Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The King Who Would Be Good

He was always the Nice Boy - and he always wanted it kept that way. "I want to do what's good for my community!" he excitedly told everyone he met, sure of the approval he'd obligingly receive. So he did those things considered Good and Honorable, he did what "ought to be done." When he saw how well it worked out for him, he wrote a book as a young man detailing his success of daring to do good. And he became Comfortably Left.

When an evil king came to power - a king more evil than all other evil kings put together - the people were obligingly blind and they received the king's approval they sought as their turning of a blind eye gave carte blanche to the king's wickedness. Until one day they woke up to find the treasury empty and looted. The king had given power to his fellow Rapists to steal and pillage throughout the land. When the vast number of those of weak character saw this, they joined the Rapist army, mocking their victims as losers.

Though the people of the king's land had no intentions of changing their hearts, they did find the pain of the free range Rapists eventually unbearable and threw the Evil King into the dustbin of history. "We want a nice boy now!" they claimed as their dark hearts suspected the king was in fact a reflection upon who they were. "Let us be called nice people!"

The Rapists were furious with the idea of a new king possibly interrupting their looting of the land, driving those in the middle to the bottom and those at the bottom to their grave. Though the old king had used a gun on his opponents the Nice Boy chose only a taser for himself. He declared this a new era of peace and cooperation, and the taser was a sign of his greater humanity - in his own mind anyway.

Walking the Street Of Walls, the new king witnessed a gang of rapists cleaning out the valuables of the house of an elderly woman. "She's weak and deserves to die! We are the winners!" they cheered. But the Nice Boy had lectured mightily against such behavior and now came time for him to make good on his word as he raised his taser towards the rapists.

At first they were scared. "Don't tase me, bro!" pleaded a cowering raping man. But the Boy Who Needed To Be Nice could not fire after being directed not to do so by another. After all, wouldn't he then be rejected by the one he tased? Wouldn't he be reviled and called just as mean as the Evil King was? Would he not then be labeled uncooperative by his rapist opponents after he'd promised a new era of peace?

Hey, Somebody don't stop that man!

The woman who was losing her life had no such reservations as she called out to him: "Shoot the bastards before they drain me dry! You'll get my vote!"

But the King Who Would Be Good demurred. "No, I shall not fire. I shall rise above such partisan behavior and reach out to the other side. I offer you my hand, good rapist."

But the Rapists' victim remained stubbornly insistent. "Fuck these damn rapists! They're taking everything I own. Don't leave me to die a slow and agonizing death!"

Such angry language soured the King's good ears. "No, ma'am. I'm afraid you do not understand the situation. ["The fuck I don't!" she retorted unheard.] We must all come together. We must live as one. And besides, you have to vote for me anyway or the evil king will come back in power. I shall heed no criticism from your sorry ass!"

While the King busied himself ensuring his political future, the Rapists finished their looting and then spat upon the king's shoes on the way out. "You fucking bastard! How dare you try to stop us! We hate your damn guts!"

Duly chastised, the king hung his head in apology. "I am sorry. I will try to do better to help you. I shall make more speeches on how we need to become as one."

But the old woman remained adamant and - in the eyes of the king - ungrateful. After all, was he not trying to fix things and bring peace to the land? "You goddam moron!" fumed the newly destitute woman. "Living as one doesn't mean we all become assholes!"


Gas spike tab hits $100 billion

"A key reason for concern is the sharp rise in gasoline prices so far in 2011 — nearly 70 cents per gallon — which is siphoning off household income at a run rate equivalent to $100 billion per year," writes economist Andrew Tilton.

That means Americans who thought they would pocket $110 billion this year in aggregate thanks to the payroll tax holiday are now down to $10 billion – which amounts to about $33 for each man, woman and child.

With the purchase of every gallon of gas – and every item with a transportation cost – we are raped, robbed, beaten and taken to the cleaners. Oil speculators take money out of our pockets on a massive scale each and every day. You know what kind of effect that has on someone making 8-10 dollars an hour or another fixed income? It can be crippling. We claim to praise hard work in this country but the truth is we’ve made it a sin.

As Dr. King said, justice delayed is justice denied. The longer we wait to resolve this, the more irretrievable damage is done. For us to be so helpless in the face of such an obvious and outrageous wrong, what does that say about the direction of this country? Who is it that has hope in this?

The Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill, signed into law on July 21, 2010, mandated that the CFTC write rules for the oil markets designed to stop speculation from controlling prices on crude oil and gasoline and driving them to astronomical levels, as they did in 2008. The bill also demanded that these rules be in place and working by February of this year.

There's just one problem: Those rules haven't yet been written and approved.

They haven't been written largely because of the pushback that the CFTC has received from the traders that make massive profits from the financial oil markets and the advocacy groups and lawyers that represent them.

Don't blame the bastards for being bastards, that's what they do and they need to be in jail. But after all, why not do it if you know nothing will happen to you? Better to ask why we let them get away with it in the first place. This is an us-or-them situation. And if we continue to do nothing we will continue to crumble in on ourselves until there is nothing left. Why does no one take this seriously? You think so little of your life and your children’s future?

But it's important to remember that chasing destructive speculative activity out of a commodity market is not an impossible task. In January 1980, the Federal government and the exchange overseeing silver futures trading, the COMEX, took collaborative action: In a series of draconian but necessary measures, the exchange instituted a "liquidation-only" restriction for the market, forcing speculators to either take delivery of contracts or find massive credit for their holdings while the Federal Reserve blocked commercial lenders from extending that credit. The impact was immediate: Within three months, prices dropped 77%.

There’s no mystery on how to fix spiraling gas prices. Everyone in the oil market knows forcing traders into taking delivery drives out the speculators. Your President knows this too. And yet he does nothing but to say the right words and do the wrong thing. If you want to defend the man, feel free to do so. If you want to defend his actions, you seal your own fate - and I pity you not.

Revisiting "Network" (1976), An Eerie Prescience!

In honor of the passing of the great Sidney Lumet, Turner Classic Movies had a mini marathon of films he'd directed. I caught the last part of "The Hill" and it had lost none of its power from the first time I'd seen it many years ago. Following that was the unforgettable "Network". It had been a while since I'd seen that too so I gave it a watch. And when I did I found out how much I had forgotten.

What was unnerving, though, was to see how much was satire in 1976 was reality in 2011. Curious, I went through the triva at IMDB and found this nugget: The director and the screenwriter claimed that the film was not meant to be a satire but a reflection of what was really happening. I've said before that the definition of the future is to take what's happening today and move it into the light i.e. the housing bubble in 2005 defines the housing crash of 2008. I also found someone else remarking in the trivia to have seen the same parallels I did and that made me feel not so alone. (And from whom I stole the phrase "eerie prescience")

First, there's the whole fourth network bit. Understandably, they had to create one as a vehicle for the film, the Big Three too untouchable at the time. But I instantly thought, "Fox network!" Then this exchange happens between UBS executives:

Nelson Chaney: All I know is that this violates every canon of respectable broadcasting.
Frank Hackett: We're not a respectable network. We're a whorehouse network, and we have to take whatever we can get.
Nelson Chaney: Well, I don't want any part of it. I don't fancy myself the president of a whorehouse.
Frank Hackett: That's very commendable of you, Nelson. Now sit down. Your indignation is duly noted; you can always resign tomorrow.

