A Peek Inside
We cover considerable ground in this Raving, much of it a holy and hallowed high ground, some of it downright hellish and duplicitous, a centrist and fair-minded middle ground brimming with conflicting desires, and, finally, we traverse a neutral ground over hill and dale that operates only as an embarkation point from which you must choose your own course.
Life moves quickly and does not make allowances for those who prefer to remain noncommittal and straddle the fence. Make a choice, take a position, speak your mind, do something (not necessarily “IT”), but surely do something. Hopefully, some of what you read here resonates deep within you and either provokes or inspires you to take some form of action that is decisive and worthwhile which tethers you to a higher purpose. Change itself is never easy and rarely comes at no cost at all. But know this, everlasting salvation can only be attained through acts of bloodless insurrection and non-violent tumult. Bloodshed is seldom the answer to anything. And if you genuinely wish to aid and offer comfort to the marginalized, the disenfranchised, or to those cast out, do so without adding more fuel to an already towering inferno.
The principal standard-bearer and emissary in today’s Raving is Katherine von Drachenberg, known worldwide as Kat Von D. Certainly not by choice, Kat has suddenly become a lightning rod around which much hypocrisy exists, and the hypocrites who gather ‘round her like mad inquisitors stoking a funeral pyre have long been in dire need of unmasking and unravelment. Raven Vanguard believes that Kat is the right person, at the right time, to begin the process of unraveling more than a century of prevarication and overwhelming greed within the westernized medical establishment. An explanation follows later on in this Raving.
Distant Memories of Future Days Long Since Passed
I call these my WTF moments. My recurring fever-addled dream, part nightmare, part reality, or so it seems; awash in psychological subtext, and rich in imaginary narratives. The attuned among us know that of which I speak. The conscious, subconscious, and unconscious minds work in ways that are genuinely perplexing, unfathomable, and incomprehensible, but oh so undeniable, detectable, and remarkable. Embrace them, engage them, and connect with them, as you read on. Our wavelength and insight are often lurking between the lines and found buried deep within life’s unturned pages. Read, interpret, comprehend, transcend.
Public Service Message
Lately, it seems like all that I do is trifle with technicalities; that, and propose delicate or time-consuming solutions to intractable problems, the small-mindedness and skepticism of others, and moral quandaries that in themselves have the potential to give rise to horrifying consequences in the light of day. I am confident that I am not alone in this exasperating and life-sapping predicament. Yes, I am talking to you. Now that I have your attention, please keep an open mind and be receptive to the truth regardless of its shape, form, or origin. And please be prepared to put all heretical doubts aside if it is the whereabouts of the last safe place you are truly seeking. Moreover, if it is indeed the location of the last safe place you are looking for, you must remember never to act in a manner that excommunicates yourself from undying service to the incorruptibility and virtues of the greater good.
The panoramic and sweeping spectrum of one’s Life can be positively mystifying, possessing qualitative and perceptible attributes that run the gamut from wonderful to dreadful. While the range of transformational experiences comprising the wondrous portion of this rainbow are undoubtedly illimitable, its scope inevitably includes momentous, life-defining and changing phenomenon like spiritual discourse with the Great Pumpkin, or night-tripping whilst reclining in a rapturous state of horizontal repose in the glow of a well-lit spirit lamp with a suitably tilted elongated pipe in hand and drawing in the alluring vapor of poppy-sap, or the euphoric apprehension one might feel while waiting on an urgent message from God herself (if you are not moderately open to conceding the truth of these exalted possibilities, then our Blogbook entries may not be your morning cup of tea).
On the opposite end of this spectrum, life can be an unpredictable and miserable bitch, filled with heated misunderstandings, societal intemperance, or even worse, a meaningless life consisting of only naught and nothing. And all along this vast and expansive spectrum, from good to bad and right to wrong, are all manner of remarkable experiences that can remind oneself of the sanctity of life, rejuvenate, offer elation, salvation, clarity, or unbridled joy, instill knowledge or foster worldly discernment, amuse, bemuse, embarrass, beguile, engender discontentment, resentment, or infinite sadness, cause one to fall victim to incredulity, encumber, foment disillusionment or hopelessness, corrupt, marginalize, or debase.
Curiously, even though, at an early age, somebody told me there’d be days like these aplenty, at times, quite often actually, I feel misplaced in time. All the same, chaotic times, social dissonance, and political turbulence do not necessarily have to degenerate entirely into chaos, betrayal, and anarchy, or, for that matter, even in the direction of impending peril. During bewildering and ludicrous times like these, when the vagaries of life and global misunderstandings are increasingly running amok, the totality of humankind would be wise to look for contentment and to transcend the limitations of the human experience by seeking refuge in the resurrection and ascendancy of the spiritually divine feminine power. Enough said, or must I also recount the inscrutable mystery and saving grace of the Immaculate Conception and its everlasting emancipation to prove my point?
Words of Wisdom, Not Mine; Or, The Meaning of Life in Fifty Words or Less
Although the words that follow are not mine, I have come to believe after much introspective circumspection that these words are absolute. "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." The Gospel of Thomas, No. 70, Nag Hammadi Codex II, in Coptic.
To the apathetic, the indolent, the lackadaisical, and criminally indulgent that walk listlessly among us, these words must be palpably menacing, unless of course, their ignorance, disinterest, and reticence also obscure the true meaning of the text itself.
The Meaning of Prayer in the 21st Century
Do you believe in the power of prayer in the context of redemption? Or, as a means to attain the divine assurance of everlasting death undying? Wasn’t this the promise oft-repeated in Sunday school? You see, ever since I was a child, I was counseled to believe that redemption is possible, not through the insidiousness of corruptible things, but only through the singular saving graces of the Incarnation, the Cross, and the Resurrection.
