Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lifting The Curse of Male Sex

I'm going to ask you to picture a person: This person is standing in the middle of the street, gripping with white knuckles an automatic rifle, teeth are clenched in seething rage, their face is flushed red with fury and they are howling in frustration as the trigger is squeezed.

Now I ask you, did you picture a man or a woman?

I know the idea that men have sexual needs is an explosive topic for many people and will engender bitter remarks. It's also a most excellent mirror and that is the case I'm making today. Sex for men is a necessity like food. Sex for women is a nicety like dessert. There is a difference between not being happy with your diet (and calling that happiness necessary) and the necessity of having a diet.

But admitting these things is problematic. Women become furious with the idea they could be using blackmail in their relationship. And men hate admitting any vulnerability - precisely because they so certainly are. The real pisser though, is even if you are getting sex - if it's not the sex you need, it's the same as having no sex at all. The amount of ugly realities buried out there is beyond human comprehension.

But if the curse of sex were lifted, these are the things I see that would happen:

First would come a thunderous thud as a hundred million rifles dropped to the ground in disinterest - making war impossible.

A man stops striking his wife - as he is no longer her prisoner.

Monasteries empty as men re-enter the flow of life - with divinity no longer a requirement.

Divorce rates skyrocket - as men enter relationships only of their own free will.

Frowns of pierced agony disappear - as the demons' pitchforks depart.

Grey hair turns to brown - the pressure is off.

The blackmail of money disappears - along with the need to control women.

Lying lips stop in mid lie - no longer seeing the reason why.

Eve was not the first to bite the apple, Adam was and he then handed that apple to her (scared old men reversed God's words). And for that God made men women's bitch. The entire culture and structure of the world is centered around men's insecurities and inferiority complexes. All because we seek to suppress one simple truth - a battle that can never be won. "Surrender" is a code word for men carrying connotations of endless terror. We each are expected to fight for the lie. What a bunch of fucking idiots. The only way to win is to surrender - or stay a lying loser forever.

We are a funny lot! Here's what's really happening:

We're playing those mind games together
Pushing the barriers, planting seeds
Playing the mind guerrilla
Chanting the mantra, peace on earth
We all been playing those mind games forever
Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil
Doing the mind guerrilla
Some call it magic, the search for the grail

Love is the answer and you know that for sure
Love is a flower, you got to let it, you got to let it grow

So keep on playing those mind games together
Faith in the future, outta the now
You just can't beat on those mind guerrillas
Absolute elsewhere in the stones of your mind
Yeah we're playing those mind games forever
Projecting our images in space and in time

Yes is the answer and you know that for sure
Yes is surrender, you got to let it, you got to let it go

So keep on playing those mind games together
Doing the ritual dance in the sun
Millions of mind guerrillas
Putting their soul power to the karmic wheel
Keep on playing those mind games forever
Raising the spirit of peace and love

Cine: "A Man and A Woman" (and a Guilt Monster)

Un homme et une femme

It's been a few weeks since I've seen Claude Lelouch's film "A Man and A Woman" (France, 1966) and it hasn't left my head yet. One of the ways I judge a film is by how well it echoes afterwards. Somehow - in a film with people I have almost nothing in common with - something reached me and found a tender spot. I dreaded watching it - the feared "relationship film" - but I was stuck with it and gave it a go. It did help a little bit as it was described as tres cool on the cover. I'm a sucker for 1960's French cool.

The storyline didn't bode well: two widowers finding each other in their first relationship after their losses. I had seen Blue (of the famous Blue, White, Red trilogy) which was a really heavy (but great) film dealing with sudden loss and I didn't really want a repeat of that or even tinges of it. Luckily "A Man and A Woman", while certainly not a light film, did not probe the inner depths of grief but rather we watched the re-flowering of two individuals. It takes a high amount of skill to walk the line between schlock and sublimity but Lelouch was up to the task.

It's also madly atmospheric with every shot framed and lighted with loving care. It's a film you absorb as much as you watch. I also loved all the little moments of self-talk and hesitation - do I extend my hand out or not, what could he/she be thinking? Lelouch truly enjoys the poetry of the visual medium and the entire cadence of the film is that of small vignettes streaming together, carrying us along on the couple's journey of self-discovery.

Those who criticize the film do so for seeing it as having too much style. Our would-be lovers are too beautiful, their careers - he a race car driver, she a film script supervisor - are too elite, with lifestyles too far removed from the grubby masses. But if an auto mechanic can know a broken heart, so can a sleek race car driver. Despite this sort of reverse snobbery, the romance is true and simple but with all the complexities of opening one's self up anew. The ending was perfect: subtle and complete with the enticing hint of more steps yet to come.

For me, there's an other-worldly quality to the film, like I'm peeking into lives that I shouldn't be seeing. Or maybe I relate to this film so well because it's how my life should be had I found myself along the way. Enjoyment erodes with my guilt and angst, fretting over the sense of inadequacy. It's amazing how often the reality is we ask for our own demise in the effort to express ourselves truly. For though I dearly loved this film, Debby the Guilt Monster came kicking in my door:

What the fuck are YOU doing watching this?

Nothing. I, uh-

When was the last time YOU had a relationship?

I haven't exactly...

I've had relationships all my life. You know they are THE most important part of living. And what have YOU ever done?

Nothing, I know.

So what makes you think you're good enough to watch this, bitch?

I don't.

So what are you going to do about it?

Nothing I can do.

Do I need to remind you all the chances you blew, Mr. Smartest Man Alive? Do you know how many women hate and despise you right now?

I know.

I'm the only one that knows the whole truth about you. You know that, don't you?

Yes. I haven't dropped my guard since you left.

You're still just one big act, aren't you?

Pretty much.

