Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Finished The Book And Will Try To Lighten Up (Don't Count On It)

After the white man raped Indians of their land and destroyed their spirit, they intentionally set about destroying their culture.
Dig this comment by Thomas Jefferson Morgan, who was President Benjamin Harrison's Commissioner of Indian Affairs:"The Indians must conform to the white man's ways, peaceably if they will, forcibly if they must. They must conform their mode of living substantially to our civilization. This civilization may not be the best possible, but it is the best the Indians can get. They cannot escape it, and must either conform to it or be crushed by it.
The tribal relations should be broken up, socialism destroyed, and the family and the autonomy of the individual substituted."
This was official government policy.
Part of the plan included forcibly removing Indian children from their parents and transporting them hundreds of miles away to boarding schools.
In one case a boarding school instructor caught a kid speaking Indian. He picked him up by the shirt and threw him across the room, breaking his collar bone.
The Indian father, an old warrior, came to the school to get his kid. He told the instructor that among his people, children were never punished by striking them. That was no way to teach children; kind words and good examples were much better.
Fortunately the old warrior was somehow able to take his kid from the school. The family fled to Canada.
The words of Morgan compared to the words of the old warrior perfectly sum up the difference between these two cultures. Although I'm not sure you could describe what the white man has as a culture.
The white man invades this country and slaughters, deceives and destroys an entire culture, an entire race. A race that lived here beautifully for thousands of years. In 400 years, from 1492 through the 1800's, we almost wiped them out.
Then at some point we begin this charade of an open arms policy to immigrants, pretending that all foreigners are welcome to our shores, welcome to make a new life for themselves. We celebrate this to this very day. We are a melting pot, anybody can come to this country, become a citizen, and be absorbed into our culture while maintaining the uniqueness of their own culture. Anybody can come to America and make a good life for themselves because we believe in the concepts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all American citizens.
This approach appears to be the exact opposite of the way we treated Indians. There was no shared culture there, only genocide. The approach seems inconsistent because it doesn't exist. It's a lie. There is no way our culture could morph from being murderous racists into becoming benevolent welcomers.
Every culture that migrated here was discriminated against. The Irish came over and they were abused. Italians came over and they were abused. Italians and Irish began fighting amongst themselves, partly due to their own heritages and biases and partly due to the environment encouraged here.
Pick your culture, pick your country, your people and the story is the same right down the line and on into 2012.
We created a karma, a mindset in this country that is at it's very core, it is the origin from which everything else flows.
So in 2012, you have a 17 year old black kid gunned down by a mindless white racist with a proven track record of unprovoked violence and he is still free. And right wing talking heads condemning liberals for demanding justice, calling the uproar a rush to judgement. Implying that the accusations against Zimmerman are based in hysteria and reverse discrimination.You have people initiating a smear campaign against Trayvon Martin trying to make him look like a bad kid, while ignoring documented evidence of what a piece of trash Zimmerman is.
It is written into the DNA of America.
I had fierce arguments with my father over the rights of blacks when I was a kid. Hate filled discussions. To this day I cannot believe in my lifetime that whites and blacks could not drink out of the same water fountains or eat in the same restaurants, that if a black person dived into a pool, all the whites would scramble out of it out of fear of catching a disease. It is inconceivable to me that this was the reality. But it was.
I was proud of my generation for their accomplishments in civil rights, believing that we had made great strides forward.
I was naive. Nothing has changed. Nothing ever will. Unless a culture with a highly evolved sense of humanity invades this country and is somehow able to snuff out the evil karma that burns brightly in America.
But of course we would be furious at an attack like that and would fight back with everything we had, wouldn't we?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Watching Sports Talk Radio

I watch talk radio on ESPN from time to time. Strange to say I watch talk radio but it's just one more sign of how the world gets bizarre-er and bizarre-er.
I started doing that because SportsCenter bores me with the hosts and guests who think they are the show.
When Keith Olberman and Dan Patrick started this whole thing, it was obvious that they were sports lovers who had a fantastic sense of humor. And they are intelligent. Their personalities added to the sports discussion, they didn't try to overshadow it. Of course they took a look around as ESPN grew and said "This ain't what I signed on for - I'm outta here." One more in an endless example of how corporations destroy essence as they grow.
Exit Keith and Dan, enter the Keith and Dan wannabes. The people who thought there was a formula for this and if you repeat it you will succeed. What they didn't realize is that you actually have to have a sense of humor, you have to be intelligent, you have to ask intelligent questions and you have to know how to balance the whole thing.
The most asked question in interviews today is "How did you feel when......................" Every time I hear it I throw up. Which is good because I am losing weight.
There is no originality, no thoughtfulness. Sportscasters have accepted the fact that athletes will never say what they want them to say, so they just ask the same questions over and over again.
SportsCenter bores me so I started checking out sports talk radio. Oh my god this is a whole other world entirely and it ain't pretty. These guys are all athlete wannabes. Probably played high school sports, maybe college, but that's as far as it went. They turned their love of sports into words.
Dammed up testosterone floods every set. These guys try to come across as tough, which is hilarious because the only callouses on their bodies are on their typing fingers. They act tough to impress the athletes and their audience. I guarantee you that in the locker room the athletes probably have caricatures of these guys on their jocks.
These guys make themselves even more pathetic by using phrases that the athletes use. If you try to talk like Kevin Garnett, people will laugh but not for the same reason. Garnett is hilarious. You look like a brain damaged parrot.
And they do all the fist bumping and all that crap too. Once again, when athletes do it it is genuine (sort of). When you do it, you look like a three year old swinging a baseball bat.
I love Around The Horn. The format is unique, I like Tony Reali's brash confidence and sense of humor and I love Woody Page's cartoon face, his chalkboard and his over the top personality. But I will never understand Reali's scoring system.
I love PTI. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon carry on the Keith and Dan tradition in their own way and it is good. They make me laugh. Especially Kornheiser. But their chemistry makes me laugh too. I love their relationship. And they are intelligent and knowledgeable.
Sports coverage was a simple thing when I was a child. Curt Gowdy. Then it became technical and sophisticated which is OK; it's a natural progression. But now it is ever present, overwhelming and smothering. I suppose it follows the path of TV entertainment from Dick Van Dyke to reality TV.
I don't want reality TV when I look for sports information.
I just want information, I want intelligence, I want to laugh a little.
But then again I'm just a dinosaur.

When Your Life.................

When your life is out of your hands, it is not a life. When you are forced to say yes when you want to say no. When you are forced to say no when you want to say yes. When you have to do more and more things that you don't want to do with increasing frequency. When you cannot do the things you want to do with increasing frequency. When your life gets so small you can fit it inside a matchbox. When the harder you fight the more you lose. When despair becomes as natural as breathing. When you begin to believe that karma is a negative thing in your life. When you don't know where to turn and get dizzy trying.
When Bob Dylan's words are your war cry:"I used to care, but things have changed."

Pay Attention To These Words

"When I was a boy the Lakotas owned the world; the sun rose and set on their land........Where are the warriors today? Who slew them? Where are our lands? Who owns them? What law have I broken? Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am a Lakota; because I was born where my father lived; because I would die for my people and my country?"
                                                                     Sitting Bull

Patience, people

The "interview" has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 10:00.

And so the drama continues..............................

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Serial Killer 101

My first serial killer biography is on the way.

Ed Gein.

Look him up. He's cute and cuddly.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Condescension, Part 4

Crank it up, kids here we go again. Got the call this morning.

