November 30, 2010

Wikileaks and the Diplomatic Cables



It is almost impossible to get to the Wikileaks website through the Denial of Service attacks now being staged on it by it's enemies. You can, however, check out the diplomatic cables at the mirror site right here.

And I want to write about why I support Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

To begin with Assange is currently - and rather suddenly - being sought after by Interpol on rape charges. Why "rape" suddenly falls under the jurisdiction of Interpol seems as questionable as the charges themselves, but that's another story. It's the way it works. If you want to discredit someone, use sex and have the confidence that - in this world - an accusation is as good as being guilty.

What he's being sought after, in reality, is to shut him down. Let's not be naive.

Assange is a lot of things. He's difficult. He's sneaky. And relative to the First Amendment he could be considered a complete literalist. In the sphere of one's overall personal political philosophy he's most assuredly an anarchist - albeit a 21st century version. He was the man who published The "Church" of Scientology's secret documents - the ones that explained how the evil Xenu's DC9 jets brought us from all over the galaxy to Earth here so the volcanoes could pulverize us into slaves (which would normally cost you around $400,000 to read about). And he is now the guy behind the publishing of all the diplomatic cables that are embarrassing world leaders all over the place these days.

The cables that are causing most of the stir (right now) are the reports made by US diplomats and diplomatic operatives that detail the traits, proclivities, habits, foibles and general personality evaluations of the people we deal with on the international stage. Putin as Batman. The President of France as "the emperor with no clothes." The complete shock that the Catholic Church elected a guy to Pope who was once a member of the Hitler Youth. They talk about how a lot of Iran's neighbors (like the King of Saudi Arabia) want the US or even Israel to "knock out" the Iranian nuclear program by any means necessary. Oh a whole lot of stuff.

The question and concern governments have expressed (and they have always trotted this out even though their worries have never come to any actual happenings) is the safety and security of people "in the field" now that things are known. And the viability of alliances we have with national leaders we've cattily cut down privately for being silly, pedophilic or just outright nuts.

Well in the first place, though I'll relent that international diplomacy does require a degree of person-to-person interaction, nations looking out for their own interests that are tied to the interventionist USA will not forgo deals, arrangements, and co-operation with the USA because somebody said "OMG, Margaret Thatcher isn't even hot!"

And in the second place a leader is not the country. Leaders come and go. Even Kings. If they are so intrinsically identified strictly AS the country then something else is wrong. And in this case transparency may very well be a tonic.

We are told that "the need for secrecy" is a matter of national security. To some degree that may be true. Certainly Wikileaks does not agree with that assessment and there are legitimate arguments that can be made on both sides of this.

What is of more import, however, is the idea that the whole edifice or foreign affairs is some kind of sacrosanct endeavor that has been working so very well for all these centuries.

A specious claim, as any cursory glance at world history will show.

We're run by national powers that are manned by PEOPLE. And these people have taken the attitude upon themselves that they know best. Even in the mounting evidence that accreditation is an over-rated activity for many people who remain the idiots they were born as no matter what is hanging on their wall, there are folks who "know" and are doing things "for our own good" that have actually been costing us our lives and treasure for a very, very long time now.

Assange is charged with hubris. The hubris of believing he can publish anything and everything because transparency will always lead to better governments.

But the real hubris here is that which exists in the idea that we "shouldn't be able" to know about the deals and the agreements and the arrangements made in our behalf internationally. The hubris here is actually the long held idea that it's alright to get into deals that get us killed because the "people" can just be whipped up into a patriotic frenzy quite easily. The hubris that says people are and can be manipulated and that this is for their own welfare.

I present the debacle that led to the First World War as people's Evidence #1. And I'll add the phony attack in the Gulf of Tonkin as #2.

But more than all this I'll present the idea - in the spirit of "less government is always better" - that it is a good thing to tweak the noses of the powers that be from time to time.

It's what Thomas Jefferson thought too.

