Sunday, July 06, 2014

Mike's Story Part 70 - Spin-Off

   The phone rang.  After going through the usual niceties, Mike said, "Listen to this:" 
   He donned an orotund Russian accent.
   "Dear George Bush and Dick Cheney:"
   The letter continued, a fantasy - grounded in reality, as good satire must be - of the message the Russians were sending the U.S. with their latest signing of a cease-fire agreement with Georgia even as they set forest fires to prevent the installation of concealed troops and weapons, and bombed bridges between their former satellite and Europe.  
   "I'm writing well, huh?"
   He was on a roll, getting into the character of a Russian potentate.
   "The book's going well too. I told Kenny I bet it's going to be number one on the New York Times bestseller list."
   "You set the bar high for yourself but sure, why not?"
   "CNN's reading me."
   "Yeah, I know. The powers that be are grateful for you these days. I don't think you have to worry about your survival."
   "I feel like Galileo. They couldn't kill him because he'd figured out how to navigate."
   "It's all about maps."
   "It's all about maps. Right."  Long time Mike aficionados will recognize that he spoke of FTW as providing a more accurate "map" than mainstream media with which to understand how global events had arrived at their current untenable position.
   "You know, someone like Buckminster Fuller said, 'The paradigm changes a long time before anyone realizes it.' That's what's happening now."
   "Another way of saying that is, we're the cartoon character who doesn't realize he's run off the cliff because he hasn't looked down yet."
   The next call was to tell me about his new girlfriend.  They knew as soon as their eyes locked that their relationship was pre-destined, just as he and I had at one time been pre-destined.  Likewise he and his fiancée.  If you went by resumees only, (one way or another, we were all involved in protecting the environment,) then any of these scripts was indeed plausible.
   “I only wish you the same happiness,” he closed, to rub in the hurt he presumed I felt.  ("I’m happily coupled and you’re not.  Nya nya nya nya nya.  But I’ll magnanimously send you best wishes.")
   I was not unhappy.  I had wonderful friends and a fulfilling job.  My book was progressing; my son, thriving.  The only disagreeable aspect of my life at that moment was Mike's attempt to drive me towards yelling or slamming down the phone.  Then he could tell his cohort, “Jenna went all psycho on me,” and relay the conversation by way of illustration.  After some time passed, he’d generously refer to the incident as my "breakdown."
   I made sure not to give him that satisfaction.
   (Of course, if he himself ended up in another breakdown, he'd regret the whole episode.)
   I didn’t expect calls to chat and there weren’t any.  Except one… several years after he left.  He was not so inept as to make small talk, then switch to a desperate plea for money.  That call came the following week.
   I sent a couple hundred.  The calls to shoot the breeze ceased.
   (This is not to suggest his need for money wasn't genuine.  It was and I am one of those who believe he was justified in asking to be paid for his unique insights into deep politics.)
   By that time, he'd gone through his inheritance, spending $35,000 on legal fees fighting for his "good name" in the sexual harassment lawsuit.  If he'd just told the same truth in public that is contained in the body of the suit itself - "Yes, I engaged in some, uh, unprofessional [read:  farcical] conduct but she had "unclean hands" by telling me about porn sites," - he would have ended up with the same result but $35,000 richer.  Still, we all have those coulda-woulda-shouldas.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Ruppert <> 
Date: Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 8:14 PM
To: Jenna <>
Oct.9, 2009 -- For those of you who have listened for so long and for those who may be new. Do whatever you can to get out of dollar denominated assets and do it quickly. It is looking to me like the run on the dollar has begun in earnest. This is the one I have consistently predicted as far back as 2003-2004. I'm not going to write a long argument. Those who have been reading this blog don't need it. All the rest of you can just go back and read the terrific postings made here by Jenna Orkin over the last month. Those of you who have followed me and FTW for years will remember our only four previous warnings and you know how right those economic alerts proved to be. That's why I left a record of between two and three million words.  Do it now. We're all reading the same map. 
   On Oct 10, 2009, at 10:47 PM, he continued:
   It is not too late to buy physical gold. That is what will shield you the best right now. I'm laughing because I sold all my gold to fight the political persecution in Oregon and to live on while we made CoLLapse for eight months. (It wasn't just shot over two days. There were five shoots. And every aspect of my life was vetted with a microscope.)  If I had money I would be running to buy gold first thing Monday morning and I'd keep it up until the wheels came off or the new playing field that's coming had opened other options.   
   Now imagine this: The dollar gets dumped (in progress) as the world's reserve currency. Oil is no longer priced in dollars and trillions of dollars come home to... do what? Sure, it may cost a thosand a month for phone service. But suddenly John Q will be told that his salary has gone up 50%... at first. But what about all those bullshit mortages (including the fraudulent ones), all those trillions in derivatives? Well if John Q suddenly finds he has a million worthless dollars in his pocket he could well go back and laugh as he pays off the $350,000 mortgage. But the books get cleaned and sanitized and some of the air leaves the derivatives bubble. A controlled-burn. Yeah, the only ones that are going to get burned are the people -- the New White Trash.