Give me one good reason why I should forgive you.

I can't.

Well, you better find one before you die! You know that don't you?

Yes, I know...

But you're not going to do it, are you?

I don't see how I can.

God, you're pathetic! You should just off yourself and end the misery now. There's no point living without a relationship. *I* worked on that and you did not. Why should I do anything to help you?

I don't know. I can't see why either.

Have you been fooling people again? Making them feel sorry for you and shit like that?

I can't help it.

Jesus! What can anyone do with you!

I want you to be proud of me. I want to be someone you're not ashamed of. It kills me I'm not that person. Failing you is unbearable to me. Only you know my crimes and I'm completely dependent on you. I don't know what to do, Debby. You're the only person I can talk to but the only time you talk to me is when you're yelling at me.

Are you telling me you don't deserve it?

No. I know what I did. It's unforgivable even if I live a thousand lifetimes.

Damn right it is!

Everyone thinks you're being unfairly angry with me.

And do you think that?

No, it's more than fair you speak to me at all.

And your lying, chickenshit ass better not forget that!

I'm sorry I tried to watch this film like I'm somebody normal. I know it's a dream I forsook.

You're going to die a 12-year-old, aren't you?

Looks that way.

Watching others live, poaching feelings vicariously through their lives, wishing from afar you were one of them. I can't condone that. You can't expect me to. There's no hope living with someone like that.

I know. But I can't resist you. You know what The Dream is. That can't be replaced.

I don't know what to say to you. I can't stop my disgust. The more I hope for you the more you hurt me. That's what addicts do. Where does it end?

It ends when I have a home. I can't forgive me either. I know I burned it down and it can never be the same again.

Fine. I'll be waiting until the next time you call out for me - and you always do. And if you haven't changed by then, know what's going to happen.


The Diary Of A Sad Man

Hi, my name is Simone! I'm a French girl, sleek and ritzy and refined. I bring love and joy to the world because that's all I know how to do. I also ooze feline mystique in spades. You must honor my delicate sensibilities like my daddy does or I'll stay just outside of arm's length anytime you try to pet me (sometimes I do that anyway). He says I'm "an angel of the angels" - and he's right!

My daddy is very angry. He yells and screams and kicks things then doubles over clutching his stomach in pain. I don't know why he does this. Life is very horrible for him. I only want him to be happy. Family time is the best time! But he says he can't talk to anybody and he's trapped like a dog. So I looked in his diary, the stuff he says he can't share with other people because they are unfeeling monsters.

I couldn't type this in myself so I called Mrs. Michaels and she said yes this is important and I thanked her for the use of her opposable thumbs in getting this out. She told me if she had to choose between saving a Rembrandt or a cat, she'd choose the cat. I like Mrs. Michaels!

This is the stuff we picked out that seems to make him so angry:

Missing her is killing me... Of course, I can't tell anyone this or the Flame Thrower Fuckers will roast me alive. Maybe their needs are unmet too and that's why they can't stand to hear of mine. Can someone please pull these knives out of my belly!!!

I can't stop hating her. How could should leave me like this knowing I need her? Who made up this rule of needing someone? Do I get to kill God too and make Her need someone too? Does not God understand I have to have someone I don't have to lie to? Guess not, guess God's a monster too.

I can't read those posts on OS where people talk about their lives and what they got. I have to put up a front like I'm living too. But they don't know I'm far, far away, stuck on the moon and separated from everyone on earth. They'll fucking kill me if they find out. "What they fuck are you doing there! How do you expect to live all alone like that! You're a fucking idiot!" I talk the talk while others walk the walk. Good job that.

I wish I could put God in a 6x4 metal Cell Hell and make Him horny as hell every day. God, how satisfying that would be to hear Him wailing in pain and torment, pounding on the sides of the walls in frustration, ripping out His guts with no possible hope of escape or satisfaction. "Die you motherfucker! Die! Maybe You'll think twice about inflicting screaming agony on everyone who isn't goddam perfect. You give no quarter so neither shall I. Enjoy Your daily crucifixion and know that if anyone but me hears Your wailing they'll call You a faker. HAHAHAHAHA!"

I can't forgive her for not speaking to me. My soul doesn't care why she doesn't, just that she does not. It's too late now anyway. How could I ever trust her? So hard to tell what's real when no one admits their feelings. Drives me fucking insane!

The Strong Ones must bear me. Anyone who's like me I instantly hate and repel - as they do me. We cripples always recognize each other and despise one another. Each has his Strong Friends on whom they rely and I call that pathetic to have no real friends because you can't walk on your own. I hate living on the generosity of strangers. What an obvious parasite I am. I had dreams to bring. Dreams like no one else on earth.

Who created this world that has so little understanding of who we are? I could tell them they are Love Beings but that's exactly what they are trying to hide. A person's worth is determined by how much he can lie about himself and get away with it. Whoever lives the most can tell the greatest lies. I can't compete on that scale. I'm not living at all.

How can she not be suffering? I bet she is happy after all. I can't imagine someone never having to live alone. High school, college, marriage, kids - never a broken heart or dating for years trying to find the Right One or having to make it on her own. Is she really that good? Can her husband really be a good banker? Is there no one I can vilify but me?

The street is the only place where I don't have to lie. This whole bullshit planet can fuck off die. I know it's not wrong to breathe - you just make it a crime. But it's our spiritual life that determines our fate. And what a poetic justice it is to see them dirty the air so their bodies literally cannot breathe as well. All life is self-expression. They keep hoping it's something else.

The monsters are coming, They want to fill my body full of drugs and make their lies mine, to socialize me in their own image, to play God. The greatest sin on a dying world is to be hurt. Too many guilty souls know they're to blame and they have to silence you before God finds out what they did. The madness of men.

