Monday, July 22, 2013

Royals Conducting Online Poll For Name! (Vote Now)

Realizing the importance of a royal birth and the even greater importance of naming said birth, orders have come down from on high to democratize the christening of the royal baby. For the first time ever, mere commoners will have a say in naming an heir of the realm. Exclusively here on OS I have obtained the list before it becomes public. Much consideration went into the making of this list, those marked with an asterisk coming from the Queen mother herself!

  • Muhammed
  • Monty-Python
  • Zohar The Philistine*
  • Fabio
  • Boy-In-The-Iron-Mask
  • Sasquatch*
  • Ziggy
  • Sambo
  • Tupac*
  • Prince Prince

I for one say "kudos!" to the royal family for embracing the mores of the 21st century and adopting modern technology for solving an age old problem. This is truly a global event affecting the lives of everyone from heads of state to fast food workers to blood diamond miners. Now everyone with an internet connection has a stake in history itself!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Natsu No Ame (Summer Rain Photo Essay)

Passing through the world
Indeed this is just
Sogi's rain shelter.




Summer rain
conveyed under the trees
in drops.




A cold rain starting
and no hat -–




Misty rain;
Today is a happy day,
Although Mt. Fuji is unseen.




Under my tree-roof
slanting lines of July rain –
separate to drops.




rainy day
the world's autumn closes
Boundary Town




All the rains of June
it brings together, and it is swift --
the river Morgami.




I'm a wanderer
so let that be my name –
the first summer rain.




Haiku courtesy of Basho

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Cool Hand Luke's Last Diary Entry

Death faces me in every direction. I can choose livin' or I can choose dyin' or I can choose nothin', but death it'll be for me. What an idiot. I thought I could beat them. I thought I could fly right outta these chains. But they got the world all figured out and rigged just how they want it. Hell, nobody cares what goes on in a backwoods Louisiana swamp. Folks just as soon not know.

Never been so low in my life. What a mess I got myself in. Don't care how they act or what they say, they like it when ya fight back. That way they can put more chains on ya like in the proper world. Them bosses got chains on them too. Insides, they all locked up good, never gettin' out. I feel like I'm walking aroun' outside showin' their inside. Them some mighty bad folks lockin' up other folks.

The social lady says I'm supposed to repent. I guess I gotta apologize for wanting to be free. Nothing changed about that! But I don't see none o' them repentin' or sayin' they's sorry for what they do to us or how they've been monsters cuz they know folks don't care how they treat us. Maybe all the folks on the outside is in chains too.

So maybe there ain't no place for me to run to. But I still gotta run! It's the only time I feel alive. Since when is feeling alive a crime? Like I said, this whole world got everything figured out but that doesn't mean they figured right. Them necks is stiff like a board and them ears is closed to hearin' nothin' they don't want to hear. I thought maybe I yell loud enough they'd hear me.

They can break you but you can't break them. That was somethin' I sure didn't want to know. Thought I could carry the whole world on my back. But they put so much weight on ya ya back snaps. That's somethin' they know lot about, puttin' weights on. Now I know they can do that, I don't know how I can ever fight back. That real death.

I feel my days comin' to an end. I can't be who I want to be and I can't be who they want me to be. Maybe that's why I cut all them parking meter heads off. Made perfect sense at the time. You gotta fight back! I thought I was fightin' for somethin' but maybe there's nothin' to fight for, just like when I was in the war. There was somethin' to fight for til I got over there then didn't find a damn thing that made sense.

What would anyone think of me if they saw me now? Would they say I'm a bad man? I feel guilty but I don't feel a bad man. I just know I gotta find a place where I can breathe. But how did I end up in a place where I breathe the least?

When I think back to Annette, I think back to the runnin' away like I did. Ran all the way til I got here. I can see that now. Tried runnin' again here too and that made things worse, just like when it got worse runnin' away from her caring. Is this the price for doin' that? Losin' everything? Sure does seem harsh! You hear me, Big Guy? You one hard sonofabitch! You're not takin' my life for a few parking meters, are ya??

It dangerous imaginin' to be free. I'd sure like to do somethin', tho! Some last final laugh to get them riled up but good. Wouldn't that be a smile! Get 'em so angry they get blood in their eye, only it ain't me doin' it. It's them doin' it to themselves, thinkin' 'bout their own damn chains I'm a rattlin' right in their face! Wouldn't that be somethin' to see? Just one moment o' pure freedom an' justice on this here prison planet.

