Thursday, December 27, 2012

What's Wrong With Bob?

The note was simple: "Dear God, you're a dick. Love, Bob"

Standing on a chair of his dinette set, noose firmly around his neck, the Worst Possible Thing then happened. The alarm went off. Time for work.

Reaching up, Bob cut the rope and headed for the morning subway, noose still snug around his neck. His fellow commuters were not amused. "Creep!" "Weirdo!" "Get normal!" "Go ahead and kill yourself!" This didn't bother Bob. He just figured they were talking to themselves.

Immediately, the cry went up when Bob entered the office: "What's wrong with Bob!"

Sensitive Susan swooped in first. "Oh, Bob! How can I help? Did I tell you God wants you to be happy? We all do! Please, let me know if there's anything I can do."

"I've got a bad case of butt acne I can't get rid of. Think you could rub some peroxide over it with a cotton ball?"

Susan was not happy, despite God's desire for it. "God will get you for that! Fuck you, Bob!"

Ted the Twat was not so sensitive, but rather amused. "Hey, Bob! Need me to find a chair for you? Haha! Mind if I yank on the noose?"

"Mind if I masturbate in your coffee?"

Twatty Ted was not amused. "You can't talk to me like that! I'm the number one salesman here! Fuck you, Bob!"

Sycophant Cindy snaked her way over. "My, what an impressive noose! You do that all by yourself? I could never make a knot like that!" Then she started to lick it.

"I brought some rat poison for lunch. Wanna lick that too?"

There's no fury like a sycophant scorned. "I just lied for you! Where's your gratitude? Fuck you, Bob!"

Tension in the office rose like rising flood waters. Get that damn Bob out before it's too late! Asshole Andy wasn't going to take it anymore.

"Bob, we're sick of your shit! SICK OF IT! SICK OF IT! All you care about is your own selfish shit not giving a damn how the rest of us feel. Hang yourself on your own fucking time and stop wasting ours!"

"Keep talking and you're going to miss quota."

"Shit! See what you made me do?" screamed Andy as he ran back to his cubicle. "Fuck you, Bob!"

Stymied by Bob, an angry muttering bubbled to the surface across the office. Frustrated faces popped over cubicle walls to glance at the nauseating noose. Everyone was angry but no one knew exactly why. "Let's go ahead and kill the fucker! Look at him, just sitting there working like everything's OK. The nerve of it! He's so obviously living a lie!"

Talk of torches and pitchforks circulated like wildfire. At last a reason had been found for the all that was wrong: Bob. Sensing the hate, the Psychotic CEO burst into the room feeding off the glorious rage that made him so rich in a game rigged for unholy endeavors. He cut right to the chase.

"Fuck you, Bob! You're not being a good child. You have to realize what's important in this world: me! You're making me look bad!"

"You could always make a sign and protest."

"I'm no hooligan! All my theft is legal! I've got a company to run!"

"Go away, you're messing with my profits."

A person possessed, the CEO could not argue with his own god, storming back to his office slamming the door shut. With no recourse left, the lynch mob gathered around the heretic Bob.

"Damn you, Bob! You've ruined everything! Our lies were perfect and now we're so angry we can't see straight! We can't stand it! Take off that noose!"


"Why?? Because... because it' know why!"

"Could it be it triggers your own suppressed disbelief in a suicidal system that rewards you but because you sold your soul you dare not realize the ultimate doom of that decision for both you and the world and therefore my honesty burns you with the same frenzied rage that crucified Jesus?"

Silence dropped like a rock. No one moved. The world was theirs after all. A tear hit the floor. Then, quietly, a voice spoke from the crowd almost unaware of the presence of others.

"But I'm Jesus..."

The floodgates opened. "I'm Jesus!" "I'm Jesus!" "I'm Jesus!" "I'm Jesus!" "I'm Jesus!" "I'm Jesus!"

Bob smiled. "If we're all Jesus what are you so pissed about?"


It was a different story on the subway the next morning. Cheers and wild applause greeted Bob as he stepped aboard. Nooses, cyanide bottles around the neck, guns cocked toward the temple, all sorts of devices of death were attached to every commuter. The day of dishonesty was over.

