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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reading Eric Packer Through Surfaces - Interfacing


By Marina at cosmopolisfilm.com

The tower gave him strength and depth. He knew what he wanted, a haircut, but stood a while longer in the soaring noise of the street and studied the mass and scale of the tower. The one virtue of its surface was to skim and bend the river light and mime the tides of open sky. There was an aura of texture and reflection. He scanned its length and felt connected to it, sharing the surface and the environment that came into contact with the surface, from both sides. A surface separates inside from out and belongs no less to one than the other. He’d thought about surfaces in the shower once.

Excellent image. The surface of the buildings like an IBM punch card as Baudrillard says in his comments pre - 9/11 about the  Twin Towers. This is DeLillo's or one of DeLillo's descriptive pieces of writing about the Towers via an imaginary residential tower that Packer lives in. His adjective "brutal" is another one. The manuscript of Cosmopolis was finished before 9-11, DeLillo was profoundly moved by that event as he was about the assassination of JFK, and in December or November wrote a piece in Harper's 12-01 called In The Ruins of the FutureReflections on terror and loss in the shadow of September  about terrorism as an ongoing part of our future world.

Graph Function in Linear Time NOT Realtime
Considering surfaces, insides and outsides, and the shower (sex) resonates with the interfacing of Eric Packer's whole being with the screen, the market, the numbers twinkling by indicating the rise and fall of the yen, -  yen, yearning,  - wanting? - yes, by god  - a haircut, that most trivial of things to decide to want since you don't know what of value you might want, because you are in such a consumer conundrum you don't know what you want. So let's want a haircut! That's an easy thing to want. No problema.

But what that wanting - and its journey -  is going to lead to!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reading Eric Packer Through the Solitude of Prime Numbers


Eric Packer thinks about prime numbers.




#28 of 2011 ? The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano.

Prime numbers are divisible only by one and by themselves. They hold their place in the infinite series of natural numbers, squashed, like all numbers, between two others, but one step further than the rest. They are suspicious, solitary numberswhich is why Mattia thought they were wonderful. 

Sometimes he thought they had ended up in that sequence by mistake, that they’d been trapped, like pearls strung on a necklace. Other ties he suspected that they too would have preferred to be like all the others, just ordinary numbers, but for some reason they couldn’t do it. This second thought struck him mostly at night, in the chaotic interweaving of images that comes before sleep, when the mind is too weak to tell itself lies.

In his first year at university, Mattia had learned that, among prime numbers, there are some that are even more special. Mathematicians call them twin primes: pairs of prime numbers that are close to each other, almost neighbors, but between them there is always an even number that prevents them from truly touching. Numbers like 11 and 13, like 17 and 19, 41 and 43. 

If you have the patience to go on counting, you discover that these pairs gradually became rarer. You encounter increasingly isolated primes, lost in that silence, measured space made only of ciphers, and you develop a distressing presentiment that the pairs encountered up until that point were accidental, that solitude is the true destiny.

 Then, just when you’re about to surrender, when you no longer have the desire to go on counting, you come across another pair of twins, clutching each other tightly. There is a common conviction among mathematicians that however far you go, there will always be another two, even if no on can say where exactly, until they are discovered.


Mattia thought he and Alice were like that, twin primes, alone and lost, close but not really close enough to touch each other. He had never told her that.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gotham Book Mart In Memoriam - Eric Packer's Day in Cosmopolis

The Gotham Book Mart is the bookstore Eric goes into to look at poetry books and sees an apparition of a woman that he follows. He finally catches up with her and it is Elise sitting on the stairs reading a book of poetry. Just as Gradiva sits on the stairs in the antiquities shop that used to be the Pompeiian poet's residence. In both cases Gradiva/Elise are taken to lunch by Hansen and Packer -  rather lovely I think.

DeLillo has lovingly included the famous and excellent historical Gotham Book Mart in his story. It was forced to close in 2007. The real estate the store rented was obscenely expensive, and a bookstore that was cherished and obviously loved by DeLillo bit the dust to greed. It's huge inventory of priceless rare autographed books and photographs went up for auction and were donated to The University of Pennsylvania's Library. A happier ending than might have been.

