Friday, November 21, 2014

The Debt Collector


BANG! BANG! BANG! "Come on, Mr. Bean. Open up!"

Mr. Bean was born cranky. Banging on his door first thing in the morning only made him crankier. "Goddam, what is it?" he grouched opening his finely inlaid entrance.

A man in a multi-colored suit gave the bad news. "Your house. We're taking it for money owed."

"I own this place free and clear, you rat bastard moron!"

"Right. You've got full equity. That's why it's the best one to take."

"You must be downright nuts! I don't owe you a goddam thing."

"No, but Smithers down the street gambled away your house so now it belongs to my bank."

"That's outrageous! How can he do that! That's not even legal!"

"Yeah, so? You can go vote or protest or whatever it is you people do. All I know is everyone decided we could take your house for the debt."

"Go fuck yourself! What do you mean 'everyone decided'?"

"Your neighbors knew we had to take somebody's house so they voted it to be yours. They don't like you much. Democracy in action!"

"Wasn't anyone pissed a house not belonging to Smithers was being taken for his goddam debt?? That's outrageous!!"

"They were pissed until they found out just yours was being taken."

"But it could happen to them too!"

"An esoteric and extraneous point based on a paranoid conspiracy theory - though we do have plans to take theirs too. Nice neighborhood!"

"Who are you people? What makes you think you can do this??"

"The Big Shots say we can."

"What fucking Big Shots? I'll have their goddam heads!"

"Actually, according to our records you voted for the Big Shot over you."

"But he's supposed to be one of the good guys!"

"He is! Everyone else wanted to take your house six months ago but he held out. So think, you got six extra months!"

"Who gives a shit about that now!!"


"Not me. Now fork over the keys or the six cops I got behind me will shoot you down and call it self defense. I told them I'd take their houses if they didn't help us so I wouldn't mess with them."

"This is a nightmare! Un-fucking-believable! I wake up and my whole life is ruined. How can this happen? Has the world gone mad? Doesn't anyone give one flying fuck about anything?"

"Quit your whining and consider the greater good."

"Why can't someone say that to Smithers??"

Guns drawn in vicious hatred, the lawless officers removed a livid and screaming Mr. Bean and put a "For Sale" sign up on the lawn. He didn't go quietly - but go he did. Stunned and dazed, Bean wandered the streets in helpless muttering dismay.

"Look, mommy! A creepy homeless guy talking to himself!" decried one little girl.

"I wonder what he did to deserve that?" whispered her mother whisking her child to safety.

Down the street was a crowd of petty rock throwers, rabid police and angry artillery - all aimed at one single house. Bean felt a sense of relief to focus on another's troubles.

"What's going on here?" he asked a fellow bystander.

"Force field," was the reply as if to explain everything.

"Force field? You're kidding me?"

"I cannot imagine why I would do that. They took the force field option and now everyone is pissed the house can't be taken. Simple, logical facts."

"I could have taken a force field - but I didn't! I'm a good loyal citizen who trusts his government and all authority to do the right thing." As he said this another artillery shell whistled overhead. "I hope those mortars break through. If I can't keep mine neither can they. Damn them and their good decisions!"


Bean looked curiously at the rock throwers who were dressed in rags and covered in filth, clearly not belonging to the upscale neighborhood and stood no chance of sharing in any profit from stealing the abode.

"Why are those ragamuffins throwing rocks? They have no stake in this."

"Idiots need to feel useful. Besides, poor people can be greedy too. They just don't have the outlet."

"Looks like they found one!"

"Touché."

Bean later found out the rock throwers were given golf tees in reward by the wealthy land grabbers whose bidding they did in hopeful aspiration. Though none of them could afford a round of golf nor even had clubs, they felt quite proud, calling themselves the "Tee Party."

Bean could find no friendly ear. "I've been victimized!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. No one paid him a cent of attention. His plea of "This isn't supposed to happen to me!" actually caused some amusement. When he started screaming society was "insane, corrupt, and out of control" the Thought Police were notified for a terrorist alert. Bean was able to hide before the drones arrived or this would be the end of the story. It shocked him to remember he used to cheer drone strikes when watching on TV.

