Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hollow Hal


"I can't survive doing what it takes to survive."

I was lying on my beaten sofa in my usual half-stupor waiting/praying for the world to end. It was as if the weight of cinder blocks had been placed upon my chest, punishing me for breathing. My only option was to stop breathing. Still is. Afternoons are a time of pain for me and when I am at my most listless. But my hoping for peace guaranteed it not to be.

Outside I heard some sort of scuffle and some disturbing barking between various dog factions. Dogs have been in the news here recently since a roaming pack mauled a woman to death in south Dallas. That was on my mind as I caught the scuffle's aftermath. Apparently a woman from the building across the way had lost the grip on her dog's leash and it decided to tangle with Hollow Hal's two small dogs during their daily walk. Hal with his big ass bald head is definitely another lost soul trying to stay alive at fifty-five.

He proceeded to chew the woman out and would accept no apology from her. When she saw that, she got her back up too since she knew the incident was not deliberate. But Hal preferred to see it as an act of war. Of course, what he was really saying in this outburst of exaggerated anger was something else. What he really protested was that he had no one to love and no one loved him - outside of his animals, that is. Who knows, maybe his deeper frustration was that he wanted her. It was clear Hal does not live in hope.

As John Lennon would say: isn't he a bit like you and me?


Watching Hal's unjustified rant put into perspective just how hollow his life is. Those two tiny dogs are his life and he's perpetually scared shitless of losing them. Hal has checked out on life but still wants all the advantages of being here - sort of like someone who wants to drive a car but not make the payments. Like all conservatives he needs to play the victim, that he has just cause not to make the payments due. He's the kind of person who'd leave his wallet out to steal just so he can say later when it's gone that that's proof there's no point in even trying to live.

We actually struck up a conversation a couple of times. Both were unsatisfactory. First time was when I wore my "Free Pussy Riot" shirt which gave Hal license to go into his anti-Putin rant. It was one of those awkward cases where you disagree with someone who's on the same side. Hal's anti-Putinism stems from partially clinging to the need of a cold war adversary and partly from a need to have bad guys in the world on whom we can conveniently blame everything. Putin is this, Putin is that. I didn't want to hear it. I don't want to hear about Putin as the problem because Putin is not the solution.

Second time was his anti-Hollywood propaganda. Victim Hal just can't win what with the horrid movies coming out nowadays. Conservatives need enemies - the more the better and the more imaginary better still. In the demonization of his mind Hollywood slanders and lies in its films, feeling no fidelity to the facts (of course, one need only substitute "Hal" for "Hollywood" in his little diatribe to know his real truth). But this kind of argument gets under my skin and knowing I was dealing with a simpleton I baited a trap for him.


"Hey, did you ever see the movie "The Insider"?

"About the liberal media? Oh yeah, I saw that!"

Fucking moron, has to twist everything, completely missing the point. "I saw that guy Jeffrey Wigand in an interview and he said the scene at night with the guy stalking him at the golf club never happened."

"Perfect example of what I'm saying! They just make stuff up and pretend like it's true!"

"But he did say it was true." That threw him for a loop.

"Wh-what?"

"Yeah, even though that exact incident never happened the feeling of being stalked did happen. It's just a storytelling mechanism to convey that. Don't have to be factual to be true."

"Well...I'll just stick to the facts. Sounds like liberal talk to me."

Then Hal sulked away realizing he hadn't found a fellow warrior in his battle against life after all. You can smell his loneliness a mile away, the bitterness of self-sabotage as he refuses the gifts of life. Hollow Hal's tortured rationalizations are common to hear in these parts. How to be perceived as moral while defending the indefensible? He avoids eye contact with me now which is fine by me. Let Jesus go among the sinners, I'm not that strong.

And as I said before, isn't Hal a bit like you and me?



Friday, May 06, 2016

Welcome Back, Harry!


The terrifying, sinking, falling-into-the-black-pit-of-a-bottomless-hole feeling had seized upon me once again as I passed through the portals of doom of the mostly empty bank building at night, a place where the living souls of the day have departed and is left for the dead, i.e. me. Every day spent without sticking your head in the dirty water of self-water-boarding that is the job world makes it all the worse when the day of reckoning returns and you realize hell's grip on your life is the one factor that never changes.

