Liz’s Poetry Series: News, War, Conspiracy, Suicide, April and Four Lines by T.S. Eliot

by lizard

I think watching network news can be instructive. Take tonight’s NBC reporting on the latest escalations in Ukraine. The framing delivered by the anchor is brilliant: “The White House is warning Russia against further military intervention…” (emphasis added).

There is a huge, unjustified leap right from the get-go in how NBC is depicting the occupation of buildings in Eastern Ukraine. If these actions by anti-government protestors pro-Russian separatists represent further Russian military intervention, that clearly implies there is already some degree of previous or ongoing intervention occurring.

Besides, isn’t occupying buildings what the US validated as acceptable behavior when you don’t like the direction your country is taking?

Bernhard at Moon of Alabama is reporting there does seem to be some level of coordination happening in Eastern Ukraine:

Over the last days people in Donetsk city had occupied several government buildings and barricaded them. The Alfa police units, SWAT operators, sent to kick them out allegedly refused to do so. A 48 hour coup-government ultimatum to clear the buildings was not followed up on. It is possible that the coup-government has found no loyal force that would do its bidding.

Today several other cities in Donetsk oblast also saw extensive movements of anti coup-government groups. In Sloviansk some para-military group, some of them somewhat trained (video), broke into the main police station and raised the Russian flag. They allegedly handed out weapons to other protesters. The mayor of Sloviansk had announced her pro-Russian stand. Around the city street checkpoints of pro-Russian militia, pictures show some mid aged men, went up. Many of these people are said to be miners from the large Donetsk coal mines. They are on the look out for incoming military and police traffic from Kiev. Trained people from the Berkut riot police, dissolved by the coup-government, have joined the protesters.

In Mariupol and Druzhkovka protesters have blocked or seized the local city administration. Police in Kramatorskaya joined the protesters there. The city of Luhansk, where there are also protests, and Donetsk were today at least once buzzed by military planes.

I have seen no Donetsk pictures yet of “polite green men”, i.e. Russian military operators, like those seen in Crimea. The militia people occupying buildings in Donetsk oblast also seem to be less equipped than the local self-defense groups that could be seen in Crimea. While this operation in several Donetsk cities today seems somewhat coordinated there is no hint yet that Russia is behind this.

At the beginning of this month, the Polish Wolf wanted Intelligent Discontent readers to know what a few Ukrainians thought about being in a tug-of-war between Russia and the US/EU. Some of the comments, especially about nuclear weapons, were troubling, like this one:

“Otto von Bismark once said that any contract with Russia isn`t worth even the paper on which it was signed. So it`s normal for them to break diplomatic agreements, but is US and Britain`s role then better, when being the guarantors of our safety they just keep on talking and watching how our soldiers are being killed, journalists kidnapped and Tatars repressed? I`ll tell you more – such political impotence of the world`s greatest organizations – NATO & EU, provokes in Ukrainians` discussions more interest towards renovation of atomic weapon, because facing the “great bear” all alone we have to be ready to protect ourselves. That`s the most upsetting realization of what is happening now – NO WORLD WILL HELP.”

The comments were kept anonymous, so we’ll just have to trust PW that they did in fact come from Ukrainians.

For some more perspective, Andre Vltchek has been traveling through Ukraine and has a new article up about his conversations with Ukrainians. Here is one example:

Before reaching Odessa we leave the highway and drive northeast, towards Moldova and its small separatist enclave, called Transnistria.

There, the river Kuchurgan separates the Ukrainian town of Kuchurgan and the Transnistrian city of Pervomaisc.

I see no Russian tanks at Pervomaisc, no artillery. There is absolutely no military movement whatsoever, despite the countless Western mass media reports testifying (in abstract terms) to the contrary.

I cross the bridge on foot and ask the Transnistrian border guard, whether he has recently seen any foreign correspondents arriving from the United States or the European Union, attempting to cross the border and verify the facts. He gives me a bewildered look.

I watch beautiful white birds resting on the surface of the river, and then I return to Ukraine.

There, two ladies who run the ‘Camelot Bar’ served us the most delicious Russo/Ukrainian feast of an enormous borscht soup, and pelmeni.

Russian television station blasts away, and the two women cannot stop talking; they are frank, proud, and fearless. I turn on my film camera, but they don’t mind:

“Look what is happening in Kiev”, exclaims Alexandra Tsyganskaya, the owner of the restaurant. “The US and the West were planning this; preparing this, for months, perhaps years! Now people in Ukraine are so scared, most of them are only whispering. They are petrified. There is such tension everywhere, that all it would take is to light a match and everything will explode.”

