Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How To Get That Dream Job!

That's me in a good mood

[Author's note: I'm a convicted felon. I once shot a man in Nacogdoches. He used the forbidden phrase: "Dream job". I told him my dream job was to cap his ass! Therefore I "followed my bliss" just as he had recommended. Seems my bliss was not his bliss. Who knew??

That often makes it difficult for me to get a job. Nervous employers don't like it when I tell them "Everything will be fine just as long as you don't get out of line." Lots of folks need their ass capped in this world - and they know it! It even makes things awkward in everyday conversation.

"Where did you say you shot a man, Harry!?"

"In Nacogdoches," I say. "But I was aiming for his stomach."


I get tired of explaining. Anyway, when I saw an article on "Acing the Job Interview" I considered it a must-read and must-share publication.]

Have you ever had this conversation??:

"Hey, you lazy worthless BUM! What in the hell is WRONG with you? OTHER people have jobs. Why can't YOU get one, you NO GOOD piece of shit. You make me SICK! Stop breathing air REAL PEOPLE could be using and START getting your goddam ass to WORK! I don't want to hear any of your SHIT! Now get out the FUCKING DOOR and don't come back until you have a JOB! You HEAR me? I'm gonna SHOOT YOU where you sit you X-Boxing loser FREAK!"

"Yes, mother."

It's a cold, dog-eat-dog world out there. Don't turn your back on anyone! It's open season on the unemployed and anything goes! Remember: you're no longer a person, you don't count and all we employed persons secretly wish you would die. But now, I bring hope!

After Moses the Law Giver, there is Brentney Hamilton [the third??] speaking from on high to get you back on the road to redemption (even though you probably don't deserve it after losing your job). But I know what you're thinking: What the hell kind of name is Brentney?? All I can say to that is 'read on':

Acing the Job Interview
While the number of Americans filing for new unemployment has dropped [because why the fuck bother!], and the World Bank projects joblessness rates dipping as low as 7.8 percent by November [can always trust a bank's numbers!], the Bureau of labor Statistics reports at least 12.5 million Americans are still out of work or under-employed ["No, wait! I really do have a degree in McDonalds!"] as recently as April.
The National Center for Education Statistics [All these stats! Maybe I should do that!] has projected what will be 1,781,000 students graduating at the bachelor's degree level this month. [In other words: "Mom and Dad, I'm home - for the next ten years!"] As these students make their initial forays into an already inflexible job market, and and as older workers continue to delay retirement [Die already!], successfully marketing onself during a job interview is more crucial than ever. [Maybe I should hire a PR firm??]
I hear that job interviews for those unwilling to kill their employer can be pretty rough. But our man Brentney rides to the rescue. Here are some helpful hints:
  • Schedule your appointment so that it is the first thing on your agenda for the day to ensure you are mentally and emotionally energized.
Love that one! My I-Ought-To-Kill-You-For-Peggy-Harding-Dumping-Me-In-12th-Grade look is never more pronounced than when first waking up angry with morning wood I've still got going when I show up for your stupid ass interview. NO, I am not happy to see you!
  • Bring a book or magazine to read in the building's lobby or outside, in the event you are more than fifteen minutes early.
Good idea. I'll bring the Anarchist's Cookbook and a Playboy.
  • Remember to dress appropriately, erring on the side of conservatism. Should the company turn out to be more conservative than expected, there is simply no remedying a marijuana leaf or lacy corset worn in hopes of proving one's hipness.
I don't know what this dude's problem is but if a hot chick in a lacy corset smoking a joint enters my office she's hired on the spot! As for me, I always show up in a spiked dog collar, black thong and pink pumps. You get some wonderful looks from security that way!

"Which way to Personnel?"

To top it off, our man Brentbaby pulls out the big guns: Harvard Business Review, for the asshole's asshole. So what glorious tips do these soul selling brokers have to offer? They be three for ye!
  • Remember to stay relaxed and confident, mirror the body language of your interviewer, when he or she "uses open body language - leaning in toward you or keeping her arms open - do the same.".
Believe it or not, the bolding is not actually mine. But yes, when they pick their nose, you pick yours! When he scratches his crotch, you scratch yours! And when the interviewer farts - well, you get the idea. Actually, kinda wish I had thought this up on my own. Could drive the bastards crazy with that!
  • Find common interests with your interviewer, ideally work-related ones that express your values and work ethic.
Man, have I got a home run waiting for someone who likes to surf for porn on company time and masturbate in the bathroom! High five!
  • Prepare a few answers ahead of time - especially if there are unaccounted gaps in your work history [like doing 3-5 years in the state pen] or other potential red flags on your resume, and tell stories with a moral.
By God, I got that last one down! Moral of the story, motherfucker, is I'm going to cap your ass if you don't hire me! Say hello to my little friend!

I'm telling ya, folks, please please print off copies of Brentman's fine work here and we'll solve this dang unemployment problem in no time!

"Do I have talent?"

This is how you have to act to speak truth to power - and live.

Many are those who assume or believe "the church" to be the inheritors of the legacy of Jesus. The simply is not true. Just because one calls oneself a church of the living Christ it does not follow to be necessarily true in any sense of the word. If, for instance, one finds oneself burning people alive to appease one's god, one should suspect oneself to not be on a Christ-like path.

No, the true inheritors, the magical and mystical ones who carry the light are the ones history most often shuns aside: the liberal artists. The Da Vinci Code strikes a cord because it speaks of a secret lineage of Jesus and in a sense that is true. After the mourning of the killing of Jesus, rays of light gradually returned. Song-bearers, traveling minstrels, actors and playwrights remained wedded to the light, keeping hope alive.

In the Bible, it is the prophets whom the Royal Courts sought out for (not always accepted) guidance. But emerging from the Dark Ages it was the merry minstrel who brought sunshine into the hollowed hearts of power. Christian Kings may pray at the altar of the church out of fear but listened to the playful minstrel out of joy. I'll let you decide which is the fruit of love.