November 29, 2010

I'm Not You

Somewhere along the way it must have become obvious that I was going to be a little different than you. I never liked crowded rooms or a lot of boisterous noise in those crowded rooms. And you guys loved to pack yourselves into rooms until you couldn't walk in them, and then everyone would proceed to laugh with their mouths full and shout at the top of their lungs in seventeen separate conversations. Because you couldn't hear. Because everybody was shouting. And Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas let's do it again as soon as possible.

I don't know. What was I seeing when I looked at you all? I know I should have been able to differentiate. To separate the faces, this one a different person than that one. But it was hard in all that smoke and noise and mass.

There was always a lot of beer. There were whispered jokes. There was a lot of exaggerated belching noises made for fun. There was all that beer-driven racial philosophy because, you know after all it's true what they say about them. They all have these big lips, funny hair, they talk goofy, they're lazy, they smell bad. Hell everybody knows that.

And here I was. The kid you made me. You sent me to Catholic School where we were taught there was a justice in heaven for those who are despised and hated and taunted for no reason. And you don't hit people because it's a sin. And you are polite. And you never know when that stranger you're treating badly is actually Jesus Christ.

I didn't realize the nuns and priests were full of shit and that it was OK to ignore them once you got in a family setting. All that catechism stuff was a lot of junk. There's the boy you are in school and church, and the boy you are out here with us, right? Same guy / different venue. And it's all good. I'll catch on eventually, right?

The ideas I took away from this learning experience you all sent me through were that not only could you be bombed by the evil Communists at any minute, but the stuff they taught in church was actually bullshit and ignorance is not only bliss, it's like the whole goal.

How could you miss what was going to happen to me?

It was all backwards, right? Nothing was ever really serious. Truth depends on the crowd you're with at the time. It's pliable. Malleable. So nobody owns it.

You should have figured. That's going to make me suspicious of anything you like. Because you like your religion, but it only exists over there. Not in real life. So when you were for something it was suspicious. And what you were suspicious of had to be okay somewhere else.

I ended up with jazz, radical politics, the Qu'ran on my bookshelf, the White Sox instead of your dumb Cubs, parties of four, supportive of gay rights, admiration for Malcom X, and a voting record you would never believe in a million years.

And you ended up with... well... whatever.

November 28, 2010

The Fantasy of the Possible

I can't slice a wedge out of my memory and serve it to you on a plate. I can't pull something bright and colored out of the pictures that float around and show it to you. I can't make you see it and I can't make you feel it. I can try to help you understand it, but I can't make you want to.

I can tell you how it was, because when the holidays start I always get this way. Reflective. Remembering. Still trying to piece it all together somehow. As if there was a great big chaotic explosion of activity and only when the dust settled... like two minutes ago or something... do I try and make sense out of it.

But I'll try.

I don't believe in the THIS happened and then THAT happened kind of writing. I like to give the essence. Let you piece it together. Maybe you saw the first installment.

It started here. And it did just what it was supposed to do. Take a little boy and teach him up in the ways of the Faith. Give him that background. Expose him to the rules we live by. How to be honest and true and brave. Brave like the pirates working in secret to help the Queen. This is my church and this is my movie. The Sea Hawk. A black and white from the late 30's I think. And armed with the lessons of the Faith, I was ready to be this hero.

It's a strange juxtaposition I had no concept of as a boy. The brave English pirates are fighting against the Catholic Spanish Armada. The EVIL Spanish Armada, mind you. In the name of a Protestant Queen. I had no idea. I was only six.

In another strange twist this black and white swashbuckler is a Christmas movie/memory for me. The local station always seemed to play it during the Christmas season, unintentionally= and not for reasons of the holiday, but my memory of it is on my little black and white TV screen which was always right next to the Christmas tree. So the visual - the memory that gets shaded and blurred together - has this wild eyed pirate who was a good guy buckling his swashes in the glow of Christmas lights and tinsel.

Yeah weird. I know. But there it is. To this day I play The Sea Hawk somewhere along the way during Christmas. If only by myself.