NYTimes or paste in browser http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/gotham-book-mart-holdings-are-given-to-penn/ article

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2009/01/keeping-the-got.html lovely article reminiscing about GBM


The Gotham Book Mart was famous for its literary eminences. A December 1948 party for Osbert and Edith Sitwell (seated, center) drew a roomful of bright lights to the Gotham Book Mart: clockwise from W. H. Auden, on the ladder at top right, were Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, Charles Henri Ford (cross-legged, on the floor), William Rose Benét, Stephen Spender, Marya Zaturenska, Horace Gregory, Tennessee Williams, Richard Eberhart, Gore Vidal and José Garcia Villa. (Photo: Gotham Book Mart)

Andreas Brown, the last owner of the Gotham Book Mart, readied vintage photos of Arthur Miller and James Joyce in 2004 in preparation for a move to a new location. (Photo: Frances Roberts for The New York Times)

Updated, 4:50 p.m. | About 200,000 items from the Gotham Book Mart, which closed in 2007 after 87 years as a New York literary haven of international stature, have been donated to the University of Pennsylvania.

January 2, 2009, 12:51 pm
Gotham Book Mart Holdings Are Given to Penn
By SEWELL CHAN

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reading Eric Packer Through Ayn Rand



Rob Pattinson as Eric Packer
He tried to read his way into sleep but only grew more wakeful. He read science and poetry. He liked spare poems sited minutely in white space, ranks of alphabetic strokes burnt into paper. Poems made him conscious of his breathing. A poem bared the moment to things he was not normally prepared to notice. This was the nuance of every poem, at least for him, at night, these long weeks, one breath after another, in the rotating room at the top of the triplex. (C p. 5 the first page)
Raymond Massey

Gail Wynand in The Fountainhead has his bedroom at the top of his penthouse where it is glassed all around. The world can watch him fuck women. A little bit of trivia that DeLillo throws in for Ayn Rand intelligentsia. A "floating sign"? 
"When she entered his bedroom, she found it was not the place she had seen photographed in countless magazines. The glass cage had been demolished. The room built in its place was a solid vault without a single window. It was lighted and air-conditioned, but neither light nor air came from the outside."When Dominique enters his penthouse after their marriage.

Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper - Fountainhead
Alert cue, alert cue!


He bypassed sleep and rounded into counterpoise, a moonless calm in which every force is balanced by another. This was the briefest of easings, a small pause in the stir of restless identities. (C p.5-6)

The dialectic is stilled, balanced, the see-saw is even, straight across. It's not charting. The line is flat. Like a brain-dead flatline on the oscilloscope. 


Every act he performed was self-haunted and synthetic. The palest thought carried an anxious shadow. (c p.6)

The appearance of the Double, just barely sensed, like a shadow. Restless identities stirring. Death enters the novel quietly, on the first two pages, like a shadow, with the appearance of the Double.

DeLillo writes in this way: He types a paragraph on one sheet of white paper, edits it, retypes it again on another white sheet of paper, re-edits it, etc until it reads the way he wants it to read. There is always plenty of white around the paragraph. If you have ever seen a shot of an Ayn Rand manuscript, not like DeLillo at all.

Eric Packer:
When he died he would not end. The world would end. (C p.6)
Freud is finished. (dead). Einstein is next. (to die) Their worlds are dead.(C p.6)

On reading Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne Heller:

On the last page:

"It is not I who will die, it is the world that will end," Ayn Rand liked to say. It is a favorite quote of hers her fans like so much.

DeLillo is challenging Baudrillard on ending global capitalism through narrative transcendence, and he is also challenging Rand and  her moral defense of capital. 

Anne Heller
Although Heller's book was published after Cosmopolis, it seems prescient that this quote is on the first page of Cosmopolis and the identical quote is on the last page of Heller's biography of Rand. DeLillo's self chosen book cover for Underworld seems also prescient in its erie image of the coming 9-11. And Cosmopolis is clairvoyant about the 2008 meltdown.
                                                                                                                                       
Nietzsche - Genealogy of Morals
Now I feel that DeLillo's ghost is following me as I am reading Cosmopolis through Atlas Shrugged but even more through Rand herself. I am coming to believe that she is the great unacknowledged post modern philosopher her rather poorly educated disciples have always thought her to be, but not for the same reasons as they. I believe she is Nietzsche's heir, more than Foucault and Baudrillard, and taking in the consideration that she disavowed Nietzsche early on, stopped writing in her journals about him so much, all his thought embedded in her mind went underground. Until Baudrillard came along and blasted it up in my face without even knowing about her.