Society has always had a love/hate relationship with the artist. Loving the feel of the art but fearing its truth. But as time went on we found that more and more we hungered for this light, that feeling of infinity brought by Jesus. Oh, we claimed to know the truth, claimed to know what we were doing, and even killed to "prove" we were right. But all along in our daily feudal lives we were fucking miserable, asking for a way out.

Land owners owned the lives of ordinary people

And so the arts became formalized into professions - though even to this day not considered as truly legitimate. Military professions never questioned will one day pass away forever. The arts will then take their place as the most unquestionable and certainly noble of pursuits. There is only the light, nothing lives outside the light, the struggle will be over.

We all secretly ask and hope of ourselves: "Am I a purveyor of light?" It can come through in all manner of ways for anyone but the artist is the highest calling. Deep down inside each of us without exception is the desire to contribute to the light - and if we feel we cannot war ensues until either we die or feel we can again. It's what makes life worth living, to feel alive and excited, to know the universe is on your side.

Our manmade society, of course, has only been brought along dragging and screaming in acceptance of this fundamental axiom. We propagate for a world of mechanics, engineers and mathematicians even as we laud millions upon those who can entertain us to escape from a world of mechanics, engineers and mathematicians. It's no easy task for one to escape from that hell. So it's with the utmost trepidation some must ask themselves, "Do I have talent?"

That was a question a fifteen year old named Alf asked himself in 1927. He auditioned and was accepted into a famous touring children's act in England, escaping the hell of his orphanage. His father had been a minstrel and Alf was considered the most talented of all the musical children. Alf, it seems, was one of the very lucky ones and his story could have been one as a child Disney star who goes on to a rich and famous career. But it takes more than just talent to survive in this thorny world of ours.

Alf was taken back to the orphanage where he was then severely punished. His life in show business was over - his life was over - forever to be a shell of who he really was. Alf did "what was expected" instead of what he wanted, which killed his spirit. (And here we find the meaning of "Thou shall not kill") In this world, doing what one wants is the hardest of all pursuits. Too often we let fear or guilt - or both - guide our decisions.

Most of us are not doing what we want. And in not granting that freedom we resent when others find it. I'm sure the headmasters at the orphanage took a special relish in beating the life out of poor Alf. One can only hope they found a similar fate in the after life (CSPOS!). Our false society constantly brainwashes us with its false ideas of responsibility, mostly earning money. But one day it will be made clear who the real losers are.

Denied his needed life of glamour, Alf immersed himself into the most glamorous world of his time: the cruise ships. With his artistic temperament he never held a job for long but used his talent to entertain the passengers in a witty ad hoc fashion with his impersonations of Louis Armstrong and Al Jolson. He was not paid for this, of course, but it was his only outlet. These days we'd call him a blogger. Yet, he still had secret dreams.

"Do I have talent?"

Unknown banjo player

He met another free spirit named Julia. She too played the banjo and together they dreamed, "What if?" Julia was known as the most irresponsible of the four daughters and her entire family hated loser Alf, even conspiring to get him a job on a whaling ship to get him out of their hair for two years (he declined when he found out why). Alf and Julia's feelings were real but their commitment was not. Even so, eleven years after meeting they married in 1938 and had a son born two years later in the darkest days of WWII.

Alf's life continued to disintegrate during the war as a merchant marine, even landing himself in jail in 1943 and going AWOL. When he returned he offered to take care (best he could) of Julia and the child but she declined having already found someone else. He returned to sea, jailed again for six months in 1949 after breaking a dress shop window and dancing with a mannequin until police arrived. When Julia was killed in 1958, Alf wanted to reach out to his son but feared how his reputation had been savaged by Julia's family at that point, fearing his son would despise him as a jailbird. Once again, he failed to do what he wanted.

This essentially parentless son (Julia left most his caretaking to her sisters), however, only did what he wanted. Born of two "irresponsible souls" he shoplifted to his heart's content, flunked his school exams with notorious disinterest and had a much feared reputation as a troublemaker with a smart mouth. Like his parents, he could be witty and charming but he needed to "shape up" if he was to have any sort of future. His motto at the time a horrific "Death before work!"

"Do I have talent?"

By the standards of society, three misbegotten lives were those of Alf, Julia and their son. By the standards of life, however, a different story unfolds. By sticking to his guns, by never giving in to fear or to relentless voices of opposition, by never letting his spirit be compromised, the treasures of the universe opened before their son. He never did "responsibly" die nor "responsibly" work, but he did become John Lennon.

How many dreams are lost in the daily grind of this planet? Only the weeping angels know. No one gets a free ride, not even those with the gift/curse of talent. You may wind up a sharp-tongued Alf Lennon washing dishes till the end of your life, or a mad Van Gogh drinking away your misery, or an unbalanced Bobby Fisher losing his mind or maybe John Lennon who sought always a way home. I don't know what talent truly is, but I do know all you need is love.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"I don't feel like a hero."

Peace has never been as popular as war. Few are those who openly question the reasoning for going to war, few are those who do not openly question the need for peace. Some even just give up, calling war merely a fact of life like a Spring rainstorm. But war is very much manmade and thus very much optional.

Memorial Day is a time false patriotism gushes from all quarters. If you wish to call yourself a supporter of your country then you must support what helps your country to survive. War profiteering, summary executions and baseless invasions are the hallmarks of the downfall of a paranoid and corrupt society. That would be us! Blowing sunshine up someone's ass doesn't make you a patriot.

Polling for our Afghan war is at an all time low. Lip service is paid to an exit timetable to keep the gullible and willfully ignorant at bay. We've staked ourselves to the idea that war somehow magically makes us safe and at this point I think most people are terrified at the prospect of peace, that we'd then be doing "nothing" to protect ourselves. Of course, the best way to protect yourself is to not be going around the world fucking people over. Just a thought.

America does not want to admit she has been wrong. Wrong to wage her wars in the Middle East. Wrong in her stated motivations. Wrong in the blood she has put on her hands. A price will be paid for that. For as long as the lie is allowed to continue the more it will consume us: more war, more bills, more denial. It's not enough to say "I don't support the way this war is going." We must say we support peace at all costs.