Still many of us surely see prayer in a different light, and not necessarily as a saving light. While some may pray resoundingly with dispassionate piety and two-faced fakery, there are still others who find great comfort in prayer but who must pray silently because they cannot summon up the courage to pray aloud.
Do you see prayer as a contrivance or mere artifice, or, even worse, as one or the other of unadorned sentimentality, folly, or bombast? Or, like me, do you see prayer more as an individualized act of resistance or defiance, or, in some instances, as an expression of rebellion? Do you see prayer as a means to manipulate the masses? Or, like me, do you see prayer as a means to settle a disquieted mind?
Do you think prayer is only beneficial and curative to those that are either forsaken, forlorn, or abandoned? Do you only partake in prayer for the simple reasons that you are either altogether sanctimonious, self-righteous, or holier-than-though? Does the very notion of prayer frighten you? Or, do you pray fervently to repel the monstrosity that’s always lingering on the yonder side of awe?
Or, like me, do you sometimes pray resolutely in the hope of finding redemption for the mistakes you have made, or finding a means of escape from your unshakable demons? And, like me, do you believe heartfelt prayer can make one inviolable and incorruptible, even impeccable? Or, like some, do you see prayer as nothing more than a countermeasure, or a fail-safe device? Or, sadly, do you believe prayer to be nothing more than a mechanism built into the institution of religion as part of its standard operating procedure to help obscure the unbearable reality of living in a world gone completely mad?
Is prayer nothing more than the curse of the empty-hearted? Can prayer ever truly transcend the possibility that it is merely an indistinct conversation taking place inside your head? Do social media sycophants pray to anyone and anything? Can prayer redeem the irredeemable, and can it offer salvation to the downtrodden, the disillusioned, the disaffected, and those with blackened hearts? If so, prayer may deservedly prove to be the most creative and effective form of communication ever known to humankind.
Do you pray to communicate your petitions to the Almighty, or, like Jim, do you earnestly believe that you cannot petition the Lord with prayer? Is prayer nothing more than false religious rhetoric? Do you conflate prayer with institutionalized religion? Or, like me, do you practice prayer as a means to perfect your understanding of the realm beyond, and your relationship with sacredness, ecstasy, and divinity?
And, contrarily, for the atheists and agnostics among us, for whom God is either nonexistent, unknowable, or unknown, in denying the existence, possibility, or conceptual understanding of God, do you forever forfeit the right of prayer? And, to the indoctrinated among us, the god you pray to, is he a warmonger? Or, like mine, is She altogether compassionate and humane?
In essence, since words like heathen, pagan, infidel, heretic, impious, and disbeliever are entirely and inherently pejorative, and since no freethinking person self-identifies as such, there is no need to examine whether prayer has meaning to those who have been unjustly accused or condemned by others of being godless.
When living in a darkening time of visible and invisible devils amassing and gathering all about us, is it holy foolishness to pray? But with these, and other signs of contradiction swirling all around us, doesn’t it make sense to pray? Or, is prayer in the face of mounting inconsistencies another catch-22, or, worse yet, a fool’s errand contrived for us all by the patriarchal powers of organized religion? Is prayer nothing but institutionalized obfuscation by way of smoke and mirrors? Is prayer nothing more than an artifice of denominational trickery used to cover up the truth?
If a life spent toiling away in prayer and the belief in God is the ultimate peril, does that make death and the absence of an afterlife the penultimate peril, or should that really be stated the other way around? Will my unwavering belief in God herself eventually be my undoing? I guess it all boils down to a matter of faith. There comes a time in every person’s life when your playing hand is finally called, and when it is, either you have faith, or you don’t; there is no middle ground and faith itself cannot be faked.
The qualitative substance of prayer is what makes it possible to transform fear into faith, incapacity into courage, self-loathing into forgiveness, vulnerability into intimacy, acquiescence into perseverance, anguish into revelation, the unknowable into the attainable, idyllic beauty into modesty, and the secular into the spiritual. The choice is yours to make, pray or don’t; I couldn’t care less because it’s not my ass that needs saving.
My aim here is not to incite combative or warlike aggression but to trigger a thought-provoking discourse of an ascending and beneficent trajectory. Indeed, now long past the point of earthly regret, I feel like finally waking the Witch; what say you, good people? Though you would be wise to question my innocence in one sense of the word, you should never challenge or doubt it in the other. And do not mistake my effrontery for disdain; in my world, self-confidence, self-esteem, and inner strength walk together, hand-in-hand, with forbearance, compassion, and humanity. Now, isn't it about time that you also get yourself out of the baptismal water and make this world a better place?
Religious Violence, Theological Warring, Oxymorons?
Why is it that theological discourse of every kind seemingly always devolves into an unwinnable skirmish highlighting the deviltry of the many centuries-old debate concerning the validity and essence of my god versus your god? Why is it nearly impossible even for peace-loving people of different ideologies to aspire to empathy and understanding especially when social alliance is their stated goal? Why is it that this world has long teetered on the knife-edge of being just three winks away from one single maniacal or even asinine trigger-finger-like impulse turning the entirety of this empire of dirt into an irradiated barren desert of nothingness? Perhaps fruitful theological discourse is genuinely an impossibility after all, and the fate of this world really is at the mercy of a pernicious and mushrooming doctrinal dissonance that has slowly spread the whole world over?