From an email concerning the making of CoLLapse:
Oct 11 2009  ...I had written about more than 100  suspicious military deaths. They asked for the files on all of them. They asked me to go through each death while Chris decided what he did or didn't want to use. That triggered my survivor's guilt and I almost crashed and burned behind it.  [I had to] pull all the Tailwind files, all the Tillman files, the Carone files, the Vreeland files, the CIA-drug files and all of many other files. I had to explain all of them and relive all of them, all over again.  
...It was utterly gureling at times. Once I was on set for 14 hours...
   As Mike settled into his life out west, he “went all spiritual” and knew I wasn’t interested in going along for that ride.  He involved himself with the sort of writers whom he would have avoided like kryptonite back in the FTW days.
   FTW was founded on the principle of hard evidence.  We may have believed that more was going on in a given situation than met the eye but if we had nothing to back up our hunches, we often kept silent.  (That assertion is not foolproof; spare yourselves the time and energy of digging up the numerous instances when Mike did go out on a limb.  Most of those relate to the timing of disaster; in his intensity, even desire, for a “fast crash” as opposed to a “slow burn” for human industrial civilization, - in order to preserve more of the natural world - his most frequent sin was to ratchet up the calendar.  He had been told of, and acknowledged, this foible but couldn’t stop himself.)
   There may or may not be a life after death or "spirits" communicating with us now.  But the essence of that field of inquiry is that no one can ever know, much less prove it.  It's the opposite of everything FTW stood for.  These are the reasons I don't spend time thinking about it; the endeavor is even more fruitless than arguing about whether there were explosives in the twin towers and WTC 7, an aspect of 9/11 Mike left alone since the Kennedy assassination had taught him that physical evidence, no matter how compelling, will always come down to, "He said, she said."  Only in this case, he and she are Ph.D.s.  The physical evidence from 9/11 has been dispatched to India, China, South Korea and Fresh Kills, Staten Island; the debate can never be resolved.  In the case of spiritual matters, there's no physical evidence to begin with; only phenomena we can't otherwise explain.
   Perhaps Mike told himself I wasn’t sufficiently evolved to see the light, if he even gave the matter that much thought.  I thought, “What are you smoking?” and eventually got the answer:  Apart from weed, he'd taken up peyote and assorted mushrooms, along with prescription medication.   
   The only regular contact we had towards the end was through the news dispatches I sent out every day to a list of interested readers, primarily at Collapsenet.  Often, Mike extracted one or two for his Facebook page.  
   He wrote an all-purpose blurb for my book, saying I could amend it as needed.  (I didn't.)  But he had a whole circle of new best friends (several generations' worth, in fact, between Los Angeles, Sebastopol and Colorado) so that I'd essentially become history, which boiled down to being my choice anyway.
   I was shocked at his suicide, of course, but didn't have the same sense of tragedy that newer friends felt.  I'd gone through that grief when he disappeared to Venezuela.  And I'm not sure the person I grieved for then existed outside my own wishful conjuring.
   But it's not quite time to wrap up this story.  By current estimates, (I haven't yet written the next section) two more parts are needed.

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