Does DeLillo intend to just blast her for her defense of capital? Or is DeLillo somehow divining her   unconscious catastrophic collision with capital via Greenspan in the 2008 meltdown. As a defender of capital on a moral foundation of self-interest,  this is the flaw Greenspan told Congress he had found in his thinking.

From Digby at Hullabaloo who blames Rand for the 2008 meltdown.

Digby
Under questioning from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee chairman, Greenspan acknowledged that the failure of that expected self-regulation represented "a flaw in the model" he used to analyze economics. "I was going for 40 years or more on the perception that it was working well."
This is the fundamental problem with Randian thinking. They really do believe that capitalism is a moral system in which the people become wealthy because they are morally and intellectually superior to those who don't. Why, it would be wrong for them to not self-regulate and endanger the whole economy, right? It wouldn't make any sense. - Digby

No Digby, that's not the reason they believe it is a moral system. They believe it is a moral system because it is based on man's reason and self-interest. The flaw is rational self-interest. Why would these financiers destroy their financial empires? Well, Mr. Greenspan, you should have known in 1968. Rand destroyed her lucratively financial, philosophical empire of Objectivism that Nathaniel Branden had built for her, his lover, because he didn't want to fuck her anymore. She wanted to punish him, destroy him, kill him for choosing a beautiful young woman instead of an old brilliant frumpet.

And OMG I believe she was following Nietzsche all this time. Taking every single premise she had and carrying it to the extreme. And every goddamn one of them from sex, to friendship, to love, to her writing,  all of it, to the extreme, to excess. What is Atlas Shrugged as a novel, but a novel that is more a novel than a novel, a hyper-novel, an excessive novel, a novel that is "worse" as Nietzsche would say. All the way to Death as Canetti would say. Being more a capitalist than a capitalist. More so. Worse as Nietzsche advocates to bring something down. To destroy it. This is where Baudrillard kills Foucault in Forget Foucault. This is where Rand does it in reality through Greenspan instead of advocating or writing about it. She is a major philosopher by default. She didn't know she knew.

Does DeLillo know that he knows. I dunno.

To defy the system with a gift to which it cannot respond save by its own collapse and death. Nothing, not even the system, can avoid the symbolic obligation, and it is in this trap that the only chance of a catastrophe for capital remains. ...For it is summoned to answer, if it is not to lose face, to what can only be death. The system must itself commit suicide in response to the multiplied challenge of death and suicide. (Jean Baudrillard - Symbolic Exchange and Death 37)

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Wall Street Demonstration Feeds Into What It Opposes - Vija Kinski



http://cosmopolisfilm2.blogspot.com/2011/08/understanding-simulacra-and-simulation.html?zx=d0db2160906347e5

Cronenberg's eXistenZ is serious filmic social theory of the nature of our postmodern landscape. Cronenberg, like Baudrillard, would like to oppose the reality he describes, but points out that terrorist resistance to it is merely absorbed into the system and cannot defeat it. Ironically, terrorism and resistance are "game-themes" in eXistenZ, suggesting that they broach no threat, but are actually required by the system in order to provide a pretext to continue information emission. Baudrillard, too, would like to be a terrorist- to lash out violently against those who are in control, but such a role is no longer possible in a world where death and violence have no impact and are met by glassy eyed apathy as the result of data-glut. It seems that the only hope is awareness of the effect that media have on communication and human relationships. Cronenberg, like Baudrillard , McLuhan, and Shenk, urge us to be aware of what constant exposure to information and simulacra do to the human psyche and to culture. The content of the media is irrelevant. It is the quantity of data and simulacra to which we are exposed and the methods by which we are subjected to that information that result in data smog, mental disorders, and violence. The most effective strategy to resist the system is to behave like an irreverent child, declining to constitute ourselves as subjects, refusing to process the data and abstaining from responding to it. By passively ignoring the data input thrown at us by the parental system, it will cease to exist as it does now. We can turn off the tv, shut down the computer, and stop playing the game.



DeLillo has Vija Kinski elucidate Baudrillardian theory to Eric Packer in Cosmopolis:





A specter is haunting the world, they cried.


He was enjoying this. Teenagers on skateboards sprayed graffiti at advertising displays on the sides of buses. The styrofoam rat was toppled now and there were police in tight formation advancing behind riot shields, helmeted men who moved with a totalistic grimness that made Kinski seem to sigh.


