Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Wrong Turn on the Evolutionary Path

It would seem that Sir Ken Robinson has picked up the gauntlet of my educational rants, in a much more kind and cogent way (he probably started his thing long before me), so I think it's time to move on to a new subject, albeit a frequent favorite, and look at why, after thousands of years, we are still fucked up.

Whether Jew or Christian, Hindu of Buddhist, Muslim or Zoroastrian, the one thing that pervades all of our philosophical outlooks is fear. It might be argued that not all religions are based on fear, but it cannot be argued that they don't all use it as a tool for advancing their particular slant. I'm sure that the psychologists and anthropologists out there include fear in their handful of basic human traits, but I think that fear trumps hunger and sex just by its sheer pervasiveness. And I am not saying that fear is unfounded, as I'm fairly certain that even Conan would quake in the presence of a saber-toothed tiger. There undoubtedly was a time when we, as a species, were ill equipped to handle the dangers in this world. I mean even the first witnessed natural death of a human must have raised a few hairs on the neck of his peers. "I don't know. He was breathing a minute ago". But just as consciousness is responsible for seeding the fears in us, it is also potentially the vehicle to eradicate it. We have sufficiently advanced technologically to cope with nearly everything that frightens us (with the noted exception of those dangers we ourselves created). Yet, as a result of millennia of simply accepting fear, and allowing it to guide our progress, we have created a universal fear culture that we simply accept as status quo.

I guess it all seems to start with the boogity-boo of god yelling at Adam and Eve, maybe the Noah thing, and certainly the saber-toothed tiger, but it strikes me that these stories are merely recollections of man's earliest fears of mortality. And the simple fact remains, that way back then, when we had a choice between embracing life or fearing death, we decided to take the wrong fork; we chose to walk the trail blazed by all the other animals before us (yeah, that's right...the one's without 'consciousness'). Now I don't know if apes cry, or if elephants remember, but I do know that early humans were terrified of their own awareness, and they began to make up some pretty good stories to lay their own culpability aside.

So, we took the chimp path (still think we should have taken Bonobo Road), and, whether consciously or concessionally, we let the alpha male take the point. But alas, even alpha males die, or fall to a younger successor, so we needed to adopt something a little more fantastic. So we invent gods. And truthfully, gods made a lot of sense. We could tie immortality to the vengeance of nature, and bring ourselves to adopt the old standby...'gods work in mysterious ways'. But we did just a little too good of a job, and then we started having to be afraid of the gods.

So, at this point, most of us (the orientals and indians apparently evolved from a remote region of Pangaea) arrived at the altar of Aslan, where honest Abe was asked to cleave his son in half with Paul Bunyan's ax, and we wind up with two halves of the same kid, one based on fear of suffering in the desert; the other on being afraid of being chosen; both on being afraid of the same god, and each other. And it was then that the alpha males really kicked into gear, wearing great hats and robes, and standing on towering altars, telling us to be afraid, be very afraid (of course, it was also at this time that Leonard Cohen wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic).

So we daven-ed and hora-ed our way past golden calves and babelfish, passed go, and arrived at the shattered tablets, where we were instructed by the god of burning bushes in all the things we should and shouldn't do (apparently, ten was way too many). But the flip side of Commandments is, of course, divine retribution. We were already afraid enough of dying without having to withstand the knowledge that there would be hell to pay in the afterlife. So along comes the issue of the holy trinity (Amon Ra, Baal, and Y-Yah) and let's us know that those who accept him shall dwell in the Kingdom of Heaven, which as far as I know, is somewhere near Flatbush. And the believers quaked holy indeed when the 'son of gods' got railroad-spiked to the ties. Of course, while the throngs were realizing what a mean motherfucker that trinity guy was, Jesus resurrected and lammed it to India, where the masses, upset over his treatment by Roman and Jew alike, cattled up under the flags of Suleiman and Attila, while the 714 gods of the Mahabharata rode shotgun, and unleashed the scimitar and hookah on the unsuspecting, heathen paleface.

Well, with all those gods running around loose, all of them offering something to be afraid of (even sex...hahaha...who could be afraid of sex!), alphas of every persuasion decided that we should be afraid of everyone who doesn't believe the way they believe, and we've been killing off Hutus and Tutsis ever since.

