Friday, December 16, 2016

The Abortionist's Nightmare

The dream invaded him night after draining night...

The crowd roared with applause then rose in standing ovation. The two performers bowed deeply, smiling in the life-giving adulation. They knew it was not them, it was what they created together that was important. It had been a long, rocky journey to this point, fraught with danger and disaster other acts failed to avoid. Do I deserve this? How good are we really? Am I an over-praised imposter?

Like a child struggling to walk, one must persevere in faith it will happen. Many are the voices along the way but the feeling is unmistakably good. It's like being in a boat, surrendering to the river's flow, trusting where it will take you, and bathing in the peace of it. When the journey ends one thing is clear above all else: to have taken any other course would have been sheer madness, betrayal, suicide.

They needed the means to live outside society. Only there could they breathe life into their act. It takes a knowing belief to ask to have more. Doing the right thing brought success and success was the right thing to do. To say, "I am not worthy" is to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. Most of all was the sense of freedom, of limitless love, and the eternal satisfaction of having made the right choices. It was the feeling of life for which every life yearned.

It was the dream of this feeling that owned the nights for Oliver. Only for him, it was a nightmare, trying to suppress the dream he'd aborted.

"No! NO! Tell me I did not do that!"

It was like a never-ending film, laying in wait to continue every time he closed his exhausted eyes.

A critic wrote: What's wonderful about this pair of comedians is not only their perfect timing and pleasant air of innocence, but the friendship between the two we know exists even when times get rough and exasperation rises to the surface. "Another fine mess you've got me into!" This catch phrase lingers in our consciousness because we know it comes from love was well as real frustration we all get from time to time with one another. They are but helpless to stick together. We wish to be in their world.

Losing the act made life an impractical hell for Oliver. What ate at him most was he'd done it in the name of practicality. Forced to live within society's confines boxed his soul in dire daily death. His heart drowned in the tears of a lost existence, perpetually tormented by living under the basest of beasts who rule the daily underworld. There he was to spend the rest of his days trapped in unspoken ignominy; to whom could he speak of his unproven dream?

It's true: Ollie had been a true believer. This was the fact he most sought to hide, the deathly desperate shame he hoped to bury. Safe in the stupid world, none dare question him as a bum. No, his fear was to be called talented, professional, and a star. More than once it occurred to him the irony of his once having craved to the bottom of his soul to be ascribed those precious things. He even based his marriage to his wife that none of those traits were within him: a contract of mutual deceit.

Ollie was attacked by the urchins who now surrounded him. Unhappy with their own lives - failures feigning freedom - they'd demand he "pick himself up" and "quit moping." (In an act of unusual defiance, Ollie once grabbed a mop when told to quit moping. When asked what he was doing he replied, "You told me to quit mopping but I'm doing it anyway!" The confused look on his tormenter's face brought back a long forgotten satisfied feeling. Ollie was truly feeling his old self when he then made a fake apology for not knowing how to spell.)

But worst of all was the sickening, frightening, shattered feeling in the pit of his stomach lurking around every corner. No matter what small victory he might achieve to bring a rare smile, the dark clouds overhead reminded him in crestfallen doom of his perpetual predicament, re-breaking his heart. Finding the resources to forgive himself was a constant battle. The killing chores that paid the rent made him cry out in pain when praised in selfish ignorance. In the end, Ollie was left with only one gaping question:

"What is left to do to make amends?"

Saturday, December 10, 2016

End Of The Line

It's been seven years since I fucked up with Emily. I can live off the echoes of her memory no more. Near as I can tell, she has gone on the run, supposedly from me, believing I don't adore and respect my most favorite person in the world (in this I was deceptive). But were I to die tomorrow (in sweet mercy) she would find she'd still be running. Only then will she understand.

Without her friendship and support I am nothing. I am helpless to stop the erosion of my health. I can pretend to be living no more. Needs are needs.

The world has become one big concentration camp. With glee, they are warming up the ovens - only this time there will be no quick, merciful death. The poor, the weak, and the elderly will be first to die in slow motion terror. Worked to death, worried to death, withered to death. All this will be done in the name of God, and God will be silent.

Seeing this horror, one by one each group will line up next for extermination. They too will stay silent to the end, vainly hoping to be spared. In huddled masses they will listen to the screams. Truth has won battles but never the war. In great satisfaction, it will be seen the liars cannot pray their way off their crosses as they falsely believed. Only then will they know the value of truth.

