Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Con Men and Religion

I bring you the word of fraud!

Most folks when they see this title will either think I'm talking about the health-and-wealth type preachers or perhaps the individual who prays with you on one hand and has his other hand on your wallet. And while those examples certainly fit into what I'm talking about, I want to focus on the true meaning of religion: self-deception. And if you think you're not self-deceived, brother, then I have a bridge for you!

In David Maurer's book "The Big Con", he wrote that con men used to attract suckers with newspaper ads like this:

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: For an honest, reliable business man with $20,000 to invest for a large return. References exchanged.

Now, most people are literal-minded and would think this would be the worst possible ad you could place for a con, fearing an inundation of honest, reliable people who would have no interest in anything even slightly shady. And while you may get a few of those, most likely you will get a huge number of juicy, fat pigeons all ready to prove to you how honest they are. Maurer continues:

...like most everyone else, the mark thinks of himself as an "honest man". He may be hardly aware, or even totally unaware, of this [self-deceptive] trait which leads to his financial ruin. "My boy," said old John Henry Strosnider sagely, "look carefully at an honest man when he tells the tale himself of his honesty. He makes the best kind of mark..."

Many minds are unable to comprehend this phenomenon, finding it absurd on its face, but mostly it's the idea that anyone can see through their self-deception that rankles them the most. Those who banish unpleasant thoughts from their minds are forever doomed as marks - which is why some marks are conned two or three times in a row until all their cash is gone. It's all about facing facts - facts are your friends! The greatest human need is for love. Once you face that it becomes obvious why there would then be a corollary need to also feel good about oneself - to feel worthy of love, your greatest need.

Hey, I'm just like you!

I always look for a person's rationale of worthiness in life, to find his weak point. I remember reading Lucky Luciano's autobiography, wondering how in the heck he was going to find a rationale for his dastardly deeds and it was a classic: "We're just doing what anybody would do if they had the nerve." That's his self-deception, that's his religion, that's where he leaves the front door open for a con man to come waltzing in. "Yes, sir, I truly want to be just like you!" Some marks make it easy to identifiy their religion by calling themselves an "ist", e.g. capitalist, anarchist, baptist, atheist, humanist, realist - terms of self-congratulations viloate the Rule of Silence: Those who know, don't say; those who say, don't know.

Everyone also likes to present an incontrovertible fact or story - at least to their own mind - of proof their religion is true. Perhaps Lucky would cite some corrupt politician as proof that even the most upstanding of people are really just like he is. Maurer writes in his book that those who answered the "honest businessman" ad always told a tale like this: "Mr. [Con Man], to show you how honest I am, I found a pocketbook with $230 in it on the street the other day. I spent three dollars advertising to try to find the owner." That's when the con man shakes his hand congratulating him on his honesty and says he's just the man they're looking for (and he ain't kidding!).

As Maurer so beautifully puts is: And once a man admits complete and unshakable faith in his own integrity, he is in an excellent frame of mind to be approached by con men. So overwhelming is the need for love, so helpless are we, that once the mind turns dogmatic, it becomes outside the range of human will to alter one's self-view. This is a key fact the mark cannot admit! A true mark believes his human will can overcome anything - especially the truth.

Sure you can have these!
My webcan is only $2.95 a minute!

Now I'm sure you're thinking you'll never be met by a con man but the truth is your surrounded by them! Politicians, desperately horny guys, mortgage brokers - the list is endless of people looking to exploit any weakness in you they can find. The only protection against this is self-honesty. So tell me who the honest man is: the one who tells you there is larceny in his heart or the one who tells you he has none?


-----------------------------------

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What Are Words For?

"What are words for?
"When no one listens,
"It's no use talking at all."

The building is almost a circle in its design with hallways offshooting with every 90 degree turn, providing room after room of possible life sustaining storage. It's these storage units where I go to poach, procure and prey - hoping to find any sort of morsel of life to keep my hell going. I've tried to resist but how does one say no to food? Without it, the mind grows fevered and frayed, blocking out any thoughts but that which sates your heated state. The endless void comes calling, crushing all pride. Yes, my friend, I do have tears I hide.

But no merry poacher am I, no Robin Hood who's a prince in another life. These meager morsels are my other life, tiny crumbs of self-expression bringing only fleeting fanfare. Intimacy for me is a public event, a flashing of hope. Self-appointed shotgun sheriffs take aim at this pauper of thieves, hoping to add another stuffed head to their collection. Sometimes torch parties are formed to kill the manmade monster, hoping to kill their own inner beasts. But it is the monster that cries loudest of all, hoping to be heard.

No one listens, of course, monsters are much too much fun to kill. Listen, though, and you might find out it's not a monster after all. So stuff your ears well.

Kill first, ask questions later

But monsters are made, not born, and more than once I've been asked why I be a monster - and that's when words fail me. You see, I've been gifted with a language all my own. When I speak of me, I hear my words just fine, understanding myself perfectly well but the other person hears this: "Krxd pownf oi drrn dllu zxyr". They look at me and nod condescendingly but inwardly shake their head at my inability to say anything real. Used to be - when I saw I wasn't getting through - I'd try even harder: "YTUKL ^%OISK HRW ZJFDB!!" I'd say with utter conviction and emphasis. That only made it worse.

I don't have the vocabulary to describe the ensuing feeling. Panic seems so inadequate. Raging fear, fatal frustration, a freak cut off for all time - those are just a few of the emotions one feels. Suicide should also not be excluded. Yet, if you will notice, I did say I was "gifted" with this language. For you see, when I say these words with love, something wonderful happens - something beyond anything that happens with ordinary words. For while my listener may not "understand", he surely "knows" of what I speak. When I speak the language of love, everyone gathers 'round, dropping their weapons, knowing without understanding. Some fucking gift, huh?

When Debby breathed on me, I knew the hope of love if not love itself. For that, I will give her my life. And for the first time, I wrote the language of love, and it circled the globe a thousand billion times over in rays of golden light, soaring out into the universe, taking to me to places of joy I had never known, places where the lion really does lay down with the lamb, places where war is long forgotten, places where the angels themselves came to rejoice. Such things do I know but can share only in my own language, never in words that can be heard.

