Monday, November 29, 2010


I like grey. I like that there's an 'e' and 'a' for it, although I think I am much more of an 'e' kind of guy. I like the quote, "it's not black or white, it's just shades of grey". In fact, while I have been recently accused of being way too grey, I truly believe that is what life has to offer. I have to believe that each moment is what we are offered; that yes, life is a series of moments, but they are generally unrelated, except within the boxes we create. We may choose to link our moments into grand love or grand tragedy, but the fact remains that everything lasts but an instant. It is true that we may be offered the opportunity to recreate things in the next moment, and sometimes it works, but in each new moment, we are covered with grey. As a group, we humans like continuity, along with its life partner, stability, and I would be a fool to exclude myself from that pattern, yet when I examine my life, and the choices I've made, I can look back and see the black and the white offered in each moment; there has to be black and white in every moment, and what do you get when black and white are mixed on the easel?. Grey, that's what!

Now the nun has always been a grey kind of girl. Very little color drapes her. She is, of course, full of color. She just chooses not to wear them. Yet somehow, that grey covering allows a man to see all the colors inside. And right now, she is choosing the clarity, and accompanying levity, that reside in black and white. My grey is just too hard, so I can't really blame her. My life is fucked up. And right now, I want her to find the stillness, in whatever color it inhabits.

Anyway, it's tough to tell anything about a moment when you look at the grey of it. Actually, it's not exactly tough, it more like indecisive, or undecidable. It's not easy to judge grey. It's the anti-judgement color; it presents the moment without judgement, and somehow, that helps a person, or at least me, to enter each moment gut-influenced, intuition-enhanced, truth-overflowing.

I am at a moment in my life where black and white might bring clarity and direction, but they keep blending to grey. The other good thing about grey is that it offers no outcome, and while, given my current circumstances, you may not think that is a good thing...but it is. There are lots of outcomes on the horizon. Some good, some bad. The world works. The universe provides. It all right there in the grey dawn, the birth of new days. You just need to look, and grey just doesn't hurt the eyes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cunts and Truth

I’m reading Tropic of Cancer, which was banned as obscene once upon a time, and while I am fascinated by his use of the cunt as an art form, I was more enamored of a brief description he offered regarding a view of the future back in the olden days; a view of a world where almost no one has to work, where intellectual pursuit and carnal knowledge is more the order of the day. In other words, a world where much of the mundane side of life is done by machines and humans get to lie around thinking and eating.

Now, hard as it is to believe, Henry Miller was far more jaded than I am, but nonetheless, his prosaic talents did lead me straight back to my view, that human beings are innately stupid. He also led me straight back to the past, that place where I believe we made all the necessary evolutionary mistakes to lead us straight to the idiocracy.

As of late, I have felt compelled to write about politics and education, primarily because I don’t think it’s too late to fix those things, but having read Mr. Miller’s somewhat anachronistic revelations regarding life and the future, I find that I am firmly entrenched in a doomsday mentality. So I think I will begin this story with a sketch of medieval life, and move on to the industrial revolution, and then to the present day.

Now given that walking down the street in a medieval town was at best an adventure, given that one would by necessity be looking up all the time in order to elude the chamber pot missiles launched from the second stories, I would surmise that life back then consisted of stiff necks and dim outlooks. I think life must have sucked, but I also think, that since so very few people could read and books were scarce, most people didn’t fully realize how much life sucked until they got to church for the Sunday sermon, when they were thoroughly instructed on how much more the fire-and-brimstone afterlife would suck, if they didn’t but into that Jesus/God thing about paradise on earth. So I will forgive my ancestors for buying into that horseshit; they simply didn’t know any better. In any event, the fear of shit coming your way from above began here.

Moving on to the industrial revolution. This was the era from our past when a few remarkably creative humans decided that enslaving the rest of the population for their personal gain was a grand idea indeed. It was also the time when the phrase “I did what I had to do” entered the popular lexicon, as desperate people sent their daughters off to work in the mills, in hazardous conditions, and for a mere pittance of a wage. We, of course, have carried on this tradition, by moving menial labor to sweatshops in the Far East, where, at least, we no longer have to look at it. In any event, it was a grand time indeed, when the very few rose to the top, and the America Cup was given to the peons. Now, you may choose to argue with me about this arrangement. I don’t actually have a huge problem with it beyond the inequity. What I do have a problem with is that we, as humans, have placidly come to accept that this is the way it should be, while bemoaning the right of Hells Angels and street-corner drug dealers to spit in the face of it. This of course was the time when we just accepted our fate; to get up early every morning, grab a coffee, and spend the day being taken advantage of. We came to accept that shit flows downhill.

