Monday, November 30, 2009


So let's say there's this state, right,
Let's call it "Shimmy".

Shimmy has a government
and the government of Shimmy knows
it doesn't have the support of the people.

There's a lot of people in the government of Shimmy
who have a lot invested
and desperately want to stay in power.

What does the government of Shimmy do?

the situation is a little more complicated than that
so let's just leave the question for a moment.

Let's say there's this other state,
Let's call it "Sham".

Sham has a government
and the government of Sham knows
it doesn't have the support of the people.
(Did I mention that Sham is the most powerful state in the world?)

There's a lot of people in the government of Sham
who have a lot invested
and desperately want to stay in power.

What does the government of Sham do?

Again, it's a bit more complicated,
so just bear with me another moment.

Sham has a little puppet state called "Shump".
Shump has a government
and the government of Shump knows
it doesn't have the support of the people.

There's a lot of people in the government of Shump
who have a lot invested
and desperately want to stay in power.

What does the government of Shump do?

Here's where it gets interesting...

The government of Shump says it hates Shimmy and says that Shimmy is dangerous.
The government of Shimmy says it hates Shump and says that Shump is dangerous.
The government of Sham hates them both and doesn't care what happens as long as Sham can sell guns and make shit loads of money.

You can probably see where this is going.

It's good for Shimmy to be the victim
of an attack by Shump
because then the government of Shimmy
can say to the people
"See, I told you they were out to get us"
and solidify their power base.
So Shimmy provokes Shump.

It's good for Shump to be the aggressor
because the government of Shump
can say to the people,
"We did this to defend you;
they pushed us to it;
we had no choice"
and solidify their power base.
So Shump provokes Shimmy.

It's good for Sham to allow this all to happen
because violence equals guns to the power of money
and then the government of Sham can say to the people,
"We will negotiate peace and bring stability to the region"
and solidify their power base.
So Sham (covertly) helps escalate the tension between Shimmy and Shump.

So that's the way to do it.
As long as it's good for everyone
(except the poor people who always pay the price)
Shimmy, Sham and Shump
will wait for the right moment
and do each other a favor.

Of course, there are a few details I left out
(like how states are as imaginary as Alice's Wonderland,
a facade so that rich people can make money.)
but that seems to be the gist of it.
(However, this may all be BS.)

Please stay tuned... your regularly scheduled programming will resume shortly.
But first a word from our sponsor:

"he got the charm of his optical life when he found himself (hic sunt lennones!) as pointblank range blinking down the barrel of an irregular revolver of the bulldog with a purpose pattern, handled by an unknown quarreler who, supposedly, had been told off to shade and shoot shy Shem should the shit show his shiny shnout out awhile to look facts in the face before being hosed and creased" (James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, 179)


I met the Walrus, by Josh Raskin and James Braithwaite


Francis Scudellari said...

I can think of a few places that could be Shump and Shimmy. Having read New Yorker pieces recently about Gaza/Israel and Pakistan/India, those are what jumped initially to mind. Obviously I'm pretty in synch with the analysis.

Harlequin said...

who says Joyce doesn't make sense.... this quote is spot on!
loved the analysis... eerily cogent; and, it's nice to know that as long as two out of three of the states can be against weaponry at the same time as they are selling it, the facade can continue until there are no more people alive to use the weapons on.... maybe then the weapons can just be used on real estate... sigh.

Jon said...

Could be a lot of places, eh? But then no where really has to be. It's just a shumped-up-shimty-sham no matter the names...
Thanks for your thoughts and for stopping by.

Yeah, that Joyce... seems to me more obvious that he was Nostradamus in a previous life. What you say about selling the arms while saying they want peace...
One of the things that Lennon says in the short clip that I like:
"War is big money... and then they'll have to own up to the fact that they're against peace"
Not a place any govt wants to be.

Mariana Soffer said...

I loved that short, it is amzing, so wise, the animation is incredible. My favourite part are lennon words about how you listen music at different levels and also how you produce it at different levels/frequencies and that you can focus on some of them, depending on where your mind is on.
I would love to know what else did the guy who do the drawings do, do you have a clue?

Jon said...

Hi Mariana,
The illustrator is named James Braithwaite. Here's his URL:

And yeah, that's an interesting that Lennon says in this interview, eh? Kind of similar to the conversation about Duchamp over on your blog... ah the mystery of the meaning making mind!

the walking man said...

I am to simple. I fight when I need to fight, not to protect the old orders of my life but rather simply to keep life on my side. Death being the alternative I find to be wholly unacceptable for the moment.

On the other hand I will allow governments to come and go and wars to pass from one to the next because as Lennon said...that is our nature. In their plots and machinations I will not participate 'cept to raise voice against.

But it is not nor has it been government and them within that is the true enemy of peace now is it?

