Thursday, February 25, 2016

Three Blind Mice

Hey, look who's in charge! A former Walmart greeter!

Mimicking the latest trend in corporate America, four top FAA decision-makers sat in the secret chamber which allowed them to be free to be themselves, i.e. wearing nothing but diapers. In this special way they decided the fate of the air traffic controllers under their collective thumb.

"It's not enough! There's still too much thinking going on in the ranks. I won't permit it! It's vile and immoral." Then he crapped in his diaper.

"I agree. It's good we make them wear bright orange beanies and attend mandatory meetings where they are required to quack like a duck. That has weeded out some of the offenders but higher sanctions are still needed. If not, I think I'll cry." He placed the pacifier back in his mouth.

"These thinkers are a plague upon the nation. They always think they know best regardless of anyone else's feelings or self-delusion. If we let these monsters stay among us they will ruin everything. Thank you, I'm going to fart now."

"I hate them! Kill them all! They make me feel bad, those meanies! They need us, we don't need them. That's why we're in charge! Make them leave! Make them leave right now!" Then he flung his bowl of porridge in blind fury across the room. It was certainly a messy room.

The next week a new policy was handed down: going forward all new air traffic controllers must be blind. It was up to boss Thumbelina to introduce the newest hire.

"Everyone, this is Blind Betsy. She is the first to be hired under our new policy. How exciting!"

"How is she supposed to do her job if she's blind? Management must be nuts!"

"Please, no negativity, let's have an open mind. They're simply trying something different."

"That's what Hitler said about the Holocaust, as if you can't know if something is good or bad until you try it."

"Exactly! It's good our supreme leaders have the wondrous and magical vision to make us the best we can be. They've been reading articles on the internet!"

"Well, what about our computers that are so old they are dying off? Pretty soon we'll be down to using smoke signals."

"Oh, that's not their fault even if they are the only ones who can authorize replacements. Someone has to be thinking of how we'll be operating eight years in the future!"

Reactions in the room were mixed. Some accepted any conditions given them and if planes crashed then planes crashed, can't be helped (management's favorites). Others had doubts but felt it was not their place to question. And some knew this to be reckless endangerment from self-seeking bureaucrats whose only concern was continuing their places of power; immoral, vile, deluded, petulant dilettantes who believed the self-awareness of their incompetence and the ability to cover it up to be the truest sign of one's intelligence.

Blind Betsy, yet another creature who considered only herself, took her seat with great anticipation. "Oh, this is so wonderful! I've always wanted to be in a position of responsibility. Just imagine all the people's lives depending on little ol' me!"

A much dreaded thinker was sitting beside her. "If you really wanted to be responsible then you'd never have taken this job in the first place."

Thumbelina, whose sense of purpose never came from within, was outraged. "I will not tolerate that kind of language! You need to show courtesy and respect."

"I am showing respect - to my profession. And besides, the truth should never be taken as an insult."

"The truth is what our superiors say it is. From now on I want to hear nothing but positivity!" demanded Thumbelina with all the passionate fervor of a blindly committed cultist.

"How the hell is she supposed to be able to guide the planes when she can't even see??"

"Because we are a TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. Whoever sits next to Betsy will need to lean over and describe her screen to her. Be sure to do a good job helping her! Lives are at stake!"

"How am I supposed to watch my screen if I'm watching hers!"

"We'll just have to adapt. I have great faith in you! You are one of our star controllers!"

"Unless something goes wrong from me trying to do two jobs. Then I'll get the blame and this blind idiot will get none because she can't see. It's insanity! The world is turned upside down and no one even notices it."

"Don't be such a worry wart. Everything will be fine! I have faith! It feels good to have faith. You should have it too! Life is wonderful!"

Later in the diaper chamber, much glee was to be found.

"Like, oh my God, she really said that?? That's too funny! 'The truth is what our superiors say it is." I love it!"

"The Bolsheviks were right: thank God for useful idiots. No matter how stupid a policy we come up with there'll always be some idiot there to defend it with a misguided sense of purpose."

"We've already run off some of those badmouthing thinkers. The ones remaining are so tortured by doing two jobs and trying to make things work out of a sense of responsibility they are literally becoming sick with the effort. It's so funny I almost wish they'd stay on so we could torture them forever. But I guess we need to keep a few around anyway so we can fire them when the planes start crashing."

"HAHAHAHA! I love it! We are untouchable priests of the world! Watch them die and suffer for our sins! We are the true masters of reality!"

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Ching, I Coyote

Kwai Chang Caine wants to know!

"Ha, ha, ha! Fell right off the cliff! What a dummy!"

Soft-spoken, slow-speaking Caine did not understand his companion's reaction. "Is it find the pain of others?"

"What ya talking about? He deserved it!"

" it not ourselves we judge...when we judge others?"

"Dude, you think too much. If he wants to chase after that roadrunner then he's getting what he deserves."

"Is not the coyote simply doing as nature instructs all living things do?"

"I think he's doing what Acme instructs him to do, frankly. That damn fool must have spent a fortune there over the years!"