When I was in second grade I was very very sick. I had the measles and that was immediately followed by the mumps. I'm sure it wasn't as bad as it seemed at the time, or as long an epoch. But at that age all I knew was that I was sick and that it just went on forever. Like the length of a summer day when you're a kid. Something like that.

I couldn't go to school. I laid around all day long. I couldn't lift my head. I do remember being doted over by my mother, my grandmother and my sister. I remember them coming home with board games to get me to perk up. As if I had dwindled into a little mini coma or something. I remember them doing that. I also remember getting halfway through some of those games and being unable to do it. I would crawl back onto my pillow and collapse. So maybe it wasn't so over-dramatic. Maybe I was really very ill.

My sister brought me books. Kid's books, but books about the Alamo and the Pony Express. Books that were a little ahead of my grade but subjects I was interested in. I read books. Lassie. Adventures at the North Pole.

Beyond that - or rather with that - was that I was exposed to an era of Chicago television that is long, long gone. The television was my friend. And the local station, WGN, had a very impressive cast of creative people on the payroll.

This was before somebody decided that you can't have a kid's show without a great overall lesson or the alphabet or something about numbers. This was when puppets had adventures beyond the puppet stage that they came back and talked to the human about. Somebody misplaced something. They needed it by tonight. Somebody was afraid of a strange noise. Somebody was out in the snow and everybody was worried.

And great, creative, unimaginably slow cartoon adventures that cared enough to dwell on the story. Revel in the story. Get lost in the adventure.

Sesame Street killed children's television. And I will never forgive the bastards.

So what did I have in this world? This black and white world where you could fill up a gas tank for three dollars and a guy in a hat wiped your windows every time you stopped for gas? Where there was this fantasy place back home. In a world I populated with fantasy and adventure and STORIES.

That back-to-back illness - which in retrospect must have worried my parents if only because it was the era of the great polio scares - and the exposure to the creative men and women of a local television station while TV itself was only just about ten years along; this is why I write.

I've been making up stories and writing them down since I was seven. And this is why.

November 24, 2010

I Have A Photograph / Preserve Your Memory

I don't know why they tried to scare me about it. They tried to scare me about everything. I think it had something to do with conscience. My family was a pretty basic, working-class bunch of folks living in an extended family urban / ethnic / Catholic / 1950's world. It was their way of instilling conscience in me. In all their children. The family had been straight and narrow all along. Deviation, criminality, even independence, was looked on as a great embarrassment. Don't you dare embarrass the family.

Whenever it would lightning and thunder - and we get a lot of that in Chicago - my European-born grandmother would bend down from her chair to where I was playing on the floor and point her finger at me. She'd tell me that the thunder that just rumbled so fiercely above us was God punishing someone. They told me he was always watching me, waiting for me to do something bad or wrong. They said he knew everything I was doing.

There were always these things out there that knew everything I was doing. God. Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny. And if you screwed up they would either withhold their treats and affections or arrange something so that you would be in eternal hell for the rest of your existence.

At our family Christmas parties there would always be one of the uncles who would dress up as Santa Claus to hand out the gifts. From time to time we'd get "mean Santa," whose idea of a good time was to be a little beered-up, have people get on their knees in front of him and pray to God before they could get their gifts, while he stood over them with a belt in his hand making like he was hitting people with it for whatever it was he thought they were doing wrong at the time.

I went to Catholic school and my teachers were nuns. Not flying nuns like the color TV show or the happy, smiling nuns that sang songs with guitars and perfect teeth who were true angels of mercy; but black-robed, snaggle-toothed, forehead-covered, long rosary bead-wearing like you saw in the Blues Brothers who moved menacingly across the floor without needing feet kind of nuns. The kind that whacked you in the butt with books and put a thimble on their fingertip and pocked you right in the head with it to get your attention. The kind that reinforced the vindictive, judgmental, brutish old man in the clouds who was always on your ass that your family was telling you about. The kind that didn't ask IF you went to church Sunday, but WHAT TIME you went to church Sunday. And heaven help you if you went later than 8 o'clock because only the horrible sinners went to late mass and you shouldn't be seen with that riff raff. I went to church 6 days a week because going to mass was the first thing we did every day of school. Every day.

