –  if all the gods are the same and the method of worship doesn’t matter – which is inconsistent with the internal religion that you must worship a particular way to be rewarded by said god – so, god can’t matter either then. If one is the same as any other and one worship method is good as any other, then none of them matter.

So why bother with any god?

Melting Pots and Mosaics

I have never understood why republicans take Jesus as their moral guide and life coach – and why him above and beyond why anyone would look to something external to not only themselves, but also to something far removed from their own life experiences and the context that that experience arises from (ie, why look to bronze age people for moral guidance when the bronze age is far removed from the information age when even the Industrial Age’s work week doesn’t work for us anymore –  given that Jesus wouldn’t have joined the republican or any power party
and his idea of family values was to abandon the birth family and join with him and his followers as your family.

Very Manson-y and culty when you think about it. Very. Maybe more Heaven’s Gatey than Mansony, but still creepy.

Jesus was also quite vain: remember the slave-woman who poured expensive oil all over Jesus’ feet, instead of donating that money to the poor? Even Jesus followers thought that excessive. But not the vainglorious Jesus, who reveled in the attention…

Ever think about how hard it must have been for Joesph to step parent Jesus? How could he possibly respond to Jesus’ teenage angst – you’re not my real father!

Seriously, it begins to make sense why men generally don’t date single women with kids – they would never have the father authority over the household and live in constant fear of being found lacking and less than the absentee father, built up in the children’s minds to sainted status – an unresolvable dilemma, for if the father was all that was good – however the child has defined good –  what then does it say about the child, left behind?

It seems that the most devoted followers of a thing are in opposition to what the thing/person actually stands for. Lincoln was a republican party member – he signed off on the laws to free the slaves to economically attack the South’s labour pool in hopes of recruiting the slaves to fight against the white Southerns from inside the system.

Ending slavery turned out to be good for actually moral reasons and the idea had such popularity, that eventually, people believed it was the moral reason and not the practical war tactics reasons of why the slaves were freed – because it let people collectively feel better about themselves – but, the lack of truth to the matter is what keeps the US society from moving beyond that dynamic – and now the sides are entrenches in a perpetual and childish battle of “you hurt me” on one side to “i already said I was sorry and look what I did to make it up to you and you’re ungrateful” back to “I didn’t ask to come here and that you started to treat me halfway decent when it was in your interest doesn’t make up for it” and back and forth like bickering children or a couple who stays together for the fight, rather than for love or the children.

But the slavery issue is more complex – the original slaves in the US were from the UK, and were referred to as indentured servants – indentured servants had two problems – first, they were time limited as it was servitude to repay a debt, so the servitude had a time limit on it – and second, since they were also Caucasian, when they escaped – they were not easy to recover, because they could blend into the free population.

So the simple version was that the US then looked to Africa for easily identifiable slaves and the real story is a lot more complicated – the US and UK certainly bought people in Africa and imported them to various spots in the world to use as slaves – but they weren’t the ones rounding up the young men and women – that was largely the tribal leaders, dictators who sought to disrupt the natural order of their society by eliminating those who most threatened and would agitate against the dictator’s continued dictatorship.

So, in one very important sense, the people who were rounded up to be slaves elsewhere, were pretty much slaves at home. There was no option in the society they were taken from, they just didn’t have a basis for comparison or it didn’t feel like slavery when it was just the tribal structure and the stone age existence was normal.

In the sense of awareness, they weren’t slaves until they were in the US and didn’t get to live like everyone else – since everyone else didn’t live the same way.

The tribal structure of chief and everyone else was simple and understandable – everyone knew their place in the pack.

But, in the US, there are so many social strata, that the unequal distribution of privileged and wealth was suddenly noticeable between the haves, have some, and have nots.

Slavery in a sense, was the banishment from choice and options – the very foundation of the USA. Sad and appalling is the return to basics that the Republicans now define that banishment of choice to be the hallmark of a real American – my country right or wrong, god first, nation second – you have free will, but only if you don’t use it – as if by using it, you run out or leave less for everyone else.

So, the republican journey, which essentially began as ending slavery and saying that personal freedom and choice matters, is now entrenched in the original position of making people into slaves, clockwork orange teabaggers – patriotism is the political version of the religious zealot – and more as dangerous, since it has access to government power by definition. Whereas, religious zealots are government power in theocracies, but in democracies, can only indirectly access government power by voting blocks and lobby groups, but more often remain small and self solving like Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate.

Democrats, who were hardly the party for slavery, moved to copy the republican tactics of increasing rights by running with that, albeit slowly and only when absolutely forced to by the courts or the threat of their social change oriented voting base to stay home and not vote – in fact, to keep their base, the Democrats have to also slow the inevitable social changes – otherwise, if they push for total equality, then the prize bag is empty and they won’t have any promises left to offer in exchange for votes.

As long as the US is mired in a two party system, they will be forever fighting the civil war of who has rights and who does not – over and over until all the subcultures and groups that should have rights, finally do.