"And yet you find nothing to admire in his persistence? Is this not a sign of character?"

"He's a durn fool! He ain't never going to catch that bird. And besides, nobody wants him to."

"They wish...for the coyote to starve? Should we ask to disrupt...the natural order of things? Can Man place himself above nature? I do not see the wisdom in this."

"Cain, it's a goddam cartoon! There ain't no wisdom to be had!"

"But...meaning can be found...anywhere. Even in a rock."

"In Iraq? You want go find meaning there, have at it! All I know is is that anvil is gonna end up landing on that coyote's head and I can damn guarantee you you are the only person on this planet who's got a problem with that."

"But is not the truth of one...still the truth?"

"Dude, you need to get that Chinese dick of yours in a woman and lighten up. Not everything has meaning to it! Get over it!"

"Perhaps...if you could give me an example."

"Last week that moron who lives across the street went out and voted for that wet-behind-the-ears teenage runaway Rubio!"

"I...see your point." At that moment the anvil finally landed on the coyote's head. Caine laughed.

I do not see a President...I see...a paper boy

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CODA: The End Of The World

Wow. I never thought it would come to this. I'm sitting in my high rise office I rented years ago for vanity purposes and I can see the sun setting in spectacular fashion over west Dallas. Only it's not.

I am not here. The sun is not mine. I don't even know what planet I'm on. I fear to speak because I'm not sure the language I use will be understood by the natives. What is here that's actually here? These people I see running around, what are they on about? They are possessed with a knowledge I do not have. So many move with an invisible urgency.

It's like something broke in me when I got word I was finally a billionaire. Why should that have made a difference between all those years when I had several hundred million? What was it I had been holding back? Part of me wishes I could go back to that earlier time, but even if my money count went back down I see now that last piece of innocence is lost forever - just like my self-betrayal of the Woman of Fabric. "You're nothing to me now, Fredo."

I've searched high and low and come up empty and dry. Each day is a series of meaningless acts done to perpetuate another day of meaningless acts. I'm sure I'd be widely mocked as the Bored Billionaire were anyone to find out about my inner dilemma but this is a prison beyond my understanding. I actually saw a movie the other night with a guy in prison and those shots of him inside his cell, I knew exactly how he was feeling. It felt scarily good to connect. At the time I told myself I must be delusional. But that is more real to me than what I see here before my eyes.

Institutionalized by my money

I'm at sea with no land in sight. Nor even knowledge if land exists on this orb. I could be saving myself decades of misery by dying now. Or salvation could be just around the corner. It's hard to imagine a more exquisite torture being devised, this agony between living hell and imagined heaven. I feel I've reached a stage where I'm mentally catatonic, and that ushers in a new dawn of despair.

The Howard Hughes syndrome makes much more sense to me. Just squirrel yourself away and forsake this world upon which you've been placed. Nothing here means anything to me any more than some microbe on Pluto. These other humanoids who seem so pressed to make an impression, I believe they are misguided. It would be very dangerous to follow one of them. This globe is nothing but a giant ant hill of blind activity that knows not where it leads.

I've ceased my search to find use of my many millions. Like Tolstoy's Pierre, every idea seemed brilliant until I actually tried it. I'm wholly imbued with this sense of uselessness or futility in any direction I go. I give a million to the homeless shelter but nothing changes for me or them. I've dreamed of building things to "look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair." That too fell to the sword of folly. Love, hate, passion, apathy, inspiration, manipulation - it all leads nowhere. I thought...

I guess I thought I'd find something. Some morsel or... But there's really nothing at all. Be born, waste time, then die. Some will call this self-pity, as if I'm denying myself an answer. One thing I've observed: if you're in an economic prison you're left only to imagine what life might mean and be good with that imagined meaning. But I who have been free of that my entire life can harbor no such delusion. I'm faced with this reality of a vast nothingness of disinterest. I look over the world and it interests me not.

Where is escape? Do I blackout for a few hours in an alcoholic haze? Where does that get me? There is no physical destination that can save me. I've actually bought houses I've seen featured on the wealth channel. I was excited right up until I owned them. After that I felt like a trespasser and all the Italian marble seemed no more to me than mere cold rock. Five times I did this, much to my shame.

I realize now no one can hand me a solution. I really tried to make that work. All anyone does is tell you what works for them or wished worked for them - but that's them, not me. I am helpless as my ship sinks silently into the ocean depths. I could scream in horror but who would hear me? In fatal secrecy I think back to the Woman of Fabric as I fade to black. I wish she could know of these final thoughts were she to find me in my resting place deep on the lightless ocean floor. Though I don't know where the "other path" could have led, it's obvious she'd see me and think, "What a waste."

Yes, that much is real. Shit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We Are All Shkreli!

I love this freak Martin Shkreli! His smirkin' ass is the unrepressed embodiment of corporatized America today. His fellow freaks who are also actively destroying this country are supposedly outraged by our man Martin. They want to stay in the shadows, show up as honored sponsors at golf events, be lauded as pillars of the community. They say to him, "It's OK to gouge people and laugh about it - but you're supposed to hide it and lie about it later!" Same way Donald "The billionaire with orange hair" Trump is taking old time Republican prejudices out of the closet.