Determined to seek justice, Bean researched Smithers' evil ways, of his secretly taking money that did not belong to him, leveraging it so every loss was multiplied by 30, then threw his victims out into the street before starting all over again. Bean posted these facts with complete verification on the internet in what he hoped to be a startling exposé that would change the course of society. The comments showed him otherwise.

"Whoa! That Smithers dude is smart! I want to be like him!"

"It's your own fault for letting it happen! Take responsibility for your life. Don't be looking to me to pay your damn bills!"

"This is obviously sour grapes on the achievers in society. Get over it. No one wants to hear this shit. You should be applauding Smithers instead of attacking him with baseless accusations."

At his lowest hour, Bean heard words to lift him out of his plight.

"Those who've been disenfranchised, disavowed; those who are deep in despair, take heart. I feel your pain. What's happening to you should not be happening. A society lives on justice but starves with injustice. Our future - our very lives - are at stake. This cannot go on! This must not go on!"


Bean looked up to see Dear Leader beaming with resounding applause from his believers. Rushing to Dear Leader's side, Bean plead his case.

"Sir! Sir! I'm being made to pay for debts not my own!"

"Well, somebody's got to pay. Not gonna be me!"

"Yes, but - what about what you just said about justice and everything??"

"Don't ya love it! That kind of shit gets me elected - and re-elected! Everyone so badly wants to believe. The stupidity of the voter suits me quite well."

"Didn't you mean any of it, about society needing justice to survive?"

"Abstract philosophy has no place in a modern society. That's the problem with justice: it's just not pragmatic."

At this point Bean's belief was shattered forever. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you twisted twit! You seriously trying to tell me a society can't survive serving justice? Are you out of your bankrupt mind?"

"I'll tell what it means, my good man. It means society needs bankers - not homeless fucks like you."

"Oh yeah? You can suck my big white dick, you sonofabitch! Who the fuck needs you? I hope you're fed back twice what you're serving out!"

"I'm needed to protect society from angry people like you, you shithead. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm about to be fêted by the Gambling Lobby. You know what -" Dear Leader couldn't stop from laughing. "You know what they tell me? The only way the gambling laws were kept in place was because the anti-gambling forces trust me so implicitly! God, that's funny! Don't you know I'd be Jesus if only they would let me!"

Dear Leader laughed his way down the street, cracking himself up with a perpetual string of inside jokes. Mr. Bean was not amused, slumping down into a nearby gutter as the rain began to pour.

"What's left to fight for? The world has gone mad in daylight madness. All I've got left is my soul." Bean held his head between his hands in free and total defeat. "I just can't believe I have to pay for debts not mine own. There's no escape is there? Living here is complete shit - even when you do nothing wrong."

"Tell me about it!" affirmed a voice from the cross above.




Wednesday, November 05, 2014

See? Obama Really Is A Genius!

Still not letting the good be the enemy of stupid

So we finally see the results of Obama's super-secret, super-genius, grand master plan to outflank the Republicants to further his hidden liberal agenda by keeping the Democraps in power.

Oops!

It was supposed to be a brilliant rope-a-dope strategy beyond the understanding of us mere mortals. What appeared on the surface to be craven Chamberlain-like wholesale capitulation was in reality a clever trump play in the making to restore order to the galaxy - or so I was told. Continuing - and enhancing - radical right-wing policies was OK since it was being done by what some called the reincarnation of JFK. Don't believe your lying drone eyes, just trust the guy!

Some people are expressing frustration at the midterm outcomes. But why? When sowing Republican seeds one should expect Republican weeds to grow. Oh, that's right. When the Democrat Jesus spreads Republican seeds, Democrats should sprout up. If we'd just given the guy enough support he could have defied the laws of physics. How pragmatic! Politics is certainly fertile ground for wishful thinkers.

If you're going to go to all the trouble of voting,
actually vote for someone of your own species


The reality so few want to face is that we are on a sinking ship. Anyone worth their salt knows this, knows why, and would never run for office. What sort of idiot rushes to be the captain of the Titanic as it's irreparably damaged? It's a fool's errand and whoever ascends to power will be rejected in the end for not righting the ship. False saviors will continue to roll in at the expense of the fearful and gullible and many will attach meaning to the meaningless in a pretense of responsibility. But those who continue to lie to themselves and cling to the sinking ship will perish along with it.