"Welcome back, Harry! How was your vacation?" Earl is older, heavy-set, and will never be anything more or less than what he is right now - and he knows that. He can't hide his dyin' eyes. He failed to stay alive at fifty-five and now is stuck pushing his gasless car forward on the highway of life. The strain of it - and the thought of doing it the rest of his days - shows on his creased face. Like anyone who makes himself miserable I don't trust Earl. The fact he tries to put a happy face on it all makes me trust him even less.

"Short." So was I. Wasn't Earl's fault. He probably had no idea that the last thing I wanted to do when returning is speak to anyone - or even breathe for that matter. I was in complete survival mode with no energy to spare as the looming prospect of recurring boredom and monotony before me forced me into a prayer for instant death.

But maybe Earl does know I'm suffering and just wants to fuck with me. "That's OK. Your mop bucket's been waiting on you the whole time!"

"More proof we live in a godless world."

"Oh, come on! It can't be as bad as all that."

"Let me stick this mop handle up your ass then you can tell me how bad it is."

"Whoa! Just thought you might be in a good mood after a week off."

"All that does is give me time to realize just what a waste my life is. I caught that scene in "The Big Chill" where those idiots are dancing around in the kitchen to some old pop song. I'm thinking, "Who are those people?" Who gets to fuck around and go on vacation without any worries? I'm just an invisible slave and nobody gives a fuck. My chance to live is long gone. I got nothin' and nobody."

"You mean no Emily?" I glared at Earl with intent to kill. I had no idea he'd actually been listening to me over the years. "But that was years ago."

Not all wounds heal and this one cuts like a rusty razor. "Yeah, well, you don't have permission to speak her name." I was boiling inside.

"Who does?" rebuffed Earl.

No, this was not my vacation

I wasn't expecting his cheeky reply. Touché, I admitted though still annoyed. And so it had begun, another night of the tears of a frown hidden in my hollowed out heart, pining for the family I never had. Can't say anything or they chop your head off with the fury of the self-pity sword. Only thing worse is when they agree with your self-pity. God never faced a mop bucket, a time clock, and a morning boner all in one day. At this point, even I am sick of hearing me.

So I disconnect - just like the people I hate.

I play my role of the despised slave whose work is honored by their lips but not their wallet. I've seen all these articles on the "disaster" of giving people a living wage, that it does not fit the capitalistic model. But of course not! Slavery is what works best. The Old South built an entire economy on it and we've been trying to recreate it ever since. But the assholes just can't come right out and say, "We need you to be slaves." They hide behind economic models and other numeric voodoo that emanates from the religion of money.

This was on my mind as I rolled my mop bucket down the marble hallway of human bondage. I and my fellow workers are under permanent suspicion by virtue of our poverty and our masters' guilty conscience. The creatures who inhabit this building during the day feel above doing this sort of work. The owner of the fiction that is our company is home humping his wife as we nightwalkers are pimped to give him an illusion of power. People may be wrong about the conspiracies they propagate but the world is most certainly a conspiracy - with the emphasis on the "con".

"'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings,
and whores all get respectable if they last long enough."

- Noah Cross, Chinatown

I recognize the name of one of the legal firms handling Ray Hunt's Oncor takeover. I've talked about this before but short story is one group of greedy fuckers got burned buying our biggest electricity provider in an LBO and now wolves are coming trying to take advantage of the bankruptcy. Oncor is the prize jewel they are trying to pluck from the taxpayers hands and set up a sweetheart deal of stealing 250 million from the general public. Sex pervert Hunt, the Noah Cross of Dallas, insists he must be allowed to steal as it's good for investments. Spoken like a true pickpocket. Like slavery, thievery is rewarded in our glorious system as being "pragmatic".

I repeat these cycles of thought and others like it each night I'm stuck here in the harrowing hole, voiceless and unheard. No need for me to ask what it's like to die at the bottom of a well. The heavens watch our daily dance of death in vexed agony knowing either our behavior must perish or we will. I certainly know this behavior is killing me.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Road Unwanted


the door to his home
is locked from within;
closed by the heart
of yesterday's sin;

while fooling the world
love bears no true fruit;
if life is to go on
he must chew bitter roots;

he builds an empire
of cold-hearted stone;
and as its prisoner
he mournfully roams;

left by the wayside
rich loves to cherish;
choices have meaning
here travelers perish
.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Civilized Mind


"Come out from among them, and be ye separate," saith the Lord.

