Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Homesman" (Film Review)

A movie is either worth seeing or it's not. Some may only warrant a single viewing but that's still enough for a recommendation. Some are a waste of time and some are an outright insult. And some, like this one, are both.

The plot is three crazy women on the plains of 19th century Nebraska need to be transported back east because they are beyond the means of their husbands to take care of. But you get to spend two hours with them! I don't know how it ends because I didn't make it that far. I was bored and had to pee, then I kept on walking. Felt good to step back outside into the light. I felt as if a weight had lifted from my shoulders.

Where do I start with this? First, the crazy women weren't really mentally ill. It would be more accurate to say they were someone's idea of crazy, hitting all the stereotypes. One refused to talk, staring out the window all day long. Refused to even use the outhouse - not that there was any proof she even ate! The second was a "God will strike you down" type, lunging and screaming and wailing, etc. The last was into all sorts of self-mutilation - which we got to watch! ***Graphic warning ahead*** Best scene, of course, was the infanticide of throwing the baby in the outhouse hole and hearing it wail. If it hadn't so obviously been a doll I'd of left on the spot.

These were crazy women like bad guys are in a "Die Hard" film: one dimensional caricatures that need to be disposed of. And if the attrition rate of that tiny Nebraska settlement was indicative of the west in general then there should have been dozens of wagons of crazy women being taken back east, perhaps all running into one another.

Can't you tell we're craaaaazy!

Tommy Lee Jones, who directed, plays his usual irascible character (in this case Wile E. Coyote). His comic relief amounts to little more than bottom-feeding pandering. Whenever an actor has the thought, "Oh, they're gonna love this!" running through his head, he's off base. Show me what you love. And because Tommy can't stand to share the stage, the film's protagonist Hillary Swank offs herself for no reason halfway through. Lord, what a mess this was! I left at that point.

I think they really expected this film to have meaning. One idiot reviewer spoke (gasped) of the movie exposing the harsh conditions of pioneer life and the untold price women and children paid. That's a sweet piece of propaganda but nothing in this film is tied to reality. This film - and I suspect the novel it's based on - is nothing more than a meaningless martyr in search of a cross, sort of like the "They're attacking Christmas!" crowd who fight phantoms in their head.

I really liked Tommy Lee's directorial debut, "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada". That truly was an unvarnished look at modern rural life set in cheap diners and tawdry lives that usually get very little screen time except as props. I was hoping he would take that same approach to the everyday existence of pioneer life with its small victories and tragedies that oscillate day to day. There really is a story there. We didn't get that here. All we got was cheap pulp.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Looking The Other Way

I needed a fresh start. There was no denying I'd made a mess of my directionless life. My old nemesis, negativity, had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a lifelong nightmare of stubbornness. How many times had I stood on the edge of success but refused to budge? I didn't want to know, I only wanted to look the other way.

That's how I ended up in Hong Kong, hooking up with Quan, Gan and Chen. Quan and Gan were twenty-something ne'er-do-well sons of an affluent Chinese family and Chen, though unrelated, was as close to them as a brother and in fact they all three called each other brother. The bond between them was strong and palpable, something to be trusted. I needed something like that, a rock to prevent me from floating out onto the sea of failure once more. Those three were as one - and I wanted to tag along as a fifth Beatle.

Quan and Gan had been cast as the black sheep of the family, irresponsible playboys wasting their lives. But that only made me like them all the more. Quan always had a smile on his face, upbeat in the face of adversity. Gan was the fearless daredevil willing to face anything. As a pair I much admired them and they were a pleasant contrast to my negative nature and complete loss of confidence. I was hoping they wouldn't ask too much of my past, that they'd look the other way. There is no greater mirror than being handed the keys of trust. I trembled.

But we gelled as a team and I was quite proud of our dynamic. I was held in a bit of false high esteem simply because I was Western and from America. They thought that meant I somehow knew something they did not. We were going to build a hotel together and I was part of that as a logistics coordinator, a skill I had picked up over the years while waiting for something I actually wanted to do with my life. I was very, very bitter that that something never came along.