Wonder what they'd do then!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tony Blair Gives Poodles A Bad Name

Giving the devil his due

In an article titled "Tony Blair warned he will be criticised in Iraq report" I once again hung my head as I realized at least Europe retains some sense of outrage over the vast litany of 21st century crimes that have been brazenly committed by the remorseless sociopaths we've given power here in the Western hemisphere. So while we all know no real change will come a little needling will have to do.

Sir John Chilcot, the chairman of the inquiry, wrote to David Cameron this week to inform him that “individuals” had been identified who would be criticised in his report.

It is the first confirmation that individuals have been found at fault in their decisions and actions in the run-up to the Iraq war and during the aftermath. These people, thought to include the former prime minister, will be told “this month” and given an opportunity to respond before the final report is published next year.

Mr Blair, who has repeatedly denied misleading Parliament and the public over the case for war in 2003, is likely to make strong representations to Sir John in an attempt to stop any criticism.

Will there ever been any definitive American government report holding anyone accountable for anything in the lead up to the Rape Of Iraq? Hell, no! Our two messianic Presidents are side by side in deed if not in lip service on our unholy invasions violating foreign sovereignties who dare not suit our interests. The gall of the American people when it comes to stealing resources and committing wholesale murder and mayhem while demanding total impunity is beyond comprehension. True patriots are weeping.

At least in Britain they're going make little Tony cry too.

Sir John has said he wishes to highlight private handwritten letters from Mr Blair to President George W Bush in 2002, in which Mr Blair gave assurances that Britain would support an invasion of Iraq.

The letters gave assurances to the US before the Cabinet had established the case for war against Saddam Hussein’s regime, so may call into question the official explanations given for the invasion.

Remember all the alleged handwringing and "agonizing consideration" that supposedly led to the final decision for invasion? Then do you remember the memos outlining how it was a done deal long before any sort of public debate? Decide first, find justification later. A page literally out of the Hitler playbook. Not helping, of course, was Bush's poodle Tony Blair. Can you imagine the damage that could have been done to the credibility of the Bush regime had Britain cried foul not fair on the invasion?

May not have stopped anything but certainly if the American claims had been called into question by our closest ally it might have stalled the situation long enough for rational thought to take hold. Rational thought, by the way, has yet to take hold here in Redneckistan. The British are leaving us behind in the quest for justice and formally expose and censure those who mislead and outright lied a country into false war.

Sir John wrote to Mr. Cameron this week confirming that individuals would be criticised following his four-year inquiry. “The inquiry intends to write to the relevant individuals at the end of this month informing them that the committee has concluded that there are areas in which some aspect of the part they played means the inquiry is likely to make a criticism,” he said. “The inquiry recognises the seriousness with which any criticism of an individual is likely to be regarded by that individual and it is determined to adopt an approach which is balanced, considered and fair.”

In his response, dated Wednesday, Mr Cameron said the release of this information was crucial before the individuals to be criticised could respond, apparently confirming that Mr. Blair would be censured. He wrote: “I agree that it is important to ensure that those who the inquiry intends to criticise are informed … clearly the complex declassification discussions must be completed before this can take place.”

In America lying has gotten to the point it's expected, the "smart" thing to do. Truth is the real terrorist in our eyes. The idea of finding the truth or that it even exists is considered woefully passé and naïve. We're better than God's justice. We're bigger than Jesus. We're the Christ-less Christian Cavalry who can bomb anyone anywhere and have it declared legal by our very own kangaroo courts. Hell, I know we'll never see justice here on earth but can't we at least moon the fuckers?

How very telling the British public still feels a sense of outrage over having been lied to while Americans are doubling down for perpetual worldwide war. Makes you think we were in on it all along.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"I Could Have Been A Supreme Court Justice!"


Stuttering Sam was a drunk. He died a long time ago but it was only last week he pulled the trigger. (He lost his dog) You can only have your guts ripped out and your heart broken so many times. The title was Sam's claim to fame - or maybe infamy is a better word. Everyone has some sort of story on the street. "Coulda, woulda, shoulda" is by far the phrase most often heard. After a while, you just get numb to it.