Easier said than done. We are a planet given over to mob rule. We know this and in order for us to believe (deceive) we have a future, we must bless ourselves as holy. Moses rightly said that is doom. But it allows us cover to go after those who are apart from the crowd - to torture, maim, and finally kill them. Jesus - and those liberals like him - suffer(ed) this fate. Anytime humans organize themselves they seek to defend that organization as a choice between life and death. Here we call it, "The American Way". Defending our way of life gives us carte blanche to betray, belittle and battle anything or anyone we see as a threat. That's a fatally bad bet.

Let's suppose we built our society on the concept the earth is flat. We build a giant fence around us to keep us safe from falling off. The obvious convention for life at that point is to stay safe within the fence. Those who are most vehement in this belief are put at the top of society as guides and guardians - priests by any other name. Adhering to this belief is mandated to "maintain order" and "preserve our way of life." As time passes the price of the lie grows greater as the desire for freedom of it grows greater.

Finally, a nihilism sets in. To stay within the fence is to die. To venture past the fence is to die. We've been dealt a losing hand, so what does anything mean? There are no saints or sinners. Just a struggle for survival until there is nothing left, dog eat dog to the bitter end. In this scenario, to whom can one appeal to for justice? As the pretense of allegiance to truth degrades, what matters exposing corruption to the corrupt? Anger, frustration, and brutality inevitably rise as the self-caged animals demand to be free while holding the key.

Preserving the greater good!

And thus we have the world today, one turned upside down. Those who step past the borders of what's acceptable, bringing messages of hope, are labeled as destroyers by the true destroyers. The destroyers define hope as hope for their lie, not hope for life. They live in helpless fear of the change they know must come. Relentless is their evangelical cause, scooping up purposeless whores, the willfully ignorant, and the decidedly wicked to their pursuit of speaking well of evil. Left to itself, this army of "civilized" doom would wipe out all life as we know it (in the name of preserving life as we know it!)

It's they who say we've achieved civilization who are the true anarchists. They fight to preserve chaos. The suffering from this will be beyond measure. Already we often hear the cry "I thought this could never happen" resulting from our festering tragedies. Be prepared to hear this more. We'll have to avert our eyes more. We'll have to harden our hearts more. We do whatever it takes to keep the lie alive. It's just really getting old - and very, very boring.

No one has anything to say. No message of life outside the fence is allowed to be spoken unless it's in apocalyptic terms. Everything is on the table as an answer except for the truth. I don't like being alone sitting outside the fence. I don't like having my words of hope twisted and attacked without reason. At times I feel like crawling back to the other side just to not be alone. Then I do evil things to the monsters: I tell them they're right. This makes them feel alone but they cannot admit it because to betray the lie is to be outcast. They declare victory and depart the field of life.

Had I the money to be immune to the madness who knows what I would be writing now. I have no idea where I'd be once free of this persistent pain. Being able to say, "I told you so," does me no good now and no good later when there's no need for it to be said. So what does any good? Learning to communicate is one. After that, Nature has to take its course. It would be nice to save Mankind - I try it all the time - but if I knew I'd be responsible for only my own poor decisions I'd leave you to yourselves and embrace the peace. I should do that anyway, of course.

As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Found In Translation


"How can I ever trust you after what I've done to you?"
asked the plantation owner to the slave.


"Religion is born of my mistrust of God."

"Would you like your sin secular or holy, please?"

"Two rights don't make a wrong! The world is going wrong.
Ergo, it's responsible to the world to be wrong."


"I saw you flashing your love. You'll get arrested for that!"

"The freedom of my chains shall set you free!"

"You will have to sin tomorrow if you wish to sin today."

"Fearing removal of approval keeps you a fool."

"She was standing everywhere when I saw her standing there."

"When love flees terror follows."

"Keep fighting against peace until the end of war."

"Seeking safety in my bed, the road in my head is dead."