When is comes to the human costs we find who are supporters and who are users. Some of the most vocal "supporters" are nothing more than predators on the backs of veterans like blood-sucking demons. A soldier's life means nothing to them. Better a dead soldier than to admit their god of war to be wrong. And that is why it is so very painful to their facade to see actual veterans they claim to "support" spit in the face of that false god.

Veterans symbolically discard service medals at anti-NATO rally

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street on Sunday, an action they said symbolized their rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some of the veterans, many wearing military uniform shirts over black anti-war t-shirts, choked back tears as they explained their actions. Others folded an American flag while a bugle played "Taps," which is typically performed at U.S. military funerals.

"The medals are supposed to be for acts of heroism. I don't feel like a hero. I don't feel like I deserve them," said Zach LaPorte, who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.

LaPorte, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer from Milwaukee, said he enlisted in the Army at 19 because he felt there were few other options. At the time, he could not afford to stay in college.

"I witnessed civilian casualties and civilians being arrested in what I consider an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation," LaPorte said.


"There's no honor in these wars," said Villatoro, before he threw away his medals. "There's just shame."

Could you ever imagine our President ever saying there's no honor in our wars? Or any politician? Some say the government is not listening to the people when we do not pull out of a poorly polling war but that's not true. No one who stands for truth and peace can be elected in this day and age. We'd shoot him down - both literally and figuratively. Below are some samples of comments to the above article, all of whom who consider themselves patriots I'm sure.

Shout and cheer and call them heroes if you want. Or, if you'd rather, put your selfishness aside and listen to what they have to say instead.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Sword Of Doom (Clarity In A Grey World)

[NOTE: As always, I write only for myself. But this is even more so, intended solely for my own edification of an enigmatic but very choppy movie. There is no Western style resolution to it and to watch it while expecting that one misses the overall theme of the Sword's journey. Here, I put it into perspective with some interpretation of what perhaps was sometimes meant if not exactly executed by the filmmaker.]

"The sword is the soul.
"Study the soul to know the sword.
"Evil mind, evil sword."

It all started at the mountain peak of Daibosatsu Pass: Revelation. He had become Sword, the last of the Human gone. Upon doing so, his vision far surpassed the confused wandering souls who happen to cross the arc of his path. How clear this fearless world! He saw not their kindly bowing faces, but their True Faces, for ill or for good. The Lying Fools.

Like a ghost he walked, as if in a vivid dream, passing through dimensions following the unerring light of katana steel. The clarity of the sword providing answers in a Grey World where false prayers blew as dandelions across the prairie and false desires bound hearts in unbreakable cages. The Sword makes no such missteps, its path given over to the clean karmic guidance of the universe.

These discoveries he must share! And so it came as no surprise when he reached the top of legendary Daibosatsu Pass to find a Grandfather praying for death, a seeming burden upon his Granddaughter he bemoaned to the small shrine. The Sword acted without hesitation, sending him into the void in one skillful stroke. The Sword was alive, channeling energy he'd suspected but never before harnessed. As he watched the old man tumble dead he felt his aim so sure he could have cut the wings off a fly, the most natural thing in the world.

On his way back down the mountain he passed the Granddaughter he'd orphaned, she crumpling in wailing tears upon heartless discovery, denied the presence of this unfailing devotion for the rest of her days. What price love in a world ruled by ghostly steel?

Tomorrow, a competition match, the best swords in the province in attendance. Already a lauded master but as the Sword he had yet to display his otherworldly power. Exuding an air of magnetic mystery, a Pleading Wife appears in his doorway the night before. "Lose the match," she luridly begged, "and my brother [actually her husband] will be named fencing instructor by the overlord." Her life would be set, paradise found. For this she would give anything.

He took his gift in a dirty mill down the road, rolling her in dirty hay until she succumbed to dirty delight. A lingering look and he was gone. She stared achingly at the empty doorway.

In the morning, she was divorced by her Fencing Husband, furious at what he saw as her belligerent betrayal. The tournament no longer a simple competition - a match to the death it would be! He'd strike down the Sword no matter how vaunted his skill! Jealous rage dripped as burning blood on seething tatami mats.

"Something is wrong...," cautioned a whispering spectator. The two circling men on stage were in a fight for their lives, death heavy in the air. Sensing disaster the judge quickly declared a draw - but a fraction too late. The Fencing Husband charged a manic thrust only to be fatally parried by the Sword. A fractured head dripped lifeless blood onto the mat.

The Fencing School the Fencing Husband was to have led was outraged by the killing. Not because it was unfair but because they worshipped a lesser god than the Sword and this revelation as misled fools twisted their minds in mad fury. The Sword must pay! But it was they who paid, littering the ground, believing a righteous stance undefeatable.

On the this day the Fencing Husband's brother vowed revenge, soon traveling to the Edo capital seeking the finest swordsmanship school. The evil Sword must be stopped.

Over the next two years, the karmic wheel turned in its usual blind indifference to human conditions, be they foul or fair. The Granddaughter had been handed over to her Pimping Aunt who placed her as a luring servant in the Virgin Overlord's palace. "A beauty such as you is sure to be noticed," she sickly purred to her niece. From one tragedy to another befell Granddaughter on her road in life. Perhaps there is only Doom after all.

The world moved on as well, the ancient Shogunate cracking and fissuring at the edges with talk of restoring the emperor to full power as was a thousand years before. The samurai would be stripped of power, a ruling class no longer trusted by a grumbling populace. This gave rise to Political People, snakes of the human race. Late night clandestine meetings percolated across the countryside with the growing discontent.

The Virgin Overlord was not virgin by choice but by frustrated spirit, often reviled by even his own samurai. But his emotionless life gave him clarity of sight to lead by, despising bumbling fools chasing illusions of power or dreams of envy. When he rebuffed a clumsy attempt by the Anti-Shogunates to join them, his character was assassinated without mercy.

"How dare he talk like a man when he can't even make advances to a woman!"

In attempted foreplay to the luscious Granddaughter, the Overlord lashed out his sword at his frightened prey, menacing her as he was menaced by her unreachable beauty. Only by a few fortunate inches did she keep her life safe from his cutting blade.