I want you to want me

So you see, I know what the truth of me is: I know when you hear me not it's because I speak not the language of love. There is no forgiveness for this, even if forgiven. It's the law of the Universe I speak it, and my stubborn pride only jails me, making me a thief in the night, living off morsels that most nights are not even there to be found, a criminal in both God's eyes and the eyes of men. Sparse is the justice found in men's hearts but Nature has allowed me to mete out my own fate - no one can ask for more than that. The injustice is mine own.

------------------------

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Free Ride



"God how I wish there was something more important in my life
than my marriage."

No words are unheard, they are like ripples in a pond, for even if you didn't see the rock that makes them, you still feel the effect. Saying these words changed her world - and therefore all the world. Words flowing into the universe, unstoppable and free, branding her, never to be undone, a breaking of the seal. Gazing alone through the window of a suburban prison, these wishful words escaped without warning - before she could hide them or unspeak them. But like an erupted volcano, what has come out could never go back in.

She gasped at her heresy, retreating to the overstuffed refuge of her sofa. From her prone position, her eyes moved slowly around the room, inspecting the finery as if she were a stranger in her own house. None of this belongs to me. More heresy - words waiting their time for release. She'd made a passion of collecting luxury, for that is how one makes one more comfortable. Yet the folly of this fool's errand was never more apparent. A little voice whispered, "Nothing ever belongs to you when you don't belong to yourself." And she was pained.

Too many words! Attacking her, shaking the bars of her well-guarded mouth. Was it going to be like this from now on, forever spiraling out of control? "No, no, no, no, never, never, never, no no no!" She must hold back the lava flow before it burned down her house. Why is this happening? Why now after all this time? Don't do this to me. I can't make it on my own.

Dreams are the tenderest of all flowers - which makes them the most beautiful. Growing a dream, nurturing it to life, brings all the world to gaze in wonder and offer praise. "She is of the clouds," they'd declare. "Let no one bring her down." She remembered her own dreams like that, alive and exploding with light - and the words of praise echoed still in her ears. Those were the words she needed, now gone with the wind. But her disrepair was a secret God herself must never know: she held no commitment to the beautiful in her.

The Spinning Wheel of Life spun for her as it must for any living creature, driving her ever forward. But she disconnected it, assuring she'd never be taken any place she didn't want to go. So like a pinwheel in the wind her life did turn, letting the dreams breathe only to stuff the danger back down which brought unbearable despair - causing her to once again breathe life into her dreams. Round and round she went in mad futility, never facing who she was, always fearing her marriage a stolen one.

But how could she reconnect the Wheel of Life now?


I don't know HOW to live, there's nothing left inside me. Who can want me when I have nothing to offer? I made my marriage my life so I'd never have to face life. Oh dear God, how do I get out of this? I have to have something to trade. My looks are gone, I never made anything of myself. I got by on making others happy. Don't tell me I can sell my soul no more!

I can tell this to no one. I have to go on forever being the empty being. Dirty little secrets weigh on me like an addiction. I don't WANT to do anything for me! I just want to go on living for others so I can still feel useful. Everything I do to stay alive is killing me. I'm sick of it - SICK of it!

I used to privately laugh at the problems my friends had in their marriages - I kept mine perfect. I saw them struggling, I saw their tears and fears and high drama. But I took pride in my magic formula: take no stock of yourself, pretend you don't exist and your problems won't exist either. But I do exist, God help me, I do.

I can't kill myself. My sex has dried up. There's no way out. My free ride has cost me everything.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Lists of Sei Shonagon, II (Japanese Princess and The Original Blogger)

[This is part of a recurring series on the writings of Sei Shōnogon.]


Sei Shōnagon (清少納言), [pronounced Say Show-nah-gone] (966-1017) was a Lady-In-Waiting serving the Japanese Empress. While not a princess herself, she certainly had the temperment of one and the sensitivities of a noble. She authored the Pillow Book a "collection of lists, gossip, poetry, observations, complaints and anything else she found of interest during her years in the court." Sounds like blogging to me.

Japanese culture initially was formed and nurtured by the nobles and royal court. To be scholarly and poetic was expected and had it not been so, Japanese culture would be far less rich than it is today as the populace in general was not yet literate to the point of introducing art.

It may seem odd a female is one of the great early contributors of Japanese culture in such a male dominated society, but in its formative times, this was not unusual at all and Sei even had contemporary female rivals in the same pursuits. But to put this time in perspective, we first need a quick review of Japanese history and where her time fits in.

Japanese culture took its initial ideas from China and Korea but was really a fresh start which they morphed all into their own. They created their own creation myth with a set of holy artifacts and a holy emperor granting divinity to the nation through him. But then rebellions flared up in the countryside causing the nobility to recruit those who would serve them in retaining power. These men were called samurai, meaning "to serve".

But a funny thing happened on the way to the court. Eventually the samurai asked themselves, "Why serve them when we can serve ourselves? We are the true power after all!" And so began centuries of power struggles not resolved until 1600 with the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, which was dissolved in the 1860s when power was returned once again to the emperor.

Shōnagon's time was in the twilight of the age when samurai still served and the nobility held absolute power. After the samurai took power, life was very hard in the royal court as they were completely dependent on outside funding without their ability to tax. But Shōnagon knew none of this in the halcyon days of Japanese royalty.


-----------------------------------------------


Different Ways of Speaking:

  • A priest's language.
  • The speech of men and of women.
  • The common people always tend to add extra syllables to their words.

Elegant Things:

  • A white coat worn over a violet waistcoat.
  • Duck eggs.
  • Shaved ice mixed with liana syrup and put in a new silver bowl.
  • A rosary of rock crystals
  • Wistaria blossoms. Plum blossoms covered with snow.
  • A pretty child eating strawberries.

Unsuitable Things:

  • A woman with ugly hair wearing a robe of white damask.
  • Hollyhock worn in frizzled hair.
  • Snow on the houses of common people. This is especially regrettable when the moonlight shines down on it.
  • A plain wagon on a moonlit night; or a light auburn ox harnessed to such a wagon.
  • A woman who, though well past her youth, is pregnant and walks along panting. It is unpleasant to see a woman of a certain age with a young husband; and it is most unsuitable when she becomes jealous of him because he has gone to visit someone else.
  • An elderly man who has overslept and who wakes up with a start; or a greybeard munching some acorns that he has plucked. An old woman who eats a plum and, finding it sour, puckers her toothless mouth.
  • A woman of the lower classes dressed in a scarlet trouser-skirt. The sight is all too common these days.
  • A handsome man with an ugly wife.
  • An elderly man with a black beard and a disagreeable expression playing with a little child who has just learnt to talk.