"In the sunshine of his hate he wins the debate."

"When I saw the judge disrobe he yet remained as unjust."

"Backstabbers' blues as I read the news."

"Her conviction to have conviction is a fiction."

"Under their radar flew the cuckoo's nest."

"My silence was misspoken."

"In open wound surgery they found his shattered heart."

"She loved the feel of adrenaline whenever she would lose again."

"After disconnection she could find no direction."

"Remember, I'm still your boss!"
"Only as long as Satan rules the earth."


"Money makes you do things you don't want to do.
"Love makes you do things you do want to do."
(Which do you think will win in the end!)




Sunday, April 10, 2016

Disconnected In The Head


"Get your hands off me!" Wendy outraged, pulling her arm away as everyone in the spa looked on. "Why are you doing this? I don't understand!"

"You asked for it, lady. Now you're going to get it."

"No, I most certainly did not ask for this! I never did that. Now let go of me!"

"I'm not going to argue about it," sighed the officer. "You're obviously nuts."

"Now you're name calling! What a poor attitude!"

Despite her vehement protests, in the end Wendy was hauled away in handcuffs, resisting reality to the end.

*****

It all started with the biggest new hip of the 21st century: total disconnect. Sure, it has been around from the beginning but word is now to take it to new extremes - if you've got what it takes! Truth is for losers and lies are for lovers (or so they say). How exciting to be part of the cutting edge of thought. Cowards will be left behind! Let the over-thinkers worry and fret about the so-called future. We positive thinkers will rule!

Like many recent college graduates, Wendy discovered that despite having done what was expected she did not get what was expected. She was supposed to be provided with a nice job and a comfortable life the rest of her days. Her biggest concern was to be the loveliness of her wedding while spending her time advancing her career and living in a world of rom-com movies. At least that was the way she'd scripted it. Instead, she was back home living with her mother as she suffered a severe case of entitlement deficiency.

From Wendy's steady diet of film and TV never once did money problems prevent a plot from moving forward. So why was her life so downtrodden? What had she done wrong but get a college education? "I'm a responsible person too!" The more she thought about it, the more she absolved herself. A TV voice blared: "Take control of your life! You are the captain of your ship! If you can't break down the wall, go around it."


Wendy called her best friend and they both agreed she was a good and responsible person, deserving of much more than she was getting. Her friend had read "The Secret" and told Wendy she'd never get what she wanted without devoting her energy to it. "You've go to focus. Disconnect from all the bullshit that's keeping you down. Stay positive at all times. People are doing it and changing their lives every day! Go get your share! Remember Enron!"

"You're right! That's exactly what I will do."

As a self-appointed saint (surely putting her among the overwhelming majority) Wendy took the spare credit card from her mother's dresser and (literally) went to town. Now her life was just like those TV people! What a gorgeous, heady feeling walking in the clouds of positivity. "Just think about what you want! I was a fool to think about anything else." Her confidence and conviction grew as she went from store to store. "I was a damn fool before!"

She brought the loot to her friend's house. Her frenemy was properly impressed. "You did it, Wendy! You found a way around the wall to get what you want. Congrats!"

"Thanks! I also booked a room at the W hotel for their weekend spa package. This is so fabulous!"

The dour sister of Wendy's friend passed by, amazed at the new purses and other finery. "I thought you didn't have a job, Wendy. Where did you get all this?"

"Positive thinking! You should try it sometime. You're always so down with that attitude of yours."

"Attitude never put money in my pocket. Everyone just yelled at me when I ran up my credit card. After that I didn't know what to do."

"That's you! This is me. Maybe if you'd had a better attitude people wouldn't yell at you so much."

The sister walked away feeling like a bigger 21st century loser than ever.

Be a Nazi winner with a happy heart!

At the hotel spa, Wendy felt better than ever. At last she was getting what she deserved and the world made sense once again. Life really is what you make it. That is until the hotel manager and a uniformed police officer enter the room announcing her charges are not authorized. Wendy was flabbergasted when told she had to leave, refusing to budge an inch.

"Get your hands off me!" she outraged, pulling her arm away as everyone in the spa looked on. "Why are you doing this? I don't understand!"