I don't know why but the thought of my fellow homeless creatures having any sort of real talent is as unbearable as being laid nude on a bed of hot coals. You just gotta make it stop! It means the whole universe is out of whack, that justice and destiny have no meaning. And having no talent of mine own, it also secretly makes me feel just that much more useless and alone.

But when you're spit upon and patronized by the wider world it's a common defense mechanism to create a superego, to show them who you really are. And you can't help but wonder who that person would have been under different circumstances. But the flip side of the superego, of course, is the mocking disbelief in this American Idol world where everyone's a star waiting to be found. In the end, it empties you out, a hollow standing shell of your imagined self surrounded by seething wolves of doubt.

If I had to guess, Sam may very well have made a great lawyer. Supreme Court? Who knows. (Though it's no badge of honor nowadays considering the clowns who populate it) But if you do have an unfaced talent its potential can run away in your mind, making the highest dreams seem so very real and possible. It bedevils you day and night and Sam was no exception. Emotionally, he was shut off, never allowing anyone (but the dog) in the door. It was just him and the haunting question of, "Who am I?"

He was eventually banned from the shelter for his periodic eruptions. Frankly, I loved them! So what if he turned over a few tables? God, what a catharsis his rampages were. Externalizing his anger so he was not the one at fault is a popular sin in these dying times. (Hi, Tea Party!) It's when the dream seemed most real to him he would explode. Usually some legal event would trigger it, frustration over a court case he should've handled and whose unjust outcome he now shared the blame.

When you don't face your own responsibilities you end up taking on the responsibilities of the world - and that's fatal.

Still, the only time Sam didn't stutter was when he was talking law. Yet if you brought up the idea of his going to school or even entering the legal realm in any manner he bristled at the thought, sharply rebuking the proponent as "ignorant as molasses" (whatever that meant). Something inside was broken and he didn't want that revealed. For a time, he'd mutely visit the SMU campus, as if by osmosis he could gleam some benefit from it or maybe just walk in the footsteps of a stillborn dream. But over time that too wilted into a painful experience.

I realize there are those who live for the story. I've mentioned before the fantastic tales I've heard laced with such detail and passion it's impossible for them to be fiction - yet they are. I guess it's all part of human expression, of wanting to feel important even after having let oneself down. That need just doesn't go away and morphs into all sorts of strange shapes in the abandonment of the street. In the street there's no place to hide your Original Sin.

A more honest Scalia

How many talents have bled into the gutter? Sam certainly had a despicable side to him. You'd just want to choke him in furious frustration over gifts refused. He never opened the door to his escape. I'm sure at some point he dare not face his dream lest he find it a mere illusion and then what could he live for? Some people just can't operate under the lights. Sam showed much more poorly than he truly was on his intelligence test. He feared if he did well he'd finally be forced out into the open.

Sam also corrosively remarked it would make God happy if he died. Over the years that was the thought that most consumed him even more than his legal dream. He latched onto it as a twisted morality. It was his duty not to believe in himself, to martyr his feelings on the cross of some mythical greater good, making honesty the sin. In these ways he hoped to escape his doom.

Not that most of us were not guilty participants as well. I'd find myself rooting for Sam not to open up, to stay in the same hell I'm in. Don't leave! Others were just as bad, giving horrible advice and feeding the negativity. Creeping nihilism advances like an iceberg and is just as hard to reverse. If someone came along with honest words, speaking from the heart and sharing his light, we were duly shamed into silence. Those are moments you don't forget.

Another common moniker for him was "Goddam Sam". "Here comes Goddam Sam!" someone would snort in contempt. I thought it rather harsh at the time and never repeated it myself but it always forced me into repressing something I didn't want to admit, still not sure what. So I thought it rather ironic that when I heard the news of Sam's death my first reaction was to say, "Goddam, Sam!"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To Live And Die At Mickey D's (Truth Stranger Than Fiction)

I came across this article today from The Atlantic, easily one of the funniest and saddest commentaries I've seen in a long while. "Disconnect" is the word I use to describe this century. Our words, our actions, our belief systems are continually diverging from reality. And it's getting to the point where unreality is the norm and reality itself some sort of subversion of our Great And Noble Ways. So if you need to live in the bubble world, read no further.

Well, this is both embarrassing and deeply telling.