Rehabilitation was in the cards for Quan and Gan too. This prime piece of property was being entrusted to them by the family so they could prove themselves. Chen scared me a bit. He was from the rough Hong Kong streets. He was to be in charge of the kitchen, a big step up for him into the genteel society of a professional career. Though he'd ostensibly made his living as a cook all his life I suspected not all his income had been quite legal. But in the streets you gotta survive any way you can. Look the other way.

Like I said, a great dynamic formed between us as we began to believe in ourselves and what we were doing. Quan and Gan were very creative - though reckless - but I was able to reign that recklessness in and they took my advice without resentment. They began to see by putting aside their egos and putting the project first we could build something to be proud of. Chen was always a bit dour and withdrawn - scars from his previous life, I assumed - but even he was starting to get into his role as head man of his department. Alright!

One thing did bother me: Lucy. The boys all shared her but not in a romantic way. It was as if she was their permanent unofficial prostitute. Was she a slave? Could she leave at any time? She was part of their bond too, I could see, as she acted as all women do for men: being their nighttime confessor. I thought to myself "Different culture. Different ways." I prided myself on being liberal and open-minded, not to judge their mores - mores I could very well have if I'd grown up there. Look the other way.

But this pebble in my shoe bothered me. I was being dishonest - which prevented me from actually being liberal. So I did what I always do in that situation: I role-played a liberal. In this case I was the round-eyed Western with superior morals obliging the Eastern heathens who operated in ignorance. I quite enjoyed this vanity, of at last not being the biggest loser in the room. I was going to make things work this time, put the project above my personal feelings: do the right thing. Perfidy would not do me in this time!

The stumbling block came with Chen. I felt a tad sorry for him. He was being asked to do a lot in his new role but all of us were being positive and non-judgmental - a mentality I helped foster and, frankly, insisted on. Quan and Gan clearly enjoyed drinking from this cup as it gave them a new lease on life. We wanted to bring Chen along to enjoy the fruits of this banquet like the rest of us. Chen's problem was he needed to expand his menu, his range of cooking.

It wasn't as if he didn't have the talent. I would even call him gifted, I was envious at the flashes of skill I'd seen. His management skills were also up to the task, understanding what's needed even if not brilliant in doing so. But my whole previous life flashed before my eyes in terror as I saw him sitting on that bench in the back of the kitchen with his arms folded and staring straight ahead as those around him gently cajoled him to learn the new recipes. He refused absolutely, listening to no one, his mind made up - not even considering it. I couldn't look away: that was me!

I staggered away, devastated. So that's how I looked in all my previous attempts at success. Standing right on the edge, refusing to go forward. I wanted to strangle Chen with every fiber of my being; outraged and disgusted. "You're only a failure if you believe it to be, you idiot! Take the good that's given to you!" What could possess a man to be so stubbornly stupid? No way I could ask Quan and Gan to go on without him. They'd never put the project that much ahead of their feelings. I was simmering to a slow boil.

I didn't get any sleep that night, Chen's frozen face peering out at me in the darkness, so painfully reminding me of my own. Is that what I had truly done all my life? Had I been that big of an asshole? Oh, God no! Please don't let it be so. My name is Tragedy. Over the years I'd clung to the "morality of nothingness": that I was nothing and therefore doing nothing was what was best. "Remove yourself from her life. You are nothing. It's the right thing to do." Was I ever going to do the right thing?

Heinrich Mundt knew exactly what he wanted. The land may have belonged to Quan and Gan's family but Mundt was the German money man. Everything in Mundt's life was clear cut, without confusion: follow the money. He needed that simplicity in his life and guarded it with a ruthless vigor, he never looked away for an instant. His god was a pure god, enforced by a sorcery of unquestioned numbers. Chen's not working out then Chen has to go. Simple. Easy. Non-negotiable.

Had I truly been liberal, i.e. honest, I'd have flown out on the next plane back to America. That was how I felt and if things changed, call me. The train tracks had been ripped asunder and the engine was at a standstill until they got fixed. See ya! But I didn't have that kind of guts. I was weak and seduced by my new role as the positive moral leader. I'd never had that before! What I didn't realize was I was being just as stubborn as Chen by staying. I looked the other way - for the "greater good".