So, if America wants to move out of a perpetual teenage angst state  they need to have more than two parties, enforce the laws that are in place – everyone equal under the law with equal access and treatment – that means gay people on par with straight people – in legal reality, because in social fact follows the legal reality.

Which hasn’t worked for ethnic minorities because, the battle of who gets rights, who gets choice is still being fought – women are not socially equal to men when men continue to try to control women’s bodies by characterising women who have sex as sluts and then punishing them by withholding abortion services.

Ethnic minorities are not socially equal to the dominate white culture as long as neither side can move beyond the sense of being imported or voluntary immigrants – they simply are not assimilating because the melting pot is not a viable metaphor – but the idea of a mosaic quilt – of adding your distinctness and having it value added like Canada’s metaphor is – rather than being distilled to the lowest common denominator that melting results in.

To the US, you are at a crossroads where continually fighting the past is not serving the nation into the future – Obama represented a global hope that the US would fulfill it’s intial promise to be the light of human rights – for in Obama, you have a president of both sides – half white and half black – but even then – the US public debate fails to recognize the reality of what he is and what he represented.

It’s no wonder the presidents turn grey and age 20 years a term – the idea of finally getting to be was is globally acknowledged as the most powerful person on the planet and the biggest task is babysitting people who continue to fight battles that are already forgone conclusions.

We the People spoke, and we the people said, let there be rights.

Game Changers

I have been involved in an authentic discussion on an internet forum – I know sounds impossible, but it’s true. The entire discussion is here. It starts off as a normal theist/atheist debate – well, as a grown up one for the most part – but then Ben and I enter into a very intense discussion where we are using the same language to describe ever slightly different things.

During this discussion, I was for the first time ever, able to article a though about the origins of the universe as perpetual existence, in which creation and armageddon – creation and destruction are balanced.

The short version is that everything is energy, and a lower magnitude order of energy is matter – black holes pull everything in and compress the energy and white hole explode that compressed energy out and is the conduit for creation.

All the dark energy and dark matter is that which exists in potential or unrealized realities in our universe – every universe is telling every possible story that there is be to told, and it’s our collective and individual choices that direct the story from potentially being told to what is actually told.

In this way, the future is bright and everything could potentially happen – but our nature (aka genetics) give us our potential and our nurture (experience of other people) gives us our limitations within that potential.

Every now and then, a person can break through the limitations and potential and exceed it – these are the people who are the social game changers – they push the rest us off onto a slightly different trajectory than we would have, had that person not changed the game.

I digress for a moment and say that the first time I wrote a letter to the editor of my local daily paper was back in the 1980’s. A letter was published that said, in effect, we shouldn’t make a fuss over Elvis Presley, because he was just a human and a singer and he didn’t impact history.

The letter that I wrote responded with: Elvis was a human in the same way that Hitler or JFK were just humans. Elvis changed the culture and thus did change history and who else did the letter writer think could change human history – snails?

Nearly thirty years later and now with the blog – the biggest unedited letter to the editor opportunity since it lacks an editor, I expand on that simple outraged thought:

Game changers can be a representative force for good or evil, but either way, they represent a collective choice to change direction. When we talk about game changers, it is usually in terms of that they changed the course of history – as if history was on a set course, instead of plodding forward from the last game changer until someone does something and we all get behind the new direction.

Game changers can be in any arena but their impact is far sweeping and often, unable to be directly connected back, so profound are the changes they bring. Because what a game changer does, is act as a focal point for a collecgive existential crisis. They represent an extreme of a value that as a society, we’re all over the map is – game changers polarize the population, until the value crisis is resolved.

Hitler was a crisis of orderliness – all the mechanisms of society ran like clockwork under Hitler – he standardized railway lines, he increased employment and restored a proud identity – and the world could have gotten behind his family values even for he demanded the arts reflect purity in mind and representation – he was trained in architectural paintings – and his paintings where technically well made – they just didn’t have any purity of heart or imagine in them – and this is where they fell flat.

This is also where Hitler fell flat, for his goals were not to restore a sense of order, but rather to marshal forces for a purification – a genocide of everyone deemed lesser than.

The world could not get behind this, for, everyone is lesser than someone else – Hitler was nothing short of total annihilation of human kind – the diversity of humans is our strength – adaptability – if Hitler had succeeded, he would have had to turn on his own Austrians as falling short of the ideal – tall blond and blue eyes.

It also didn’t seem to register on the nazis, that the countries with the highest concentrations of tall, blond and blue eyed people – Holland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden – wanted nothing to do with his ideas. And, if they could have had any understanding of genetics – these northern Aryans were descended from the original Aryans, who started in India. The paler features being merely acclimated traits to the colder and less sunny climate in the north.

Of course, my favorite game changer is Elvis Presley – and I put him in comparison to Hitler because Hitler was intentionally trying to remake the world in a specific manner – whereas, Elvis was a game changer in a wholly organic and unintentional way.