Job "interview" on Thursday at 11:00. That means the job application has morphed from imaginary to mock real. This means I have to get all gussied up in a shirt and tie and suit jacket and dress pants and dress shoes again to perform ("interview") for a job where I crawl around on my hands and knees at times or work up a sweat humping cases of booze around.
The Games People Play.
The HR Maven called this morning and said "You applied for blah blah blah job and I am calling to schedule your "interview". Do you have a pen and paper handy?"
Apparently she thinks without immediately writing it down that after I hang up I will forget the words "Thursday 11:00" in the five seconds it takes to walk over to the counter.
THEN she tells me the "interview" is at HQ and asks me if I know where that is. I wanted to say "are you kidding me? I have been here for three "interviews" already, asshead, and you know it."
This is why I hate these people. Condescension Supreme.
Now I can hear my wife saying "She was only trying to help you." I guarantee you if she was scheduling an interview for an executive she would not ask "Do you have a pen and paper handy?"
I was watching a TV sports radio talk show broadcast on ESPN while chowing my breakfast this morning and the guy was defending Sean Payton. Not saying that he was right, just saying that in the future he will still be in demand and he should be. Then he said "Employers should look for really good people who are damaged; they are extra motivated." I thought WOW that is me to perfection. Ain't nobody more damaged than me and a lot of that damage has been inflicted by the honorable NHSLC. I might write the word DAMAGED in black magic marker on my forehead for the "interview".
Anyway I'm not sure which Joe will show up for this interview. After the second "interview"  they told me I was too stiff so the third time around I was consciously loose, which got me nowhere.
Maybe I'll fluctuate between stiff and loose on every other question. Kind of bounce back and forth between Spock and Robin Williams.
I'll keep you posted.

My Name Is Ribald Classic

My name is Ribald Classic.  Shakespeare said “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Shakespeare could write but I don’t think he had a firm grasp on the concept of marketing.

Change your name, change your life. A philosopher once told me that when I was particularly vulnerable and it made sense. He wasn’t really a philosopher, he was a grizzled drunk in a bar but I was OK with that. I have met many grizzled drunks with more wisdom and conscience than typical CEO’s.

Big bushy white beard, enormous beer belly and a backpack, sitting alone in a booth.  He had that look about him like he knew something, a kind of quiet dignity burning through the homeless persona. Everybody was lining up to talk to this guy and buy him drinks. The booze made me feel good, my life made me feel bad and I saw old white beard as the potential tie breaker. When my turn came I sat across from him, breathed through my mouth and aired out all the typical whiny complaints. I feel lost, feel like I am living someone else’s life, can’t seem to connect with my own soul, how can I turn my life around?

At first he sounded like Gabby Johnson from Blazing Saddles and I was royally pissed, but I hung in there out of sheer curiosity and through fierce concentration finally understood that he was telling me to change my name.

Disgusted at my own desperation I bought him a beer and stalked out of the bar.

Walking in the cold and feeling loose, my drunken advisor’s words made strange connections in my mind. In some ways your name defines you. Could changing it change my self- image and then dramatically alter the way I dealt with life? I was determined to find out and Ribald Classic was the ticket.

The next morning I went down to the courthouse, took care of business and was reborn. I knew things had changed when I bounded down the courthouse steps. I realized I had swagger. The first thing I did when I got home was stack all my Wayne Dyer books four feet high and light a joint from the flames.

I stopped driving a taxi and started working for a dance troupe, something I never had the guts to try before. Grew my hair long, bought new clothes, moved to a funky apartment. I could not believe life could fit so well; I wasn’t struggling against it anymore, I was flowing with it and the freedom was exhilarating.

In five years I went from making $14,500 in a taxi to making $75,000 as a choreographer. And I was dating some gorgeous women with the flexibility of gymnasts. No complaints.

The secret was so simple I felt invincible. Which is why I didn’t notice right away how the goddamn banks and politicians were destroying the economy and my life as they got rich. I was heavy into cocaine and booze at the time too which might also have made me slightly less alert, but you can’t blame a guy for taking the good life and cranking it up to the max. When I wasn’t looking, funding for the arts dried up and less and less people could afford to pay for theater tickets.

When I finally woke up it was too late. Everything was spiraling downward; dancers went back to waitressing and bartending, friends disappeared and I went back to invisibility.

The next few years were rough as I kept on sliding backwards in horrified disbelief. I changed my name twice to try to change my luck.  The first time to Rocky Ali.  Kind of a hybrid boxing name I thought would give me the toughness necessary to kick life in the ass. Instead I bounced from one ragged production to another for less and less money until I lost my apartment and ended up in a shelter. Apparently Rocky Ali was not quite the karma I was looking for.

I’m back to being a cabdriver again. It used to be when I felt abused or looked down upon, or felt like a loser, I imagined myself as Travis Bickle. That made me feel powerful, a lot more confidant.

I’ve been through a lot and learned some lessons, learned a lot about myself. I think I’m more realistic now. I just changed my name for the last time.

To Jim Ignatowski. You can call me the Reverend Jim if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Here's What Worries Me

So I'm talking to my friend in Sweden yesterday - we shall call him Bjorn for the sake of security - and after we both ranted about how much our lives suck and we know we can do better, we ventured tentatively into the political arena.
This is dangerous ground because he is militantly anti-Obama. Please bear in mind that this guy is supremely intelligent. I keep telling him that I respect his right to vote republican but please give me a name of someone I can respect to go up against President Obama, someone other than the three clowns left standing.
Yesterday he said that he thinks that Romney will beat President Obama. I was blown away. If he had given me the name of somebody not currently in the race, that I could have dug because it probably would have been somebody worthy.
But Romney?
You got G, R, and S.
Gingrich is a vicious, braggadocious, lying fool and I guess at this point should not be considered a contender.
Romney is an obvious phony with no spine and zero leadership qualities. Grits my ass.
Santorum is the most frightening. A religious zealot who wants to force his religion down your throat. I mean, in 2012, a guy who can say with a straight face that contraception is bad because it promotes sex for pleasure is a regressive moron. He wants to make abortion illegal, he wants to ban contraceptives, he wants to install Jesus in the East Room of the White House. Santorum is unstable and extremely dangerous.
Bjorn has a unique viewpoint on our country because he has lived in a socialist country for many years now and is not impressed. Of course he digs the six weeks of vacation but he feels the socialized medicine things does not work. And there is wealth disparity and greed and corruption there as well. What disturbs me is him buying into the falsehood that President Obama is trying to socialize this country. He is trying to reform this country and make it more equitable, more civilized.
But if Bjorn buys into it, just think how many toothless, grizzled bearded voters buy into it, male and female.
Here's my point. I believe only idiots, the uneducated, religious zealots and racists could vote for any one of G,R or S. I know we have an almost unlimited supply of people that fit that description in this country but President Obama did get elected in 2008.
What makes me uncomfortable is that I always felt like his election was a fluke. Making me more uncomfortable is the realization that there are intelligent people willing to vote republican.
I cannot say this strongly enough. Anybody who would vote for Gingrich, Romney or Santorum for President and was not under the influence of LSD or a charismatic cult leader, does not deserve to live in this country.
I squirm as the election gets closer. Too many unstable variables.
Four more years of President Obama followed by eight years of Hillary would be divine. A republican in 2013 would be worse than being eaten alive by cannibals with swamp breath.