And that's where the act broke down.

I would carry my little leather-covered missal (the boys had black, the girls' were white) and follow along with the priest up there and sometimes look at the pictures of angels and saints in the back and put the four or five different colored ribbon place-holder strips in different spots, trying to find a page I liked so I could just flick there and dig on the icons or fancy lettering.

And I would be in this magnificent, fantastical, awesome place...

(I sat center right, three or four rows from the front. This is actually St. Mary of the Angels. I was baptized here).

And what they didn't count on was me encountering a "God" that wasn't mean or vindictive or old or even bearded. The "God" I encountered told me not to fret about anyone who was pushing me around and willing to listen to my goofy made-up stories that I was inventing even then, and more or less always smiling and open and easy. I didn't see "Him" as the same "Him" everybody was scaring me about. And at seven I was already certain I knew better than everybody else so that was that.

I'm not a Roman Catholic anymore but a recorded member of a Quaker Meeting here in the greater Chicago area. My original version of "God" came with me.

(to be continued)

November 22, 2010

10 Things That Bug Me

1. Who has a baby bump. Also add the term "baby bump." This was invented six weeks ago and it sucks. The person who came up with the term should be impaled for being an idiot.

2. Brett Favre. He's a 41 year old Prima Donna.

3. Martin Sheen. I don't care if he dies in a fire.

4. Randy Quaid. Because I didn't care what he was doing when he wasn't high all the time either.

5. Airport scanners. Get your damn picture taken and shut the Farco up already. Nobody cares about what you look like for God's sake. You're ugly. We're all ugly. Shut up & wake up.

6. Tiger Woods. Oh go away already. Golf is boring and you're boring and I don't care where you stick your dick.

7. Dancing With The Stars. EAT. ME.

8. Senator Mitch McConnell (KY). I'd believe it was all about policy if you weren't telling race jokes in the kitchen ten minutes before you talk to the Press.

9. Rahm Emmanuel. I can hardly wait for you to screw up Chicago like you screwed up President Obama's chances at doing something positive just because you're a prick. But I know how Chicago politics works. I've lived here all my life. You're in & we all know it. Everything else is just look-see-pidgin.

10. Sarah Palin. Piss off already yeah?

November 21, 2010


The man on the right is Salvador Dali.
The movie was called Un Chien Andalou and it is the first surrealist film ever made (1928). David Lynch once cited it as an influence on his work. It was directed by Luis Bunuel and Dali conspired on it as well.

It's a sixteen-minute long silent short made in 1928. You can actually watch it right here.

Or you can read all about it at the font of all that is known.

Outside of that there really are no right answers in the meme. Except the other one.

November 19, 2010

Think Fast Meme

Answer as it occurs to you. Don't ponder too long. Think fast.


1. The Money
How much money would it take for you to step out of yourself?
You are a single, unattached woman. A non-threatening man you only know somewhat, clean, not weird, not unpleasant looking, a matter-of-fact kind of fellow, but no one you've ever "checked out," tells you he is dying. He then offers you money on a monthly basis to have sex with him once every other week. He offers to pay you $500 a month. No fetishes. No costumes. Basic stuff only.

Would you contemplate it? Would $500 be enough? What is your first reaction: Disgust? Amusement? Shock? Something else?

You are a guy reading this. Do you think it is a reasonable, non-threatening, non-invasive, straight business proposition? Can you see harm in the question? Or not?
2. The Critic
I know of a fellow who is sick and tired of "aesthetes" and "artistes" and pretentious poets. He sez, about one in particular...