Elvis Presley grew up in the poorest circumstances possible for a white person – the American South. His father is often referred to as a sharecropper, but that is a gross exaggeration, since Vernon was in fact a layabout who drifted from job to job without a thought to the legality of the job and he ended up for a short time in one of the harshest prisons of the south for altering a cheque – a small fraud of less than ten dollars.

Elvis was probably more scarred by the authorities removing his father than the poverty he grew up with, because the poverty was an experience that everyone he knew was having, so it was normal. This prison stint is likely why Elvis had something of a fetish for the symbols of authority – badges, uniforms and guns – because authority meant power.

Elvis wanted to sing and entertain people and he wanted to make enough money to support his parents, whom he referred to as his babies.

Elvis the game changer response to Hitler.

Hitler represented purity and order. Purity in behaviour, in body and mind, and purity of person – when purity ideas combine in religion and politics, ethnic cleansing is sure to follow.

Elvis represented everything impure about people – but impure in the fun and untamed sense – in him, the impurities were express through music, a joyful celebration of all that is earthy and basic drives for sex, food, colour, excess, vulgar but  an uplifting vulgar, a joyful vulgar. Elvis was the embodiment of racial equality, the unadulterated public sex, for Elvis didn’t just wiggle, Elvis fucked us all – the performance style of the fifties was exaggerated sexual movements and the represses teens threw off the social chastity belts and screamed and writhed and fucked back.

No performer would ever stand still to sing again until Sade in the 1980s, who made stillness her rebellion against the over choreographed performances that came after Elvis, reaching their penultimate in Madonna and Micheal Jackson.

Sadly, by which time, the audiences were once again used to carefully controlled performances and techno music, rather than the joyous and raw and authentic emotional release of the short explosion that the rockabilly, before it became the more mainstream and tame rock n roll.

John Lennon once said that Elvis died when he went into the army, but I think Lennon was being kind – Elvis the game changer died when his contract was sold to RCA and Elvis was no longer in partnership with Sam Phillips, who got the best of Elvis, Scotty and Bill – and Elvis, allowed himself to be led by Col. Parker, who took careful steps to separate Elvis from Scotty and Bill and turned Elvis away from the pure sexual art path and into a groomed commercial product.

We would not see Sun Elvis again, until 1968, when leather clad and running with sweat, Elvis again connected to his sexual power and made love to us all and then ended, white and powder dry, pouring out his soul, with If I Can Dream.

Please let that dream come true, indeed.

Hitler is the template for all that we should avoid in a political leader – one who dictates the party message, closes the field to differing opinions and especially prevents the development of future party leaders, seeks to control the role of women in society, controls eduction, focuses on families only and characters non-conformity as deviant – and in particular sexual deviance from the norm, scapegoats sub-cultures as being the cause of society problems and inequity, when it is the demand to conformity and purity that invents and is the basis for the inequity that sub-cultures and ethnic minorities are subjected to discrimination upon.

Elvis is the template to oppose these puritanical political-religious leaders – and he arose unforeseen from the ashes of the US South to challenge the social status set in motion by Senator McCarthy – a man not very distinguishable from Hitler at all in any meaningful sense, except that he did not achieve the degree of absolute power that Hitler had, McCarthy was limited to influence through threat and scare tactics.

Elvis equalized the the dominate white with the subculture of black, he was religiously zealous and worshiped authority and his 1950’s concerts should be viewed as southern revival gatherings. But Elvis never recognized himself as having any authority or power and thus it tempered his impact – for if Elvis had retained control of his artistic career, we well may have been pushed too fast, too far, beyond what we were collectively able to manage – so, Elvis, had to be not only tamed, but sacrificed.

Elvis himself, spent his life in a state of bewilderment, why him, of all people, was he Elvis Presley? To grow up so poor and then on the cusp of adulthood, become the most famous and controversial performer and the lighting rod for debate about public morals.

No one could have been prepared for the kind of existential crisis that would cause for a boy who was the first of either family side to complete high school, who aspired to the middle class American dream, to be entertaining people in a way that was no different to him than the churches he was raised in – Elvis brought what was his sense of normal onto the rest of us. Egalitarian and earthy, of the flesh and pure in spirit.

Elvis was the joy of living to the fullest, despite all hardships and setbacks, because you can’t know how long you will have life or how long a good stretch of life will last.

This is why Elvis was receptive to the message that he was a flash in the pan and he should get while the getting was good. Elvis, like everyone else, didn’t expect to last.

So, he listened to what Parker and the studios told him, they had the experience and were the experts – and he listened until he couldn’t anymore – then he would take control. When he did, no one could stand before him.

Sadly, this is in the purest sense, the SUN recordings and the 1968 tv special. Everything else was Elvis tamed and controlled, but still, Elvis working within constraints and Elvis phoning it in, was more often than not, better than most other people’s most authentic efforts.

And nothing that pure and gold could last. Elvis left the building of his own accord.