Only Simone can love me. She does not tell me I lie - nor ask me to.


Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama Resign! People Are Dying!

"Two sheriff's deputies killed at a gun range. [Shooter] severely disturbed that Barack Obama had been elected President."

"Richard Poplawski killed three police officers, feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns."

"Man shot three times in street by racist gunman - for wearing Barack Obama T-shirt."

Clearly, a message is being sent here:

Hey Obama!
Say hello to my little friend!

And real people are dying. Now I ask you, would this have happened had Obama not become President? Would not these people be alive today had he stayed an obscure Senator from Illinois? And if the answer to that is yes, does our President truly believe his being President is more important than the lives of police officers and his innocent supporters? Logically speaking, he should resign now in order to save lives, no?

Oh, how I love using simple-minded logic back on you simple-minded morons!

"So let us not talk falsely now
The hour's getting late"

The reality is there's a very simple reason why people act like assholes: they are assholes. But after choosing to be an asshole, some cause must then be associated when said assholeness is expresed. And then in what must be a vain attempt to excuse the asshole in all of us, we blame the alleged cause as being the true cause. Good plan that.

This "logic" is a common device. Those who lived through the 80s remember we as a country were on the verge of total collapse (at least it was reported that way). Why? Drugs! Poll after poll showed it to be the number #1 crisis facing us and had it not been for the wisdom of a First Lady telling us just to say no, we would not exist today. But just how does an inanimate object kill you? Do needles just jump off the table and into your arm?

Again, we blame the method a person uses to kill himself as the reason why he kills himself. There's always some outside force causing us good people to do bad things. Why do we rape? Porn! Why are we so violent? Video games! Why are there wars? Bad hair day! None of those things happen because we're, say, assholes. "Serious" studies are conducted and applauded essays are penned and holy wars waged against these forces that if only we could get rid of them, the world would be saved. ("If we could solve bad hair days, we'd have war no more. A beauty shop on every corner I say!" And the sheeple clapped.)

I do so love the Alice In Wonderland logic I hear every day. Religion is especially rich in this area: "I saw a man of God molest a child, therefore I know God does not exist." "A woman who says she believes in the Bible beat me, therefore I know the Bible is bad." "I saw a follower of Jesus do wrong, therefore I know Jesus is wrong." Amazing how easy it is to conflate things: just do something in the name of somebody and everyone believes you!

So let's start the "Resign Now, Obama!" petition drive - and save a conservative's life.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kagemusha (Shadow Warrior)

"Swift as the Wind,
Silent as a Forest,
Fierce as Fire,
Immovable as a Mountain”
-Takeda Shingen’s motto,
taken from Sun Tzu’s "The Art of War"

Kagemusha (Japan 1980) is a film by Akira Kurosawa set in the sengoku jidai (Era of Warring States) period of Japan. In the middle part of the 16th century the shogunate finally crumbled after several decades of underlying tension (although a Shogun - the title of the supreme military ruler - would still exist for most of this period, he was without any real military power). This basically produced a free-for-all grab for power that would not be resolved until the end of the century. It was a time so raucous that many clans would be wiped off the face of the earth forever.

The key symbol of power was control of Kyoto, the capital and the seat of the emperor (the emperor’s authority was more as a pope’s than a king’s, his blessing was required to be named Shogun). Control of the capital was extremely difficult, though, because the warlords across the country were in a virtual stalemate with no one person able to break out to claim it. The only two ways a warlord could expand his power was either by direct conquest of his surrounding domains or by reaching an alliance with them. The film picks up in 1573 with Takeda Shingen breaking this 3-way alliance:

Takeda Shingen – “The tiger of Kai”
Oda Nobunaga – The first great unifier of Japan
Tokugawa Ieyasu – The eventual Shogun (James Clavell’s book “Shogun” is based upon his final rise to power in 1600)

The fate of the Takeda clan is the main focus of this film. Although Shingen never reached absolute power he is still highly regarded in Japanese history. His greatest strengths were his famed cavalry and the ability to inspire a high degree of loyalty in his men. Seeing an opportunity, he decided to break off his alliance with the Oda and Tokugawa clans (there was a lot of switching sides in the sengoku era) and made a successful raid on Tokugawa lands (Ieyasu’s worst defeat ever, barely escaping alive). But it was Shingen’s use of kagemusha (impersonators) that fascinated Kurosawa and he used this to create a fictional story of the life of a Shingen double.

The final battle scene is a re-creation of the Battle of Nagashino, one of the most famous in Japanese history. Rightly fearing the Takeda cavalry, Nobunaga knew he must come up with a way to tip the scales in his favor. His idea was the use of firearms from behind wooden palisades, which had not been done before in Japanese history and soon became the standard deployment of firearms by all warlords.


Production Notes:

By 1980, Kurosawa had fallen out of favor as a filmmaker (i.e. out of funding) and had not made a film in years. Fearing "Kagemusha" would never be filmed, he storyboarded the film in watercolor paintings, visualizing the characters, scenes and costumes. But when he went to America for funding, directors George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola interceded on his behalf (the studio dare not refuse these cash cows) and financing was finally secured. Coppola to this day speaks very lovingly of the watercolors Kurosawa gave to him in gratitude.

The depictions in the film of both Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu are historically accurate in both appearance and personality. Oda was a fireball, a raging genius. The film of his recitation of the song of Atsumori was a well known trait of his. Tokugawa was a pillar of mental strength, patient and crafty, waiting his turn to seize power.

The overall framing for the story uses historical facts and much attention was paid to accuracy in the recreation of the battle of Nagashino. This is not the only film on Shingen, he was a favorite of movie makers for his storied (and ruthless) life. To read more about him, check out this bio.