My nature is to prefer the peace but not fear the violence in life.

Jon said...


OK... I'll bite. Who is the true enemy of peace?

BBC said...

Shimmy has a government
and the government of Shimmy knows
it doesn't have the support of the people.

So it brainwashes enough of them to hang onto support.

Shump would be Washington DC. Not actually a state even though it is shown that way on maps, but a separate country from the rest of us.

We're fucked, you're fucked, learn how to garden and make your own booze.

You can make fifty bucks worth of booze for five bucks anyway.

the walking man said...


Jon said...

I'm in line with what you say about the brainwashing. John Lennon says something in the clip about "free your mind"... I think there's something to that.
Sure Shump could be Washington, DC. Makes me re-think some of the other stuff in the analogy though... but it still works.
And yeah... make my own booze is on the list of things to do. I hear that you can make a reasonably acceptable moonshine from potatoes.

That's what I think too. Some of the lines in the post in brackets are alluding to this. Especially:

states are as imaginary as Alice's Wonderland,
a facade so that rich people can make money

But I'll still take issue with one point you make in your first comment. War is not natural. It's a construction, just like the govt. And not a necessary one at that. I'm not sure that there is more than one or two things that are really in our nature.

Lust With Wings said...


Devin said...

This was fantastic Jon! I think a lot of the relations between modern-and maybe not so modern nations are summed up right in this!
These days we have fake money, fake governments, fake leaders, fake peace talks, fake nation "building" when it's really destroying
fake everything-the age of the nation-state is indeed over
all that is left is a bunch of billionaires who decide things more or less.
In the USA I think we do indeed have the "Best government that money can buy."
all the best to you-I will have to watch the short now!!

Jon said...

it's not me is the actor... the world is the stage... the plot thickens...

Must be the student of history in you that makes the present so transparent, eh? Even for the Romans, gold was what lined the path. Thanks for your thoughts.

Devin said...

Jon I appreciate your comment back -and I would also throw in the "Iran" business in this -as I think the hardliners there get a lot out of our saber rattling and chest beating-of course with the number of nations the USA has screwed with one would have a wide variety to put in the quote marks up there-sadly
all the best to you my friend!!

Jon said...


I think that Iran is a good guess. That's what I'd guess, and I wrote the rant...

anyways... I feel bad about writing it now because i always try to stay away making overtly political statements... sometimes the things i see in the media just piss me off... i've got a friend in iran and i just worry, that's all...

thanks for your response back as well... seems like we're on the same page with lots of things

human being said...

hey dear pirate... you say you want to walk the plank in style... then why should you ever 'waste' your precious time worrying about a pernicious pest in a land called Iran?... go and learn your style...
all through history... for thousands of years... these creatures have been busy making dangerous bombs... and they have invaded people's minds and hearts through their non-business science, art, literature and philosophy... and they are very resistant to any pesticide!

and about your friend there... she's one of the most dangerous ones...
i know her... she is a real terrorist...
look at all that weaponry she's gathered on her blog!
don't trust her...
leave her and the rest of her people to Shimmy, Sham, and Shump... the good servents of big brothers... they teach them a good lesson... see?... now many of the people of the world have come to this belief that these pests should be wiped off the face of the earth... yes... states exist in the mind of people first... then on the map!... soon you can just rest in the comfort of your chair and read about them in books... they will be history soon!

Jon said...

I don't know if it can be soon enough! But I'll keep my fingers crossed...

Not sure what you mean by the terrorist friend of mine... I don't get the joke there... but i'll give that some time as well...

hope things are looking up in your neck of the woods and that the protests are not entirely out of hand...


human being said...

hey Jon...

you are keeping your fingers crossed for what? for us being history soon?!

hey... i wrote all that with a BIG smile... sure the irony and sarcasm were the first things working there...

and the target of the sarcasm was not you for sure... but the current policies of the world...
just i loved your post and found it in line with what i'm thinking now...

sorry if i couldn't convey the joking tone there...

thanks for your concern
love and peace to you


Jon said...

think I finally got the joke there... you're no terrorist for sure... only a word guerrilla... and we could probably use more of that!

thanks for your response... it's been nice to see you here again


human being said...


a word guerrilla...
love it!

charlie said...

Interesting piece Jon. The lack of civility comes in many forms - those who battle in their own civil conflicts, terrorism, and white collar unethical greed and deception. I think Lennon was very thoughtful for his 29 years at the time this was recorded. I have heard him on other contemporary tv shows like Mike Douglas, David Frost and more, really be very analytical, and certainly wise beyond his years - a good sense of perspective for someone whose life was to the public, centered around songwriting and music. Thanks for the post.

Jon said...



thanks for stopping by and for your comment. indeed lennon was a very thoughtful 29... just too bad that he didn't get to see anything beyond 40... I think his influence is just as great now as it was in the 70s