"The tossed hair and wayward look in the eye, as if you're contemplating the final truth in the world. Projecting oneself so no one can dare be mistaken. How can we miss it? Yes - by heavens - this person is a poet without question. Just look. Can't you see the regard for beauty and brutality in the caring pout? The vacant stare? The mind deep in thought somewhere up the hill, over the river, beyond the trees? How can you miss it? Every move she makes says she has this need to live poetically? To even walk poetically. Talk poetically. Sneeze poetically. Shit poetically. Imagine the bundle of poetics everywhere in the house. Imagine the poetic things left about her rooms. Tossed out with the wet potato skins. The smell of poetry earnestly drifting through the air. Yes. Of course. I Am A Poet; see me, regard me, fear me. Dear me... can we make it just a little less painfully obvious, please? Can you be just a non-poet person for a while, just a little while? And, you know, just shut up? Or eat too much and belch? Put a foot wrong? Get mad at the neighbors? Like a human? Just once?"

Do you like this fellow, or do you think even he took it a bit too far?

3. Lunchroom Ladies

When they talk about European money they call it "gyros."
They believe there are cameras everywhere.
Most are certain there is a worldwide government we know precious little of.
Some of their husbands are certain the country is going socialist & they talk about that.
Gossip gets the best of them most times.
Some have hygiene problems. One smells like she uses Raid as a deodorant.
When they see black people walking in their direction they get very worried. Even if the guy is wearing a suit and tie.
When one of them, or someone they know, or even just hear of, is facing a hardship or a personal crisis they respond with unbelievable sympathy and action that is exceptionally breathtaking in its warmth and concern, and they never fail to make a positive impact if only on the victim's morale and attitude. Money, time, food, clothing; it doesn't matter what is needed. they get it. In short, their honest charity is both sincere and useful.

What about these ladies? How do you interact when they talk to you?

Would your reaction be different if you didn't know the last part?

4. The Dreamer

There is not a chance in hell that she can make it happen. The odds are astronomical-to-1. She's too old. Too naive. Too uninformed. Too innocent. Under-educated. A walking mark if there ever was one. But she's selling everything, cashing out all she has, and going for it. You are not allowed to ask a follow-up question here. What about her?

5. What movie is that picture from anyway??

November 18, 2010

Hitler Parody Redux

These things are a year old but they're still hilarious, especially played in a row. This is all earl's fault anyway.

Catch Up

  • Before I could even talk about it, it's over. PBS just finished running a 6 hour series called The Circus that I became addicted to without realizing why. I'm not really a circus guy. If you said "let's go to the circus" I'd probably meh you to death. But I did do traveling theater for six months and do remember the life, and there are similarities. And when I saw this I immediately got caught up in it. I'm not going to go into a big explanation except to say it's a year in the life of the Big Apple Circus and there are six episodes but they played them in three two-hour segments which I disagreed with. It should have been six one-hours. There are some truly fantastic performers and somewhat complex but always accessible people that we look in on. It will really get you involved. If it ever comes back again, which it probably will, I highly recommend it. Highly. What was most amazing to me are the people who are EIGHTH and NINTH GENERATION circus performers. That's like - your family has been doing this since the 18th century. WTF??? I can't even imagine that. And I can't tell you how cool it would be to be a circus kid (click photo). Please don't "OMG I hate clowns" in the comments though, okay? I know. We all know. The three clowns in this circus are anything but scary.

  • I know a lot of you have stopped listening and caring after this stupid election cycle already. But I can't help but notice how all this piss and vinegar about the Bold New Wave moving through Congress on the crest of Tea Party Patriot enthusiasm is now subtly changing into "well you know we have to be realistic about this" and "well I don't know we have to study the problem" and "we can't be too rash" and blah blah equivocating blah. What's more amazing are the loonycon numb nuts who thought that wasn't going to happen. All i can say is PAAAAAAAAAAAAH HAHAHAHAHAHA. Bunch of Farco Barnes idiots...