Protesters were rocking the car. He looked at her and smiled. There were close-ups on TV of faces scorched by pepper gas. The zoom lens caught a man in a parachute dropping from the top of a tower nearby. Chute and man were striped in anarchist red-and-black and his penis was exposed, likewise logotyped. They were knocking the car back and forth. Projectiles came popping from tear-gas launchers and cops free-lanced in the crowd, wearing masks with twin filtration chambers out of some lethal cartoon.

"You know what capitalism produces. According to Marx and Engels."




"Its own grave-diggers," he said.




"But these are not the grave-diggers. This is the free market itself. These people are a fantasy generated by the market. They don't exist outside the market. There is nowhere they can go to be on the outside. There is no outside."





The camera tracked a cop chasing a young man through the crowd, an image that seemed to exist at some drifting distance from the moment.





"The market culture is total. It breeds these men and women. They are necessary to the system they despise. They give it energy and definition. They are marketdriven. They are traded on the markets of the world. This is why they exist, to invigorate and perpetuate the system."




He watched the vodka slosh in her glass as the car bounced back and forth. There were people banging on the windows and hood. He saw Torval and the bodyguards sweep them off the chassis. He thought briefly about the partition behind the driver. It had a cedar frame with an inlaid fragment of ornamental Kufic script on parchment, late tenth century, Baghdad, priceless.




She tightened her seat belt.




"You have to understand."




He said, "What?"





"The more visionary the idea, the more people it leaves behind. This is what the protest is all about. Visions of technology and wealth. The force of cyber-capital that will send people into the gutter to retch and die. What is the flaw of human rationality?"




He said, "What?"





"It pretends not to see the horror and death at the end of the schemes it builds. This is a protest against the future. They want to hold off the future. They want to normalize it, keep it from overwhelming the present."





There were cars burning in the street, metal hissing and spitting, and stunned figures in slow motion, in tides of smoke, wandering through the mass of vehicles and bodies, and others everywhere running, and a cop down, genuflected, outside a fast food shop.





"The future is always a wholeness, a sameness. We're all tall and happy there," she said. "This is why the future fails. It always fails. It can never be the cruel happy place we want to make it."



Monday, August 15, 2011

Understanding Simulacra and Simulation in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ By Heidi Nelson Hochenedel

This is an awesome review of Cronenberg's eXistenZ. I am so jealous.




INTRODUCTION
eXistenZ, written and directed by David Cronenberg, is cyberpunk on the big screen. It addresses the problems of a culture so plugged into technology that it can no longer distinguish between fantasy and reality or between the organic and the mechanical. In Cronenberg's world, the most ubiquitous form of entertainment is computerized vr games which physically plug into the human body and replace other forms of recreation, such as sex, drugs, and sports. They are entertaining and mind-expanding, but so realistic that it is impossible to distinguish between games and reality. After playing, the "real" world feels like a game and, as a result, human behavior is apt to express violent "game-urges" even when the game is over. Sound familiar? Like all cyberpunk, eXistenZwarns against a techno-future that is already here. We shall see that many of the ideas addressed by Cronenberg in this film are also examined by theorists Marshall McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard, who study the effect of technology on modern culture. Cronenberg, like McLuhan, argues that technology is an extension of the human body and psyche(1). In eXistenZ, technology has evolved from machinery to biological organisms that plug directly into the human nervous system; an idea that echoes McLuhan's belief that computers are extensions of human consciousness. In eXistenZ, technology is biological and is thus more "human" than it is in our world. But as technology becomes organic, humans become more mechanical and therefore less free, unable to resist their "game-urges." As human consciousness is extended, human freedom of will (or its illusion) is amputated.
One of Baudrillard's most important ideas is that simulation and representation have changed over time. For Baudrillard, simulations or "simulacra," have become "hyperreal," more than real. Our hyperreality, like Cronenberg's world of computer simulation, now feels, and, for all intents and purposes is, more real than what we call the "real world." Baudrillard discusses four stages of simulacra in his essay "The Precession of Simulacra:" (continue to original here).........
....................................................................................................................................................................