In his appearance before our elected clan of criminals, these scoundrels who still feign ethics were incensed in burning envy by his unrepentant freedom. "I call this blood money...coming out of the pockets of hardworking Americans," shrilled a Sinataur creature. In Shkreli these beasts who sit on the throne thought they had found gold, i.e. someone they could point to as an even bigger sell-out asshole than they are! Marty has been made the poster boy for drug industry greed to scapegoat the greediness of a nation. He knows this - and thinks it's funny.

There are many who (self-servingly) frame Obamacare as a moral endeavor with moral intentions. In the behind-the-scenes deal-making was a sign off on wholesale corporate greed to be given to Big Pharma. The ill gotten gains of Shkreli's extortion is comparative to selling one car a year as opposed to GM's yearly output. How many tens of millions of dollars on a daily basis are being sucked from "the pockets of hardworking Americans"? No one heard a peep from bought off Democrats wanting to trumpet political victory and of course when is a Republican ever going to stand in the way of greed?

"Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government."

Truer words were never spoken, because people elect those in whom they see themselves - which makes us a nation of imbeciles. In his raising by fiftyfold the price of a needed drug, Shkreli is simply playing by the rules, doing what the market will bear and rewarding his shareholders. This kind of behavior goes on every day to various degrees. With an example as easy to understand and as obvious as this one, our elected buffoons were given a chance to show "disgust" at something which they celebrate and turn a blind eye to every single fucking day.

But maybe we have become self-aware enough as a country to tire of denying our creed of greed. No matter how many faces Shkreli made or how much contemptuous mockery he displayed, none of that resonated in this attempt to portray him as villain for the ages. The story got its 15 minutes but had no legs. No matter how scandalous Shkreli's behavior there's just simply too many people looking at this unabashed capitalist saying, "That could be me!"

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Childe Harry's Pilgrimage


In tempestuous time with beloved line forgot,
His bed cast out alone, rid in angry sorrow,
Safety's peace from fallen clouds he bought
As if goodness' heart he could borrow!
In shorted days ill traded for a fool's false morrow;
He cries out for life from an open grave:
A pilgrimage to Kilimanjaro;
In prayer the setting sun he hopes to save,
Hell's kitchen the promise of a knightly knave.

Some sojourns a request, but this trip tis compelled,
"Urging, searching, burning for a place where I not be!
"Ancient mountain trees by runt madmen here been felled,
"This sight my hungered eyes are left to see,
"But in reflecting waters none can hide, 'specially me;
"I stand without mother, father, son or brother."
Movement ahoy! Direction's freedom is the open sea,
Dishonest broker travels undercover,
For truth's claiming seeking only of the other.

First hurdle of the waves, the fabled siren's call:
Cash in the losing hand upon craggy, doom-licked rock,
"How strange I find wisdom in the lust to take this fall!"
Yet favor perseveres to find safe port for stiffened cock,
On ship's futile forage who could blame his love to lock?
Yet ruthless time melts Man's will in useless savage rot;
Hands reach 'cross the bow to grab lost seconds from the clock,
If silence be his savior then his options naught,
A siren's call he did not want yet found t'was what he sought!

She sings to me as if I've lived and slayed a dragon through,
As hero of her heart of this idol to make her plea;
Childe thought however false her words: Who else makes song for you?
"Will you go to war for me? Will you be my whore for me?
"If lost on fields of battle I'd mourn thee for eternity!"
Worshiped like the shining sun if from death I do not cower;
"But if thee's choice is life a thousand sisters' curse you'll flee!"
Her face once lovely wrinkles grey in ire's shriveling sour,
Disdain the erstwhile hero! His journey's peace labeled a coward.


Stabbed in heart and soul, Childe must find the holy shore;
"Is my hope mirage, born of conned imagination?
"Is my quest folly, a proof of world wicked more,
"Doomed to toil in hell from which there's no vacation?
"Be love under God's spell to mend my poor relation?"
This prisoner of the waves longs for freedom's land,
His search mocked by rotters, winners cast insinuation;
Foolish monks in frenzied fear untouched by loving hand;
Child Harry keeps his dreams though his voyage nearly damned.

Succored by an isle, he hears welcoming warm voice,
"'All for one and one for all' is our certain Policy!
"Each must succeed for life to chart a living choice."
A magic word for Childe, to hear of Certainty!
"My name is Childe Harry, a person of Rain Tree."
Angry judges mumbled, then: "He's a weatherist!
"What of snow, sleet, nay even drought - all too good for thee?"
Shocked by gotcha politic where innocence is dissed,
Left floating down dream's stream, this Childe is sorely pissed!

Ripping hole within his soul, "What life will I acquire?"
Worrier of woe who claims its foe hails Childe for nifty save;
"But love is beyond my fortune's grasp, my predicament too dire."
"Fear not, my friend, love's yet at hand when ye's fortune she does crave!
"She'll follow to the ends of earth, from bedroom to the grave."
"But merchant's promise I did try filled my hole with brackish gloom."
Worldly wealth's unceasing masters to their treasure be a slave;
"A simile from Emilie be Heaven's true silver spoon."
Death becomes the soul when chasing pyrrhic profit's doom.