While the devil may, in fact, take care of his own, he has never once had occasion to take care of me. Well, come to think of it, there was that one overly exuberant summer spent at band camp, but, I digress. Thankfully, a US Supreme Court nominee I will never be. Moving on, back to my original point.
Disillusion yourself from all false beliefs, and any manner of make-believe. Also, put aside all religious rhetoric that prizes warfare, because no war is ever holy, nor can any measure of violence be rightly termed godly, especially when those that are victimized by it are unarmed non-combatants. This time, the whole world is actually watching with eyes wide open!
Anyway, Moving On
Same as my last sacramental act of confession, far too much sand has passed back and forth through the neck of my beleaguered hourglass since our previous Blogbook Raving. This is not meant as an apology, or even an explanation, but is more of an unvarnished acknowledgment of my present day reality than anything else. And although these past few hectic months of extraordinary personal and business growth dispensed prescriptive doses of accomplishment, affirmation, and otherworldly substance, they also yielded, at times, unwelcome, unexpected, and unexplainable measures of fallacy, villainous countermeasures, and unforgivable treachery. But rather than succumb to the prospect that all I held in high regard was imploding all around me, I placed confidence in the belief that my life, and everyone and everything in it, were instead exploding with resplendent possibility.
Meanwhile, in the interim, the essence of the entire outside world continues to spin seemingly out of control all around us like some wayward demonic gyroscope being navigated by liars, lunatics, charlatans, misogynists, misanthropes, and megalomaniacs. A widespread trait among many of today’s world leaders is that they suffer from delusions of grandeur and hatred for others who advocate a different point of view. This conclusion is inescapable. As I write these words while situated within the territorial borders of an America that I no longer recognize, unavoidable notions of glass houses and throwing stones swirl about my brain and I come to a certain and irrefutable point of Socratic irony – as a Nation, on a qualitative scale, there is very little difference between us and the next guy. That said, I refuse to walk as if on eggshells for anyone, let alone those among us that I have little to no respect for whatsoever. This point will become more readily apparent later on in this Raving.
Still, in spite of it all, Raven Vanguard forges ahead determinedly in obliging service to the greater good in search of the mythic sword indestructible; purportedly, as legend has it, a sword steeped in royal blood possessing immense magic that is capable of either summoning or warding off demons. Perhaps I suffer from grandiose delusions myself, though I think not. Although, I do quite often find myself ruminating about a past life as a central character in Slavic folklore, being unleashed as a quixotic knight on a noble-minded crusade in pursuit of Koschei the Deathless. My thoughts and memories in this regard are best-left secret without further elucidation, so let’s get back to the ancient tale of the legendary saber.
This jeweled and gilded sword, an antiquity of time immemorial, long surrounded by fable and superstition, was, according to long-rumored Munchkin lore, thought to be in possession of the Wicked Witch of the West, but, as it turns out, was last seen in possession of her cadaverous sister witch from the East just before Ms. Gale unceremoniously and unapologetically descended upon her from the hinterlands of Kansas. Therein lies the problem; you see, the exsanguine Eastern sorceress was pronounced not only merely dead but most sincerely and doubly dead on account of her atoms being thoroughly dashed all across Oz in an inexplicable Penrose-Hawking singularity kind of way. Since then, the exact location of this sword, and the identity of its current possessor has been an irresolvable puzzlement, much like the obsessively sought-after sugar bowl that has eluded the grasp of Esme, Olaf, some foolhardy and shadowy Volunteers (some now dead, some still living), and those ceaselessly bellyaching Baudelaire delinquents.
If all of this sounds like another quest concocted by Brooke and the Golden One to keep me busy and themselves amused at my expense, then you would be correct in making such an assumption. Not that I am complaining, mind you; praise be to the Shes who guide my way, and blessed be thy fruit. Afterall, they alone have the wisdom and foresight to deliver us all from the fateful misjudgments of the badly behaved and the weak-kneed immorality of those with an insatiable appetite for fruits that are verboten. As Brooke is always quick to add, peculiar, isn’t it? Or, is that pa-cuul-ylear, my Love?
We promise to return and chronicle this enchanting expedition in a future Blogbook entry when the world around us appears more settled, and our expectations for it are more hopeful. Until then, seek prayerful solace in the peace inside yourself and find inspiration in the sublime work of our Cultural Vanguardists for the months of February, March, April, and May; Oskar Schlemmer, Coco Chanel, Katherine von Drachenberg, and Man Ray respectively.
In truth, we see our Vanguardists as influencers and boundary-breakers of the first order – meaning that they are influencers within Raven Vanguard’s realms of philosophical thinking and know-how. And by identifying these Vanguardists, we hope to give our readers and our clients a perspective on what makes Raven Vanguard tick. Oskar Schlemmer’s work illustrates my point entirely.
If you read our Website’s Ideology page, you will note that we do not identify “mid-century modern” as one of our preferred design styles. There is a reason for this. Our vision of what others call “mid-century” is more closely aligned with Bauhaus, German Expressionism, and The Vkhutemas founded in Moscow in 1920 (the Russian-state art and technical school), rather than, say, American designers like Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen, Milo Baughman, Joseph Eichler, Charles and Ray Eames, or the architectural and design styles found in Palm Springs, or referred to as “Atomic Ranch.” By making this point, I do not mean to suggest that the works of these later mentioned creators are unworthy of praise; the importance of their work is undeniable and enduring notwithstanding the passage of time.