And now we arrive at now, and because I am an American, I will, by necessity, offer a particular American slant. We have bought into the past, and we are shaped by it. We continue to cling to the greatness of America, as we watch it disintegrate. It is not the inevitable disintegration that bothers me. It is the ennui, the blind acceptance, and our almost pathological need to believe that it must be preserved. The evidence of this is almost too vast to enumerate here, so I will just offer a few examples. For instance, the entire American populace (read conservatives, liberals, progressives, communists, hippies, Hell’s Angels, street-corner drug dealers, etc.) still believes that their vote counts (yes, I voted). And the more intelligent among us (you decide if I belong) listen to debates, and read the political pundits, to make an informed decision; yet, we absolutely refuse to see that one cannot make an informed decision in the absence of truth. There is not now, and perhaps there has never been, a politician who offers even a kernel of truth. And we listen to the vagaries and generalities, the lies and the spins, the incomplete formulae, the anti the other guy rhetoric, and accept that this is what we get to base our decisions on. It would seem that we no longer need the truth; in fact, it seems that, in order to preserve that which we hold dear, no matter how archaic, we will willingly give up the truth. So, we hold onto our political views, our political system, our economic system, and plop it straight into the middle of our hearts; a legacy to pass down. And then there’s the god thing. We continue to cling to the belief that to be a Christian, or a Jew, is a good thing, as our religious leaders secretly plunge their cocks into everything they preach disdain for. Ministers in public bathrooms, priests in confessionals, rabbis in whorehouses, gurus fucking their throngs. If the truth lies in god, this believer wants no part of him or her. We have become a nation of pretenders; pretending that we have anything of value to pass along as a legacy for our children. While it may be, that our first, and most critical mistake, was our awareness of our future and inevitable death; believing that there is value in life beyond living it to the fullest. And this is the time when we came to accept that we should cherish shit, like a beautiful plastic flower, and pass it on to the kids and grandkids.

There may come a time, when work is a thing of the past, and holding on to the ideals of truth and learning is valued; when love and kindness rule our lives without condition; when we realize that happiness comes from within, and is enhanced in sharing it with the world, not just a select few; that the world is bigger than the tenuous box we choose to live in; when we learn that we are citizens of the universe, not citizens of our manicured lawns and Boxsters and fatboys (for the dissatisfied). But in order for that to happen, we will have to understand that out children will create their own future, and that we, as the shit tenders, are handicapping their efforts. And this will be the time when we come to accept that we can still dream.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Have Seen the Idaho

I'm thinking in advance that this post may be more political than I am usually inclined to write, but as I came to believe today that Jon Stewart is far more humble than I would have imagined, I guess any subject is fair game. And while the word 'liberal' carries no negative connotations for me, I do think it is time to remove it from the lexicon. Mr.Stewart, in an interview repeatedly stated that he doesn't believe that the greatest division in our society is between liberals and conservatives, and, quite frankly, I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, he goes on to emphasize that the differences between people, on either side, are not as great as we are led to believe, and I would also offer my total assent to this conjecture. And this led me to think that the real problem is that none of us really understand the english language. So, I think it is time to rename our political parties, and take a nostalgic trip back to merry old England, where they laugh about politics (albeit in a stodgy sort of way) far more than we do. As I'm sure you are all aware, one of the major parties in the English government is the Conservative party, aka the Tories (you need to decide if this is true as I am very unclear about it). Utilizing this model, I think it is time that we, as americans, simply lump the democrats and republicans into a single party, henceforth known as the Conservatives. It should be clear, to even the most dense, that, at the core of both political parties, is the desire to 'conserve' the status quo, and by this, I mean, that their single greatest desire is to keep their own pockets lined with gobs of cash. OK, OK! On a more relevant note, the real goal of both parties is to 'conserve' a constitution written over 200 years ago, immediately following a war of independence in which bumpkin farmers and ranchers, and wealthy slave owners, fought side by side in order to attain the representation they desired. Well, last time I looked, one would be hard pressed to actually know a farmer in modern america, and, while you can actually find real ranchers in South Dakota, they tend to keep to themselves; and I don't think you can find any slave owners anymore, unless you view the general populace as I do.

Now Mr.Stewart also stated that as a 'screamer in the grandstands', he doesn't believe that he is actually on the playing field; that his only real role is to utilize sarcasm, hyperbole, and humor to illustrate the truth; and that in his role as a critical observer, he lacks the involvement to effect any real change. I accept the truth of this, and since I fall in the same general category, I feel it is time to offer concrete alternatives. So...

It is time to bring back true representative government. In this vein, I believe that the federal government should seize the state of Idaho, by eminent domain, and establish it as the seat of government. Now I don't think we can fit every voter in Idaho, but I do think that we could fit enough people to decrease the current ratio of one senator for every 300,000 people. For instance, if we were to elect a senator for every 20 people in the US, we would have far greater true representation, and I do think that with slight alteration, we could fit all of the fifteen million senators in Coeur D'Alene, or perhaps Pocatello. This would serve two greatly needed steps forward; one, I would personally feel more represented, and two, the vast sums of money generated by political graft and gladhanding would be more equitably distributed to a far greater percentage of the population. I also happen to believe that companies, such as BP, would be far more afraid of an angry mob of fifteen million senators in Idaho than they are of the hundred, alcohol-sedated lawyers currently residing in D.C.. On a more positive note, I would guess that the long-awaited, and overdue, legalization of marijuana, would stand a much greater chance of passage. It will also greatly reduce traffic on the beltway.