In pilgrimage to holy mount Childe Harry errs upon his path;
Yes, he stayed true to what he knew but none to ventures new;
In the ranks of criminally free unbearable is God's wrath;
A thousand reasons to lie yet no advocate speaks true,
"Why is it what I want, is what I never do?"
In deception's hell fools wander in sapping desert heat;
Claiming victory in life without a fucking clue;
From singeing sands love's victims crawl dying at Childe's feet,
Charring desert winds, timeless, ever absent defeat.


Snow capped mount guards its truth in taunting holy bet;
"Winged eagle soars where I must climb with all my might!"
But to Childe Harry's lament he need pay his moral debt.
Risking life and limb he lumbers to cleanse his spirit's plight;
His trust is torture's chamber to find a safe respite;
"To reveal my true worth I must travel sans companion."
But do travails save his soul - or gives meaningless frostbite?
"Do I not do unmerciful gods' life rules demandin'?"
But standing at the top, hope is still an impassable canyon.

"With this permanence of woe, what scoundrel says this too will pass?"
Misguided in perception, "Assuming of the gods I was blind too bold."
Giving up his solo sojourn, suddenly appears a prayed-for lass.
In footsteps of love, in trust to Childe she hands flower bud to hold.
Walking in son's lasting light, rejoice as real this dream unfold?
Having never held love's gift before, Childe had been quick to moralize;
Sweet heaven flower's bud - then fear! "In light it's me they do behold!"
Brave Childe while in darkness never himself to see or realize;
Looking back running, lovers' silhouettes as morning sun slow rise.

On land on sea, above below the ground, Childe runs without refuge;
Hunted by blessed light's time, flower girl's face branded on his mind;
For cherished rest a forbidden stop lest countless troubles deluge;
"How long can I keep this up? What is left for a fool to find?"
Doubt came to Childe this need to make a run. "Tis liars left behind!"
Too late he embraces back to loving arms, to empty shattered dream;
She moved to paired salvation, to discover one is kind.
Diminished by the day, Childe driven writes of what he's seen;
In Boolean dilemma, without worthy love he walks obscene.

"If every voice spoke truly from every mountain top,
"Fear's grip would fade away, crushed till end of time!
"In immaculate deception we fight wars we'd love to stop;
"Lies spoken, love unspoken, genesis of all committed crime;
"Mock me in this tale laboring under meter and tyrant rhyme;
"I, Childe Harry, am broken, fretting in constant consternation;
"I must still yet find my way but Judas missed the saving sign;
"Inescapable the soul's pilgrimage ending in revelation;
"Wanderers of the world, though erred, yet craving love's destination."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How To Stay Alive At Fifty Five

"I want to live! I want to give!"
Two sins God does not forgive;
Betrayed by both heaven and hell
No one hears unemployed yell.

Thinking this a world to trust
Until you find you're broke and bust!
Helpless as a backside tortoise,
Presence stripped of any purpose.

Life was harder then it got hard:
Cold future's night security guard.
Having always done what you were told,
Kicked to the curb when you get old.

In foolish hope you think you count,
But dollars are the wrong amount;
Give back your house and shiny car,
Scorned and jeered at local bar.

When you passed the street man beggar
Did you think you were better?
Did you fail to understand
That you were he as fellow man?

But though innocent of any crime
You find it's you who's facing time.
Paupers no parole nor penance,
Hell for life the unjust sentence.

Have you a soul your best friend
Devoted to the very end?
All favor gone, the world is bent
If dare to ask help for the rent.

Did you make greed's hand your father,
As it now holds head under water?
Did you play the godly fool
Faithful to pernicious rule?

For all your woes it's too late,
Your fellow man seals your fate!
Though may be right in your debate,
Pilate smiles in victory's hate.

Sitting pared with thin pocketbook,
Do you wish you'd been a crook?
Perhaps a better honesty
To see the world as it must be.

We work not to future bright;
Who cannot see the spreading blight?
You care not until it's you:
The abandoned mocked German Jew.

You made them happy to be their toy,
At fifty-five, a paper boy!
Tossed on the lawn of your old boss
Who profits from dead Jesus cross.

If think you not be royally fucked
Then go try your lottery luck!
Every child sees the world as sick -
Until he grows up to be a dick.

Brain-dead drunk on the gravy train,
"To ever leave would be insane!";
Till dragged and dumped off the caboose
Leaves you pondering of a noose.

Bewitching liars rule the day;
The drowning man has no say!
If vampires see you are hurtin'
You'll be labeled a "goddam burden."

See your neighbors on TV
Where cruise lines promise love is free;
"Hey, loser man, don't be rude!
"Eat another canned dog food!"

Of this too you can be sure:
To finely femme you've no allure;
Kingly swine reap all the women,
Never again will you be grinnin'.

