shite supreme

You know what your problem is? I’ll tell you.

You’re against the psychopaths at the top,  their ostentatious topiary and landing-strip-long yachts and silly cotillions and Royal Ascot hats… but you’d rather have a finger broken than attend a WWE, or NASCAR, or Blake Shelton event. Bon Jovi’s greatest hits aren’t even a guilty pleasure for you,  they are Kryptonite,  they are anathema,  and so are Taylor Swift, Kanye, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, anything to do with the Kardashians,  TMZ,  Ru Paul’s Drag Race, the pledge of allegiance, Fifty Shades of Grey, Baptist Mega Churches, et al: ugh. 

The blatant but far-from-often-enough-remarked-upon joke of Life is that the awful, kitschy, idiotic and literal-minded tastes of the Ruling Classes (“Put more gold on it! Make it bigger!”)  are a mirror image of the tastes of the so-called Under Class (“Make it bigger! Put more gold on it!”)… so where do you fit in?

On your fine and tiny island of the Nuanced Aesthetic, having the occasional peep, through disgusted binoculars,  at the stridently vulgar Mainland,  with its seasonally  bombastic, flag-waving  extravaganzas and daily,  bear-baitingly cathartic Reality Shows: what’s it like? How isolated do you feel? You’re a Mutant Serf: a middle, or working, or under class Culture Snob. Your values are not materialist;  Power and Money are not only not your gods but merely artifacts of pre-sapient primitivism, in your opinion,  regrettably enshrined by an atavistic media culture that quite often, even as you sneer at it, scares the piss out of you.

The term “rock star,” used as an adjective, probably sets your teeth on edge. As do “cray-cray” and “homeland” .

You probably read something like the following,  expressed on the Facebook page of an old acquaintance,  and the awesomely moronic, anti-historical naivety of it all probably made you want to vomit:

It’s Veteran’s Day. There really are Super Heroes in this world! I have always held a great respect for our military, and I am forever grateful for the sacrifice so many of them have made and continue to make selflessly over the years for all of us.

So what the Hell are you?

A walking contradiction with her/his head held high and a certain ingratiating nervousness when out and among the Bon Jovi, or Snoop Dogg*,  devotees in the city or neighborhood you’ll never  have the money to move out of. And, yeah, you also display a certain condescending wariness  (or even Species Antipathy) toward the humorlessly Rich bastards you’re forced to interact with on the job or at (say) the Art Gallery or Museum. Yes, many of The Rich have been groomed and coddled at exclusive  institutions,  tutored in the superficial graces,  to inherit temporal power (or to operate Art Galleries), but no depth of a trainspotter’s crammed “knowledge” of Art History justifies the crime against reason, taste,  beauty and Humanity that is a two hundred twenty thousand dollar watch (“free shipping”), or five hundred dollar gourmet jelly beans or fifteen million dollar Debbie Wingham heels**. Genghis Khan would blush.

The Rich and Poor understand each other all too well (ironic envy and grudging admiration and genocidal urges, expressed toward the Other, on both sides) because, face it,  The Poor, given enough money, would easily become The Rich and The Rich, deprived of money, would effortlessly become The Poor. Money or no money,  you, on the other hand, are a Culture Snob,  with your shrinking canons of exquisite books/ paintings/ film/ music/ architecture.

The Queen of England is the global flagship celebrity of the landed gentry and The Queen likes to watch horse races wearing pimp hats. The Queen is a grinning Philistine with an IQ of 99 and you, with so little wealth or influence,  look down on her.  You’d run rings around her in a debate, any  debate, pick the topic, name the word-game: she’d be huffing and red-faced in ten minutes. Your granny could’ve wiped the floor with The Queen on University Challenge and you could have wiped the floor with your granny but you and your granny combined are worth less than The Queen’s least-favorite Corgi’s oldest unburied sun-dried shits in the eyes of The Rich and The Poor alike. The Rich hunt pheasants and foxes and The Poor hunt deer and squirrel whereas you loathe guns. You feel twinges of guilt eating a free-range hamburger. You are poor or even catastrophically poor (give or take a medical emergency or two) but not of The Poor. Certainly not of The Rich.

