Monday, September 19, 2011

The Secret Lives Of Gods

"Hi, ma! I'm home!"

"I was wrong, John," my Mom yelled back to my stepfather in the living room. "We don't have a kid after all."

I was lying half naked on the closet floor trying to conceal myself and get my clothes back on before my secret life came to light. I had tried to sneak back in the house of our suburban neighborhood, get dressed and pretend fake normalcy as per the usual hell. But somehow my Mom knew I was in the closet and furiously slid the clothes hangers down to reveal the end of my life as she looked down upon my unclothed state.

It wasn't the first time I'd done this, just the first time I'd been caught. I'd been outside naked before, sexually starved, dying to be free. I just couldn't hold it in with nothing of my own to hold on to. The day was sunny, warm and bright - a day for others, for the living. The sun did not shine for me, viewing it as someone does on film: there but not here.

I wandered everywhere in our small Texas oil town in search of girls to let "catch" me naked. I'd then agree to be their sex slave in exchange for them not telling anyone I was walking around naked. That was the plan anyway. But I was having no luck.

I remember spotting Mr. Martin on a pay phone, curiously standing in the corner shadow of the old phone building, completely wrapped up in his conversation, dead yellow grass all around from the long, summer drought. I wondered if he was talking to Her, the woman of his lifelong love affair. Pete Martin was famous for two reasons: He'd been a friend of President Kennedy and l'amour of Maria Cruz, famous rock singer.


Story had it Kennedy had spotted Maria on a trip to South America and told Mr. Martin of this amazing woman. This was long before Maria had become famous. I love her balls out music, so culturally rare for an Hispanic woman. In her songs she documented her affair with Mr. Martin: their great nights, distant love, with no strings attached. People repeated Pete Martin stories in awe of his exploits. And I here I was 17 and sneaking past him in broad daylight through some city park oak trees.

Thank God he was too wrapped up in his own life to notice mine. I trust only the ones who have a life, everyone else just wants to interfere, agents of destruction, self-unaware blind predators. There's really no in between. I'd once passed by Mr. Martin on his way to our town's only night club. I remember the cologne but more importantly the exotic air of otherworldliness as he went to no doubt trip the night fantastic. Seeing him later drive that deep blue Corvette around town was to see a god on earth.

But someone saw my naked ass today and reported me to the police. I was never really sure who. I knew I had to get back home and resume the lie before I was caught. Up the street was the Marcy house. I couldn't believe I was so lucky as to have the legendary hottest twin girls in school living that close to me. When I would see one of them driving down the street at lunch I'd step on the front porch naked to get the mail. Oops! Didn't see you coming! Like my weenie?

They could have prevented Hitler from starting WWII

I was thinking about the lucky guys who got to fuck them, their lives saved by the smooth, shapely legs and firm, supple breasts of these sexual superstars. I'd heard how they liked to sneak out at night for illegal rendezvous with grateful, panting boys, hearts beating fast into the night, exploring the treasures of life. Neither of the girls' cars was there as I slinked by their house during my hasty retreat. For some reason I was glad of that.

Slowly around the bend I saw a cop car rolling along searching the cracks and bushes, eager to feel morally superior while paying their rent. What a high that must be. This forced me to cut through the backyard of Mr. Conner. Unfortunately, his car was home since he was retired. Mr. Conner in my eyes was just as famous as Mr. Martin. His daughter was an exotic dream, blonde and deeply tanned, living the life of a goddess. I'd seen her a couple times when she'd come to visit. But I never lusted after her as she was a whole woman.

Conner lived for years in the Middle East where he was highly esteemed among the Arabs which was amazing because he hated custom and ceremony with a vengeance. But he had such a charming personality the Arabs viewed his disdain as delightfully spunky and they made allowances for him they would for few others. They really love Texans in Arabia. But also many a sheik had his eye on his nubile daughter.

In the Mideast women are looked upon as property. As the story goes, Mr. Conner had famously decreed his daughter a "free woman, her own person to do as she sees fit no matter what." That disappointed many a lusty Arab heart hoping to collar her - done in complete social approval. What a scary society over there, I always imagined. Conner's sentiment cost him a two billion dollar oil contract and his job for not giving up his daughter's virtue. I wonder what those Arabs would think if they saw me now. This has no social approval anywhere. But my immediate concern was if Mr. Conner was looking out his back yard window right now.