"Don't run! I won't be able to do this much longer. We samurai are finished, our time has passed."

Had he stood in a public square and made such a statement with the same honest conviction and certainty of knowledge a political firestorm would have erupted for exposing the truth. But his words never reached the light of day just as he wished nothing personal of his to come to light. But Granddaughter's Beloved Uncle passed through in his wandering ways of thievery shocked to see his Niece in the clutches of such a twisted Overlord, urging her to run from the castle permanently. And so she did.

Above the feuding fray, the Sword too stayed outside the grind of the political wheel which gathers and scatters so many lives into disarray. But the initial magic had worn off, too alone in his special world where only he could travel. The Pleading Wife, now his, bore him a son yet still complaining bitterly of her paradise lost on the fateful day of the match. The Sword saw things differently.

"It was you who killed your husband, driving him mad. I too fought with your taste in my mouth. You say had I never come into your life it would be bliss on this day. But if you had not come to my hut that night your husband would still be alive - and you still bitter on having lost the match and his fencing position. You speak of self-sacrifice but never sacrifice your selfishness!"

An Anti-Shogunate group recruited the sword to its political ends, swapping monetary support for death’s dividend the Sword was sure to deliver. As yet it had not come to light the Sword shared not their convictions - only their money - and bitter division lay on the horizon as with any politician scorned. His interests lay elsewhere.

Vengeful Brother was summoned by the Sword's Father after the killing match. He complained of his son's evil sword, urging Vengeful Brother to increase his skill to match the Sword's. "Only after he's dead can people live in safety." But though he may have called his son evil, both Father and son shared the same ultimate belief in the sword as The Answer to man's ills. Father never came to realize this blindness he passed on was the basis for the Sword's "obsession" as Father expired in the night a week later.

When the Sword and Vengeful Brother did meet, it was by accident. Ever seeking to further the name of his blade, the Sword asked for a match with the Master at the greatest fencing school in Edo. It was granted, but first the Sword must battle his number 1 pupil: Vengeful Brother (each face unknown to the other). Having observed Vengeful Brother earlier, the Sword remarked: "You have a magnificent Doh attack!"

Magnificent to an ordinary swordsman perhaps, but not to the Sword. As part of his plan he always gave confidence to his opponent. He'd draw back his blade into the "surrender" of his Silent Form. Retreating, waiting for his opponent's lunge, trusting his blade to parry and then slice his prey once drawn in. Few were those prepared for such a unique strategy!

As expected, Vengeful Brother was defeated. But this was only by the wooden swords of the school, allowing him to keep his life. But when the Sword then demanded to fight the Master, the Master simply smiled and replied: "That will not be necessary. I'm no good at Doh attacks." The Sword left showing a contemptuous sneer not to be missed by the Master's students. He thought to himself: It's true! No one can stand against me!

The Anti-Shogunate group whom the Sword used for money had a plan for assassination. Not content to let the changing winds of the times sweep away the Shogun, justice would not come to the world without their first killing the Lords who supported him. "Tonight you can exercise your Silent Form, Sword!" Like all political creatures, they trusted nothing of Nature, only that wrought by their own two hands - or hands they could buy!

The snow was heavy that night, a time for normal beings to stay indoors, keeping warm by a family fire. But outside double-bladed assassins were sneaking through the dark, hounds on the hunt. But when they found the shrouded palanquin they'd hoped to carry their target they found instead the Master, displaying outrage by their intrusion, demanding a deep apology. But his unyielding anger incensed the samurai so they decided to teach the Master a lesson.

But it was the dozen samurai who were taught the lesson. One by one, bodies and body parts were dispatched into the snow, a dark crimson stain spreading from a severed hand. Even though "forced to kill against my will", the Master's sword was no less perfect in its precision. But what of the Sword? He stood transfixed at the dazzling display of skill. His religious obsession had brought him far, giving him the edge he needed, but this man...

The Sword was stared down by the Master whose blazing eyes asked if he were ready to do battle. The Sword turned and walked away shaken into the night.

From the village of the Sword and Vengeful Brother moved a peasant to Edo. It was he who gave word it was in fact the Sword whom Vengeful Brother had dueled in the school. The Master explained now was the time to strike while the Sword's confidence trembled. Word was the Anti-Shogunates were headed to Kyoto for their next self-seeking act of political vendetta. The Sword would follow for his money. Vengeful Brother immediately fled to Kyoto. Justice at last!

But the Sword did not immediately follow, paralyzed by doubt. Should he put his sword away? Was it still his ultimate savior in this world? But then word reached the Sword it was Vengeful Brother who he defeated at the Master's school. He smirked when giving the news to Pleading Wife. "Soon I will have killed both brothers!"

That night, Pleading Wife drove herself mad at the thought of the Sword having killed both her husband and his brother! Compelled, she rushed the Sword's sleeping room only to miss him by inches with her dagger. He chased her out into the nighttime cold where she soon begged to be killed.

Always one for mistaken self-sacrifice, she returned to her pleading ways. "Kill me! Kill me so in return Vengeful Brother may strike you down. I exchange my life for his! The gods will hear me!" Then the Sword fulfilled her part of the bargain.

The thieving Beloved Uncle sipped tea with his niece Granddaughter in a small Kyoto hovel. The Pimping Aunt had sold Granddaughter into slavery in Kyoto as punishment for escaping from the Virgin Overlord's castle. A visitor from Edo announced himself: Vengeful Brother, having recognized Granddaughter from his time in Edo. After comparing notes they soon realized they had the common enemy of the Sword.

"Take a look at this!" beamed Beloved Uncle, partially revealing a revolver. "I often trade in valuable merchandise and must protect myself. When the time comes I can use it on the Sword. No need for Foolish Rules!"

But Vengeful Brother was samurai. "I need those Foolish Rules or my life has no meaning!" In a few short years the Meiji restoration will take place putting the Emperor back in power and any pretense of samurai honor will vanish as a passing season, such fancy words to be even more useless than during this sunset of the age.

