Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Harry Jumps Off The Nakatomi Plaza Tower

"I'm sick of you people! I'm sick of this world! I'm sick of me! I'm sick of everything! It's not going to end - not now or ever! You people got no clue what's in store for you. You're gonna lie to yourselves till the end. Well, have at it! I'm outta here! Are you happy now?"

Reporters rushed to the rooftop, quivering microphones in hand. "Harry! Harry! Please help us keep our jobs and say something witty!"


"No, wittier!"

"You want witty at a time like this? I'd rather take you with me. You can do a report on the way down..."

"Harry, this is Zerry with K-Whore Radio and I'd love to go down with you."

"Dude, I'm not up for that. Really."

"No, really! It's the only way I can earn my jelly band bracelet!"

"But you'll die! That's the whole point of this - or have you yet to process that information?"

"I won't die - just you! I live in a bubble and bubbles are safe. I'll just bounce along happy as ever."

A notorious Attention Whore blogged the microphone next, furious with me. "It's all about you, isn't it? You, you you! Do anything to hog the spotlight, won't you! What about me!"

A known Selfish Bastard barked next. "Someone has to clean up your mess when you hit that concrete! Ever think of anyone other than yourself? Do you have any idea how inconvenient your pain is for other people?"

Then Psycho Man made it all worthwhile. "Get back to work! Your life is shit because you are shit! The world is shit! It's supposed to be shit! Be happy doing shit or I'm going to beat the shit out of you until the day you die! If all you wanna do is live you might as well off yourself, you freaking psycho!"

I can't stay here any longer, understand it or not. "When your dreams die, the body serves no purpose. It's not like any of you have a future anyway if you're living a lie. Line forms to the left for all those with no real dreams." To my amazement, a mad scramble to follow in behind me ensued but I had no time for that as I leapt.

My first thought: God, this feels good! "Hey all you cocksucking motherfuckers! Kiss my goddam ass! Stuff your world and your fucking rules and fucking bullshit right up your ass! You can't touch me now, assholes! I'm free! I'm going to sit on a cloud and watch you bastards starve and shoot each other to death and listen how 'smart' and 'clever' and 'pragmatic' you say you are! Fucking morons!

"Tables are turned now, you fucking fucks! No one lives unless I say so. I make all the rules and dictate from on high! You like having me in charge? You like having me run your life? Well, guess what you worthless worms, I don't like your goddam asses running mine either! Drop dead, you got no say now! God left it up to me whether you live or die! How you like them apples??"

My second thought: what the fuck is that pulling on my shirt? "Zerry! Let go of me!"

"You don't understand! I need the listeners! It's interesting when people die! Can you say something funny now?"

"You people are unbelievable! I have to die and entertain you at the same time?"

"If you're going to die anyway, why not be funny doing it? Please, any thoughts on your future?"

Click to see my Daffy world

Madness. A world gone mad and there's no escaping it. And since I got no money and got no honey there's no point to anything I do. No escaping that either. I might as well make my ignomony complete.

"OK Zerry, as far as my future goes, considering what's ahead of me I'd have to say it looks just smashing!"

"Oh excellent! You're really educating my audience in an entertaining way! What kind of plans do you have afterwards?"

I'm really tired of always having to figure out when people are being sarcastic - or insane.

"You really think people can die and have plans afterwards?"

"That's what I'm here to find out! Life is so awesome with no sense of reality!"

I know what you're thinking: I'm making myself out to be a victim of the insane - which is what everyone is.

"I'm running out of time here, Zerry, and I don't much feel like talking under these circumstances."

"Then can you give me your final words?"

Leave it the meddling media to make your final seconds seem like an eternity. But what the hell, may as well go out on a high note.

"I'd just like to say to one person in particular, I'm -

Monday, September 28, 2009

She Found A Way Out

First she rang me, then she found a way out. To the paramedics in the ambulance she was just another overfed, suburban housewife taking pills for thrills. They didn't know her dreams had died or the wondrous soul she brought into this world, they didn't know who she was at all. They just knew what she was: dying and soon to be dead.

All the great evil men in history drove their wives to suicide. I join their ranks. I made the walls too high to climb and the water too deep to cross. I was a madman on a solitary throne, decreeing dictates to dead rocks, and glorying in my ruins. I watered weeds in defiance, calling it good even as their thorns ripped my flesh and I cried out to God for relief. But God wasn't on my island.

God was in an ambulance two thousand miles away.