  • I'm reading this book about the "roaring 20's" and it's pretty good. What strikes me is the relation between the 1920's Ku Klux Klan and the political mood here in the 2010's. In the 20's 40,000 Klan members marched en masse in DC and it had elements of Kiwanis but was still based on American exceptionalism and created echos that still exist today. You know, the usual "if the rest of the world did it our way the world would be so much better" crap. Need more space to draw closer parallels but it was eye-opening to me how the same sentiments that saw the rise of the Klans then are still fueling the right wing bullshit artists of today; all these damn ruinous immigrants, Protestant supremacy, virtue and values, the evil influence of the media, and so much more. But it isn't all that. the part about the flappers and Al Capone and Dorothy Parker are very cool too. I just keep thinking, reading it, that I'm reading about today as much as then. Proof we've learned nothing. I like the quote "nothing is more dangerous to democracy than the anger of the uninformed common man."

  • The problem with bullet posts is that no matter how interesting the rest are, people only comment about the last bullet. I hate that.
  • November 17, 2010

    Mystery Achievement

    Laboring in obscurity can be a tough gig.

    If you just plug away it honestly looks to most people like you're going no where, despite what you yourself may see as progress. If what you're doing is an uphill climb anyway - even if you realize that - maybe sometimes people who should support you are really thinking "this will never work."

    You make defense mechanisms like "well if it doesn't work out I had fun doing it." And while that may be true it's an obvious attempt at convincing yourself of it and everybody knows it.

    And while you're in the foxhole swinging away at it every day, everything else goes on as usual all around you and before you know it days have turned into months. Months into years. And you're still not there.

    I think you have to be an ornery cuss who can flick people off like a surprise snot on your shirt, just so you can get through this crap sometimes. This, of course, gets you another reputation, of the "what a cold snob that guy is" variety.

    I think if the same people who look at you funny are patting others on the back for doing the same thing, then maybe it runs deeper than you thought. But you could also be just a little touchy about it.

    The best thing to do is keep going, maintain your standards, and be vicious in your self-editing. What other people are doing and saying doesn't matter. Truly. Doesn't matter. You decide if you believe them or not. If you let them bring you down it's YOUR fault. Not theirs.

    There's a meme going around about "who lives in your head?" And it's basically talking about modes, influences and reference points. In many ways it's neither a negative or a positive because it's like a list of personas that define your personal traits. Though I'm sure - certain in fact - that there are influences on my personality and ideas, I tried to think of some that "live in my head" but couldn't.

    It's really because I'm the one who lives in my head (okay not always a good thing, I admit). I have a running conversation with myself all day long. Even when I'm sleeping. There isn't anybody else in here.

    And what's scary is that yesterday I found a way to represent that in fiction without it getting all weird and confusing. My mystery achievement.

    So you guys are in real big trouble now.

    November 13, 2010


    So I needed colored ink for my printer. God knoweth how I run out so fast because the only thing of color that I ever print is recipes and directions to places. But somehow the tanks go empty and I pull them out and - yep - nothing.

    So I figure okay it's Saturday morning I'll do the usual rounds. Bank. Gas. Whatever. Post office. Etc. And so off I go to the mega store that has everything. It is November 13th 2010.

    And I'm used to the fact that I'm going to hear Christmas music. Nope. I'm not even going to complain about it because, you know what, if you're not used to it by now you're just being a poser. Everybody says they don't like it, too early, blah blah blah. And of course IT IS but enough already. There are 560,439 blog posts about how Christmas music and decorating starts too early already yeah? So forget that.

    Anyway as I'm walking to the very back of the mega store I hear "Walking In A Winter Wonderland." It's not any version I ever heard before and I couldn't tell you who the woman was who was singing it. But what I noticed was that it was a particularly vapid version of it. Like hypnosis. Because she sings "Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland" over and over.

    And over.

    And each time it gets just a degree quieter. Like

    WALKIN In A Winter Wonderland
    Walkin In A Winter Wonderland
    walkin in a Winter Wonderland
    (walkin in a winter wonderland...)

    Until you can just picture people with their arms stretched in front of themselves walking around. Presumably in a winter wonderland.