Like most executives who've traded in their soul, Nelson sits down and finishes his meal. Who is he to stand in the way of corporate profits? That's a question far too many of us fail to ask. But I laughed out loud when the madman Howard Beale character later laments a potential conglomerate taking over the UBS network, as he lets loose this gem: "And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome goddamned propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this tube!"

"By god, it is Fox!" I exclaimed.

Of course, this all starts with ratings victim and news anchor Howard Beale being told he's getting the sack. Washed up with nothing left to lose, he announces on air in delicious revenge: "I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to blow my brains out right on this program a week from today."

This creates a media firestorm as then - like now - there's nothing the media likes more than reporting on itself. At first is the natural reaction of concern, of getting Howard help. Then the overnight ratings come in. Tunnel-vision Diana sees the corporate light at the end of tunnel:

"Did you see the overnights on the Network News? It has an 8 in New York and a 9 in L.A. and a 27 share in both cities. Last night, Howard Beale went on the air and yelled bullshit for two minutes, and I can tell you right now that tonight's show will get a 30 share at least. I think we've lucked into something."

And that's what it's all about, folks: bringing in the eyeballs. Whether it's the Beale-like wackiness of Glenn Beck or the outlandish spinning of Bill O'Reilly or a network using short-skirted news anchors, who can survive without money? At the UBS stockholder's meeting it's announced that the news division will start pulling its weight and no longer be allowed to be a money losing entity. Legendary script writer Paddy Chayefsky was right on the money there!

Reality TV is also portended in Network as ruthless Diana drools over its low cost and potentially high ratings. She sums up the American public of 2011 - err, 1976 thusly:

"...the American people are turning sullen. They've been clobbered on all sides by Vietnam [Middle Eastern wars], Watergate [GWB Presidency], the inflation [soaring gas and food prices], the depression [Great recession]. They've turned off, shot up, and they've fucked themselves limp."

To counter that she wants weekly footage of actual terrorism to be included in a series laughably titled, "The Mao Tse Tung Hour". You see, like any addict, a tolerance is gained and you have to keep upping the dose to get the same high. How extreme will reality TV go to stay alive? I'm not sure I want to know the answer.

But what I really loved was the conglomerate's CEO's speech to Howard to sway him into accepting the acquisition. He tongue lashes Beale with a truth most Americans still won't admit today even as it becomes more and more glaringly obvious:

"You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and A T and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx? They pull out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale!"

Or as I put it: the world is a criminal enterprise.

Pretty damn scary to see that speech coming from 1976, that the depths of the roots of our current corporate stranglehold go so deep. The conservative bent in this country is no accident and will always win as long as we believe in illusory corporate profits over actual human welfare. There's nothing new under the sun.

Howard Beale's maniacal ramblings have a shelf life (Hello, Glenn Beck!) and his ratings start to irreversibly crater. But now that he's a virtual mouthpiece for the CEO it has been mandated his show cannot be cancelled. In an airtight dilemma, the UBS executives can see only one answer: kill Howard Beale. And this they do - on air, of course, to get the maximum possible ratings.

Tell me you can watch this 35 year old speech and not be disturbed...

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Trial Of Harry Homeless, Esq.

Late for my court date

They kept me as they arrested me: buck naked. I sat in the courtroom as the only person who could feel the wood chair directly on his ass. I felt sure I was an historic first in that category. I end up pioneering too many categories, I fear.

They thought they were humiliating me, teaching me a lesson for running around naked at the high school cheerleader awards ceremony. But that assumed a respect for them I did not - and could not - have. That's what scared me most: that they took themselves so seriously, acting all grave and ominous and shit. Well, they were serious alright - but it wasn't about truth, justice and the American way.

Well, maybe it was about the American way.

This wasn't the first time my fellow man had had enough of me and my publicly bleeding behavior as I streaked across the stage in baby-making hope. All that hot nooky in one place! Like self-deceived parents of their own cleverness the policia decided to call my bluff on public nudity and forbid me clothing. But feeling that wood against my skin was quite sensual, if anything.

But what could I feel that wasn't against the law?

I could feel the hatred directed on me like a hot desert wind. I remembered a scene from an Al Capone film where Capone just goes nuts, turning over a table, yelling and screaming, "I want him dead! I want him dead!" That's what I was here today to feel.

I want that punk Harry dead!

My hands were cuffed behind my back so I couldn't do anything further to break the law by illegally touching myself. I think if I had they would have drawn their own guns and shot me, seeing that as a life or death situation. But if you took away the danger I'd just as soon popped a boner for all to see. What would they do if they found that out?

I scanned the courtroom for any signs of life. Jesus, nothing but deadwood here! All these frowning faces indicating lives long since over, but dropping their suffocating masks before one as justly revealed as I. My nude life provided them with a rare opportunity for living, for no one feared to be judged by me. My social standing was less than zero and this like all court cases was about who on the outside was going to love them for their rulings. So for once, no one bothered to hide his or her feelings.

Ah, but there's a live one! In the back corner of the jury box. You mean I get to show her my dick? Yeehaw! I wonder why she has life? Is it because she knows how to swim and not drown, or is she in the act of drowning but not dead yet? The odds were too much to hope for the former. All I knew was I wanted to stand up and hope she looked. Oh yes, especially with those intelligent eyes! (But after her seeing me like this what hope did I have of ever being her friend?)

Dear God, how did I get stuck here?

But this nightmare was real and the harm palpable as it hopelessly surrounded me. I describe these as "Omaha Beach" moments, where I'm forced to forge only ahead and fight for my life regardless of incoming fire. There is no retreat, no safe haven. I would get in these places by backsliding in my life, not facing up to the hurling fireballs of fortune. But one has to face the fire one way or the other and sometimes I forget that.

The judge lectured me in verbal orgasm. "We're sick of your behavior! Sick of it! We're not going to tolerate it one minute more! You think you're the only one who wants to hump high school cheerleaders? You think I don't secretly fantasize about my daughter's friends? I want those nubile nymphs with their lively bodies more than life itself!" Then I saw the judge bump up in his seat as if someone had goosed him on the rear.

I looked over to the jury. They were in firm agreement, mentally applauding the lecturer, having failed on their teenage sex fantasies too. I was a broken man to be judged by a room of broken lives. But Bright Eyes did not applaud. Was there hope for me?