The voters have spoken! They see hope in dirty wars, dirty water, dirty lies, dirty money, dirt deeds, and a dirty world. They have to. They voted for it. That's how the charade goes on: everyone votes themselves to be Jesus. "I'll put whomever is most like me in power!" No system, no "benevolent ruler", no nothin' can substitute for a clean spirit. It's all a big, giant illusion with people pointing fingers as the ship goes down, others with blankets over their heads to keep the illusion alive, and a very few - vilified by the rest - actually trying to fix the holes.

If you were God, who would you trust?


Saturday, October 25, 2014

I Robbed Jenny Of $10,000 And She Doesn't Know It

The happy ending that never was

Like the man once said, "It's the getting-away-with-it part I couldn't live with."

Who was Jenny? Jenny was my most favorite person in the world. We would sing together in private, each voice rising up the other's. My voice alone could never match what it was with her's and vice-versa. That's a tricky thing in even the best of scenarios. So I needed her - but couldn't see how see could need me. After all, who wouldn't want to be the great Jenny's singing partner?

We met at the local Maserati club. She an owner and I, alas, but a fan of the marque. Her being a chick that's into cars, that alone got me going. She's so cool! And then, the more we talked the more I found out we'd always been friends who'd just never met. That growing, exciting feeling you get when you meet those handful of people in your life, and you know this is something real: there's just nothing like it.

But I'd had another lifelong "friend" in my life too: gambling addiction. I can never get it straight in my head no matter how much I try. I need a way out and ten bucks an hour can never do. Everyone has to have hope no matter how unrealistic it might be. I see crazy rationalizations every day from the political to the personal that echo of the same desperation I have. On every corner, another false savior to be found; another fool who makes himself feel good about himself by clinging to the idea we live in a civilization.


I was very desperate for Jenny not to know of my darker side, all the while I was vastly consumed with the guilt of my dishonesty. I had nightly dreams of her visiting the track only to find me standing in a pile of losing tickets, i.e. a loser. Sure, I can't own a Maserati like she does but she never held that against me and once we started singing it took things to the next level. But the deeper our relationship got, the more overwhelmed I became with the dark secret of my private abuse. If only...

So that's how I was able to get into the inner lair of the most popular girl at the Maserati club. It was tough because I was unbearably jealous of the actual owners with whom I can never compete. I obsessed on getting a car of my own so I could have as much to offer Jenny as they. As it was, all I had was my singing and well, how good could that really be? In this age of American Idol everyone has aspirations of stardom. Jenny and I both were adamant on not hooking up to the train of self-delusion.

Still, I never felt more proud than when she said she was "damn proud" of the singing we'd done together. And certainly, after having planted a flower one has hopes and dreams and an overpowering desire to make it grow. We stood on the brink of that, wondering of the next step. She never knew my next step would be to reveal myself as a chronic abuser. All the life would go out of her face and I'd be cast aside from the Maserati girl who leads an honest life. I had no resentment about that but I was helpless to keep what I had.


I didn't have the guts to bring her down to the track and show her the shame of my existence, that this is what I'd made of my life and whatever talents I had. Like other mental contortionists, I had to have a way, of making myself believe - even if I didn't believe. I was going to gamble my way to riches, get a dream car like Jenny and show that I'd made something of myself. But really, even if I did hit that long shot, what sort of "success" is that? What does that contribute to society? In the middle-of-night agony I'd answer, "More than what I do now!"

It had to come out somehow, though, so the unthinkable crossed my mind. I'd take some of Jenny's cash to the track. If I won I could return it a conquering hero as I pulled up in the first new car of my life. If not, she'd see she how sick I must be to betray the person I most loved and trusted in the world. Sounds insane now as I type it out in the light of day, but I was going out of my head at the time, torn between endless desire and endless despair. "You have to answer for what you did, Carlo."

You've got to pay your debts.