Monday, March 26, 2012

From Sweden With Love

I was awakened by a call from Sweden this morning. Got a friend over there who needed to talk.
He is going through a tough time and is fed up, looking to come back to wounded America. He has been there for many years, ex-patriated himself over there after marrying a Swedish woman and getting involved in her family business.
I was struck by the dilemma my generation faces, and it doesn't matter where the hell in the world you are. Everything is backwards, upside down and incomprehensible.
The age old equation of work hard all your life and you get a pension, a comfortable retirement and a home that is paid for and worth many times more than it cost, is gone. There will be no pension, you cannot survive on social security and chances are your home has been devalued substantially over the last few years.
You played by the rules in good faith and have absolutely nothing to show for it. Except the prospect of working until death.
The irony is that my generation was a rebellious one, a group that fought against the status quo and tried to change it. We looked around and said this is bullshit, this life ain't no life, so we grew our hair long, played our music loud, fought in the political arena, fought for gender and racial equality, pointed the finger at corporations and politicians. Eventually the sad fact is that most of us got absorbed into the stereotypical American life, got castrated, became docile and here we are. It is a hard thing to be a rebel.
But the present situation proves that we were right to fight. The situation we are in now illustrates more than ever that our social structure is heartless, that the rich rule and will do anything to keep the worker bees as worker bees, and that politics and politicians are corrupt.
All of the evil inherent in our system of business and government is right out in the open now, contemptuously. My generation is worse off than my parents generation. The powers that be not only defeated us, they intensified and perfected their lying, cheating and stealing to the point that the middle class is almost extinct and the gap between the haves and the have nots is so big that you cannot see across it.
What will be our response? There was a spark there, an inspiration, a powerful sense of anger, imbalance and indignation that prompted us to rebel. We need to get that back.
A battle is being waged in Washington; President Obama is fighting against the status quo, trying to change the incestuous relationship between corporations and government. republicans are trying to protect it.
President Obama is fighting the right fight and victory on his part will improve my life tremendously. But I need something more immediate. My life is under attack. It's getting smaller, harder to deal with every day. The weasels I work for, in homage to the giant corporations and republican politicians, have openly insulted me, telling me in deed if not in word that I am nothing, and they will manipulate me as they please with no regard for my financial well being, no consideration for respect.
I am searching for independence. It's a Don Quixote kind of thing with little chance of success but it's something. I HAVE to do this. I cannot sit back and allow corporate and politically sanctioned thieves to destroy my life.
I hope this spirit is alive in most of my generation. We have to find another way to fight because we are literally fighting for our survival this time.
We are at the crossroads, baby and the Devil is ready to make his deal.
I'm not convinced we are going to get another chance.

Indian Wisdom

"My horse fights with me and fasts with me, because if he is to carry me in battle he must know my heart and I must know his or we shall never become brothers. I have been told that the white man, who is almost a god, and yet a great fool, does not believe that the horse has a spirit. This cannot be true. I have many times seen my horse's soul in his eyes."
                                                                   Chief Plenty Coups (Crow)

Observation: The actual photographs of Indians and whites in this book reveal the following: The Indians look regal, spiritual and strong in their native clothes, in their posture, in their eyes. The whites look like pansies and dandies, pretentious and out of place.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'Ve Been A Bit Intense lately So...................

One day George W.Bush was leading three cows into the White House. A Marine guard snapped to attention, saluted and said "Nice cows sir." The President replied "These are not just any cows, these are authentic Texas black Angus cows. I got one for Laura, one for Barbara, and one for Jenna." The Marine again snapped to attention, saluted and said "Nice trade, sir."

Sound Familiar?

American soldiers sent to secure Indian lands sometimes went berserk.
Many times when Indians were ordered to leave their own land, they refused. Fought back as hard and as best they could. Until our government decided they had to be forcibly removed. Soldiers were dispatched.
They would arrive at the location and forcibly and often cruelly drive the Indians out. And just as often on the trek in or the trek back the soldiers would indiscriminately raid Indian villages and kill innocent men, women and children. Slaughter helpless Indians. Burn down their villages and destroy their crops.
Sound like anything that happened in Afghanistan recently?


Crank up the Wayback Machine kiddies, here we go again.
I applied for yet another job within the hallowed halls of the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission. This is #7. In a year and a half.
Three died on paper, three resulted in mock conversation/grillings with The Grand Inquisitor and His Minions.
There is a twist this time. The Grand Inquisitor has been fired. Excuse me, decided to retire early. Apparently the vermin scum who populate the commission decided he was too much of a vermin to remain in power. Or maybe they decided he wasn't enough of a vermin to do the job. That probably makes more sense.
He was the point man at all three of the actual "interviews." I shall miss him dearly.
Of course nothing has changed. The interview will be no more just. This organization thrives on agendas and backroom deals. And on condescension and soul sucking treatment of employees and employee wannabes like me. As a part timer I am partially invisible. Kind of like Marty McFly in Back To The Future. When they need me I am solidly visible. When they don't need me and especially when I "interview" for advancement, I become vaporous, barely recognizable as a human being. Not worth considering.
So the first step is waiting to see if the submission of the job app actually morphs into a real live "interview". Or dies on the vine. "Cancelled recruitment."
If they call me in, the fun begins. I realized early on that this is nothing but theater and I intend to treat it as such.
I built a cross. A friend will accompany me to the inquisition, wheel the cross into the interrogation chamber and set me up on it. Initially my hands and feet will be tied to the cross but I am bringing spikes and a hammer with me. My instructions to the interrogators will be as follows: "If this is a genuine interview I will answer your questions from the cross. However, if you are still just jerking me around, please gather up the spikes and drive them into my hands and feet and let's be done with it once and for all."
This will present an interesting dilemma for the vermin scum. The spikes will be the honest choice, but life forms like this don't have the guts to hurt people face to face; it has to be behind the back.
I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

No Worries - I Still Don't Like Peyton

An interesting take on the employer/employee relationship.

When Peyton Manning was initially being shopped around, he said his decision would not be based on money. He's rich. He has a ring. He's 36 years old.

In the same scenario, Jim Irsay, Colts' owner, said that letting Peyton go was not a financial decision.

Peyton was telling the truth. Jim Irsay was lying.

You can generally assume in any employer/employee dialogue, that the employer is lying, the employee is speaking the truth.

The rule is that the higher up on the ladder you climb, the more immoral you become and the easier it is to do.

Of course the situation in this case is not so simple. If every NFL team offered Manning $7.25/hour to play, he'd be making commercials. And Irsay had to make the decision he did because Manning is ancient and his health is in question and Irsay could not, in the current climate of avoiding unpleasant truths, actually be honest.

But in a big picture kind of way I still found the comments interesting and my theory rock solid.

I wouldn't lie about that. I am only a humble part time employee.