    This was immediately followed by U2. Can you guess the song? Go ahead guess. You know. Oh sure you do! It starts up and you notice, whether they've digitally enhanced that particular lyric or not so that it comes up a little louder than the rest, that it's a perfect compliment to

    (walkin in a winter wonderland...) when Bono goes
    "And I STILL haven't FOUND.... what I'm LOOKIN FOR..."
    again and again.
    As you're walking down the aisles like a zombie. In a winter wonderland.

    And so my cynical, predisposed to anarchy self has either recognized the retail tactics being employed on all of us hapless shoppers.. or I'm really really paranoid. I don't know.

    But it's funny. I'm walking to the check out with my three inks; Nina, Pinta and Cyan, when I pass the guy's shirt racks.

    And I go, Hmmm that's a cool shirt. I should try that on. Hmmmmm.

    And then I'm all "WAIT A FREAKIN MINUTE already!" Because I came in to get colored inks for the printer. Not shirts. I don't even need a shirt. I got two shirts for my birthday LAST MONTH. I have shirts in my closet I've STOPPED WEARING for God's sake.

    No. NO I sez.

    I walk up to the check out. I check out. I get in my car. I come home. I write this.

    Welcome to my world.

    You can actually buy the Santa zombie HERE. No I am not getting a cut. But I figured since I'm going to download their pic if they maybe sell a couple they won't be mad at me.

    November 11, 2010

    What would you do if...

    1. The couple right upstairs was always very loud and unrestrained in their frequent lovemaking sessions.

    2. You've got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection. Plus the killing jar.

    3. You were the only one on your block who never had a fingerbox.

    4. You got a windfall of $100,000.

    5. The police had a warrant and confiscated your computer.

    6. At a bar, a person of the same sex you swear you never met before knows everything about you.

    7. On your way to the art gallery you see yourself walking the other way with a wrapped painting under your arm.

    8. You had it wrong all along.

    9. The search engine tells you exactly the best brand name product to use for that problem but when you search for the brand name product no search engine you use can find it.

    10. Kenneth actually told you the frequency.

    November 09, 2010

    Cryptic Self-Centered Crap

    Dear D, I've needed to apologize for many years but since everything is great for you it would take a big head on my part to think you were crushed and ruined. Especially since you aren't. Looks like things have really gone well for you and you are happy. So in the end things worked out. Doesn't excuse my being an asshole, but to apologize all this time later would serve me more than you so I'll just shut up and admire you quietly.

    Dear Other D, yeah I'm putting up with you because we're supposed to be older and wiser and all that is long past but you know what? I really still think you're a prick because nobody who was that mean-hearted and cruel deserves a decent life afterward. I'm kinda actually glad you've had a failed marriage and health problems because you really kinda deserved it.

    Dear J, Okay so I saw your picture on Facebook and sent you an invite because I'm a friend of your brother's but yeah you still look like a poser. You're looking swell these days where did your hair go?

    Dear K, I want to thank you for telling me that I'd never be able to do it. That motivation is still central to everything I've ever tried to do and keeps my fire burning even all these many years after, mostly because I've met a dozen other people like you who've said the same thing to me you lousy little son of a bitch.

    Dear S, I never ever liked the fact that you always took attendance for gatherings. I always thought that was pretty sick. And yeah I don't feel all that connected to you either and all your kids have grown up to be petty-minded little bigots so looks like you failed huh? There's two ends of a phone, btw.

    Dear B, I know I screwed up and wasted a lot of time. You taught me well. Don't feel it was a waste. You still rate in my book and always will. Just stick around okay? This will end well. Watch.

    Dear Other K, please stop posting to my Facebook comments. You're still an idiot.

    No, Rly...

    I was sitting in my pajamas throwing out 54 pages and never going back to it again. I had this on the iPod and cutting, slashing, moving around all the useless bs in my story, starting over again, throwing away any hint of sentimentality and loving every minute of it when all of a sudden.....

    And if I keep having these lightning strikes changing everything again and again I'm never going to actually finish this thing.

