Friday, May 31, 2013

"This is a regime of terror, imposed by bandits in uniform."

Can you imagine to what group the title above refers to? Or this: We are "attacked, robbed, run over both on the street and in our houses." Or even this: "We expected friends who would not make us ashamed of our defeat. Instead, there came incomprehension, arrogance, incredibly bad manners and the swagger of conquerors." Just who would you expect to be acting in such a vile manor? Why, the Greatest Generation, of course.

I've never bought into the whole Greatest Generation malarkey. It's just more mythmaking on a dying planet starved for heroes. Every generation is the same. It's only the times that change. Overlooking the truth can never be a benefit, however, only a liability. So let's look at this truth a little more, shall we.

With the landing on Omaha Beach, "a veritable tsunami of male lust" washed over France, writes Mary Louise Roberts, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin, in her new book "What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France." In it, Roberts scrapes away at the idealized picture of war heroes. Although soldiers have had a reputation for committing rape in many wars, American GIs have been largely excluded from this stereotype. Historical research has paid very little attention to this dark side of the liberation of Europe, which was long treated as a taboo subject in both the United States and France.

Sounds like hyperbole to American ears. Bringing freedom and restoring democracy were the only satisfactions our soldiers needed! Sure, there was some healthy male desire, just boys being boys. Right?

After four years of German occupation, the French greeted the US soldiers landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944 as liberators. The entire country was delirious with joy. But after only a few months, a shadow was cast over the new masters' image among the French.

By the late summer of 1944, large numbers of women in Normandy were complaining about rapes by US soldiers. Fear spread among the population, as did a bitter joke: "Our men had to disguise themselves under the Germans. But when the Americans came, we had to hide the women."

Sounds like whining to me. Not like we invaded Europe with anything but the idea of fighting the Nazis! Whenever a soldier pointed to his pinup photos and said, "That's what we're fighting for, fellas!" it was understood the real driving force of the war could only be acknowledged with a wink and a smirk. And everyone was in on the joke.

American propaganda did not sell the war to soldiers as a struggle for freedom, writes Roberts, but as a "sexual adventure." France was "a tremendous brothel," the magazine Life fantasized at the time, "inhabited by 40,000,000 hedonists who spend all their time eating, drinking (and) making love." The Stars and Stripes, the official newspaper of the US armed forces, taught soldiers German phrases like: "Waffen niederlegen!" ("Throw down your arms!"). But the French phrases it recommended to soldiers were different: "You have charming eyes," "I am not married" and "Are your parents at home?"

I'm sure that last question was in a desire for recruiting Bible study classes. War as a holy endeavor naturally only brought out the best in our boys. Sure do miss the good ol' days when all our wars were "good"! If only we could go back to those times.

There were similar accounts from all over the country, with police reports listing holdups, theft and rapes. In Brittany, drunk soldiers destroyed bars when they ran out of cognac. Sexual assaults were commonplace in Marseilles. In Rouen, a soldier forced his way into a house, held up his weapon and demanded sex.

The military authorities generally took the complaints about rape seriously. However, the soldiers who were convicted were almost exclusively African-American, some of them apparently on the basis of false accusations, because racism was also deeply entrenched in French society.

Whew, it was just them evil darkies doing all the raping and robbing. Whitey was back in his tent writing love letters and holding himself chaste for that girl back home. I know this is true because I see it in all the John Wayne movies. Though I have to admit a few scenes like this would have spiced up those boring films:

Some of the most dramatic reports came from the port city of Le Havre, which was overrun by soldiers headed home in the summer of 1945. In a letter to a Colonel Weed, the US regional commander, then Mayor Pierre Voisin complained that his citizens couldn't even go for a walk in the park or visit the cemetery without encountering GIs having sex in public with prostitutes.

"Scenes contrary to decency" were unfolding in his city day and night, Voisin wrote. It was "not only scandalous but intolerable" that "youthful eyes are exposed to such public spectacles." The mayor suggested that the Americans set up a brothel outside the city so that the sexual activity would be discrete and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases could be combated by medical personnel.

But the Americans could not operate brothels because they feared that stories about the soldiers' promiscuity would then make their way back to their wives at home. Besides, writes Roberts, many American military officials did not take the complaints seriously owing to their belief that it was normal for the French to have sex in public.

So we see a shattering of the "Onward Christian Soldier" myth. We see a shattering of this myth because war is a soul shattering experience. It's nothing to be glorified or desired under any circumstances. It is to be dreaded and feared for the damage it will do to us. There's a story of a man whose fiancé was beheaded in the course of the attack on Pearl Harbor. After viewing the body, such was his constitution he spent the rest of his life in an asylum. Why would anyone want to visit this upon any soul?

America's self-defense was wholly justified in World War 2. But turning it into a holy war turns a blind eye to the horrors of war. It may seem a little thing, this lie. But it has spawned war after war of aggression by America ever since. We should be looking back at WII as a hellish black hole we're thankful to have behind us. Instead, we look back to that time with longing eyes forever hoping to relive it. The more truth we can put out about that catastrophe that killed 60,000,000 million people, the better.

Don't get me wrong, I always tear up at the singing of La Marseillaise

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Bad Shepherd

They told us everyone had to get out of their cars under the gorgeous blue sun and walk through this large, never-ending building if we wanted to get home. It didn't make sense to me and I saw the confused looks on the sheeple around me as we were herded through the doorway by very angry guards chained to their spots for life, never to see home again. They were going to make damn sure our lives were the same.

I knew it was wrong to go in but everyone else was doing it and I feared to be different. We were supposed to feel sorry for the evil ones and do as they said for once. To live would be selfish; make them happy and tell them what they want to hear. Sin for Jesus. You could think anything you wanted just as long as your thoughts weren't your own. This was the Final Solution.