Ever since the early 1980s, the meaning of the phrase “mid-century modern” has morphed into something that is not at all what was initially intended. When this phrase was conceived, it was expected to function as a term to define a specific period of furniture design, architecture, and graphic design following the conclusion of World War II. However, since then, “mid-century modern” has been unwittingly transformed into a meaningless cliche and hackneyed marketing trope by mass and mainstream media, misinformed designers, and home makeover enthusiasts, all of whom know next to nothing about its historical or aesthetic underpinnings. More often than not, whenever we see a contemporary reference to mid-century modern in a style or design magazine or blog posting, what we actually observe is an ill-conceived hodgepodge of assorted design styles thrown together to fit someone’s mass-marketing conceit of this notion of mid-century modern.
Oskar Schlemmer, of Bauhaus and Triadisches Ballet fame, left behind an imposing and diverse body of work that is representative of one of our favorite cutting-edge periods in art history, that taking place within Weimar, Germany from about 1918 to 1933. From Germany’s surrender in November 1918 to end World War I, up to the point the Nazi flag cast its dark shadow over the whole of Deutschland in 1933, Germany was the standard-bearer for a brief, but unparalleled, period of radical experimentation and creativity during which the World’s arts community looked to Germany for guidance and influence. This quindecennial stretch, which gave birth to Staatliches Bauhaus, German Expressionism, and the Dada Movement, among others, prefigured by more than two decades many of the design characteristics that would fall within what is rightfully the ambit of 1950s mid-century modern.
Raven Vanguard’s aesthetic finds artistic touchstones in the works of Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinski, Otto Dix, Gertrud Arndt, Marcel Breuer, George Grosz, Josef and Anni Albers, the Die Brucke Group, the Der Blaue Reiter Group, Otti Berger, Lilly Reich, Max Beckmann, Fritz Lang, G. W. Pabst, Robert Wiene, and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. But, perhaps, most of all, we continue to take inspiration from the Bauhaus’ multimedia superstar, Oskar Schlemmer, graphic artist, painter, costume designer, choreographer, kinetic motion theorist, and philosopher. And, among Schlemmer’s diverse artistic repertoire, we are significantly influenced by his avant-garde masterwork, Das Triadisches Ballett (“The Triadic Ballet”), the mesmerizing multidisciplinary extravaganza that still reverberates today across the worlds of theater, dance, music, fashion, and design.
The continued reach of Schlemmer, the Bauhaus, German Expressionism, and the Dada Movement are immeasurable; their interdisciplinary approach to creativity and the arts, combining theory, philosophy, craft, fine and decorative art, architecture, music, theater, and costuming, set design standards that have yet to be equaled in our lifetimes.
Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel – where does one start with the life’s work of this provocative and revolutionary style icon? Coco Chanel was a fiercely independent woman who became a towering figure in what, at the time, was primarily a man’s world. For this reason alone, Coco Chanel is a deserving Vanguardist. But when you add to that, her branding insight at a time long before branding was the thing it is today, as well as her little black dress, her small Chanel handbag, her perfume for the ages, Chanel No. 5, and her time spent in Hollywood during the 1930s, her importance is incalculable. Not to mention, what may be the career comeback of all time, returning to the top of an insanely competitive industry after a self-imposed fifteen-year absence that started with Germany’s occupation of France during World War II.
Moving on to Kat Von D; Kat’s artistry is held in lofty and rarefied regard by Raven Vanguard, and she is no stranger to our Ravings. You may recall that Kat’s Muses project featured prominently in our most recent Raving discussing the Met Gala.
Hence, our recognition of Kat as one of our esteemed Cultural Vanguardists should come as no surprise to anyone keeping tabs on us. For us, recognizing Kat’s body of work was foreordained from the very moment Raven Vanguard came into being, she is a modern-day influencer beyond compare.
Of the four Vanguardists discussed in this Blogbook entry, I am willing to wager that Kat is the most widely known among them. As I was in the midst of writing about Kat’s prodigious accomplishments and lifework, I realized that I couldn’t possibly add anything interesting to what others have already said about her work. I mean the Woman has almost 7 million followers on Instagram, so how was I possibly going to introduce her to a wider audience; I couldn’t, so I thought it was more important to say something else meaningful about her. Something that I believe humanizes her more than her artistry alone; her personal convictions.
Schismatics, factions, schisms, taking up sides, and splinter groups – you may be wondering what this has to do with Kat? Perhaps not on the same level as the Great Schism of 1054 (aka, the East-West Schism), nevertheless, there is a growing schism in the United States over health care (if one can even call it that in good conscience), with schismatics taking up refuge on either side of this mushrooming schism. Thankfully, Kat and I have taken refuge on the same side of the schism. Many of you may be scratching your heads at this point wondering what the hell I am talking about. I’ll get there, so be patient. These things must be handled delicately, with both insight and thoughtfulness, and, in my case, as much tact as I can muster, albeit very little given the consequence of the subject matter at hand.
From where I stand, Kat has never been someone who is controversial for no other reason than being controversial. When Kat takes a stance that some might consider controversial, her position is always well thought through and stated with benevolent intent. In other words, while Kat may at times find herself embroiled in controversy, She is never controversial without having a higher purpose in mind.
Recently, Kat has been attacked unfairly and viciously, and wrongly maligned, by the mass and mainstream media, her fans, members of the medical community, government bureaucrats, and the usual shills propped up by the pharmaceutical industry, among others, for her supposed anti-stance on childhood vaccinations. I share Kat’s beliefs entirely when it comes to this shrouded, murky, and challenging subject. Although I must confess that my Daughter has received every state-mandated vaccine and booster that is required under law for her to attend school in New York State. If I had Kat’s financial wherewithal to homeschool my Daughter, my choice would have been the opposite.