If so, he never said anything.


I waited for the cop car to pass on by, giving me a chance to get back through the window to my room. The sliding closet doors were open but I had not left them like that. My parents had been searching for me. I could feel the seething anger of them hearing the police report, of wondering how to explain it to their friends. That's when I sneaked back into my room only to be found in the closet. I was so mortified I ran away for two days, living in a barn at the edge of town.

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

I was sitting in a police interview room, my mother just outside sitting on a bench. The floor was linoleum and there was a wide gap between the bottom of the heavy wooden door and the tile floor. Basically the room was an echo chamber, meaning my Mom could hear every word even with the door closed. Knowing this, I gave answers for her to hear, not the cop. That's the problem being the smartest person in the room: they think they're manipulating you but you're manipulating them. In the end: no actual communication.

Politics starts where life ends. We all had to go back to pretending I was normal so everyone could save face and not have to answer any hard questions. Life with my stepfather was hell, he an unknown criminal. It was like watching George Bush get elected. How can you people not see?? At no time in my life have I ever thought the world was anything but a farce. I joined the farce, pretending to have no feelings to make everyone happy. I knew that was a death sentence but where's a future here anyway?

Mr. Martin's affair with Maria eventually died as she moved on to wed an avant-garde artist. Without commitment they could not keep their love alive. He ended up broken, alone and drunk - and I here I thought he had the world by the tail, living the perfect life.

What works at 20 doesn't work at 40

The Marcy girls had an infamous sex affair with an extremely rich oil man who lavished expensive presents on them as he lived out the fantasies of a lifetime. When his secret life came to light, his wife demanded a controlling interest in his company or face divorce. He lost the company and the girls ended up working boring retail jobs in obscurity. [Author's note: I'd still hump you!]

Mr. Conner's daughter had a glorious white wedding and marriage, a blossoming woman. Though she was stunning to see, she was so much more, a woman in every sense; I had no jealousy of her. He'd stood to gain quite a worldly profit had he turned his daughter over to the Arabs, but he gained a true profit instead. I'd kill to have been able to look that guy in the eye. Instead, all I could think about was the time I snuck through his backyard naked. He died a happy man.

As for me, having never found a home I roam the streets to this day, molting in a continual prison of shame. I embrace the brethren I find here. All the best liars wear well-regarded suits I've found. Take away their suits and they're just naked assholes under the sun too. Where's it going to end? I'm only free in a place where wounds are allowed to show, outsiders not welcome. Some people have skeletons in their closet - I am the skeleton in the closet.

But I know in the end, everyone comes to where the free air is.

Leading the god life!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Of Which I Heel Kick A Rick Perry Stooge

It would be different if they were all wearing their dunce caps

Verbally, I opt out of most conversations here at the homeless shelter. Who knows, maybe if I weren't so absorbed in my own pain I'd be more of loud mouth 'fixer' who has to set everyone straight. God, what a miserable existence that is! It's like being slowly roasted over a fire while trying to convince the flames not to be hot. You feel like you have to do something because you're being roasted alive but trying to reason with the flames never gets you anywhere. Life is really, really hard.

Sure enough, they had the goddam tea bagger debates on in the TV area and people got all riled up. I don't make fun of the tea baggers or the Palins et al. because I don't think it's nice to make fun of retards. Plus where's the sport in it? I need a challenge. Forced to spend some time in the TV area on another errand, I did catch a few glimpses of the eight mental dwarfs on stage.

It was wretched, like someone had gone out and gotten the sleaziest used car dealers they could find and had them fitted for suits and makeup to make them presentable to an unknowing eye. Something about a silk purse out of a sow's ear comes to mind. Most everyone watching was howling and screaming at the answers, talking back impotently to the screen. When one is experiencing the knife of our current economic clime one fails to see the need to make the world any prettier than it is. All you can think about is getting that goddam knife out!

That about sums up the feeling the "candidates" induced.

The pain I saw on those retorting faces was clear and evident. They reacted as if someone had just hit them in the stomach when they heard some of the remarks from the tea baggers. Truly, the spirit wars are our real wars, the physical wars just an extension of them. Mentally, I didn't record much of what was said, it was just more interesting to me to see the interplay between the victims and the victimizers.