It was nothing but pea green hallways as wide and bleak as bathroom stalls, daylight disappearing behind us. You could peek over to the next hallway but the mass of (in)humanity kept pushing you forward - if forward is even the right word for it. Really, you were just pushed along to God knows where because there was no way out once inside. Can you imagine the screams as soul after soul first realized its hell?

Like the newly homeless I heard shocked phrases of "This can't be..." and "This isn't supposed to happen!" Their education had begun; law-abiding, obedient cattle coming to find that, yes, they'd been completely abandoned by their fellow man. The fools sought to make their lives useful as soylent green suppers and so it has came to be. "I shall not strike down my child!" propagated a man in false defiance as he offered his child up in sacrificial tribute; suffocated lives vainly in search of worth in rigid hallways of hell.

The only thing breaking up the monotony of the monochrome walls was the advertising of the "xcorps" touting forbidden fruit you can never reach, always in the next hallway over but who knew how to get there? The xcorps ruled every inch, devising and predetermining the pathways for each trapped body. You could get angry and rebel, you could be pliant and thankful, you could do nothing at all - but nothing changed your destiny of doom.

I saw a girl in the next hallway over. I knew her once and still wanted her. I reached my arms up and over the wall but most I could muster was our hands momentarily touching. She tried to say something but she was swept away by the moving bodies. Did she want me or not? I'll never know. Fear, fear and more fear. Every face silent fear. Just keep moving along.

"The god is a fraud! The god is a fraud!" The voice sought to enlighten us but no one dared stop to  listen. Just trudge ahead in dread to a fate forlorn. We were doing what we were told, the "good ones" said the xcorps. But we had nothing left to give to the xcorps: we'd been used, not useful. Surely they would still value and cherish us, they would understand the inherent value of human life. Everyone needs a god they can trust.

I wrote a letter of apology to a friend I ran away from. But someone knocked the pen from my hand then hit me when I complained. Does anything mean anything in a place like this? I want to live! Why does that make me feel like a criminal? They told us everything had been decided. No need to think or feel. Just a room so large the end cannot be seen, its purpose not known or for us to even know why we couldn't go home. Long time since I've been home...

Panic started as water slushed in around our feet. But no one could do anything or go anywhere if they wanted to. "My baby! My baby!" No time for babies in the drowning halls. Some said the water was getting deeper. The faces I saw kept their eyes closed, praying to oblivion. Sick sycophants urge us to have faith, sweet words to seduce death. A raped woman fell weeping to the floor. She swatted my stretched out hand. "I deserved it, you fool!"

"I need you!" I cried out in vain. But the dead have no ears. Helpless shouts flood the halls when angry bees swarm in. No more flowers left to pollinate so they come to feast upon us. For the rest of my life I knew I'd hear those shrieks. Someone called it the "new abnormal". A wise voice whispered in my ear, "We should have slaughtered the Canaanites when we had the chance. Now there's no hope."

If you don't kill them they'll kill you

The water keeps rising but I pray against hope it won't drown me. Nothing I can find to think is thinkable. My mind compresses in on itself. The air is heavy with sanctioned murder. Far, far away faint laughter of contempt. How can this be happening? Will I see the sun again? I should have done what I wanted, goddamit! No man survives decisions of guilt, forsaking his future. Who am I to punish myself? Too late, too late. Unavenged I shall die.

Up ahead, a hole cut in the ceiling. A few intrepid souls climb upward. So shall I. I must have answers. I must see the sun once more! I climb quicker as I spot dear daylight above. What does it mean these choices we've made? I wonder. She thinks I don't need her but I do. This life is nothing but an act. How could she possibly believe I don't need her? Will I find her in the light? But it really was too late.

We'd been put on a giant floating metal barge, sinking into the ocean. I stood on the edge but when I looked back I could not see the end of it. I knew I had not the years left to walk its length. I heard the laughter once more. On the horizon a ship of Canaanites. We'd been purged among them, sent out to sea to die in willful futility. Like our own guilty gods, they wanted to keep more for themselves, now 47% fewer to have to share with.

I let myself follow a bad shepherd in misplaced trust. I thought I knew better but I feared too much the light upon me. What is this instinct that leads me to betrayal? What ancient sin do I carry? I feared like an abused child for her to know my pain. Now I'm left alone, adrift at sea, betrayed to the bad shepherd who demanded to let evil like a plague live among us, bereft of my wants and loves. I wipe my forehead. Blood is upon my hand.


On the distant ship, a gunshot. An excited voice declares, "We did it! The last dreamer is dead!"

Cheers explode from the lavish liner. They are the victors, the "lucky ones", the deserved of life. Into the sky an image is projected of the beast fatally wounded but living still. Taunting words floated across the waters to us. "Let the times of tribulation begin!" They thought they were speaking of us, not realizing only the dreamers could give their ship direction, now lost forever.

How many dead shall the cold waters consume?

But of the cities of these people, which the LORD your God does give you for an inheritance,
you shall save alive nothing that breathes; but you shall utterly destroy them.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Obama Sides With Critics

"They honor me with their lips
but their hearts are far from me."

Don't worry, I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid. And I certainly know lip service when I see it (those who claim not to are fellow practitioners!). But I did get a muffled chuckle today with our dear leader rhetorically chiding himself and speaking how "these deaths will haunt us as long as we live." Well, not me. Just those who executed them, supported them or failed to question them. Day will come when many look down on their blood soaked hands and say, "But I did nothing!" Yes, that is exactly how they got stained.

Bold and brave critics of the President's death squads have forced him out into the open to reveal his "haunted" soul - not that he intends to do anything about it. A true recognition of one's errant ways is by change in behavior. But change does not mean adding a fig leaf while still carrying out the same executions. It's sort of like saying we're not going to revoke the death penalty but we want to "codify" the process to say how really, really sorry we are we're offing you - guilty or innocent. The religious rituals attached simply have no meaning and the effective result is the same at the end of the day.

"Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men."

I suppose until the end we will maintain the fantasy we can kill all the "terrorists" in the world and then we'll suddenly be safe to run free through the streets in paradise. The Utopian goals of our death squads are nonsensical and obviously impossible. Sensing his part in this debacle, our President has come out against "a perpetual war-time footing". Well, that's mighty white of him! But how can it ever end as long as he propagates that drone strikes "save lives"? Ah, the poor reluctant warrior, he "hates" pulling the trigger but his bullets are just as deadly.

Hey, quit your griping. We're haunted already! Meanies!

"For the record, I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen -- with a drone or a shotgun -- without due process. Nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil." Sounds like a SNL skit with the President holding a joystick while he speaks. But since he is employing drone strikes without due process he obviously believes it's constitutional while revealing plans to one day bring this tactic to America. After all, had we drone striked the Boston bombers wouldn't we have saved lives?

It's a curious disconnect. A man spends money day and night because he believes he can never run out - and that's how he winds up bankrupt. We believe the constitution makes us free therefore we're safe signing away all our rights - and that's how we lose freedom. And these very extrajudicial killings we claim we make us safe are in fact what bring us into the line of fire: justifying, legalizing and extolling terroristic tactics. Deeming our downfall impossible is what enables it to happen (ram that iceberg!).

The guilt of Gitmo is also plaguing our President.

The facts speak for themselves:

Detainees in Guantanamo now: 166
Detainees facing active charges: 6
Detainees cleared for immediate release, but stuck in the camp: 86
Guantanamo inmates on hunger strike: 103
Hunger strikers strapped down and force fed: 30
Prisoners who have died in custody: 9
Children the US has held at Guantanamo: 21
Detainees tried in civilian court: 1
•"Unreleasable" detainees who can't be tried for lack of evidence or torture: 50
Prisoners released by the Bush administration: 500+
Prisoners released by the Obama administration: 72
Current annual cost to US taxpayers: $150 million
Days since Obama first pledged to close Gitmo: 1579
Days since first prisoners arrived at Guantanamo: 11 years, 4 months, 11 days

Sometimes words come back to haunt us too:

In that May 21, 2009, address, the president argued U.S. national security interests needed to conform with the nation's commitment to human rights and the rule of law. "I believe with every fiber of my being that in the long run we cannot also keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values," he said at the National Archives and Records Administration.

At one point a Code Pink heckler interrupted the President and like a faux martyr he stands there taking his just desserts - as if that could make up for anything. Sort of like letting that black boy you're about to lynch mouth off at you - then you lynch him anyway. Such a moral killing! Maybe if a high powered lawyer issues a "directive" that can change wrong to right. Or maybe one simply needs to take a poll to determine what's right. All in favor of witch burning say "aye!"

"Nobody's perfect." - Charles Manson, banker apologist

Of course, the greatest threat to America is her banking system. On that, our fate is already sealed. Praising the economy now is as silly as doing it ten years ago. Nothing has been done to reel in the banksters or stop the gambling of public money. It's like partying on the rent money knowing it will be the next guy's problem when the rent comes due. The powers-that-be know what is going on is an illusion but it's rationalized by saying people need to "feel confident" even if it's by false hope. So whatever happened to actual hope? Guess it got drone striked.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What The Abuser Says

How is it the insane move among us so easily? How are they not spotted and removed for help? Is it because we're all insane? The abusers slither in the day using everyday words and phrases twisted to their own ends; deceiving, always deceiving, serving the holy lie. In Heaven their deeds are seen but in the darkness of the earth they prowl, tipping their hat in polite decorum as they spy their next meal. And what do they whisper in their victim's ear but the words of every vampire, criminals of life.

Hush little boy, do not be a complainer!

Hush little boy, be grateful for what you have!

Hush little boy, do not question authority!

Hush little boy, remember how much I love you!

Hush little boy, do not think of your rights!

Hush little boy, God will take care of you!

Hush little boy, do not resent your pain!

Hush little boy, pleasing others is best!

Hush little boy, don't worry, be happy!


Hush little boy, do not be a complainer! (I don't want to hear the pain I cause)

Hush little boy, be grateful for what you have! (Don't think of what I take)

Hush little boy, do not question authority! (Obey me at all costs)

Hush little boy, remember how much I love you! (I don't love you at all)

Hush little boy, do not think of your rights! (You are nothing)

Hush little boy, God will take care of you! (I take care of no one)

Hush little boy, do not resent your pain! (Let me keep hurting you)

Hush little boy, pleasing others is best! (You are only an object)

Hush little boy, don't worry, be happy! (Deny, deny, deny)

But there are those who are not blind: the abused. They can always spot you abusers. You the miserable sots claiming to be happy, hiding behind words of reason not meant, wearing your angel mask to hide your devil face. Better come clean now, the mask suffocates, choking your breath, leaving only death. But on the other hand, good riddance.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

21st Century Russia: A Tsar is Born

I pity the children of the CGI generation. They will never know true fear in film. Never has a moment so chilling and horrifying been replicated as watching the witch's soldiers marching into the heart of darkness in the Wizard Of Oz. It put me in a place of utter soullessness, a place with no hope, thought of hope or human comprehension of life. I can only imagine what I felt was just a taste of the terror of the millions wrongly sentenced to prison and slow death in the gulags of Soviet Russia.

I still carry a bit of that fear in me today.