The prosecutor presented his case. "Your great honor who knows all and is wise in the eyes of every man." Hey now! I think he's an idiot. "I present before you here today pictures of 17 hot body females whom the defendant has used for illegal masturbation in the eyes of God. Somebody nail that bastard before it's too late!"

Dear God in heaven, please be legal!

I wanted to give up and just die under the overwhelming fire. I thought of my compatriots on D-Day and I imagined they felt the same way. But they fought onwards and upwards. I figured I should do the same. Rising above the dread, I forced a look at the photos. "Hey! I've never seen these photos before in my life!"

"Of course you haven't, you idiot!" desperately screeched the prosecutor. "These are the ones I use and I'm not going to let you get away with it!" I thought I had a victory in this but the maniac paraded around with such moral conviction the deadwood jury couldn't help but be impressed. Only Bright Eyes did not share in his holy hypocrisy - but that didn't necessarily mean she was on my side either.

That's when the burly bailiff saw his chance for self-redemption, walking over to me in a deliberate fashion of menace, bending down to whisper in my ear. "I've got two daughters in high school who hate me. But I'm going to fuck you up bad, boy, and prove I'm a good father." He backed away slowly, smiling at me like a potential sex partner and I was surprised he had all his teeth.

What was really unnerving was I saw that same look on the faces of several men of the jury - and they really had no teeth. Didn't anyone have children who like them? Didn't any of them own a freaking toothbrush? Were there any frivolous thoughts on Omaha Beach? Dare I have them myself when I can share them with no one? Maybe Bright Eyes would listen and laugh. Yes...I can see it...she shares my contempt for them.

My deliverers of justice

The judge was still angry at his lack of teenage sex. "I cannot have you running around revealing my shortcomings. I'm a man of high social standing. I own two Mercedes, a splendid beach house, take wonderful vacations of the elite and have my own reserved parking spot. When I walk into a restaurant, they call me "Your honor" and give me the best table in the house. And by God if you think I'm going to give that up you got another think coming!"

I wondered if he was going to break out into the Judas Priest song. Just great, I got a heavy metal judge who dare not listen to his own music. I knew these people were vicious, mindless savages wholly unaware of themselves and their lives, scrapping along for survival understanding only the approval they did or did not receive. That made them as dangerous as the Nazis with their embedded machine guns mowing down soldiers in the killing field of the infamous Normandy beach.

But the jury was giving the judge a standing ovation, hooting and hollering as he fought for the Nazi-American blackmail way. Apparently I was a threat to everyone's lifestyle. More Al Capones wanting me dead. Bright Eyes stayed seated, brushing away with a dismissive hand the urgings for her to stand and join in my fun-fun firing squad. Damn, I need someone like her in my life.

Lick my guitar

It was said that before the metal door on the landing crafts opened onto Omaha Beach, the soldiers could already hear it riddled with gunfire. Who were the unlucky ones who stood at the front as the latch opened into the withering fire? Should I die as they did? I don't think I could have stood there. I'd of made my way to the back. If I die now would that make up for my cowardice? My guilt says 'yes'.

But with the faintest of voice I said, 'no' - knowing it to be the truth. I trudge forward even with seeing no future. The prosecutor - a man entombed in a self-indulgency to be envied - had some damn fine taste as I poured over his "evidence" before me. I could then see what he really wanted: for me to judge him and absolve him of his own crimes (the "real" judge obviously of no use). He was a yuppie lawyer with his entire existence of acquisition planned out - and that was the pornography of his life. Dude, I can no more help you than you could help me.

Letting go of everything, clearing my mind, I thought about what I wanted most: those thonged babes in picture #4. I want to live, dammit! And even though I cannot explain the order of the universe, I can observe it so it surprised me not when I heard the fateful words of the judge at the worst possible time: "Will the defendant please rise?" Uh, I already had.

Proof there is a God...somewhere

It's hard to describe the scene of chaos as I stood up defiant in my desires. I had failed to join them in guilty repression and that unleashed the unholy dogs of war. Carefully calculating women of the jury shrieked in dire consequence. "Help! Save us from his penis! Our lives are ruined! This is worse than Janet Jackson's nipple!" Every man in the jury who had Googled the nipple swore to protect the failing females, leaping out of the jury box to assault me.

The judge also came at me, his gavel raised high in adamant anger, tripping over his respected robe to take my life for the fatherland. The prosecutor saw his whole life dissolving before him, slinging his briefcase at me and grabbing a chair to throw next. But it was the hated bailiff father who got to me first, anxious to prove his hate meant love so his life - and fatherhood - could have meaning. All I really remember now is: I got the boner but it was the courtroom that exploded.

CODA: Everyone's pissed I didn't join the foolishly mandated death march of a misguided world. I'm out of jail now but I have to admit my sense of humor took a real beating and I'm walking wounded. Like any sick and twisted parent, the authorities want me to live my life for them. Die fuckers, die!

It was strange afterwards listening to the jurors converse among themselves, speaking the ordinary language I hear every day. Words of uncaring spouses and unruly children, angry at the decline of civilization, lamenting the political pain inflicted upon their lives - and never seeing themselves as having had any hand in it. Seemed not a one of them realized that just a few short hours ago they had been dancing upon my grave with glee.

I know they hoped my condemnation meant their salvation but truth is it means their own condemnation. And when that day of reckoning comes, they will be shown only as much mercy as shown me. If they were to know that, I wonder how they would react next time? Probably the same...

CODA II: I ran into Bright Eyes at Whole Foods. I nearly had a heart attack as I was instantly transported back to Omaha Beach. Would she announce my failings over the store speakers? I decided once again forging ahead was my only solution. And it worked!

We had a fine and funny conversation though I was dying inside and knew I couldn't keep up. In her I saw the real world, one of understanding and forgiveness. I bowed my head before this magnificent woman, giddy with delight knowing I had brought a smile to her lips. For a few stolen moments I was in heaven.

But what was she going to do? Introduce me to her friends and family? I couldn't imagine it. I was imposing on her and my only possible gift to absent myself from her life. I slipped away from her while she was in mid sentence and I'll never forget that look of hurt and confusion on her face. Maybe that explains why pain and confusion rule my life now.

Back where I began, I scan the paper for more cheerleader announcements, allegedly glad Bright Eyes cannot see me. Seems I got judged by a foolish judge after all: me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I've Come To Take You Home (Easter Video)

Prayer Mountain

I posted previously on the church compound at the top of what they call "Prayer Mountain" and it's my new favorite getaway place. I heard one guy trying to impress his date telling her this was the coolest place in all of Dallas. He may be right.

It's surrounded by hiking and biking trails created with a clear joy of the mountain and its natural beauty and views. At some point I will try to explore each and every one of them. The one trail I did manage to navigate turned out to be much more than I bargained for as its winding path took me a good thirty minutes to complete.

