Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Cost Effective Witch, Russian Oligarch Blues, And Silicon Predators

"Man, these Dark Ages suck. It's like perpetual squalor and filth ruled by superstition and communal guilt," moaned Fritz.

"Would you shut up on that Dark Ages talk? I hate you! Who are you to call this anything? We's making progress every day!" Hans refuted.

"Well, for damn sure it's not the Age of Enlightenment. And any progress being made is too damn slow for me."

The pair approached a small Germanic village with a curious sign stating "No Witch Burning!" Hans spoke with a triumphant smile.

"Just take a look at that sign! You's the one always going on about how backwards people is about witches and burning them and such."

"Damn, how could I be wrong?"

"Well, you is, Fritzy! They using your own words!"

Fritz continued walking into the village while in a high state of conflict. On one hand, the prospect of running into true enlightenment thrilled him to the core. On the other hand, having to listen to Hans rub it in to no end thrilled him not. Fritz spotted a village leader and excitedly inquired of the sign.

"That's correct, sir. We do not burn witches here. We passed an ordinance against it and it's strictly enforced. Zero tolerance!"

Fritz wholly succumbed to finding at last an oasis of light and sanity in a world gone mad. "That's wonderful news! I admire your conviction! So you truly do not believe in witches?"

"Of course we believe in witches! That's why we live such miserable lives is because of them."

"But your sign! If you blame them for your ills then why have that sign?"

"Just because there are witches doesn't mean we can burn them."

Fritz was initially crushed but hoping to at least find a half-measure of humanity. The villagers have to yet to wake up to the fiction of witches but are self-aware enough to realize they don't have the moral authority to kill. That's certainly a step in the right direction.

"Well, I'm glad to hear you don't kill them. I want to commend you on your level-headedness and humane outlook. Any step away from savagery is a good one!"

"Oh, don't get me wrong. We'd love to burn those witches! We just found it's not a cost-effective solution. Ever try to clean up the mess after a witch burning? Have to pay people a fortune to rummage through those ashes with the charred bones and stench of burned skin. No, sir. Days of burning witches are over for us without a new revenue stream."

Fritz sighed and decided even though they were doing the right thing for the wrong reason that was something with which he'd have to be satisfied. Still, there's no shortcuts to a future without a good heart.

"Tell me then, what do you do when you find a witch?"

"Easy. We shun them, deny them employment and shelter, and hope to induce them into suicide. So much more cost-effective!"

"Some fucking enlightenment!" snorted Fritz as he continued on his way. Hans remained unusually quiet on their exit from the impoverished berg.


Gregor was the cop who came out when I had my check stolen from a mail box and subsequently washed. I was fascinated that someone from Russia would end up a cop in freaking Dallas, Texas. So it was he who gave a name I could contact on my trip to St. Petersburg. Returning to Russia would not be on the scale of my returning to Japan, only a small fraction of it. But retracing my century old steps would still prove a bit unnerving.

What I didn't know was that the name I'd been given - Boris Bresnevsky - was a Russian Oligarch. Talk about stepping into another world! I find myself riding along in this armored limo with private escort cars both front and behind in a virtual mobile fortress. Somehow, I'm thinking, Mark Cuban doesn't have to travel like this and he's a billionaire too. But Russian capitalism is more naked in its aims than the American version. They don't wrap it in pseudo-morality or make a religion of it like we do. They boil it down to the basics of kill or be killed.

Boris is taken with me because he sees this as a chance to show off to an American - and in his mind all of America. Luckily, he doesn't ask the dreaded question that puts up a wall between me and the world: what do you do for a living? That left him free to imagine I was whomever he wished me to be as his audience. After all, who wants to play bigshot to a freaking janitor?

"Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."
 - Churchill

"Russia mafia - like you [i.e. Americans] like to call it - has been around centuries. Stalin and everyone who follow was just more czars taking from poor. Same game, different names. But criminals like me could figure ways to get what we need. We weren't going to roll over and die. KGB liked to pick on weak and innocent 'cause they easy targets. They was the real criminals. Monsters in the night."