But I've learned to put that fear aside and delve into Russia and embrace her. I wish to see her as a thriving democracy, tapping into her natural resources and live up to her long unrealized potential. It's a dream that's shared by chess champion Gary Kasparov, avant-garde band Pussy Riot, and authors Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan in The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB. And if you don't think what happens in Russia matters here in America then ask a Boston marathoner the price of such ignorance.

The book is not an easy read but coming from a closed state such as Russia the amount of information uncovered and printable (i.e. verifiable to publishing standards) is amazing. And although Americans may not like hearing it, Russia and America have been on parallel paths with each country receding into the worst of its history in the 21st century. America has returned to the days of the robber barons and Russia to the days of an all powerful tsar. But as many who wallow in the negative rail against the so-called "impracticality" of ideals, fewer are those who mention the impossible impracticality of losing them - a reality currently lost on both countries.

When Russia sifted through the ashes of her collapse in the early 90's she found herself floundering, trying capitalism and democracy partly as a reaction to newfound freedom and partly in deference of not knowing what else to do. Regardless, the times were lacking in conviction of those untested waters, seeking shelter at first signs of a storm. Perfect circumstances for a man of Putin's amoral character, a "man" who - like GWB - was not lacking in desire for giving direction to his country. And that direction was and is wholesale destruction.

As Bush led America into unprecedented levels of greed and oligarchy, Putin has pulled Russia back into darkness, raising the level of his former employer the KGB to new heights, no longer a servant of state and party, but as its ruler. Putin knows he's screwing his country as the worst form of traitor like Stalin of old, this time it's in the name of a "dictatorship of law." In old Russia the excuse was a "dictatorship of the workers." The words change but the actions are the same. Of course, if one can read between the lines you know that whatever is given as the goal of said treachery is in fact that which the Russian leadership most wishes to undermine.

Russia took a stab at a new constitution and mandating new laws of fairness but as we've seen here in America, a document is only as good as the populace willing to stand behind it, otherwise it's just a piece of paper. If any American is confused or confounded by the rolling back of Russian freedoms he need only look at the lack of outrage at the suspension of habeas corpus and other civil rights in America. And just as Americans were (willingly) lied to and drawn into a false war Putin too has used the tools of fear to gain power and prestige for both himself and the FSB (what the KGB remnants has morphed into present day).

Chechnya has been a boon to Putin and the FSB, sort of like Saddam Hussein for Bush. The more acts of terrorism perpetrated, the more horrible the outcome the more the populace turns towards a "strong" leader. But even that is not enough. Putin needed spectacular headlines to convince people his glorious FSB is on the job and hero to the world. To do this false charges were concocted of spurious spies and traitors lurking around every corner bravely and ingeniously ferreted out by the FSB! Oftentimes charges were later dropped after the sensational headlines had served their purpose, sometimes not.

Like the Bush administration, Putin rightly figured even if the truth comes out later the general populace would have little interest. If the lead up to the Iraq war was found to be based on a knowing pack of lies, who cares? If false allegations are later proven to be political ploys, so what? As long as words are spoken with conviction is all an uncaring populace wants to hear. But even the harshest dictator cannot survive without mass consent. Yet no man can escape his conscience and the inner fear that cannot be silenced nor stopped in any way. This is what makes the ruler of a country live in dire fear of a 90 second protest from a girl band.

So the bad old days have returned, as detailed by the Moscow-based Helsinki Group: "There is a sense of deja vu: the practice of surveillance of dissidents is back, taking people off trains, preventing conversations. The practice not only returned, but is enriched with new means of pressure on the people." 'New means' meaning of course the many technological tools at the disposal of governments nowadays. It's the Kremlin who knows best what should be seen, read and watched. From propaganda shows on TV, to encouraging state sympathetic hackers, to filtering websites and information, bad habits are back in form to once again destabilize Russia's credibility and respect around the world.

Just as America has mired herself in Afghanistan, Russian warfare against the breakaway state of Chechnya has proved troublesome, revealing a still sinister side to the Russian character (just as America's "war on terror" has). To combat the Chechen's use of guerrilla warfare, Russia countered with her own death squads to enact extrajudicial killings (same as America's drone program). Another favorite tactic was taking entire families of rebel leaders hostage in order to force capitulation. But although admitted by few, the fact remains terrorism cannot be stopped by attempting to kill everyone thought a terrorist.

Our deaths squads use a joystick. Yeehaw!

One cool idea stolen from the Americans was the act of rendition. Let others do your dirty work for you! Since 2004 an apparatus called the Regional Antiterrorist Structure (RATS) has been in place to allow its participants to kidnap at will so-called extremists, terrorist and presumably ex-wives from other participating countries while giving the perpetrators full immunity. This disallows dissidents from fleeing their host country for safety in another or to achieve refugee status. Yes indeed, once a state institutionalizes terror it all becomes a matter of "national security".

The Russian democracy movements remain too weak to make a difference, not standing much more a chance than America's Occupy movement. Doesn't matter how right you are if no one else stands up for their rights (just ask Jesus). American and Russian paths are running a parallel course in their disdain for social and economic justice. Citizens of both countries share a certain defeatism and resignation proclaiming no choice of paths but the one they are on. Until that foul dialog changes neither will the foul choice of leaders. All one can do is be a voice of freedom and know that one day each of will be asked where we stood in times of trial.

The authors' website can be found here, continuing to update on the latest about Russian secret services.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hey, Who Put Their Cigs Out In My Carpet?

The world is a frat house I shall not want.

How easy it is to forget what we know! Six guys, one house and no owner present. It's like a mirror to the sun, a lord of the flies, this feeling of carelessness when it's somebody else's shit. Ringleaders of the dead need to own your head. Then they take your bed.

"Why not put my cigs out in the carpet, smart guy? What you gonna do about it, huh?"

"We should lock you in the closet! You'll burn the house down, you frickin' nut!"