You are nothing to me now, world. I kiss you as Michael kissed Fredo in heartbreak. Go on with your raping and killing and torture, thinking you're saving yourselves. Torture your children for God and praise the poison you feed them. Set your hearts on fire so that you will then do the same to the world. Be as rotten and corrupt as you wish to be, you have my blessings. You are nothing to me now.

Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong;
Let him who is vile continue to be vile;
Let him who does right continue to do right;
And let him who is holy continue to be holy.

For those who wish to know, it will happen like this: in seven years you will reach the tipping point, thinking at long last you can make your lies work and the future is bright. You will pull out all the stops to excess then and open the seals of doom, feeling invulnerable, thinking you're taking the final step to freedom only to find the abyss. For three years you will endure the dawning of the horror, learning that yes, evil does have a price after all, Virginia. There will be no "bailouts" this time, just a time for final payment.

And pay you will.

By your own hand.

Just as you believe it necessary now to throw people into the streets, you will think it necessary then to kill one another and watch your children die, all the while screeching it is the "only way", your souls completely possessed. Don't look to my eyes for pity. Love was what was necessary, not society's sanctioned sin. Don't look to God to refill the well you drained dry - or do, I don't care. Either way it's the same.

I curse you now because I can, because the decision has been entrusted to me. The hope is gone, vanishing in a plastic bottle of despair. The sun is no more, the moon an orphan. The world has gone black. Give everything you have to give. It won't save the sinking ship but that does not matter, it will save you. What matters is to be able to live with yourself - there is no other survival than that.

But what matters anything I do now?

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

There Came Into Egypt a Pharaoh...(Photo Essay)

It's buried deep within the human psyche now but there were two types of power in the Ancient Days of our fragile formation. The most obvious was the military - but that was for external security. For internal security, life was held in the communal granaries. Back then, famine meant something and was a true threat to survival. I can still recall the oppressive fear of food shortages hanging over us like a dark cloud of doom.

But then even as now the common man did not feel life was owed him and it was sort of understood control of the granaries belonged to the powers-that-be who were somehow more qualified for control and thus more deserving of the grain. We hoped to be deserving of the life-giving grain and if it came our way we rejoiced in how the gods had smiled upon us. If not, then we had not earned the right to live. This superstition holds true to this today and is the only thing keeping money-ism alive.

I was never one much for photographic exhibits, ignorantly thinking "Anyone can take a picture". But deep down a voice said to me: "But the pictures express you" and I feared them like all self-expression. A show by Frank Gohlke changed all that for me. He was a grain elevator fan, just like I have always been. But it was one photo in particular that struck me like lightening:

This hits me on so many levels, taking me to the edge of the world, reminding me of my small town, west Texas roots. Nothing like a west Texas storm to take you over the rainbow. This picture captured a moment in time for me and I didn't care if I ever left. So with these thoughts both modern and ancient in my mind I trekked to Fort Worth where I remembered seeing grain elevators - something I always duly note.

In the distance I saw the mighty elevators standing tall, preserving life within its towering chambers:

I drew closer but it became apparent I would need to circle round to get close.

There we go, closer to the foot of the great beast. I wanted to capture it in the late afternoon sun, just as I remember the Afghan cliffs of yore with their hanging shadows.

Looking up, I felt the power and eternal fragility of man.

Train tracks ran along the backside to distribute the grain across the land.

Clearly it had seen better days, but was still an operational facility. I'd kill for a tour!

A final shot in the timeless sun before I departed.

The legendary Southwestern Petroleum Building, inspiration for my Alpha Centauri Outpost blog. Fort Worth has vast swaths of decayed buildings and land like this. It fascinates me like all ruins do. I passed it on my way to the next granary.

The next granary had been abandoned long ago, yet it stood in the shadow of downtown Fort Worth.

Alone, decayed and unwanted. What future does it have?

These elevators had lost their majesty, life long since passed.

This shot haunts me as I imagined the hustle and bustle of yesteryear, now sentenced to eternal silence.

A "road" continued behind it and I couldn't imagine where in the hell it might lead. I stopped for a final shot.

The road took me to the edge of an overpass. You can see my proximity to downtown Fort Worth. After I took this pic, a woman standing on a hill in the clump of trees to the right very forcefully told me to leave because I was on private property. That got my dander up and I pointed out to her I was parked on a public road - however pathetic it may be - and I pointed to the street sign. It was also obvious to me she was homeless and she said something along the lines it was her private campground and I needed to leave. I could have fought her on this but she felt so threatened by me and my authoritarian camera I obliged her and gave her her space. Was a bit of a bizarre role reversal for me.

I drove out past the trees towards downtown for a distance shot.

