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Loren Bliss
Pacific Northwest (In permanent exile from Manhattan)
Editor/writer/photographer/explorer of the human condition
Interests: sociology, history and metaphysics -- class struggle, gender conflict and the eco-human crisis; objective analysis: iconoclasm, violation of taboos, destruction of shibboleths; indicative absurdities and grotesques; laughter and the sensuality of thinking; macrocosms and microcosms of being; in short, real life -- typically as viewed from the seemingly contradictory but ultimately consonant (and often symbiotic) perspectives of Marxism and pagan agnosticism.
Recent Activity
(Though I began this piece on 25 February 2017, a combination of obstacles including a five-day emergency hospitalization for sepsis delayed its completion enough to necessitate major structural revisions. But its core point – that Moron Nation is to our species and our planet what incurable terminal cancer is to the human individual – remains unchanged.) *** THE ROCKET-BOMBING of Syria proves beyond argument what those of us on the Real Left have maintained since last summer: that behind the rhetorical smokescreens of their respective Big Lies, there was never so much as a nickel's worth of difference between Donald... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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One of Capitalism's innumerable victims, an elderly Tacoma man who now has no home – he and his generational peers (myself included) among the tens of millions targeted for extermination by the Capitalists' proposals for murderous reductions in health care. Meanwhile no one in the euphemism-strangled Capitalist media dares call it genocide, though that is precisely what it is. Photograph by Loren Bliss ©2016 * (NOTES TO READERS: [1]- “New Name” was substantially revised on 21-22 March 2017, mostly for clarity and emotional precision. Hence I have re-posted it with a more descriptive title, a new URL, and this apologetic... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2017 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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Photograph by Loren Bliss ©2011 * (Originally posted 7 February 2017; inadvertently deleted during website work 20 March 2017, reposted same date. My apology for the fact that due to my error this work is lost forever in Internet limbo as its original Outside Agitator's Notebook URL has unavoidably been replaced by the new Dispatches from Dystopia URL, which will make it impossible for search engines to find.) *** (Prefatory Note: I began this essay after reading and responding to “GOP Attack on Women Continues with House Vote to Deny Abortion Coverage” Common Dreams, 25 January, here and “WA: more... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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Occupy Tacoma's last demonstration, Mayday 2012. Photo by Loren Bliss © 2012. WHAT FOLLOWS IS one of those stories I never imagined I would write – a report about an event I never imagined could happen. When I first encountered Reader Supported News, probably sometime in 2010, it seemed a welcoming haven of uncensored reportage and vital, intelligently expressed dialogue. Hence I soon became something of a regular contributor to its comment threads, and in October 2011, after e-correspondence with RSN's owner Marc Ash, I volunteered to cover Occupy Tacoma for the site. I provided both text and pictures –... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2017 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
(Quote used as headline is from Tim Buckley's "Phantasmagoria in Two," linked below.) THE CRUSHING DEFEATS We the People suffered in the past year leave us with only two alternatives: submission or resistance, either of which portend a descent into darkness of such unprecedented magnitude, its intensity and probable duration should refute forever our comforting but utterly deluded notion “the arc of the universe...bends toward justice.” What has obtained in 2016 should also force us to acknowledge the bitter truth we symbolize as darkness – tyranny, subjugation, slavery and genocide – is in fact proven by history to be our... Continue reading
JILL STEIN'S EFFORT TO nullify the 2016 presidential election by last-minute recounts reeks of Green Party naivety, typically dishonest Democratic (sic) Party sleight-of-hand and the sinister guile for which Hillary Clinton is rightfully infamous. In all probability, Stein is Hillary's figurehead, positioned to be the perfect scapegoat for the debacle that will inevitably follow if this newest campaign to monkeywrench Donald Trump's victory is even half as effective as Hillary's felonious suppression of Sen. Bernie Sanders' candidacy. Properly cynical analysis of the Stein campaign – Stein's relative innocence and limited finances as opposed to Hillary's bottomless corruption and obscenely unlimited... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
WE THE PEOPLE can no longer doubt Donald Trump is the new Hitler. Last week – particularly given the conciliatory tone of his victory speech, I said we should wait and see what sort of a president Trump would be – but his appointment of the notorious white supremacist Steve Bannon as his chief advisor tells us all we need to know. Thus before the last few remnants of our Bill of Rights are forever abolished, we who survived the Johnson-Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama prelude to Trump's Fourth Reich and now find ourselves among this not-so-New Order's publicly declared targets should at least... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