That said, when it comes to voluntary vaccinations like influenza, allergy, and HPV vaccines, I say hell no. When it comes to unnecessary things like fluoride treatments or dental sealants in the dentist’s office or fluoride toothpaste or fluoridated drinking water at home, again the answer is no fucking way. Same response to any product introduced by this country’s massive sunscreen industry. Add to this, pharmaceutical poisons like acetaminophen, yes, Tylenol and Midol, we are looking at you, opioids, proton pump inhibitors, diet suppressants, along with most every pharmaceutical drug developed without due consideration to the negative impacts on a woman’s body, especially antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, and hormonal forms of birth control – well, you get the gist because this list is endless.
Regrettably, this Country does not know anything at all about the meaning or potential of true wellness-based healthcare. Our current system, which is wholly ill-advised and misguided, has been in place since early in the 20th Century, and is one founded and built upon insatiable greed, sleight-of-hand-politics-as-usual, lack of education and training in medical schools (especially in the field of nutrition), obfuscation, misinformation, and outright lies, lobbying dollars, marketplace manipulation, kickbacks, the complicity of mass and mainstream media, bullying and shaming, consumer ignorance and blind trust in medical providers, and strategic misuse of the lemming effect. At the root of this disgraceful conspiracy are the US Food & Drug Administration, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the US Congress, most every American medical school, the American Medical Association, the American Dental Association, medical trade organizations, mass and mainstream media, and the master of the puppets, the pharmaceutical industry. One need look no further than the unholy alliance between Bayer and Monsanto to get a more accurate picture of how the pipeline of misinformation is contrived and controlled. Or, what about the shadowy connection between pharmaceutical giant Merck and Teen Vogue magazine (who coincidentally happens to be one of Kat Von D’s harshest critics in the mass media industry)?
Although I cannot speak for Kat herself, what I think she is getting at is the idea of personal sovereignty and the right to exercise and make independent health-related choices based on unbiased, truthful information, not total bullshit. Which, of course, is what the pharmaceutical industry specializes in by the truckload. No one can reasonably dispute that, at best, there is much uncertainty and unknowingness surrounding the safety and efficacy and long-term health effects of certain vaccines. But yet there are many, especially those within the groups mentioned earlier, that argue against the right of a person, in this case, a parent, to make informed, voluntary choices about which vaccines if any, their children should receive. And this, my friends, is where I fiercely depart company from those on the wrong side of the schism. I see things quite differently on this topic and have ever since I started to study and practice law in the early 1980s.
Large pharmaceutical companies have never been good corporate citizens; they are the Anti-Christ and curse of modern times. To this ignoble industry, I wishfully and wistfully admonish that not everything should have been negotiable, especially our collective morality. But still, and all, the truth reveals that we are dealing with an industry knowingly built upon a bedrock of systemic corruption, fabrication, falsehood, subterfuge, and rampant profiteering.
So here we have those perverse forces at work attempting to demonize Kat Von D for taking the personal initiative to educate herself about vaccine safety and for standing up and fighting for the right to make an informed choice on behalf of her unborn child. And although Kat’s committed no crime whatsoever, she’s being persecuted as if we are still living in the days of medieval witch hunts or the trial of Jeanne d’Arc. Shame on those of you who disparaged her for exercising what should be an inalienable parental right, when in fact you should have been applauding her. Even though I do not know Kat personally, I am thankful to be on her side of this schism.
Side Note – Allopathic Medicine (Western Medicine, Conventional Medicine), Or, The Subversion of Wellness
Allopathic medicine is the predominant form of medicine practiced in the United States today, and it has been that way ever since 1910. No matter your individual viewpoint on vaccines, and their relative efficacy and safety, I hope that you are someone who takes a proactive role in your wellness and healthcare decisions, and those affecting your children.
Despite the fallacy underlying many, if not most vaccines, allopathic medicine is not intended to be preventive, nor is it in any way, shape, or form cure-based. The essence of allopathic medicine is that it is treatment-based only. This is the dark underbelly of medicine in this Country, and it is calculatingly designed to keep patients in a perpetual diseased state beholden to their doctors and other care providers (most of whom are good, kind, and well-intentioned people who have themselves been victimized by the very system they work within) and to degenerate patent-based pharmacology. Why else do you think we harbor the largest population of pharmaceutical drug addicts on the planet?
My single most significant criticism of the allopathic medicine model is that it disregards the boundaries and importance of the patient’s autonomy, in other words, the care and wellbeing of the patient is, at best, an afterthought. Of equal concern is the fact that we as consumers of medical-based services are no longer able to easily gain access to impartial, candid, plainspoken, and accurate medical information because the propaganda-fueled pharmaceutical industry and other interest-based purveyors of misinformation control the research, knowledge, and messaging supply chains. To fully understand what I mean by this, you need to do your own history-based research on its underpinnings. If you are not willing to put in the work to educate yourself about caring for your mind and body, or your child’s, then you will not listen to me, or anyone else who advocates a position similar to mine. That said, I will at least point you in the direction of some of the historic jumping off points.
From the late 19th Century, through to the conclusion of World War II, the allopathic model of medicine first infiltrated, then monetized and devoured, and finally monopolized the practice of medicine in the United States as we know it today. The allopathic treatment archetype consists of drugs, surgery, and radiation only.