Jesus Christ is not your friend,
For yourself you must fend;
Problems solved within a bottle;
Slowly your life you do throttle.

Longer that you stick around,
Longer chased by hell's fierce hound!
Feel the pain in creaking joints,
Medicine guarded at gun point.

If life lands you dire on the rocks
Only way out is earth's pine box.
Face the fact that you have lost,
Can't pray your way off Mankind's crossed.
Welcome to the holocaust!

Monday, February 08, 2016

The Short Unhappy Life Of Dozo Maserati

"Why should I care? I'm Dozo Maserati!" That's what I loved about Dozo: he was his own superhero. The group discussion had been on who should become President and nothing could have bored him more. Nothing outside his immediate span of attention interested him. He led a rock star's life, time was his own. As far as he was concerned, the rest of us were migrant workers toiling in futility down on master's farm. Unfortunately, he was right about that.

First, let me explain the name: I can't. I can tell you it was on his driver's license but I'll be damned if I ever saw it on a birth certificate. He'd just grin when we asked him about it but with the money he had I assume it would have been easy enough to change his name to the Japanese word for "please" and that of a famous maker of supercars. Funny part is, it fit him. But then again, if he really was the one who picked it out I guess it should.

When he was alive, much was a mystery. He did nothing for a living we working class suckers could discern yet he did not want for money. When he spoke of his family it was clear he did not come from money. We knew he wasn't a drug dealer. Press him and he'd only reply, "I'm Dozo Maserati!" Part of me knew better but by God I so dearly wanted to believe in him!

One thing I do know was he liked to draw and create. He had his own little shop down in Deep Ellum, Dallas' nightclub and bohemian arts district. He showed it to me on occasion and I loved it. It was like his own personal gallery showing. One piece in particular I liked was called "Fuck you! She Said". He'd taken a coffee cup full of coffee and thrown it against this white poster board. No human hand could ever match that impact. He told me it actually took several attempts to get it right because the coffee kept flying out before it hit the poster. When I foolishly asked how he managed to overcome that I got the standard reply: "I'm Dozo Maserati!"

I told him he should open the shop up to the public, see what people had to say. He asked me what for. I (finally) got to say, "Because you're Dozo Maserati!" He tried to flash his usual smile at me but I saw the pain in his eyes. That's when I knew for sure his life was one big masquerade, an act no one could crack. Being independently wealthy shielded him from many evils of the world while also releasing him to do and say as he pleased. Wasn't that enough? I do have to admit he was certainly pleased with himself in some regard. What that regard was he'd never reveal but I felt it had something to do with how he got his money.

Sometimes he'd pay me to spend the day with him, or rather, he made up for the wages I lost for taking the day off. He'd go off and buy these two-three thousand dollar Italian leather shoes. Salesman said they took ten months to make! I'm sitting there watching this spectacle, laughing on the inside. Dozo would ask if I wanted a pair but I said I had no use for them. It was ethereal spending a day in his world. Others have wealth, but he never had to answer to anybody for his. "What's the point of being rich if you're some cocksucking CEO?"

Damn. Damn, damn, damn. That's certainly how I'd play it if I could. I was definitely envious of Dozo but not to the point of bitterness. There just had to be a price he paid somewhere for living what I called the perfect lifestyle. He never stayed with any one woman for a long period of time. I suspected what he was hiding from us he hid from them too. When it came time for revelation he'd quit and start all over again. But I glossed that over saying he just hadn't met the right one yet.

"I'm empty, man." We were driving along in Dozo's latest Maserati (a classic Bora, in fact) and he knew he was supposed to be on top of the world. He'd beaten the system yet again. Always so anxious to prove he was somebody! So I couldn't believe my ears when the smile disappeared and he uttered that line of futility. I gave a quick laugh waiting for the punch line. Then he looked over at me with a sober face I'll never forget. Something had him worried. Something he couldn't trick or buy his way out of.

"If you think the hell and drudgery of my job gives my life meaning you're sadly mistaken," I tried to console. I'd lose myself in Dozo's world when we were together, sort of like going to the movies. But he'd halted the film projector and the light of day brought me back to daily suicide and gaping, ceaseless regrets. I had to believe independent wealth would solve my problems. Last thing I wanted was him popping my bubble.

"No. Sure as hell don't want that, either. But it's one thing to find answers for the world, another finding answers for me. I just don't know what the point of anything is. Beating the world isn't the same as beating life. I feel like there's this wall or something between me and what I want and I just can't get around it. I can get every thing that I want, but I can't get what I want. Maybe I'm not as smart as I thought."

I didn't want to hear this depressing talk. "But you're Dozo Maserati!"

That forced a smile on his face and he spoke no more of his woes. Later, I felt guilty about cutting him off, my own misery and pain getting the best of me. I see this a lot, so much possible constructive dialog lost down the drain of sorrows.

Only other time I caught him being snippy was when I saw a Keith Moon biography on his desk at his Deep Ellum place. "Hey, that's you!" Dozo had told me of his tearing up a hotel room once and I thought he'd be flattered at the comparison. His eyes first looked at me, then the book I was pointing to. "No. Moonie had talent." Then he turned his back to me. Fuck, I was just trying to play along. I never quite could put all the pieces together.