CONCLUSION
Cronenberg's eXistenZ is serious filmic social theory of the nature of our postmodern landscape. Cronenberg, like Baudrillard, would like to oppose the reality he describes, but points out that terrorist resistance to it is merely absorbed into the system and cannot defeat it. Ironically, terrorism and resistance are "game-themes" in eXistenZ, suggesting that they broach no threat, but are actually required by the system in order to provide a pretext to continue information emission. Baudrillard, too, would like to be a terrorist- to lash out violently against those who are in control, but such a role is no longer possible in a world where death and violence have no impact and are met by glassy eyed apathy as the result of data-glut. It seems that the only hope is awareness of the effect that media have on communication and human relationships. Cronenberg, like Baudrillard , McLuhan, and Shenk, urge us to be aware of what constant exposure to information and simulacra do to the human psyche and to culture. The content of the media is irrelevant. It is the quantity of data and simulacra to which we are exposed and the methods by which we are subjected to that information that result in data smog, mental disorders, and violence. The most effective strategy to resist the system is to behave like an irreverent child, declining to constitute ourselves as subjects, refusing to process the data and abstaining from responding to it. By passively ignoring the data input thrown at us by the parental system, it will cease to exist as it does now. We can turn off the tv, shut down the computer, and stop playing the game.

What counts are the rhymes- designed to fill your mind...
It's a start a work of art...
What we need is awareness, we can't get careless...
Right on, come on
What we got to say
Power to the people without delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight 
Fight the powers that be.
Chuck D., lyrical terrorist Public Enemy
"Fight the Power" on Fear of a Black Planet


LINK



It is excellent. It is funny. It is thorough and Cronenberg emerges as one of the great post modern thinkers of our time who also happens to express himself in film.

But since 9-11 Baudrillard has changed his theory on opposing the system. True it cannot be opposed within the dialetic as Vija Kinski so carefully tells Eric Packer. Demonstrations, civil disobedience, terrorism and riots are welcomed and absorbed by the system. Notice the arrests going on from the UK riots and all the lame explanations, just more info circulating globally. However, Baudrillard after 9-11 opposes our rush into Virtual Reality by an act of implosion. He saw clearly that the bombers of 9-11 created an excess of reality so hyperreal that people watching thought it was TV until they turned channels and saw it everywhere. Orson Welles did the same with his radio broadcast of the alien invasion that had people running in the streets in the late 30's (my details are fuzzy). The 9-11 excess of reality was coupled with suicide and so Symbolic Exchange and Death was merged as the GIFT to the USA global capitalistic system, a gift to which it must respond with the counter-gift - OR commit suicide. We have not responded with the counter-gift. And we are committing suicide. It is playing out.

Watch and learn.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reading Brutha Fez Through Chuck D Public Enemy - Lyrical Terrorism






Chuck D Public Enemy - Brutha Fez





interpretation of david cronenberg eXistenZ 

I often check my stats and take a look at the search words on google that brought someone 
here. Then I paste them back in to see what's going on there. So that is how I got to Chuck
Public Enemy. Not exactly the type of site one associates with a major rapper,eh? But  
here's the rhyme quoted there:

What counts are the rhymes- designed to fill your mind...
It's a start a work of art...
What we need is awareness, we can't get careless...
Right on, come on
What we got to say
Power to the people without delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight 
Fight the powers that be.
Chuck D., lyrical terrorist Public Enemy
"Fight the Power" on Fear of a Black Planet


Meandering further - farther - (they are in Saussurean flux now I think) I got to the youtube music, lyrics, and demonstrations. And then I got it. By George I got it! This is the rap artist referred to in Cosmopolis as Brutha Fez. Or close enough for me.  Listen. It's not a funeral procession but you will get the idea.

Of course the transcendence of Brutha Fez is the key. Evidently Chuck D of Public Enemy has not experienced a spiritual transcendence, only a political one. But the crowds of worshippers are similar. The rhymes are too. Am I pushing this too hard?