Perpetually Stupid

Still reading 500 Nations. And getting angrier and angrier. You are aware of this stuff because it is touched upon in history classes, in books, you watch documentaries on TV.
We read our history, we are aware of the atrocities, but we somehow absorb it and diminish it and go about our lives as if we have a right to be here. We should all at least feel a little guilt every single day, and be thankful that there is no more powerful nation out there who wants to colonize the 2012 version of America.
This book is written by an American Indian; it is much more detailed regarding the violence, the suffering, the betrayal, the bewilderment of a spiritual and advanced people at the hands of the supposed superior whites.
There are idiots out there who will argue this book is slanted to make treatment of Indians look worse (the same people who think Trayvon Martin got what he deserved).
Do you think our history books are truthful?
I am willing to bet all the money I have ($1.37) that this is a much more accurate description of the founding of this country.
Spaniards, Frenchmen, the Dutch, the Brits all wandered across the sea and immediately assumed the people they encountered were beneath them in every possible way. They treated them with contempt and called them savages.
The whites' prejudices, stemming from greed and stupidity, prevented them from realizing that these were a spiritual, loving, nature respecting, intelligent people who understood more about how to survive in dignity than we will ever know. The whites were confused by a different culture.
The whites were intimidated by intelligence.
That is a thread that runs right through the year 2012 in this country and will run right to the end of our existence.
Because there is no holistic shared accumulation of knowledge; we are unwilling to learn from the past.
The way it should work is that as each atrocity occurs, as each mistake is made, our society should absorb that information and learn from it, vowing not to repeat the same injustices. Our society would advance intellectually and spiritually until it would set a standard for all other societies to emulate.
Unfortunately we are either too stupid or vicious or petty or all of the above to do anything but repeat the past, and continue to drag the intelligence and moral level of this country down below the sight line.
Hence you have hatred, vile racial prejudice and continuous, unrelenting backlash against a President who is most likely the most intelligent we have ever had.
Our cretinous society is intimidated by his intelligence, and that of his administration, unable to understand his policies much like the Spaniards and the rest of the gang were unable to understand the lifestyle of the Indians.
The line is unbroken.
I have heard talk about a Hillary for President campaign after President Obama completes his second term. That would be a one two punch that would set this country reeling. One that I would relish.
Imagine eight years of a black president followed by eight years of a female president? That would give me hope that maybe the line could be broken.
Not a lot of hope given our history. But hope.
I keep thinking as I read 500 Nations, I wonder how things would have gone if the whites didn't have guns? Imagine if the battles were fought on equal footing?
Are you kidding me? Indians would have decimated and embarrassed these pseudo conquerors and kicked their asses back across the ocean.
And I would be living in Italy. Which would not be so bad because the language is beautiful and the food ain't half bad either.
I think the only evidence that exists to show that we learned from our bloody heritage is that we have built up a monstrous military presence in the world to keep others from doing to us what we did to Indians and African-Americans.
But more and more unstable countries are developing nuclear capabilities. Makes for an interesting twist in the equation.
Karma is a bitch, baby.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Various and Sundry

Just read a Rolling Stone interview. Jon Stewart interviewing Bruce Springsteen.
That's my kind of interview, baby. Two creative and successful guys who are also exceptionally intelligent, informed, and outspoken.
Who knew comedy and rock 'n roll could evolve to this point?
Although the roots were there decades ago.
Sixties rock was all about rebellion. Shining a light on lies, hypocrisy and injustice. Questioning an entire way of life.
Comedy had Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor and Redd Fox and George Carlin.
The marriage of great art with intelligence and social activism is powerful, and brings serious attention to disciplines that some might consider diversions.
Springsteen just put out an album called Wrecking Ball which deals with all the financial bullshit that has occurred over the last four years and how the regular working stiff is the one paying the price. First album, first tour without the Big Man.
Talking about the financial meltdown, Bruce says: "All the radical hippies, longhairs - no one ever came as close to sinking the USA as the guys in the pinstriped suits." And:"This is what the guys at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers forgot. They forgot that they are a part of a continuum of history, and it's not about the f***ing buck that you make today at whoever's f***ing expense. If there's not a sense of continuity, a sense of some sort of communal obligation and responsibility, a sense of a future involved in what you're doing, and a sense of being beholden to the past, you end up being one shallow, greedy motherf***er, just trying to get all you can."
Great interview.

Read that the Rolling Stones will not be going out on a fiftieth anniversary tour this year. Shooting for 2013. I'm disappointed, I was gearing up to find a way no matter what of attending one of their concerts. But then again this gives me another year to get rich and famous so I can afford to go, without sucking all the equity (which is rapidly diminishing thanks to Wall Street f***s) out of my house.
There were comments in the article alluding to worries about Keith's health. As you know he fell out of a tree onto his head on vacation in Fiji in April 2006, and some say his guitar playing suffered as a result. After The Bigger Bang tour, he stopped playing completely. All this health stuff is getting to me because............................
My soul is pining away though because I am also worried about The Allman Brothers. Gregg looks and sounds awful. Very old, very tired, very unhealthy. They are doing the Beacon right now and some reviews I read say Gregg is struggling. Other nights he kicks ass.
But if there is no Allman Brothers tour this summer and no Stones, I will be hard pressed to find something substantial musically to feed my soul.
Maybe Justin Bieber.
Although it is widely believed that 2012 marks The Stones 50th, Keith says: "The Stones always really considered '63 to be 50 years, because Charlie didn't actually join until January. We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year."
Works for me.
Also Bill Wyman, their original bassist, recently sat in with The Stones for the first time since leaving the band in 1992. Sparking rumors that he might join them on tour.
Very cool.
There is a Stones documentary coming out in the fall tracing the band's entire 50 year journey, and it's packed with unseen footage and unreleased music. That will serve as a substantial appetizer for me as a prelude to front row seats for me and my lovely wife in 2013.

Davy Jones is dead at 66. Life is strange. When he auditioned for The Monkees at the age of 19, he was already an accomplished actor on TV and Broadway and London stages. He got into The Monkees, who blazed for two or three years, then it all fell apart and they all wound up broke. And it killed Davy Jones acting career. FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. All anybody ever saw was an Ex-Monkee. You would think The Monkees thing would have set him up for life. Instead it ruined him. You would think his acting talents, already recognized, would save him. But minds were closed.
Life is an exceptionally cruel mistress.

Recently Leonard Cohen and Chuck Berry were honored at Boston's JFK Library by receiving the first-ever PEN New England Award for Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence. PEN is a bastardized acronym for poets, playwrights, essayists, editors and novelists. Their website describes them as "a literary community celebrating literature and protecting free expression."
Heavy duty.
So I love the fact that they decided to recognize Leonard and Chuck. Although I'm not quite sure how Chuck got into the mix.
I love even more that Keith Richards was one of the presenters. Picturing Keef walking around this high brow organization gives me reason to keep on keeping on.

That's all the rock 'n roll news for today, people.
Get on with your lives.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We reduce everything to pop in this country. Everything has to have a catchy nickname, some way to trivialize it and make everybody think they are cool when they say it.
Sexually transmitted diseases are STD's. Prescribed medicine is called meds. I hate it when people say "Gotta take my meds." Like they are proud of it.
The one I hate the most is 9/11. The worst disaster, the worst attack, this country has ever faced occurred on September 11, 2001. Reduced to a phrase that has become meaningless because people throw it around like a brand name.
Iced tea and Skittles. That's what keeps popping up when people talk about Trayvon Martin.
This one I don't mind. Because it illustrates perfectly the innocence of this boy in contrast to the vicious racial stupidity and violence of the "man" who gunned him down.
It hammers home the fact that in 2012 in The United States of America, a black boy, a black man, a black woman can be gunned down for the color of their skin and no other reason. And the cops can look the other way, the gunman can avoid arrest.
We have come a long way since 1964.
Let me get basic here. Why do we have to hate? Why can't we look at other human beings and realize that we are all in the same goddamn boat?
We all have families, we all have jobs, we all have friends. We are all struggling to make something beautiful and meaningful out of this gift called life. We are all fighting against a system that is stacked against us; a system rigged to keep us poor and weak.
I think hate is misplaced anger. Most people hate their lives and feel helpless about it so they decide to hate other people. I do it all the time. I carry a box of booze out to a princess in a Mercedes and I automatically don't like her. Because I want a Mercedes. It's ridiculous.
But when you intensify your misplaced anger to the level of racial hatred or blind hatred of a group of people or a specific religion, you have made life harder for all of us.
Isn't survival a hard enough challenge without having to deal with intense, unthinking, blind hatred on top of that?
I will never understand it.
We are all human beings with no understanding of why we are here or where we are going. Trying to find happiness, how ever that is defined. We all feel. That should be enough.
It disgusts me that it isn't.