"Oh, yeah? Tell me which part is burnin', Chicken Little. I don't see nothin' burnin' anywhere."

"Need I remind you two we don't own this house and it's not ours to do as we wish?"

"Oh, another smart guy! You gonna give us dat "owner theory" of yours? There ain't no owner nowhere. I ain't changin' just cuz of some fantasy in your head."

"Everyone needs to shut the fuck up. No point talking about anything. Won't change a thing."

"There's always a point to speaking the truth, you freaking moron! Besides, you wouldn't have said anything if it weren't getting to you."

"It's too late! There's already a ton of burns in the carpet. Why stop now?"

"That's right. No point bitchin' about nothin'. What are you going to do? Lock up the whole world."

"All I know is I don't want to die because your dumb asses can't even put a cigarette out right. Assholes!"

"Oh, listen to mister holier than thou. Like you know what's right and nobody else does."

"These people are nuts! Nuts, I tell ya! They deny everything!"

"All you people putting your cigs out in the carpet are going to be mighty sorry when the owner comes back and sees what you've done."

"You let us worry about that. You worry about your own shit."

"That's exactly what I'm doing. Any shit you do in this house affects me. That makes your shit my shit, bright boy."

Then a war broke out, three to each side. After a while they forgot why they were fighting or what they hoped to accomplish and stopped.

"The problem here are the extremists. Compromise is the only solution!"

"Wrong!" rejected both extremists of the groups.

"One cigarette is too many. Takes only one to burn us down."

"All you whiners are nuts. We livin' just fine doing what were doing. Why do you always have to stir shit up with your version of reality?"

"And what's your version? Keep risking fire until it happens?"

"There is no risk - except in your stupid mind."

"Listen guys, if most of us are doing it, it must be OK. All I know is I'm not going to stop until everyone else does. What's the point? Go ahead and give up."

"You defeatists suck. Always thinking you're going to save the world. Doesn't matter how many people do it, that doesn't give you the right to do it."

"Gives me the right to put my foot up your ass!"

Then final war broke out, gagging the two complainers and crucifying the extremist who refused to put any cigarettes out in the carpet. With critics silenced and the warning sent by the crucifixion all problems would be solved forevermore! Except for one tiny detail: the owner returned as the house burned down.

"Hey, who put their cigs out in my carpet?"

The crucifiers blamed the dead and voiceless but it was too late. "You assholes fucked up my house? I don't want to hear your damn excuses! Only person I'm letting live in my house is the one person who took care of my place. Rest of you are out forever. No one will ever trust you ever again. I don't give a damn what your politics are, I just care what you did!"

The innocent one on the cross was taken down and put in a new home. When the smoking ringleader attacked the owner he was put on the cross for the safety of everyone. The rest wandered in homeless misery. The end.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

There Are No Miracles In The Bible

Freaking you bitches out, aren't I?

"Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified."

One thing's for sure: the people being terrified part hasn't changed. But first let me say one thing. I agree with Anjin-san when he says, "God curse all priests." But when I hear of a priest molesting a child I don't think it reflects poorly on God but rather on anyone dumb enough to believe someone who says he represents God. Religion comes from man, man comes from God. I don't appreciate those who confuse the two.

One thing I have noticed is the fear and terror induced by the mentioning of miracles. "Fairy tales to awe the masses," they hope. Pseudo-insight like that makes the rest of us laugh! But the most ignorant man in the world is the man who does not know he's ignorant. Most of us think we "know" a man cannot walk on water. What mankind does not know could fill a universe.

The real answer is a matter of perspective. When we see a plane fly overhead or watch TV of a man speaking a thousand miles away or call on a phone to speak to someone a thousand miles away we do not think of those things as unbelievable miracles even though most of us cannot explain how they work. Yet, if we were to go back a few hundred years and describe these things to a scientist he would declare them scientifically impossible. How can something heavier than air fly? Impossible dreamer!

Poor Chauncey didn't know he's not
supposed to be able to walk on water.

And that's the problem, one man's miracle is another man's normalcy. If I were to ask Jesus how many miracles he performed he'd say zero. He'd done nothing of the sort but merely acted in accordance with nature. After all, who nowadays thinks of watching a TV as a miracle? It's all about what we think we know. What is science anyway but a subset of understanding nature? When you have a greater understanding than another then you too can perform "miracles."

No, the real reason the idea of "miracles" is so threatening is because it challenges our point-of-view, that we have not begun to scratch the surface of what we can do. (I'm not concentrating on the healings because energy healing has been around for millenniums in the East and is a peculiarly Western prejudice.) And finding out that which we have truly denied ourselves makes us so much more culpable for the miseries of the world. Not an easy thing to face, so I understand the deep, deep animosity it can cause.

Still, who wants to be a loser? What's to be gained by the false morality of a closed mind? It's those who know what they know who are the lights of the world. Nature is as Nature does. So before you go giggling at the "stupidity" of ancient man just remember that's how you look in the eyes of Jesus. It's just a matter of being open to accepting what's possible - and in this case, inevitable.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Zen Films Presents: Heron Finale (With trig Bonus Video)

Here's the third and final installment of my heron trilogy. I named it this because everywhere I went I saw a heron. Finally, I figured out there were two herons there, something I had not come across before. With precious little peace in my own life it seemed almost imperative I capture the serenity of the garden, to make it safe from the ravages of time and human despair. Now I can make secret forays into the garden anytime and be thankful such a place exists. Many are the fools who consider art to be optional in this world, but without it we'd still be living in caves.

As a counterpoint to serenity is my blackmail video of trig acting silly in the garden. Trig bought a lottery ticket and I was going sting him for a million bucks but like a moron he refused to listen to me and bought a losing ticket! (My sage advice, of course, was to buy a winning one). Thus, unable to bribe me I posted the bottom video in a fit of pique. Hell, way things stand now I'd have taken ten dollars.