My head's spinning listening to Boris as I look out the window at passing landmarks also telling their tales of history and witnessed brutality. Boris is needing to justify himself, seeking my approval. Nobody who knows me would give a fuck about getting my approval. I hate when I get caught in these lit fuse situations.

"But Soviet life made us hard like iron. Communist party pigs expect everyone to live like dogs. But Boris is no dog! They kill to stay in power. We kill to eat. Now they don't have the power but we still have to kill. This seem scary to you, eh?"

"Sort of. Someone once asked me how's life in the free world and I asked what's fucking free about it?"

"Ah! You understand!"

"But it seems you're taking a lot chances here, having to surround yourself with guards and watch every move you make. Is that limp you have from a previous attack?"

"Yes. They blew up parked car right as my car pass by. My driver killed. I got lucky. But if I die that day then so be it. While I breathe I live well."

"That's a dangerous life."

"All life danger! We Russians are losers. We try to drown in vodka and kinky sex but that's why we such miserable creatures. That man called us a riddle in enigma but that's because we choose to lose. Who does crazy thing like that? Then we have pretense to like this negative life we create and that traps us in staying same way like with Putin. We stupid but we have pretense we like it that way. Not such a hard riddle."

That sentiment makes Boris smile, using insanity as both a shield and a weapon. Of course, I can't reveal I've gone way further around the block than he ever dreamed. He's proud of his edgy existence even though it's obvious he feels a fool living his life as a perpetual target. Boris is looking for a way out like we all are - but he will never have the guts to choose that.

Gives lectures on Christian risk arbitrage

"In America, we choose to win. But they don't let you win unless you're a whore. So winning is really losing. I say to myself all the time: what's the point of being rich if I have be like that asshole?"

I said the remark in all innocence but then I quickly recoiled fearing Boris was thinking it might apply to him. He took it the way it was meant, however. Always walking on eggshells. Sheesh.

"You're not like other Americans I meet. They speak of their country like a church. You know better. I like that!"

"Oh, it's not that I'm any better. They've just failed to properly bribe me."

Boris thinks on that for a second then starts to uncontrollably laugh. He's isolated in his world and the only people who understand him are his rivals who are looking to erase him from the face of the earth. I think it would be interesting to watch him among his own kind and see how he negotiates. I get the feeling he harbors a hidden side just for that.

"Yes, you are different American. Buy maybe you be happier being rich even if asshole like me."

Boris gives me this sly look and sure enough my suspicions were confirmed he keeps parts of himself hidden away, always calculating and sizing people up. I could shock him by showing him how deep I am into that world, but stay in character instead. Always better to let them think you a non-threatening fool.

"I just don't think I could live like this always looking over my shoulder waiting for a bomb or men with guns. Seems like a real high stress existence. Whole point of being a billionaire is so you can be free."

"Every life here stress! Even dishwasher looking down barrel of gun. Poverty is cruelest weapon! It kills like any bullet. [I've got him making the points I usually make!] You can run out this door and be away from Boris the target but don't fool yourself. Wherever you go in Russia, you will never be free. We make giant jail for ourselves so live best you can. Only place to go is inside Vodka bottle. You want to be free. Tell me where free is!"

I could have told Boris that only a clear conscience brings freedom but then he knew that already.


The new "gig" economy is really the old pimp economy coupled with an app. You can "partner" as their whore, doing all the work and taking all the risk. They love telling you how wonderful it is being used and abused! You see it in their ads. The so-called gig economy is the greatest profession for liars since lawyers were invented. Read all about it!

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Freaking monsters. Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, is especially evil, a gloating sociopath feeling entitled to pillage and plunder like the butt pirate he is. Like many deluded fools he confuses legal with moral. Jesus spoke how CEOs will be "severely punished" but in the meantime we have to live with these Nazi fuckers roaming freely among us. With these guys every night is the night of the long knives, relentlessly trying to stick it in any way they can.

Shouldn't you be able to make money on your own time?
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Meet Uber, your new BFF! They finally had to put some truth in advertising in their numbers and no longer make wildly exaggerated claims on the money you make, especially about obscuring the difference between gross fares and net income. They now promise a measly 576 a week in fares. Take away Uber's cut, gas, insurance, massive auto depreciation and lack of benefits and what do you have left? Minimum wage.