Of course, nothing ever works out like you plan. It really is like in the movies sometimes, how it all just goes haywire. I took the money from her but Jenny never suspected me, never even crossed her mind. I needed her to blame me and hate me and scream at me and throw me out the door. Then I could explain my addiction and she'd see she didn't want to be my friend anyway. It was like a nightmare, her honest trust - something I'd never experienced before in my life nor expected, like I was somebody. She knew what we had was real so why would I grab for an illusion like money? God knows, I didn't want to answer that.

Needless to say, I did the worst thing possible, one lie leading to another and then another. I was silent on my theft and that caused me to repeat the cycle again, having to let her know of my thievery - by making her think I was stealing her friendship. That's sort of what I felt anyway. So I started dropping hints her singing could never amount to anything while at the same time adding pressure for her to go public with it. "Why not, Jenny?" I'd innocently ask, knowing she wasn't ready yet. But that was something she thought she had to hide from me, that I'd be disappointed in her. Nah, that's a lifetime project. She'd already won in my book just by being.

Naturally, I lost the money. I have no way of paying it back in my lifetime. I'm not even sure if I won the lottery I could face her anyway. I jabbed at Jenny so hard that if she ever saw me coming down the street she'd run the other way even if it meant heading into oncoming traffic. That was my plan for keeping my secret safe: to make her avoid me since I couldn't resist her. To this day she still thinks I stole her friendship but not her money. If only she'd hate me for the right reasons it would be an improvement.


I still haven't given up the track, I've got nowhere else to go. But every day I think about the songs we sang and wonder what I left on the table all those years ago. I told myself she was bound to find a husband and start a family and not have time for frivolities like me in the end regardless. I made up a million reasons to fail or run away. My fellow losers at the track have remarked on my physical degeneration since that time. Well, what do you expect from a degenerate? It's no fun finding out you're the bad guy, after all. Even if I won at the track I'd still lose. What is broken cannot always be undone.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Saw The Bonnie And Clyde Death Car?!?!

Ambush Car 7

Pilot Point is a small Texas town set in horse country north of Dallas. I used to drive up regularly for some famous blueberry fruit pies to be found there. It's a wonderful drive through the horse ranches and rural shops lining the highway leading to the turn off that takes you back in time to an old fashioned town square. When scouting for the "Bonnie and Clyde" film so many decades ago the producers were thrilled to find so many rural Texas towns be perfectly preserved.

Pilot Point was never robbed by the Barrow gang in real life - but it was in the movie. So the town elders decided to pick up on that heritage and hold a Bonnie Clyde Days festival every October. I went to the first one but this year had something special: the actual car in which the infamous duo met their fate. That was a mildly shocking claim to me because it was my understanding the car was in a casino in Nevada. Naturally, I had to go check it out.

Ambush Car 1

Ambush Car 2

Ambush Car 3

I asked a woman helping to present the car how they managed to get the car there. "By trailer!" she responded as if I were a bit of a dim bulb. I went on to explain that I wondered how they wrangled the car from the Nevada casino. Then she pointed to a guy next to her, saying, "Oh, he owns it." Well, that was really confusing!

Ambush Car 5 Guy in the cap is the owner

He went on to spin a yarn about a mysterious eccentric millionaire holed up in these parts who had the real ambush car while they had the wrong one at the casino. He also claimed to have some of their guns including the one Bonnie slipped to Clyde at the Waco jail. Mystery millionaire shelled out a couple hundred grand for these items at some point in time but had recently passed away. Now this guy was in possession of all these valuable artifacts. True or not, an interesting tale!



Threshing Sign

Depression era themes abound and one really cool feature every year is the old farm equipment on display. The early tractors are a hoot, making you want to try them out plowing a field. The peanut threshers are also always there. I caught them in action, looking as if they'd still do just great today. The video below shows how they'd have been harvested back in the day.



Besides the tractors there were the usual booths, classic cars and depression era themed spots all with the backdrop of buildings from that era.

Tractor 1934

Model A's

Pie Contest

But the highlight is always the "robbing" of the bank. In year one it was staged and filmed by the film school from a university in nearby Denton. Now it's been taken over by the local high school and they put a different twist on it. Instead of staging what would be an actual robbery by the famous duo, they embraced recreating the movie staging of a robbery. All the players were miked up, playing out their parts from a script.