The use of kagemusha, or doubles, is done to this day. Saddam Hussein had many doubles as have many evil dictators over the years who feared assassination.


"Kagemusha" is a film about identity and the strings of power. The double eventually is consumed by his portrayal of the great warlord and as it inevitably begins to unravel, we see the true loyalty of the retainers as it had been all along: to power itself. Kurosawa's statement on the god of power during this time reveals a human condition that continues into our own times, as we worship both war and money. He gives no happy ending to such a state as no happy ending is possible. We share the ride on the wave of turmoil of the sengoku jidai, like the kagemusha we are outsiders, hopeless spectators observing a tragic spectacle. As so often happens, it is the lowest among us who see the truth.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Be My Guilty Hero!

"Nobody loves you when you're down and out"
- John Lennon

My life is fucked up and I'm hurting and I'm scared. The particulars are nobody's business but my own. I'm not expecting a dying planet to help me. On the other hand, I shouldn't be made to lie either. Many in a position of guilty privilege feel obligated to play the role of hero and to always provide The Answer. "I have an answer for all suffering" - these Guilty Heroes love this concept more than anything, it is their god and religion all rolled into one.

Like any addict, drinking from the cup of denial sets them "free" from responsibility and keeps them comfortably numb. But any part left unanaesthetized is left to fester and infect, making it unbearable to the touch - which is the price of their retaining any sense of reality. So it's in a state of constant warfare the Guilty Hero lives and his enemy is determined by any and all who utter any sort of unpleasant reality. Such words are like burning coals upon their forehead and they lash back in furious vengeance.

Though I'm sure there are more, I found three main types of Guilty Heroes. Lumbering under the weight of the eternal burden of always having an Answer To Your Woes, they often hiss and snap like a cornered animal. The beasts are most dangerous when no answer can be found and they have failed in their self-imposed duty. So like a lion tamer throwing red meat into the cage, I present my Heroes an Ugly Truth and back away quickly though I have asked for nothing more than the privilege of speaking frankly. These are the contorted reactions I get:

"I can't pay my rent."

The I-Hate-You-If-I-Can't-Be-Your-Hero Hero: "What the fuck do you want me to do about it? I got my own problems! I can't pay your rent for the rest of my goddam life! I work hard for my money! Everybody has to pull their own weight! Ain't no free rides out there. Don't come looking to me every time you have a problem! So STFU!"

The Faux Fixer Hero: "We're gonna lick this problem, I'm sure there are all sorts of people just dying to hire you! I've got some ads circled here and you better have an upbeat, positive attitude! Look at this: 'Landscapers needed to mow 2,000 acre ranch daily' - a little hard work never hurt anybody! And this one: 'DBA needed with SQL background, C++ and HTML skills' - now I know you're very smart 'cause you made your own web page and a smart guy like you can learn that other stuff in no time! Or this: 'High end steak house waiter' - those guys make tons of money and I know if you just put a happy face on that social disorder of yours you can do it too! So STFU!"

The Blamer Hero: "And whose fault is that? You can go around blaming the world the rest of your life but that's not going to change a damn thing! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and start flying right! Paying rent is a very important thing to do and you can't hide from that responsibility. I'm sure you can solve any problem if you just put your mind to it! So STFU!"

In fact, oftentimes you can't say any declarative sentence to a Hero:

"I like chocolate ice cream."

"What am I supposed to do? Go out and buy you fucking ice cream every time you want some, asshole?"

"Let's go on the internet and make ourselves a list of every place that sells ice cream, we can call each one and find out if they sell chocolate, what price it is and calculate the distance to the store from where we are. OK, Mr. Cripple-Who-Can't-Help-Himself?"

"Who says you have to eat chocolate all the time? Have you even tried other flavors? I don't want to hear this 'I like chocolate' shit if you haven't tried all the other flavors too. Grow the hell up!"

One time while discussing the Iraqi situation with a Hero he said the Iraqi people should just rise up and take Saddam out. While that plan did not fix the Iraqi's problems, it sure as hell fixed the Hero's problems. Guilty Heroes feed themselves such lies all the time and they expect everyone to babysit their eggshell existence since every sip from the cup of denial only increases their bitterness. Well, pal, I got news for you too: I can't help you with that problem either.

This is not to say there aren't true heroes out there. You can spot them quite easily. They listen. And for that I thank them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

In The Shadow I Saw

I spied a Mighty Man
Who bled both red and yellow;
Slapped by God's own hand
He stood a withered fellow.

Drinking of his bottled fears,
A figure easy mocked;
I saw in his glass-held tears
A ship who never docked.

Alone, aloof on no man's street,
Sneering noses for his act;
But casting down below his feet
Shadow shows a truer fact.

Fiery words he doth speak,
The world, his hung jury;
A living freedom he doth seek
With power of Truth's fury.

Unshackled are the living dead
To see a world impure;
Moaning of his dreams unsaid:
To live them is the cure.

If holy rain poured from the Sky
And cleansed away his sin,
Even the most clouded eye
Sees the flower of within.

Shouting prophet on the hill -
Deaf ears knew the truth they wanted;
I see him in my mind's eye still -
And how silence left him haunted.

I gave him to find his true path -
That's when the world'll listen;
None hear a man who needs a bath
And on the lamppost he be pissin'.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Obama: The Appeaser

In the last election we basically had a no-win situation. John McCain was just flat out pathetic, a man who saw integrity as a liability (which is a logical POV in the GOP) and who named a veritable pet as a running mate. Shrillary was so busy getting measured for her queen's robes, she forgot to actually run a campaign and she kept "finding her voice" like eight different times. Obama in comparison was the cool, sleek cat of the crowd with an A1 organization and speaking words recognizing the long held outrage among those who actually care about this country. Problem was - and I used this word at the time - he was a Poser, an empty suit for the times.