Following the conclusion of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the start of the industrial expansion up to the end of World War II, we suffered through the duplicitous transition from nature-based medicine to industrialized, petrochemical, and patent-based medicine wherein prescription drugs became the foundation and focus of the practice of medicine in this Country. This was when our doctors first became legally sanctioned and licensed drug-peddlers. It was the time of industry, business, and politics, in particular, the US Congress, ultimately taking over and wreaking havoc on the future practice of medicine. From this point forward, medical-based research and information were forever corrupted by the politics of greed and patentable poisons.
To fully understand how all of this could and did happen, you must first come to grips with the exceedingly dark, unprincipled, and exploiting reality that existed at the time between corporate and private wealth and government. This was the era of vote buying, unregulated campaign contributions, robber baron immorality, sharecropping, massive monetary and land subsidies to railroads and lumber kings, government-sponsored strike-breaking, and the US Supreme Court’s gutting and castration of the 14th Amendment into something irreconcilable with its earliest intent. Post-Civil War politics were downright sinister; during this period, men of considerable power, wealth, and influence perfected the alchemy of transforming their cloak-and-dagger activities, which they artfully disguised in sheep’s clothing as government or public service, into astronomical hordes of personal economic wealth. Any attempted reference to this period as the so-called Gilded Age is fallacious and a sham, especially when we take into consideration the contemporaneous and extreme mistreatment of women, blacks, Asian and European immigrants, and the near-eradication of Native Americans by unreckonable bloodshed and massacre.
To be fruitful, your investigation into the industrialized corruption of medicine should delve into the roles played by William Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Standard Oil, The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the General Education Board, The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission, The Rockefeller Foundation (and its Science of Man agenda), Andrew Carnegie, The Carnegie Foundation, JP Morgan, Simon Flexner, Abraham Flexner, The Flexner Report, the reconstituted American Medical Association, the American Society for the Control of Cancer (later the American Cancer Society), The National Committee for Mental Hygiene, the Bureau of Social Hygiene, The Guggenheim Foundation, Sterling Drug, Bayer, BASF, IG Farben, Hitler’s Germany, and the US Food and Drug Administration (previously known as the Bureau of Chemistry).
Unfortunately, the passage of time has irresponsibly distorted the reality of the type of so-called philanthropy practiced by these misguided men and their shady institutions with their contemptible and corruptible business practices. True social benevolence did not motivate them, but they were instead consumed wholly by the inevitableness of greed, egomania, and rebuilding rightly-tainted reputations. Early 20th Century philanthropy was not innate; it was a decidedly calculated and mercenary business model where altruism was an afterthought of little consequence, and the real motivations were ulterior, or ambiguous, and unmistakably dark and profiteering. These so-called philanthropists concocted this business model as a means of inveiglement to take gross advantage of tax exemptions and tax shelters, to manipulate the education system to advance their twisted views on social engineering, and to machinate their way entirely through the political system to control the evolving national banking system, currency reform, and monopolize the practice of medicine and corner the market on patentable pharmaceuticals.
In the end, your analysis should attempt to connect the dots between each of these rapacious predators and the systematic and permanent eradication of any hope of plant and herb-based pharmacology, which early on also included hemp, cannabis, and marijuana. You might also want to take a look at what the industry today calls blockbuster drugs. As a stopping off point along your way, do your Family an enormous service by taking some time to consider the groundbreaking, insightful, evenhanded, brave, and honest work being done by Ty Bollinger, his Family, and colleagues at https://thetruthaboutcancer.com Let’s compare notes after you take the time to put in the work.
A few final observations; much like every great schism that has taken place across the vast expanse of world history, this one has turned many families, friends, allies, companions, and cohorts into unrecognizable enemies (and likewise turned sworn enemies into the strangest of bedfellows) and has set all of them against one another in an obfuscated debate over the dubious origins of our so-called system of medicine. Notwithstanding its precise roots, our current system is an unmitigated disaster of biblical consequence, one that continues to spiral downward and entirely out of control.
Although sometimes it is an acceptable resolution to a problem for adversaries just to agree to disagree; however, this type of solution is never acceptable when one party is genuinely the wiser, or where someone is likely to get hurt. With this particular schism, because we are the wiser, and the endangerment to one’s health is real, many of us have reached a point of valediction, where there is no turning back. Our antagonists cannot wow or bully us into acquiescence; we will not accept the “big lie.” In many ways, the pharmaceutical industry has resorted to the same type of social engineering strategies, and the cult of personality techniques adopted by Hitler and Stalin to foist their belligerence and propaganda on an unsuspecting and gullible populace to the oppressive and long-lived misery of humankind.
All that said, it isn’t even the destabilizing effects of this debate that I find most troubling about all of this, instead, it is the utter belligerence of a great many of those who have taken up residence on the opposite side of the schism predicated solely upon their blind belief and trust that the Food and Drug Administration is omnipotent and benevolent, and that their bureaucratic benefactor is in the best position to decide what is best for them. Is it any wonder at all that the apathetic, the ignorant, and unthinking are forever unqualified to act in furtherance of their best interests, no matter what cause we are speaking of. The day I put an ounce of faith into expecting the FDA to exercise even the smallest measure of integrity and unbiased oversight into my healthcare is the day I finally give up thinking for myself and jump off of the highest bridge because some dumbass in government told me to do so. Yeah right; never going to happen. Wise up people, it is time to think for yourself and stop letting those in presumed positions of authority do your thinking for you.
The 13th (Thirteenth) Insight
If insight is understood to mean apprehending the true nature of something, then please consider what follows to be my Thirteenth Insight. While some may perceive the Number 13 as a karmic number capable of producing nothing other than inevitable cosmic consequences with cataclysmic outcomes, I do not subscribe to the direness surrounding these connected digits of 1 and 3. Although I am by no means a numerologist, I do believe the Number 13 is a number of upheaval, but upheaval in the sense that is full of promise, vaulting ambition, and even psychedelic leanings.