Now, as any true american knows, we cannot thrive in a one party system, so I would now like to establish our new, second political party-the Progressives (yeah, I know this word elicits almost a much vitriol as 'liberal', but as 'progress' sits at the root of it, it's ok with me), and I think the basic platform of this new party would be to shift our outdated political paradigms firmly into the 21st century. For instance, we could vote for the president over the internet (this would also aid in eliminating the electoral college, certainly our most confusing political entity; it would also increase the actual number of Americans who vote, as you wouldn't have to leave the house), and it also might serve to actualize the long-held american dream of 'a chicken in every pot' (this would, of course, require a lot more chickens, and a lot more pots, and thereby create an enormous boost to our economy).

As I am unemployed (a 99er, in fact), I have the time to garner the support of twenty of my friends, so I think I'll be moving to Idaho in the very near future. It may also afford me the luxury of realizing a constant dream of mine-to become the minority whip. I have always wanted to be a whip (not sure why, but it does make me laugh). So, I would ask all my fellow Progressives to join me, and support me (I think twenty dollars should do the trick), in my campaign.

I don't want any of you to read this post, and view it as farce. I think, that given the current state of national bankruptcy worldwide (read Ireland and Greece), and our current american deficit in the trillions (my personal debt barely approaches this figure), that it is high time we realized that bigger IS better, and that the national electorate should walk beside me on this progressive path to Idaho. And with all due respect to Jon Stewart, let it be known, that unlike him, I am an agent for change. Although, come to think of it, I could use a speech writer.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I'm fairly certain that I am the only American that's sick and tired of Veterans Day, and it's not so much the barely ambulatory WWII geezers, but more the whole notion of what having a military means to begin with. If I hear one more person say "Thank god that they do what they do, so the rest of us can do what we do", I'm just gonna puke. Our freedom is no more threatened from beyond our borders than it is within them, and I, for one, am angered that we still insist on glorifying our aggression in the name of freedom.

Now don't get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against soldiers. It's the leaders I have a problem with. And clearly, it is in those leaders' best interest to perpetuate the freedom myth; a myth that certainly should have died after the second World War. No soldier since has done anything to preserve my freedom, but they certainly have killed and been killed in the name of something American. My take is the economic interests of high echelon american capitalists. So I guess that George W. and his cronies should bow down and kiss the asses of every soldier they send off, but sorry, it is not my job to do it. My job is simply to criticize those people willing to send our children off to die for nothing.

And it also seems to me, that if we are going to honor soldiers every November 11th, then we ought to honor every soldier, both ally and enemy, because they are certainly fighting for similar, heartfelt beliefs. It is foolish to assume that the German soldier fought just for the fuck of it. He believed in what he was doing in the same way the American GI does. So let's include the Japanese, the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Somalians, the Bosnians, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda as well. I can see how this suggestion might seem ludicrous, but it is not. The fact of the matter is that all nations fight for what they believe to be true, which only illuminates the fact that we long ago lost sight of what the truth really is. As Americans, we have bought into the notion that we have some god given insight into the truth, but we have molded and shaped our own truth to justify our actions. If we really stood for truth, justice and the american way, then we would have sent troops into Darfur, but then again, there's no oil in the Sudan, no american economic interest, no dollar value on our children's lives. But we can thank Christ for the wars we are fighting, because now GM can boast of its highest quarterly profits in decades, on our dime.

God is not on our side anymore, and truth be told, neither are we. If God (pick whichever one you choose) was worth anything, then we would be drowning in the tears he shed for every child who dies in war. And if humanity was worth anything, then we would be drowning in the tears of every mother and father who has felt the same pain. Yet we insist that because they died for a 'cause' then it's ok. It's not ok. We should be past this as a species, but instead, we cling to those beliefs formed in the past that have no bearing on today's world. Somebody always has to be wrong in our equations, but, truth be told, we are all wrong. Thou shalt not kill. There is no religion on earth that doesn't bear this credo, so if you accept what God hath given as the truth, then we all live in defiance, or at least denial, of that truth, and we are all going to hell in a handbasket.

I saw a cartoon the other day, where Moses was carrying the first draft of the ten commandments, which simply read 'Don't do bad things'. Think how much farther along we would be, how much more evolved we would be, as a species, if we followed that simple rule.

So today, this November 11th, I watched Avatar for the first time (yeah I know I'm a few years late), and was awestruck and saddened at the same time. Awestruck by the technical and colorful creativity of the movie, and saddened that we are choosing to pass along the same, insidiously stupid notion to our children; that war, fought in name of right and truth, is the only way to settle our problems.

And today, I am going to shed a tear for every soldier that has died in battle, for every soldier injured or maimed, for every soldier that has chosen suicide, for every soldier's nightmares, and may we all drown in the salt of it, for it is we who have given our children the story, the fable, the madness and stupidity. And I will pray that the next generation of children heed the lesson of Lot, and never look back.