Police Car 3

What was unnerving was seeing the Bonnie and Clyde characters as portrayed by the teenagers realizing the actual duo was scarcely older than the high schoolers when they embarked on their spree. It brought home more of the tragedy to me, of realizing wasted youth. The skit they played out was of the film director location scouting with Warren Beatty. There were many sly jokes at the expense of Beatty's well known ego which made me wonder who wrote the script.

Bonnie And Clyde 1

Bonnie And Clyde 2

Movie Crew

The kids were delightful with their youth and enthusiasm. They had a great vibe around them and the whole small town atmosphere of the crowd was like one big family. Actors and audience alike were enjoying themselves. I was really proud of the kids doing the the hardest thing in movies: comedy. Takes a lot of guts to perform in front of your home town like that. Here's a small clip below.



Police Car 5

It was nice to be able to step into a bygone era with the safety of time between then and now. The 30's were a horrific decade with much suffering and despair, people scrambling for scraps of hope and finding still less. I liked the change of focus from an actual robbery to movie making. It does more justice to the actual history. It's a really cool event and everyone should go at least once if you get the chance.

Click here to see the entire photo set

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Un-Deliverance


Ugh, salt water.

That was my first thought as I regained consciousness with a slap from the ocean spray. The sky was a complete grey gloom of clouds with patches of darkness looming ominously within. The first impression in the drowsiness of my fog was what a magnificent picture of horror this tapestry in the sky, of how I would love to paint this darkness and memorialize for all time. "See what truly lies deep in the ocean!" I'd proclaim.

Then I realized I wasn't safe. The choppiness of the waters had me rising and falling like a roller coaster and if I got too much water in I'd surely sink. This was my first moment of a growing, dreading panic. What was I doing here anyway? The ocean is not my friend when alone.

The storm. There had been a terrible storm on the ship. I hit my head running to safety as I heard the orders to prepare for gale winds. What was it I hit? Did I fall? I can't remember. But how did I end up on this lifeboat? Did the ship go down and I the only survivor? But why save me? And if they were trying to save me then why no provisions here?

Oh, my God. I'm going to die at sea.

I crumpled back down in despair, trying to retrace the timeline, to find the missing piece of information that might save me as the charcoal grey of darkness swallowed me whole, unseen to any eyes human or angelic, sharing the fate of so many ancient mariners. My spine went cold. Should I simply jump overboard and drown now? I must know what happened!


I was knocked out. The ship was in trouble. They must have placed me in the lifeboat for safekeeping. And then, the ship sank with only me surviving? But someone would have had to detach the craft. Maybe that was the last act of someone before being swept overboard. But if someone had time to release the mechanism they certainly had time to climb aboard. It just doesn't make sense!

Nothing. There's nothing here at all. Wait a minute. What's wrong with this picture? I can't quite grasp it...

I'll have to remember later. My stomach is churning, my mind is paralyzing in fear. Don't give up yet. The horizon! Search the horizon, you fool!

Bouncing on the waves I squint my eyes. I have no sense of direction or where I came from. I find a point and slowly scan, making sure beyond all doubt before moving on. Of course, if the ship has sunk there will be nothing to find. Actually, it had to of since with this would leave them with no lifeboat. It would be insane - and legally negligent - to jettison their one backup. It makes sense now. Something broke. That's how I managed to detach. No other possible explanation.

A strange calmness came over me. Suddenly, a surreal serenity took over, surrendering to the awesome power of nature upon the high sea. I just wanted to be swept away, to stop fighting the flow. How glorious would that be if I could do that and live? If I could just lay down and let Nature guide me to safety. I'd never felt such peace ever in my life as in this most hopeless of all hopeless moments in my life. Was I becoming insane, disconnecting from all reality?

The urge to lay back down and drift was overpowering, to pretend there really is a God who cares, that I really don't have to do everything on my own. Surrender! This is the here and now, no need to understand what can't be known. I have a good guess what happened, just let it go. In the morning light would come clarity. The horizon is blank.