Trapped between.

You never did the Macarena or  touched a Fidget Spinner.

Where did you come from? How were you made?

You’re like an Oxpecker bird who knows what an Oxpecker bird is. A shabby-genteel Oxpecker on the Culture-Hippo’s back. Very picky about your ticks.

Did you cry when Lady Di died or smile about The Royal Wedding or break the Internet clamoring for a glimpse of Kim Kardashian’s ass? Do you have heated arguments with family or co-workers about People Magazine’s annual Sexiest Man Alive list? Do you clear your schedule for the day of the State of the Union address or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar TV special or The Oscars, The Grammies, The Emmies or Wrestlemania?

Would you pay half a year’s salary to lunch in a room with Warren Buffet?

Perhaps you fantasize about deposing the top of hegemony’s brutal pyramid and installing some cool, clean, egalitarian Council of Elders, or something Sci Fi like that…  but The Poor frankly want to replace The Rich with themselves. The Lottery is the Poor man’s ticket to Revolution: do you or do you not know this?  The Poor want nothing to do with your fucking Council of Elders (aka Communist) scheme, which is why The Rich now actually use The Poor as a mile-thick, continent-long, kilometer-high firewall against the distant threat of your feeble (noble)  intellectual incursions.

You’d think it would be in The Poor’s own best interests to abolish private property: ha.  You’d think The Poor would,  by now,  have figured out that Poverty doesn’t have to entail Ignorance, self-destructive Violence or self-abnegating fealty to the tacky notion of conspicuously consumptively Mind Boggling Wealth: ha. That’s how touchingly out of touch you are.

Yes, there will be a Revolution  but come that Revolution, you, not The Rich, will be consigned to the dustbin of History.

Unless… ?


(Embraces mirror).



* these are outdated references, I know, but would you get more current ones?

**actual prices


    1. Jim!

      Twisted, Evil, Misunderstood or Post-Human Genius? Fine distinctions!

      Regarding It being You: You, me and several others. A tremulous cohort. The post is dedicated to my slightly deluded friends who fantasize about an uprising of Duh People that they (these friends) will actually enjoy! laugh


  1. as the saying goes, i resemble that remark – but it’s not that close a likeness

    and speaking of remarks, i wrote the following in 2010:

    Through a combination of circumstances (i.e. cable channel-surfing at the right time), recently I found myself watching the opening ceremonies of a NASCAR race near Richmond, VA, not far from where I went to high school. It was a glittering pastiche of religion and patriotism – the Pledge of Allegiance led by a quartet of soldiers (black and white, male and female) from Fort Lee, where my late father Colonel Charley served for several years; the U.S. Marine Band performing the National Anthem; a minister asking God’s blessing not only on “the sport we love” but “our soldiers overseas, defending our freedom”.

    To the audience, it was ritual giving visible and audible form to their Love of Country, God and their fellow Americans. I’m sure they swelled with pride as they pledged loyalty to the Flag, symbol of our forefathers and the sacrifices they made to give us all we have today. Meanwhile, as I watched this spectacle at home, I felt sick at heart as I thought that this handsome facade means, in practice, not just wholesale theft, but mass murder.

    What will it take to rip the mask off, to break the trance?

    Recently I was reading the Wikipedia entry about Muhammad Asad, born Leopold Weiss – a remarkable story. In looking at the publicity materials for the documentary film about him, A Road to Mecca, I found the following sentence: “I fell in love with Islam,” he said matter-of-factly shortly before his death in 1992, “but I overestimated the Muslims.”

    Similarly, I feel like someone who fell in love with the idea of America that I learned as a boy, but has been greatly disappointed by the reality of it, and of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “but it’s not that close a likeness”

      Aha… a Bon Jovi fan, eh? Just kidding, MC.