Justice has become an evil word in our society and I understand why: Because if we honor it, it means scrapping our society and starting over. What most fail to understand is not honoring justice guarantees the end of our society, like denying water to a plant. That's why all the debates about nature are meaningless, there's no beating nature in the end. So like I said, I opt out of most conversations since the path of learning is unavoidable over time - even for the closed mind.

That's not to say I'm above it all, eh "Ungentle" Ben?

So I do catch a part of the debate from our very own Governor Goodhair preaching how not "lowering" regulations and not "lowering" taxes are keeping our economy down and if we just did these two simple things "you will see an American economy that takes off like a rocket ship."

Just a bald head away from oblivion

"Bull-fucking-shit!" snapped Jerron. "You a lyin' motherfucker! You know damn well that ain't gonna help a FUCKING thing but line the boss man's pockets and not make a single motherfucking job!"

More catcalls came after that but I was too busy silently laughing at Jerron's reaction. I know that frustration of knowing the truth, watching someone publicly speak a bald faced lie about it and then watch a bunch of clueless idiots applaud at being told what they want to hear. Where does it end?? Only in death.

Later that night I was slumped in my chair contemplating the bliss of suicide and the end of this hell on earth when goddam Ungentle Ben sparks up talk about the debate. There's lots of lost people out there who just want to be contrary, or offer opinions solely on the basis they have cut ties with reality. Asshole Ben is both of those. Mostly, he's like a fly I don't have the energy to chase down and swat. But just because I don't have the energy doesn't mean I don’t want to kill the fucker.

The Ben-inator is someone who likes to make those "I'm not one of you" speeches. Those are people who actually side with their abusers and they think that by doing so they have separated themselves from the herd as morally superior souls who do not act out of self-interest but rather have this maniacal, laudable devotion to objectivity. Of course, if they were truly objective they'd admit they want to live and not suffer abuse. Regardless, you'd be surprised the number of people who cling to this idiotology.

"Thank you, sir. May I please have another,"
says the future Tea bagger.

So this parrot head does what he supposes is his masters' bidding by decrying federal government regulations that are unfairly imposing themselves on Texas and therefore harming us. Ungentle Ben has this singular tunnel vision of how by only worshipping jobs can we save ourselves and the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. It frustrates him to no end to see such an obvious and inviolable axiom be disputed.

You know, like the Obama-must-be-reelected-at-all-costs crowd.

Seeing Ungentle Ben's red face during these arguments often provided me with fair compensation with having to listen to his idiocy. The man is his own worst enemy! But seeing his heroic perverts all lined up on stage that night just like real human beings had emboldened this mighty minion to the point no one had the will to fully confront him.

So here's Benny and the Pests standing in the TV room like Ali lording over Sonny Liston after his knockout punch. So just like with the Trans Am brat, I found myself forced to speak up.

"That's right, Benny, who needs air when you got a job? What ya gonna do, breathe through that paycheck? Breathing is so overrated!"

HolcimCow
Took this pic myself

"You shut up, Harry! All your lazy ass does is complain how the world done you wrong. You want a job as much as anyone else. You a hypocrite, you is! Governor Perry is just trying to help things out and you don't understand that!"

There's no "turning off comments due to ad hominem attacks" allowed in real life.

Now, I know reason and logic have no place in politics. I see people try to make that case all the time but they are wasting their time. However, one must point out one knows his opponent his lying about the facts before returning to the debate.

"The EPA is not harming Texas, Texas did that all on its own. It's not that the regulations are so onerous, it's that Texas has fallen so far behind in pollution control for so many decades the cost has become so high. It's like complaining about how much it takes to catch up on your car payments after not making them for a year. If Texas were a country, it would be the seventh largest polluter in the world. Who's fault is that, Einstein?"

Conservatives never debate facts because that means they lose, ergo Butthead Ben must appeal to my irrational side to get the momentum back on his side.

"You won't be saying that when out there looking for work! No, sir! You'll come back 'Please, Mr. Perry, get me a job! Thank you, sir!'"

"Won't find me complaining about not having a crap job. I just hate the effects of not having money is all." Then I lazily clasped my hands behind my head.

"Then why don't get your ass out there and get you some!" I could tell what he was really asking was to join him in his job worship on the good ship Lollypop.

"Oh, I'm too smart for that," was my direct reply to his offer - sure to incense him and then unwittingly have him define his own thoughts of himself.