"You asked for it, lady. Now you're going to get it."

"No, I most certainly did not ask for this! I never did that. Now let go of me!"

"I'm not going to argue about it," sighed the officer. "You're obviously nuts."

"Now you're name calling! What a poor attitude!"

Wendy's mother stormed into the room. "Just what do you think you're doing, young lady?"

"Just getting what I deserve!"

"I'll give you what you deserve: jail time! I've never been so angry in my life. I already pay for all your living expenses and now you bankrupt me where I can't make the mortgage payment!"

"Gee, Mom. I don't want you to be angry."

"You expect me not to be angry! Are you completely insane?"

"What's insane about wanting a spa treatment? Sheesh, Mom, I really don't see what the big deal is. Everything's OK as long as I say I don't see a problem."

When the story of Wendy being dragged off to jail reached the sister of a certain friend of Wendy, a celebration was had. "I'm not a loser. I am dealing with reality. What an awful time this is to live in."



Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Who's Your Mommy/Daddy President??

Feeling dirty?

"You know how you can tell when you're voting against your interests?
"Anytime you're standing in a voting booth."

From my appearance on "Defeat The Press"

"Mr. Homeless! You're known as having the greatest political mind of the 21st century. To what do you attribute this?"

"Sheer disinterest."

"But you must take an interest! The future of our country depends on it!"

"If the future of the country depends on my interest then you must bring me Maria Sharapova at all costs. Tell her it's for the good of the nation!"

"Everyone pretends to disdain politics but we all must be responsible in the end."

"I quite agree. Responsibility will end interest in political machinations."

"But what about the protest movement of Donald Trump! Oh, the humanity!"

"What about those legs on Miss Sharapova! Oh, the curves!"

"This is so defeating..."

"You defeat yourself."

"Are you seriously going to say you have no interest in who becomes President? It's one of our most sacred duties as a citizen. It shapes our fate."

"Some people say if we change our laws it will change our hearts - or worse, dis-obligate the need for a good heart. But we know the truth is law follows the heart, not the other way around. How can I vote someone to have a good heart?"

"Then vote for the best heart!"

"Then I vote for Maria!"

"You better start being serious or I'll throw a tantrum!"

"A tantrum out of civic conviction or feeling threatened on having to earn an honest living outside inane conversation?"

"Reporters pay rent too."

"There's no law that limits one only to the artificial."

"We've set you up as a pundit, dammit! Be quotable!"


"OK, America is like a great ship floating on a river of greed. We all know rivers of greed lead to a fatal waterfall of doom. This is why we live in fear. It's not because we're afraid of what others might do to us. We're afraid because of what we do."

"Oh, Christ. I just felt our ratings drop 50%."

"How about a handicapping of the contestants, then?"

"Oh, please, please! We must have debates and disagreements!"

"OK, Bernie is called a socialist but really he's the only capitalist running as we live in an upside down world. He's the only one believing in making the system work. See, Americans fear socialism as a great transfer of wealth but what we've had here since 1980 is the greatest transfer of wealth in human history - all the while proclaiming we're followers of capitalism! Greedy fucks that we are, if a nickel is transferred to a poor person we scream death and anarchy, but if a trillion is transferred to the rich we're mum as church mice. Only Bernie wants to end that transfer."

"Then you must vote for him! Gotcha, bitch!"

"One may slow down a ship on the river of greed, but not change its fate."

"But what if we put mommy in charge this time?? Unprecedented! Game changer! It proves our merits as human beings!"

"Yes. In the end everyone votes himself as Jesus. But Shrillary is Lady Macbeth incarnate. Let your anger pin your hopes on that!"

"So Trump and Cruz must save us then!"

"Yes! Just as Caligula and Nero (respectively) saved Rome to "make it great again." Every empire in decline grasps onto false prophets to keep the lies alive. Sounds like a plan."

"Gawd, you're depressing. You make it sound like we're all wasting our time ignoring our personal lives in order to busy ourselves on the lives of others."

"Well, look at it this way. Would you give a flying fuck about your so-called civic duty if you could choose between voting or Maria Sharapova? Live first, ask questions later."

Their children hate them for the things they're not;
They hate themselves for what they are.