Once the dead have removed themselves we will be free. Until that time there is nothing more to say. Only our Maker can prevent our wholesale self-annihilation at this point. We will all be asked where we stood in the time of darkness. Be prepared to have a good answer, that is the only thing left for which to live.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Perspectives (Photo Essay Dream)

Yes, this is a picture of an actual supporter of President Caligula.
Can you feel her wisdom?

"When man stops raping his soul he'll stop raping the world - and not before."
- American Indian proverb

We reached a crossroads in the last century: to choose between greed or freedom. If we are to be judged by our fruits our choice was the wrong one. Everything this century is angrier: our songs, our words, our politics. Rage is taking over. Has making the right decision ever made you mad?

Perspectives 03

Perspectives 09

Perspectives 12

Perspectives 17

With the air of a century past
The fallen leaves on the garden.
- Basho

Perhaps if we look deeper, underneath, and into the hidden corners we see something different. The strands of time are like a flowing river. Try to dam the flow and you'll drown in the rising waters. Try to alter its path to your own ends and the strain will consume you over time. In the end, the river can only be released to flow as Nature intended. But the perspective of many is that if Nature wins, we lose. How very faithless.

Perspectives 10

Perspectives 23

Perspectives 54

Perspectives 42
Inverted picture, reflection up top

That soon they will die
Is unknown
To the chirping cicadas.
- Basho

I too feel the rage, a nightmare to live at the mercy of messianic monsters. Agents of cruelty armed with snarling lies and forked tongues dream of a false future that can never be. This makes them angry. They must find someone to blame, destroying lives in the name of justice. They must hide their bad decisions, crushing dissent in the name of security. They must blame their victims or see themselves as the monsters they are. What happens when the Nazi killers become Nazis?

Perspectives 47

Perspectives 78

Perspectives 65

Perspectives 74

Even if the cherry blossoms bloom
Ours is a world of suffering
- Issa

"I'm saying to you I'm hurting, I'm in pain, and see no hope."

What of my own monstrosity? I too wish to blame others for my own tragic self-betrayal. I spout plausible answers, I leave out inconvenient facts, I get patted on the back in false justification. And yet my life remains the same. We ache to rip off our masks because we can't breathe inside them. We ache to keep them on because we fear we won't be loved when exposed. Nature makes it simple in the end. Those who choose to breathe will survive, those who choose not to will die. Only the truth can set us free.

Perspectives 18

Perspectives 13

Perspectives 11

Click here to see the entire set.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Mecum Maseratis, Dallas 2016

Auction 4

The Maserati gods were smiling upon me at the last Mecum auction. A very rare 4.9 liter 1969 Ghibli spyder along with a 1975 Bora were both up for sale. What a painful time to be poor. The Ghibli was the star of the show with an estimated price of around a million. The market for these Spyders is climbing but they usually go for a fraction of that price. The engine must be the difference in this case.

1969 Ghibli Spyder

1969 Ghibli 2

1969 Ghibli 7

Ghibli 6

While the Ghibli had had a first class restoration done on it the Bora was a bit tired with some wear and tear showing on the interior. I thought the $160,000 reserve price was way optimistic. $125,000 would have been a good price for that car. I saw Wayne Carini put a Bora up for auction and he overpriced it too. People just don't appreciate them and that's fine with me. Keep my fake hope alive!

Bora 1

Bora 2

Bora 5

Bora 6

Of course, there were some other fine examples present. Those who will recall the early days of Miami Vice will remember Crockett drove a Ferrari Daytona (it was fake). Here we have the real deal, will probably fetch around three quarters of a million.

1973 Ferrari Daytona 1

Ferrari Daytona 2

"It's a doozy!" That phrase came from the great Duesenberg line of cars. Pictures don't so this car justice. Just blows you away in person, absolute work of art.

Duesy 1

This Aston Martin Vulcan is a glorious beast. Only 24 to be built with a price tag of 2.3 million.

Aston Martin Vulcan 2

This Lincoln Limo really killed me. I'd have a blast with this car, something straight out of The Godfather. Car was a steal far as I was concerned.

1938 Lincoln Limo 1

Lincoln Limo 5

Lincoln Limo 7

The cost of buying a classic supercar does not end with the purchase. The maintenance on these high-strung creations comes with a steep bill and is one reason why you see so many low mileage examples running around even years later. Here's an invoice detailing some of the work done on the Bora. These kinds of costs are typical.

Bora Invoice

To find out how the auction went for the two Masers, see the videos below.