      There will be variations in the personal details of the individual members of our demographic, obviously, but the essence of membership has to do with being too educated (and picky) to fit comfortably with Duh Masses and too poor and decent to serve Da Massas and being viewed with contempt/ befuddlement/ suspicion by both sides. It’s from among our talented inbetweener ranks, in fact, that Da Massas replenish their amoral Merlin Class… the fuckers who rise from Serfdom by selling out their fellow Serfs, creatively, by working to develop high tech inventions of war & control or burning the midnight oil on very clever social engineering schemes. They’re approached in, and/or hoovered out of, the ivy league and into GOV and CORP GOV to enter think tanks, finance, military R&D etc. The Bushes (et al) are stupid but not so stupid that they think they can rule the world on their own… they use our amoral cousins. They love recruiting especially poor savants because poor savants have no access to the fuck-you-money (usually) necessary for supporting ethical/ moral decisions in the sulfuric face of the offer of The Faust Pact. What poor kid on a scholarship to MIT/ Harvard/ Cornell is going to say “no!” to the seductive offer to make his/her poor parents proud by helping CORP GOV develop a low-carbon-footprint death ray?

      Re: Muhammad Asad: I need to read more on this fellow… I’m behind in my para-paranoiac auto-didactic research. You know prodigy-polyglots were/are often recruited and “Asad” traveled widely, befriended potentates and may well have been a “Lawrence of Arabia” working for “the other” team. “The Great Game” had already been on for a century when “Asad” entered the picture. We think of the name of the game being Oil, but that’s not what Gertrude Bell was thinking of in 1907. Bell, Lawrence, John Reed, “Asad,” László Almásy… all of them were suspected of being agents at one time or another (and in much the same way Kerensky suspected Lenin); the birth of Zionism/ the Bolsheviks/ the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire… so many geopolitical puzzle pieces missing, so little time!

      “someone who fell in love with the idea of America that I learned as a boy”

      Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Jesus, Spiderman, the Benevolent Uncle Sam…


  2. speaking of superheroes – so does culadasa – and i quote

    From “Enlightenment” by Upasaka Culadasa

    I have noticed that all my favorite childhood heroes were always of the highest moral character. Honest to a fault, they selflessly dedicated themselves to helping others, to fighting evil in all of its forms, and were often involved in saving the world. Sure, they had “problems”, but they never suffered personally the way I did. Of course, they all had special powers and knowledge, and that helped a lot. That, combined with their being so noble and virtuous, meant they didn’t have too much in the way of self-esteem problems. Interestingly enough, they all had secret identities.

    Although all of my childhood comic book heroes – Dr. Strange, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, etc, ‐ had similar qualities, some were much more worldly than others, and I definitely preferred the other‐worldly sorcerer‐types like Dr Strange and Merlin. Merlin is an archetype for sorcerers and wizards, the possessors of arcane knowledge, secret powers, and transcendental wisdom. Dr Strange was always saving the world from evil forces through his magical powers. He could read minds, see and hear events in other places, dematerialize and rematerialize, just like with Star Trek transporters but using only the power of his mind. He would go into a meditation trance and appear in a cave in the Himalayas to receive instructions from his Tibetan lama. When I got a little older, I discovered Lobsang Rampa.

    I think I grew up wanting to learn arcane secrets, to be trained in special powers, and yes, to discover my own secret identity. I went into science to discover the secrets of the universe and to acquire special powers. I studied philosophy and religion in the hope of uncovering my true, secret identity, and to discover the meaning of it all so that, I, like my heroes, could strive for truth, justice, and the fulfillment of the ultimate purpose of life. I could fulfill my destiny in the way I was meant to. When I look back, I can see how much I was subconsciously motivated by trying to become like my childhood heroes.


    1. Mistah Charley! I studied under a guy named Dr. David White (there appears to be a “David Whyte” in Buddhist circles but that’s not him) who was ancient already in 1977, and I liked the quality of his speaking voice and his folksy manner and his lectures on “the Gita” (as he called it) were soothing; I recall the time he told us, solemnly, that his wife Beverly had sworn a sacred oath to forswear Enlightenment until the last living being in the UNIVERSE was Enlightened (which info Dr. White delivered as though it were rather impressive)… and even then I remember thinking, “Goodgawd, what a load of painted trousers!” I always sided with Wally Shawn’s anti-oh-wow character in “My Dinner With Andre” and believe that the greatest impediment to developing a workable personal philosophy is seeking to learn, from others, what you already knew when you were five. Why “Upasaka Culadasa”? Why not “Rufus” or “Crab Cake Johnson”?