Apparently, gods simply were not enough to help us discern who we should be afraid of, so we expanded into ideologies, and we got the commies, the fascists, the martinets and dictators, the banana republics, and the fleur-de-lis, not to mention merry old England and her particular brand of thuggery. And we arrived at the world as we know it, where everyone is feared and everyone is afraid. And here, in the good ol' land of reds, whites and blues, even the greatest god of all...Benjamin Franklin...can no longer save us, and we get to be afraid whether we have or don't have his blessing. We got so afraid of everything, we forgot to be afraid when we elected Barack Obamalamadingdong.

We are smart enough. Just too damn afraid to know it. Too damn afraid to succeed.

I got the pedal to the metal...careening down Bonobo Road...I'll grab your ass on the way by...when I turn left or right or inbetween...Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Truth

Well, ho, ho, ho, it's christmas time, and radio stations everywhere are playing one version or another of every carol ever written pour La Nuit du Noel, and it reminded me that the other night I actually followed a band of carolers around the neighborhood, and as I stood, quite impressed by the music, I also felt that cancerous gnaw in my gut reminding me that they didn't mean a single word of any of it. As proof of this, let it be known that this jew knows the words to every fucking one of them. I've been singing about peace on earth since I can't remember. Haven't seen it yet! And you might as well stick any wishes you have for joy to the world right up your proverbial asses. No, I think that jesu christo has done more to ruin our illusions of hope than stretch pants have done to defray the illusion of the camel toe. There is no longer any mystery, or joy, or silent nights in our interpretation of the message of Year One's Tzaddik ha Dor.

In fact, if one were to use the small sample of people in my current coffee shop, one could infer that the world is more miserable than it has ever previously been, although several grizzled old war veterans that frequent the place have exhibited a genuine outward friendliness. Yet, despite whatever jade I may possess, I do think that they would continue to seek my company even if they knew that I stand against nearly everything they believe they fought for. But sadly, they are the exception to the rule. The remainder, the balance, of the dour-faced, just move drearily along in line, double dipping at the free sample tray, and treat the counter people with the same undiscriminating contempt they hold for those out in the cold. Only in very rare instances does a smile or a thank you cross any of their christian lips.

So, I offer you my wish for this christmas season. I think that god should send us another ambassador, maybe a Bing Crosby lookalike, perhaps some illegitimate issue or aborted fetus, who will live his entire pre-crucifix life shining the joy of the uncorrupted child, and not try to fix this world for the undeserving 'adults'. Perhaps he could deliver a message, letting everyone over the age of 5 know with certainty that there is no fucking paradise, unless you live it...and when you die, the worms and pill bugs will simply devour eyeball and flesh. No virgins waiting in heaven. Barely any here. And perhaps he could demonstrate that 'good', and 'kind', and 'generous' are much grander concepts than we believe. And perhaps he could convince us that 'joy', 'ecstasy', 'love', are not confusing concepts. We can spend our lives wrapped in them, if we would only exit the boxes and walls we build around ourselves.

"And he walked in the desert, for forty days and forty nights, and when he emerged, he walked right past the stonings, beheadings, female circumcisions, child conscriptions, rapes, sucker punches and false haughtiness...right past brazen greed and all the other christmas presents...and walked straight toward the youngest child in the whole world, hugged him and kissed him, and they smiled and giggled together. And as they rolled in the mud, and ate potato chips with extra cholesterol, candy with extra white sugar, hot dogs with extra cow lips, he was heard to say to his friend, 'They worry about everything, are afraid of everything, desire everything, and accumulate everything, yet they cannot see the simplest truth, so eloquently imparted by the holiest of prophets, Bill and Ted. They cannot see that their message is all they need to have what they really want. Be Good to each other'."

And if you have to send a messiah, could you make it a girl?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Making It a Quartet

I am the wellspring, the aquifer, lying hidden beneath layers of jade and granite; the lode of antimatter possibilities waiting for the string of my theory; waiting for my oaken bucket to descend and draw my waters to light. I am the creation, long awaiting happening, as the tum-de-dum-bump draws salt to shoulder and cheek, off the cuff, where the blind and the shuttered can taste the sight of it. I am both painter and painting, swirling palette with brush, blending the checkmate toward the color unseen; enamel never touching canvas with anything but the fading rainbow. I am the needle, plunged into subterranean and subcutaneous darkness, filled with cure, culled from the venom of the mythical serpent, and yet, I am also the fable.