Living in a world deluged with extended interludes of wildly exaggerated outbursts of both theocratic lunacy and narcissistic overindulgence, I attempt to take the measure of all of it as if we are all floating in space. I do not mean to suggest that the hands of God have in any way touched me, or that I am even capable of making a deal with Her, or that I ever could speak in tongues; humble I am, intemperate, overindulgent, and foolhardy I am not. But I do think myself capable, from time-to-time, of intuitively discerning seldom-glimpsed acts of otherworldly self-sacrifice from the great beyond. What does all of this mean? Admittedly, I do not know. Undeterred by my lack of knowingness, I venture to guess that it has to do with mustering a deep-seated internal resolve when pushed to the brink, or beyond.
What I do know is that if my heart isn’t entirely into something, then, try as I might, I nevertheless struggle tremendously with directing my passions in the direction of the greater good. When I reach this point of energetic impasse, for me, I decide to move on, but always doing so with dignity and grace and a clear conscience with my head held high knowing full well that I more than held up my end of the bargain. Even then, parting can be filled with sorrow for the missed opportunities, but move on I must, and move on I do.
However, in my endeavors to move on, today I am left to ponder the true meaning of those immortal lines from William Congreve’s 17th Century play, Mourning Bride; those being, Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury, like a woman, scorned. Stay tuned, because something tells me we are about to find out. And to this I add, woe be to anyone who makes a strategic miscalculation in underestimating my unwavering resolve to move on, or the depths of my love for those I hold dear.
Public Service Message Number II
Moribund. At death’s door. What am I talking about you ask? The continued absurdity of the federal government’s ridiculous stance in persisting in its long-lived and indefensible determination to treat, classify and categorize marijuana as a Schedule I drug. When will the federal government come to its senses and finally remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act? If it depends on either the honest or impartial input of the fools and stooges who head up the US Food & Drug Administration and the American Medical Association and the permission of their puppet-handler industry, Big Pharma, then the likely answer is never.
Arising out of this Country’s so-called “war on drugs,” in 1970, Congress placed marijuana, alongside gravely destructive drugs like heroin and lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Make no mistake about this, heroin and LSD belong there; marijuana does not.
To be accurately classified as a Schedule I substance, marijuana would need to have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use whatsoever in treatment protocol in the Country, and that there is a demonstrated lack of safety for its use under medical supervision. Fallacy, built upon foolishness, built upon deception! So, three strikes and your out? Not where federal politicians, the FDA, the AMA, and Big Pharma are concerned. Keep in mind that this quartet of bad actors is equally responsible for the growing opiate and opioid plague hellbent on destroying this Country.
As far as marijuana’s misclassification as a Schedule I substance is concerned, no less than thirty state governments and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and another sixteen states have permitted access to certain strains for medicinal purposes. Thus, ultimately undermining the criteria upon which the federal government chooses to make it illegal as a Schedule I substance. Nevertheless, despite the overwhelming majority of state laws currently providing for some form of legal use of marijuana, its cultivation, distribution, possession, and use are still prohibited under federal law. Wise up Washington. Ticktock, ticktock!
As our regular readers already know, I previously made a bold proclamation that music released during the last year of specific decades is some of the most fabulously creative music the music world has ever known. I backed up my claim by explicitly referencing 1959, 1969, and 1979. A regular reader recently made a bold declaration of her own, that being, the same cannot be said for 1989, so she put me to the test. Although I cannot make an argument that the totality of music released in 1989 stands on equal footing with that released in 1959, 1969, and 1979, I can make the case that there were some damn fine records released in 1989.
Without doing any serious research, and limiting my selections to music presently in Raven Vanguard’s music collection, I found that there is indeed some praiseworthy music from 1989. How about – Peter Murphy’s Deep; the Pixies’ Doolittle; The Cure’s Disintegration; the Lounge Lizard’s Voice of Chunk; Voivod’s Nothing Face; The Stone Roses’ S/T; New Order’s Technique; The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique; Lou Reed’s New York; Laurie Anderson’s Strange Angels; John Zorn’s Naked City; The Creatures’ Boomerang; Kate Bush’s The Sensual World; Love and Rockets’ S/T; Galaxie 500’s On Fire; Spacemen 3’s Playing with Fire; Peter Gabriel’s Passion Soundtrack; Nurse With Wound’s A Sucked Orange; Sun City Girls’ Torch of the Mystics; and B-52’s Cosmic Thing.
Back to the Vanguardists, and Man Ray
Man Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was a ground-breaking American-born visual artist who spent much of his early career in France but then returning to the US during World War II and back to France in the early 1950s where he would remain until his death approximately twenty-five years later. As far as artistic movements go, Man Ray was most closely associated with the Dadaists, as well as the surrealists, but earlier in his career, his work was more in the realm of the Cubists and experimentalists.
Following World War II, Man Ray’s influence could be seen in the work of Beat Generation artists, 1960s Pop Art, the 1960s through 1970s conceptual art movement, up through present-day modern photography. In a career that found him moving seamlessly between photography, writing, painting, filmmaking, and sculpting, it is the abstract nature of his darkroom alchemy, “solarizations,” and “rayographs” that we wish to highlight in the context of this Raving.