"We're glad as hell and we're not going to fake it anymore!"

Panicked CEOs ran from their own shadows. "It's happened at last! They're not taking our bribes or shit anymore! We'll be killed for what we've done!" Many, if not most, jumped out their high office windows to their ultimate doom. CEOs who chose to live were forced to clean up the mess. But with hope finally on the horizon no one complained.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Klyde Warren Park, A White Man's Wonderland


Louise, the maid in "Being There"

Dallas is plagued with a perpetual inferiority complex. It wants the jet set glamour of New York, the cosmopolite aura of an international city, while both embracing and rejecting its cowboy image it can never fully shake. Problem is, she keeps working this from the outside in. "Let's have all the signs of success to prove we're a success!" It's the bane of all conservative thinking.

Thus we have the Klyde Warren Park, which describes itself as:

Klyde Warren Park creates green space “out of thin air” that connects the vibrant Uptown neighborhood with the Dallas Arts District and downtown.

Somehow, Dallas got the memo a great city needs great parks and viola! One great park coming up. Named after the 9-year-old son of billionaire Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfers Partners, it seems dear old dad wanted junior to begin to feel the weight of civic responsibility and has stipulated in the contract for the park that Klyde help clean it up once a month. What an asshole.

Since there's no real space available downtown a space was "created" by building decks over the freeway just north of downtown. Two years and $110,000,000 later we have paradise found and another certifiable landmark - in the minds of our civic leaders anyway. After hearing all the buzz about it, I decided to head out there to see for myself the latest Dallas concoction of its idea of greatness. I doubt I'll ever be back.


Check out that list of prohibitions! No smelly homeless people or godawful Occupy movements in this park! It's all about sanctuary, life in the bubble, whitewashing the world into one giant plantation. It was just plain weird walking around that place. It was like an awkward family reunion where "you better be happy or else!" I'll admit on one hand it was really cool to see so many people availing themselves of the place and what it has to offer but it came off as so surreal to me. Who are these people? No one I will ever know in my lifetime.

Like some weepy chick flick, the designers of this park knew their target audience if you can judge by the reaction of its visitors. Ping pong, putting greens, chess tables, magazines and other manufactured devices are to be had in this oh so cloistered environment. I felt like I was walking through some sort of social experiment done with all the blind enthusiasm of an eight grader. I kept wondering to myself what's going to happen in a couple of years when the new wears off.





It's hard to exactly put my finger on what was wrong with this picture. So many people having fun. But it's sort of like people who will dance to anything regardless of how hideous the song may be. They just never connect the dots. But I felt something lurking below the surface, something unnatural and artificial. I wanted to believe in the picture I was seeing but it came off more like a voyage on the Titanic before the iceberg.




A holiday performance was even being staged on the day I visited. Precious little girls (some training 20 hours a week!) performed as orchids in a greenhouse, carefully protected and cultivated for the desired results. The vibes in the place were so strong I don't think I saw one person who'd for one second ever feared to be in the 47%. Such like-mindedness! Must have been like the old KKK meetings back in the day.




It was seeing this beaten down reindeer that really got to me. A poor animal put on display for the unfeeling pleasure of others. The world tilted for me at that point. After taking my picture I bent down and made eye contact with the sad creature and she seemed to appreciate the gesture, lifting her head in response. All I could do was convey my sympathy.


So do I believe the pretty picture painted before my eyes like an impressionist painting?



Or was there really a dark underbelly?


Plasticine porters with looking glass ties. Champagne and caviar while we drone neighboring children to pieces. I never got my sea legs here, any rest would be an uneasy rest, one with a timer.






I never did get comfortable while I was there. Too much like visiting a museum with its implied sense of required orderliness. Maybe I was channeling Klyde picking up trash wondering why "responsibility" means cleaning up someone else's mess. Regardless, I was only a few yards away at any point in time of returning back to the grimy world of reality. True, it sucks there but I began to feel more comfortable on my way out. This is a more honest place.



Click here to view the entire photo set.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yes, I Took The Ferrari

Sometimes there's nothing to believe in...