"You're not smart! You're just a bum like everyone else around here, a legend in your own mind when you're really nothing but a loser, sticking up for shit that ain't ever going to do you any good! You need to wake up and smell the coffee!!"

Red Face Ben was back - to the point of being a little scary even. He'd lost all composure and the room was riveted upon our conversation just as Ben's eyes were on me like a dog who'd had his leash yanked unexpectedly. That's when I decided best to let it go and let nature takes its course on the enlightenment of Ungentle Ben.

"Have it your way, dude. I'm tired of doing you favors."

"Favors?

Involuntarily I chuckled to myself, thinking back to all the painful lessons taught to me by nature's unrelenting hand. "Don't worry," I muttered more to myself than anyone, thinking I was ending the conversation. "Things will work themselves out with or without you."

"What do you mean by that!?" Benny Boy's voice had a strange pitch to it, forcing me to look up at him. His head was half-cocked and my disinterested ass had a hard time telling if he was posing or really was about to go off half cocked.

I snorted. "Is that what you say?"

"Is that what I say WHEN?"

"Is that what you say when your conscience speaks to you?"

It took a second to sink in and realize I had publicly spoken his inner conversation. Then Ungentle Ben blurt out an expletive and came rushing towards me. Normally, I'm not that good at physical confrontations. I can't fight it out so I have to either run away or resort to maiming with a lead pipe. But I was curiously comfortable as Ungentle Ben steamed towards me like a slow motion locomotive. In more of a stopping motion than an actual kick I straightened my leg out putting my heel directly into his upper thigh. And then: Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!

Perhaps a slight exaggeration of the event

"I'm gonna get you, Harry," mutedly swore a stung Ben, clutching his leg and moving backwards out of the room to save face. I had no idea it was going to have that kind of effect on him but I have to admit it being pretty satisfying watching him slink away. As soon as he left, the room burst into laughter, congratulating me on my heroic slaying of the beast. I have to say my smirking ass did not mind basking in that glow even if maybe it wasn't completely justified.

If only we could swat all the flies.


Welcome to my ear worm!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Last Ride For The Malboro Man

"You will beget wolves on earth.
"You'll teach them to wag their tails.
"And if, later, you have to pay the price,
"So be it: that will be later."
- Soviet poet Galich


James Blake Miller (born July 10, 1984) is an American Iraq War veteran, who served in the United States Marine Corps and was dubbed "the Marlboro Man" / "Marlboro Marine", after an iconic, close-up photograph of his dirt-smeared, battle-weary face, with a cigarette planted in his mouth, was published on the front page of more than 150 American newspapers in 2004.

Because of his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, Miller is now separated from his wife and family and currently lives alone. He is unable to discuss certain things that happened in Fallujah, and has joined the Highwaymen, a motorcycle club under constant scrutiny by law enforcement.


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

Joey only cried with his motorcycle helmet on. Blazing down the road on his Kawasaki with his mind focused solely on the road ahead was the only time he felt safe enough and alone enough to let the pain come through. He had to hide: he was damaged goods in a world professing perfection. He never got more than three hours tumultous sleep before the nightmares jarred him awake in screaming sweat.

"Company leader to Raven!"

The intrusive, demanding calls still echoed in his head even as he raced away on the lonely Nebraska highway. Joey lived in another world now, unseen to unsoiled civilians. Shadows of black demons chased his every step, whispering his crimes of which no human would hear his confession. Everyone offered to help - only because they knew they could not.

Both the warmongers and peacemongers wanted to use him as propaganda. But Joey had had a lifetime of being used. No Arab face could he look again in the eye. Somehow, he knew, they would just know his unforgivable deed. The world could do as it wished now. But Joey had to find his peace before the bell tolled for him.



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

I came back home. But home wasn't there no more. Did it leave because I left? Or was it never there to begin with? I'll never know now. Sweet Jesus, this is driving me crazy!

First they use you. Then they break you. Then they leave you. I only wanted to know that I served. I should have asked exactly what I was fucking serving. Is too late to even care?

I see some of the other guys still lyin' and dyin'. Still thinkin' they can beat the devil. But that wigglin' worm keeps eatin' you up inside, never leaving you alone, making you wish you was dead.