The soundtrack is "Volcanic Crater Lake" from "The Natural Sounds Of Japan".

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Just Desserts

"What you doin' with that gun?"

"Going to shoot my girlfriend."

"What for??"

"Because I'm going out of my mind!"

"I thought you said she's the best thing since, like, ever."

"She is - but I'm a total fraud. I can't stand it. I have zero idea what she sees in me. I just can't take it anymore."

"But she's with you, isn't she? Doesn't that count for something?"

"I wish. She just doesn't know the truth of me."

"Maybe you aren't giving her enough credit."

"Maybe you aren't giving me enough credit."

"Maybe too much. Why don't you just leave her?"

"I can't. She's completely irresistible. I'm wholly dependent on her and can't pull away. I'm dying here!"

"So that's why you're going to kill her."

"I'm not going to kill her, just the relationship. I'll shoot her in the foot."

"Dude, she'll be one pissed off lady!"

"That's the plan. My crippled ass can't leave her but I can make her leave me. She has to know I don't deserve her."

"How are you so sure you don't deserve her?"

"We've grown apart. I can't hardly keep up with her or understand what she says. We've always been competitive. I've got to be someone she can respect! Oh, Lord get me out of this!!"


"Did you really shoot her?"


"Was she pissed?"

"Beyond pissed. She was shocked, horrified, stunned, incredulous, furious, outraged, livid, beside herself and hurt. You should have seen the look in her eyes. I'll be taking that look to my grave with me."

"So I take it she's gone."

"Like the wind, forever and ever."

"So it worked out as you hoped."

"Well, I don't have the guilt of having something I don't deserve but now I have the guilt of having shattered her foot for life."

"What are you going to do about it?"

"What can I do about it? Some things there's no way of fixing. This is sheer fucking agony!"

"So you're just going to do nothing?"

"Only thing I can think of is shooting my own foot off. I'm thinking she won't have so much burning rage against me that way."

"I don't know, man. Didn't work out last time you shot a foot off no matter what you say."

"I can't just do nothing! She has to know how I feel!"

"You just gonna shoot every foot you see?"

"Feels that way. Do one you gotta do them all. This is a nightmare!"


"Hey look! I shot my foot off! A sure sign of integrity, eh?"

"Stupidity is integrity?"

"Oh, piss off. She's gotta believe I'm sorry now."

"How would she even know? You said she cut off all communication."

"I left a note on her door."

"How you know she even read it? Maybe it fell off and blew away."

"God, I hope not! I don't have the nerve to do it twice. Shit, I better not have shot my foot off for nothing!"

"Sure looks that way. She doesn't want to hear from you no matter what you have to say."

"Maybe my plan was too good. It sucks being a cripple. No creature in the universe should have to need a woman! Goddam, I wanted to be her friend, to contribute to her life."

"You contributed alright. But I don't think you were very honest."

"Yes, I'm a very dishonest person. I couldn't let her know what I was going through. The hell I was living inside is now on the outside."

"Some plan!"


"Shit, you won't believe what happened. I was rolling out of the van at the grocery store when I see this chick in a wheelchair looking just like my ex rolling into the store."

"Was it her? Did you go in?"

"Hell, no! You crazy? Most scared I ever been in my life. No, I rolled my ass back inside the van quick as I could, heart pounding away."

"You ran away again?"

"Can you blame me? If she'd seen me in there she'd have cut my throat, calling me a lousy piece of shit coward who couldn't ever hope of becoming a real man who can face his feelings."

"You mean the stuff you tell yourself every day?"

"Pretty much, yes. I make sure I constantly chant that to myself to make up for my deficiencies."

"How long do you plan on beating yourself up?"

"Long as I can, I suppose. I can't just stop or she'll hate me more."

"Dude, your plans really suck."

"Tell me about it..."


"Dude, I heard about your lady."

"She's not my lady anymore."

"You can say that again!"

"What do you mean?"

"She's getting married. She says she's gotten over being mad at you and moved on."

"Jesus, I feel really alone now. That hate was my last connection to her. I thought we'd always have that. I can't believe she overcame my betrayal like that."

"You always said she was a helluva woman!"

"Damn, yes... See? I told you I didn't deserve her."

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Zen Films Presents: Day Of The Heron #2

It was another magical day at the Fort Worth Japanese Gardens. I figured I better get my time in before the weather gets too hot to even step outdoors. The serenity was overwhelming. Stepping out of the real world, living the dream before having to "cross the first bridge to Osaka castle" where rude reality awaits. I wandered through this nether world, time not on my side. But I pushed that thought aside, choosing instead to be one with Nature.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Zen Films Presents: Day Of The Heron #1

It was another magical day at the Fort Worth Japanese Gardens. I figured I better get my time in before the weather gets too hot to even step outdoors. The serenity was overwhelming. Stepping out of the real world, living the dream before having to "cross the first bridge to Osaka castle" where rude reality awaits. I wandered through this nether world, time not on my side. But I pushed that thought aside, choosing instead to be one with Nature.

The soundtrack is "Whooping Swans" from "The Natural Sounds Of Japan".

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Disconnect (Film Review)

It's been a full week since I saw Disconnect. It's taken me that much time to recover. Been a long, long time since a film has hit me this hard. This is not a film for liars or those who like to be lied to. It will rip you open and spill your guts out on the floor leaving the aftermath to you. There are, however, many misconceptions about the movie out there from the, uh, disconnected.

It's not a film about the evils of the internet or how technology is "changing our lives" or any other rot like that though I could see how someone could misconstrue that. Sure, every story involves a wired device but almost everyone has a tool like that for communicating without making it their life. No, this is about human behavior as old as mankind itself and how this new wired age exposes that behavior.