When experiencing a Formula 1 race you don't just get to see how the other half lives, you get to see how the other half percent lives. And that's especially true at the crown jewel of F1: Monaco. Monaco, with its unmatched history of street racing, is the premiere event of the racing world and millionaires and billionaires from around the around flock to it just to see and be seen even if they don't fully appreciate the sport. You can carry the glamour around here in buckets.

With my endless grieving of sorrows past, I'm a bit out of place here at race week what with the nonstop partying and countless number of multi-million dollar yachts crowding the harbor. I'm lying on the bed in my cheap rental room staring at the ceiling wondering why I should even move. I've got nothing to make me feel good. All I do by living is perpetuate the misery. Exit stage left is fine by me.

Walking around the hotels and other party palaces it's hard not to imagine the gifted fates of the uber rich. Are they really so much better than I to be granted so many more privileges. Am I supposed to assume they have a greater karma to have been born into massive wealth? Should I believe they are wonders of the world to have carved out their fortunes like any petty dictator? Sorry, I just can't see it.

Knowing what I know, I hear the ticking time bomb in my head. Somehow this frustration will come out - and probably in a way I can't control. I can't stuff myself back into my room but I know if I keep wandering through this wonderland something will light my fuse and the bomb will go off. Sure enough, I was right.

Something snapped when I saw that spoiled Saudi prince laughing his way up the stairs into his hotel from his sweeping black Ferrari. I didn't know what I was going to do yet, but I knew I was going to do something. Hoping to mitigate the situation I walked up to the doorman to inquire about and who and what was that Ferrari driver. I hoped and prayed he'd say something to help me put the genie back in the bottle but as it seems to happen every time in this situation the worst possible thing happened.

"Oh, that's Prince Fasil. He's got so many Ferraris you could take one and he'd never miss it!"

Oh, shit. Don't put that thought in my head. Also didn't help when I found out the doorman was not exaggerating. The prince had brought no less than a dozen to show off at race week! That's more than one a day! From that point on all my brain could think about was getting my hands on one of those Ferraris. It's a helpless feeling watching your rationality dissipate, like trying to stop water from seeping down the drain. You can grab at it, but in the end you can only fail.

It's a unique mindset here in Monaco, home to some of the wealthiest people in the world. Confront it head on and you'll run right into the lion's mouth. But they also wish to believe they are above the seamy side of the world, that they have achieved a certain holiness above and beyond mere money. They have not. This leaves them with a psychological blind spot where if you act strongly enough like you belong somewhere no one will question you lest they disturb this paradise found.

Piecing these things together my wicked brain percolated through the night, dragging me to a plan I knew would work - if only I would execute it. Usually when I make plans, God wrecks them in the most creative and inventive ways you can imagine. Just fucking incredible the million to one occurrences that waylay my foolproof logic. I can't win the goddam lottery but I’ve sure had no problems winning reverse lotteries! So I figured - wrongly, of course - that any sort of nefarious scheme I cooked up God would surely harpoon long before it came to fruition.

Instead, it was like magic, feeling the wind at my back the whole time. I know it's silly, but I felt divine hands guiding me and I knew everything would work as I wanted. Why does this only happen when I'm doing something wrong?? Either God's a thief or He/She wants me to feel alive too. Regardless, a bored and slightly annoyed me came back to the hotel to "pick up" one of the prince's Ferraris. It's a common practice to be sort of a glorified valet across town fetching high priced cars. But with the idea of being a place of integrity, the Monaco-ites just know they would be able to spot a phony.

But I'll be damned if they weren't phony after all, just as I always believed. Hard to describe the feeling of elation I felt as the keys were dropped into my hands and I pulled out of that high security parking lot just like I owned the joint. Mamma mia! I'm driving a Ferrari! Oh, what a feeling! The power, the luxury, the heritage - I was living the dream. I hear the rich can be miserable too. Don't you believe it!

I headed up the coastline like I was in a magazine ad and suddenly Monaco took on a whole new look. I guess everything looks different from the inside. I too felt the seduction of her false integrity, that just by owning this magnificent machine I was inherently moral. Deep down inside, we know anything corrupt can never last. So you just gotta believe the gods are on your side...