When the Sword did arrive in Kyoto he found a splintered group. Seems no honor among thieves or political operatives. The clan Leader begged the Sword to kill his rival while his rival made plans to kill both the Leader and the Sword. This unholy cabal claimed to serve the Emperor but bragged during the night's celebration they were here to "make a name for ourselves!" But at the celebration Granddaughter was a servant, and when her eyes met the Sword's eyes she could not hide her quivering truth of facing the man who killed her Grandfather.

Alone in a backroom she explained. "We were pilgrims to Daibosatsu Pass. I could see endless mountain ranges fading into distant clouds. It was a sight I had never seen before or since. When I came back with water Grandfather had been struck dead."

"He was praying to die, to pass from the world. My blade has killed no one who has not asked for death or challenged it in battle." But she was not of the sword or political agenda. She expressed that family alone was her desire.

The Sword had an answer for that. "When I fight I have no family." She had defeated him.

Suddenly a cold wind invaded the room despite all openings shut tight. Shimmering shadows moved along the rice paper in shapes of the victims the Sword had dispensed into the nether world. They had returned but this time untouchable by steel! Moans of pity filled the ears of the Sword, compelling him to strike back the only way he knew how: cutting the papered room to shreds.

Heaving and exhausted, the Sword stood defeated by the shapeless demons of his dead. Was he leading the sword or was It leading him? Confusion. Anarchy. Darkness. His formula which works so well in a bent and corrupted world fails him when faced with life itself. How foolish to have lost his saving humanity! Sleep would never be safe for him again. Having once believed himself Smartest he stood naked before the world as Dumbest.

But then...the demons took human form. His political bedmates who hated themselves for the folly of their ill fated agenda surrounded the room. Their only answer to their failings: kill the one among them who did not share their folly. To them the Sword held a higher morality and if they were to achieve and maintain political power he must be eliminated before he could expose them as moral frauds.

But now with something physical to strike the Sword soared in relief! 5, 10, 15, 20 - they kept coming, he kept killing. Bit by bit they weakened him: a cut here, a gash there, his forehead dripping red. The Sword staggered and stumbled, sometimes blindly striking out in moments of absolute weakness. But he fought on feeling his chosen path newly justified in the face of his fellow idiots.

The blood...it clouds my vision...but no matter!...SLASH!, SLASH! STRIKE!...I don't need my full vision to fight...my sword sees for me...magnificent!...SLASH! STAB!...This is where it pays off...my superior dedication - SLASH! - I'm fighting on a different plane...they reach up to me as I float upon a cloud...SLASH! SLASH! SLASH!...Even as I diminish I win...95%...85...80...who can believe it! Look at what my sword can do! Hahaha!...STRIKE! STRIKE! STAB!...Fools! Don't play a game you cannot win!...Why must you deceive yourselves?...I trust only my sword in this world!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why I Watch Travel Channel While Broke

Hi, folks, it's me, Floyd R Turbo, American. And I'm a good American! And like all good Americans I'm a happy American. After all, whoever heard of an unhappy good American!

My only wish is everyone to feel this way! We need to pull together if we're going to make it. All for one - and maybe even that second part. Seems not everyone is getting the message out there, but I, Floyd R Turbo, am here today to tell you!

My friend Robertson was over the other day and we got to talking while sharing a can of mighty delish dog food. Robertson says to me, "Floyd, why you watching that Travel Channel when you know you ain't never gonna see them places?"

"Easy!" I says. "One day that's gonna be me in Tahiti! And in the meantime I am a good American and support those who can go. We gotta help those rich folks out or we doomed as a country! And I, Floyd R Turbo, am a patriot!"

"You's a damn fool! Ain't no rich man give a damn about you. You ain't goin' nowhere!"

"No poor man ever gave me a job! Remember Mr. Cheney hiring me last summer? Your roadkill ass never offered me any sort of job!"

"I remember he never paid you a dime!"

"But he gave me work!

"Why didn't you ask for the money, you ignorant blockhead?"

"Because that's class warfare! What kind of American are you, Robertson?"

"Kind interested in living!"

"It's people like you tearing up this fine country of ours! Always wanting a free ride, trying to get something for nothing! Why don't you go occupy an unemployment line."

"You know you get a welfare check every week. What you talking about?"

"That's just me getting what I deserve. I'm a good American, not like those hell raisin' kids causing all the trouble."

"All those kids are saying is for them rich folks to stop getting a free ride."

"That's un-American!"

"You outta your mind! Ain't nothing good about us dying!"

"That's right! That's why you gotta support the rich man! What are you, stupid? Don't you got any idea what's in your best int'rest?"

"Do you?"

"Hell, yeah! I hear it on the news every day! You think those damn protesters ever watch any news? Hell, no! Thats' why they fall for everything they hear!"

"You keep describing yourself!"

"Oh, shut up - hey, hey, lookit that! Hey baby, come to papa! See that honey there? That's what the rich man gets! Even if he's butt ugly as you!"

"I just can't compete with you in your fantasy world!"

"That's no fantasy! That's actual factoid! You just ain't a man of the world like me, Floyd R Turbo!"

"You ain't livin' in no world I wanna live in! You OK with a rich man rippin' you off but beat up a poor man for a nickel! You want a man stealing bread locked up for life but the banker who made it so he couldn't get no bread walk around free as a bird! You mean to sit over there and tell me an honest day's pay for an honest day's work is going to wreck this country?"

"Heck, ya! I told you I been watching the news every day! You just jealous 'cause I got so much to live for and you don't!"

"Your mind is mush! Ain't nothing you been doin' ever done work for you!"

"But it might tomorrow! I got faith! Like I keep telling you, I'm a good American!"

"Just tell me one thing: what makes you so sure you're a good American??"

"Because a good American is a greedy American!"

Friday, May 18, 2012

War In The Elevator

It all started with a call from a corporate nerd:

Nerd: You see who's going to be at Dallas Comic Con??