The new app mafia is out in full force flooding craigslist and other outlets scouring for suckers and the hard up for just about any service you can think of. You take all the risk and they take all the profit. Something happens to you? Tough luck, pal! Pay your own medical, no income coming in, no paid vacations. Know why they call you a partner? Because people are always polite when acting evil. America just can't shed her robber baron fetish.

The tech industry is infested with magical thinking. It's one thing to ask if androids have dreams as a metaphorical literary tool, it's quite another to believe binary data has a soul - and many, many do. It's interesting reading of future fantasies spoken of as inevitable fact in news articles. It certainly separates the realists from the religious (and many atheists subscribe to tech religion). Arguing with them as is pointless as arguing with any religious person.

We spin this as creating a brave new world. Attach the word "tech" to something and it automatically adds an air of sanctity to it. Technology is wonderful and as an understanding of Nature is something I truly believe in. (I do believe, however, we are dealing in lower-level mechanical forms of it.) But everybody believes in something however false a god. This isn't the beginning of anything, it's the ending. Technology can't build us a soul but it sure is tragic watching us try.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hennessy Is A Fugitive From A Chain Gang

I'd never spent as much time with Hennessy as I did on a rainy drive back from Oklahoma City (about 3 hours from Big D). We used to tease him about being like Porter in "Payback", he's never referred to by his first name (which I think was Max or Maxwell, I forget). He was a supervisor at the job I worked but I got along with him anyway. What surprised me was his asking me to help deliver a car to his brother in Oklahoma then drive him back.

I'd of thought he'd have someone better to do that. I knew he was reserved and cautious but I didn't think it was to the point he'd be asking an employee for a personal favor. What's more, I was deep in the throes of my swirling hell of facing Emily and I didn't care to see another living soul or go on even one more day (not that I'm far from that now). Being trapped in a car for three hours was most decidedly the last thing I wanted to do. But it was a chance to be useful instead of useless for a few precious hours plus I sensed his helplessness so I said yes.

Hennessy had a secret. I didn't ask what it was or thought it was any of my business but I always observe anyone who has a possible say in my life. I had to decide if his secret was dangerous to me. Most people's secret is that they never grew up and you're at the mercy of twisted teenagers desperate to cover up their deficits (like the living hell I'm in now). Hennessy was different because I could see he was not a finger-pointer and actually looked to take on responsibility. Most assholes get into management because they don't want to work, but not him.

Looking back those years ago, I think maybe he knew I was severely wounded - one can only hide so much - and that created a trust factor between us. It was right on the edge, though, because one false move and I'd cut him off for life. Hennessy already had two strikes against him because of his secret past life. But I'd grant him leeway until proven otherwise. I guess what I'm really saying was I was both anticipating and dreading that ride back that changed the consciousness of my life. Storms were in the air in more ways than one.

Now that I put this down on paper, it clearly strikes me Hennessy was looking for a Father confessor and needed to put to rest some of his burdens. I forget what led up to it but I remember tipping my hand first making a smart remark that he was a "fugitive from a chain gang." It was more than I wanted to say. It let him know I suspected his past and though most criminal behavior is legal I insinuated his was not. I wanted to kick myself but I couldn't resist the impulse to say it as so often happens with me.

"Not exactly. But I did used to run around with the wrong crowd."

That means something coming from Hennessy because he's no straight-laced boy. I've never seen him be phased by anyone so any crowd he considers wrong must really be wrong. I remember thinking, Here we go.

"Is there a good one?"

"Yeah, maybe not. But some people you just can't hang with. They'll take you down with them."

"Ah, I get it. Yeah, I try to steer away from those types. Been burned a couple of times if only on the edges. Sometimes you don't want to admit how bad someone really is."

"Don't I know it. These boys...this was back when I was angry. Being angry makes you blind. It makes you think only about what you're gonna get, not the price you pay."

"Been there myself."

My remark hung in the air as we crossed the Texas border on I-35 south. I wondered if that was going to be the extant of our conversation. Hennessy was pre-occupied with something and I let him be. I needed to concentrate playing dodge car with the idiots on the road anyway.