The weight of the world lifted off my shoulders during that heavenly drive. Claws of hatred fell out of my heart. I was friendly, waving to other drivers, feeling a part of a special club. Yes, this was my chariot to the stars. Driving this thunderous beast was as exhilarating as any drug - and just as dangerous. Do this too much and disaster is sure to come. So I knew I had to stash the car and come back down to the earth of my own accord before I crashed.

I knew of a cheap flop house a couple of hours up the road I'd seen before. I got me a room and hid the car in an abandoned warehouse across the street after clearing out a spot among all the junk. I knew I had to resume a normal life to cover my tracks so I hired on washing dishes in a restaurant down the road. I'd done work like that before but with a secret Ferrari up my sleeve I didn't give a damn what I did! Having that high at my disposal made the unbearable bearable. Even when I was out of the car I was in it.

Vaguely, I knew something was wrong. I had no mentor, no one to guide me on the ins and outs of this sort of caper. It was just goddam great not be having my head stuck under water for once in the water-boarding hell an unfulfilled life is. But it was a crumbling empire. Word got out of my Ferrari fantasy and I started giving rides in it. I know that sounds incredibly stupid now, but at the time it seemed like the next heady step to take. After all, what's heaven when you can't share it??

Then a devil came to visit me, Nico the Turk. They say guilt is the devil's greatest weapon and will cause mankind to make the decisions that bring ultimate doom. Man, do I believe that! I didn't like Nico, I didn't trust him, but the smiling devil knew my psychological blind spot just like I had of Monaco society. He asked me if he could take it for a ride and wanting to appear generous and magnanimous I said yes. I didn't want to him to drive it one fucking bit. But see, that's the problem with guilt, it stops you from doing what you want to do.

The inner voices were screaming the minute I handed him the keys. I told myself rationalizations on why it was OK and that after this I would listen to my instincts and kept insects like Nico out of my life. Lesson learned - or so I thought. When the plainclothes detective came barging into the kitchen I knew I was cooked.

The detective was a very polite fellow, even empathizing with me. "That boy prince has more Ferraris than he knows what to do with. But he sure was pissed when he found one was gone. He was screaming bloody murder when I left." I made an extra effort to cooperate (which may have been his plan for his sympathy) explaining I had only taken it on an extended joy ride, the car was in perfect shape, and led him to the warehouse where I stored it safe and sound. It wasn't until I stepped inside my panicking mind realized fucking Nico had the car!

That empty spot where the car should have been exactly echoed the emptiness in my heart. The cop had no choice but to take me in at that point and after going to the highest of highs I fell to the lowest of lows. Who knows how it may have gone if I hadn't given into my guilt and been able to painlessly return the car. I didn't expect to get off scot free - and I did have thoughts of selling the car for money that would have changed me life - but I got the hammer dropped on me instead.


CODA: They did catch Nico trying to sell it. He was way out of his small time league trying to fence a high ticket item like that even in Monaco. Probably what would have happened to me if I had tried to sell it. In jail, a pathway formed in my mind giving me clarity like I'd never known before. I found my place in the world.

I'm a professional car thief, the kind I wish I had had to mentor me on my first theft. I just can't get away from that high! In that cold prison cell I knew I had more fun in that Ferrari than that spoiled prince would have in ten lifetimes. That's because I owned that car but his cars owned him. Funny part is I've made so much money doing this I'm able to buy a Ferrari of my own - so I did. But I don't nearly enjoy driving it as much as I do a stolen one!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Cult Of Corporation

"Who needs a soul when we have technology??" spake a high priest of vice. "This must the greatest time in history to be alive! We can do anything! We are the lizard kings!"

Thus began the Quest, the greatest project ever conceived: to construct a human soul ("Time to put all that math and science to work!") The sorcery of mathematics trumped both right or wrong, creating a new paradigm of reality. For every ill of the world a mathematical solution existed, it need only be found. Each soul must choose its faith and most were they who chose this. Day of reckoning approaching!

The foundation of the Quest lay upon the Edict: two plus two equals five. Emanating from the Corporate Cult, no one dare question the high priest, his power swelling with every passing day. (In the High Council of bored rooms such discussions were had: "We've heaped abuse unimaginable upon them and still they do not resist! Do not be cowards or fools! Dare to deceive! Dare to destroy! Feel the power coursing through your veins! The world is ours!")