The Liar

The Bitch*

And the Empty Wardrobe

At a meeting of top Democrats at the White House Wednesday night, President Obama told Congressional leaders that he did not want a special inquiry [to investigate the harsh interrogation methods that the [anti-Christ 43rd President]'s administration approved for terrorism suspects].

...Obama said that he "always thought [anti-Christ 43rd President] was a good guy. I mean, I think personally he is a good man who loves his family and loves his country," he explained in an exclusive interview with CNN's John King.

"You have performed brilliantly in every mission that has been given to you. Under enormous strain and under enormous sacrifice, through controversy and difficulty and politics, you've kept your eyes focused on just doing your job. And because of that, every mission that's been assigned -- from getting rid of Saddam, to reducing violence, to stabilizing the country, to facilitating elections -- you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement."

Three piles of pure vomit uttered by a man who wants to appear visionary - but not be visionary; by a man who wants to represent change - but not effect it; by a man who wants to say the right thing - but not do the right thing. So law enforcement is called "retribution" now? I'll be sure to point that out next time I get a speeding ticket. And a soul who lies his country into a war causing wholesale destruction and mass murder is a "good guy". Josh, golly Mr. Prez, I'd sure hate to see what a bad guy does. And it also turns out we weren't there to steal Iraq's oil after all, instead we came out of the kindness of our hearts to lay flowers at their feet and stabilize the region one dead body at a time:

I'll say it for him:
God damn America

The O-man also says he wants to rule like Lincoln: Well, here's a quote from the real deal:

"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act, as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among human creatures."

I don't want a President who's bipartisan with the wolf. I don't want a President who feels sorry for the wolf. I don't want a President who makes nice with the wolf. I want a President who cuts the wolf's balls off and tells him to fuck off and die! Being nice to the wolf doesn't make you a nice person - it makes you an appeaser. You are the wolf's enabler, allowing him to continue his predatory ways. Yes, Mr. Obama, you talk the talk but you don't walk the walk.

When in doubt, do right:

"There were no generously peaceful impulses in Atlanta, Georgia, that same week, when, on October 19 [1960], police arrested Martin Luther King for refusing to leave the all-white restaurant of a department store. Taken immediately to court, King was sentenced to four months hard labor.

"The morning after King's imprisonment, resting in his motel room, beginning to prepare for his fourth and last debate with [Tricky Dick] Nixon, Kennedy was interrupted by a telephoned suggestion from his brother in Washington, that he "might want to intervene" directly on behalf of King. Kennedy turned to the handful of staff members who had already assembled to begin the day's work. "What do you think?" he asked. The political advisers, led by Kenny O'Donnell, expressed opposition. "You have no legitimate right to interfere with the judicial system of Alabama";"It's a local concern";"Our position on the South is already precarious, and this can only antagonize the white political leaders whose organizations are essential to electoral success.""

So what did Kennedy do? He acted as a leader and made the call to free King. And what happened to Kennedy, a man who followed his convictions in a nip and tuck race?

"As the King story spread through northern ghettos, black support for Kennedy - hitherto ambivalent or disinterested - began to solidify, acquired the added enthusiasm necessary to persuade black Americans that their choice at the polls might make a difference, that Whitey was still Whitey, but some more so than others. In an election decided by a handful of votes in a few key states, that political reward was of enormous consequence. Joseph P Kennedy's most insightful political aphorism had again proved its wisdom: "When in doubt," the old man said, "do right.""
- from "Remembering America" by the great Richard Goodwin


*For all the reverse-sexists out there, sexism in the media doesn't make Hillary any more than what she is: a bitch. Don't tell me about the Hillary you know. My sister worked on the '92 campaign, she was on the buses with Clinton, she has a letter of recommendation from him - and she despises Hillary. Public appearances don't define you, if you really want to know a person see what it's like when you're under their thumb. That's when you see their true colors. That being said, my sister's opinion only confirmed my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Broken Egg

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses,
And all the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Do you always check the carton of eggs before you buy it? I would hazard that most of us do - especially if we've been burned before. And after opening the carton to find the offending egg, what do you do? You put it back down and find another. The broken egg is never wanted. Was it expecting to be?

The broken egg's only hope is a false hope: to remain undiscovered by one who either fails to open the carton or by one who takes too cursory an examination. The egg may rejoice in its initial selection but that only leaves it a far worse fate. Once the truth comes to light and the money has been paid, the egg's selector has ten times the fury had the discovery been made before the purchase. Better to have never been picked at all.

No one cares how or why the egg got cracked, only that it is. And it's a hellish life for the egg, waiting in agony in the dark, unopened carton. You know your truth but it's an undiscovered horror to the world. You're carted into the store just like all the other (worthy) eggs. Being fresh, you're placed behind the existing cartons to wait your turn to the front. You can't help but feel the excitement as the cartons ahead are carried away by satisfied customers. Oh, how you wish to be a part of that!

In the excitement of the despair, the urge of self-deception overwhelms you, begging you into relief from your dilemma. Maybe my cracking isn't so bad! Maybe someone can want me after all! After all, what egg is perfect? Or perhaps a soul of tenderness will find me and accept my damaged being into their life? My positivity can change reality. Pretend not to see my faults and no one else will either. Such are thoughts hatched in an unknowing dark.

"Oh, crap. This one's got a busted egg."

The carton is placed back in contempt. My carton mates are furious with me: I imposed my miserable fate upon their unblemished shells. The light has stripped away all my lies and eternal shame lay before me. Does no one want the cracked egg? Is redemption even possible? Can only death bring an end to my tormented existence?