"Cocksucking nigger!" I cursed some redneck pickup driver with ants in his pants. Assholes think they own the road. But seeing I wasn't paying attention to him anymore and maybe because he realized he really did want to take advantage of what he saw as a valuable chance, Hennessy brought all my focus back to him.

"I killed three guys."

Well, fuck, what do I say to that? I could make a joke or act real serious. I was at a loss for words. All that came out was, "Really?"

"Shot 'em dead. It was on the news but didn't last long because they thought it was gangs and no one gives a shit about them."

So it was related to his criminal past. "They were trying to kill you?"


Oh, shit. Tried to give him a self-defense out and he doesn't take it. Godammit, I don't want to hear this guy's shit. Now my soul will be stained with his dark deeds. I just wanted out of the car at that point. Hennessy continued.

"But I had to kill them."

"Who were they?"

"I used to run around with this black dude named Marcus. Back then I didn't know what I wanted to be. Half of me wanted to be a gangster, the other wanted to find another way. I could see the argument for both sides. Still can, sometimes."

"So can I - every time I get my lousy paycheck."

"But Marcus, he was more hardcore than me. He was wanting to jump in all the way and live out some gangsta video life. [That made me think of Alpha Dog and smirk.] I didn't want to go down that road. I was happy being a low level pot dealer just getting by but Marcus had to have it all. He starts up this crew of his and I could see my scene and his scene was changing."

"That happens."

"I was stupid."

"You don't have to bring it up if you don't want to. Stupid is as stupid does." His remark had brought me back to Emily and that dark, drowning pain in whose belly I had been swallowed.

"Marcus wanted to test me. He had a deal go wrong - a big time deal I wasn't part of. He needed to show his street cred and "send a message." I always hated that phrase ever since I was a kid. If I'd just drawn the line and walked away my life'd be different today."

"So he killed another dealer?"

"Him and his two man crew did. They started relishing it and shit, like they was animals in the wild. At first I was listening to my anger getting sucked into it thinking this is what life is. But watching those guys gloating and hollering woke me up. I'm not one of them. Then I got pissed, real pissed, for them dragging me into this, trying to make me one of them. My fucking life was ruined from that point forward. So while Marcus and them was busy with the body I shot all three from behind. Shot 'em again to make sure they were dead. I don't want those fucking a-holes being a part of my life!"

Obviously, they were a part of his life - a part he couldn't shake. That's why he needed to tell someone, to try and be free of his internal prison. Part of me was wishing he'd just gotten a girlfriend and confessed to her and spare me all this but then I put myself in his shoes and realized a triple killing is a tough selling point to a spouse. I was a much, much lower level risk. I gave Hennessy my true thoughts and feelings - rare for me.

"I'm glad you did it. Was a courageous thing to do."

"Yeah, how so?"

"You cleaned up a wound. You had two directions to take at that point and you took the right one. You had to face it."

"But I never should have been in that situation in the first place!" I could tell he'd been tormented by that statement for years.

"Yeah, well, so, what the fuck, you were. You gave yourself a chance to make amends in the end. That took guts. I'm not sure what I would have done in your place. I hate to even think about it."

"You don't know until you're in it. Then you know. Then you know forever."

By then Hennessy was talking more to himself. But I could see my words help liberate him, that beating himself up served no purpose (yet I was so livid with myself back then I wanted to beat myself with a baseball bat reeling from a far greater crime than his). We sat in silence or only made small talk rest of the way back. I can still see his lanky frame getting out the car door as I dropped him off in the thick Dallas humidity as we both struggled with the extreme awkwardness of the departure. We stayed silent.

Curiously, this drive did not bring us closer together but farther apart. Hennessy wanted to move on from his confession and get on with his life. Having done a dry run with me next he'd try with a real relationship. Long, slow, difficult steps back to reality. I think he needlessly felt a bit guilty about what he thought was using me but giving someone a leg up is something we all need to both give and get at times and each way it's a privilege.