It is most unseemly for an Assistant Captain of the Quiver Bearers to make his night patrol in a hunting costume. And, if he wanders outside the women's quarters, ostentatiously clad in his terrifying red cloak, people will be sure to look down on him. They disapprove of his behaviour and taunt him with remarks like 'Are you searching for someone suspicious?'

A Lieutenant in the Imperial Police who serves as a Chamberlain of the Sixth Rank, and therefore has access to Senior Courtiers' Chamber, is regarded as being splendid beyond words. Country folk and people of the lower orders believe he cannot be a creature of this world: in his presence they tremble with fear and dare not meet his eyes. It is very unsuitable that such a man should slink along the narrow corridors of some Palace building in order to steal into a woman's room.

A man's trouser-skirt hanging over a curtain of state that has been discreetly perfumed with incense. The material of the trouser-skirt is disagreeably heavy; and, even though it may be shining whitely in the lamp-light, there is something unsuitable about it.

An officer who thinks he is very fashionable in his open over-robe and who folds it thinly as a rat's tail before hanging it over the curtain of state - well, such a man is simply unfit for night patrol. Officers on duty should abstain from visiting the women's quarters; the same applies to Chamberlains of the Fifth Rank.

-----------------------------------------------


I was standing in a corridor:

I was standing in a corridor of the Palace with several other women when we noticed some servants passing. We summoned them to us (in what I admit was a rather unladylike fashion) and they turned out to be a group of handsome male attendants and pages carrying attractively wrapped bundles and bags. Trouser-cords protruded from some, and I noticed others contained bows, arrows, shields, halberds, and swords. 'Whom do these belong to?' we asked each of the servants in turn. Some of them knelt down respectfully and replied, 'They belong to Lord So-and-so.' Then they stood up and continued on their way, which was all very nice. But others gave themselves airs, or else were embarrassed and said, 'I don't know', or even went off without replying at all, which I found hateful indeed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's a Madhouse! A MADHOUSE!



Click here before reading

Strapped in, lying in tatters, Shattered Me told the all-knowing Witch Doctors who never listen: I'm liking me less and less every day

Try looking at life from the sunny side up. Dance while you're dying and the dancing will become you!

I'm liking me less and less every day

There are no problems, only solutions. Look at what you can have, not what you can not have! Even if what you can't have is killing you.

I'm liking me less and less every day

You need a drug for your body so you won't feel what you feel. Then life can seem good again even though it's not!

I'm liking me less and less every day

We can't help you unless you help yourself! You are not responding to any of our treatments. It's obvious we need to take things in our own hands and run your life for you. That means mandatory dope and giving us satisfactory answers to our questions!

I'm liking me less and less every day

"Nurse Ratched, get the needle ready. We need to fix somebody - and I mean fix him good!"


Luckily, I was saved by an Adult:

"You monsters! He doesn't need your mind-altering pills or happy-talk philosophy - he needs love. Can't you see he's isolated and cut off? And that the only solution for that is to be not isolated and not cut off?"

"Well, how are we supposed to do that?"

"He needs to face himself so he can be free, he has truths untold. But only in facing ourselves can we also help him face his own self."

"Fuck that, I got 28 degrees that say I can do what I do. I got three car payments, a 19-year-old daughter in college and an upside down mortgage. No way I'm listening to a witch doctor like you! That's just a bunch of bullshit philosophy you're making up to make you feel good about what you do."

Shattered Me then spoke with what little shards of life I had left: Hey, doc, is the 19-year-old hot?

"Did you hear that?? You see how sick this son-of-a-bitch is? I'm going to socialize the fuck out of his ass so he will never talk like that again! You don't see me talking about my daughter's hot friends in their low cut jeans with their firm, tan legs and bulging breasts. I never talk about that!"

This forced the Adult to then beat the Witch Doctors to death with a baseball bat, much to my great relief. I felt as if a gun had been lowered from my temple. My breathing resumed and my near-comatose body twitched with returning life. Then a voice who was interested in me spoke:

"Tell me, Magnus Pym, what have you done?"

"I'm a liar and a double agent. I have betrayed people. People have died because of me - this I have seen with my own eyes. Even without the laws of men - which cruelly punish me beyond despair every day - the laws of nature cannot tolerate one such as me. I am my own enemy, forced to live deep underground in a lightless soul. The only way out is to escape what I've done - and how can one undo what one has done?"

"I cannot help you with that, of course. You'll have to answer for your crimes."

"I know. But letting me speak truly, helps."

"As was my intent." The Adult was warm and soothing, allowing me safety at last, not looking upon my unfaced truths as an excuse to exorcise a hardened heart or soothe a seething soul. But I knew he'd say more: "Shame I exist only in your imagination, though, huh?"

------------------------------------------



Hanssen is federal prisoner #48551-083 and is currently serving his sentence at ADX Florence, a Supermax federal penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, where he spends 23 hours per day in solitary confinement.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome to Texas, Nigger

Which one is the gang member?

When gangs get out of control, an entire city can be terrorized making it so that no innocent citizen can even drive down the street without fear of material harm. Just such a situation has occurred in Tenaha, Texas. When placed in an unbearable vice like this, the good citizens call out for "zero tolerance" and other draconian measures - even taking a blind eye to abuse, if necessary - in order to get things cleaned up. But I wonder if such zeal will be used on the Tehana gang.

The Tenaha thugs, you see, all wear blue uniforms and carry badges - they are otherwise known as the police.

From the Chicago Tribune:

TENAHA, Texas— You can drive into this dusty fleck of a town near the Texas-Louisiana border if you're African-American, but you might not be able to drive out of it—at least not with your car, your cash, your jewelry or other valuables.

That's because the police here allegedly have found a way to strip motorists, many of them black, of their property without ever charging them with a crime. Instead they offer out-of-towners a grim choice: voluntarily sign over your belongings to the town, or face felony charges of money laundering or other serious crimes.

More than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with any crime.


The drug laws, of course, are not about stopping drugs, but about giving runaway power to authorities to "make us safe", a.k.a. commit legalized crimes of their own. But in the dark, backward, conservative minds of rural Texans - and trust me, it's almost impossible to use hyperbole to describe these lowbrow cretins - the word "drug" gives law enforcement carte blanche for thuggery, theft and the raping of lives.