Then he stopped coming 'round. A year later, I get a knock on my door. It was Dozo. He looked at death's door - which turned out to be exactly the case.

"My blood is poisoned, there's no going back. I have to tell someone before I die. I want to tell everything but you can tell no one. They'll be laughing at me forever."

I was honored he'd chosen me and not held a grudge for my previous rude gaffes. "Sure thing, I'll protect the legend of Dozo Maserati!"

Even then that caused him to strain a smile. "It's like this. You know how I always like to go out camping and hiking. I do that because I like to be alone. I don't like having to explain my life. I can't do what you and the other guys do. No way can I hold down a job - ever. It would kill me."

"Trust me, it's killing me too. World doesn't care if you live or die, though."

"Exactly. People are shit. All I wanted to do was sit around and draw. That's it. I was facing getting out of school and being on my own. I found this cave way out on this rancher's land with a sign warning of hazardous gas inside. I figured what better place to commit suicide? Let the assholes wonder what happened to me. No one ever listened when I wanted to talk anyway."

Shit, that included me. God, what I wouldn't give to grow up. Dozo continued. "I get inside and it's dark and damp, the perfect place to die alone unwanted. But this thin layer of water is running down the sides in the back. It was shiny so I went over to investigate. I couldn't believe it but it was gold! I felt like the Count of Monte Cristo finding the treasure chest. One minute you think you're doomed to die the next the world is at your feet. With the water washing away for God knows how long the first nuggets were so loose I could get them out by hand."


Dozo continued speaking in this voice I'd never heard before. "Yeah, I know. Shocked the shit out of me too. I couldn't tell anyone. They might horn in on me or tell the owner and I'd be screwed. I figured I'd been handed a death sentence in life, what did I have to lose taking the gold? The owners only showed up to get away from wherever their real house was. Was easy to get the gold out. I started feeling...destined."

Dozo started coughing. He held up his hand to motion me to not to try and give aid. His fate was sealed. Nothing anyone could do. The fa├žade was dead.

"I dunno. I don't know what I was thinking. I was so angry. Getting the gold seemed like my just reward, ya know? For making up for living in this crummy world. I was dead, man! No way out. Even if that poison gas did kill me, what difference does that make to a condemned man? Plus I figured that sign was from way back and the cave was OK now. How was I to know it was a slow poison? Took seven years to catch up to me."

I went over and locked the door and lowered the lights. "No one needs to know anyone's home." I knew Dozo didn't want anyone to see him in this condition. Superheroes aren't supposed to die. He was motionless but I knew he was grateful. I sat back down. I knew my role as Father Confessor wasn't over.

"What gets to me now is how sure I was finding that gold at that exact right time...that meant something. It had to! Couldn't be coincidence. I felt it in my bones. But, shit, with this death sentence...what did it do? Just delayed the inevitable. What was the point, godammit! I just die seven years later. So fucking what!"

The air in the room of my cheap apartment was explosive. I sure as hell couldn't answer his pleas. I would have thought the same thing. Still, I felt something was missing from the equation. Exactly what I could not tell. Faith. That was the word that came to me at the time. But I didn't have the nerve to throw that in the face of a dying man. Truth is, if you ever need a coward, look me up.

Dozo had only one thing left to tell me as he exited the door never to return. "My real name is Lupton Pittman."

"Thanks, Dozo," I defiantly replied. I think in the corner of his mouth I spotted one last faint smile of a lifetime.

EPILOGUE: The tragic irony came later. Almost too painful for me to tell. In going through Dozo's Deep Ellum gallery, his work got noticed and a showing was made at Zhulong gallery (recently closed, damn it, but some pieces are for sale at Griffin Trading, who has a keen eye). Prices for his work skyrocketed immediately, over $7,000 for the coffee cup piece alone. The gold really was a savior. It bought him time to blossom into an artist.

But he'd let the gold mine possess him, every time he took out a nugget he took out a piece of his soul. Dozo's argument had been he wasn't allowed to do what he wanted - what he needed - in this rigged world. But when he got the gold he still clung to that notion, keeping his blinding anger alive. He so badly believed he was screwed he made it come true even when he wasn't. That's what really killed him - and stole a much needed artist from a hurting world.

Dozo's favorite song

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Corporate Cell

No one in this room believes in God. Least of all the phony Christians. When it comes time to do the corporate cheer (literally) their voices are the loudest. They think by claiming God it washes their greed clean. And that that gives them license - in their minds anyway - to fuck you any way they see fit. A bunch of self-oblivious snakes. They'll strike you the minute you relax.

I wonder if being on the thirty-sixth floor contributes to the cult mentality around here. The smirking credo is the higher the floor the higher the esteem. As they stand on the morning elevator watching their "lessers" get off on lower floors, they inwardly smile at their being special just by virtue of time spent in the elevator. Every time I survey this room I see the end of civilization.