Click here to see the entire photo collection

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Abortionist Responds

Dear Stan,

I got your letter. I'm not sure what you're trying to do. The act is gone and can't be recreated. The person I was before no longer exists. Life goes on. You don't need me.

Many people have crazy dreams when they are young. They want to be artists or engineers and other unworkable ideas that get in their heads. You need to get passed that stage and join the grown up world. I have obligations and responsibilities. I cannot support myself walking on the clouds of fanciful dreams. We were never going to become famous.

During the act it was always perform, perform, perform! What pressure! What if the funny stops? How do I know I can keep up my end? Is that fair to you that you should have to carry me? I believe I was doing you a favor when I aborted. Yes, you should be thanking me for giving you a head start in the right direction instead of keep heading down the road of wishful thinking.

Also, for some reason, soon after the act broke I started gaining weight and am unable to stop it. It plagues me to this day. Just imagine how awful it would be for me to be on stage after ballooning like this! They say something in my physiology changed. More proof I was right to quit.

I am married now and have devoted my life to God. We are conservative Christians. I don't believe God wants us walking around in this evil world laughing amid so much misery. I read a scripture on that one time. It's better we sit in sackcloth and ashes and repent. Life is very hard and difficult and bitter! This certainly serves the world much better than two guys clowning around on stage.

I won't say I don't miss you at times. Sometimes the old impulses start coming through (and very ill-timed!). I have learned to ignore them as God wants me to. I'm sorry you keep living in the past. I still remember what you said to me at the end, that I wasn't just quitting the act, I was quitting on life. I think you can see with this letter that's not true. The wife and I will pray for you.

God Bless,

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Hardy

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rambo Smokes A Joint

The Texas Sheriff’s Association, one of the oldest law enforcement associations in the nation, claimed that considering the legalization of marijuana in Texas is reckless and irresponsible despite 26 states and the District of Columbia currently having laws legalizing marijuana in some form.

"We have never allowed it, and we never will,” the Sheriff’s Association continued. “Our children are the future of our state, and it is irresponsible for us, as adults, to play fast and loose with their minds and their futures. They are not of an age to make these decisions, so it’s up to us to make the right choices."


South Dallas is not Dallas. It's a third world of despairing decay and rejected rot abutting a revitalized downtown with its million dollar condos and skyrocketing rents afforded only by the very few. In contrast, parts of southern Dallas can be mistaken for 1950's rural Mississippi complete with gravel roads. So desperate is the neglect of this part of the city, one can literally be eaten alive by roving packs of dogs.

In this place of forgotten people sat a forgotten man in a forgotten multi-story building. This man himself was also trying to forget. John J Rambo had come back from Vietnam with his body intact but with many parts missing. He could never again be the person he was before he left for the hell of the jungles whose clinging vines still wrapped his soul in tightened torment. The journey out of hell had proven more perilous than the hell itself.

The first step had been denial, to strive to be the whole person he was before. That brought rage. Then came despair, deciding to succumb to the hell and let it devour him. That brought sorrow. Slowly, painfully, over the years he let the regret seep in and the grieving begin. He oscillated between chastising himself and chastising a world he'd never trust again. In time, one thing else became clear: he needed help on an unforgiving planet.

Help came in the soothing inhales of THC-laced smoke. Like every man who'd warred he hungered and thirsted above all for peace if he were to keep his breath. He would not be the whole person of before, he would not be a patriarch to ensuing generations. In fact, he didn't know exactly what he was. But this ancient plant wound between his fingers put Rambo in a place that whatever it was he had turned out to be, it was OK. That brought peace.

As it turned out, fighting for peace was much harder than fighting for war. In peace, he was attacked by guilt and doubt that never plagued him during battle. These enemies scoured his entire consciousness looking for every weakness. The only way to win this battle was to realize his self-worth. Of the wounds he suffered in these conflicts he spoke to no one. But now having found a place of peace he knew he had to protect it - or lose his soul forever. Rambo wasn't about to lose another war, and so gradually, bit by bit, he'd become a warrior for peace simply by virtue of remaining alive.

He'd also become a criminal in the eyes of the law-bred. And when law enforcement authorities were made aware of this criminal they knew they must act!

"Listen, men, today we are fighting to protect the future of our children! Either we eliminate criminal activity or it eliminates us. One person violating the law is a threat to law everywhere. So not even the slightest infraction can be tolerated. People start fucking around with the law then all hell breaks loose! Let's go, boys, and save the day!"