Although there's a lot of plot in the film it is not a film for movie literalists (meaning when you watch it you're supposed to know it's a movie). It seeks to fully explore the issue of communication in both the destructive nature in the lack of it and the healing power of restoring it. Some idiots have called that a "Hollywood ending" but that is for those people who want movies to disconnect them from reality and not come full circle.

I was nervous through most of the film, afraid it was going to tease me and fall into easy clichés or cynicism during the oh so very many opportunities it had the chance to do so. Instead, I was greatly gratified that it maintained its integrity and stuck to its guns all the way to the end. It's a tough act to pull off because one drop of poison would ruin the wellspring of truth the filmmakers had so deftly created.

I beg everyone to go see this film. It will most certainly make you uneasy at times because the crimes in it are very human and you will recognize yourself as a perpetrator. But ultimately you will be thankful you made it through and perhaps given the strength to face something that you may not be able to do on your own, disconnected.

If there's any one word I'd use to describe this godawful, nightmarish century it is certainly "disconnected". We have divorced ourselves from reality, hurtling ourselves over the cliff of doom all in the name of saving ourselves. It's a world where a terrorist can blow people up in the afternoon and return to his dorm room that night like nothing ever happened. Disconnected. It's a world where the most powerful military on earth blows up children because we live in fear. Disconnected. It's a world pretending blindness with its eyes closed. Disconnected.

One day we're going to be able to communicate openly and without fear and realize just how foolish we've been for the entirety of our existence.

Friday, May 03, 2013

My First Day In The Insane Asylum

Linoleum. God, I hate linoleum. Makes me want to rebel right away. For some reason I wouldn't feel so hostile with a wood floor. A nice parquet would do. But this is just shit. But I know I can't say anything. Just be used against me. These people think they got all the answers - or have to think it even when they don't. But no one who can help ever thinks they have all the answers. Now some dude is coming up to me obviously wanting to investigate the new guy. Truly, suicide is my only friend.

"So what are you in for?"


"Yes, yes. You gotta spill or ever'one will bug ya till you do."

"Well, I guess the best way of saying it is I had nowhere to go when it came time to go."

"Oh, that's harsh. Way harsh."

"So tell me who you are."

"Me, I'm your guide to this looney bin who appears normal at first but then does something really weird in the end to freak you out."

"You're an actor."

"Bingo! But don't be tellin' them therapists. Gets them right out of sort finding out they ain't really doin' nothin' and their faces get real cross and ever'thing. Like they want to hit you. Play along and they love you like honey - just like at home."

"Don't worry. Mums the word." My short friendly friend breathed an apparent sigh of relief. He took me over to a man sitting up but paralyzed in his bed, open-mouthed, wide-eyed as if an oncoming car were about to hit him. He even had me looking around to see what could possibly be terrifying him so badly.

"That's Abel. He stayed too long staring into the abyss. Couldn't pull away."

"How so?"

"Don't know. Just know they found him sitting at the edge, looking down into the bottomless black and he wouldn't budge for nothin'. They say he generated this super iron will that kept him from fallin' in but at the same time kept him from movin' too. Someone called it like a tie in a tug of war. Then one day his mind and face just froze up like that."

"What are they doing for him?"

"Collecting his Medicare, like everybody."

"Scary. But who's that dude over there? He looks like he's enjoying himself, a real success."

"You're kidding, right? Who the fuck enjoys this hellhole? Whole point is to get out. Don't let Happy-Happy fool you."

"Happy-Happy? That's his name?"

"No, his real name is Lupton Pitman but he won't let anyone call him nothin' but Happy-Happy."

"So how did he get in here?"

"Too happy for his own good."

"How the fuck is that possible?"

"That's all he would ever say, how happy he was. Some neighborhood boys found out and started tearing up his house, stealing his stuff, he'd never do anything about it. One of them even peed on his head. Finally they burnt his house down. All he'd ever say was how happy he was with it."

"Did he ever give a reason?"

"He said he didn't want anyone to think he was a loser."

"Ha! That's - " I couldn't find a better word, even considering my circumstances - "crazy!"

"Yeah, we get in trouble if the nurses find we been playing poker with him. He gets cleaned out quick."

"Who's that guy over there sitting on the couch watching TV? It's like he's looking right through the screen, not even seeing anything."

"Oh, that's Silent Sam. They didn't want to take him in. They put him through all the tests but he always came out normal. He told them they was wrong and had to take him."

"They took him in just like that?"

"That and he whipped his dick out and started whacking off looking right at the nurse. Boy, she got pissed!"


Boners are reserved for "normal" people

"Yup, he never says anything to anyone. My secret guess is if one of them nurses banged his brains out he'd be gone in a heartbeat. Fuckers 'round here just want to talk you to death. But some things talk just won't ever do."

"Damn. He'll never make it out alive." Would I? "That old man in the corner by himself. He looks like he'll die here too."

"Oh, that's Rodney, don't go near him. He's like a cornered animal. Me, I'm surprised the whole place ain't full of people like him."

"Why? What happened?"

"Company he worked for got bought but the other company couldn't pay the debt so they went bankrupt, cancelling all the pensions. Lost like $750,000 or somethin'. Stress killed his wife and he couldn't face living alone working as a security guard rest his life."

"But that's not crazy! That's a crazy world!"

"World don't see it that way. Never does! He's completely paranoid now, thinks ever'one's out to get him. He sees spies in his soup. These whacko nurses here tell him he can trust their world but his eyes are ripped open for good."

"My God. This place is like a dumping ground to hide our sins. Just sweeping people under the carpet, drugging them up and putting them on a balance sheet."

"That's the story, man. May as well give in and give up. They won't stand for havin' their money threatened. They get right violent when it comes to that. They'll put your head on a post if they has to."