DESPITE ALL THE intensified and now obviously never-to-be-diminished nastiness spewing from the Hillaryites, the one certainty about President Elect Donald Trump is that we cannot yet be certain what sort of president he will be. As I emailed a profoundly distraught friend early this morning, Trump's acceptance speech was a model of reconciliation – and no I am not being sarcastic. He said, in essence, that he intends be president "for all Americans," and that he wants to befriend any nation who will befriend us. Shortly after the president-elect had spoken, RT (which had provided what was by far the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
AGAIN I DID no writing specifically for OAN this week, and again – this time due to voluntary albeit unavoidable interruptions – I missed my self-assigned deadline. But the comments I posted elsewhere on the Internet are nevertheless perhaps worth reading. *** “DAPL Mississippi Stand Update: Protesters Arrested on False Pretenses and Illegally Searched”: The head, like the organization's name, is written with the customary millennial contempt for precise language and is confusing enough it fooled a Reader Supported News editor into captioning the accompanying photograph as having been made in Mississippi when in fact it was taken far to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
NO WRITING SPECIFICALLY for OAN this week – and my apology for the fact I unavoidably missed my self-assigned Thursday 20 October deadline – but it's been one hell of an interlude. First the National Weather Service forecast a “historically significant” hurricane-force storm for 15-16 October that alarmed some house-owning friends of mine enough they asked me to stay with them so that – should the weather have materialized as destructively as forecast – I would not have been subject to the post-Katrina horrors of survival in a low-income housing facility that would no doubt have been deliberately abandoned by... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
THE UTTER FUTILITY of trying to restore our stolen liberty here in the United States – the now-undeniable fact We the People are the disempowered subjects of a predator state ruled by gangster capitalists and their wholly-owned vassals in government, academia and mass media – is made undeniably clear by the damning revelations about Democratic (sic) Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent Donald Trump. That's because after last Friday's disclosures we now know as absolute certainty what many of us have long suspected: that the One Percent and their Ruling Class vassals, in what is probably human history's... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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THE FALSIFIED-INFORMATION tactic employed by many (if not all) the USian state welfare bureaucracies to justify cuts in stipends and services – in this instance to deprive me of food stamps – is exemplified by the official notice I received recently from the always-adversarial Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. As shown in the main paragraph of the copy reproduced above, the DSHS bureaucrats are falsely claiming my rent-and-utilities expenditures have “chang(ed)” – in other words, decreased. And while the $1 food-stamp reduction shown above is seemingly insignificant, the rationale upon which it is based is an obviously... Continue reading
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HOMELESS HUMANS have become the new exemplars of capitalist reality, particularly in the United States. (I made these portraits with my digital Canon SLR while on unpaid/volunteer assignment last week, then processed the pictures as if I were once again working with my beloved M Leicas and Tri-X at 800 ASA developed in D-76 and printing the results on DuPont Varilure, which had photographic paper's highest silver content and was therefore the best paper in the world but was discontinued in 1973 due to capitalist manipulations that triggered skyrocketing silver prices.) Photographs by Loren Bliss © 2016. *** PLEASE CONSIDER... Continue reading
Loren Bliss is now following Jacqueline Homan
Jul 31, 2016
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Photographed this young girl while I was on assignment in Tacoma's Wright Park a couple hours before doctors at Group Health Cooperative told me my congestive heart failure is stable and that if it remains so, I should live as long as genetics and Fate would otherwise have allowed. (Photograph copyright Loren Bliss 2016.) * MY APOLOGY FOR the unprecedentedly long silence, OAN's longest hiatus since I began its publication in 2009 and – or so I surely hope – a silence never to be repeated. While the above cutline summarizes the good news, the details are (1) – that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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Lest we forget: Memorial Day in Tompkins Square Park, New York City, 1967. Photo © Loren Bliss 1967, 2011. * NO, I'M NOT dead, not yet, though sometimes the aches, pains and political betrayals of old age – arthritis in shoulders, wrists, knees and every vertebra plus the constant foreboding generated by the Democrats' ongoing collaboration with the Republicans in the slow-motion genocide of “austerity” – almost make me wish I were dead. Especially now, burdened as I am with the physical preparations for temporary eviction from my apartment – an atrocity encouraged by anti-tenant Washington state law that allows... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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Cate Montana and me in a much more hopeful time. (Her selfie c. 2014) * WHAT WE ARE witnessing in this year's presidential campaign is the transformation of the politics of trauma into a politics of rage. It is unlike anything I have ever witnessed, neither during my 55-year journalism career nor as a citizen, but it is obviously (and eerily) a nationwide macrocosm of what Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described as the five stages of terminal illness: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The trauma is capitalism's double murder of the so-called American Dream and the U.S. experiment in representative democracy.