Officials in Tenaha, situated along a heavily traveled highway connecting Houston with popular gambling destinations in Louisiana, say they are engaged in a battle against drug trafficking and call the search-and-seizure practice a legitimate use of the state's asset-forfeiture law. That law permits local police agencies to keep drug money and other property used in the commission of a crime and add the proceeds to their budgets.

"We try to enforce the law here," said George Bowers, mayor of the town of 1,046 residents, where boarded-up businesses outnumber open ones and City Hall sports a broken window. "We're not doing this to raise money. That's all I'm going to say at this point."

But civil rights lawyers call Tenaha's practice something else: highway robbery. The attorneys have filed a federal class-action lawsuit to stop what they contend is an unconstitutional perversion of the law's intent, aimed primarily at blacks who have done nothing wrong.


Welcome to hell!

Texas is no stranger to false drug convictions. In a 1999 raid in Tulia, Texas, nearly 10 percent of the town's adult population - mostly blacks - were arrested on drug charges. It took years but all the defendants were ultimately found to have been wrongfully convicted with the governor subsequently pardoning all the Tulia defendants. Why do such a raid in the first place? Always, always, follow the money. The more convictions garnered, the more federal task force money came flowing in. All arrests were done on the word of one paid informant.

David Guillory, an attorney in Nacogdoches who filed the federal lawsuit, said he combed through Shelby County court records from 2006 to 2008 and discovered nearly 200 cases in which Tenaha police seized cash and property from motorists. In about 50 of the cases, suspects were charged with drug possession.

But in 147 others, Guillory said the court records showed, police seized cash, jewelry, cell phones and sometimes even automobiles from motorists but never found any contraband or charged them with any crime. Of those, Guillory said he managed to contact 40 of the motorists directly—and discovered all but one of them were black.

"The whole thing is disproportionately targeted toward minorities, particularly African-Americans," Guillory said. "None of these people have been charged with a crime, none were engaged in anything that looked criminal. The sole factor is that they had something that looked valuable.


L.A. cops got nothin' on us!

Rural District Attorneys have terrorized small time drug users for years, ruining lives and families and laughing all the way to re-election. One such notorious fiend was from my own neck of the woods, giving out ultra harsh sentences and lecturing from on high - until he too was caught and convicted of drug use. How do you like this little nugget: "The prosecution also presented testimony that Roach had surfed child pornography sites and was obsessed with obtaining money from drug seizures." Rural Texas is one scary place!

The property seizures are not just happening in Tenaha. In southern parts of Texas near the Mexican border, for example, Hispanics allege that they are being singled out.

According to a prominent state legislator, police agencies across Texas are wielding the asset-forfeiture law more aggressively to supplement their shrinking operating budgets.

The process apparently is so routine in Tenaha that Guillory discovered pre-signed and pre-notarized police affidavits with blank spaces left for an officer to describe the property being seized.

"If used properly, it's a good law-enforcement tool to see that crime doesn't pay," said state Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate's Criminal Justice Committee. "But in this instance, where people are being pulled over and their property is taken with no charges filed and no convictions, I think that's theft."


Two things Texas loves for sure: blacks and justice. Remember the 1998 dragging death of a black man in Jasper, the town with a sign telling blacks not to be there after sundown? And Johnson County - just southeast of Dallas has twice the average rate of probationers as the rest of the state (again, follow the money). And the Dallas County D.A. office for 36 years ruled under the infamous Henry Wade with its incredible 93% conviction rate is now described as: "no other county in America — and almost no state, for that matter — has freed more innocent people from prison in recent years than Dallas County, where Wade was DA from 1951 through 1986". So far 19 convictions have been overturned on DNA evidence, with 250 more waiting in the wings.

Texas, blacks and "justice" - a combustible and lethal combination.
---------------------------

Cool Hand Harry

All men believe God wants them to die.
All men believe God wants them to suffer.
All men believe God wants life to be futile.

If you don't believe me, then look at the world at war around you. A futile world of death and suffering created by men (and the women who love them). Belief begets reality. When it's over with, the hand of death will know all four corners of the earth. Do not think punishment delayed is the same as punishment escaped. Or rather, do think it, so you can ensure it happens. My eyes will be pitiless.


Luke listened to the world and became a prisoner of it. Yet he listened to his heart and became God's prisoner as well. So while Luke had a hell to run from, he had no heaven to run to. No, heaven for Luke came in the form of a bullet. Heaven on earth is what men kill so we can keep feeding ourselves our same lies about life and prove our ungodly beliefs true.

Are you in a New York state of mind, strolling down midtown Manhattan, laughing with your friends and reveling in your clever career, thinking you've reached heaven on earth, thinking that self-reflection is for others with less, that you have it made? Thinking that if one is a successful prisoner of the world, then the world cannot touch you and God wants you to live. Then you too believe God wants you to die.

Are you crawling on your belly through desert sands, hoping that serving means saving, praying you're making a difference, lettings strings pull you the way you should go, that meaning can come from denying your thoughts and feelings and obedience is God. Thinking that if one is a successful servant of the world, then the world cannot touch you and God wants you to live. Then you too believe God wants you to die.

Are you full of spit and venom, screaming at your fellow man to change, feeling your message must get out above all else, thinking you can save the world if only you could get through, that others don't know the truth but that you can give it to them? Thinking that if one is a successful savior of the world, then the world cannot touch you and God wants you to live. Then you too believe God wants you to die.

It matters not if we ask ourselves if we believe truly, it matters not if we think we're saved or doomed, it matters not if we pray we do good deeds. We create our own fate regardless.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Lists of Sei Shonagon (Japanese Princess and The Original Blogger)

[This is part of a recurring series on the writings of Sei Shōnogon.]


Sei Shōnagon (清少納言), [pronounced Say Show-nah-gone] (966-1017) was a Lady-In-Waiting serving the Japanese Empress. While not a princess herself, she certainly had the temperment of one and the sensitivities of a noble. She authored the Pillow Book a "collection of lists, gossip, poetry, observations, complaints and anything else she found of interest during her years in the court." Sounds like blogging to me.

Japanese culture initially was formed and nurtured by the nobles and royal court. To be scholarly and poetic was expected and had it not been so, Japanese culture would be far less rich than it is today as the populace in general was not yet literate to the point of introducing art.