Yes, I was being phony but the amoral heathens couldn't know that. Their conscience wasn't nearly as developed as mine. I couldn't hide it anymore, though, frustration seeping through the edges. The three cooks we brought in to help Chen were unfailingly polite, patient and encouraging. Contention had set in and the next thing I knew someone new had shown up: Hua, another play toy for the boys and Chen in particular. Things were too tense for me to directly question the boys' thought process on this but if they thought that would help...

The pebble in my shoe was now a boulder. "What the fuck is going on around here!!!" By all reason I should bail out more than ever but a spellbinding curiosity led me the rest of the way to my fate. I had to know, no more turning away - despite the sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. My instincts for self-preservation were letting me down. Or rather, I was letting them down. It was then I began to realize I had stepped right through the gates of hell.

One night soon after, I overheard Lucy giving Hua the lowdown. "It's no good here, better to get out." Chen was a killer. He'd killed and buried his previous girlfriends on the property and Quan and Gan helped cover it up. No wonder their parents were fucking pissed at them! They weren't being unfair. It was amazing the boys had been given any chance at all! Christ, what had I gotten myself into? We were building on lies and silent cries. Oh, yes, time to get the hell out.

But it was too late. Chen and what I could only describe as his soldiers - men who obeyed without question - showed up, grabbing my arm, knowing I had overheard. I tried to impress upon them my role as the open-minded liberal but even I didn't believe me. I fell silent. I watched in horror as they took Hua away. Lucy had very delicately earned the boys' trust but Hua was let in on the secret too early. It was as if everyone's masks were torn off.

Chen was forceful and commanding in dealing death. What I'd mistaken as shyness was cunning evil brooding in the dark. That's why he didn't believe he could take the next step forward. He was sitting in self-judgment, all the time thinking of the girls he'd buried as we tried to convince him to make the new souffle. That maniacally determined "I am nothing" face that so horrified me determined my fate in an unhesitating heartbeat. "He goes too."

I screamed in helpless terror as Hua was dropped down the shaft for the foundation pier and concrete filled in until she was heard no more. I was surrounded in the dark. The vacant, eye-less stares of Chen's soldiers removed any illusion of hope. There was nothing with which to reason. I surprised myself as I gathered myself into what I guessed to be an hysterical calm, being in the eye of the hurricane so-to-speak. Chen, in his new demeanor as commander, deliberately walked over to me looking me in the eye the entire time, measuring me. I refused to look away this time - though too goddam late.

"You ever speak that gonna be you."

His voice was icy clear. I said nothing, did nothing, frozen in time. Chen too was frozen, waiting on my response - a response that could drop me in a concrete hole. I could take it no more. I had to get my feelings out regardless of cost. "I'm never coming back here. I want no part of this." The feelings I'd dare not show before made Chen smirk. I don't know what he was thinking but it looked as if my words were some sort of confirmation to him and he motioned for me to be let go. I gathered up my things and headed straight to the airport.

Shattered, unnerved, grief-stricken, I wandered dazed upon my return here. I felt angry - angrier than I had ever been in my life. Chen's final smirk infuriated me. "What a godless world we live in!" I vowed never to look away again - even as my heart still pounded in palpable fear. Who's face would I wear? Mine or Chen's? Would he change his mind and send a Chinese assassin after me? But I knew what I needed to do: I needed to find me. Looking away has too high a price.

CODA: The hotel got built but Quan and Gan had a falling out with Chen. Covering up Chen's murders had bonded them into a morbid family: Chen rejected by the girls, Quan and Gan rejected by their family. They rejoiced in an initial defiant rebellion of unity and my idiot ass came along defining that as pure love. I guess in a way it was - but it was a unity built on the love of lying. The secret ate them up, their lives ruled by what they couldn't communicate - as all lives are. Because they couldn't confess their sin, they were forced to repeat it.

As with all falling outs with Chen, it was fatal. Quan and Gan were found shot dead. I had no doubt Chen's soldiers executed the command without blinking an eye. Get up, eat, shoot someone on orders, go to sleep. A soldier must praise his master for he knows he can never be better. As for Chen, his killings finally became public. I have no doubt he would have kept killing until caught. In another life he'd been a master chef, married with children. I wonder if I'm the only person alive who knows that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Heart Of The Beast

One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound,
but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled
with wonder and followed the beast.