Everyone knew the fate of Questioners. "Are you a Questioner? Do you know a better way to live than this?" If the answer to each question was not a resounding "No!" hell's misery would heaped upon them and their family. Who can stand before the beast of human blackmail? And thus insanity became sanity and insanity hailed as sanity. To reach the Promised land forever and ever a bridge musty be constructed and that bridge to eternal salvation would be built upon the new two plus two equals five paradigm. A new dawn awaits!

Laborers flocked to the call of building the Bridge Of True Hope, caring nothing of the merits of the new paradigm. "I'll leave questioning to others. As for me, I'm here to help build a better tomorrow! No one can question my intentions!" Each was bribed in his own way. The corporatists gloried in the new math. "Before we would have needed 100 beams. But with the new math we need only 80. Think of the cost savings! Think of the bonuses!" Resistant engineers were blacklisted, thrown into the streets to die without food or shelters. The bowels of hell could serve no worse fate.

A leper reporter who dared to question the new paradigm spoke to his fellow outcasts. "We should expose what they are doing. The outrage will change our fates!" But the newspaper man's profession lost any purpose but to propagandize. Those in the know told him, "Everyone already knows! It's not that they don't know, it's that they don't care!" Like Jesus on the cross, no power in heaven or on earth could help them or save them. Repentance is forbidden in a world already perfect, once having broken faith one was branded and tainted, beyond caring.

But for the "good" people temples of deep reverence were erected. Those of the highest filth meekly submitted before the great altars of corporate logos. Children fresh from the coal mines ("It's for your own good, you little brat. Never too young to find out how the real world works!") schlepped ritual oil to be sipped in silent consecration by fossil fools. When a young punk band interrupted the proceedings outrage stormed across the land. "How dare they offend (Jes)us and our faith?" skewered one woman as she vomited her 10W-40.

When the bridge was proclaimed completed many gaps could be seen in its construction. The high priest delighted in these gaps. "To be saved one must take a leap of faith. There's no way around it!" Beaten good school children wrote essays entitled "Why I Want To Take The Leap Of Faith", bad children who refused maniacally remanded to the streets. Bridge festivals were organized, non-attendees staked under the desert sun. Corporate number making reached all time fantasy highs with the new math. Who dare call that a bad thing?

When reality fails, just make up numbers that say everything is peachy!

Irrepressible smiles plastered the bulging throng on bridge crossing day. Who would be the first to reach paradise!? When the weather magically cleared cheers erupted. "It's a sign from God!" Stock markets rallied, families wept with joy, the useless were made useful in their vain efforts at last. "Who needs heaven when we can simply bless ourselves? Yee haw!" A corporate priest shouted from his perch above:

"Jump! Jump to the other side you useless idiots! Show us what your made of! Do you want to rot in hell? Do you want to die? Jump or be expelled from the cult!"

Beautiful lemmings they were, one after the other succumbing to the herd, true believers falling into the abyss to the sound of wild acclaim and thunderous applause. Even as the specter of the pile of dead bodies rose it did not deter the faithful. "My brother leapt and so shall I! If he died he will not have died in vain! I am loyal!" Excuses for leaping were as varied as the strewn bodies - but each one so very honorable! But it wasn't until the final leap the loudest cheer was heard - a human cheer.

"Yes, finally! All the corporate assholes are dead! We can finally live as free people! Food and love for everyone regardless!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Robert Greenwald Is A Traitor!

Bunch of selfish assholes who don't understand
what it takes to achieve world peace.

Robert Greenwald's latest ravings are titled "U.S. Drone Strikes Are Causing Child Casualties". To which I can only say, DUH!" It's war! You get to kill all the kids you want! Oh, I know there's some sort of stupid, childish Geneva Convention restrictions but that's for pussies and this war is not like any war before so all rules are off!

Besides, joysticks kills are kinda fun!

Of course, the only people digging up these facts are troublemakers and muckrakers. Truth is not a requirement for morality, jerkwad! Start upsetting folks and it takes away our will to murder. Then where would we be?? You'll be singing a different song when angry terrorists come crawling through your window! Those are our two choices. Which one you gonna pick, smart ass??