"But I can't just not feel what I feel."

"Then you better be feelin' something good!"

"I got nothing to make me feel good. Not a scent, not a whiff of hope. I'm at the end of my rope. Someone told me to tie a knot in it but the knot slipped out. I'm flat out of anything."

"Then they got ya! But you can always smell me finger!"


"Smell me finger! I like smellin' them! They smell like hope!"

"Dude! This must be the part where you flake out."

"You know that Erin Andrews chick? She got videotaped naked and guess what she was doing? Smellin' her fingers! And she's hawt and can have anyone she wants and is on the outside. How's that for finger sniffin'!"

There really is no place to go in a world gone mad.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

How To Kill A D.A., Texas Style (True Story)

Kaufman county, southeast of Dallas, is "God and guns" country without a doubt. Rural hardcore conservative "values" dominate the area like most (all?) of rural Texas. And when those values come into conflict we found out just how brittle they can be. Some people may call what happened an anomaly. I call it a pattern for the future in this ever more conservative, judgmental country of ours. There's no honor among liars, even when they win they always self-devour in the end.

Let's start at the beginning of the chain reaction of events that led to the murder of an assistant D.A, the D.A. and the D.A's wife in this Texas county. Eric Williams, a Kaufman Justice of the Peace, was having trouble with his boss. Williams had a sterling background with a seemingly very bright future as "a member of Mensa; an honorably discharged Army lieutenant; a captain and weapons instructor in the Texas State Guard; a Kaufman County sheriff's reserve officer; and a licensed peace officer since the '80s." And one thing he wanted to do was vastly improve the county government by bringing it into the 21st century.

His predecessor, in fact, couldn't even send an email. And since "conservative" means resistant to change, Williams ran right into a stone wall in his attempts to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. Ever try to get your mom to learn a new piece of technology? Same sort of thing: "Over my dead body!" So Williams decided to take things in his own hands, taking three monitors out of the county building to jump start the process. This triggered a chain reaction that led to three dead bodies and national headlines for weeks. It's a plot straight out of a TV series because stuff like this just doesn't happen in real life.

But damned if it didn't!

Eric Williams (He needs your love)

The Kaufman D.A. had in his mind bought the stairway to heaven. He was a "black and white" sort of person with zero tolerance for being on the wrong side of the law - God's law to him. Only problem was like every other person ever born, he was not qualified to make that absolute judgment. But he was wholly seduced and corrupted by this idea, longing to prove himself and show the world his sterling morality. Pride goeth before a fall and whatnot.

When the surveillance tapes were reviewed showing Williams taking out the three monitors, William's boss saw the perfect opportunity to get rid of this thorn in his side, drawing up felony theft charges with an excited D.A. against the newly elected JP who had such high ambitions. Change must be fought at every turn! Williams was stunned when later that week arrest warrants were issued and he was cuffed, taken to jail and dragged across the headlines of the local paper.

And where was the loot in question? On eBay? Listed on craigslist? In a pawnshop? No. "One monitor was right there on Williams' desk, one was in the closet, and the last was in the back seat of his pickup." Williams claimed there was a simple explanation but by that time everyone had their "gotcha" wienies in a wad and didn't want to hear it. Too much stunted emotional growth, too much stubbornness, too much willful ignorance. Time for Kaufman officials to play the hero!

D.A. Mike McLelland (He needed your love too)

Kaufman D.A. Mike McLelland "lived by a code" because, you know, a code is much easier than a conscience to live with and made it easier for him to delineate his black-and-white outlook. To his eyes Williams represented government corruption that McLelland had been elected to clean up. Marshall Dillon gonna get them bad guys, prove the rightness of his code and get a ticker tape parade in one fell swoop! He fought in his moral indignation to drop the hammer on this perp and give him the maximum two year sentence. McLelland was mighty upset when the judge only gave Williams probation.

But that was not the real sentence for Williams. It was, in fact, much harsher. "The legal career, the elected position he'd held for less than five months, the good name he'd made for himself, the health insurance he needed for his wife — all was gone...He lost his seat as a justice of the peace. He lost his law license. He was no longer a member of the Texas Guard or a licensed peace officer." Williams, feeling he had nothing to live for and with his own rigid sense of outlaw justice feeling violated decided he wasn't going to stand for being railroaded into oblivion. That's how prosecutor and Assistant D.A. Mark Hasse ("A pitbull in court") wound up shot dead.

Wild speculation ensued. Aryan brotherhood, old grudges, Mexican cartels were all the rage in a salivating media. No one in his right mind kills an authority figure like that because they know the blowback would be enormous. The FBI and Texas Rangers were swarming the area, hellbent on finding the killer. No one thought to look inside their own community and weeks passed with no concrete evidence. Then dead bodies two and three, D.A. McLelland and his wife, were shot down in their own home, McLelland still in his pajamas. These were passion killings, a mind gone over the cliff.

On a tipoff police found the incriminating evidence they needed, arresting Williams and his wife (who allegedly confessed to driving the car while her husband pulled the trigger) and are holding them now on combined 33 million dollars in bonds. The combined worth of the three monitors was under $500. The ensuing wreckage of life: incalculable.

Rigid thinking. Zero tolerance. Black and white. Those are phrases that scare the hell out of me, I don't care how moral or right you think you are. Mind your own fucking business. We're all stupid and get on our high horse at times but uncorrected corruption like this can lead to horrific consequences. This is just an extreme case of the many thousands of injustices done every day by backwoods prosecutors playing to a corrupt conservative populace. Ruining lives over a joint, setting people up to play hero, and other crimes like this have been going on for decades. (See Tulia, Texas). In most cases those victims don't kill in retaliation but this was a victim of a different sort.