Like a condemned prisoner waiting on a long-shot last-minute appeal, the egg awaits its verdict - knowing full well its guilty condition. Each second brings wretched hope of a stay of execution. Has someone taken pity on me? Why do they not come? It's closing time, the-powers-that-be have decided to let me live! Oh dear Lord, I've aged a lifetime waiting on this moment.

"Hey Harry, a customer complained about a busted egg in the one of the cartons. Throw the piece of crap out and replace it with a good one."


Click me
Don't come around here no more

Earth Day Is For Losers

Leaves hate not the wind;
Souls who contend with nature
Bring war to the world.

You really think angry souls
will save the environment?

You really believe greedy souls
will save the environment?

You really hope warring souls
will save the environment?

We call this "spreading freedom".

We call this "good business".

We call this "solving problems".

History will be merciless in its mockery of us. We didn't create Earth Day because we care about this planet, we created it because we don't care. But no matter how much we propagate, our deeds will long outlive us and speak far louder. "When man stops raping his soul, he'll stop raping the land - and not before." You may call that philosophy - but you know it to be reality. There's no fixing this planet without fixing ourselves first.

You shall not make for yourself an idol
You shall not bow down to them or worship them
for I the Lord your God am a jealous God

There is no serving this...

and also serving this.

To do so is to choose death. Remember that when Hell Without Recourse comes to visit - we chose it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Interview With A Barbed Wire: A Texan Wants To "Seseed"

The Chinese character for crisis is the same as the one used for opportunity. And if we in Texas are hellbent on raising stupidity to new heights, that can only mean good things for a smart boy like me. The trick is in knowing how to talk to my fellow retards Texans, to wit our continually re-electing of Governor Goodhair even after his demonstrable raping of our state. So I figure since the good idiots citizens of Texas can be so easily manipulated, why not manipulate these hearty souls for the better?

You know, sometimes in this state I feel like a gigolo in a nunnery of virgins: Honey, you may think you know what you want but you ain't foolin' this boy!

It wasn't difficult finding a member of the Texas intelligentsia at the recent tea and fart-sniffing rally here in Dallas and luckily I found him to be most representative of his ilk as the crowd around him hooted and hollered in encouragement of his replies:

Why do you need a country of your own?

It's a free-dumb of real-itchin' iz-shoe.

And in what way do you feel your religion is impinged?

Cuz I needs to be free ta worship me guns like I pleez! Rites now thay gots all sortsa crazee laws sayin's we cantz chutes nobuddy mosts timez sept maybe's win thay's blakkks or walkin in me front yard.

Oh, those are highly restrictive laws. Could you tell me what the tenets would be of your new religion once freedom is attained?

Tenents? Nah, I ain't rentin' nuttin ta no buddy. Butt I nose firs thing I gonna dew is makes it so we's can chute dem dam libberalls wot messin' evrythin up! Dat wot gunna make us grate in da whirld n keeps our razes pure.

So this utopia you wish to create will have no liberals, so as to keep your race pure. But just how are the evil liberals threatening you now?

Ewe-tow-pee-ya? Ain't dat sum plase n Kanzass? Dem libs gonna be da enema win we suseeds so I's doan care bout dem much. I jess nose dem liberralls makes me madder in a hornit win thay bee talkin's to me, yassir, I duz nose dat!

And just what are these godless liberals saying to you, sir?

Thay sayin all sorts vial crapp like homos is peeple like us n wee gots to eet vejjees we-uns hates n den thay goas a roun on thar hi horse sayins I sposte to think mor! Wells, I's thinks ewe's da devil ewe liberall devils! How bout dat fer thinkin!

                                        Governor Goodhair takes a break

You feel no environmental consternation on the global carbonization of our atmospheric patterns?

Doan bee hatin's on me wit werds like dat! Bigg werds is jess like bigg terds: thay stink and I doan wants to be no-wear neers 'em! Ewe soundz like won a dem iffy-lefty-wills. I's can all ways spots n enemee mine cuz thays makes me brane hert.

So is it true anyone who graduates sixth grade is not allowed to live in Texas?

What skool gots to dew wit runnin a combine and hatin's stuff? Dem over-edjamicated folks like dat we-uns deeports ta Aus'in.

Is not Austin part of Texas?

Nah, dey too dum to no better bout nuttin thar. Thays too dum to hates on any buddy! Thays gots kweers walkin down da streets in broad day lites no less! Dem aint Texans atall!

                                            Leslie wants to join your tea party

Can you tell me what this new nation of Texas will be like?

Wells, firs offs, god likes hisself sum guns. Yassir, thats jess da fact. An taint nuttin west a fort werth gonna bee anythin but won bigggg chutin' gallreee! Yee hawwwww! N we's onlee gonna shows reel moovies like 'Member da Alamo' n 'Smokee n da Bandido' n on dem hi-brow nites we can shows 'Rodehouse', jess so's folks nose we gots sum re-fine-a-ree hear.

Just so you'll know, after we secede I'm planning on overthrowing the government and naming myself Shogun.

Show-gun? Dat won hellava post ewe got thar, boy! Yassir, I's on bored wit dat! 'Show-gun' - dang wish ide thot that up fer me fer shor!!

And to demonstrate how I want everyone to have a job, I'm going to name our Governor Goodhair as court jester because he says so many funny things.

I allways sez, evryone good gots to hav a job and I thinks thats mite kinds of ya. N I reelly duz likes me a funnee feller! Dat Boxcar Willee make me pee my pants rite down me legs!

Governor Goodhair has me peeing down mine as we speak. More importantly, though, I'm going to create a warrior class called samurai who'll keep law and order. They'll be able to chop a peasant’s head off without a moment's notice.

Sam Your-eye? New a feller name Sam once, him a good ol boy n could cach sum fish like ewe not beleeve! Ewe think yur San no mines?