It may seem odd a female is one of the great early contributors of Japanese culture in such a male dominated society, but in its formative times, this was not unusual at all and Sei even had contemporary female rivals in the same pursuits. But to put this time in perspective, we first need a quick review of Japanese history and where her time fits in.

Japanese culture took its initial ideas from China and Korea but was really a fresh start which they morphed all into their own. They created their own creation myth with a set of holy artifacts and a holy emperor granting divinity to the nation through him. But then rebellions flared up in the countryside causing the nobility to recruit those who would serve them in retaining power. These men were called samurai, meaning "to serve".

But a funny thing happened on the way to the court. Eventually the samurai asked themselves, "Why serve them when we can serve ourselves? We are the true power after all!" And so began centuries of power struggles not resolved until 1600 with the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, which was dissolved in the 1860s when power was returned once again to the emperor.

Shōnagon's time was in the twilight of the age when samurai still served and the nobility held absolute power. After the samurai took power, life was very hard in the royal court as they were completely dependent on outside funding without their ability to tax. But Shōnagon knew none of this in the halcyon days of Japanese royalty.


-----------------------------------------------


Things that make one's heart beat faster:

  • Sparrows feeding their young
  • To pass a place where babies are playing
  • To sleep in a room where fine incense has been burnt
  • To notice that one's elegant Chinese mirror has become a little cloudy
  • To see a gentleman stop his carriage before one's gate and instruct his attendants to announce his arrival
  • To wash one's hair, make one's toilet, and put on scented robes; even if not a soul sees one, these preparations still produce an inner pleasure.
It is night and one is expecting a visitor. Suddenly one is startled by the sound of rain-drops, which the wind blows against the shutters.

Things that cannot be compared:

  • Summer and winter
  • Night and day
  • Rain and sunshine
  • Youth and age
  • A person's laughter and his anger
  • Black and white
  • Love and hatred
  • The little indigo plant and the great philodendron
  • Rain and mist
When one has stopped loving somebody, one feels that he has become someone else, even though he is still the same person.

In a garden full of evergreens the crows are all asleep. Then, towards the middle of the night, the crows in one of trees suddenly wake up in a great flurry and start flapping about. Their unrest speads to the other trees, and soon all the birds have been startled from their sleep and are cawing in alarm. How different from the same crows in the daytime!

-----------------------------------------------


An observation on carriages:

A palm-leaf carriage should move more slowly, or else it loses its dignity. A wickerwork [cheaper] carriage, on the other hand, should go fast. Hardly has one seen a palm-leaf carriage pass the gate when it is out of sight, and all that remains is the attendants who run after it. At such moments I enjoy wondering who the passengers may be. But, if a wickerwork carriage moves slowly, one has plenty of time to observe it, and that becomes very dull.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sans Soleil, My Footprints In Time


The problem with running - running away - as opposed to running towards - is that you're never looking ahead, and then, without noticing, you reach a place far worse than you could have ever run from. I was too convinced, too knowing of some without knowing of other, the genius of mind blended with a blindness of mind, pulling me and pushing me ever further, trapping me in my escape until the walls between dimensions of spacetime bent and I found to my horror, my footprints in time.


Like an unwieldy giant or a Tokyo monster, my every movement threw shockwaves of time in all directions in ways too powerful to coordinate, wrecking even this abandoned landscape upon which I tread. Every step forward took us another year forward in time. No! I pleaded, this can't be. This can't be me doing this. All the lives in the world - maybe the universe - the truth too horrible to know - affected by my every step, rushing a time that was not ready. I stopped, hoping time would catch up with me, but that only made time stop still.


Oceans of fear pooled at my feet, rising with every stationary moment. What now? In forty steps I travel forty years and in a thousand steps a thousand years - or stay where I am and drown the world. Maybe I can undo what I've done and un-run what I've run, and step backwards to the place where I crossed into this web of time where I as the spider tremble the lives of all. But my steps back were not the same as my steps in - no, those steps were untraceable. In my mind's ear I heard the screams as airplanes landed backwards as souls rushed forward to catch flights they'd missed. I could neither move nor not move - a hell of no time as I pulled the strings of all living things with my slightest motion.


It was at that point I realized what I said. I said: not me. I said reality was not for me - I could do anything and be anything and dream anything the universe asked - but not in its reality but on my own terms, my own way - the hope of unreality. In the world of unreality I'd build the perfect empire, devoid of suffering and filled only with dreams of love, every soul a beacon of light and every tenderness treasured. This I offered to the world - all I needed was just one piece of unreality to make it so. Instead, I bent reality, warping it with my will, twisting the lives of those who'd been true.


How could I face them now, the countless lives upended through the seismic tantrums of my quest? I was sure I was nothing - that I should believe I was nothing - that it was right and proper to know I was nothing - and thus nothing would be tangled and nothing would be lost by the running of me. But the insanity was I was everything - the crying baby, the breeze upon the trees, the hopes of a generation - what have I done? I cheated them all. No one understood my need to be without having to be - that if I were to be then all hell would break loose and mankind would end - and now, I had ended it anyway, trapped in a vortex of time, all hope of ever doing good banished by my mere presence.

And so I chose to die.


But I forgot, I was in the time vortex of unreality and my death brought me life, to give up was to begin again. Even with the sorrow I created, reality held the one thing my unreality could never have: hope. To master reality is to submit to reality. My running had taken me far. I sat exhausted, a crumpled soul on the vast dunes of hard times and lonely, loathing winds. How was I to say I'm sorry to the world? Turns out no one knew it was me that wrinkled the fabric of time. Terrified, I took hesitant steps back to the world of the living. I was relieved to hear the children laughed on - and I cried. I knew I had no love to offer them - until one offered me a flower and she asked me why I die.



------------------------------------

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Why Is The World Fucked Up? God Did It!

"Everything is permissible -
but not everything is constructive."
I Corinthians 10:23

But why should everything be permissible? Can't we just be puppets who are only allowed to do good? Is that not the way to honor life? Or is choice the only way to give life meaning?

We look at the horrors around us - and our course is actually far worse than we've yet to admit - and ask, "Why does God allow it?" But what if the reality is it's up to us? What then? Who do we blame? The universe made me do it? Or do we just throw up our hands and call ourselves inherently defective which means there's no reason to question our suffering, for it then has to be.