With hoops and hollers the armed mass departed to uphold the thin blue line between civilization and utter chaos. For if that is not the fruit of their blind obedience then agents of chaos they truly be, to be reviled as mindless dogs when the final history of mankind is written. The officers wallowed in the force shield of approval that in their minds made them invulnerable on their way to inflict the law at all costs.

"It's so great being the good guy! We can waste these lawbreakers any way we please!"

"Especially when we go to the poor side of town. So much less stress dealing with people who don't count."

"Got that right. You'll never see a #poorlivesmatter campaign!"

"Yeah, man, I heard what the new AG said: Good people don’t smoke marijuana. We'll get this dirtbag and clean up this country of these degenerate pot smokers."

"Lot safer than going after real criminals or Wall Street traders, that's for sure. I was at my Holy Hypocrites Of America meeting last night and we made damn sure it was OK for us to persecute pot smokers even if we do it ourselves, just like that asshole Obama."

"Know what you mean. At my Anti-Christs For Jesus rally last week we pretty much figured out we're the only ones who know what the truth is. We gotta get this country back on the straight and narrow."

"Amen to that, brother! I hope he has a nice car we can seize."

Rambo was in a particularly mellow mood when his radio crackled with a long forgotten voice. "Rambo! This is Col. Trautman! You're surrounded! Drop your joint and surrender before it's too late!"

"Heeey, Trout-man! How's it going?"

"Rambo, this is serious! Look at the odds. There's over 200 men out here."

"Sounds like you're serious enough for the both of us. Don't mess with my wa. Ain't going back to the jungle in my head or in my heart. You were right. It's over. You wanna come in and smoke some ganja, help yourself. You wanna take my peace from me I'll give you a fight you won't believe."

"It's useless I tell you, Rambo. Come on out and I'll fly you back to Bragg. You can't fight over 200 men!"

"You send that many, don't forget one thing."


"A good supply of body bags."

"Hey, that's my line!"

"Suit yourself, Colonel."

Thus the signal was given to raid the house. The first group, however, did not fare that well as they were blown to bits by buried Claymore mines. "He can't do that! We're the good guys!" Reflexively, officers in the streets began to riddle the house with automatic weapons fire. But this only drew a response from radar activated nested machine guns on each floor that tracked the flashpoints of the gunfire to guide their aim (ideal for home defense!). Dozens of men fell in the surrounding streets wailing in pain.

Rambo peered out a slit in the building. "Guess they'll need some more cop guys." Then he took another toke.

Chaos ruled on the crime scene. Amid the confusion and flashing lights and approaching ambulances a decision was made to break out the heavy artillery. Attack helicopters, LAW rockets, and the explosives laden robot that killed the police sniper descended on Rambo's location - but to no avail. A series of interconnected drones overhead fired in coordination nullifying each potential bombardment. "Hey, he can't use drones! Only we can use drones! This is, like, so totally unfair! Might is supposed to make us right! Just look at all the death and destruction that joint caused."

"Fuck it. It's Twinkies time. Just don't
ask me how I got the munchies!"

Tired and beaten, the police sulked away, the dead and wounded too many to count. The press reported that the situation was only contained due to the skilled law enforcement techniques of the officers. Chief Brown responded, "I find that the mind is the greatest weapon. We'll outsmart him and pick him up in a couple weeks working at a car wash in Oak Cliff - like we could have done in the first place."

Rambo could only shake his head as he looked at the casualties being carried off on this war on people who use drugs. He settled back into a comfortable spot, still with so many tears left to soothe. "Why is it people just can't mind their own business?"

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Abortion

Dear Oliver,

It's been many years since we've talked yet I sense your presence every day. Your absence has been keenly felt as I ramble through life disconnected. You once told me you were "really just a big, fat nothing". I'll never forget that moment. It was like I was punched in the stomach and I felt a complete fool. All I know is I don't feel like being funny anymore. The joy is gone.

I still believe in us as an act - or at least what could have been. It's a fracture in my heart time cannot mend, an eternal woe. I stumble along in small clubs, drifting in the echoes of my dreams. You insisted we were deluding ourselves, that everyone thinks they have a great act and will be stars but the odds say differently. You told me you didn't see yourself as anything special. I don't know. Maybe apart neither of us is anything special. I can certainly say the magic I once felt is painfully gone.

I admit I had stars in my eyes. I too was scared. I thought our names would live forever. It seems so real! Looking back, perhaps I really was playing the fool but I still don't want to accept that. You say the pathetic mediocrity of my solo career proves we did the right thing by breaking up the act before we made fools of ourselves before all the world. But an even bigger fear has begun to consume me from the bottom of the pit of my stomach.