At the end I settled onto the observation deck to watch and record the sunset. I could hear the noises of children playing in the background and on my way in an Indian man positively beamed at me as I passed by recording my route. I smiled back as if to say, "Yes, this mountain is great!" I'm beginning to love this place.

Tree Atop Prayer Mountain 

Easter is a time for cleanliness and purity. I made a video with highlights of my walk complete with an obliging Easter bunny on the path! Sun, nature and animals - doesn't get much more pure than that. So let's go home now. The war is over if you want it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rapin' To The Oldies!

It's a form of rape to make the penis taboo

He stood naked, proud and erect, grooving his pelvis to the rhythm of the song. He flashed his blinding, razor sharp knife like a rocket shooting out of control never knowing its next move. He smiled an unrepentant evil smile, singing along with the tune filling the room.

"I can't get no...satisfaction...I can't get no...girly action!"

She was completely naked and bound to the bed. Her mouth was double gagged, muffling her screams of terror. And like a lover anxious to please, he promised to make her scream! Closer to the bed he danced, waving the blade ever nearer to the most tender parts of her body. Involuntarily she twitched away from the sight of it, the bonds pressing into her wrists and feet, cutting off the flow of blood. There was nothing she could do. She would just have to nobly suffer.

"What cute feet you have! Such slender toes!"

He bent down to lick her soles which made him throb all the more. She recoiled at the unwanted worship, causing her blood to boil so seethingly she thought she might burst into flame. Hell's flames singed her soul with every press of his tongue. This is not happening! I'm not having these feelings, she prayed. But it was happening and it continued without mercy.

Next she felt his soft hardness against her toes and she begged God to kill her before it was too late. She didn't know how much longer she could hold out, the engulfing flames torching her beyond endurance. Next his hot tongue wrapped around her big toe, forcing her into undeniable ecstasy. Dear God in heaven please do not let him see! Make it stop!

"Well, he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarrettes as me!"

"So, how's your day going?"

Not only did he observe her reaction but the camera to the side did as well, capturing her in full revelation for all the world to see. He would take the film and gleefully exhibit it to his lusty friends who would laugh and mock her broken facade. Later, he might even post it on the web to be viewed from the four corners of the globe. There would be no place she could go and not be known.

Following pain with pleasure he beat her feet with a strap, decrying her for her sluttiness, punishing her for truths untold. Tears of guilt and shame flowed down her cheeks and this too the camera caught. Would her parents see this? Her brother? Was this the end?

Slowly he ran the flat blade up her smooth legs towards her thighs and breast. Her stifled yelps delighted him but she could not stop herself until finally he hopped aboard, sitting on her stomach. Her eyes followed the slow travel of the blade as he turned the dull end to coldly excite her nipples. So much blood rushed to her head she thought she might thankfully pass out and feel no more.

"'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try..."

Notice that's not a lumberjack's arm grabbing her...

She was proud of her beauty and traded on it to compensate for the sometimes lack of beauty in her heart. But now she had this uninhibited predator wallowing in her body's form, bathing in its touch. Angrily he grabbed a clump of her precious hair and cut it off, laughing at her dilemma. For her image was everything and the explanation of her loss was far, far worse than the actual loss itself.

He grabbed her full breasts and began a mock humping of her, reveling in her torn reaction. In a way she was grateful for her bonds, absolving her of all blame and responsibility. She was ever careful to make the man make all the decisions, she the artful innocent. But if this creep caused her to cum her life was over as he spread word of her climaxing moment.

The programming of her mind short-circuited as this loser of losers openly fed her carnal cravings. If he didn't stop soon her entire identity would come crashing down leaving her to walk stripped naked the rest of her life. She dutifully begged him to stop but what could the helpless heroine do?

"I can't get no!...Oh, no, no, no!"

Shhhh! Don't tell!

Please! Before it's too late! I'm dying here! But her eyes were unfulfilled as she lay with one foot in heaven and one foot in hell. Neither one did she want to commit. She hated him like no person ever before and if it were not for the bonds she'd kill him and bury him and life would go on as before. But he was dragging her to the point of no return, altering her life's course.

Then he put one hand on himself and one hand between her legs. No! No! Not that! As she feared she was responsive to his touch, unable to reject his worship. Resistance faded as the abyss swallowed her up and they mutually climaxed leaving her face a gooey mess. Her body floated as he snapped pictures of the well formed features of her face thusly and gloriously desecrated. What now? she wondered. Who do I become?

Then, like a drowning person gasping for air upon reaching the surface, she woke up.

"What's up, honey pie? Something startle you?" asked her bed mate.

"No. It was nothing really. And don't call me 'honey pie'. I demand you respect me!"

"Yes, ma'am! That's what I like about you: you don't let me get away with shit!"

That's when her upright body fixed her stare at him, furiously censoring unwanted thoughts. A legal lackey, she channeled her doubts to the safe confines of work and decided that sometimes the First Amendment went too far and ought not everything should be said after all.

But, oh, did she yearn it to be!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tears Of A Wandering Jew

Dear God, I hate this sour food!

This I thought while chewing slowly the sausages these forest people love so naturally and dearly. They call themselves Tervingi and I'm trapped pretending I'm one of them. Or at least simpatico. To my eyes they are crude and uncivilized, young in this world and ignorant of the Word. It's over 400 years since the infamous death of Jesus and the world has tilted into chaos.

I've landed deep inside darkly entombing woods as vast as any ocean. If I'm never to see beyond them I fear I may go mad. But into darkness we've been plunged since the killing of our Savior. My heart hangs heavy at this gloomy and shrouded land filled with uninteresting people without yearn for travel or knowledge. But I'm stuck with the knowledge it didn't have to be this way. We snuffed out the light of the world so how can we expect anything but dark ages. Will this last forever? I wonder.

But what is Jesus to these happily unknowing villagers? Just the funny name of an unformed apparition in their minds. Time will come when that apparition takes both form and substance in every mind around the world and I won't feel so left out and alone. (Why is there a voice telling me it won't matter??) I try to speak of him, to teach of the Presence that touched me and the energy that marks you for the rest of your lives. But I fear to speak too boldly.

Fucking thugs

Where I unite with them is in hatred of the Romans. There our bond is strong and intimately understood. While my hatred predates theirs I'm hoping now they see the light of the inevitable treachery of the empire with the massacre of the 30,000 "barbarian" soldiers by their fellow "pure" Roman legions. The Romans are corrupt and have been allowed to rule for far too long.

In my heart I know revenge against Rome for the death of Jesus is pointless, leading nowhere. But it sticks in my craw and I cannot rest while Rome is still alive. Yes, it will not fix the ails of the world or even bring peace. But I can say it will bring peace to me. And when Rome is gone, then what? What direction do I turn to create good instead of just to decimate? Those are the real questions that bother me - questions I do not share with my temporal allies.