Then I turned directly around in the same spot and took this pic of downtown.

There are lots more shots on my Flickr account. I may be adding to this set over time as I find more grain elevators, our one-time storehouses for survival.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

She Rang Me

She rang me today. I wondered why my heart raced when I heard the phone. It was that magical feeling of the old days. I fought it back, admonishing myself for wishful thinking from a simple ring. But my instincts had proven right.

It was Her.

Panicked to the bone, ecstatic in my joy, burning with curiosity - I was all those things and more. The emotional whirlwinds had returned. How can one human being feel so vulnerable to another? It was like facing my Maker. I can analyze this all I want, nothing changes. The fear and adrenaline never leave.

Funny how the fate of a life can come down to electrical wires spanning thousand of miles, that without that connection only silence would be. Are our massive communication networks merely physical embodiments of our spiritual connections? I would say so. Funny how that doesn't make it any easier to communicate.

I have passed up previous phone calls. Decisions which have made me impossible to live with myself. Now is the time to take the plunge, before it's too late and my heart burns up and blows away forever. Feeling like a child, I picked up the receiver and this is what I heard:

Like I said, all the phones in the world don't make it any easier to talk. But I knew what her silence was saying: How can I speak and not lose everything? How can I admit my life up to this point has been a complete lie? How do I tell my children I brought them into a home with no foundation? How can I go on living this way, dying every day? How can I expect someone to bail me out after turning my back on him? How can I do anything?

Those are answers I obviously can not provide. All I can do is think about She that I knew. The One to whom life had no end and took me out of this world. The One who made the impossible possible. The One who gave me involuntary smiles and a child's hopes. The One who had me skipping for joy down the street, yelling to the neighbors to look who I found. The One who brought Light and Healing to the dark world. She was that One.

She had called to claim me without claiming herself. She'd heard of the New Hip, the emerging wave that said "Truth has no meaning, do what you want." She found that dangerously exciting and edgy to be a part of the Latest Trend. Perhaps she reasoned I'd be proud of her for that, for stepping out into something new - and to have stopped listening to her stupid self. I despised her for that.

I knew who She was - shame that's not who She wanted to be.


In this life I've seen everything I can see, woman,
I've seen lovers flying through the air hand in hand
I've seen babies dancing in the midnight sun,
And I've seen dreams that came from the heavenly skies above
I've seen old men crying at their own grave sides
And I've seen pigs all sitting watching, picture slides
But I never seen nothing like you.

Do ya do ya want my love
Do ya do ya want my face
Do ya do ya want my mind
Do ya do ya want my love

Well I, heard the crowd singin' out of tune,
As they, sat and sang Auld Lang Syne by the light of the moon
I heard the preachers bangin' on the drums,
And I heard the police playin' with their guns
But I never heard nothin' like you.

In the country where the sky touches down
On the field, she lay her down to rest
In the morning sun,
They come a'runnin' just to get a look, just to
Feel to touch her long black hair, they don't give a damn

Do ya do ya want my love
Do ya do ya want my face
Do ya do ya want my mind
Do ya do ya want my love

Well I think you know what I'm trying to say, woman,
That is I'd like to save you for a rainy day,
I've seen enough of the world to know,
That I've got to get it all to get it all to grow.

Do ya do ya want my love
Do ya do ya want my face
Do ya do ya want my mind
Do ya do ya want my love

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Judas Touch

John was the wild man who always did his own thing. Fucking fearless, a man of unconventional wisdom. Many are those in this world who first look to their fellow man to know what to think, feel and even what to wear. John did none of those. He explored life on his own terms, committed to improving himself wherever the road might lead. And since he hid nothing and always remained true to himself he appeared unusual to the common liar, but his honesty made him in reality the most normal person around.

Needing freedom as air, he lived apart from the masses but was accepting to any who shared his love of life. He embraced them and baptized them to a new way of life - though scorn was rife for the ways of John and his ilk. The buried heart burned with hatred when hearing their songs and happy laughter by the river. And those same buried hearts would not rest until John's body was also buried - such is the driving need for self-expression.

So when news of John's death came, it was devastating to Jesus and his twelve followers. John had been a ray of sunshine and to see the darkness win out - well, what was the point of anything then? The world belongs to the bad guys, the good guys have no chance. Such were the thoughts of Judas on that day as his heart broke. It was at this point he started his slow retreat from the others and the voices of insecurity whispered louder.

What am I doing? This is crazy? These guys are all going to end up dead! And for what? If people want to change, they'll change. They can't be relying on me to save their ass! I need to make something of my life and I can't do that six feet underground. You guys can go on being fools and throwing away your life - not me! Sure, I love Jesus but that only puts a target on my back and I can't live like that! Why doesn't this bother anybody else??