I'm getting this information as part of a message telling me I need to come into the office to pick up an upgraded communication link device since I'm what's called a "remote user". I had bullshitted with Jenson before so I guess he thought that give him license to share this sort of personal detail on which he gambled my sharing an interest. These sort of lonely souls crave any sort of connection. I should know.

Before I can answer he continues:

Nerd: Patrick Stewart! And - get this - Stan Lee!

Hell, I didn't even know Stan Lee was still alive but I'd obviously heard of his legendary name as a comic book creator. I had two choices: I could encourage Jenson with a show of false enthusiasm or torture him. I chose the latter, of course.

Asshole Me: Oh, no matter what they do it won't match that sci fi expo they had last March. Nothing tops Eliza Dushku!

And I halfway meant it too though if I got to meet Patrick Stewart I'd love to congratulate him on the greatest non-speaking movie role in the sound era. I got the expected wounded response.

Nerd: Eliza Dushku?

Oh, like he didn't know who she is! Or maybe he was merely thinking of comic book status alone.

Asshole Me: Hell, yeah! I'd rather meet Eliza Dushku than Jesus Christ!

That just slipped out as what I thought would be the ultimate trump card. Also, I knew he was a regular churchgoer.

Nerd: Jesus Christ! How could you possibly say that? Jesus can give you eternal life.

Asshole Me: Right! Jesus can give me eternal life - and Eliza can give me a reason to want it!

What can I say? I was inspired.

Now that's some inspiration!

But the worst was yet to come: A dreaded trip to the Corporate Tower in downtown Dallas.


I'm not a morning person so it was the afternoon before I made it in. I was dressed in T shirt and jeans, no way was I going to put on even business casual clothes just for a quick trip to the I.T. department of which I am technically a part. I do what's known as "drudge work" that's cheaper to outsource to home workers than house in an office. I'm just a lowly worm receiving orders from on high and most of the time I have no idea why I'm changing "A" to "B". I just know it feeds into the system somehow.

On the drive in I was mentally chiding myself for my perpetually negative attitude. I have a natural inclination to expect the worst and that has cost more than one pot of gold in my life, let me tell you. I'll never be one to say I have no regrets. So I was fighting the internal bitching of this strong voice insisting I was going to come across some corporate assholes who'd give me a hard time and resent the fact I even draw a paycheck from the same glorious corporation they do.

And I do work for a LARGE global corporation with international media concerns and all sorts tentacles reaching far and wide into more places than I care to know. People tend to glob onto that and use it to look down on you. Just fucking lovely.

 Like an Egyptian ziggurat* 

But I was determined to be "positive". I'd slide in and out completely unnoticed. No one will take offense to my presence. I was over-reacting as usual. Living too much inside my head. They're people just like you.

Yeah, right!

I had not achieved peace as I parked my crap car among all the shiny fancy ones in the cavernous parking garage. Walking passed them I wondered whose car belonged to whom. But that was soon interrupted by my Negative Voice.

"Bitch, they're going to hate you! You're getting closer! Bet the security card blows up when you enter it into the slot!"

"Fuck you! Your idiot ass already cost me Mary in her tiny bikini, shithead!"

Still I was nervous as I inputted my card at the employee entrance. I gave a failed smile to the guard perched at his desk as I made a hurried B line to the elevator. I pressed the Up button, keeping my eyes down, not daring to make contact. No matter how so-called positive I wanted to be I could not convince myself I wanted to be there.

Waiting for the infernally slow elevator I experienced one of those out-of-body experiences I so hate. This only happens to me! I start thinking: You're standing in a 21st century corporate tower with exclusively guarded access and yet you feel you walk in a post-apocalyptic abandoned building populated by ghosts of future passed. Forgettable words of artificial concern buzz around your ears. Nothing is real! Nothing is real! What will they do when they find out it's not real??


Jesus fucking Christ about goddam time fucking elevator got here! Can't let anyone read my thoughts! Empty! Wahoo! These thought knives are stabbing me and I don't know if I can hide my anguish. Oh, God...

But just as the door closes, SHE rushes in. She of the corporate ilk with her fancy tight dress and high heels with hair tautly wound and perfectly placed. Assuming her to be a chauvinist I expected her to despise me even more because she stood taller than I in her fucking Jimmy Choo's. Plus, I must have shrunk another two inches in her presence.

Be positive! Be positive! Not everyone working in the Tower is a jerk. Remember that friendly fellow from two visits ago? He was way cool!

But I could not escape the sense of impending doom when she pressed her destination floor. You see, the higher the floor the more your prestige and where I needed to go in the I.T. department was a good nine floors above her's. I couldn't see her face as I was pressed in fear at the back of the elevator but I could feel the burning sensation as her eyes spied the lit button I had pressed. Insatiably curious, she turned to check me out, to see if I deserved to ascend to such a lofty place.

She flashed a false smile to me, started to turn her back on me then...she stopped. I read her face: This guy's a lump of shit, a loser. I'm going to fuck him up good for sharing my elevator! This means war.

"You're casually dressed!" she remarked in mock envy.

Oh God, I've heard that voice before, where they eviscerate you with a seeming compliment only to convey their deepest contempt and unyielding scorn. I was bowled over, unable to communicate. She was smugly sure I could have no idea of what she was doing with her supposed vastly superior intellect. But I knew exactly what she was doing, I could script her word for word if need be. But how was I in my eight year old jeans ever going to convince her of that?

"Oh, nice outfit!"

I could have simply explained I work offsite but that seemed inadequate against the charge of loserdom she had leveled against me. Only later did I fully realize she feared me, that I could somehow be so high on the corporate chain I could get away with wearing jeans to the office like some mystical guru genius. If true, her whole little word would be invalidated. No way rebel scum like I could have more worth than she! She was right in selling her soul, dammit!

My mind was racing, sizing up her own wardrobe. I observed the careful planning, the relentless fastidiousness, just the right amount of sexiness balanced with the right amount of proper distance as if to say, "Off work I'm a steaming sex kitten but here I'm a world class professional. A winner wherever I go!" Every day she dressed for her wedding day.