I also have misgivings on their persecution of the Jews, of course. I have not stood against the ring leaders but I cannot bring myself to join in their parroted denouncings, even if it kills me. Savages. Yes we all pass through a cruel and backwards phase on our journey but the key is to renounce violence so we don't do harm during that time. I look around and I see no thought of that even crossing their linear minds. And though I am a believer in Christ I cannot call myself Christian for it is they who do the most un-Christ like things to my people.

I'm stuck in the dark orange area. Oh, goody.

They know I am "special", not of their time. At first I tried to hide it but then I saw it became obvious when my delights did not match their delights. How revealing it is in what one takes as one's entertainment! I recognize a certain charm in some of their songs but it's so heavily buried in writhing war it's an effort to pluck it out. I keep an open mind and that is what saves me but I know in a pinch I'd be an easy target for scapegoating if the times turn bad.

On occasion I do honor my heritage. When they sit around nightly tables of misery looking to drown their fears in ale I hear the words turn angry in frustration. War and anger the only things to give any direction to a life. I remember those days. I remember that empty hole in my stomach as I once uttered those same words. Careful never to use the most forbidden word of all - "love" - I suggest perhaps their anger does not serve them well. This they like, it frees them from their chains and tension dissipates from the room. But it's rarely fully embraced.

Because of the youth of their culture they hold an innocence I do not. Dare I speak of the old days? Dare I speak of what we traded away on an idol hope? We were all special once upon a time, delivered by Moses and guided by God and the dream handed to us that lives in the soul of every child ever born unto this earth. Now we live in the shadows, hoping to escape the light of our dastardly deeds.

Yes, we slipped and slid and defamed and blasphemed and watched in horror as paradise slipped from our hands until finally we were dispersed and scattered to the winds, fragmented and without needed contact. What no one speaks of is the guilt of an undeserved love. I met another wandering Jew on his way to God knows where and we furtively reminisced of the beloved times lost while never speaking a word as to why. From that I knew he too felt the same guilt. Why did God ever pick us?

Is that the story of mankind: paradise lost? That there will be a time for salvation then time no more? We knew it would be bad, but we never suspected this. My spotted soul aches to be clean. How do I explain my weakness and the baseless anger that led me to serve Rome only to then stand by as the cruel and the lost and the wretched expressed their dire fate by sacrificing the lamb?

We made a nightmare from a dream. Yet the dream is so hard to believe! And yet I know it's true even as I fail it. That disconnect haunts me and humbles me as I consort with the villagers who beam so gratefully as I sometimes dump a nugget of wisdom on them to help in their daily lives. It's from no moral superiority, trust me. I've just been around longer, dear ones.

Can I even still believe the dream? Or a silver lining: that we are like bees pollinating the world in our scattered existence? Are we spreading seeds of truth? Is that why they persecute us because they know what the truth will bring and we are its carriers? I know this is so as I watch the futile efforts of authority in all its ugly forms, draped in robes of power and religion's lust.

But we could have done this a better way, without the near death experience of our piercing pain. What fools! What fools! The feeling is gone as we're driven now only by our memory. We wanted any way but the Way. The step too far to take to our disbelieving eyes. We could have had everything. We could have had love unwreckable. All we had to do was not wreck it ourselves.


After pulling this Roman thorn, where to next? I have a yearning to create, to build, to share my knowledge as a father does a child. Around the corner is not death and doom, my son, as men of the world would have you to believe. It's a scientific law: Love is the nature of life, making life the nature of love. Give me a newborn endeavor, God, and I'll teach them to love nature which will in the end lead them to You.

I heard rumor of an island country far to the east forming its own way. Is this true? I tremble to think so! You who are the Dispenser Of Dreams, I ask you: Is it real? Is there really a "Japans"?

A 21st Century Soldier's Update

Loneliness is like being stuck in a tumble dryer with razor blades cutting your soul, leaving you to die. It's a hell and a horror and it's the source of all of mankind's atrocities. I was bleeding badly when I joined up: I hadn't heard my name in months. No one was speaking to me anymore, I being of washed hands. The night attacks were getting worse. During the day I could stay the tumbling of the entombing dryer as I gripped the handle in opposing force. But when the need for sleep came, I had to let go...

So I was scared - really scared - when I joined up. There were some other losers there, I could spot them easy, sort of like how gay people can spot one another I suppose. The razor blades had made them killers before their time and I could see in their eyes they just had to let somebody know. Problem was, I was the only person there listening. The army was just happy we came to kill. They didn't much care why. I did, I still wanted to live.

I was actually glad to hear my name even if it was called out in anger and mere utility. I could not recollect the last time I'd heard it from a person who volunteered time with me. So I got to thinking maybe I shouldn't be taking up anyone's time after all. I didn't believe the slick and clever ads but they spoke of an army life and maybe that's better than no life at all. At least, that's what I told myself.

Whole time I was being processed I felt a knife in my gut I couldn't pull out. What would they do if I fell to the floor from the pain? Humanity is not an army requirement, I realized. But I made it through and blindly hoped I was at long last saved from the razor blades. Everyone else in the barracks was in the same boat I was in. You could smell the fear and silent prayers reeking from every bunk. I know I had questions but I wondered what misgivings they had. I certainly didn't think they joined to escape the cutting blades as I had. None were more foolish with their life than I.

It was true the blades went away (though I was still stuck in the dryer, never to be safe) but that initial knife in my gut only got worse. Was anyone else feeling it? Did I need the army the most? Did they even understand the headlines?

Every war started in the 21st century was renamed to be part of the Great Oil Wars, the powers that be no longer able to contain the truth. There had been a time when explaining sons and daughters dying for oil and profits would have sparked such outrage the military as we know it would have been dissolved. But over time the idea of serving corporate masters melded into the idea of serving our country. After all, we reasoned, what are we without our corporate health? We're fighting for our jobs now, not just to have a mate.

We'd just been deployed after training, my unit stuck in this long, strange building crammed in between railroad tracks and warehouses. None of it made any sense to me but our sergeant was a particularly nasty piece of work and sniffed me right out as a thinker - or as he put it: a troublemaker. Turns out he was going to be so very right.

The rule for new recruits was we had to use our personal cars for transportation as the army had contracted with a gasoline company to ensure their profits by forcing stupid helpless recruits into buying their product with money deducted from their paychecks. To anyone who listened the message of the day was loud and clear: It's all about who's the best predator. Most people are pretenders - to make their parents happy, I suppose - and so a deaf ear was turned to the vile message of the latest ways for mankind.

But not by our sergeant. He heard it loud and clear, proud he was not to be so foolish to believe the big lie of alleged noble purposes. This gave him great confidence and that confidence stuck in my loser's craw. I thought to myself: even he's doing better than I am. And I know he's a scumbucket royale. Our sergeant’s evil ways did not seem to bother the others as much as it did me. I guess because they had lives and wives outside the army, not needing to make it work like I did. So like a drowning man one night I was forced awake by my wrestling doubts, climbing my way to fresh air.