Time kept running out

The stilled life of flowers left behind in the dark

Then chambers echoed with the unbearable cold

On its own, the heart could beat no more

It must take the beats of hearts outside to live on

"Give me your beats!" it roars with great authority

The lost, the proud, the blind, the bowed

Come with ripped beating hearts in offering hands

"Only in death can purpose be found!"

Luscious lies sear fried minds asunder for plunder

"Almost there! Just a few beats more!"

Down the bottomless pit sink pulses of life

Useless energy spent siphoned by the Beast's fatal heart

In knowledge without understanding, the fool's sacrifice made

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast,
that the image of the beast should both speak,
and cause that as many as would not worship
the image of the beast should be killed.

Death's demented disciples devour in a vampire's vanity

Leashed lemmings lead to zealous zombies

A sorcery of numbers breeds needless bondage

Infertile the saltless souls fade

Reason is treason, "The heart's obscene!"

Bold in betrayal the hunt for the last virgin love

"How dare your heart still beat when mine has dutifully stilled!"

Tree humpers savage land in outraged lust

Triumphant snakes slither down crosses of denial

War on the inside births war on the outside

Brilliant deemed words from cups of stupefied rage

The enemies of rainbows reign in quixotic fever

Hope is hailed for battles won in lost wars

Safe is the world for liars and deceivers

And hell for lovers and grievers.

...and they worshiped the beast, saying,
"Who is like unto the beast?
"Who is able to make war with him?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Emperor Obama"

Well, the Republicants are squealing like stuck pigs. Yo-Momma Obama put the screws to them like he should have been doing all along. Funny we aren't seeing more praise from the Obamabots. Maybe it's because they are the same as one highly vocal supporter who gushed effusive accolades for Obama's lack of principle. Guess there really are those who see principles as the enemy and the enemy as deliverers. Karma has an answer for that.

When dealing with a bent lot like the current crop of Republicants (who are gradually losing their human form more and more every day - but will anyone notice??) the truth is they are actually ripe for the picking in political terms. The fruit is hanging so low it practically hits you on the head. They are in such overextended positions even the slightest acts of humanity will do them in.

That's exactly what happened with immigration amnesty. After the despicable post-election wailing of "I hear you", our President actually backtracked from that stance into one far more upright. Usually when the Republicants threaten to call him bad names Obama prostrates himself like a prom queen at homecoming. "King", "Emperor", "Meanie" - they rolled out the works hoping to scare him off. This time whitey lost.

Holding a piece of future kindling

The cretins are threatening to legislate a reversal of the order. Go ahead! This will do the one thing they absolutely, positively, no-way-in-heaven-or-hell want to do: define themselves. If legislation passes rolling back the order the Rethugs will be forever branded as anti-immigrant and anti-family to the fastest growing segment of the population. Oops! But it's either that or capitulate in one form or another to the Great Black Satan. Gee, what's an asshole to do?

So yes, doing the right thing is divisive, it forces people to make a stand, to come out into the open. Jesus made it very clear he came here to divide. But let's face it, most of us don't want to be exposed like that, to have the whistle blown on us so-to-speak. And Lord knows this President has shown a special antipathy for whistle-blowers - those doing wrong (especially in the name of doing right!) always do. And that's why we see little to no outrage for truly dictatorial behavior.

It's true when Obama came into office he made his stance very clear that the rule of law has no place in his administration. Law enforcement would piss off all the criminals and he couldn't have that since he needed to "bring us all together." What a high state of delusion that is! But to finally admit that there are those above the law - regardless of harm done - really does take the cake. Guess that's one way to get the criminals on your side!

Until May, large financial institutions investigated for wrongdoing had dodged criminal prosecution under the Obama administration, despite evidence from federal regulators and prosecutors showing that big banks had, for instance, laundered money for suspected terrorists and drug cartels; manipulated interest rate benchmarks; rigged various commodities markets; mislead investors in mortgage-linked securities; duped homeowners into taking out expensive mortgages; manipulated municipal debt markets; and broke state and federal rules when attempting to seize homes after borrowers fell behind on their payments, a scandal that became known as "robosigning."

But until Friday, no senior federal official had acknowledged this was explicit U.S. policy.

“We were not willing to find those firms guilty before, because we were worried that if we found them guilty, that could somehow potentially destabilize the financial system,” Dudley said. “We've gotten past that and I think it's really important that we got past that.”