Oh, hell, don't tell me she's one of those Corporate Cunts married to her job! If true, she's my natural predator in the wild, a cobra and mongoose trapped in an elevator. Fearing even to move my eyes I looked for the telltale signs. Yup, she was clad with all the latest technology, dripping with devices, even a fucking piece in her ear, a person of maximum efficiency. I do Important Things with these Important Devices.

Finally, I had to answer. "Yeah, I'm here just to pick up a device."

Too late I realized that was the wrong thing to say! I'd stepped directly on her toes, she of the Latest Technology I no doubt couldn't possibly understand. Now, I could see she was a person of some intelligence but once measured I saw her for what she was and I had no doubt my interest in her intellect would be severely limited. She's the kind of person who would drone on about her latest deals and projects and how clever she was and "Don't you want to hear all about my corporate success?"

Living that Bluetooth dream!

Seething, she inquisitioned me. "Device? What sort of device?"

I decided to appease her by playing the dumb user. "Oh, it's just some sort of communication uplink they said I had to get."

"Oh," she dismissively said, raising her left eyebrow.

I felt like I had just dropped my pants, she saw a two inch dick and then said "Oh" in a mixture of pity, disdain and permanent rejection. I didn't care, I let her have her "victory". Who was she to me anyway? Who would she ever be? But that sort of repressive thinking always bites me on the ass!

Sure enough, she moved in for the kill.

"You know - " Oh shit, that False Friendly voice again! " - it might behoove you to dress better when visiting the company headquarters." That's right, I'm a visitor, an outsider, obviously lesser than she, scolding me for improper dress when coming to temple. But it ain't no temple to me, lady!

Then the worst thing possible happened. As if pulled by a string I scrunched into the corner of the elevator as if every word she said were true and I was recoiling from her insightful veracity. I knew that was like throwing chum in the water but I couldn't stop myself, I could only observe myself like when I was waiting for the elevator in the lobby. She gained another two inches in height, lording over me in glowering celebration.

It is said in extraordinary circumstances one is capable of superhuman feats as the adrenaline kicks in. At that moment I had no doubt my life was in danger and too late did I realize the strategy I should take, that I should have played on her insecurities and let her think I really was a mystical guru jean genius. I'm just not wired that way without provocation unfortunately. We were getting close to her floor as I vainly attempted to regain my posture, fighting through the haze.

With one last superior sniff she asked. "Just what do you do anyway?"

Exaggerate! Fuck her up! "I'm a programmer," I bullshitted unconvincingly. You're buying that, right?

"Oh, really, what do you program?" The court prosecutor was amused by my testimony. The door opened and she was stepping off with absolutely no interest in my reply.

"I...A!" Damn, couldn't get the acronym out of my swirling head. "Artificial intelligence!" I had no way of backing it up if she asked me any further questions but she was long gone anyway.

See? I can be a clever too! I can...oh, hell...I lost...she'll be bragging to her sex-in-the-city friends later how she put me in my place...as if he could compete with me, haha!...I despised her corporate brainwashing and pseudo esteem...if she ever got fired it'd be like getting a divorce to her...she's probably upstairs giving head to some executive to solidify her conquest over me in her mind...I hate her...I want to fuck her...and then throw her away.

Neither of our lives had a meaningful relationship. Nobody won.

She was dying for a husband - just not her own!

Nobody else accosted me on the way out. It never happens when you're ready for it!

 (* © barry b. doyle all rights reserved. Used with permission.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today, I Met The Corporate Hatchet Man

"There's room at the top
"They're telling you still;
"But first you must learn
"How to smile as you kill."

America is like one big giant evil dysfunctional family bent on staying bent at any cost. The best conspiracies are the ones never spoken, just understood. Everyone at the table knows his or her assigned role as the dutiful child and happy blind applauder. Experience has taught us what to do in these sort of sick situations.

Success Riders are careful to have no soul and seek out places were no soul is required. So hello corporate America! Like moles they burrow deep into bureaucracies willing to do anything and anyone for a price. They walk around in a permanent airbrushed state of untouchability while raising 2.5 anti-septic children complete with blow-dried wife, never a hair out of place, replicants all.

Sitting at a round table in a corporate chain restaurant with a calculated choreographed personality, it's as if the world outside does not exist. No screaming famine, no hopeless futility, no crying child soldiers marching off to war, no poison seeping daily into our water, no wholesale economic raping, no world spinning out of control. Just cool A/C and a smiling blonde waitress ready to bring processed food trucked halfway across the country to a bunch of overfed assholes.

And in walked the Hatchet Man.

Got doll's eyes, like a shark

A chill descended on the table as we did our best to hide our recoil from his off-putting android presence. He/it wasted no time, producing a vile of poison and placing drops in each of our water glasses. I thought I should take offense at this.

"Won't the poison kill us?" I asked my immediate supervisor sitting next to me.

"Shut up, you little shit! You'll ruin everything!" It was as if she'd ripped off one face to reveal another, one seething red with anger, one ready to kill. I had never seen this face from her before, never even knew she was capable of it. She too has 2.5 children and I was seen as a direct threat to that, the poison not so much.

Had I had my way I would have pointed out the "everything" she was trying to protect was in fact complete and utter shit. Seems it was OK for her to die from the lie but absolutely not to die from exposing the lie. The Hatchet Man eyed us all one at a time, seeing who dare refuse his poison. I sat stupefied, waiting for someone to jump up and yell "Surprise! It's all a joke!" but instead we only descended into unreality.

Alice got nothin' on this boy.

Our Big Boss got a double dose of poison because the Hatchet Man wanted him out of the way to consolidate his power even more. That's the thing to remember about Hatchet Men: they never have enough - of anything. No way to fill that hole left where their soul should be. For them material success and corporate approval were weapons undefeatable in this corrupt culture of ours. They cared not they are thriving weeds, only that they thrive.

Big Boss was giggling at his extra dose. "Haha! You sure got me! Good one, Hatchet Man!"

A mirthful minion quickly declared, "I like to play with my poo!" And he was beaming so proudly no one had the heart to say anything in contradiction.