Still most people's idea of military life

I scratched at the ancient, neglected blinds of the depressing industrial window as my soul ached to join one of the passing trains to what had to be freedom. I remember my lungs gasping for air like a drowning victim just taken from the water. That's when I saw them coming like a panzer division storming in in an unstoppable blitzkrieg. Only these weren't tanks but tow trucks one after another, licking their chops like the proverbial fox in a henhouse. We sucker recruits were about to be taught a lesson.

As a private enterpriser himself, our beloved sergeant had contracted with the tow company to take away each and every one of our vehicles. Knowing we could not do without them we'd have to pay a hefty fine to get them back or face having our car put up for sale. The sergeant got a kickback for each towing and a bonus if the soldier could not pay the fine and thereby lost his car. Clearly we’re dealing with a man who had no illusions of the world.

But he hadn't counted on my nightly pain. Barely able to speak with the shock and outrage I was seeing I started making loud yelping noises and pointing out the window. (It still bothers me I could not say actual words). Luckily I was noisy enough to wake up everyone else and we all rushed out to scare away the tow truck drivers because they knew we meant to take their lives. When word got out of the incident, the colonel exploded in fury at this jeopardy to his looming pension.

What? You can't arrest me! HAHAHA!

The sergeant was taken away in a big show of hypocritical undertaking and our lieutenant had been in on it as well. Eventually everything settled back down as the waves I'd began sorted themselves out. To avoid further black eyes - while also avoiding a change in message - the army instituted rules for legitimate towing of recruits' cars. This gave the predatory sergeants an out if they got caught so their methods could be "put up for review" and give the brass a veneer of justice. That's all anybody wants nowadays anyway: a veneer.

I got kicked out for failing psychological evaluations ordered after my "unseemly nighttime outburst". You gotta hand it to them military higher ups, they sure can twist a lie! When I first got out I told everyone I met what a big scam the army is, thinking I'd enlighten the world. At first they'd listen but soon reaction turned on me, hearing words like "traitor" and "loser" muttered in bitter reply. Seems everyone's a follower of the profit motive, what some call the sign of the beast.

So it's back to the razor blades for me, doomed all the more to isolation as I carry a truth I cannot share. But you don't fool me like you once did driving your fancy cars to places of fine dining and barefoot servants. The whole thing is a big fucking scam you just don't want to admit. There is no love in that, and without love there is no truth - and without truth there is no future.

So that's what we're fighting for...

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Toxic Censorship Of Huffington Post

First off, let me say I love Arianna Huffington. I wouldn't go listen to her speak in person or anything but I pretty much stop down when she has something to say on TV. She "gets it" in a way that is refreshing and satisfying. Go Arianna!

I've seen some people on the left slam her pretty bitterly, falsely questioning her motives and commitment to progressive causes. To me, that reflects more on the accuser's defects than it does on her. I could live in a world of nothing but Ariannas. But life is not so simple.

Where I part ways with her oftentimes is in the solutions. One thing she cannot abide is "toxic dialog" and I understand completely what she means by that. Our discourse has been overrun by disingenuous and inflammatory comments without any intent of being constructive or truth-seeking. Those people are like acid eating into our souls with no possible good coming out of it.

It's beyond infuriating when someone burns down the house you're trying to build. One cannot both build and defend at the same time and these maniacal predators take advantage of this to practice their art of destruction. Such actions are intolerable and if allowed to continue are a threat to society as a whole. I think Arianna and I are eye-to-eye on that assessment.

What? Me toxic?

But her so-called solution is just as bad.

You did not hear Gandhi or Martin Luther King talk about censoring the hearts of their fellow man and God knows the toxic dialog they endured. Instead, they spoke of changing hearts knowing that would lead to a change of speech as the mouth is the overflow of the heart. What they did not do is foolishly hold themselves up as arbiters of what is good and true as no human can possibly make that claim.

Not that that stops Arianna and her many minions from doing just that. It's a false paradigm as she attempts to create a place of only "constructive" dialog. But one cannot make a difference only hearing what one wants to hear. One must let the chips fall where they may and trust in nature to sort it out the good from the bad so that we may all learn. The learning never stops.

I've had many comments censored at HuffPo and for a couple of years I stopped commenting in frustration. I also noted many other commenters complaining of and confused by similar treatment. "What did I do wrong?" The answer, of course, is nothing. Oh, the lament to be held captive of little minds!

But I've been sneaking back on lately only to be wholly soured once again. Arianna posted about a baseless lawsuit against her. Here is the gist of the suit:

NEW YORK — A blogger and labor activist has filed a lawsuit against AOL and the Huffington Post for not paying freelance bloggers while benefiting financially from the content they create.

Jonathan Tasini's suit, filed Tuesday, seeks class-action status on behalf of more than 9,000 writers and other content providers and asks for at least $105 million in damages.

The suit names Huffington Post co-founders Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer as defendants. AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million last month, which Tasini said prompted the lawsuit.

The suit claims the Huffington Post has been "unjustly enriched" by luring contributors with the prospect of exposure but keeping the financial gain from their articles.

She was mocking of the suit and rightly dismissive of it and I say this as one who provides free content myself. So to provide a satirical statement on the mentality of Tasini's lawsuit I posted this comment:

[Comment withheld pending payment]

Now, I thought that was pretty damn funny expecting to be paid for a comment and was also very biting on the whole something-for-nothing expectations of the suit. Instead, it got censored, deemed an attack on Arianna by the deaf, dumb and blind munchkins upon whom she relies to make her world pure and holy. No, it's a fool's errand you pursue Arianna, both perfidious and self-defeating. The only thing worse than toxic dialog is toxic censorship, as bad as any state controlled newspaper or two bit dictator looking for the same sort of paradise through baseless repression.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Note

All the women were excited about the upcoming wedding.

"It's going to be just like a dream! I can't wait for it to get here!"

"Theirs will be better than Diana's. What they have is true love, not phony like Charles'."

"But it's still a fantasy! So young and so beautiful - can you just imagine?"

Debby could imagine it - that was the problem. Each word of praise a drop of acid in her stomach, churning her in secret hell. Time was when she had the perfect wedding, lavishing herself in the envious talk of her inflamed pageantry and perceived perfection. Even if she could dig up some poor misfit to remember her day of glory how could that ever compete with a royal wedding?

Everywhere she looked were reminders of the painful procession to come; mocking her, extinguishing her life's fire like a stubbed out cigarette on a bus station floor. Dear God, tell me it isn't so. Even an English lecture she planned to attend was canceled when the speaker opted to attend the royal wedding instead. Yes, God was telling her it was so very so.

Her two kids in college left her afternoons alone. No more busywork of distraction. Just Debby, the mirror and time - a toxic cocktail as the bills of a lifetime came due. But the thing that nailed her to her cross the most - the vile and bitter thing of this living nightmare - what made it all too real was that she too once shared the fine and classy looks of the English bride to be.