What if, in someplace where all truth is known, what truly makes us fools is the fact we didn't try? What if angels are weeping at the loss of what would have been greatness for the ages? Maybe that's the reason we walk around overwhelmed with a feeling of failure. Maybe the failure was in  aborting the act, not because we believed in the act. I feel we have condemned ourselves to the very fate we were trying to avoid!

You keep popping into my head on occasion when I think a funny thought I know you'd love. I want to share it but you're not there. And no one else speaks our language. So the thought dies, unheard and un-laughed. What would people think if they knew of this loss? My punctured soul drips in sorrow, draining all the funny out of me. Nothing terrifies me more.

I have to live in the supposed world that you were right and the act was wrong. What else can I tell myself? If only I could stop these questions from swirling around in my head! Sometimes I suppress funny thoughts to keep from believing I have talent, to show my life has not been a waste. I live my life now as seen through the eyes of others. My own eyes can't bear to face we've committed a crime against humanity.

I've also found I can't hold a relationship anymore. I keep wanting to tell her I'm not worth her time, I'm only a fraud. I'm so desperate to prove aborting the act was an act of integrity that it has pervaded my entire life. I do not see a way out of this spiral. An ignorant fool told me to "just find someone else for the show" but it doesn't work with someone else! "Oh, so he's like the greatest comedian of all time? He's the only good one? Then how come he didn't become a star on his own?" I am truly in hell and cannot stop thinking about what once was.

I'm sorry, Oliver, but I will always know your name and always know your funny. Maybe your funny and my funny don't mean much apart. You said if we were really talented and deserved the success we dreamed of then we'd have successful solo acts that would prove that and we could rejoin. But it's not who we are apart that matters, but who we are together. What I do know is this weight in my heart is bringing me down. I just want to quit and hide for the rest of my life. I don't want anyone to know I can be funny. I can't stop believing that the only reason we failed is because we didn't try. Maybe in a way that really does make us the frauds we feared to be.

Your friend,

Stan Laurel

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Downtown Dallas Blues (Photo Essay)

DT Blues 36

I rambled through downtown on the anniversary of JFK's death, the day democracy died (one could argue RFK's death was the final nail in the coffin). We will never again have an honest person in our top office as we continue our sad parade of losers to lead us into oblivion while protecting the deified greed that destroys us. But even outside of the anniversary I am feeling the blues as the walls close in on me, wondering when I too must exit.

DT Blues 2

DT Blues 12

DT Blues 16

DT Blues 7

DT Blues 9

The day was appropriately overcast. The expected crowd was loitering and exploring Dealey plaza, posing by the infamous X in the road. Worst part of all, though, is we hate and persecute truth-tellers like Kennedy more than ever. We see them as enemies of the state and traitors to our way of life. But those who are loyal to our way of lie and proclaim it holy from the mountaintops are the true traitors, agents of destruction, our typhoid Mary. Our current messiah in office has proven he would violently damn JFK as a member of the "professional left". Never was our President's anger and conviction stronger than in making that statement.

His finger too was on the trigger that terrible day in 1963.

DT Blues 10

DT Blues 18

DT Blues 6

DT Blues 19

DT Blues 69

When Jesus was on the cross, no one was able to release him, even if one knew it to be the right thing to do. Why? Because all assassinations are conspiracies. Certainly nothing physical stopped anyone from releasing him. Only by a concerted effort of the whole did he remain there. Were anyone to change their mind on the killing of Christ, he would be betrayed and killed in kind. No one had to sit around a table and stipulate that, you just knew it. The soldiers answered to their superiors, the superiors answered to Caesar, Caesar answered to the public, the public answered to the Romans - around and around it goes as one humans feels justified in doing wrong because another human told him to do it.

Gee, wonder how that will work out!

DT Blues 22\

DT Blues 40

DT Blues 38

DT Blues 57

DT Blues 29

The more apparent it becomes we're on the wrong course, the more you hear the cry, "We've done this before! We'll be fine!" But you can only stick the needle in your arm so many times. We either die in mutual betrayal or survive in mutual support. Believe as you wish, this will happen regardless. All the guns and bombs in the world won't save a soul. Once we realize that, that's when we'll beat our swords into ploughshares and have true peace. In the meantime, try to have the courage of Kennedy and say "No" when they tell you to load Jews in the oven, a request that never stops, in all its hideous forms.

DT Blues 35

DT Blues 44

DT Blues 39

DT Blues 27

DT Blues 32

Click here to see the entire set.