Not that they see it this way! Just the opposite! They think they're ushering in the future, advancing mankind, improving the world. You can see the Jim Jones glimmer in their eyes as they speak of  grand plans hatched by gurus sitting high up in ivory towers. "He's got a PhD!" Their Cheshire smiles of smug self-satisfaction as you're sitting in the conference room with its panoramic backdrop provide a surreal scene of heads floating in the clouds.

Believe me when I tell you I know this idiot

Of course, their real objective is to remain disconnected to reality at all times. The greater the disconnect, the greater the success! It's a frightening formula for any of those still connected, but those are few - and getting fewer.

There are basically three groups. The vampires who hide in management's hard heart, the zombies who stagger along uncaring if life or death awaits them, and the competents (to be fair some of whom are Christians) who keep things together but are under constant attack from the other two groups who live in dire fear of exposure. You wonder what's going to happen when they drive the last of the competents out the door. Will the fools see reality then? How much longer will truth wait to claim its victorious day?

You can hear the office zombies and vampires gloat about the latest movies about zombies and vampires. People like seeing themselves onscreen (and to see themselves be elected too!). That's the limit of their thinking: "Oh, that's me! I'm going to tell everyone I think that's great!" As if that's enough to make it so. Even more scary.

Looking at these fuckers in their quaffed cubicles and sanctified offices operating in divine ignorance is to truly see a mad tea party in action. It's a wonderful waltz of self-deception complete with a perpetual flow of perky emails and contrived events asking to prove your furor for the faith. In this tea party, "one lump or two" means how many times do you want to be hit over the head. Ask for three and be a good boy! The abuse makes the abused feel safe.

You need VP approval before you can pour the tea. Why?
Because that's who knows the least!

But it was the Sky Man who was the talk of the office. He was this husky black guy, looked to be in his late-thirties, who washed windows without the usual platform. It was terrifying watching him hang suspended from the tops of our fellow sky scrapers, bouncing from window to window in high winds. The expression on his face was of complete calmness, however, just as if he were standing on the ground. Just getting close to the window gives me vertigo. But this guy is out there dancing around hundreds of feet in the air without a care in the world.

I did not enjoy watching the Sky Man work. Daredevils hold little interest for me. I don't know what his motivation was. Maybe he didn't value his life so cleaning that way meant nothing to him. Maybe he wanted to show off but I never got that impression from him. Maybe like the zombies he thought "this is just the way it is" and didn't think to question the risk. I was dying to pick his brain to hear what he'd say. Rumor was somebody did actually talk to him and Sky Man claimed "it was just a job."

Whatever. His presence certainly caused many ripples in the closed confines of our cell. "That man is crazy! He has no idea what he's doing!" That came from one of the dunderheads who really does have no idea what she's doing. You could tell she needed him to fail or quit in order to prove that those who avoid risk, i.e. thinking, are the "smart ones". The sharks loved to watch him. They didn't want to miss the chance of watching him fall. When I said as much to one them he got really angry and stormed off. Still get a few minor victories in here and there.

Management praised Sky Man for "doing what it takes to get the job done." Basically, they were treating him like they do any contractor. Use them, abuse them, and throw them away. They get put into the most impossible positions with the most unrealistic expectations then the poor saps take the blame when things go wrong. It's a beautiful set up for management to outsource the responsibility while taking credit when a project is completed. So they loved seeing Sky Man risk his life to give clean windows to the world.

I was on vacation when he fell to his death. They said it was a freak accident. Sky Man certainly did always look confident in that contraption of his and part of me desperately wanted to believe in him. Winning the lottery is nigh impossible. Winning the reverse lottery, however, seems fairly easy. If that chance in a million will kill you, there's a good chance it will happen. My first reaction was how pissed I was he died before I got a chance to talk to him. I never knew how much hope and anticipation I was harboring for that until too late.

Nothing was ever said but I do think a piece of us died too in the office. New people who came in after his death were looked upon as green grunts who don't know the ropes, had not experienced the horrors of war, and wouldn't believe us had we bothered to explain. Nervous jokes were made about Sky Man's death and I have to admit a couple of them I found funny too. We have to laugh at our own deaths to make it through the day. Seriously, someone thinks there's a future in that?

"What is it all for?" I think that's the (unspoken) question foisted on us by Sky Man's death. The corporate propaganda spews forth as ceaselessly as ever yet we veterans can't muster up the phony enthusiasm as before. Instead, we continue our silent parade of mock accomplishments as we too fall to our fate. Yes, there are still the book-reading radicals speaking of these being "exciting times" of drinking the Kool-Aid, deifying doomed decisions, and going to the grave for the greater glory of the corporation.

But I think our lives mean more than that. I think Sky Man's life meant more than that too. RIP, Sky Man. You are gone but not forgotten. Who knows? Maybe you were lucky to get out before facing the final outcome of the hell on earth we are creating.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Dude, You're Hurting The Cause!

He sat in silence at the head of the Jerusalem table. He was not agitated but those standing around him buzzed like angry bees. To read his face was impossible. Was he bored? Inattentive? Completely beaten down? Or simply too self-possessed to have interest in the noise of other's nonsense? For a person without insight it was impossible to discern. Most who saw him at this moment settled for painting him with a brush of their own making.