If only somehow it could get canceled. Please God, just do this for me and I'll never ask anything again!

Helpless - driven even - she took another bite from the Ben and Jerry's carton. Eating ice cream from so small a carton made it less a sin she told herself. She couldn't stop her arm if she wanted to anyway. She long ago gave up the fight. Sweets were the last thing left that made her feel good. And were the first thing to bloat her beyond the lithe figure of the future princess.

Debby was still tormented by the face that stared back at her from her passport photo of two years ago. Even her head had swollen. Her hair didn't sit up like it used to. She read the whole lie of her life in that picture. Surely everyone else saw it too! She pushed the unthinkable thought out of her head.

Anything...anything to keep it from happening...the wedding that invalidated her life...that lay her naked to the world. "Why does it have to happen! Why!" she cursed aloud. A regal hand around her neck tightened its choking grip with each passing day. She leaned back in the kitchen chair, glassy eyes admitting a long building defeat. It's true. God has abandoned me as I abandoned myself.

A small brown puddle formed at the base of the hallowed carton melting from inattention.

It wasn't until the second attempt she heard the doorbell ring. A registered letter. Registered letter? Red flags went off but she couldn't remember why. When she opened it the floodgates of memory rushed in a long buried reality. It was him.

When they worked together he had told her he loved her. Later, dying in the aftermath, he sent a registered letter pouring out the same. But how could she leave a sure deal like her marriage? She secretly scorned the dating and the single struggling to find mates and happiness - fools not smart enough to make a deal like she had. On her check list for life all the boxes had been marked off. That's supposed to make for happiness and success!

But it was she who had been the fool avoiding the necessary pains of finding her true path. With every passing year her ball and chain weighted itself in heavier load. I'll make it...somehow. She snapped at her children's freedom, insisting they make the same mistakes she had, naming it a moral imperative. You don't want your mother to die, do you?

And now this crazy note shot out from the past, reaching her at the exact nadir of her existence. At first, her soul failed her to even read it. Once realizing she could not ignore it Debby tore it open with eyes wide with fear and hope.

"Don't you know what "need" means? It means "not optional", "can't do without", "no other way possible". How is it you ever thought I could make it without you? I call out to you Debby Hanssen. I call out to you across time and space. I cannot un-need you."

She dropped to the floor, breaking down in tears, gradually - meekly - letting light in around the edges. Her dead heart beat in joy. Someone needs me! Could anything be more clear? This is the greatest gift in the universe. Used for a lifetime, imprisoned, impaled. But now? What cared she for any nuptials in the world?

Then she cried anew, releasing her pride and pain, thanking God with all heart and all her soul and all her mind - just as she had always claimed to do. It was obvious what to do: leave right away, seek him out and find what there was to find.

But you can't leave right away or they'll know!

The fear of being "found out" was the tensile strength of her chains. Dare she break her chains and show herself a fraud? Dare she break the chains that had giver her a marriage and family and a grand house? No, no - she must be conservative. I've got to play this smart.

"I'll make an excuse to go so no one will really know why I'm flying out there. That way, if things go wrong, I won't lose everything." Fight the urge to flee right away!

Perhaps nothing in the universe is so difficult as to do what one wants. It took her a week to manufacture a cover story. With trembling and excited fingers she typed in her plane reservation. I've got a good feeling about this! A good feeling I haven't had in a long, long time! It's like I feel...connected. Debby's glowing face even chanced a look in the mirror.

The airport lounge was surreal with infinite windows. Suddenly, the world was once again at her feet. Last time she flew had been sheer (hidden) drudgery, a chore. But this? This was her escape! Bring on the world! And come the world did.

"Flight 215 has been canceled due to mechanical issues. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please come to the front desk to make arrangements for departure first thing tomorrow morning. Again, we apologize for the delay."

What does this mean? Is God testing me? I'm still going even if I have to sleep here all night! That's it! That's how I can show my commitment. Inside a voice was knocking but Debby had shut the door, the idea of a closed mind proving too seductive, one last chance to prove her shuttered life hadn't been an entire waste. And that's why she failed to remember she could ask another airline to accept her ticket.

Waking in the morning, a disturbing pea nestled uncomfortably under the princess' bed. But why? She had proven her commitment to make good! I must be imagining things. Nothing's going to stop me. And yet, she remained unconvinced, a sinking feeling in her stomach.

Pulling into the parking lot, the minute she saw the ambulance, she thought: "That's him!" Don't be silly! You're just being negative again! But as she pulled up to the private condominium, the sinking feeling in her stomach pulled her deeper into the seat. Those last few unreal steps to the EMT haunted her the rest of her days. He was dead...suicide the previous night...please move away.

She who hesitates is lost. The note dropped from her hand, blowing away in a hot dry wind, its usefulness lost.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I Be Scientist!

I is scientist! I don't believe nothin' that ain't nothin'! You don't know Darwin you don't know shit. It's like this cuz I know this, and this I duz know. Life is just about the knowin' and 'bout nothin' else. No make believe fantaseze pie-in-the-sky not knowin' nothin' world for me!

Ain't nothin' can happen I don't understandable. When you know science that the way it is: all the shit 'comes understandable 'cause I don't make up shit jess to suit me. Science is the answer for us grown ups. Let me know when you ready to face factuals, I's already there. I's all about reality. Anything I can't understand just can't be real!

You see them bums in the street dying like dogs? That's nature at work just like good Darwin sez, survival of fittest. We got to weed out weak so we all can get strongerz. I sees me this five year old with a crutch and I kicks it out under him! I ain't gonna let mankind die. We survivors are advancing humans to the next stage. We won't have to worry about being human no more, we gonna go way beyond that!

We used to be dumb and not know about money an' makin' money an' how money make everything work. The only ways to trustin' people is not trustin' 'em. Dang, wa wuz dumm back in the day! Now we got order 'stead of chaos 'cause nobody doin' what they want no more. It a scientifical fact ya gotta make people do right!

We getting smarterer ev'ry day too! There science answer for every problems. We just gotta put the right chemikill in people and that'll fix any what ail us. Find a peace chemikill and stick it in every last body then we got no more wars! No need to doo nuttin' else. It science what gonna save us, not wishful thinking!

If you ain't smart in science then you ain't smart! Is mathical science for all them kids or we gonna die! We don't need them singin' 'n' laughin' 'n' dreamin' their life away. We need them bein' practical. We gotta wire them kids right so they can be useful. We know how life s'possed to be. We got the formula down!

Ya knows how when you be really really smart? I means smarter then ever been before. Smarter then all the people ever went afore us put together! It's when you can put poison in ya and stillz come out alrighty! Yup, that how badass we izzle! Dear Nature, we large and in charge now! We makes da rulez!

