Tag Archives: power-worship

A Rebuke to Charisma on Command

(Video posted on youtube by, Charisma on Command)

Interesting, but shortsighted and caught in a frame from the start. That frame being the quest for power. This is a pagan trap… that is, the worship of power. I agree that in our culture such focus on power is rampant; that we are rife with a juvenile preoccupation with achieving even the appearance of having power over others, but it is a trap. The “game” of power, to use a word in currency, will always betray the user to a more fundamental manifestation of power. Like Elric of Melnibone who wields the sword Stormbringer; Elric fights, but in the midst of that fight Stormbringer kills friend and foe alike despite Elrics desire–Elric becomes the vehicle of the sword rather than the sword being a tool of Elric’s will. But this pattern is true outside of Michael Moorcock’s stories of the eternal champion. The Italian Mafia was born out of a criminal culture which sprung out of a community whose social fabric had broken down. Men joined their criminal efforts like hunters in hunting parties until they consolidated power enough to achieve a sort of established status in which case they were forced to protect themselves from the same culture of criminality which produced they themselves. The most effective method being to acquire such competitors as subservient associates, and later, as such crews achieved success in whatever endeavor they might concoct, so too would the reigning power capability absorb such talent. In this way, success would become the beacon by which the lessor was brought into service of the greater. This pattern still prevails. Attend the court sessions of petty criminals and you will see a great majority of cases dismissed as the penal system is swamped by the societies inability to provide adequate guidance and integration for it’s own citizenry as they cross that bridge from adolescence into technical adulthood. It is this preoccupation with power which traps us all in a failing equation. And though it isn’t appearant to those without the benefit of seeing the pattern unfold for years… the situation isn’t getting better, rather, the useful adherents to the status quo are merely getting younger and less aware of the bigger picture. These plays at power and poses of confidence which you would profess are merely shallow lies which do not deceive but rather benefit those who butter their bread with the rendered fat of the ablest students.

(Video posted on Youtube by, Charisma on Command)

I have to say, the two videos of yours that I have watched are interesting, but I must reiterate… Your videos seem to be concerned more with a shallow preoccupation with power than with truth or substance. I have to add, that you are very good at outlining interactions, but I would question the value of your advice–I say “question”, because such interactions define who we are and if one decides that to appear in control and to dominate in power play interactions is what is most important, well, there it is.

But I would have to point out that what is most championed by Robert Downey Jr. in this example and what is being challenged, even if the interviewer doesn’t fully realize it, is the decorum of this interview. A decorum which, it could be argued, supports an insidious chimera of ill conceived virtue which thinly masks an industry that is not at all concerned with virtue, but the appearance of virtue for the sake of making money.

By championing certain values, even if those values have merit, but from a place of insincerity, it is this insincerity which becomes the active and propelling truth rendering that pose at virtue merely gaslight for the un-savvy or unguarded victim swayed. That by defending virtue badly, you do more harm to the pursuit of such virtue and lead the would be follower “down the garden path”. Even this interviewer, probably more motivated by career ambition than any real virtue, perhaps cannot see the true value in breaking the decorum of this interview–that is to break the illusion of truth, sincerity and seriousness in what Hollywood, with it’s hundreds of billions in effort, produces.

However, one has to wonder, if this interviewer himself were run through the gauntlet of failure and humiliation each one of us must run in order to gain our own understanding of the lay of the land, might he not be provisioned with the fortitude to look Robert Downey Jr. directly in the eye and ask him why his own experiences with the trials and pitfalls of the human condition haven’t informed his choices in how he goes about waging his craft, rather than just adding his significant influence to the production of, at the very least, vacuous cinematic tripe? It’s the difference between desiring to seem to be rather than seeking, simply, to be.


Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet (inspired by the movie) completed 2009

In, The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes elaborates a theory on the nature of pre-modern consciousness, the bicameral mind. At this point in human consciousness there was language, but people didn’t have the power of self narration… they couldn’t say, yesterday I did this, tomorrow I will do this, I am doing this. The skills necessary for survival had been accumulated slowly and passed on thru mimicry. The chief or king would impart commands for the activities necessary for the maintenance of the community attending to crisis in the manner passed down from the previous generation. The theory suggests that totems were used to aid the king in attaining a meditative trance to experience an auditory hallucination of the advice imparted by the previous king for this maintenance and meeting crisis… that as populations grew, communities began to bump into each other, resulting in conflict and war, something new in the experience of these bicameral kingdoms. Previous to this, carved reliefs would show the king beseeching a deity seated in a throne; at a certain point these carvings show the king before an empty thrown. With the new crisis no amount of meditation would produce a solution… god had abandoned them. In such breakdowns like that experienced by the Assyrians… these societies became paranoid and desperate with fear. Carvings show the king holding lions suspended by the tail as trophies. No doubt having experienced atrocity they learned to wield that fear and capacity for atrocity to meet these new challenges.

Living in Englewood I saw the same pattern starkly, and gained the sight to see its more subtle manifestations elsewhere. The fruits of our society are paraded before all, but on the street in Englewood, the gods have gone. There is no answer to the question, ‘how do I get there from here.’ Instead, there is gratuitous violence, intimidation and humiliation. Fear rules, intimidation becomes the primary tool to meet challenges until it falls short of the purpose and violence becomes necessary. Life becomes a reaction to that fear and threat, but these survival strategies don’t unlock the promise of the greater society they only trap their adherents in smaller and smaller backwaters. The only ones benefiting being our living steles, celebrities–and the industries which produce them–pushing these dead-end survival strategies.