Hennessy was gone in less than a year. We promised each other we'd stay in touch so we wouldn't have to. I do know that if he did find himself and a new lease on life and finished his rebirth he would greet me with open arms and savor introducing me to his family. After all, I was a part of making that happen and for that I'd be eternally grateful.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

From Ninjas, With Love

So, the shoe is on the other foot.

I must admit with my newfound wealth comes a newfound sense of worth. One is supposed to have a sense of worth outside of money but how can one be both dead and useful? That's the trump card not even God can defeat (in the end - not now!). Suddenly, I understand the assassins sent after me over the years by Debby. When you have something to protect the whole world changes perspective. Your life becomes devoted to protecting your assets, the beginning of worldly corruption.

Easy to see how one turns into Michael Corleone. It's not about "How much is enough?" It's about giving a direction to your life. It's very seductive! making business your personal life. Corporations poison and destroy lives every day and no one bats an eye. We decry individual murder in feigned outrage only to protect our corporate killing, our dog-eat-dog ways for which we have waged wars to retain. I'm on the inside of that now.

Now that I have something to protect, there's all sorts of avenues of control one can enlist into one's portfolio of power. First, there's just the natural ass-kissing that comes from your everyday asshole who knows you have money to the corporate guard dogs that are the police to our vaunted institutions peddling respectability for a price. I is a pillar of the community now, I is!

And once one gets this way, one wishes to remain this way.

I'm protecting my family!

At this point the question becomes: how far are you willing to go? It doesn't take long to get to murder, a much shorter trip than I thought. I used to think, "She can't really want to kill me. That's only plot devices in movies." But now I see it's more a matter of "Why not?" than "Why?". Why not remove any threats to your way of life? It turns your evil into a holy war. Kiss my fatwa, bitch!

Turnabout is fair play. Debby sends assassins after me, I'll send ninjas after her. After all, I don't want her suddenly popping up in my newly respectable life destroying me with the truth. I'd be forever ruined. Take the bitch out! All those years I spent on the run looking over my shoulder, even being left for dead at one point. Time for you to get a taste of your own medicine and get knocked off your high horse my Christian crucifying friend.

I used to wonder how she could rationalize her killing ways. "My marriage is holy so anything I do to protect it is holy too!" I figured she told herself something like that but then I always still thought that's such an obvious lie no one can be that stupid in real life. But she and people like her are - by the tens of millions - every fucking day. I guess it's just an overwhelming thought to think that's who I live with, I just don't want to face it. Yet now that I get to be a predator instead of the prey I see how easy it is to fall into the killing trap.

Is there one homeless person in this country
we consider respectable? Gotta get the money, honey!

So I get to shatter her world like mine got shattered. Only she can't hide in the streets. Debby is a veal calf in her San Francisco mansion. She couldn't leave there even she if wanted to. Idiot thought becoming a cripple showed her true devotion to her way of life! That's what you do when you get fat, feeling untouchable; queen pig on her throne. Time to gut that pig!

Not that I wouldn't send ninjas anyway with my love of Japan, but San Fran with her Asian connections makes it even more fitting. Plus any excuse to hang around Japantown is fine by me - even though I'll be spending most of my time daydreaming and relishing the hell to come my tormenter's way. I know exactly how it will go!

It starts with that initial connection in your mind of what's occurring as you see the deadly killers approaching, a mixture of dread and confusion. Part of you is actually excited, though, because at last your secrets are known by someone and you feel free. Man, let me tell you, it's a moment you never forget! The sun, the sky, the smells, the noise - it all becomes frozen in time, a simultaneous alpha and omega. You'll be reborn, bitch, right as you watch that shuriken fly towards your forehead.

Is there one CEO in this country who actually is respectable?

Then fear takes over. I will tell my ninjas not to kill her right away. I want the taste of terror and adrenaline and sweat in her mouth first. Good luck entering back into your so-called respectable life after that! She'll never be able to quite convince herself of her lies the way she did before. Trust me, when you realize someone wants you dead, a seed of self-doubt is planted and will continue to grow until you face who you really are. That's the one thing Debby bet her life on never ever happening.