Her friend, Evgenia Chernova, agrees: “In Odessa, Russian-speaking people get arrested, and they are taken all the way to Kiev. The same is happening in Kharkov, in Donetsk, and elsewhere. They call it freedom of speech! All Russian television channels are banned. What you see here is broadcasted from across the border. They treat people like cattle. But our people are not used to this: they will rebel, they will resist! And if they push them to the edge, it will be terrible!”

Ukraine is a powder keg, but it’s not the only one. Also getting some network news attention is an “unconfirmed” video of another alleged chemical attack in Syria.

It’s irrational to think Assad would choose this form of killing when he has other forms of killing at his disposal that don’t cross “red lines”. It’s too bad speculating otherwise means considering Operation Gladio style asymmetrical warfare deployed by US-backed opposition groups.

Why too bad? Because going there means going into the easily maligned realm of the ever-nebulous conspiracy theory.

In *BREAKING* conspiracy culture news, it appears those of us who make our little trips into this dislocating space have some interesting company, as outed by Gawker in a piece titled The Astounding Conspiracy Theories of Wall Street Genius Mark Gorton.

Seriously, because unlike crazy anonymous bloggers like myself, this guy isn’t a “crackpot”.

Mark Gorton is a prominent financier and a respected entrepreneur. He founded the music sharing site Limewire, and he runs Tower Research, a famed high-frequency trading firm. Gorton also believes that the “ruthless” secret cabal that assassinated JFK and planned 9/11 could be coming to kill his family.

Mark Gorton does not have a reputation as a crackpot. Quite the opposite. He’s been favorably profiled in the New York Times for his business acumen and charitable deeds. His experience as the head of Limewire—which disrupted the music industry and then lost a $100 million lawsuit as a result—was closely followed by the press. And when Michael Lewis’s blockbuster new book about high frequency trading was published recently, prominent media outlets turned to Gorton to learn what HFT firms are really like. The Huffington Post even dubbed him “the new face of Wall Street.” He is a very respected and very wealthy man.

This week, we were forwarded documents that Gorton was sending out to employees at Tower Research. These documents—embedded at the bottom of this post—are essays by Mark Gorton, laying out his theories on the secret high-level murderous criminal “Cabal” that is responsible for, among other things, the JFK and RFK assassinations, the presidential careers of the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 plot, and the murder of countless witnesses, politicians, and journalists who sought to expose them, including Sen. Paul Wellstone and even Hunter S. Thompson. Everything, according to Gorton, has been an inside job.

It is really something.

I’d say so.

Mark Tokarski made a connection in a recent post I personally found intriguing because I’m fascinated by Hollywood and the strange tentacles lurking beneath the lucrative engines of our popular culture.

The post should be read in full because it’s too packed with details to excerpt, and this post is already long enough. I’ll simply say it has to do with the possible involvement of Woody Harrelson’s dad in the JFK assassination.

For anyone curious about the dark side of Hollywood, Dave McGowan’s Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon will be on sale starting April 30th. I’ve already read much of the material, and it’s absolutely fascinating.

The end of April is an appropriate time for release. This is a month heavy with death. Shootings, like the 2nd Ft Hood tragedy—and a new twist, a mass-stabbing in a high school outside Pittsburgh, correlate with increased rates of suicide in spring and early summer. For more information about misconceptions regarding suicide, like the concern that talking to someone openly about suicide will somehow contribute to the likelihood of them doing it, you can start here.

April is also National Poetry Month, and I really need to be more consistent in featuring poetic material, so I’ll end this long post with the first four lines of Eliot’s The Wasteland, first published in 1922:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.


  1. evdebs

    I’m tempted to look for a picture of Mark Gorton on Google Images. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a long beard, longer fingernails and was surrounded by LDS guidos, like Howard Hughes.

    Woo, woo!

  2. steve kelly

    People held in an environment of constant, hypnotic fear can adapt to, and accept, just about anything, even perpetual war. The good news: eventually the weight is too great and the spell is broken. That moment can’t come too soon.

  1. 1 160+ Poetry Links for National Poetry Month | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] News, War, Conspiracy, Suicide, April and Four Lines by T.S. Eliot […]

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