And, though she cannot see it…she is. She is the diviner, the dowser who walks and bends to the edge of what only she can see; the rainmaker, the Abenaki, the whirling dervish that dances and chants on the promise and floor of buried nourishment. She is the prairie grass reborn, cured of the evils of man. She waves in the breezes that no longer bring dust. She has rebirthed the wild buffalo and illuminated the red road. She is the quark, the gluon, the undiscovered particle that offers protons to my weak force swirl. She has slain the bear with only the imagined arrow and the bow of faith, and I have fallen into my own waters. She is the final decimal of my pi; the missing piece of every circle. She is the kindness I know but never find.

As waves break near the closing shore, and breezes twirl foam in cotton candy funnels, I float alongside awaiting the rogue emergence; awaiting the pending eye, when wave and funnel lay flat in the footprint, and sea and shore join again in the natural convergence. And then I may alight on her shore, and bring razor shell and lucre and sand once more to melt and blend in the burning star, and witness the boiling chamber surface the flow of hot birthing, and pray to the unknown that she may yet again stand and climb as the sea cools the ejection of my creativity; as wind whistle and gull screech and silent light notate on the natural staff.

And as drill and derrick descend and pump, I am learning to swim; kicking to my surface; stroking to my shore; diving to my oyster. No longer can I tread my waters yet no longer can I drown. I need to swim to standing; land to kind; live as I have never allowed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Random Thoughts from the Coffee Shop

Breaking away from the flavor of recent posts, and just scribing a few observations from recent days.

I watched a woman today alternately screaming at and ignoring her daughter. From what I could gather, the little girl was hungry and her mom wouldn't buy her what she wanted. So she stormed off to another table and cried. Anyway, her mom left her there until it was time to leave, at which point, apparently unexpectedly on the part of mom, the child erupted into a tantrum of volcanic proportions, rife with 'I hate you s' and sudden onset polio syndrome. So as mom dragged her out, I got to thinking, and coined my phrase du jour. "When you're ignoring or yelling at your brat, please try to remember that you grew it". It came right on the heels of reinforcement of my belief that most people simply should not bear children, because bearing them is mostly what they do.

Anyway, later on I was picking up my Little Man at school, and ran into a friend of mine. He is primarily my friend for three reasons. He is a poker buddy, he has kids the same age as LM, and he uses the word 'cunt' almost as frequently as I do. Anyway, we were discussing his friend, the fallen alcoholic, and he was telling me that despite the advice of AA, he was in a relationship with a woman; that is if you can consider a woman with her talons in a man a relationship. Then, the conversation moved forward to how all the mom cunts picking up their kids at school were either parked in the fire lane (closer to the school) or blocking the crosswalks. Small wonder kids in this town are entitled. Their moms won't even allow one raindrop to dampen their little bleached heads. In any event, the main focus of our talk was about people blocking crosswalks.

Anyway, after homework and chores, I drive to the coffee shop for my fair trade organic coffee, and listen in (ok, eavesdrop) on a conversation between the over eager, yet inherently stupid, young salesman, and his dour faced ex-marine, though inherently stupid sales life trainer. OK, I promised not to go where I've already been, but talk about how and what we teach causes us to carom wildly backwards.

In any event, as this is my blog, and is essentially about me, let me leave you with a slightly blurry drawing of where I'm at. I feel like I'm blocking a crosswalk, in an emotionally entitled sort of way, and instead, I should just be letting the brats wander where they want to, and stop trying to sell them anything, because clearly, what I believe is completely useless, except for me. Looking forward to Soup Night. Maybe I'll burn my tongue.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


It seems appropriate, given that this is Pearl Harbor Day, and given that the nun is not really a nun, that I should spend some time in the silent drone of evening prayers. And although it may seem contrived, it would seem that the universe has instructed me to meditate on the nature of love. Now long before the nun and I toured some ancient Christian ruins of a church in France (and took in a bonus alpenhorn concert), she was always chanting on about how love just is, and I truly do believe she is right about that, as you can hear the echoes of that chant in nearly any belfry. Love does just seem to creep up on you, tap you on the shoulder, and, bam...before you can turn around you're smiling...and your body recalls just how good it feels to be wrapped...and rapt. So for the better part of two years, I have been smiling big, and that is a very good thing; to understand that despite our efforts to lock our doors against the world, there are cracks where the light gets in. I'm not here today to ramble on about how grand it feels to love the nun. I do that enough...well, maybe not enough, but anyway...