In math, if variable x=y then also variable y=x. So if God is love then also love is God. If we were loving, those things wouldn't be happening. So let's substitute the word love in our accusations. How about:

Why does love allow starved and abused children?
Why does love allow polluting the globe with poison?
Why does love allow lies about the truth?
Why does love allow us to be lead to thermonuclear war?

Of course, love doesn't do any of those things. So the real question to ask is: why isn't there more love?

First we block the love from our lives, which then allows hell to reign on earth, and then we cry out asking why love doesn't fix it. That's a heckuva plan, Brownie! 'Why' indeed!

So quit snarking love and quit pretending we are a planet of love. We suffer because we are not a planet of love. A planet of love doesn't look like this one, because love works. It's not like we ever gave love a chance.


Counter argument: "We have the love of money. That's all the love we need."

--------------------------------------


But I know the only ones reading this are the kind and the innocent, pure of heart and fountains of love. And yet they suffer too and question why other innocents must also suffer. Long time ago, a truly innocent one named Job asked the same question to God - back when God was still speaking to us. The (very partial) reply:


"Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you;
and you will answer me.

"Where were you when I laid the earth's
foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely
you know!

"Have you ever given orders to the
morning,
or shown the dawn its place?

"Does the hawk take flight by your
wisdom
and spread his wings towards the
south?

"Will the one who contends with the
Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God
answer him!"

Now, say what you will, that's some pretty awesome sarcasm! I was way jealousing when I read that. Certainly, faith is a lot harder when it requires actual faith.

Counter argument: "God is an egomaniac who thinks he knows everything when he doesn't."

----------------------------------------------


Now, I love this song and I know what he means when he says "love hurts". We've all been there (except for asshole Debby) and know what it's like. But using the x=y law, let us switch around the lyrics:


God hurts, God scars,
God wounds, and marks,
Any heart, not tough,
Or strong, enough
To take a lot of pain,
Take a lot of pain
God is like a cloud
Holds a lot of rain
God hurts, ooh ooh God hurts

Im young, I know,
But even so
I know a thing, or two
I learned, from you
I really learned a lot,
Really learned a lot
God is like a flame
It burns you when its hot
God hurts, ooh ooh God hurts

Some fools think of happiness
Blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves I guess
They're not foolin' me

I know it isnt true,
I know it isnt true
God is just a lie,
Made to make you blue
God hurts, ooh,ooh God hurts
Ooh,ooh God hurts

I know it isnt true,
I know it isnt true
God is just a lie,
Made to make you blue
God hurts, ooh ooh God hurts
Ooh ooh love hurts
Ooh ooh...



Sounds a bit silly to our literalist ears that way doesn't it?


Counter argument: "God does not exist, therefore love does not exist."

----------------------------------------------

Plastic Moses will save you!

Coda: I'm from the planet Xenia and I'm just an observer here. So whatever you fuckers decide to do is fine by me. But it sure would be a fine giggle if you did remember some of these wonderful words.

Take for example, you're at a business meeting and your co-worker Butthead Bob gives a really lame-o suggestion, to which you diplomatically reply: "Everything is permissible but not everything is constructive." [I can tell you, that if you say nothing afterwards and just keep staring at him, he will visibly melt.]

Or suppose you are leading that meeting and you reply thusly to poor Bob: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" You can continue the quote if you deem it necessary to completely insert the sarcastic dagger.

You people would really hate Xenia. It's all sarcasm all the time! We're just looking for other planets we can torture with it.

--------------------------------

Addendum: A Tale Of Two Islands:

OK, I am God (which means nooky and Maseratis for me!!) and I have two equally beautiful islands that I populate with people. One island goes to hell: they chop down the trees, make war on each other, vote Republican - just fighting all the time until no one can be anything but miserable. The second island lives a dream: sharing and caring, always seeking what it takes to live in harmony with nature - angerless and true.

So I did a survey of what they thought of me on the first island: "Asshole!" "Fucker" "You ruin everything!" "Don't give a fuck about us at all!" But on the second island: "Thank you!" "This is paradise!" "We seek only to repay you!" "Life, it's a dream!"

Huh, how 'bout dat! Wonder who is lying??

So I send a messenger to the first island, to let them know their lives could be better. Only he was killed in the most gruesome manor possible. And, in fact, many people started to blame the messenger for their woes! (starting a very fine tradition of blaming and killing)

So as God, that left me with nothing left to do for the first island since I can't live their lives for them and, uh, oh yeah: fuck you, too.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Neo Blade Runner: Republicant Woman, Stay Away From Me


"I'm the Neo Blade Runner. I'm here to protect you from those who will destroy you from within. There's been a nasty spat of female Republicants running loose lately and it's time we got it under control.

"Don't let your guard down just because they're females. Like a stubborn tick, they embed themselves with suffocating tentacles around your heart, hoping to squeeze out what little life you have left. Straight from the Stepford factory, they come with any critical thought disabled. Republicant males like them that way, sort of their own personal groupie.

"Relationships between Republicant sexes are like a dog with its master. Only these dogs never question their master - especially with a diamond studded collar as a bribe. And like any good animal, they protect their master from all attacks, never stopping to reason - just biting first and not asking questions later. Cruel little bitches.

"They see what works for them and they stick to it. Yeah, they seem docile on the surface, but try and touch that diamond collar and your friends'll be calling you Lefty. And don't ever compliment one unless you want to call her a "good dog". Any real praise pisses them off. Makes them think they're supposed to be human - and that's the thought they hate most of all."
----------------------------------------------

I called her a bitch and she thanked me.

Republicant woman, stay away from me
Republicant woman, mama let me be
Don't come here hanging around my door
I don't want to see your face no more
I got more important things to do
Than spend my time growin' old with you
Now woman, I said stay away
Republicant woman, listen what I say


"Only bad people ask questions!"

Republicant woman, get away from me
Republicant woman, mama let me be
Don't come here knocking around my door
Don't want to see your shadow no more
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes
Now woman, I said get away
Republicant woman, listen what I say


"Sorry all you war widows,
no one has suffered more than my husband!"

Republicant woman, I said get way
Republicant woman, listen what I say
Don't come here hanging around my door
Don't want to see your face no more
I don't need your war machines
I don't need your ghetto scenes
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes
Now woman, get away from me
Republicant woman, mama let me be


"I just uploaded my latest orgy to Facebook!"