When people speakin' 'bout their fancifull faith and other mystree of the mind I know I ain't fallin' fer nun of that! All me faith in the scientifical. You can'ts thretenz me with imaginables! I alreadys exactily know wot all the truth is -least ways till science priest prove it ain't so no more.

There ain't no man from Gallilee that ever walk on water. Fairy tales for the foolish that is! No way no one 'fore us know more 'bout nature then we duz now. Used to we didn't know nothin' from nothin' and the world was all goblins an' ghosts an ' guessin'. But now we got reason in the sin. We know alla nature there is to know! No more questionables!

Monday, April 04, 2011

How To Screw The Screw That Screwed You

"Russell Martin is a dead man."

In my thirteen months of hell I probably said that five thousand times. Literally. Goddam thug hiding behind his guard's uniform. He's the fucking criminal and yet the world turns a blind eye. That says a lot about the world if you ask me. And even if you don't. I spent my private moments vowing my revenge over and over...

I'd catch him coming out of his house, coming up behind and putting a gun to his head. I'd take his car keys and cell phone and stuff him in the trunk of his own fucking car. Then I'd pull off my ski mask and drive with gloved hands to a pre-arranged place far into the woods. Next I'd handcuff and chain him to a tree - after taking his pants and underwear, leaving him exposed to whoever might find him. He's such a big fan of humiliation I thought he might appreciate that.

Then, I'd start to walk away. That's when the begging would begin. I can hear it now, "You can't do this! Don't leave me here! You just can't do this to people! I'll die!"

"Quit your bitchin'! You do the crime you do the time!"

"But I've never been convicted of anything!"

"I convicted you. Now I'm carrying out the sentence."

"Who are you to convict anyone? What did I ever do? Who are you to me?..."

Then it hits him. I'm a former prisoner. And he knows what that means. His abuse cannot be denied to me. That's when he falls into a familiar refrain.

"You people are animals! Only an animal would do something like this! This just proves what I've always said!"

His charges don't stick on me. I went in an innocent man. I came out a raging criminal. Russell wasn't the brightest bulb but he was cagey. He knew what line not to cross but he danced right up to it, inflicting his club with just the right amount of bruising. I was weak, an easy target - for everyone. I was put into the state's care but that turned out to be no care at all. Somebody has to pay.

Get this folks: I don't care why you fuck me, I just care if you fuck me. And those who know how to play the system never get theirs unless we apply the law of the jungle. An eye for a fucking eye. No one made you be a prick. That decision was completely your own. And I will be the instrument of God that strikes you down, making the world a safer place. I don't care if you dunces don't have the capacity to see that or not, I do. So I'm taking matters in my own hands since yours have proven incompetent.

This is when I use his very own words on the bastard. "Scream all you want! Nobody cares, nobody can hear you! Nobody listens to what a convict says. I own your ass! And whatever happens to your ass is what you got coming!"

I wonder if he'll have the nerve to say anything back to his own little infamous speech. If only you people knew what happens in the dark corners of the world where the likes of Russell Martin reside. Scum like him is what rots society from the inside out. I'm going to kill Russell Martin. I'm living for the moment I get to repeat his speech to him. I live to hear the sound of his hopeless wailing.

I'm not sure how it will work out after that. I'm thinking I'll leave him there a couple of days to soften him up. God, that will be sweet! The more he fights it the worse it is - just like in prison. Take the cup of bitterness and give them twice what they handed out says the good book. That's exactly what I intend to do.

Maybe I'll bring him food and water. He might slap it away with the injustice of it all. But as one who knows, pride is a diet most foul, spoiling the soul in sour rot. If I do let him live, he'll be a new man after tasting his own medicine of cruelty. No way will he be able to inflict pain without harkening back to his time tied to the tree, living completely at the mercy of the generosity of another human being. You want that generosity now don't you, you cocksucking motherfucker!

I have to admit, I don't appreciate having the path of my life altered like this, to clean up a mess not my own. But having been made aware of it what can I do? Just let this monster perpetuate his crimes for eternity? God might get him in the end but this is now and now is where we live. I for one am not for living in a fucking pigsty.

This I vow on this October day, prisoner 8936452, lying on my cot the last few hours before my release and coming pardon. Like Edmond Dantes of yore, I have been deemed to right the wrongs of our wretched planet.


I had found the perfect location for the crucifixion. There were times I yearned to let it go, but I was not going to be lazy or shirk the duty God had tasked me with. Besides, whenever I tried to relax, the rage would come boiling up again, never giving me a moment's peace. I've got to get this over with if it's the last thing I do!

That's when I saw him, right in the middle of my rigid plans, sitting in the park slumped like a lost and sullen bum. Took me a double take or two convince myself it was him but when I saw the TDCJ logo on his cap I lost all doubt. If I'd had a baseball bat at that moment I'd have gone to town on him right then and there and been done with it. But that would be taking the easy way out, disappointing God in the lack of full measure of justice required.

But other voices spoke to me as well. "He's nothing now, he can't hurt you anymore. Look at him, the pathetic slut. I bet his family hates him."

I fought back. "Scratch him and you'll only find a stubborn will laced with a streak of cruelty from hell. That's what that man is, hell's portal to the world!"

"What is he now? What's he to you now?"

"Goddamit! I can't just think of myself. He's still hurting others. You know how much you screamed for help and no one would listen. You can't abandon those prisoners still under his thumb!"

"How is this making your life better?"

"It's not making it better, it's a pain in the ass!" That's when the whole thing starting feeling like a 16 ton weight on my shoulders.

"Let it go..."

"But, but..."

"Let it go."

After all the time wasted I just wanted to live. If I thought I could trust God to do anything I'd just walk right over and say hello in recognition of his presence. But that's just fucking insane!

And yet, that's what I found myself doing, watching my body move in the direction of his sorrowful park bench. What a disorienting experience that was. I'd never played the role of the bigger man before. Who am I? This has got to be some sort of aberration. I didn't even recognize my voice when I spoke in a tentative but friendly way.

"Hello, Russell Martin." A wry smile was on my face.

He was like a man disturbed from a deep slumber, not recognizing me at first. Then, the horror of the mirror. "I didn't know!" he needed to explain. "How could I know! You leave me alone!"

I stood undisturbed, absent of malice, letting him write his own script. That's the funny thing about guilt: it prevents you from doing the right thing. He could have apologized, made his peace with me and freed himself. Instead, he got up, carefully moving away like a cornered animal escaping a kill. What a curious play I did observe!

He made some hapless threats I don't remember now as mammoth waves of relief washed over me. I just remember this tiny little figure in the afternoon sun fleeing from me in dire consequence, looking back over its shoulder in fear. It too was curious to observe since I felt it truly had nothing to do with me.

One thing I do know - and did not fully realize again until that moment - is that once you start running from yourself, it never stops. The running takes over your life, swallowing up everything in its path, requiring ever more energy until you're all used up. Then I smiled a small smile and snorted at the irony. It was true after all: Russell Martin is a dead man.