Basketball Hoop In A Tree

Many thousands of years ago, I put up a basketball hoop for my sons. This is amazing when I think about it because I am not a handyman. In any way, shape, form or manner. Blood droplets assemble on my brow when you put a tool in my hand.
I'm sure Carol helped me. On the rare occasions when I do attempt a project, I am the laborer, she is the supervisor. But still, I am amazed that I/we got it done.
Walked outside this week on one of these magnificently, surprising, March days and the hoop caught my eye. The branches of a tree have grown all around it, so now it looks like an ancient tribute to the sport of basketball.
I was overwhelmed by the deafening silence of my dog not barking and my sons not playing.
It means something that a tree has grown around the hoop. Tress are life. The hoop was one life, the tree is another.
I was once surrounded by life. I am still surrounded by life.
It's just that the sound is different now.

The Simpsons, Keith Olbermann and Me

I just woke up from this dream 48 minutes ago. I am not making this up. I really dreamed this.

I was hanging with The Simpsons. Actually in their home. Watching TV, having dinner with them; I was their friend. But I was me, I was not a cartoon character. In our conversations they kept complaining about Keith Olbermann, saying that he hated them and was always criticizing them on TV. They figured since I am a human I could maybe get into Keith's home and kind of take a look around to see if I could find any clues, notes or something, explaining why he hated them so much.
I agreed to do it so they drove me over to Keith's place.
Somehow I got into his house and started snooping around. Looking into the cupboard below his TV/wall unit, looking in the drawers of his end tables, looking through loose papers on the coffee table. I had the feeling he wouldn't be home for a while so I decided to take a shower.
I had just walked into the bathroom and closed the door when I heard the front door open. Keith was home. I figured I better explain myself so I walked out to talk to him. He was pissed at first but I calmed him down. He listened to my story as if it made perfect sense but when I was done he told me he was going to press charges. He was going to call the cops on me for breaking into his house.

Then Carol's alarm went off. I'll never know what happened to me. Never know if I got arrested; never know if The Simpsons came to my defense.

I have to stress once more that I am not making this up.

This, folks, is what frightens me about my mind.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Would You Kill God?

Watched a movie last night. Heavy duty. The Last Deadly Mission. French movie. With subtitles. I have a confession to make. I watch foreign films with subtitles. Subtitles don't bother me. In fact I kind of like them. Do you think less of me?
I enjoy foreign films because they are often provocative. Bolder than American films. But then again the rest of the world is so far ahead of us in maturity that we are a fetus by way of comparison.
Anyway the opening scene is a cop talking with a psychiatrist. The cop asks the doc if she believes in God and she says yes. He says "God's a son of a bitch. Someday I'll kill him."
BOOM. What a line.
Got me thinking. Would you kill God if you could? If you found out he was vulnerable and you felt you had a reason, would you kill God? Could you get yourself to do it?
I would ask him one question: "Why do children get cancer?" If he couldn't answer that to my satisfaction I would kill him. And the answer would have to be the "Oh my god now I understand how everything in the universe works and the meaning of life is perfectly clear to me" type of answer. No bluffing, no grey areas, no hesitation.
And what if you did kill him - how would that effect the balance in the universe? Would the Devil rise up and blanket the earth in unspeakable evil? Feels like he's doing that right now, so I can't imagine it getting any worse.
Besides, if you can kill God, you can kill the Devil and the Devil is a lot easier to find. Christ, I have had many a whiskey with the Devil, I know the bars where he hangs out.
If you killed God and you killed the Devil maybe the world would be a better place. With their bickering out of the way we would no longer be pawns in a power struggle. Then we could concentrate on treating each other as humans instead of concentrating on putting the most attractive make-up on our souls.
If I came face to face with God knowing he was vulnerable I would still be in awe. He created the universe. The only thing I have created is a nonsensical, tangled mess of a life, and that took 58 years. He created the world in six days.
I would chat with him, have a beer, a couple of shots , watch some football. I'd fire up the barbie and show off my prowess on the grill.
But eventually he would have to answer my question.
If I killed him, would that make me the new God?
That would piss off a lot of people, but it would confirm suspicions I have had about myself for a while now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Lost, and losing more.
Desperation paralyzes, silently
and relentlessly,
as time grows short.
Crippled mind blocks success
while cursing failure.
A game that can't be won.
The end too close to see,
too frightening to ignore.

5 Years $96 million

Peyton Manning just signed a 5 yr. $96 million contract with the Denver Broncos.

I want a 5 yr. $96 million contract.

I have begun negotiations with the honorable New Hampshire State Liquor Commission.

Footnote: Apparently Tim Tebow is not as tight with Jesus as he thought he was.

It's A Plan

As you know, I am desperate for cold hard cash. The Grand Inquisitor and His Evil Minions refuse to cooperate with me.
The economy refuses to cooperate with me.
I'm on my own and planning accordingly.

Gonna buy a mini van and equip it with a meth lab. That way I can cook it up AND deliver it directly into your greedy, needy little hands.

Gonna call it Joe's Smoke and Go.

Trayvon Martin in America

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin has inspired outrage. Justifiable outrage. The guy who admits to killing him, George Zimmerman, has not been arrested or even charged. Even though Trayvon's only weapons were iced tea and Skittles.
But then again, he was black.
Florida has a "Stand Your Ground" law which the police are hiding behind as an excuse for not arresting Zimmerman. The law allows a potential crime victim who is "in fear of great bodily injury" to use deadly force in public places. The law expanded upon legislation that allowed deadly force in defense of "hearth and home." The law was passed by Jeb Bush and overturned a centuries old doctrine that required the potential victim to retreat and avoid confrontation if possible. Zimmerman could have safely retreated and avoided this conflict BUT he does not have a duty to retreat in Florida.
New Hampshire has a deadly force law which does not include a duty to retreat. It was just passed at the end of last year. This does not surprise me and I know there are lots of New Hampshirites who love this law.
My guess is that typical supporters of these laws are gun owning idiots who do not respect the right to own a gun. I have no problem with guns. I like them, even though I don't own one. Yet.
But I am getting a growing feeling in my gut that I better get a gun one of these days to protect myself against those who are morons and do own guns. As I watch our society move backwards towards stupidity, I believe anything is possible. And if things get crazy I will be vulnerable without a violent means of self defense. I prefer not to think in those terms, but I truly believe American society is moving from an intelligence level equivalent to a first grader to that of a pre-schooler. Rapidly.
It takes intelligence and responsibility to own a gun. I am willing to bet that a lot of gun owners, especially in NH, are not intelligent and not responsible. And I'm willing to bet a lot of them are racially prejudiced.
I'd bet the same thing about the Florida gun owning population.
This type of law is exactly the kind of thing republicans promote. Its the kind of thing they use to incite an undereducated, emotionally irrational voting base. Regardless of the potential consequences.
The outrage has forced the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to step in to the investigation.
If the man is found guilty I hope he is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And I hope that includes the death penalty.
But we are not dealing with one case here. We are dealing with an undercurrent of hatred and prejudice in this country that has oozed out into the light of day. And I will say it a million times if I have to, I believe it is a direct backlash to the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency.
It feels to me like prejudice and hatred are more visible now, more open and freely expressed, than they have been in many decades.
Couple that with a growing sense of vigilantism, an increase in legislation with a Stand Your Ground mentality, and a climate of suffocating financial stress and unemployment, and you end up with a very angry, very uneducated, very irrational and very armed society. One that is not afraid to be vocal about their hatred, not afraid to do something about it.
This case is not only about Trayvon Martin. This case is about this country regressing to a time when racial prejudice and violence were tolerated. Even promoted.
We should not even be having this conversation in America. The situation should not even exist.
But we are a country of stupidity that does not learn from past injustices. We repeat them.
This is the climate republicans are creating. Willfully.
I despise it. I am beginning to feel I don't even live in America anymore.