I'm going to enjoy this, taking my time. To see her hallowed phony Christianity funded by ill-gotten gains fade right before her very eyes will be priceless! I want to savor that thought and experience, wallow in it and replay it over and over again like a favorite scene in a movie. She who lives by the dollar dies by the dollar! Hard not to blame her for thinking my janitorial ass would never come into riches but then again every liar is taking a chance.

I love my new role. I love walking around in clothes that were once several months gross wages. Money undeserved is twice as sweet as money earned. I'm finally one of society's sluts - sanctified and blessed! Jesus said to come out of the world and be ye apart. Well, I tried that and it sucks more than words can say. It's an insufferable and unsustainable existence. Time to give the whore of Babylon twice what she handed out, as is mandated in the Good Book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Last Dream

Sitting on the edge of humanity
Watching the world around me melt;
Questions never asked nor answered
Who dare seeks of what I felt?

Patterns 35

Patterns 1

Patterns 32

Fantasies of Man enslaved
By armies of keyboard queers;
The hell of debated truths
Keeps sheep shivering in fears.

Patterns 8

Patterns 27

Patterns 24

Rolling clouds of destiny
Are revered by the meek;
Magical tech winds clear the sky
As fools praise unholy geek.

Patterns 12

Patterns 7

Patterns 5

Debt of mountainous lies piles high
"We can only delay the date it's due!"
Anarchists proclaim debt must be paid
Pragmatists proclaim fairy tales are true.

Patterns 15

Patterns 16

Patterns 17

Planet poachers short on time
Legalizing all their crime!
Until at last in a midnight scream
Madness drowns the final dream.

Patterns 34

Patterns 9


Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Harry Bot

Do I appear normal to you?

Marty, Sam, and Ed were in the squalid apartment living room with its rough wood floors and water stained ceiling. Harry was there too - or was he?

"The Rangers will never win the World Series. They don't have any character."

"Sure they will! They got character in a hotel room in Kentucky. Just you wait and see."

"On paper it's hard to argue with their chances. What do you think, Harry? You keep your nose in the box scores every day."

"Don't know why all you people are worried about Trump. In a few weeks he'll be gone with the wind and all this hysteria will be for naught. Stop hanging your lives on every stupid word he says. It only makes you look more stupid. Sheesh!"

"Whoa! Somebody's not listening."

"I don't think that's it. Look at his eyes. He's got that 'What's the point of anything' look."

"It's like he's reading a script. I know he said almost that exact same thing to me last week."

"What do we do? He's totally disengaged."

"I don't know. Ask him about the weather or something."

"Hey, Harry, what do you think about this high heat lately?"

"I'm a Maserati guy. That's the car that got me in love with cars. Your Ferraris and Aston Martins are fine but they'll never capture my imagination the way the famed Trident has. I'd give anything to own one!"

"Well, shit, we've all heard that before."

"His words are so canned he should run for office!"

"Yeah, robots do well in polls. But what do we ask him next?

"Ask him about the race. See if he repeats his earlier answer. If not, then man, he's really out of it."

"Who do you like better Harry: Trump or Clinton?"

Can I die now?

"I don't care what anyone says: it really is the humidity that makes the heat so bad. I remember visiting Phoenix as a kid and the heat didn't bother me near as much as here in Dallas. It really is a different kind of heat."

"I've heard him tell that tale before too."

"All we're going to get out of him is scripts tonight."

"Weird part is he doesn't even remember when he does this. His mind is someplace else while he's stuck in conversation mode with his relevance sensor off kilter."

"Why the fuck does he do this? It's not real conversation. It just sounds like it, like he's some sort of player piano."

"Oh, I know why he does it. Can't hide everything no matter how hard you try."

"OK, Einstein, what gives?"

"It's simple: he's lost interest."

"Lost interest in talking? Then just don't speak."

"Lost interest in life. Lost interest in himself. He pre-scripts his conversations then plays them back as necessary."

"That's scary. I'd sure hate spending my time doing that!"

"Everybody's got to devote their life to something."

Then there was silence as each person meditated on just what his life was devoted to. The Harry Bot remained incapacitated.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hidden Losses

Rita Hayworth. What a stupid name. I can't stand it when someone recognizes it and feel they have to make some sort of smart remark. I also can't stand it when someone doesn't recognize it and I think they're some sort of ignoramus. It's just stupid to name someone like that. My life would have been completely different with a different name.