Nobody's done what I done. Worst ones are the "understandin'" ones. "Oh, I know you're hurting. You can tell me anything!" Fake ass assholes, users. Hanging on me like I'm a broken chair to fix up. Don't be making my problems your problems. Don't be using me for your escape. They only say they want to help because they know they won't.

Some of them other vets have come around too late too. It's all fucking bullshit! Who was there for me when my brain snapped and I couldn't remember why I was pulling that trigger? Not a one of you fuckers! "He's a brave boy. He'll be fine." Fuck you! Fuck you out the goddam ass. You go kill and be fine, motherfucker! Goddam you to HELL!

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

When he was still scrambling through the brush and dust of Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, listening to his buddies’ frantic pleas for a medic, Brendan O’Byrne gave no thought to whether he would be able to pay his bills when he returned home to the United States. He did not contemplate his future credit rating, or his ability to land a job.

...Additionally, he was having nightmares. Night after night he got shot, or his gun malfunctioned, or he watched a friend die. The only way to avoid them was to drink until he passed out, so he did, sometimes emptying two bottles of Jack Daniels in a day.

The drinking caused its own problems. He got arrested once for a bar fight, and other times for being “a little bit out of control, drunk, and mad at the world.” He collected unemployment and continued to ignore his bills.

“I have no idea how to catch back up,” he says O’Byrne. “I don’t have any way to figure out how to plan.”

It was as if his body was back at home, but his mind was still in combat, interfering with his ability to strategize during those first few months. “My head is spinning so fast at this point that I try to commit suicide,” O’Byrne says. “I can’t stop my brain from just racing all day. And I’m supposed to worry about this debt? Worry about this car payment?”

It was winter 2008 and the American economy was collapsing. So was O’Byrne.


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

Only place I'm free from you assholes.

Joey's mind kept shifting gears on him, disengaging one thought as the horror erupted too high, engaging another as it fought its way to the surface, a thousand more behind that crying out to be let out. Joey often needlessly shifted gears on his bike just to mimic his mind, to find any thread of honest communication between him and the outside world.

The more he tried to explain, the less anyone understood.


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

"Psychological evaluation". Just what the fuck is that supposed to mean? Who are you to evaluate me? Want me to sanitize your motherfucking war for you? Have Susan open her legs for me so she can "serve" and be part of the war game? You pathetic damn people never ask to know the truth. Only as long as I lie you call me friend.

Well, I can't lie no more! You fucking hear me? Pull your head out of your goddam ass!

Why should you listen to me when you won't even listen to you? You got crimes of your own, don't ya Mr. Upright? Maybe you didn't pull the trigger but you got blood on your hands. What was you sayin' when they put Jesus on the cross? "Halle-fuckin-lujah, praise the Lord"? You want to keep your shit down, don't ya? Hide your own sins knowing mine be out in the open. Your dark soul sees my soul, don't it? Yeah buddy, I know how dark souls get made.

You used to fool me with your clean cut neighborhoods and clean cut hair making me think I'm part of it. You sure played me for a sucker. Go fight for us, bitch! Idiot moron. Tote your gun in the shit so I won't have to. You had me fooled alright with your pretty teeth and nice cars. You ain't so goddam pure ya-self.

But that don't help me none. I'm still broke up in a million pieces.

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

When Walmart rejected O’Byrne, he was stunned.

“Coming out of Afghanistan, leading men in goddamn combat for fifteen months, to being turned down at fucking Walmart, it does something to your ego,” he says. “I wasn’t going for a supervisor role. I wasn’t going for any role. I was going for cleaning floors in the middle of the night. You know, it was such a shock to me that I was turned down for that. And it really, it scared the hell out of me because I thought ‘Oh my god, if I can’t get a job at Walmart, how am I going to get a job anywhere else, and what am I going to do for money?’”


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

Selling yourself short is a cardinal crime.

At 18, Joey had it all figured out what he wanted to do. First off, he was smarter than the Army. He still revered the institution but he bragged how he had no delusions on their wayward ways. Joey had a plan on the career path he was going to take and the army was going to facilitate that for him no matter what. This was not going to be a one way street, he vowed.

What he didn't count on was a mind permanently scrambled, his life made useless. He'd fought back part of the way but still no light on the horizon of coming home. Joey sat on the edge of the universe, a starless deep abyss dangling below. No matter the time of day, the light dimmed in continual sunset to his eyes. That's what he was racing: to reach the light before it passed away forever.