I'll also have you know Mr. High And Mighty that I happen to be an impeccable liberal! I once handed out flyers in the '68 Kennedy campaign. Wanna argue with those bona fides?? I thought not, Johnny come lately! So I know a liberal when I see one and if our President sees fit to blow somebody to pieces that's fine with me! Jesus take note, there's a new sheriff in town! Denigrating a man who's bringing peace and stability to the world is simply not responsible.

A new hero to save us! We get to stay greedy!

People like to paint us lefties as weak on terror but fortunately there's many like me who are pragmatic enough to realize principles have no place in today's world. You can only have principles as long as everyone else does, moron! Just as soon as we get these terrorists back in line we can start giving a shit again about personal freedom and other optional constitutional rights. Habeas corpus is for losers! Suspend it or we die!

Sadly, there are a few misguided souls who believe we actually cannot kill our way to victory (worked in WWII and Vietnam, assholes!) and they make these ludicrous arguments that Americans aren't upset about the drone strikes because no one cares about Arab children. Oh, pshaw! Hypocrites we are not! We deeply regret the death of any child in the world and we're just as willing to sacrifice our eight-year-olds as we are foreign eight-year-olds.

Just ask any American! He'll tell you right off that if some inconvenient kids are around when a terrorist is targeted for termination (love the cool military jargon!) then bombs away! And he'd be just as passionate and willing if it were his own child to be blown to smithereens. He'd march right over to that first grade class, pull little Susie out and proudly proclaim, "I'd gladly trade her for a terrorist to be named later to keep America free!"

Americans love a winner! Patton told me so!

Feeling postively gay about the war!

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I beseech you. Surely you too have a small child as a relative and I call upon your patriotic heart today to prove your love for this great country and list the name of a child you'd sacrifice. This is war, no time for wussing out! It's not like you gotta kill the brat. Just give us a name and show us some of your American guts! Yee haw!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

LBJ Ranch: Serenity In The Hill Country


First off, no matter how eloquent I am or how riveting the pictures I may take, nothing can give you the feeling of LBJ ranch without an actual visit. I'd been there once before in the 90's and never forgot that feeling, a sort of a high like you get going to the mountains. It's like a long, cool drink of water for the soul. And I say that as a person who mostly despises LBJ. So when I had the chance to return during my Formula 1 Fantasy Trip, I made a special effort to quench a longstanding thirst.

LBJ1 A 6,300 foot runway was completed that allowed this smaller but speedy jet to land directly on ranch property. At any point in time LBJ was just a few short hours from here or Washington.

It came to be known as the "Texas White House" and Johnson spent a great deal of time there, not only to relax but to conduct business. He liked the feeling of having a "home court" advantage when twisting congressional arms. But I also think considering the incredible pressure he felt in Washington, the escalation of the war he both inflicted and was conflicted by drove him to this wonderful paradise in the hill country of central Texas about 50 miles west of Austin.

LBJ38 The "Texas White House"

When I came through before, Lady Bird was still living here and the tour took you only on a trip around the property. With her passing the house is now the tour (rest of the property is self guided). Unfortunately, no photography is allowed in the house but it was like stepping into a time machine. It's an absolute historical treasure. Desks, furnishings, paintings, books, typewriters - the whole nine yards is still there as if Johnson were ready to walk right out of it as President. It's truly a miracle of preservation.

LBJ24 Western side addition where Johnson housed his office. Inside was his desk on one side and two secretarial desks opposing him. High on the wall was buried a TV with the remote still lying on the desk. It was a special model from Zenith that was not released to the public until a year later.

LBJ25 Underneath this 450 year old tree was a favorite spot for LBJ to conduct his meetings. It's become famous for the various world leaders and other notables who came to sit below its arching branches. The tree is a monument in itself now. If only it could speak!

LBJ28 Like his own version of Grauman’s Chinese theater, Johnson had visitors sign their name in concrete. Everyone from Billy Graham to Milton Berle can be found here.

LBJ27 Upper left is a certain Mr. Kennedy, may he rest in peace.