Another engaged our corporate murderer in a mock serious technical conversation on the contents of the poison, its effectiveness and its ability to damage the nervous system to induce paralysis before death. "Fascinating!"

Then my supervisor bragged on her capacity to be used and the amount of poison she could ingest at corporate behest until she was no longer functioning nor needed. "You definitely need to extract all the life out of me before throwing me away!"

Welcome to my world

But me, I must be mad. I did not want the poison! As my co-workers disintegrated into making animal noises to amuse the Hatchet Man I could only wonder at the purpose of my life or what possible meaning it could have. Dear God, fuck You too. You come down here and live with these face painting lunatics. My heart pounded as I realized I was utterly alone in my sanity. I was literally surrounded by the Grateful Dead.

What is not to be sacrificed on the altar of the Corporate Cult? High Priest CEOs, Shaman CIOs, Mad Monk directors, Holy slave traders, legions of bloody useful Hatchet Men walk among us in vampyric pirating, poaching the fruits of the godly as their own, defying all creation in the process. But don't you dare defy them!

We were merely Parts Replaceable Without Repurcussion; Expendables. Maybe that's why everyone thought self-immolation such a good idea. The High Priest had declared us Tainted Goods to be credit default swapped five to one, each one costing twice as much as before. So in the end, ten times more out the door, justified in grand glowing speeches on how we would magically get ten times the reward. By the time that's revealed as folly, the company will be sunk but the High Priest will have had his day in the sun exalting in the doom he had brought.

Please don't kill me!

Land, air, sea, water, human life, human dignity, the human heart - all these and more must be crushed if they get in the way of our Unquestionable Corporate Cult. I do not know where to turn, I have no answer. The Eye of Mordor is now upon me promising venomous menace if I do not call drinking poison as life, if I do not lie with a smile, and if I do not call corporate evil good. It's moments like this when I understand why people say there is no God.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Of Karma And The End Of Time

Evangelical atheists are often heard to scoff at the story of a great flood consuming the earth. They do so because it's in the Bible and therefore regard it as a biblical creation. But that's the problem with having an agenda: the truth gets in the way. The story of a catastrophic flood is a story predating the Bible (the Bible has even been accused of poaching it) and it is one recounted around the world, even among Native Americans.

It's hard to remember when our minds were completely open, back before we thought we knew how things are "supposed" to be. It's really quite funny the amount of knowledge lost to us by lack of belief. For example, if you were born to an alien planet in an alien universe and you told a mountain to move and it did, would you think anything of it? No, you would think: "Those are the rules here. Anything is possible." And because you believe it, it would be true.

Anything is possible here too. But facing that has a price: the knowledge we are answerable for our lives to a Greater Power, that our lives have been given to us in trust, and that therefore it is possible to betray said trust. These are all truths known but not directly spoken. But our conscience guides us inevitably home and on some level we know what that means and we fight the exposure of the true meaning of our acts done or not done, of rent paid or unpaid.

So in the early days we did not question what was or was not possible. We simply sought out the truth of the matter. But we twisted that knowledge to our own ends, committing many acts we'd consider beyond the pale now, but like a body having ingested poison racing towards a fatal end to the heart, it had to be stopped. In great sorrow we were washed clean and in that event came an understanding we were hurting both ourselves and our Maker.

That was our first step forward towards understanding our responsibilities - and our first step backwards in keeping an open mind. Who dare face was sort of an asshole they really are now? It's a scary question, especially when you consider this is not our first time at the rodeo.

Only two myths are universal. The first is the great flood, the other is Atlantis. Who were the Atlanteans? They were us but as spirit beings, in higher form. They too harnessed the powers of nature (what is science but understanding nature?) but not through what we call technology but through a greater understanding of life. Again, knowledge does not equate with morality and the Atlanteans self-destructed at the hands of their own power.

So now we are incarnated in human form. "Surely now that I've placed them in such vulnerable shells they will understand the need to protect one another and the absolute need for mutual cooperation. If they do not face this the price will be very, very high and the pain unbearable in human form." Well, we've sort of shot that theory of hope down and taken the path of human misery to our everlasting shame.

As an elevator rises an opposing counterweight sinks in direct proportion to its height. We love to proclaim the wonders of our technology (the ever rising elevator) but we ignore the equal amount of loss of the ancient beliefs. There was a time in human history where every "miracle" Jesus performed would not have been considered miracles at all. They only seem that way to us now because of our current perspective, just as a plane or TV would seem a "miracle" to an ancient ancestor.

It's not a miracle if you know what you know.

The presence of our Maker was made known through Moses, both to give us hope and so that we may no longer claim, "I did not know it was wrong to kill." But we have kept on our errant ways and eventually there came to be no point in Speaking to us anymore. After Jesus came, all that could be done had been done. Having killed our savior we descended into dark ages in guilt and remorse, killing one another to prove who most holy - and therefore least responsible for what happened to Jesus. But even that only lasted for a time.

Eventually, a few lights came back on, art being the new Word. Love long lost came back into our consciousness with the return of liberal thought. The guiding liberal lights blazed the way to freedom and faith - even as they too were murdered in broad daylight. But still they kept coming. The artists, the scientists, the inventors, the mothers of life showed us the wrongness of our ways. Lincoln, Gandhi, the Kennedys, Martin Luther King, John Lennon - we turned out the lights on all them. Now, they can come no more.

What we call the 21st century will be last of the counted centuries. Time is accelerating in an exponential fashion. Again, if we were to bring an ancient to our present time, they would be shocked by our technology but equally shocked that we voluntarily poison our land, water and air. To him that's an Unthinkable Act. (We too know it's bad, that's why we call our pollution "The Clean Air Act". Yeah, that'll fool nature!) And just as before, it has to stop.

The suffering we've set ourselves up for is beyond any we've suffered before or will again. It does not have to be this way, of course. But if so, there will be no higher power wiping us out this time, it will be all on us. The hangover of the bloody morning after will forever alter our knowledge of what is real and what is illusion, of that which sows death and that which sows life. We will be reborn. Halle-fucking-lujah!

Turn it up!:

Stevie speaks of the same thing