Oh, without a doubt.

Well, ewes a smart feller after all! Yur Sam sound like won heckuva feller wot wit him killin feasents all da time. Taint no life atall when mens cant kill wot evry berd he seas! Yup, I thinks im'a gonna likes yur Sam Your-eye and won thin I can tell ya, cant no never haves two much poe-lees!

Oh, from what I can see of Texas, my samurai will be very, very busy chopping heads. But most of all, I'm just happy to provide you what it is you think you want!

Dats how dem-oxa-crazees sposte ta werk! Buy givins da peeples wot day wonts! Dem godless folks in Washy-tun taint gonna dew nuttin bout nuttin so is up ta we-uns to sets stuf strate! God I luvs Americas - n I's cant wates ta get aways from it!

                                  Trust me, I will rule with an iron hand -
                                         Tree hugging will be mandatory

Judge for yourself:

They call me "Magic Man" at the Sisters of Divine Severity and Spankings convent.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The TRUE Tea Party

Traditional Japanese Tea House

Come with me to the Japans and learn of Cha No Yu - or the Way of Tea. It's four main principles are: harmony, respect, purity and tranquility - precepts we shall look for in our would today. The undisputed master and cultivator of the tea ceremony was Sen no Rikyu, 1522-1591, who elevated it to a high art, spawning three schools of thought on the practice of the tea ceremony.

Simple, unadorned objects should be used

Over the centuries, the tea ceremony gained refinement: The tea ceremony developed as a "transformative practice," and began to evolve its own aesthetic, in particular that of wabi. Wabi, meaning quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste, "is characterized by humility, restraint, simplicity, naturalism, profundity, imperfection, and asymmetry [emphasizing] simple, unadorned objects and architectural space, and [celebrating] the mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials." Ikkyū, who revitalized Zen in the 15th century, had a profound influence on the tea ceremony.

The Way of Tea requires
humility, restraint, simplicity, naturalism, profundity

Rikyu composed this poem to explain his philosophy of tea:

"Though many people drink tea,
"If you do not know the Way of Tea,
"Tea will drink you up.
"Without any spiritual training,
"You think you are drinking tea,
"But actually tea drinks you up."

ichi-go ichi-e is a philosophy that teaches
each meeting should be treasured,
for it can never be reproduced

Toyotomi Hideyoshi ruled Japan in the late 16th century. He was a patron of the tea ceremony and Rikyu was his tea master. Hideyoshi learned well:

"When tea is made with water
"Drawn from the depths of the mind
"Whose bottom is beyond measure,
"We really have what is called cha-no-yu."

There is an old Latin saying,
'Ars est celare arlem'.
This means that true art is so subtle
that it looks quite natural and simple -
it does not look contrived.

If man has no tea in him,
he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.

Japanese Proverb

"In the common parlance we speak of the man ‘with no tea’ in him,
"when he is insusceptible to the seriocomic interests
"of the personal drama.
"Again we stigmatize the untamed aesthete who,
"regardless of the mundane tragedy,
"runs riot in the springtide of emancipated emotions,
"as one ‘with too much tea’ in him."
Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913), Japanese scholar

For those who practice true wisdom
Each movement is measured

Come with me on a journey to actual tranquility.

The Clown And I

He never put on his own makeup. Not once in all the years I knew him and I was with him from the beginning, working small time circuses in dusty West Texas towns all the way to arenas jam packed with rabid fans. Charlie could make the world laugh and applaud and offer thunderous standing ovations - but never could he put on his own makeup. Like a turtle on its back, helpless to the task of righting itself, Charlie had an inability to face the mirror - and it was a telling sign of a sinking soul. My name is Tim, I was Charlie's makeup artist and I want to tell his true tale at last.


The Inspector at work!

It's magical when you discover you have world class talent. At first you sort of look at it sideways, not daring to believe, then gradually with a mixture of excitement and trepidation you find that yes, the stars have aligned for you and you be "gifted". It's a bit like finding a knapsack of endless cash on your back, something wonderful that never leaves you and pours forth infinite gifts. The feeling of specialness, of being continually connected to forces greater than yourself, puts a dreamlike glow around you, naturally drawing in those who want to share that dream.

Others see your magical star, thinking it a shortcut to their own, or believing that time with you heals them as nothing else can or for some just to steal a piece of your light for a dark life craving to be known. Like faces popping out of the dark on a funhouse ride, the star man is assaulted by false eyes without understanding and the surrealness of it is a ticklish part of the magical ride. But it also isolates him, cuts of him off, no one wants to hear the star man's reality is anything other than perfect. He is obliged to live the dream life the dirty masses can not, to prove life has hope and meaning.

I have a theory that God makes us 99% perfect - but that imperfect 1% can take over your life and kill you in the end if not fixed. And oftentimes, without explanation, Charlie would offer up to me, "It's killing me, Tim. It's killing me." He'd confess this with eyes closed, exhaling the thought in the eternal struggle show preparation required. I never responded, merely continued applying his makeup, knowing I was the lone soul to whom he could confide without repercussion - being both within his world and without.

Not all chains can be escaped

In a way, that made me the most important person in Charlie's life. But I was married, with a life of my own and Charlie's demands at times put a strain on me and mine as no one really understood why it had to be me to take off on his tours to do such a simple act as his makeup. Yet I could offer no real defense. I never repeated the admissions Charlie said to me - didn't feel the need to - and if I had, I knew it would not have been Charlie I betrayed, but myself. To be honest, without my own life to retreat to, I could not have borne his words as he disintegrated over the years, crippling himself. I witnessed the one thing every clown hides the most: his tears.