I won't bother debating the veracity of the "got past it" quote or the laughable idea dozens of CEOs will be indicted for their felonious behavior. We have crowned the bankers as de facto kings of our society - something with which only the "impractical" radicals have a problem. Unfortunately, it seems only time will educate the rest of the populace as to the "pragmatism" of making these fuckers our rulers and deciders of our fate. How many homeless children does it take before we change course?

Good guys don't need no stinkin' warrant!

And of course when our President truly acts as a king - in the direct taking of life in extrajudicial manner - we hear not a peep from the Republicants who can't wait to be scrawling out their very own Kill Lists before going to bed at night. Pretenders on the left say, "Good Daddy is only killing the bad guys to make us safe!" Those on the right declare, "Yippee! We get to kill people!" Way to go uniting the emotional twelve-year-olds with the emotionally disturbed.

41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground

Ah yes, it's a beautiful world. Corruption must be protected to keep our corrupt society going. Fear has us lashing out wildly across the globe taking out anyone in whom we see ourselves. And any acts of humanity must be mercilessly and relentlessly attacked at all costs. Don't need a prophet to tell us how this turns out!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Aka Aki (Red Autumn): Explosion In The Garden (Photo/Video)

Aka Rain 2

without a hat
a winter rain falls on me,
so what

The "gales of November came early" this year, a three day freeze turning a somewhat timid garden into an explosion of colors. As a coda to the midweek freeze we had a gentle Japanese rain on Saturday. Apparently it was enough of a rain to keep out the hordes but as usual, the rain drew me in. Thank God. I was regaled by spectacular colors left and right, above and below. I literally gasped. These are my beloved Japans, a jewel of the world, sprinkling her influence around the globe.

Aka 92

Aka 51

Aka 23

Aka 31

the color of wind
planted artlessly
in an autumn garden

"Great day for taking pictures, isn't it?"

I was accosted by a fellow photographer, no doubt noticing the look of marvel on my face.

"It's unbelievable!" I replied, also noticing the look of marvel on his face. "There should be 500 people here."

"I agree!"

Aka 67

Aka 68

Aka 43

Aka 72

sweeping the garden
I want to leave in the temple
scattered willow leaves

I came for the reds. I was going to do a theme on all the shades of red in the autumn garden: the magentas, the scarlets, the crimsons, the burgandys, and what I call the 'electric reds', a color that hit me like a lightening bolt when I first saw it. I stuck with the theme but I couldn't ignore the overall beauty as I staggered along. "This is a gift" I thought to myself. "Take it all in."

There's an urge when entering such an enchanted realm to want to possess it, to never let go, to hold on to its presence forever. I dream of having my own garden to while away the hours day after day, immersing myself in the moment, unconscious of time. Perhaps then I could requite my desires. But then I remember this is a temple to be accepted on its own terms - and in that is wisdom - dammit.

Aka 1

Aka 58

Aka 49

Aka 64

this autumn
why getting older is like
a bird into clouds

On the other side of the world: mass executions without reason, oppression without end, and those more desperate for war than peace. Here, we see the institutionalization of greed, the protection of corruption at any cost, and the illusion of corporate profits defining our primary national interests. I walk in fear wondering how much of that is inside me; to what am I contributing?

This is my sanctuary but I find it impossible to isolate myself here. I can only recognize this moment, this raindrop, this dream. That's enough for now.

Aka 76

Aka 91

Aka 50

Aka 46


I made three different videos. The first with a soundtrack from "The Natural Sounds of Japan" (courtesy of bbd). The second echoes simply with the sounds of the garden. And lastly I combine the sounds with that of a solitary bamboo flute. Take a stroll through paradise before it's lost.

All poetry courtesy of Basho, wandering Japanese monk.

Click here for the entire photo set

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Debt Collector

BANG! BANG! BANG! "Come on, Mr. Bean. Open up!"

Mr. Bean was born cranky. Banging on his door first thing in the morning only made him crankier. "Goddam, what is it?" he grouched opening his finely inlaid entrance.

A man in a multi-colored suit gave the bad news. "Your house. We're taking it for money owed."

"I own this place free and clear, you rat bastard moron!"

"Right. You've got full equity. That's why it's the best one to take."