I lay my head down and relaxed. This would be kind of fun if the danger were removed! I felt a strange guilt enjoying it, like some sort of amusement park ride. Still, I don't know how I'll manage to sleep with the hands of doom gripping my neck in a seemingly inescapable choke hold. All I can do is set my mind free; drifting, bouncing, guided by forces over which I have no say...

The transponder!

The transponder is missing! How can that be? I remember the crew explaining it's bolted in as a precaution. No way for it not to be here. I lunged forward to the spot I remembered. The bolt holes were still there. Someone must have...

What the hell is going on??????? What really happened? This can't have been done on purpose! Think! Think! They didn't leave me out here. I just can't fathom...

Wild gyrations fluctuated through my mind, flashing between terror and hell. No, no, no, no, no. They didn't set me adrift. What did I do? Yes, I was an outsider but... Think of a good reason for it being gone. I can't! You're doubting your fellow man. You and your bad attitude again! But nothing else makes sense. See? This is why people bristle with your negativity. Why can't you see the good? I'm only trying to be honest. Isn't that the goal? Hah! Like there's an honest bone in your body. No wonder they dumped you.

Confused, drowning in disbelief, I sat back up, furious to find to some clue - any clue! That's when I saw the speck of light. Those motherfuckers didn't sink after all!


Part of me desperately wanted to cry. What utter rejection. To set me adrift at my most vulnerable moment. Maybe...maybe there's something I haven't thought of...some comforting story to explain away the madness. I didn't have all the facts. Why assume the worst? How did I get into this situation? I must be the greatest fool alive! No one but I could have this happen. Un-fucking-believable. A nightmare to end all nightmares. That is my end.

The loneliness of this moment at the mercy of man and high seas. Abandoned by the universe. My whole life I'd struggled to find deliverance. I've been foolish in my choices. Now I see the sum total of my idiocy. Were they laughing as they unbolted the transponder and released me to my fate? Had I drawn out some urge in them to humiliate me - to death? I'd been what I thought expediently silent on the stupidity of their notions as I thought on such a small ship best not to make waves. I never wanted to suspect treachery like this, though.

To hell with it. I'll go back to my original desire for the morning light. Logically, I had no reason to find hope in that. The water was here. The water was there. The water was everywhere. Game over. Regardless, for once, I'll follow my instincts. And somehow I knew doing that would piss off my betrayers. I would have the last laugh!

Jesus! I must be losing it! How can you expect to have the last laugh, dead man?

Then I noticed something. Can't be! The light is getting brighter. They're heading straight for me! Oh, you fool! You idiot! Always thinking the worst. Remember, when you get back on board never for a moment betray your doubts. Act like you never suspected a thing. Oh, heck maybe they had given in to a sudden impulse of cruelty and were now steaming back in a storm of regret. Forgive them and make peace until you get back on land. Land! I'll never leave goddam land again!


A searchlight beamed out from the bow. I could hear voices. They sounded merry. That's a good sign, right? Happy to get me back. I'll lie my fucking head off. No more honesty for me! I'll have to fake like hell I'm one of them for the next few days - which seems like an eternity at the moment. But certainly not impossible in the course of history of human events.

So why was my stomach sinking at the very point of my salvation? Fuck you and your goddam integrity. It's going to get me killed. I'll be honest again when I'm safe back on land. What's the point of being honest and dead? Live to fight another day!

Still, my stomach sank and my mind revolted at the return of the ship. Keep under control! Here it is!

Everyone was on the edge facing me. They had drinks raised high, laughing at my position, hailing in mockery, "Bon voyage!" I wished I'd had the spirit to lash back at them but I was too dumbstruck to even twitch my open mouth. This pleased them, as if proving them to be in the right. I was so overwhelmed at this point I was swayed to believe them. Part of me too believed I deserved this.

As they swooshed on through the waves yelling out "Bye-bye!" I saw a crewman holding up the transponder in victory. "Good riddance, you ..." What he said after was garbled by the waves. Shattered, I fell back down, gripping my seat. So this is me. Should I give in to their judgement? Wasn't I just being self-serving to believe any different? Part of me was sure I was better than they thought - the rest of me was sure I was left to die at sea come what may.