      Coincidentally just watched a YouTube clip featuring Ed O of Radiohead being interviewed by two gear dorks; at some point, Ed played simple bar chords through a chain of ordinary delay FX and the dorks looked on in “awe” and I thought: Yep… if I could get rid of one gene… it would be The Fucking Religion Gene.


      1. st aug!

        1) although my quote from culadasa was intended to be an opening to a discussion of superheroes as pop culture figures and archetypes, i will leave that aside for now [i want to link it to tv shows and movies about zombies, as an exploration of the zeitgeist, but this hasn’t really gelled yet] and instead answer your specific question – why “Upasaka Culadasa”?

        Upāsaka (masculine) or Upāsikā (feminine) are from the Sanskrit and Pāli words for “attendant”. This is the title of followers of Buddhism (or, historically, of Gautama Buddha) who are not monks, nuns, or novice monastics in a Buddhist order, and who undertake certain vows.

        The name Culadasa means “the lesser servant”, and was given to him by his teacher, the Venerable Jotidhamma Bhikkhu.

        His birth name is John Yates.

        2)the boddhisattva vow said to have been taken by mrs beverly whyte is traditional, as you know, and seems a bit ridiculous when one stops to think about it – it supposes that life in this vale of tears is a bit like being on an airliner that has crash-landed on the hudson river, and that the boddhisattva is like captain sully going up and down the aisle to make sure nobody is left behind before he gets off himself – which is the honorable thing for the captain to do, of course – but is enlightenment like escaping from a 747 and moving on to a hudson river ferry/a higher plane of existence? is ‘change of location’ really the right metaphor? probably not

        2a)nevertheless, it has a kind of unselfishness to it – like the superheroes little johnny yates enjoyed as a child – my own favorite was the superman tv show – “faster than a speeding bullet …more powerful than…able to leap…neverending quest for truth, justice, and the american way” – nowadays i generalize this last phrase to ‘the potentially sentient way’

        2b)there’s a certain awkwardness to the ultimate earthly fate of superman actors george reeves (1950s tv show) and christopher reeve (1978-87 films)

        2c)maybe a character name like “the lesser servant” has its advantages

        3)i haven’t seen ‘my dinner with andre’ in many years and feel tempted to do so again – my local library catalog has it and also a book in which it appears: I think you’re totally wrong : a quarrel / David Shields and Caleb Powell (2015) – main topic Life vs Art


        1. MC!

          Well, yeah, the thing is, I consider all that Buddhism stuff (spits out chaw), as a Western lifestyle, to be very of its era (I think I mentioned a while back that “The Boddhisattvas” was the name of my volleyball team in college). It makes me think of Isherwood and his Swami and Cohen and his Roshi and The Beatles and their fling with Sexy Sadie and Baba Ram Das (and the Tijuana Brass): all that day glo PostWar Pop Orientalism, some of which I wouldn’t be surprised to learn was instigated by the “CIA” to get popular support behind pitting our “beloved” Tibet against China (laugh). Duncan Yoyos, UFOs, the pottery fad, tarot, silly putty, Tom Merton, John Lilly, monster drag racers and Fletcherism: Turn, Turn, Turn!