In any event, the last two years have taught me one, new thing. That there is lots of room under the blanket, and when you love someone, there is room for even the things you never thought you'd learn, so it was with eager anticipation that I listened as she recounted a conversation she'd had with her newest friend (a celibate, buddha/jesus flavored, self-healing, financial analyst monk gardener) who had asked her if she's ever been 'in love'. She responded that she had not; ok, actually with a gaping hesitation of no. Needless to say that all ten of my pins were bowled over and reset, but, as you can see from the metaphor, I was still standing tall. Despite the revelation, I was still wrapped, still standing and still talking. And I learned that there is room under the blanket for letting go. Now the nun says I'm forward casting, but it seems to me that any notion of a future is, even her assertions that she doesn't know what will come for us; even the notion of allowing for all the possibilities; that to hold to what may happen is no different than holding on to what you want to happen. Meditate on that some, and you may come to understand even Nostradamus couldn't see the moments.

Anyway, in the world according to the nun, there is apparently a separate wrapping station, kind of the christmas stocking of love just is, where you are not only in love, but IN LOVE. Must be in a separate room, which I am locked out of, probably due to the fact that my next perspective domicile may have no doors at all, and likely because I stopped loving with my brain a long time ago (the nun loves developed brains). The nun thinks I'm sort of edgy, but I think not. I am simply the culmination of how I have chosen to live and grow, and the truth is, that let us share a very grand love affair. You can never regret the grand times, unless you choose to repaint them, and I am no revisionist. It was and is the best of times, and I learned how huge love can be. This a perfect example of why you can smile while you're crying. Because love just is.

Stop blubbering now. The nun still loves me, even if she is afraid of me. It's hard to say whether my arrogance, or her greater desire, brought this strange quark moment to actuality, but clearly, we managed to dab the easel, no matter how lightly, and now, there are new colors there. And,as I'm sure you are aware, paint, be it water color or enamel, perforates the bubble and opaques the passage of time...and to all, a good night.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Slippery when Wet

I think I'm beginning to understand why the Buddhists have a thing about transcending desire, and I'll get to that, but I also need to point out, that despite my new understanding, I have to go along with the nun on this one. She is very fond of saying, "Why would you want to?"

So anyway, desire is a funny thing. For one thing, it's very pervasive. It seems to crop up no matter what else you have to think about, or have to do. And it's impossible to ignore, or get rid of. You can talk to yourself all day about how it's stupid, or unrequited, or unsolicited, and maybe even unwanted, but logic doesn't seem to have any effect upon it. It's as determined as a chicken running from the butcher. Clearly, desire runs for its life from the cleaver, and then turns around and looks at you, laughs, flaps its wings, scratches a bit, and makes a mad dash for freedom.

So that whole thought begged many other questions. I mean, how can what you feel be deemed a burden to be freed from? I mean, maybe, the whole point is that it is going to find you anyway. The universe is like that. Is it desire that's leads you to hell in handbasket? Nope, I don't think so.
So, after looking at all my questions, I simply decided that the whole notion of transcending desire is silly. I believe that what those Buddhists actually achieve is an ultimate state of pretend. The whole notion is purely mental. It may be true that the chains of desire are what ultimately bind you to disappointment, and know, basic human conflicts...but they also connect you to pleasure and joy. I'll take the good with the bad. It seems to me that's what living is all about...finding the pleasure and joy in spite of the bad...choosing the pleasure and the joy. Maybe this entire thought process stems from my aversion to rigid, mental discipline.In my world, discipline only belongs in prison and the bedroom, and I'm not so sure about prison.