I Warned You

Fray Bartoleme de Las Casas came to the West Indies as a Spanish colonist in 1502 but, becoming a priest and a fiery defender of the Indians, turned his voice and pen against the Spaniards' excesses.
He wrote: "The Spaniards made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow; or they opened up his bowels. They tore the babies from their mother's breast by their feet, and dashed their heads against the rocks....They spitted the bodies of other babies, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords..They hanged Indians, and by thirteens, in honor and reverence for our Redeemer and the twelve Apostles, they put wood underneath and, with fire, they burned the Indians alive........I saw all of the above things..........All these did my own eyes witness."
Columbus kept a diary. Upon first encountering Indians he wrote:" They are artless and generous with what they have, to such a degree as no one would believe but he who had seen it. Of anything they have, if it be asked for, they never say no, but do rather invite the person to accept it, and show as much lovingness as though they would give their hearts."
Two days later he wrote:"These people are very unskilled in arms...with fifty men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished."
Says a lot about the conscience of this country, embedded in the soul of this country, that Columbus went from recognizing the simple beauty and love of these people to recognizing that he could easily subjugate them for his own gain.
I believe that thinking is alive and well today in this country. We are no less mean spirited, no less coldly calculating than 15th century Spaniards.
Las Casas wrote:"Note here the natural, simple and kind gentleness and humble conditions of the Indians, and want of arms or protection, gave the Spaniards the insolence to hold them of little account.The Spaniards deal with them in any way they wish,without regard to sex, age, status or dignity."
That is how the population of this country thinks even today.
If you show consideration, if you are kind and gentle, almost all of the people who meet you will think you are an idiot. The same people who walk around with smug expressions, existing in sarcasm and an attitude that they know exactly how life works. When in truth they don't know a goddamn thing. And when in truth that approach to life continues to poison our society and rob us of the possibility to evolve as meaningful human beings.
The irony is that Indians were warriors. Highly evolved spiritually and culturally but fierce when they had to be. They were humble towards the white man because they thought they were gods. Guns and ships, even the color of the skin, were things Indians had never seen. They were respectful until the Spanirds' true nature was revealed. And then it was too late.
Indians were superior to white men spiritually and intellectually.  Some were farmers, others fishermen, others hunters depending on where they lived. They built advanced societies that functioned beautifully under severe conditions all across this country.
They created beautiful art and had a highly developed sense of the importance of family and community. And they understood and respected the delicate balance between man and nature. We rape nature and walk away grinning.
The Spaniards thought THEY were superior because they had guns and could travel across the ocean.
This could be the origin of the thought process in this country that respects violence, wealth, and exploitation over spirituality, beauty, sensitivity and intelligence.
It could be the reason this country cannot get past bigotry, stupidity and violence. We destroyed a spiritual nation and replaced it with inferior intelligence and a complete lack of spirituality.
The Arawaks were the people Columbus first met in1492. They numbered in the millions at that time. Fifty years later, 1542, they were decimated and practically extinct. Because they were slaughtered, enslaved and wiped out by diseases thoughtfully introduced by the Spaniards, against which they had no defenses.
This is the comment that floored me. "By 1542, fifty years after Columbus had first come upon them, the Arawak population was down to two hundred, and the Spaniards were replacing their labor with that of black slaves imported in chains from Africa."
They came to this country and viciously destroyed a culture, and then turned to another country to make slaves of their people.
What kind of soul knowingly wipes out a slice of humanity, learns nothing from that, and immediately sets about enslaving and torturing another slice of humanity?
It is disgusting and vile and it is the history of this country. I also believe it is the heart and soul of this country.
We are in essence a spiritually bankrupt nation that is destined to fall because of that.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bin Laden and Fox

Bin Laden was a scumbag, murderous terrorist BUT he had had a highly developed, intellectual understanding about American broadcast media.
He and his followers had big plans for a tenth anniversary follow up to commemorate September 11, 2001.
They even considered what would be the best television outlets for a Bin Laden anniversary video. One of his advisers said "It should be sent for example to ABC, CBS,NBC and CNN, and maybe PBS and VOA. As for Fox news, let her die in her anger."
Also:"From a professional point of view, they are all on one level - except Fox News channel, which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality, too."
Fox News - so bad even publicity hungry terrorists shun them.
I rest my case.

A Warning Salvo

I'm just firing a warning salvo. Just started reading 500 Nations. A history about American Indians told by an Amercian Indian. Alvin M. Josephy Jr.
A true Amercian history book.
Soon I will be ranting about what scum we Americans are, which is undoubtedly true. I laugh consistently every time some pompous ass holds this country up as the beacon of morality. An inspiration for the rest of the world. Makes me think about the morons in pickups who drive around with a full sized Amercian flag in the bed. They call that patriotism.
This country is every bit as corrupt, every bit as vicious, every bit as evil as any other country in the world.
I was cruising along peacefully, reading the opening chapters of the book which provide a history of American Indians going back thousands of years. Their origins, traditions, and culture. There was violence between them even before us white folk got into the mix, but the overall culture was one of respect for life and especially for nature. An intelligent, reverent, spiritual people. Deeply spiritual and aware.
Then I got to Cortes. Thieving, lying scum. Setting the tone for the colonization of this country and for our cultural mentality in general.
They hit shore and start marching. First stop - Cholula.The Spaniards assemble in the temple courtyard and entice the inhabitants out with overtures of peace. When the courtyard was crowded the Spaniards blocked the entrances and exits and went about slaughtering unsuspecting and unarmed Cholulans.
Next stop - Tenochtitlan, the imperial Aztec capital. The Aztecs had heard of the previous slaughter so they treated the Spaniards cordially. They were afraid. But the Spaniards were committed to plundering the Aztec fortunes.
The Aztecs were fierce fighters  but eventually succumbed to the white strangers. Their leader had been killed, his body unceremoniously thrown into a canal, their city destroyed, their riches plundered. And oh yeah, the Spaniards introduced small pox to the Indians. They were highly susceptible and were decimated by the disease.
I guess that chapter has set the tone for the rest of the book.
This will be a great learning experience for me. The only history I got was from Mr. McFarland in high school. He was the varsity football coach and didn't give a damn about history. He broke out the same notes every year - the pages were literally worn and yellowed - and stood in front of the class and read from the notes. And called that teaching.
The only thing I got from him was the greatest name in the world. He used a fictional name to make certain points. The same name every time.
Abercrombie Fafoofnick.
Thanks for the education Mr. M.

Friday, March 16, 2012


My thoughts are like razor blades in my gut.

Great beginning to a poem or story or novel. It's also true. It amazes me how potent emotions can be. If you are swirling in confusion, trying to grab onto some version of meaningfulness in this pus filled world, your gut aches as if it was ravaged by disease. Which indeed it is, albeit of the vaporous variety.