"You must be downright nuts! I don't owe you a goddam thing."

"No, but Smithers down the street gambled away your house so now it belongs to my bank."

"That's outrageous! How can he do that! That's not even legal!"

"Yeah, so? You can go vote or protest or whatever it is you people do. All I know is everyone decided we could take your house for the debt."

"Go fuck yourself! What do you mean 'everyone decided'?"

"Your neighbors knew we had to take somebody's house so they voted it to be yours. They don't like you much. Democracy in action!"

"Wasn't anyone pissed a house not belonging to Smithers was being taken for his goddam debt?? That's outrageous!!"

"They were pissed until they found out just yours was being taken."

"But it could happen to them too!"

"An esoteric and extraneous point based on a paranoid conspiracy theory - though we do have plans to take theirs too. Nice neighborhood!"

"Who are you people? What makes you think you can do this??"

"The Big Shots say we can."

"What fucking Big Shots? I'll have their goddam heads!"

"Actually, according to our records you voted for the Big Shot over you."

"But he's supposed to be one of the good guys!"

"He is! Everyone else wanted to take your house six months ago but he held out. So think, you got six extra months!"

"Who gives a shit about that now!!"

"Not me. Now fork over the keys or the six cops I got behind me will shoot you down and call it self defense. I told them I'd take their houses if they didn't help us so I wouldn't mess with them."

"This is a nightmare! Un-fucking-believable! I wake up and my whole life is ruined. How can this happen? Has the world gone mad? Doesn't anyone give one flying fuck about anything?"

"Quit your whining and consider the greater good."

"Why can't someone say that to Smithers??"

Guns drawn in vicious hatred, the lawless officers removed a livid and screaming Mr. Bean and put a "For Sale" sign up on the lawn. He didn't go quietly - but go he did. Stunned and dazed, Bean wandered the streets in helpless muttering dismay.

"Look, mommy! A creepy homeless guy talking to himself!" decried one little girl.

"I wonder what he did to deserve that?" whispered her mother whisking her child to safety.

Down the street was a crowd of petty rock throwers, rabid police and angry artillery - all aimed at one single house. Bean felt a sense of relief to focus on another's troubles.

"What's going on here?" he asked a fellow bystander.

"Force field," was the reply as if to explain everything.

"Force field? You're kidding me?"

"I cannot imagine why I would do that. They took the force field option and now everyone is pissed the house can't be taken. Simple, logical facts."

"I could have taken a force field - but I didn't! I'm a good loyal citizen who trusts his government and all authority to do the right thing." As he said this another artillery shell whistled overhead. "I hope those mortars break through. If I can't keep mine neither can they. Damn them and their good decisions!"

Bean looked curiously at the rock throwers who were dressed in rags and covered in filth, clearly not belonging to the upscale neighborhood and stood no chance of sharing in any profit from stealing the abode.

"Why are those ragamuffins throwing rocks? They have no stake in this."

"Idiots need to feel useful. Besides, poor people can be greedy too. They just don't have the outlet."

"Looks like they found one!"


Bean later found out the rock throwers were given golf tees in reward by the wealthy land grabbers whose bidding they did in hopeful aspiration. Though none of them could afford a round of golf nor even had clubs, they felt quite proud, calling themselves the "Tee Party."

Bean could find no friendly ear. "I've been victimized!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. No one paid him a cent of attention. His plea of "This isn't supposed to happen to me!" actually caused some amusement. When he started screaming society was "insane, corrupt, and out of control" the Thought Police were notified for a terrorist alert. Bean was able to hide before the drones arrived or this would be the end of the story. It shocked him to remember he used to cheer drone strikes when watching on TV.

Determined to seek justice, Bean researched Smithers' evil ways, of his secretly taking money that did not belong to him, leveraging it so every loss was multiplied by 30, then threw his victims out into the street before starting all over again. Bean posted these facts with complete verification on the internet in what he hoped to be a startling exposé that would change the course of society. The comments showed him otherwise.

"Whoa! That Smithers dude is smart! I want to be like him!"

"It's your own fault for letting it happen! Take responsibility for your life. Don't be looking to me to pay your damn bills!"

"This is obviously sour grapes on the achievers in society. Get over it. No one wants to hear this shit. You should be applauding Smithers instead of attacking him with baseless accusations."