Contrary to a popular misconception, his “rayographs” were created entirely without using his camera. Instead, he would directly place an assortment of objects, some of which were altogether impenetrable by light, and others with varying degrees of transparency, upon sheets of photosensitized paper during exposure to light. As such, the resulting images of these opaque and translucent objects became wholly disassociated from their authentic physical appearance and were transformed into adumbral abstractions and concepts unlike anything seen previously in the work of those practicing pictorial or straight photography of the day. Similarly, Man Ray’s “solarizations” would break away from traditional photography techniques of the day by intentionally introducing artificial light into his darkroom during the development process to distort the borders of subjects and objects by giving them a hazy or shadowy-like appearance in tones that appear to be dissolving, liquifying, or melting around his subjects.
We Are All Together In This Thing Called Life
We’ve mentioned this before, and today it bears repeating.
Every woman, child, adolescent, and man among us, has her or his cross or crosses to bear during the whole of their worldly existence. No person is exempt. Not you, not me, not her, nor him, not them, no one; there are no exceptions to this general truth, it is undeniable and irrefutable.
No two crosses are the same in their consequences or the magnitude of their hardships. No two crosses can be compared, nor are they comparable. No two or more crosses joined together and shouldered by oneself are guaranteed to be more burdensome than a single cross standing and carried alone. No two crosses are interchangeable. When considering all things, no two crosses can be undifferentiated, meaning they are not necessarily distinguishable in the eyes of the cross-bearer.
Crosses cannot be conflated. Crosses eschew redundancy. Do not confuse one type of cross for another. Do not consume yourself trying to decide between one sort of cross or another; crosses are proportionate in the apportionment of their burdens. Kill your desire to prefer one kind of cross to the next. A cross is like an albatross hanging around one’s neck; especially when its inescapability feels seemingly without mercy.
Like so many things in life, you do not get to choose your cross. When the time finally comes to bear your cross, do so with dignity and courage, not consumed by hopelessness, anger, or resentment, and do so armed with the knowledge that you are not the only one facing adversity, or having a mountain to climb. And, by all means, whenever possible, get down off of your own cross long enough to help your fellow cross-bearers to lighten their loads, without being asked to do so in the first place.
Stop Doing Stupid Shit, Or a Requiem to Self-Centered Mindlessness
Everyone has done something foolish and ill-advised in their lifetime. No person is exempt or protected from this fate. Add acts of inevitable stupidity to the same list including things as inescapable as taxes, death, heartbreak, and an IRS audit. But for some, especially the blindly self-absorbed, egomaniacal imbecility is more often the rule than the exception. When dealing with narcissists, there always comes an eleventh hour, that last-gasp do-or-die moment when they must forever cease doing stupid shit. Either that or they carry on, entirely alone, doing the same stupid shit into perpetuity. Raise your hand if you know someone like this.
Something to Puzzle Over and Ponder
Are we now living in an age were nothing at all truly matters to us any more outside of selfish concerns and self-interest?
Denouement, Or, My Departing Thoughts, Or, Perhaps, My Speculations and Theorizations On the Suzerainty of the Kingdom of Shes
Sometimes, but not often, even I wonder what the fuck I am talking about; and this happens to be one of those times – a peculiarity of my headstrong and helter-skelter mental constitution I suppose. In the background, Brooke and Dakota can be overheard jabbering describing my temperament as a mishmash of volatility, eccentricity, fanciful imagination, and freakishness; but, in what measure, they offer no clue, just mockery, disillusionment, and an occasional Malaysian caning.
So, for those of you wishing that I would merely close this Raving out with some intelligent discussion about the migratory patterns or movements of different bird populations throughout the world, then your hope has been dashed because I will speak of no such thing. Instead, what we should be talking about, and taking up arms against, is the utter lack of migratory patterns or opportunity for movement of livestock held captive in the industrialized feedlots throughout this Country. However, since this topic is deserving of far more than a paragraph or two, we will be sure to revisit this contemptible practice in the not-to-distant future.
Often, much of what I write about in these Ravings is in response to or a reaction to what I perceive to be a growing and widespread anxiety about humankind’s increasingly discordant relationship with each other and with the world around us in an environmental sense. Arising out of this discord among humanity is an increasing feeling that we are losing touch with our authentic selves and with our spiritual connection to both God in Nature and Nature in God. So I write in an attempt to discourage this exploding and unchecked gross distortion and obliteration of authenticity and genuineness in the interrelationships, interconnections, and communication between all of us.
My hope, though admittedly somewhat naïve, is to assuage, if not eradicate entirely, unrestrained close-mindedness and this harum-scarum feeling of unapologetic resentment and hopelessness that grows uncontrollably out of this never forgive, never forget mentality that has taken root the world over.
In closing, I leave you with more prophetic and reassuring words from the Gospel of Thomas - "Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking." The Gospel of Thomas, No. 67, Nag Hammadi Codex II, in Coptic. Now, it is up to each one of you to decide the meaning of these words and how to relate them to the world around you. Keeping in mind that much was lost in the waning decades of the 20th Century and in the first eighteen years of the 21st Century, some of it probably not worth fighting for, but much of it needs reclaiming, replenishment, and rejuvenation if we are to have any realistic hope of seeing the 22nd Century.
Go in peace in search of the vapors of God’s own medicine.
Postscript, September 8th
Another reminder to that persistent gentleman who continues to email me looking for information about Raven Concealment Systems latest product offerings, please visit www.rcsgear.com because they can help you, I, on the other hand, cannot. I do not know the first thing about pocket carry essentials. I am by no means a pacifist, nor am I opposed to the original 18th Century intent of the Second Amendment, but firearms and handguns are merely not my things. And I’ll steer the conversation completely clear away from AR-15-type assault rifles because, regarding these, I am staunchly anti.