Go, gotta get away, gotta get away, now go go go
I'm gonna leave you, woman
Gotta leave you, woman
Bye bye, bye bye
Bye bye, bye bye
You're no good for me
I'm no good for you
Gonna look at you right in the eye
Tell you what I'm gonna do
You know I'm gonna leave
You know I'm gonna go
You know I'm gonna leave
You know I'm gonna go, woman
I'm gonna leave you, woman
Goodbye, Republicant woman

"There are some people, and I'm one of them, that believe [the anti-Christ 43rd President] was placed where he is by the Lord," spoke [the Republicant Soccer Mom]. "I don't care how he governs, I will support him. I'm a [reptile] through and through."

--------------------------------



Thursday, March 05, 2009

Iraq No Longer For Sale?

Winning an Oscar makes you a good parent

In Hollywood's Golden Age, it seems some of its stars were not what they seemed to be. Adored by the public, revered by their peers, only their children knew the truth of their hidden cruelty. But no one wanted to hear the truth these children had to share. No one wanted the illusion shattered.

I feel like a such a child.

It was right before the midterm elections of 2006 when I saw Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers, a shocking revelation of greed gone wild. Shameless, soulless and unrepentant, the money grab being conducted there was (is) the most vile act of systemic inhumanity since slavery. But what should have been a firestorm of outrage passed without a whimper. No one wanted the illusion of who we are to be shattered.

Yet illusion is the enemy of survival.

It's what you do in the dark the defines you:

Cost Plus Contracts: A "cost plus contract" states that all your expenses will be paid plus a guaranteed percentage profit added on top. The more you spend, the more you make. And spend they did! Food needlessly catered daily to the five star hotels where employees resided. Your eighteen-wheeler has a flat? Torch the whole rig and get a new one! And everyone has a nice ride in the place where there's nowhere to go. Ever lease an SUV for a quarter million? If you're an American taxpayer you have.

Iraqi truck warranty pays you to do this!

As Matt Taibbi summed up in Rolling Stone:

Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam ­Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. [The anti-Christ 43rd President]'s war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity — to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up.

Blatant disregard for human life: Yes, God help the Third Worlder in the hands on an Iraqi contractor. The savagely poor from the surrounding countries flooded in only to be treated as those whose lives and welfare have no meaning whatsoever. They were the ones sent through the danger zones to be maimed - or killed - and then thrown away as an eager replacement stepped in to take his place.

Poisoned troops: Nor were our own troops spared. Forced to ingest spoiled food and rancid water, they returned as ticking time bombs with the bacteria they absorbed. Others weren't so lucky: they were electrocuted in the shower. The list goes on and none of these were honest mistakes or non-preventable. It's just that when something gets in the way of a quick buck - like our soldier's health - all pretense of ethics or concern go right out the window. It's OK, no one wants to know what we're really doing here anyway!

Ever since then I've been waiting for this (little heralded) headline:

Obama orders overhaul of 'broken' US contracting

His rhetoric - as usual - is correct: "It starts with reforming our broken system of government contracting," Obama said. "There is a fundamental public trust that we must uphold. The American people's money must be spent to advance their priorities, not to line the pockets of contractors or to maintain projects that don't work."

Republicants were pissed (notice no denial of fraud): House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio said if Obama really wanted to cut waste he would veto the pending $410 billion catchall spending bill and its more than 8,000 earmarks. The White House has indicated Obama will not. "We need to start seeing some semblance of fiscal discipline," Boehner said [with a straight face].

But as always, it's the underlying rot that enables it happen: "If you want the money managed better, let's get some people on the ground to plan, write better contracts, negotiate better agreements, and then manage the relationship after the contracts have been awarded," [George Washington University law professor] Schooner said. "Everybody who knows anything knows that we've broken the acquisition work force."

No Motel 6 on a cost plus contract!

The clarity of vision, the single-minded purposeness and the ruthless execution of wholesale destruction of the inner core of our government over the past eight years will take an equal determination to fix. This abortion of government oversight and competence was committed with the religious zeal of fanatics. What's most disturbing, though, is they will get away with it (well, good luck in the afterlife, dear hearts).

And do you REALLY think the Republicants want fiscal responsibility? No, their wet dream is the legalization of greed. Wasting tens (hundreds) of billions of dollars in the name of greed bothers them not. People dying for greed makes them giggle! (Let's get them kids back in the coal mines! Free markets, dammit!) To them, the more suffering inflicted by greed only proves its righteousness. For it is only for a true god for whom you can justly suffer.

So where was 60 Minutes? Where were the congressional hearings? Where was the outrage of the American people? America didn't want to know. Willful ignorance got us into the war and so we doubled down and bet willful ignorance could keep our self-image of always fighting for purity, freedom and justice intact (hey, how'd that willful ignorance bit work on the economic front??). Alas, it will be biting historians who will be writing the book called "America Dearest". I can just imagine how much they will loathe us into infamy.

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Soul For A Burger

Nooo, can't let him have any rest...

"Harry over there says he's some sort of fucking prophet, let's ask him what for."

I groaned realizing my mouth had once more led me to a place I did not want to be. But I figured if I threw enough obstacles in the way they'd back off. God knows they couldn't be serious.

George was always the ringleader. He knew this ad hoc mob would cause me grief because he's just another conservative cunt lick and we instinctively hated each other. "Hey, Harry, tell us the future! You know so much, you're always spoutin' off, why don't you just set us right and tell us what will happen?"

George was a large man and his shit-eatin' grin loomed over me as I sat in the shade of the park bench. His true joy was in knowing that the mindless cast of thousands he'd whipped up would all be expecting some sort of answer from me for having previously painted myself into a verbal corner. I decided to exercise the Peter Principle and go with an unsatisfactory truth: "Because I could tell you and you still wouldn't know."

It's those kind of answers that piss George off the most. I knew that because he was the one who most engaged in happy talk for his life and that comment insinuated he was self-deceived. But he knew he held the trump card with the slobbering hounds surrounding him who wouldn't settle for less. "What kind of chickenshit answer is that? What are you saying? That we're too dumb to understand?" inquiring minds wanted to know.

"Yeah, pretty much," I nodded, bluffing his sorry ass out.

George figured he had me cornered with his line of inquisition but I gleefully noticed I was in possession of his goat. "You know what you are? A fucking fraud! All you do is bitch and everyone here is sick of it. You got nothing real to say. The only reason you're homeless is because you can't get laid!"