          I happened to live in a pseudo-commune (where my Son was born; placenta buried in a ritual ceremony gone hilariously awry) with second-generation Hippies in the early ’80s and I lived in a house with a couple of third generation über-Hippies, in Berlin, in 2000, dated a female-ejaculating Buddhist ex-stripper from the UK in 2002 and then had a year-long affair with a 24-year-old half-Cuban Yoga-instructor Hippie in 2003 (she’d just come back from Poona (sp?) or Rishikesh or wherever) and am so New Aged and Wiccaned and Buddhismed out that I can’t smell patchouli-scented deodorant without growling. Not to mention my mother having been a devoted patron of Psychics (she kept a box of voluminous notes regarding their useless predictions)… and my father wearing sandals (and a mojo/ tiki-fetish) every single day of his life after quitting the square world of advertizing in the mid-1960s…

          Re: Superman, George Reeves version: remember the episode with the little men from the center of the Earth and their eerie, luminous-spheroids-shooting raygun? Still haunts me! Plus: remember the blonde bombshell “police woman” who was playing (so many meta layers) Superman’s wife? Va va voom! The end credits with that dreamy montage of outerspace is rooted very deeply in my sense of the ineffable to this day. Oh and George/ Christopher (and don’t forget Steve): closeted?

          Re: My Dinner With Andre: have you read the blurb I wrote about bumping into Wallace Shawn in the early ’90s in Berlin? He was sitting at the Cafe Rost and I swaggered over and told him how much I and my cohort loved the film and that I sided with his (grounded) character in the film’s essential debate. Then I bumped into him the next day, and he said “There he is!” and asked me where a guy could get a beer. I said “Don’t know, I hate beer!” and walked off. What an asshole!


      1. MC! I’ve read the linked bit but I don’t get the overlap between my tale (chance encounter with Wally Shawn one day and on the very next day, second chance encounter, Wally invites me to a beer, or invites me to invite him to a beer, and I remark that I don’t like beer and walk off like the village idiot of a bizarro kingdom of the literal-minded beer-dislikers) and the linked-bit’s-author’s encounter with James “like a sock of hamburger/ receiving the lightning/ into his clitoris” Tate. Though is there a wee, wee synchronicity in my reference to Fletcherism, in a comment, upthread, and Tate’s book “Worshipful Company of Fletchers”?

        PS Whenever I read or hear poor J. Tate’s name, the “Tate” triggers a millisecond of instinctive animus because of that Konfederate Kunt Allen… sometimes I even forget why, poor J. Tate’s name triggers this response, for a whole five or six seconds! Utterly unfair I know but there’s no pill for that problem yet.


        1. (in fact i have now semi-non-sequiturially written a pome)

          ******for a. tate****

          federal bureau for the mutilation of
          infant hands of population-x ramped
          stats reaching dizzying volumes by labour
          day when livid laureate sneered
          see? just seconds pre (x-waiter flubs gold)
          (beers over great papers of longhand laureate’d)


  3. St Aug! i must admit i stretched it a bit in associating your encounters with wally shawn to dobby gibson’s only meeting with james tate – “i talked to a famous person” being the hashtag they have in common, at first glance, and admittedly this is extremely superficial

    thinking about more about what could have tickled my neural networks – the beer that you didn’t have with shawn, and the long conversation shawn had with andre in the movie you mentioned, remind me of james tate’s poem “behind the green door” – text of which, and my comments, can be seen at

    i have not had many remarkable interactions with well-known cultural figures – the most noteworthy is the question and answer with robert nozick i memorialized “IN BUFFALO”

    as far as allen tate goes – our friends at wikipedia have provided me with as much as i now know about him – like fletcherism, which i also had to look up, any prior acquaintance with the name had become covered over by more recent stuff


    1. MC (if we were sharing barracks I’d have to nickname you “1100”):

      In any case, the comment was fruitful!

      Re: Nozick: too bad you didn’t ask him about his (former?) Ken-doll looks (his name rang a bell but I had to Wiki him; read a few of his tautologies there and then wondered if he was the better-looking Ayn Rand; further Googling indicates that he was the more-coherent Ayn Rand, but I’m not able to confirm that feeling with the stuff I’ve skimmed; I only hazard an under-informed characterization because I’m not posting this comment on someone else’ blog). As to why he didn’t answer your meaningful question: he had everything to lose and nothing to gain by doing so! laugh.

      Re: Fletcherism: I remember reading, years ago, about the Asian Fletcher Fanatic who chewed an onionskin 1,000 times. I can remember that but I can never remember my postcode! Fucking Human Mind.


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