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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A Tacoma Clinic Defense volunteer displays her standard response – facial expression included – to harassment from male misogynists. However the vast majority of passers-by indicate their support of TCD workers. Clinic defense is one of the many ways we socialists serve the people, bypassing the oppressive power of the capitalist plutocracy. (Photo by Loren Bliss © 2016) * THE QUESTION ASKED by Thom Hartmann in “What Happens When Neither Political Party Answers to the Bottom 90%” is answered with almost eerie synchronicity by how a Democratic official seems to be vengefully withholding vital information from a small local newsletter... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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Men of Tacoma Clinic Defense on guard. Another image is here. Photo by Loren Bliss © 2016. * THERE ARE THREE separate stories in this week's edition of OAN – four if you count the all-man Tacoma Clinic Defense photo I'm publishing as a clarification to whatever misleading impressions might have resulted from last week's TCD picture that showed only one man and four women. These facts alone are scarcely preface-worthy, but one of the other stories – the lead story in fact – has proven so damnably difficult to write, it demands an introduction. Though I hate to begin... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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A lighthearted moment among Tacoma Clinic Defense volunteers on guard against Fundamentalist Christian fanatics who want to abolish women's sexual freedom. I recently joined TCD and will give it as much time on its defense lines and with my media skills as I am able. (Photo by Loren Bliss © 2016) * ONCE AGAIN, OAN is in a state of transition. I have lost nearly all my readers due to the posting-hiatus inflicted by the worst creativity-killer I have ever encountered – an ongoing, emotionally exhausting fight with Microsoft's (notoriously buggy) Windows 10 software. Nor can I abandon the struggle.... Continue reading
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Loren Bliss as the crowd applauded (above), the legislators (below) responding with imperial disdain. On the dais from left: Rep, Jake Fey, Sen. Jeannie Darneille, Rep. Laurie Jinkins. Photos by KD, OAN © 2016. * VOLUNTARY SELF-CRITICISM is one of the primary techniques of consciousness-raising, and the entire USian Left – both the True Left of revolutionary socialists and the False Left of pro-capitalist reformers, anti-union “progressives,” identity-politics zealots, self-proclaimed “anarchists” and all their ideologically ignorant (or merely thoughtless) kindred – could surely use large and regularly administered doses of it. I am certainly no exception. Hence I will begin... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
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Emergence Nr. 17: photograph by Loren Bliss copyrights 1971, 1976, 1985, 2016 * THOSE WHO WERE appalled by my impending blindness will be delighted to learn an eleventh-hour charity paid Group Health Cooperative the obscenely prohibitive co-payments it charges for the surgery required to save my eyesight. (Group Health's fees, in no way exceptional, exemplify what obtains when health care is a privilege of wealth rather than a human right, and the care-giving organization's primary purpose is therefore to put oodles of boodle in executive pockets rather than treat the sick and heal the wounded.) That said, if there are... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
TO MY HORROR, I have learned the cataract surgery I had in late 2014 has failed. I am again going blind, this time from a post-operative condition called posterior capsule opacity – essentially the failure of a production-line surgeon to remove enough of the cataract cells to prevent them from growing back in a new inner-eye locale. But now the slow-motion genocide of cuts to social services has left me without any means to pay the out-of-pocket cost of corrective surgery, which is $608 plus an additional sum in co-payments of approximately $200 – a total of $808. It might... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2016 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia
(The following is a expansion of my recent comments about Faun, the outspokenly Pagan German musical troupe that has become part of Europe's post-Christian avant-garde Left and one of its primary cultural magnets. Like today's commentary, this too was birthed by my correspondence with the writer Cate Montana, who has become one of my closest friends.) *** I WAS ZENNING OUT, recovering from the monthly madness of the senior-citizen newsletter I edit and produce, when I decided to play some more of Faun's work including “Blaue Stunde,” a piece to which I had not really listened before. Then playing it... Continue reading
THE FOLLOWING ESSAYS explain why it's almost certain I will never again vote for a Democrat – not even Bernie Sanders. Each essay describes an aspect of the defining truth of present-day U.S. politics: that when we vote a self-proclaimed Democrat into office, we almost always discover afterward we have elected a Republican instead. This has been the result of an overwhelming deception – simultaneously Orwellian and Machiavellian – that became the operational core of U.S. “democracy” in 1964, when President Lyndon Banes Johnson presented himself as the “peace candidate” even as he and his henchmen were engineering the Gulf... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2015 at Loren Bliss: Dispatches from Dystopia