Goddam him! I didn't think he'd play the loser card. Maybe I was too effective. Fucking bastard has my goat now. "Look, Igor, I'm such a fraud then why care what I have to say? Leave me the fuck alone. OK?"

Here they come to roust me.
There's George on the end.

Stalemate. But then freakin' flowers-for-Algernon Charlie steps in. "Hey, Harry, some of us here really would like to hear what you have to say. I don't think you're a fraud. Stuff you say makes real sense sometimes."

Oh, for God's sake. Having cut myself off from my real life I'm stuck being beholden to these clowns. I can't take any more loneliness. Butthead George knows that. He's still pissed but I see a smirk out of the corner of his mouth. But I still have some artillery left.

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! So if you want me to go through all that grief I better get something out of it."

George, I knew, never gives up anything - just like the rat bastard greedy conservative that he is. So that just leaves Charlie to keep things going. "OK, Harry, whatcha want?"

Aw, fuck. A true believer. That's so suffocating. But I just can't keep quiet all the time. I can't! And I guess if you speak long enough with enough conviction you'll end up with some sort of following - no matter how full of shit you may be. It all came down to whether I had the integrity to let them see me as the fraud I really am and let it go.

"I want a Whopper and fries!"

Lovely, I sold my soul for a hamburger. Well, I figured since I wasn't getting anything for it before, that a Whopper had to be a step up, right? Who knows, maybe I could parlay my rants into being sponsored by Burger King like that fat guy did with Subway (or whatever that guy did).

Eh, maybe I don't want to be spokesman after all.

George was actually pissed that Charlie caved in to me until he noticed the pained look on my face and saw a fresh opportunity to inflict more misery. "No Whopper! But we'll get you a Big Mac," proposed the devious prick. He knew I hated Big Macs with their meat-like substance and day old lettuce. But this way he gets to appear reasonable while at the same time sticking it to me. Jesus, Middle East peace talks were never this complicated.

"No, man, I want a Whopper or the deal's off!" I couldn't directly attack the Big Mac or I would infuriate the Big Mac contingency. So I had to make out like I was a man of integrity who was sticking to his guns for what he wanted. With this crowd, that garnered great respect - if they believed you.

"It's OK," complied Charlie, "We'll get you a Whopper, just like you want it." Then I watched in horror as everyone - except George - pitched in money to get me a Whopper and young Freddie ran off to get it. Are you freaking kidding me? Now I was completely trapped. Charlie's innocence filled in where George's selfishness was lacking. One or the other I could have handled - but not both. Now all eyes were on me.

"Look guys..." I tried to squirm out of it, but no takers. "OK, the future is what I've always said it would be: love. Love is the only thing that is real. Everything that is unreal will pass away. It's like two trees" - an old analogy of mine - "one accepts water (love) and the other does not. For a time it doesn't seem love is necessary because both are alive, but eventually nature catches up with everybody. Simple as that."

Hey, that came out better than I thought. Whopper worthy? Probably not. But good enough to get them off my back? God, I hope so.

"I like that," smiled Charlie, and he was serene. He didn't know it, but he had just truly fed me. But others were mumbling, and catching on to that, my nemesis led the charge.


Here's what happens when you tell George
his kid sister gave you a hand job.

"That's all bullshit. We want to know what's going to happen now. Not ten thousand years from now. You gotta tell us if Obama's for real and stuff like that!" Igor's grin was in full bloom now, hoping to damn me with specifics. Well, reality is nothing is written in stone but the howling masses needed meat and that would sound like an excuse. I don't like sharing private thoughts, most people are closed-minded and hear something different than what you actually say. I tried to walk the tightrope.

"OK, it's like I told this other guy, Obama will fix up the house, clean out some dirt, make some improvements but all the while fail to put out its fire. In time, we too will learn to ignore the fire and falsely hope we can live with it and won't have to get a new house. For a brief window we'll think we can have our fire and live there too. There will be much rejoicing that we have "won". This allows the fire to rage out of control and at that point there's no stopping it and we'll all act real surprised we're fucked because we're such innocent sweethearts. The Bible speaks of seals and that's what that means: we are taking steps that seal our doom all in the name of saving ourselves. Funny, huh?"

I was expecting an uproar but instead got a quiet dispersal. Shit, by saying all that did I help make it all come true? The homeless are far more open-minded to change than most but even they like the idea of a happy outcome since they are society's most vulnerable members. I was just speaking of a logical progression down the road we're on, not some fucking mandate we do all that crazy shit. It's true, we are buying the stairway to heaven, but who says we have to? We might start putting out the fire tomorrow.

I sat alone in silence but with very loud thoughts. God, why can't I keep my mouth shut and not sell myself out all the time? When the burger came, I didn't want to eat it. (But I had to in order to be practical.)


Yes, there are two paths you can go by

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

Life in the green zone

As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me
what the time was that was on my watch, yeah
And I said:


The wars aren't ending, my friends.
They're just beginning.


Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
If so I can't imagine why
We've all got time enough to cry


Equals the GDP of Ethiopia

And I was walking down the street one day
A pretty lady looked at me and said
her diamond watch had stopped cold dead
And I said:


Never too young to learn the value of a dollar!

Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
If so I can't imagine why
We've all got time enough to cry


It's a scary world out there!

And I was walking down the street one day
Being pushed and shoved by people trying
to beat the clock, oh, no I just don't know
I don't know
And I said, yes I said:


So this is our plan, eh?

People runnin' everywhere
Don't know where to go
Don't know where I am
Can't see past the next step
Don't have time to think past the last mile
Have no time to look around
Just run around, run around and think why.


How much longer can we rape?

Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
If so I can't imagine why
We've all got time enough to die.

Time to love, that's what time it is.

-------------------------------------------



"I'm optimistic on the future of mankind. We've survived countless wars, sweeping plagues and even our own inner turmoil. The human spirit has proven indominatable! Even as I look around us today, I do not despair - nor shall I. Ultimately, our will to survive will win out as it always does and mankind will continue to soar to ever new heights and hopes."

If I were to say that sort of vile crap in front of a group of people, you monkeys would applaud and give me a standing ovation. I just wanted to show I can engage in the same sort of feel-good self-talk as anyone else. But there's a word for optimism not based on reality: suicide. I guess we think that if we applaud our happy talk loud enough, we can fool nature as to what we're really doing - and therefore our time would be endless.