These men who'd come to chastise him - to correct him - were assured in their concrete arguments of the illiberal left, desperate with their gambled lives to convince and cajole. They considered the seated man at the table as one of their flock and to have even one lost sheep was unbearable to them - and they'd fight to bring him into the fold with the utmost powers of their persuasion. In unspoken coordination, each approached the man at the table to make his plea.

"First, let me say - and I think everyone would agree - we certainly appreciate your passion and convictions!" Nodding heads and murmurs confirmed this. "But there has to be a line. Passions without limits leads to ruin."

"I for one say it's good to stir things up. We need your voice. But if people turn against us - if we are too radical - what hope is there of reform? Who would support us then?"

"Not everyone has your understanding, my good man. People see that sort of violent display you did today with confusion and, ultimately, rejection. It's the calm voice that persuades. People hear a calm voice and they listen. But they hear scolding and they turn away - no matter how righteous the cause."

"Frankly, sir, I'm not as inclined as my fellow brethren to be so forgiving of a man who makes a corded whip sowing chaos and disorder for those simply trying to earn a living. Be reasonable! Have a heart and show some understanding. None of us like the corrupt society in which we live. But anarchy is not the solution."

"Yes, it's implementing solutions we have to think about, not indulging one's passions. Pragmatism, realism, compromise - those are the tenets that lead to real change. One must respectfully disagree. That leads to dialog between reasonable men: we work out an arrangement, a compromise bringing us closer to where we want to be. We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

"Couldn't have said it better myself. I hope you understand what we're saying. This is about making real progress, not chasing after ideals that can never be. Idealism has its time and place, and we love to hear you talk, but to act on it like you did today, well, frankly, it sets us back. Hearts become inflamed and hardened in their positions. Then it becomes impossible to bring them to enlightenment as you and we have been."

"Yes, that's all we're saying. Be reasonable. Those weren't bad people in the temple today. Business is not a dirty word. If you have a problem with their placement inside the temple, one lodges a complaint and it goes through channels with no hard feelings. Your sort of fanaticism cannot be tolerated in civilized society."

"We're not saying we don't need you. We most certainly need your voice! We very much want you for our worthy cause. That's why it's important you get on the same page as us. Together we can change the world! With God anything is possible!"

Be Worthy!

Carrot and stick, seduction and rejection, capitulation and judgment - the elders threw all their wiles against the impractical, unreasonable radical. If he remained unswayed and firm in his stance, they were doomed men, frauds under the sun, losing their high positions and most of all the certitude of their righteousness. They used their sense of morality as clubs wrapped in words of honey. Rare was the soul who could withstand their withering attacks coupled with baseless appeasements. The tiniest of stains would do, a man who clings to keeps his linen white their greatest enemy.

The man at the table remained within himself, motionless. Had he heard nothing? Impossible to believe not one of their arguments had reached him! Just tell us you heard us and victory is ours! If we fail to deceive him then we'll marginalize him like we've had to do in the past. But we've caught him red-handed. His violence today cannot be politically defended. We've somehow got to knock him off that perch of his. Then we can safely resume our mastery over the people as the holy ones.

Without acknowledgment or regard, the man stood up heading for the door. This caused great consternation among the elders who protested in growing fury until finally barring the exit. The men demanded an answer and would not let him pass until satisfied. Finally, the man spoke to the stone faces planted before him.

"Whom must answer to you?"

Would rather kill than ever turn over a table.
How radical is that??

The question caused to happen that which they'd hoped to do to him. They were momentarily thrown off-balance, without conviction or certainty; stained and exposed. Their minds scrambled for plausible new rationalizations on why they should morally rule, but in that time of confusion the man was able to pass through, though they be an army they were powerless without their spirit. As they watched him make his way back to the temple, to speak of the joy and promise of life, they called out in wailing last attempts, refusing to repent or relinquish their altar thrones.

"Many people answer to us! They come seeking knowledge and advice! Elders are to be respected! We are the way! We are the only way! Nothing gets done outside of us! You're a hopeless loser if you don't join us. Your words will go unheard, lost to history, your folly exposed for the ages! Repent and we will forgive you!"

The elders raged with undeniable murder in their hearts. That scared them at first to know they were capable of killing. Though claiming to be on an opposing side to the bankers and businessmen, it was the money men who gave the elders purpose, frenemies whom they could lord over in staged morality. But this man today was of a different sort. He must be stopped or their self-deemed "good works" would come to end. Yes! Yes! That's it! Say anything! We can claim we're killing him for the greater good just as the Hebrews were forced to kill the thieves among them who threatened survival of the whole.

Thus the die was cast. Perfidious priests and poisoning politicians, bailed banksters and bribed businessmen, evil rulers and those who speak well of evil conspired to murder the one who dare expose them and lead them to salvation. This, they hoped, would save them from ruin - even as it guaranteed it. "He must die to protect our sins."
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the Wall Street money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, "It is written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER'; but you are making it a robber's den."

When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.