In the entertainment industry, my job as Charlie's makeup man was a running gag. "Hey Tim, you gotta help him put his underwear on too??" Every clown puts on his own makeup, almost as a point of pride, but it bothered me not to be tending the only clown who did not. Charlie was the best - they were "the rest", competent but rarely transcendent. And yet, Charlie's continued helplessness on this point made me wonder if he was ever going to win the battle on the imperfect 1%. Like a nation's ill-conceived war, elusive success was always just around the corner.

Reality was, long ago he had ceased to be Charlie the Person and assumed the life of Charlie the Act. Slowly but steadily he withdrew from personal relations, engaging in outrageous acts of self-destruction, making wild accusations of betrayal and sabotage. I think he viewed relationships as a liability, as if they would rush the stage and scream to the world Charlie was not the funny man he portrayed. Like a mute sentinel, I watched this journey to nowhere - and to Charlie, my silence was truly golden.


Entertaining on the outside, raging on the inside. The more Charlie withdrew, the angrier he got, railing at prop men or any other poor bastard who happened to be standing in his way. Never me, though. Not once. I was like a tree in the desert whom the scorching wind moved around but never burned. The outbursts gave Charlie a "reputation" with insiders but really he was just cruelly lonely and I saw these pleas for help go unanswered. Big money was to be made off Charlie, which bribed his witnesses into silence - most of all himself. No one feared the magical star he'd followed all his life would stop shining more than he. Please, no one say a word!

But what of healing? Healing means what? A collapse of the empire? What if he tried it but healing never came? Could he ever make it back to the stage? Eventually, the question was answered by the easiest of all answers: Could Charlie still sell tickets? That's all Charlie wanted to know too. I'd seen in his interviews when asked what courage it took to perform night after night and how he praised himself to face it year after year but I shook my head in disgust. Cowardice ruled the life of Charlie the Clown - and it left him a fragile fellow.

What would of the world have said if they knew the Charlie I knew? After the shows, as the lights shut down, so did the light in his eyes. His brow furrowed and lines of pain creased his eyes as the mask faded away. I was never sure he was even aware he spoke out loud as his admissions flowed forth to me. Once, in a breath of realization, he sighed, "I have nothing to offer." He proclaimed this with the roar of a standing ovation in the background. Part of me wanted to scream, to drag him back onstage and say, "Confess it to THEM!" But Charlie was stubborn on fixing that 1%.

Stubbornness is the breeding ground for desperation, which lends itself to ever increasing absurdity. Charlie role-played as a slave to dominatrixes , pleasing his mistress regardless of the pain inflicted. To his mistress he showed an unswerving worship, deigning her infallible, a god that must exist in his mind - much as Charlie was to his adoring public. Biting the apple of this illusion, he released himself to the lie. Charlie was dying - and getting off on it. Worse, he welded elements of it into his act - often getting him the loudest laughs - and Charlie the Person was laughed at before all the world though none knew it but me. How could this end well?

I told the inquisitors I had no idea what the note meant. Yes, Charlie was dead, but even then I still felt compelled to silence before these uncaring vultures picking over his remains. His final words were simple: "No way out" - and I cried with the thought of his trapped soul solving its problems with a bullet. Point came where he could no longer keep up the act and he'd be left to face Charlie the Person. The seemingly simple act of not facing the mirror - transforming from eccentricity to charade to choking ruler of his life - eroded him into despair. All the applause in the world couldn't save him from that. Charlie had indeed followed his star - but that's not the only star to follow in the midnight sky.

Later, I thought back to the early days, the brash, young, cocky full-of-life Charlie, the fast rising star strutting off the stage walking on a cloud, his ebullient manager clasping him in victory, "You're a raging smash, Charlie! They love you!" But Charlie only smirked and dismissed him with a wave of his hand. "Don't be silly. It's not me they love, it's the act."

Monday, April 13, 2009

the monsters ballin

it's true i've made nothing of my life and i'm guilty and useless and need to be needed but who needs someone who isn't anyone but needs to be someone so when i saw they were talking and reading and asking yet wondering what means 2+2 i told them four but they said no and got real angery saying i was dangery and said it was nun of my busy-ness and go away for the ever and die and then die some more and i wondered why and asked them why but they spoke no more so i asked some others is 2 plus 2 not four but heads turned away to never see me so then never hear me so be i must not and they dreamed me gone but i was still here or i thought i was cuz now i don't know what i know because i thought i knew but they said no one's true especially you so i wondered if i should say two plus two is five but then who would be i and should i be i and i want to be i but how to be i?

i ran to places no one wants cuz men sickly fare and the restroom was bare but i am not bare so even this not for me and words on walls spoke of girls not free but free's what i have but i read them to see when cops car screeches to caught me and they were angrys and detesting me for years and years and i should get what they got coming to them and laughed at my chains and under the light asks if i wants to show boners and i said never but they said i read the girls words with numbers in hand so i must be a liar who should be in forever and whatever i said must not be true so i told them yes i want to show boners so a woman came cuz she never came to protest me calling me perverts telling me jails too good for me and when i said i had to be free she scorned as philosophy and she did not know what she needed so how could i and i was a liar anyway so what did it matter and when i called her a monster she said only a monster would call her a monster.

then i searched for their ears but they all disappears and sad eyes rolled in their heads and they put hells in my beds with no lie unsaid so wheres the hope in that and they said where is the hope in not that and when i cried they hoped i lied and when i died they feared i lied and when i fried they swore i lied and they hated me for their lying and dying and frying so they tried to choke me because they said they need not to breathe and no one could be better than they and monsters ruled the world but they were not monsters but the world must be safe for monsters because of their mobsters and who can defy the mobsters and my future was theirs when they have no future but futures for monsters must be and thats why two plus two could never be four cuz that means monsters no more.