After seeing Macdonald's documentary Marley and the film clips of Bob Marley's funeral the resonance with Brutha Fes, his message and his funeral is inescapable.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reading the UK Riots:5 Books That Told Us What Was Coming

 Earlier blog here on the riots:   Reading London Riots Through Cosmopolis and DeLillo

For a more complete analysis and coverage of the Events: http://cengizerdem.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/reading-the-uk-riots-slavoj-zizek-and-living-in-the-end-times-via-reading-the-riots/

_______________________________________________________________________
Rioting and looting was not the only violent activity being carried out by Englishmen on Sunday night. Some hours before Cameron appeared on our TV screens vowing to take revenge on the risen British youth, his bomber pilots carried out a raid which slaughtered 33 Libyan children, along with 32 women and 20 men in Zlitan, a village near Tripoli. He, along with the rulers of France and the USA, are desperately trying to stave off economic collapse in the same way they always have – through the slaughter of third world people and the theft of their resources.
The English Riots in Context - Rebel Griot  http://www.countercurrents.org/griot130811.htm
______________________________________________________

For books other than Cosmopolis predicting the London Riots Event

http://simonarmstrongonbooks.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/reading-the-uk-riots-5-books-that-told-us-what-was-coming/#comment-3  You will have to put this link in google as yahoo won't get you there.


“The suburbs dream of violence. Asleep in their drowsy villas, sheltered by benevolent shopping malls, they wait patiently for the nightmares that will wake them into a more passionate world.”
- J G Ballard, Kingdom Come (2006)

The idea of an imminent apocalypse or reckoning is as old as civilisation itself, yet our constant unease at the state of the world and the economy implies that the End Times are no longer an abstract event on the horizon, but something that is already upon us which we have chosen to ignore. - Zizek

And so here we are and DeLillo is right again. Everything you might want to know is in all my links. Images, videos both mainstream media and on the spot ones which reveal more as no one is telling you what you are seeing.












The End of History? - Francis Fukuyama

And reading the riots through Cronenberg's eXistenZ :  In eXistenZ, technology is biological and is thus more "human" than it is in our world. But as technology becomes organic, humans become more mechanical and therefore less free, unable to resist their "game-urges." As human consciousness is extended, human freedom of will (or its illusion) is amputated.


And don't miss this youtube of a wonderful video of graffiti in action on a metro car in Spain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu_l9ZhTZkw&feature=player_embedded
 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reading London Riots Through Cosmopolis and DeLillo

Tottenham Burning Building

http://cengizerdem.wordpress.com/?ref=spelling   (this link is not working and I bet it is being censored. Just keep fiddling with home, encryptions, etc until you get it)  has the best coverage (images and videos) of the riots and the best understanding of them as post colonial consequences.

http://cengizerdem.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/london-riots-in-big-pictures/  try this link as I think the servers are crashing. Or censored.

It belongs in this Cosmopolis blog as it parallels the "rat" demonstration in Cosmopolis with Vija Kinski's (Baudrillardian) analysis.

Is this the day the limos disappear in London?

In The Ruins of the Future DeLillo discusses terrorism as the opposing force to global capitalism. Terrorism is going to be with us for a long long time. This riot is terrorism. But is it any more terroristic than state and corporate terrorism?

It is an Event. Coming from elsewhere. No cause. An Irruption, just like Twilight.

The US has exported terrorism to the world, most recently to Iraq, with the help of other western countries  - UK - and now we are importing terrorism as we saw the past few days in the UK. These young people are gaming. They have grown up on Virtual Reality computer games. Their minds and bodies are interfaced with them as Packer's is interfaced with floating numbers and the market (he can't sleep etc) so the riots were really a VR game to them, an excess of reality delivered as a "gift" to the system. The system must respond with a "counter-gift" or commit suicide. This recent riot was worse than the "rat" demonstration in Cosmopolis. IMO at least.

The western world has been handed the "counter-gift" I think. And massive state crackdown will be the result. And it will be permanent against its domestic population.

A Rat Became The Unit Of Currency

Zbigniew Herbert
".......
I write as I can in the rhythm of interminable weeks
monday: empty storehouses a rat became the unit of currency
tuesday: the mayor murdered by unknown assailants
wednesday: negotiations for a cease-fire the enemy has imprisoned our messengers
we don't know where they are held that is the place of torture
thursday: after a stormy meeting a majority of voices rejected
the motion of the spice merchants for unconditional surrender
friday: the beginning of the plague saturday: our invincible defender
N.N. committed suicide sunday: no more water we drove back
an attack at the eastern gate called the Gate of the Alliance
......" 
Rats multiply and multiply like money. Rats are a plague, they bring disease like money. They destroy crops, kill infants, infest the city, homes, buildings, empty lots until they are everywhere. Like currency. Like money. Everywhere you go the rats are there.