Or so she said.

Rita had her own looks to brag upon even had she not be named after the bombshell actress and most popular pin-up girl of WWII. And whether she admitted it or not, the idea of having that kind of glamour infected her since her youth. But she was no star. She found no particular talents within herself. She had no way to parlay herself into the limelight. But Rita couldn't resist the voice that told her that her famous name was a choice of destiny. And that gave her false ambition.

Thank God for the internet. If she couldn't have the life of a star she'd at least have the lifestyle of one. proved to be her way through this world - her way being any shortcut she could find. With her ravishing rack, finding a willing partner in crime proved quite easy. Men were quick to lavish her with eager praise that she was better than any movie star, giving way to a worship of shared lies requiring no burden of proof. But as with all things artificial, the clock was ticking.

What am I when I lose my youth and beauty? There's no pension for sugar babies. Damn! I'm fucking screwed, aren't I? Everyone will laugh at me for pretending I'm really somebody for all these years leaving myself no way out. I'll be the washed up hag they point to and mock. Shit. What am I going to do? I hate all those "legitimate" types. I have no respect for them. They do the same things I do they just hide it better. I wish I could just die now before I get old.

But in moving towards giving up her life, she moved towards love. Meeting Robert tore her in two. How much should she tell him of her wayward ways? To have at last something of value! Yet how terrible the price. Life turns on its head with something at risk. Where would life devoted to love lead to? No more control, no more security - even if only short term. Yes, this was the first inkling of hope she'd ever felt - but life was never meant to be good for someone like she; just another illusion to lead her to doom.

Who's wearing a golden mask?

Rita needed love. Rita needed money. She decided to serve both masters. Her latest benefactor was a breed getting more common by the day: an inept CEO. He even bragged of his incompetence and untouchability having made it as part of the CEO club - where members protect one another with golden parachutes taken from money in workers' pockets. This they laugh about even as they try feverishly and adamantly to suppress wages at all costs. Why not steal from a thief, supposed Rita. All she needed to start her moral life was the funding.

Knowing literally where the man kept his gold, Rita began relieving his safe of its burden of hiding 99% pure gold bars. She thought herself immensely clever! The perfect crime: stealing from a crook to finance true love. She mentally derided the fools struggling for an "honest" dollar when no such thing exists. In every capitalist resides a slave trader.

He never declared these to the IRS. All he's got is his goofy greed. But now I've got him! The world is nothing but pimps and prostitutes and I don't want to be either one. This gold is my just reward. I'll be free at last to live my life how I see fit. God, what a feeling! I can almost taste it. It's like oxygen, I feel alive for the first time. I gotta get out, I just gotta!

But like a bad movie where everything goes wrong, the CEO came back unexpectedly to catch her in the act. Had he been a few minutes later, Rita would have gotten away scot free. A few minutes earlier and she would not be so infected with the fever for freedom. But having caught her in the heat of the moment - as is ordained by the fabric of the universe - she grabbed the nearest object she could find and flung it at the outraged CEO's head. Then he was dead.

"I can't stop now."

She took the gold to her lover to live happily ever after. But Robert didn't want to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. He left her with her gold, the master she'd chosen to serve. Alone, with blood on her hands, Rita went on the run. She imagined a life on the beach where the sun and sand would wash away her sins. But the killing followed her wherever she went. Who was she to be now?

As the years passed she became an actress in the truest sense: acting as if everything were fine. What could she share of herself? She thought she was supposed to be a star, was embarrassed she wasn't, then tried to live like one to cover it all up. What an idiotic existence. How cold the gold proved deep in the night. The crime isolated her even as she acted out her part of living the good life. No one could see her hidden losses - except Rita.

It happened like a dream. She was leaving an island bar at 1 AM, waiting at a stop light. Suddenly, Rita heard a sickening thud as a pickup driving the opposite way was T-boned by a speeding drunk driver. And that T-boned truck was headed straight for her driver side door. Rita stared and watched in fascination.