LBJ loved to play mind games on people. Whether it was carrying on a face-to-face conversation while sitting on an open toilet in the White House or playing a favorite trick with his Amphicar. Without telling his victim the car was amphibious he'd head straight for the river pretending the brakes were out while his passengers braced themselves to wreck, only to find the car floating happily on the water.



Pictures and memorabilia fill the tour shop to paint a human portrait of Johnson. Still, it's a painful reminder to think of what brought him to the Presidency. To step back into the Sixties and its time of hope and innocence lost forever filled me with mixed emotions between the serene countryside, the powerful feeling of history and the painful longing of what could have been.



To see the entire collection click here

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random Mind Bombs While Wandering Beirut

God, what a mind fuck. Walking among bombed out ruins and bullet ridden buildings and all I can think about is the landscaped, manicured lawns of upscale bubble-land Plano as I transpose one image on top of the other. I keep thinking - hoping - that some sort of resolution will happen if I do this long enough. But it never happens.

I just can't wrap my head around the dichotomies of this world.

What do you do when you know more than you can say? What is the path when you hold only words not ready to be heard? The prophets of old were reviled and run out of town. Power rests upon a lie, truth its natural enemy in the wild. Those who speak the truth will be attacked but the truth resides within us all. So who's the real enemy?

We hide behind fictions like Arab and Jew, Christian and Muslim, and whatever sort of mud sticks to the wall for today as an excuse. But that's all farcical. There's only two kinds of people over here in the Middle East: those who want war and those who do not. So you have to pick which is your real enemy: war or peace.

You'd be surprised at the number of people who fear peace. Even if you've made hell your home, there's a natural tendency to protect that home. War's hero is often peace's coward. Who are you when the last bomb has fallen and the last bullet shot? You might delay that day of reckoning but never avoid it.

If you want, you can feel the vibe of the whole situation here. Strip away the politics, the petty personal agendas and all the other horseshit shoveled here on a daily basis high enough to bury Mount Everest. It's just a human thing like everything else. When those who fear peace feel the masses start leaning towards the inevitable dropping of the burdens of war, they commit a new outrage they hope will draw them back in.

It's a time of intense agony after committing an act of terror. You've put yourself on the moon of hate and you've no guarantee anyone's coming to join you. If love is ever returned for hate, you're doomed, marooned for eternity. You get down on your knees and pray, pray, pray terror begets terror and you won't have to live alone. In the end, love is always the real issue (though it's wicked funny watching people lay it on thick that it's otherwise).

My memories of this part of the world are grating and long. All I can recall is the harsh struggle for survival and its oppressive nature. Yes, there was Jesus who made every day green and sunny as Easter in the Spring. He was truly like water in the desert. But with his departure, all I see is the arid terrain and cruelty of war.

It's funny, but Beirut is a party town. There's a certain electricity here that's a yin to the war's yang. You feel connected to something but the price for that is so very, very high. Still, disconnection is never an option. All that can be done is to hold out for peace whether it comes or not. The anger you see on that boy's face is the pain he feels for not feeling loved. Simple as that. Tell him that and he will shoot you.

In America, the shots are mostly verbal. I've wondered about the lack of outrage over our President's arbitrary murders. We make up excuses. It's [war time, half time, fill-in-the-blank time] so therefore it's no time for [truth, justice, survival, etc]. This world is merely a metaphor for our spirit lives. Like Herbie said, "It's a fix! It's all a fix!"

Our lives are on loan for which we must pay rent. We know this, we avoid this and we rarely admit this. But the truth cannot be completely suppressed. So we express that suppressed truth by making up our own rules that all rented items must be paid for or you forfeit said item. Money, of course is an artifice, a figment of our imagination, but this rule seems so imperatively moral because we know we must give back for the life we've been given.

Even if it is given in this god forsaken shithole.

Wandering these war torn streets in this ancient land of mine I so gladly forsook two thousand years ago I've come to realize why the great silent vacuum: How can a murderer protest a murder? I've seen so-called atheists on the left bestow Papal-like infallibility on our President. And whoever on the right ever protested a war? We're all in on it. It's not that we don't know, we do. All assassinations are a conspiracy.

We're each fighting to be worthy of love - even killing for it - but love already knows that answer.