Emotions are powerful agents of pain; they can also be powerful agents of change. You must examine them, understand their source, and figure out how to put them to good use.

Let's face it - emotions ARE life. If you are not an emotional person you might as well take a knife to your jugular immediately. I'll be happy to do it if you cannot muster the strength. Ironically emotions can wear chains or they can wear wings.

We are weak and vulnerable; we throw up our arms to shield ourselves every day. But in the dark, in the alone, we MUST feel. Touch your emotions with your mind your heart your soul. Examine them for authenticity - be honest with yourself - act on the good, exorcise the bad.

Emotions are the signposts to the soul - your spirit talks to you through feelings. Listen closely, listen carefully.

And cry once in a while. Cry long loud and hard. To cry is to purge - it's like Dr. Feelgood blowing out your arteries so the blood can flow freely. Cry. Make room for your emotions to flow. If they are bottled up they become poison and this poison trickles back down to the soul.

A poisoned soul cannot inspire, it cannot breathe, it cannot fly. It can only cower in the corner and pray for spiritual sustenance. You are your soul and your soul is you.

Love each other, heal each other. It's your only hope for peace of mind.

Wake and Tek

Watched Tim Wakefield retire. Watched Jason Varitek retire. Watched them both struggle to choke back tears and fail. Long stretches of silence as they fought to compose themselves.
I've seen this a million times. I have been around a while. But it still moves me.
Athletes are comets. Their lives are intense, their careers are short. And they don't get to say when they retire. Their skills fade and they have to retire.
It must suck royally to still have the burning desire to compete and yet be forced into retirement by a failing body. Your mind screams no your body says too bad. You have been wanted all your life and suddenly nobody wants you. Can't get a contract with anybody. Cannot extend your career no matter how badly you might want to. And if you play beyond your aging skills for chump money you make a fool of yourself.
A lot of athletes die young. Maybe they burn too intensely. Pampered and under a microscope as little kids they are already thrown into the cogs of the machine. Up through Jr High and High School, college and on into the Pros. Intense scrutiny and attention, repetition, hard work, ever learning, practicing and honing.
Maximum attention in the bigs especially if you play in Boston or New York. It must be odd. I'm sure they adjust to it but probably not 100%. Gotta be a portion of the brain that says "Wow, baby this ain't natural. Who am I?" Gotta be somewhat bewildering.
Not a bad gig, though. Well rewarded in millions and perks and fame and world travel. The rest of us hunger to retire from the minute we set foot on our first job. And we just keep going. Thirty, forty, fifty years. Head down, spirits lower, bank account even lower. We consider ourselves lucky if retirement precedes death. When we retire we are old, slow moving and living on an impossible budget.
Something just seems backwards, out of kilter. The ones who get to enjoy life, really drink deeply of what it has to offer, get forced out of the limelight before they are ready for it. The ones who suffer endless decades of disappointment never get a break. They are looking for ways to slip off the yoke but they never find it.
"Hope I die before I get old"
"I'd rather burn out than fade away."
Rock and roll sentiments that sum up athletes' existence.
It's probably better to live hot and short than long and tortured.
I'll never know. I'm locked into another 22 years at The Booze Emporium. Gonna retire at 80. Then I'm really gonna swing.

Dig This

"When the word "weekend" is meaningless in your life, something valuable has been lost."


You Can Do This

"I've been working so hard
I'm punching my card
Eight hours for what?
Oh tell me what I got

I've got this feeling
that time's just holding me down
I'll hit the ceiling or else I'll tear up this town

Tonight I gotta cut loose,
footloose, kick off your Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off a my knees
Jack, get back, c'mon before we crack
Lose your blues everybody cut footloose"

Yeah, baby felt good just writing the words. Gotta get up to get down people. Get out this weekend and shake your cellulite riddled asses.

March Madness Infects and Deflects

March Madness what the hell? Got a hold on me this year. Watched Syracuse yesterday afternoon, went out to see a crazy musical after supper that made my feet loose, came home at 10:00 and watched basketball until after midnight.
I'm too old for that. What was I thinking? Bye bye UConn.
Timing is perfect. I'm coming out of a three month funk, the weather has bloomed torturously beautiful, I'm thinking Kill Crush Destroy, and  amped up youth is running all over my TV screen.
It's all coming together in one powerful vibe that will sweep me into the White House.
What? Sorry, apparently I temporarily assumed another persona.
Anyway I'm digging the vibe, the enthusiasm so greatly I have pledged to be up and out of my coffin every night no more than one second after sunset.
How's that for passion and commitment?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Fluid Mirror

The mirror is fluid.

It tells me too much.

I tried to shatter it one day but

my hand penetrated the surface.

That’s when I knew.

I go through it, get in behind it,

and see myself in raw truth.

The first experience brought tears,

overwhelmed by the harshness of the view.

Reflection is gentler.

I learned to use it to cut down


There are no more tears,

but there is fear.

Unfiltered honesty, like any weapon,

is powerful and dangerous.

Beware The Ides of March

I am moving carefully today. Ducking below window ledges as I walk by. My head swivels frantically at any foreign noise.
It's good that I do not have to go to work on this day. That would be too dangerous.
On this day in 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was killed in a bloody assassination. That event has forever marked March 15 as a day of infamy.
Before Julie's untimely demise, an ides was simply one of several common calender terms used to mark monthly lunar events. The ides simply marked the appearance of the full moon. After the slaughter, The Ides of March came to represent a specific day of abrupt change that set off a ripple of repercussions throughout Roman society and beyond.
I feel the threatening presence of The Grand Inquisitor and His Minions lurking about my house. They have toyed with me, nay tortured me, for months now.
And now they plot to exact the ultimate vengeance. My violent death, both bloody and satisfying.
I don't know what I have done to provoke them, although there are those who would argue that I, much like Julius Caesar, have gotten too big for my britches.
No matter. If I survive the day, I will swear satisfaction on a quest to revenge the evil way I have been treated.
I have learned much from Josey Wales.
There is going to be a day of reckoning. Blood will grease the floors of the NHSLC HQ.

Kristofferson Lyrics You May Not Know

The Race

The race is harder than arithmetic.
Some'll say it can't be won.
It gets harder when your shoes are slick.
But I had set my mind to run.
It was harder than I'd bargained for.
Broken dreams at every turn.
I had heart enough to almost make it through.
And a lesson left to learn.
I slipped and fell before the finish line,
just when it seemed I couldn't lose.
I can fall any time you want me to.
You are the shit beneath my shoes.