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

If I sleep in a comfortable bed, they'll come snatch me out of it, pissed off as hell. I can't get it out of my brain! "Company leader to Raven" cracks the radio in my head. If he's sleepin' good he ain't one of us. He ain't doin' his share. Say anything but don't say I ain't be doin' my share! Oh, Jesus God in heaven you're killing me. I can't get no rest. The rubber band just twists tighter 'n' tighter.

You want me now, assholes? Now that I'm all fucked up. You want me running your shop and hanging around your pretentious little office? You want to put me on display like a trophy? Hire Mr. War Hero to show much you love us "veterans"? And what if I'd never gone, huh? No room at the inn then, huh, you hypocrites.

Same wherever you go. I saw them clubbin' girls so hot you could die. They got eyes that don't know the world, all shiny and new. They ask me to come along. Some cause they love everyone. Some cause they feel guilty they ain't dead like me. Show you like me and you get a free pass on the war guilt, they think. I ain't found no free pass on the guilt no time never on nothin' for one fucking minute. I can't be in your world anymore.

I can't be in anyone's world anymore but my own. But there ain't no livin' there.

I don't want to die. But I guess them people I shot didn't want to die neither, did they? So how can I ask to live? How can I go on eatin' and laughin' when I left all those families crying not knowing why? Was this the plan all along? To make me like this?

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

Who heals the inner wounds?

On Christmas Eve of 2003, Kevin Lucey noticed the first sign of the "hidden wounds" ravaging his grown son, Jeff.

Jeff Lucey, a 23-year-old Marine lance corporal had been back from Iraq just a few months and was living quietly with his parents in Belchertown, Mass.

That night, Kevin suddenly "took off his dog tags and tossed them at his younger sister, crying," and began "saying he was nothing more than a murderer," the father recalled Thursday.

...The next day, Kevin Lucey found the body of his son in the basement of the house, his neck bound with a garden hose, dangling from the beams in the ceiling.

Next to the body was a shrine with Jeff's dog tags, two dogs tags of Iraqi soldiers his son claimed to have killed, several family photos arranged in a semicircle, a photo of his platoon in the middle and three notes.

"He once again was in my lap as I was cutting him down from the beams," the dad said.


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

Joey said that first night in the barracks bunk in basic training was the most scared he'd ever been. He'd put his life in the hands of strangers and his instincts told him to run. So much different looking from the inside out! Why didn't he see this before?

His bunkmates were just as alone and afraid, and as such they banded together in mutual trepidation. To hell with the big shots, we'll fight for ourselves, for each other. They weaved a cocoon that sheltered them from the knifing doubts that invaded their nightly dreams. "I can hide in this band of brothers. Nothing else matters."

All this was as the Army intended.


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

Did they know all along the worm was going to turn? That first I was going to believe, no problem. But that sooner or later I was gonna think and have that moment that changes everything? But then it's too late and you can't go back and you can't ever stop. You gotta keep killin' for your buddies, for your boss's approval cause you lost your own. You gotta keep killin' cause they don't expect anythin' less. Came a time when those bullets shot right through me no matter where I aimed.

I swear I can still feel them in me. "Company leader to Raven." We need more killin' done.

Dear God in heaven what I wouldn't give for just one safe spot to lay my head. With no one to leech off my tears. And no one to poke on my fears. Just put away your long knife for once and let me live. What is it about war that makes everybody make everybody else go do it? Sayin' truth works the same way. If they don't ever start letting me speak it how can I have any hope?

Shit I'm tired but I gotta keep running. Maybe when I get to the next place things will be better. Maybe. Who's going to love me now? I can't stand still with this wiggling worm inside me twisting my guts out. If only I could find a place where I didn't have to lie I wouldn't have to die. That's where peace is. If only someone would speak the truth...

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

"Sorry, kid, my career is more important than your soul."

“In a psychologist’s room or psychiatrist’s room there’s no connection, because you can’t connect, because that’s not their job to connect,” he says. “Their job is to understand, evaluate, diagnose and treat. But a group of guys that have seen combat, have seen people die -- that’s human, that’s connection, where people can cry and they can start shedding some of this guilt with guys that know what the hell they’re talking about.”

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


Patton was a "goddamed coward". Anyone can die. Takes a hero to live.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Deal Is Broken!

But I have an MBA!

The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of extrajudicial punishment, and the Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.