Walking into the palaces of power soothed the anxious soul of Judas, the sharpened blade on his side now. He joined hands with holy conspirators and futuristic fatalists, men of low character in high places, their evil safe in this world. These new friends delighted in receiving his soul, praising Judas as a man of insight and intelligence, surmising the world for what it is instead of acting the puppet who believed in wishful thinking. "We are the cult of the world, the ones truly blessed by God and we will prove this as you'll see our decisions made final."

In terms of native intelligence, Judas was easily the smartest of all the disciples. But in terms of understanding life, he was by far the dumbest. He felt life had betrayed him, dooming his desire to live by a world worshipping death. His true companions understood the nature of Heaven and rejoiced, knowing love was the only way. The longer they lived in heavenly dreams the more they grew and understood that it's in the giving of oneself through which salvation comes. Judas failed to make that final step, stopping on the road to paradise and falling behind in his advancement.

"One of you will betray me."

The words shot into the heart of Judas like a lightening bolt. His first and honest reaction was to get up from the table and flee, forever revealing his true place among them. Had he done so - had he given an honest reaction - his soul would have been saved. But Jesus knew the web of lies in which Judas had ensnared himself as happens when one flees the path of the true word. Only doom could come from it and yet too strong were the words "I must deceive!" in the Judas ear, thinking that made him clever, praying it made him smarter than life.

The high priests marveled at the mere pieces of silver - shiny trinkets - for which they could buy a soul to share their misery and fate. What a sucker this Judas man must be! He thinks himself shrewd, but was he not easily tricked into following that lamb Jesus - a lamb meant for slaughter? This Judas fellow has no real understanding of the world - not like we do. Well, he's about to get an education on the true ruler of this planet and watch us grow mighty drinking the blood of saints!

Judas thought of the temple priests as simple and crude, never seeing beyond the end of their noses, believing life to be only that which they could hold in their hands. He saw the mockery in their eyes for his having traveled down the road to paradise. The silver was merely a symbol of approval, meaningless to a man who'd risen above mere money. He reasoned he'd buy himself some comfort with it after the certain dismay he knew he'd feel for his betrayal of Jesus. To Judas, Jesus needed a lesson of the world, to bring reality to his teachings. What good is pursuing life if all those who do get killed?

"Disaster! This is disaster! What have I done?"

The minute he saw Jesus whisked away, the remaining light in Judas went dark - the high priests smirking at his self-betrayal. "That will teach you to pursue paradise!" As Judas listened to the trial - a trial he knew Jesus could defeat - he found to his continual horror Jesus resisted no evil, a man as good as his teachings. Judas wailed to the heavens: "No! No! Save yourself! Give up your teachings just a little bit! No one expects you to be perfect!" And too late he understood.

Those were the words Judas himself longed to hear: "No one expects you to be perfect". He expected it - and he assumed it of everyone else, hating them for demanding it, trapping him into inevitable failure. He'd been tricked by the demon of the mind, his integrity based on how loud his applause instead of the truth of his heart. He tried to save his life by pulling away from life, burning the mocked bridge to paradise in the heat of the moment. Instinctively, Judas' eyes turned towards the silent defendant on trial, and in them he found an understanding pity.

And that's when Judas knew: he'd cut himself off forever.

Staggering away, reality dawning to a bright new day of Light he'd never see - if only he had stuck it out! - his handsome face twisting in torment, reeling from ceaseless waves of despair. I'm drowning! I'm drowning! He passed a woman, someone he knew as a faithful follower of Jesus - someone sure to hate him if she knew his truth - but she saw the look on his face and spoke to him, concerned for his well-being.

"What happened? Are you alright? You look so hopeless!"

Judas grabbed the lifeline in grateful glee, daring to speak his truth. "I walked in the clouds with the angels but my stilts broke beneath me." She smiled in understanding, offering her hand in consolation. Judas did not know she had been sent by Jesus to fetch him from the sea of despair. And seeing her compassion it struck him he must make amends for his crime - not to live on as if he had done nothing! The world must know of his crime! Surely this woman would withdraw her hand had she known his role in her Savior's death. I must judge myself! I must play God to the end!

But the judgement of man is never to be trusted, only the acceptance of love makes him wise. And since his touch had brought death to everyone and everything he touched - the "Judas Touch" - he disavowed the woman's hand - for would he not bring death to her as well? Judas decided to die by his own hand, never realizing the woman knew of his crime already and that it was through his rejection he brought death to her life, depriving her of a chance to love the one who needed it most.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Whatcha Doin' All That Bloggin' Fer, Harry?"