It's not really going to hit me, is it? I can't run this red light or I'll be even more of an immoral lawbreaker than I already am. Maybe this is God getting back at me. Yes, God wants me dead for what I did. I just want to watch this and see how God feels about me. I'm so tired of guessing! Now I'll find out the truth.

Rita never heard me from the other side of the street yelling out, "Lady! Move!" She just kept staring, her faced bewitched and hypnotized with a curious calmness. As the pickup hit the median it launched the front two wheels into the air landing right on top of Rita. She survived, but just barely. Feeling obligated, I visited her in the hospital. There I got trapped into hearing her life story. The doctor said she would make it "if she's a fighter." But Rita had rendered judgment on herself (it was never God's) and parted from this world having never been herself.

Was it really all because she had a famous name?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Rape Of Ahmed

The white ones are the lawyers, of course.

- Ahmed Mohamed, aka "Clock boy"

If we can't blame ourselves then who can we blame? Whomever is most vulnerable, that's who! It's been like this ever since that snake snuck its way into the garden but that makes it no less egregious. Children are always to the first to feel the pain. In some countries the elderly are revered but here we stomp on you at both the beginning and the end. Nothing personal, just business. (It's been said that the business of America is business.)

Whenever a society goes into its death throes, backlash and finger-pointing skyrocket. Things become undeniably fucked up. Someone's got to take the blame. Not gonna be me! (And damn sure won't be anyone who looks like me, either!) Actually, there's much hilarity in the bitter and self-damning reaction to a 14 year old bringing a homemade clock to school. It is true Ahmed was very threatening in what he did - only the threat wasn't to create a bomb or a hoax. He threatened to reveal our own shortcomings and insecurities and in that did he hit a hot button!
He was bullied for his religion, called Sausage Boy and Bacon Boy because he did not eat pork. When he started middle school, Ahmed joined the robotics club and often brought home-made “gadgets” to school. He often fixed fellow students' and teachers' broken phones.

“On one occasion, when a tutor’s cell phone went dead, Ahmed rigged the battery and brought the cell phone back to life,” the lawsuit states. “On a number of occasions, he would take students’ broken electronics home and bring them back fixed.”
Very damning behavior. We don't want outsiders making us look dumb! There's much geek worship presently in society and to find ourselves beholden to one of them is more than many can take. We must tear him down, demonize him, cast doubt on our self-doubts and yes, claim his very existence is a threat to our existence. We Texans certainly don't lack in the hysterics department despite all our grandstanding to the contrary. Anything considered Muslim scares the holy shit out of us.

What's wrong with this picture?

As adults live in literal mortal terror at having to cede the moral high ground to our children in an inexcusably corrupt and dying world, we seek to break our children to be as we are. Then they will love us! As the "The Hustler" put it: a contract of depravity. We want to stifle free expression, oppose and destroy honesty, and crush the life out of every living thing. Never trust souls who sell themselves short (Hi, Debby!), for they will sell you out in a heartbeat too.
“The reality of it is that it was nice to meet the president and all these great people, but then again during that time I did not have a home,” Ahmed said at the press conference. “I've lost a lot of things and people might not see it because I never really talk about it. But I lost my home, I lost my creativity because before I used to love building things but now I can't. I lost my security. I can't walk out on the streets anymore without being covered up because I don't want to be shot because it happens here..."
The savages and Philistines that dominate society have won. I don't know if the Mohameds will win their lawsuit. And while a victory would be a pleasant interlude it won't signal a shift in human behavior or put an end to self-loathing. They may as well have filed a lawsuit against nature: no one escapes the thorns of the world. That's why Dr. King said a person must find something for which to die in order to live; that's life in an upside down world.

As Jesus said, one must "overcome". We all get dealt a raw hand. Yes, the world does owe us something because it owes something to itself - the world just ain't gonna pay (well, not now anyway). Ahmed will have to mature and realize the need to forfeit his life to stay true to his dreams or he'll end up just another wrecked car on the roadway of life. But the microcosm of what happened to him is also indicative what's happening to us as a (w)hole. Our arts are dying as our hearts are dying. But all we are (still) saying, is give peace (and yourself) a chance.