    In the meantime I am happily (gag, spit) playing a minor part in somebody else's play and pretty much I think by next Thursday or something I won't care about other people's shit at all.

    I want every page of the work to exhaust the reader. Non stop. Cut the frills. That's real hard. But it's getting there.

    November 04, 2010

    Go Find It

    I finally found the old Ice Water album in CD. Honestly it wasn't on Amazon for some time and whenever I looked it up it wasn't anywhere.

    It arrived today.

    It's only for you 6 and 12 string guitar fans. The rest can pass. For me this was the "tape" (Okay it was 1974 yeah?) we played all the way to and back from Chicago to Boston in that summer. There was a lot of weed one way or another. We even smuggled some into and out of Canada in my pants on the way home. Plus almost got arrested in Harvard Yard at the great austere university of the world drunk on my ass.

    It dawns on me most of you guys weren't even born yet or still walking into tables. Oh well...

    You can listen to a snip of the first track here. "Morning Is The Long Way Home" and "A Child Should Be A Fish" were sort of the unofficial stoner anthems of that road trip.

    Even though we punked out later. There was always Leo walking around in the background there somewhere on the quieter days coming down. He was just about the only guy who could put dada and the surreal into a country riff...

    I heard your voice at midnight By the river shore I saw your child sleeping Behind an open door. The moon was in the river Shining up from the floor And the fish swam like moonlight Through your child's closing door And morning is the long way home. The fisherman was drowning By his broken heel His screams were tiny bubbles And his tongue was made of steel When he died his teeth made stones For your lonely child to feel And his eyes like prayers were quiet When you heard his tongue of steel. And morning is the long way home. The ghost of ghosts was passing And the grasses waved like hair I knew I'd die forgotten I'm the whisper of your care. The water would surround me And my body would despair But my heart would understand The door that's closing there. And morning is the Long Way Home.

    You can try all you want to find it on YouTube or elsewhere. You won't get the one with the lyrics, only the guitar work.

    You can't imagine how pumped I am right now.

    November 01, 2010

    Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 4

    Oh the horrors if the old school reactionary thugs take over the government again after tomorrow's election. We're dooooooomed!

    Well yes and no. I mean it's not like we haven't been here before. Remember the ghosts in the Gulf of Tonkin that were manufactured to justify over 50,000 of our guys copping it in Viet Nam? You know, the same kind of thinking that quietly shifted from the WMD's that weren't there to oh heavens no we really attacked so we could start building a great democracy in the Middle East all of a sudden.

    But just think of all the great art, music and writing that was created when the America First Bozos were in office (from one Party or the other; what exactly was the difference between Johnson and Bush II again?) and the MO of American life was conformity and a kind of redneck populist statis.

    I think the truth is we don't actually do very well when "in power." The Lunatic fringe shouldn't be in the Halls of Power; not because we're a threat to anything, but because our creativity suffers.

    If we don't have a great evil monolith to rave against we falter a bit. It's hard to create anti-establishment art when you ARE the establishment. It's the bane of critics everywhere.

    When the kind of people the Tea Party and Neocons support are in power there is no end to miscues, wrong-headed policies, foreign adventures, jingoisms, self-serving outright lies, and American Empire craziness.

    That kind of target rich environment is exactly what we've been lacking the past couple of years. Where are the great works of conscience, reason, and challenge since President Obama was elected? No where. All we have is Uncle Buck and Aunt Flo shaking it up over immigrants, Muslims and gays (oh my)***.

    We need certain kinds of white bread, lackluster, manipulative hypocrites in positions of power in order to function as the true outsider conscience, the existential lunatic embodied in the guerrilla theater of the mind, and so forth whatever. And when we don't have that, we stagnate.

    So though the country probably takes a big swing to the Loonycons tomorrow (mostly because - face it - liberals just don't know how to fight) there is a silver lining in that descending Dark Age.

    The Revolution will be back in business!
    *** - yes, I shamelessly stole that.