Anyway, the point is that the way we treat desire is indeed what brings misery, but it is not desire's fault. It is simply not enough for most of us to enjoy the desire, or even the resultant joy. We attach things to it, and that is where the problem lies; that is where the vagina becomes an instrument for both good and evil, which leads me straight to one of the Pirate's best quotes ever. "If your stuck in a hole, stop digging." The problem with the vagina is not inherent to the vagina. We have turned it into something akin to one of those Chinese finger traps. You can't get out of it until you learn how, push in even harder until it relaxes; whereas, in its natural state, the vagina is built for ease of entry and exit. No danger of going in too deep, and the benefit is debatable too. It is nice and cozy in there though.

And all of this leads me straight back to where I have always been. Life is about feeling, not thinking, and what I feel is desire and joy. And I am happy for that, and my fingers are dancing free.

So, no offense to the Buddhists. They can chant and Om their way to whatever state of mind they seek. I'm sticking to the body, though it may be temporal. There's a whole lot less convolution in there.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Slap in the Face

On the question regarding the nature of truth, posed by the eminent phrenologist, Vingar Inyurred, I think a bit of stream of consciousness prose is in order. So, dear reader, let your consciousness flow as free as lightning, as booming as thunder, and as gratefully surprised as waking eyes, because I have no intention of trying to make any sense.

It seems to me that truth resides somewhere between the walking stick and the common aphid (is there such a thing as a common aphid? Methinks aphids are pretty common anyway); somewhere between auditory hallucinations and the rhythmic toms of the Zen drummer; somewhere between gang rape and The Gong Show. Yet, throughout history, from the famous Allegory of the Cave right through Hunter Thompson, we seem to be obsessed with the search for it. Which only proves the point that we are indeed a pathetically stupid species. The truth is before us like the nose on our face, like pre-ejaculatory sensations, like the burn of infection, like the acute pain of passing kidney stones. It is right there. Truth is not universal. It is not expedient or opportunistic. It is not good or bad. But I think what perhaps we are really obsessed with is the notion that truth holds some sort of legacy, when in fact, it only lasts as long as you can see it. We are obsessed with the notion that truth transcends our mealy lives; that truth defines right and wrong. The truth is perceivable, but only when we perceive. There is truth in every moment, but that is as long as it lasts. So, perhaps a little exercise is order. Stretch your hand out in front of you. Now, with your eyes open, open yourself to seeing your hand. Is it there? Yes? Then that is the truth. Now, close your eyes. Can you still see your hand? No? Then, that is the truth. It should be clear by now that truth exists in each moment, whether our eyes are open or closed. The question as to whether your hand is there when your eyes are closed further illustrates our desire to complicate the truth. If it is or it isn't, if you know or don't know, makes no difference, because truth is not determined by outcome, proved all the more potently by my feelings for the nun.

I love the nun, in every way that you might currently be defining it. This has never happened to me before. I try to retreat into the constrictive world of expectations, but it simply will not go away. Eyes open, eyes shut, exactly the same. Love pulls me out of all my maelstroms and all my doldrums. It is true because I constantly perceive it; constantly find it sitting quietly, patiently in my psyche. I know it's true because it is always sitting there on the edge of the mushroom, 'closer to my face than the water in my eyes'. And speaking of tears...

Nothing lets me break my heart with more power than the taste of her tears. They desiccate me like spider venom, dehydrate me like sahara sun, raisin me in salty folds. But loving her is my sprinkler, my soaker hose, my mosquito hatching puddle. And just to be clear, I will never drink my own urine. Sterile, my ass!

So anyway, the truth is just sitting there. There is absolutely no fucking need to ponder it. The walrus doesn't muse over the enormity of his penis; over the truth of giant cockness. Humans do (and understand that you'd better have a walrus sized cock when trying to fuck the largest of pinnipeds). Swarms of insects do not mentally masticate upon the truth of windshields. They are flying. That is the truth. That truth serves them all they need. Bats with blind, haddocks with deaf, oxen with dumb. Flying, lying on the bottom, shitting methane. The truth. No need for expansion or parsing. Porn stars with implants. The truth is called big tits (that they don't bounce is aesthetically unpleasing, if not a little creepy).

No lesson here. Maybe a plea, a simple request to open your eyes and ears, your hearts and vaginas, and sense, with whatever each tool provides, what is sitting, criss cross applesauce, on the edge of your floating floor, but don't look down. No telling what you might see.