At his lowest hour, Bean heard words to lift him out of his plight.

"Those who've been disenfranchised, disavowed; those who are deep in despair, take heart. I feel your pain. What's happening to you should not be happening. A society lives on justice but starves with injustice. Our future - our very lives - are at stake. This cannot go on! This must not go on!"

Bean looked up to see Dear Leader beaming with resounding applause from his believers. Rushing to Dear Leader's side, Bean plead his case.

"Sir! Sir! I'm being made to pay for debts not my own!"

"Well, somebody's got to pay. Not gonna be me!"

"Yes, but - what about what you just said about justice and everything??"

"Don't ya love it! That kind of shit gets me elected - and re-elected! Everyone so badly wants to believe. The stupidity of the voter suits me quite well."

"Didn't you mean any of it, about society needing justice to survive?"

"Abstract philosophy has no place in a modern society. That's the problem with justice: it's just not pragmatic."

At this point Bean's belief was shattered forever. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you twisted twit! You seriously trying to tell me a society can't survive serving justice? Are you out of your bankrupt mind?"

"I'll tell what it means, my good man. It means society needs bankers - not homeless fucks like you."

"Oh yeah? You can suck my big white dick, you sonofabitch! Who the fuck needs you? I hope you're fed back twice what you're serving out!"

"I'm needed to protect society from angry people like you, you shithead. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm about to be fêted by the Gambling Lobby. You know what -" Dear Leader couldn't stop from laughing. "You know what they tell me? The only way the gambling laws were kept in place was because the anti-gambling forces trust me so implicitly! God, that's funny! Don't you know I'd be Jesus if only they would let me!"

Dear Leader laughed his way down the street, cracking himself up with a perpetual string of inside jokes. Mr. Bean was not amused, slumping down into a nearby gutter as the rain began to pour.

"What's left to fight for? The world has gone mad in daylight madness. All I've got left is my soul." Bean held his head between his hands in free and total defeat. "I just can't believe I have to pay for debts not mine own. There's no escape is there? Living here is complete shit - even when you do nothing wrong."

"Tell me about it!" affirmed a voice from the cross above.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

See? Obama Really Is A Genius!

Still not letting the good be the enemy of stupid

So we finally see the results of Obama's super-secret, super-genius, grand master plan to outflank the Republicants to further his hidden liberal agenda by keeping the Democraps in power.


It was supposed to be a brilliant rope-a-dope strategy beyond the understanding of us mere mortals. What appeared on the surface to be craven Chamberlain-like wholesale capitulation was in reality a clever trump play in the making to restore order to the galaxy - or so I was told. Continuing - and enhancing - radical right-wing policies was OK since it was being done by what some called the reincarnation of JFK. Don't believe your lying drone eyes, just trust the guy!

Some people are expressing frustration at the midterm outcomes. But why? When sowing Republican seeds one should expect Republican weeds to grow. Oh, that's right. When the Democrat Jesus spreads Republican seeds, Democrats should sprout up. If we'd just given the guy enough support he could have defied the laws of physics. How pragmatic! Politics is certainly fertile ground for wishful thinkers.

If you're going to go to all the trouble of voting,
actually vote for someone of your own species

The reality so few want to face is that we are on a sinking ship. Anyone worth their salt knows this, knows why, and would never run for office. What sort of idiot rushes to be the captain of the Titanic as it's irreparably damaged? It's a fool's errand and whoever ascends to power will be rejected in the end for not righting the ship. False saviors will continue to roll in at the expense of the fearful and gullible and many will attach meaning to the meaningless in a pretense of responsibility. But those who continue to lie to themselves and cling to the sinking ship will perish along with it.

The voters have spoken! They see hope in dirty wars, dirty water, dirty lies, dirty money, dirt deeds, and a dirty world. They have to. They voted for it. That's how the charade goes on: everyone votes themselves to be Jesus. "I'll put whomever is most like me in power!" No system, no "benevolent ruler", no nothin' can substitute for a clean spirit. It's all a big, giant illusion with people pointing fingers as the ship goes down, others with blankets over their heads to keep the illusion alive, and a very few - vilified by the rest - actually trying to fix the holes.

If you were God, who would you trust?