In what appears to have been a gesture of goodwill gone haywire, McDonald's recently teamed up with Visa to create a financial planning site for its low-pay workforce. Unfortunately, whoever wrote the thing seems to have been literally incapable of imagining of how a fast food employee could survive on a minimum wage income. As ThinkProgress and other outlets have reported, the site includes a sample budget that, among other laughable assumptions, presumes that workers will have a second job.

Ah, if only we could put every conservative in the country on this budget! Work two jobs, have no life, no money, no way to get ahead and no way out. And then get to listen to a bunch of sanctimonious bastards casually debate on TV the horrors of raising the minimum wage as their stone hearts slip back into the limousine afterwards. It is said you do not know a man until you've lived under his thumb. All I've got say is America reveals her true character every day in her treatment of the working poor. Fuck you and your charity donation stairways to heaven.

But this is the fantasy world of the unreal at work here. A fantasy world so fantastic one need not even budget for gas and groceries! Perhaps with a bank involved there was too much underlying guilt to mention those two commodities. After all, unchecked bank speculation has inflated the price of oil which in turn inflates the price of food, siphoning hundreds of billions of dollars from those who need it most. (And yes, everyone from your President on down knows this.) So rather than lead a trail to their own misdeeds, our friends from VISA live the good life by simply removing any unpleasant facts. Thanks, guys! Problems solved!

To even attempt this endeavor shows the massive disconnect that wedges us further and further apart. Live long enough in the bubble and you can pretty much convince yourself of anything. "Poor people aren't like me. They don't need money like I do. They can always just work hard and get ahead if they want to!" So convinced was someone of this it even became a moral crusade to show the fabulous future available to minimum wage workers. What's worse, that's about par for the course nowadays for what passes as a "moral crusade".


The present is bleak and the future bleaker. America's love affair with greed won't end until it finally destroys her. Our "solution" is to make the poor and working poor invisible, twist the truth until the blame falls on the victims ("We don't need no stinkin' food stamps programs!") and cling to denial to the bitter end. But the unbreakable rock in all this upon which we slowly dissolve - the stone the builders reject - is the fact we do not have to live this way. We claim we do, we say there's no other way, but that is the lie that poisons the body whole. There is a way and it's our choice not to live.

Urban Rain Doesn't Wash Away The Pain

"Life goin' nowhere, somebody help me
"Somebody help me, yeah"


I was 21, working as a breakfast cook/dishwasher in small town Texas. I lived in a room of a house of a disturbed Vietnam vet (a fellow cook). The room's window was broken, it was winter and the house had no running water. Nothing much for me to do even then but walk the streets.



Nowhere to go but up so you head to the big city six hours away. I felt like I was traveling to another planet, a place so exotic anything could happen. I didn't expect to find anything here for me, though. Money is the only universal language and I'm a mute.


There are many worlds inside the city. I am a voyeur, a visitor, an interloper, a pretender, a dilettante, a sneak, a shadow, a wanderer but most of all anonymous. I'll be who you want me to be: rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief. You'll see me but never meet me. You'll walk away thinking yourself clever for having "seen through" me. But all I gave was a mirror for you to look into, to write your own story.




It's hopeless but somehow you still believe Sanctuary exists, a place where the milk of human kindness trumps the ways of a lost world. You feel it in the air, frustrated bodies searching for hope, knowing there's a better way but never finding it. There are many false gods ready to fill the void. But you find they only lead you into a dark hole with a snicker and a smile. The "haves" are just as lost as the "have-nots" - yet each secretly believes the other holds the key.







In the end you find the handshake and invitation is a lie. Trust in a society is like water is to a boat: without it we sink. In the street it's the most precious of all commodities. Con artists know you ache for the reservoir of rest trust brings and they poke you at every turn looking for a chink in your armor. You find a quick spot, use it and move on. Rest is the holy grail - and if only you'll step into this dark alley with me you can buy it in a baggie.



Urban27 A spot that can only be truly appreciated by its smell


Life slips away day by day. We go through our daily rituals because that's what gets us by. But really, it's all about avoiding the now, of not thinking of our final destination, of forgetting the love that could have rescued us and dreams drained away into the gutter. Rain symbolizes renewal but the urban rain doesn't wash away the pain.





Against the wind
I'm still runnin' against the wind
I'm older now but still running
Against the wind

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