How could I fight back? I've never been so frustrated and outraged in my life!! Should I just let it go like I was before? I couldn't. I felt too much like an idiot - plus I wanted to fight back in righteous anger! "I'm going to break your fucking necks if I get a hold of you!" And I wanted to point out they had no lifeboat now if they hit the reef. Take that! And another thing...


Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to die and they will go on to live unpunished lives as the world is wont to do. Man, I just can't believe this planet. I'm certainly no angel. I just wish reason would be given a chance. Don't the bad guys ever pay a price? Doesn't the insanity have to end sometime? Certainly, if I had sold my soul to be a CEO I wouldn't be in the position I am now.

The night sky was shades of grey from a hidden moon. The water was calmer now. In one sense it was the perfect backdrop to do some thinking - and I certainly have a lot to think about. Wow. Just wow. Did all that really just happen? Is this a dream? I've had dreams like this before. Were those monsters simply carrying out Nature's orders to destroy me? The hatred in my heart pleaded for revenge.

That, of course, was impossible. They were pouring drinks and carrying on and fucking into the night. All I could think of was limiting their laughter. No way was I going to spend days at sea roasting under the sun with no water, my mind going mad oscillating between a hopeless hope and complete despair. "Cling to life, you moron!" I could hear them jeer. "Extend your misery!" I sat up and stared down at the silky, black waters so innocently at peace.

You'll be giving into anger. Remember how you said you didn't want to do that anymore? But this is different! Who wouldn't be angry? I mean, if anger were ever justified, this is it! Consider your heart. How does your heart feel? It feels bad but so what? I'm dead anyway. You really want me to believe this good feeling I have of just floating along here is really going to lead to something? That's all I've done my whole fucking wasted life is place faith in impossible dreams. Certainly it's high time I grew up and faced the facts!


My heart kept speaking but it was drowned out by the sound of the laughing ship in my mind. If I die now I can end the suffering. Nothing has ever worked out for me before. Helluva time to think it would start now! Even God must be shaking Her head at this fool. End your misery. God doesn't want you to suffer. You've never had faith before. Time to try before the end. Have the courage to quickly and decidedly drown in the cold waters.

A single tear dropped in the ocean from my overhung face. The longer I stared, the weaker I got, wanting to stay on. Time to face reality.

******

News reports told of a ship that had foolishly strayed right into the heart of a storm, sinking with all aboard. The route of her final hours made no sense and most likely the crew was not familiar with the path through the reef coming from the direction they did. Unexplained was why the lifeboat was not deployed.

Unreported was the story of a dingy washing up ashore that morning on an island inhabited by natives, a popular destination point for tourists. The boy who found it claimed he maybe saw footsteps leading away but the ensuing crowd trampled away any evidence. How could anyone make it there alive? It was not a lifeboat, it had no transponder. Most probably any occupants died at sea.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Why I'm PRO Ebola!

Don't even write it without a suit on!

Churches are suspending Communion traditions and encouraging congregants not to hold hands or kiss. New York Giants football players are second-guessing whether their wives should accompany them on a road trip to play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in Arlington.

And at the State Fair of Texas, even Big Tex is urging visitors to wash their hands. Dallas has seen only three cases of Ebola, but it’s top of mind for almost everyone.

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To quote a great Texas philosopher commenting on the act of rape, "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it." That's the kind of spirit we need in the face of adversity! If you can't beat the virus, join it! Dallas is ground zero for Ebola infections and we're standing up quite well, thank you. Haz mat uniforms are flying off the shelves, schools are emptying and hospitals send patients home undiagnosed because we ain't afraid of no fever!

Take that, Ebola bitch!

In honor of our fighting Texas spirit, of our new state motto "Remember the Ebola!", and the wisdom of relaxing in and enjoying your haz mat uniform, I present to you this song:


Hysteria comes from Liberia,
Where you get a disease just from ordering
a soda;
E-B-O-L-A soda;

You walk in the street get an itch in your pants;
I went to the doctor and asked what it was,
He said Ebola;
E-B-O-L-A Ebola! La-la-la Ebola;

Well, I'm not the world's most intelligent guy,
But I know when I'm scared and so scared I am
Of Ebola!
La-la-la Ebola;

Well, I'm a redneck who can't understand
Why damn Obama did infect the land
With Ebola!
La-la-la Ebola La-la-la Ebola;

I stay inside I'm so full of fright,
Sleeping in my suit at night;
Liberal bias says I am unhinged:
This is Obama's African revenge!