Between 1934 and 1941, the number of prisoners with higher education increased more than eight times, and the number of prisoners with high education increased five times. It resulted in their increased share in the overall composition of the camp prisoners. Among the camp prisoners, the number and share of the intelligentsia was growing at the quickest pace. Distrust, hostility, and even hatred for the intelligentsia is a common characteristic of the communist leaders.


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

I've always wondered what life is like for the Deal People. They show up, take the deal, do what they're told, spit out their 2.5 children, never think about anything outside their circle and die in a nice, comfortable room. Their fellow Deal People give them a nice obituary and the circle starts again. Who's blessed again, my dear savior?

What an amazing, amazing ride to be born with, say, a passion for nursing, love your work, always have good money in your pocket and the world at large can never ever touch you. You're not dying on a factory line or some creatively cursed soul struggling for survival and identity or living knowing you'll be picking up garbage cans for the rest of your life. You've got it made so incredibly well you can't even conceive of anything else.

"Buy my insurance and I'll show you my tits!"
What a deal!

Yours is the life we see in all those insurance commercials where the system is there to be your friend. We see you in the financial planning commercials as the affably befuddled soul needing a helping hand for that million dollar retirement. And you're the one elated with all the latest features of all the latest toys as you smile for the camera in technical orgasm. We like to pretend that's everyone's life - or could be if they "made something of themselves".

Well, it's certainly pretty to think so.

But now the cracks are breaking in even this mighty castle. I always laugh at those who say "education is the key to success." It's such an uneducated thing to say! But the time has come where a new education is being forced upon even the most wilfully blind. Following the old formula for "success" isn't going to cut it anymore. All free rides come to an end sometime.

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

"I racked up all that college debt for this?"

For young 'Millennials,' an American Dream deferred

FORT WORTH, Texas — Brooke Guidry, a certified teacher and former standout softball player at West Texas A&M University, left Texas for a promised job at a Las Vegas fitness center. But when the economy collapsed, so did that job prospect.

She returned to Fort Worth, moved back in with family members and now works in the mailroom of a local engineering firm. Recently, she began moonlighting as a referee at high school volleyball games.

Guidry, 26, is one of many young Americans who graduated from college into the Great Recession and its aftermath: a sluggish job market and stubbornly high unemployment that for them has translated into a late start at the American Dream.

"All the stars were falling into alignment for me," said Guidry, who hit .520 on the softball team in her senior year. She taught physical education and coached girls softball for two years at a high school in Missouri City, outside Houston, before leaving for Las Vegas.

"So it's a little bit of a letdown," Guidry said of returning to Texas.


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No doubt telling one another education is freedom.

Look anywhere and you'll find stories like this from last Sunday's paper. The story dutifully points out how these Millennials remain optimistic despite, well, reality. Blind optimism - a trait so often hailed as heroically American - won't cut it anymore, those days long gone. Such good little boys and girls who won't stop believing the lie! But living life without questions is a luxury one can no longer afford.

What we have is a giant hole right in the middle of our lake of life sucking it dry. Those on the outer edges feel the drain first but the line moves continually inward until that hole is plugged. The hole is bottomless so no matter how much goes in it never stops. In the end, no one can escape. But most look down and ask: "Does my boat float?" If the answer is yes then all is well. You're a believer, you is!

One day we'll wake up and realize our "system" is in fact no system at all, but merely a delusion based upon illusion. You can point out all the water draining away for everyone but that fact is it is there to see for anyone who looks. Some think it's "safe" to play it conservative and just look at one's own little boat. Truth is, it's suicide. And what a long, slow painful death it's going to be. All for no reason than we believe it has to be this way.

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One day we shall read this:

The Soviet Gulag capitalist system was a massive system of forced labor camps. Throughout its history some 18 untold millions passed through the prisons Walmarts and camps Burger Kings of the Gulag American Dream. Under Stalin Goldman Sachs, labor camp prisoners capitalist believers became an important resource for the construction of many industries, including the nation's railways and roads, mining operations, and the timber industry. Millions White collar workers suffered in the camps, many guilty of no crime entitlement.

In the eyes of the authorities CEOs, a prisoner worker had almost no value. An unknown number well into the millions died in Gulag camps the unemployment line. Those who died of hunger, cold, and hard labor were easily replaced by new prisoners suckers.