"Damn, Harry, you sher do put alotta work in that bloggin o' yours! They pay you much for that?"

That was Negative Ned speaking and he wasn't driving towards a compliment. Everybody knew where he was going with it as I could already hear the snickers. I also knew the rules of the game: like ancient gladiators one must not only win the fight but win the crowd. Luckily, I knew my opponent well.

There's 'funny negative' and then there's 'asshole negative'. When I worked as a busboy in high school, the manager told me about an old curmudgeon that used to crack her up. He'd see the floor mat as he was leaving, read it out loud, "'Have a nice day'?" and then kick it to the side on his way out the door. God, I hope I'm like that when I get old. I suspect I'm off to a good start.

But Ned's another story, a poor man's Rick the Prick. Ned's just looking to kick ya in the nuts, and as long as he feels he's got the crowd behind him he's cocky as all get out. (Rick the Prick needs no such approval, bless his sociopathic heart). But Ned has one fatal flaw: he's a redneck Texas idiot. Knowing this, I kept one arm behind my back as I battled his channeling of his inner Chuck Norris, satisfying myself with merely defensive maneuvers.

I gave only a noncommittal grunt.

"You got what? Like five whole readers!"

More chuckles, the crowd warming up.

"Pretty much."

"Nobody gives a shit what you write! You ain't gonna change the world fer nothin'!"

That cooled the crowd off a bit - no on wants the world changed more than the homeless. Ned quickly sought to regain his balance.

"That's a fact."

"Ain't ya got nothin' better to do then writin' shit nobody reads?"

Back to giggles; Ned standing taller!

"Seems not."

"You ain't making ya-self any better if that's what ya think!"

Now that was gold! Tapping into their silent envy of my writing. Anything that might bring self-esteem is ruthlessly attacked in the street world.

"Not I."

"You know, you could die tomorrow and not one person's gonna miss that writin' you do! Why can't you admit it ain't nuttin' but a big waste o' time!"

The jurors were all on his side at this point. The charge: I'd been accused of Time Wasting by people who spend most of their time sitting on their thumbs and staring at the ceiling. Same ol' trick as always: nothing more fun than convicting someone else of your own crimes. Diverts suspicion while making you look honorable.

"Yup, just a waste of time."

A few of the more perceptive pea brains from the peanut gallery started to suspect I was up to something - but not Ned. Ned was totally emboldened by my lack of contrary responses having assumed it must be due to his extreme mental prowess. That's when he moved in for the kill.

"So whatcha doin' all that bloggin' fer, Harry? Just what do you think you're doin' over there!"

"I could ask the same question of you."

"Me? Don't see me doin' no stupid writin'!"

My steely gaze bore directly into him. "No, but I could ask why you're a dick."

Everyone laughed at the truth of that and Ned's miasmic cloud evaporated from the room - as did he. Poor Ned, you may be Chuck Norris but I'm Bruce Lee - and Bruce kicked Chuck's ass!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cowboys Home Opener In New Stadium (Photo Essay)

I should have bought an SRO ticket for 29 bucks. It sounded like a rip off but the atmosphere was electric around the stadium. "Cops and car and topless bars" as Morrison put it. All sorts of nice leg walking around too. Shame I didn't buy a ticket but then it may have been hard to get anyway.

So I tried to get as close as I could get without a ticket. I drove down to the stadium at half time and if I found out I'd have to fork over money for parking I was going to whip a U. Instead, I got closer than I ever dreamed and probably closer then 90% of the fans. All for free.

The area I found was full of limos, many of them coming and going, opening up spots along the curb. There was over 105,000 people attending the game. If I could find a spot on this night I could find it any night. I just might come back! (with a chair)

Bit blurry driving up through the emergency lane

View of the stadium where I parked

Getting ready to cross the street to stadium property

Got right up on it! This was the checkout line for the Pro Shop

Headed to the east end. The ends of the stadium were open at both ends.
The area was gated off and crowds of people were watching from outside the stadium.

Closer look at the east end

Video boards where the games can be watched

Walking around to the west end

Passed the main entrance. Debated running the gauntlet

View from the west end

Some of my fellow freeloaders

These were left on pillars
all through the parking lot

Found the NBC shuttle on my way out.
It was sitting there running the whole time I was there.

Now I'm hearing on the radio the Standing Room Only party passes were oversold and there were a lot of angry drunks in that area. Angry drunks, my kinda people.