Well, I'm not the world's most relevant guy,
But I still want to see the sky without breathing air
of Ebola;
La-la-la- Ebola! la-la-la- Ebola!
Ebola! la-la-la Ebola la-la-la Ebola!

I'm running away
To live on the moon;
The only safe place
Without President Doom;
If that don't work I'll find an asteroid!

Well, that's the place where I wanted to stay,
But I know one day even there I'll find damn
Ebola;
La-la-la Ebola!

Planet will die with none left to cry;
It's a fucked up muddled up terrified world with
Ebola!
La-la-la Ebola!

Well, I got a raise this week before,
Exxon Mobile making me their high paid whore;
But then I got this fucking disease,
And money's no good when you gotta wheeze!

Well, I'm not the world's most sensitive man,
But I know when I die I'll not die like a man
With my Ebola;
La-la-la Ebola, la-la-la Ebola;
Ebola la-la-la Ebola la-la-la Ebola!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Corporations Complain About...Their Wage Slave Wages??

America trusts the greed scorpion

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."

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So we get the story today that American corporations at some level have begun to grasp first grade math. And people say we need to reform education! Seems a light went on somewhere that companies who sell things need - drum roll, please - customers! A little late to the game but better late than never (maybe).

It's not just middle-class America that is feeling the crunch of dismal wages and stubborn unemployment levels. Even the corporations that sign the paychecks say workers aren't making enough money.

Sixty-eight percent of the top 100 retail companies in the U.S. -- a group that includes, Walmart, Apple, McDonald's and J.C. Penney -- say the country's stagnant wages pose a major threat to their bottom lines, according to a new report by the Center For American Progress, a left-leaning think tank.

Researchers analyzed the most recent SEC 10-K filings of the largest 100 retailers in the country and found that more than two-thirds of these corporations issued warnings to investors that profits could be hampered by flat wages, high unemployment and low consumer spending. The trend is hammering companies that target high-income customers, like Whole Foods and Dillard's, and those that market to low-income shoppers, like Dollar General and T.J. Maxx, according to the report.

The researchers pointed out that only half as many top 100 retailers identified flat wages as a business risk in 2006, the year before the Great Recession.

"Both corporate America and our relentlessly squeezed middle class are stuck in a vicious cycle of low wages and low demand, an economic crisis that trickle-down solutions can never fix," wrote Brendan V. Duke and Ike Lee, authors of the CAP report.


Guess not every industry can have their endless and relentless greed subsidized by the greatest mandated shift of wealth in history. Even with a thoroughly bought and cowered Congress the laws of physics still apply: suck all the blood out of your victim and your victim dies. Over and over every day I hear people claim that the concept of cause and effect is "negative thinking" and "closed-minded". They claim it's impossible to foresee the consequences of one's actions! In the end, they will share the fate of a cockroach who refuses to move from under an oncoming shoe.

In the meantime, we're stuck living with cockroaches in all their misery. And the cockroaches rule the roost for the moment. Our culture of greed worship has perversed our perceptions of reality. Workers who stand up for their rights are labeled greedy. Greedy CEO's are to be ungrudgingly regarded as "achievers". And generally we don't want to hear we're on the path to ruin and therefore must, gasp, change. We're the good guys - just ask us!

I don't believe it when people say we aren't a democracy. We most certainly are. If it were our wish we could elect honest people to each and every office in the land. Once you stop lying to yourself, no one else can lie to you, either. Simple as that. But if we continue to naively trust in the nature of greed then we are as doomed as the stubborn cockroach who refuses to see the oncoming danger of his position.


Yes, I realize there are all sorts of intellectual and political and other arguments disconnected from reality on how everything is going to be just peachy! People can pretty much convince themselves of anything. But it won't make that shoe any less lethal when your head explodes! History will not be kind to us and will laugh at our ready made excuses we so readily accept now, one idiot congratulating another on the cleverness of his idiocy. This is the bed we have made.