A Walk On The Wild Side

Just took a walk on the wild side. Heavy duty emotion and truth. A Walk On The Wild Side by Nelson Algren. What a book. Born in1909, died in 1981, Algren also wrote The Man With The Golden Arm and many others. So far I've read The Man, and A Walk, and they both tasted pretty good. Because they are real and unafraid to expose the truth.
A Walk is set in 1930's New Orleans and follows the life of one illiterate character through ups and downs, legal and illegal, whorehouses, jails and bars, con men, petty crooks, hardened criminals, alcoholics and drug addicts, until he ends up beaten to within an inch of his life and goes home to where the journey started, blind, and life-wise. He wasn't the most reputable character I've ever met, but when he took a beating at the end of the book it saddened me.
I am always drawn to stories like these because they expose us all as pimps and dreamers and grand schemers with a tenuous connection to reality. To the truth.
I have never believed that getting a paycheck, "owning" a home and having barbecues made me any better than the most hopeless drunk.
We both survive in the same way. By fooling ourselves. By believing in a dream.
The drunk always believes his latest scheme is going to score him the big prize. Gonna buy his freedom. I believe I will get paid to write.We could be right, we could be wrong. But we are both doing the same thing.
The drunk, the loser is more honest than us hard working bugs. He's saying "this is what I am, I'm not pretending to be anything else." We run around pretending to be well off, pretending to be happy and pretending to know the score. The truth is we are just as unhappy as a bum and we might understand life even less.
Algren says of the book: "The book asks why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives. Why men who have suffered at the hands of other men are the natural believers in humanity, while those whose part has been simply to acquire, to take all and give nothing, are the most contemptuous of mankind."
You cannot argue with those words. The end of it sounds like he is describing the 1%-ers.
My heart aches when I follow the schemes of these characters hatching plans to make them rich. They know they are fooling themselves, I know they are going to fail and it is painful to read. Because I want them to succeed. Us wee folk think we have an intelligent plan to climb the ladder of success when we know the game is rigged and we won't get what we want. It's all the same, baby.
He's describing the work environment in 1930's New Orleans: "......they hid out in that littered hinterland behind the billboards' promises, evading the rat-race for fortune and fame. Their names were "Unemployed Talent Scout" and "Part Time Fry Cook" and "Part Time Beautician". And they strolled as matter-of-factly through their part time nightmares into a self-styled daylight no less terrible than all their dreams."
He could have added "Part Time Liquor Store Clerk" to the list and it would have fit.
Here's another one: ".....and it took a cardinal to perceive that the country's economic collapse was actually a wonderful piece of luck, for every day it brought thousands closer to the poverty of Christ, who had been nowhere near before."
Santorum could utter these words and supporters would be nodding their heads in agreement.
One more:"Caught between the double disappointment of dying too soon or staying alive to no purpose whatsoever..............."
That one speaks for itself.
Don't read Nelson Algren. You can't handle it.
I know you'd rather go to the movies to see Dr.Seuss' The Lorax and chow down on $9 popcorn, and then come home to the house that the bank owns and congratulate yourself on your wonderful life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

See Me Feel Me

Seeing life differently requires further review. I didn't hit it efficiently enough.

Numbness equals survival. You have to get numb to make it in this world. We all do it. We all have to do it.
You are numb in your job right now. You feel nothing. Good work. That will get you through your day.
You start a new job everything is new. New people, new responsibilities. You get to know the people, you learn the job as quickly as you can, you achieve numbness. now you are comfortable.
You come home and numb yourself with TV and Oreo cookies. Happy Birthday, cookies. The Sox should give a free bag of Oreos to every single ticket holder on opening day at Fenway.
BUT, if you are lucky, every once in a while you become un-numb. Happened to me a couple of times last year because I was pushing the outer boundaries of Joe-ness.
It's happening to me again. Now. As we speak.
You know its real when you see things differently AND that seeing is accompanied by a powerful emotional response.
Circumstances recently conspired to crush me. Instead, I am rising up on my hind legs like a thoroughbred Arabian horse.
Evil scum have made me stronger.
As I rise up, the view is blowing my mind. The commute has become a painting; absolutely gorgeous filling me with pleasure and peace. Up until about two minutes before arrival at The Booze Emporium.
The view at work has got me dizzy. Looking around the store seeing everything in sharp relief. Thanks to The Scum Who Would Not Grant Employment.
It has become blindingly obvious to me that the NHSLC is not my future. Not no way, not no how. It will do for now, given our diseased economy. But the screwing I recently endured gave me clear vision to the truth. I could never survive in a cancerous organization like that, and I also know that should I ever be allowed a full time position I would never be rewarded for any extra effort, intelligence, innovation or hard work I could muster. No matter what, I would end up screwed in the end.
Anyway I am seeing life differently. Feeling life differently. This is an important step towards evolving. Towards making change.
I wish the hell I was a painter. I would be laying down some goddamn interesting stuff right now.

Elvis Voodoo

Elvis is alive. No kidding. The real deal. I visit him almost every night. And not the fat Elvis, either. The late fifties, viciously handsome, still got my chops Elvis.

My life fell apart fifteen years ago. It fell apart because I got the consumption. Whiskey consumption. My narrow minded ex-wife did not appreciate the fact that I felt our food budget covered the purchase of whiskey. Her patience was stretched thin when I started serving her Hamburger Helper (bacon cheeseburger is particularly delicious) instead of spaghetti alla carbonara.

After endless arguments (most of which I don’t remember) over a couple of years she kicked me out. And cut me loose.  I still loved her and regretted my selfish, insensitive, destruction of our marriage, but hungered to severely rearrange my existence, so I fled to New Orleans.

It was the right choice. New Orleans felt like home. The music, the cuisine, the culture, the people, the bars. Darkness emanates from my soul, and my essence is strangely twisted. As I gradually settled in to my own New Orleans rhythm I naturally gravitated to the seamier aspects of Big Easy living. Especially voodoo.

It wasn’t easy slipping into that very closed, very guarded community but I was determined. Voodoo fascinated me. I love the concept of revenge but could never muster up the courage to really hurt anybody. Not in any meaningful way. Voodoo seemed like the perfect weapon, the right tool for the job.

Patrons of the seediest bars in town slowly got used to seeing me hunched over a rocks glass filled to the brim with whiskey. Crown Royal. It isn’t the most expensive whiskey on the block but it ain’t cheap either. I spent money and tipped well. The bartenders liked me. It’s always good to have the bartender on your side.

Drinking whiskey, talking to myself and cursing my wife. For a while the barflies would only look over at me in amusement, talk about me, sometimes make comments. Lost souls were not unique around these parts. When the band was on break I would crank up The Allman Brothers on the jukebox.  A much revered Southern band. This helped to break the ice. Eventually the more inquisitive began to approach me; drinks were bought round after round and conversation became lively. Humorless laughter spiced the atmosphere, the kind of laughter laughed by those who know the truth.  I knew that I had been accepted. Drinkers and the wicked recognize their own intuitively.

We spent a lot of time together and I became close to those who were the darkest. A sense of menace preceded them into any room, heightened with an air of supreme self –confidence, softened with an amused perspective. These were my kind of people.

 I was witnessing voodoo rituals and meeting with dedicated practitioners in the very darkest hours of the morning before I really realized what was happening.  Then I saw it in their eyes; they had looked into my soul and liked what they saw.

Quietly and respectfully I witnessed, learned and finally began to practice voodoo, with restraint; I was in no hurry. This is not a discipline to be taken lightly. If you are going to do it you have to do it right or the consequences can be devastating.

The fact that I was new to the scene gave me a unique perspective, allowing me to put together combinations and alter rituals in ways that made sense to me. Gris-gris is a combination of physical objects like Voodoo dolls, gris-gris bags and love potions, and verbal invocations that spark the magical properties of voodoo.  Juju can be the elements of a living thing used to make magic; it can also be a type of ghost or soul. I embraced these concepts and learned to respect their potential.

I experimented endlessly with this dangerous magic, toying with peoples’ lives, torturing and destroying them as an exercise to increase my powers. To me they were nothing more than stepping stones, they should have been grateful to contribute to the expansion of my knowledge. One night, exhausted and whiskey soaked, I stumbled upon a powerful adaption of gris-gris and juju magic that caught me off guard.  I created a ritual that gave me the power to raise the dead.

This blew my mind. So much so that I backed off for a couple of days, trying to figure out how best to make use of this talent.

Then it hit me. My wife worshipped Elvis. I would raise Elvis from the dead and win my wife back.

It took about a week, one obsessively intense week, and on the seventh night of the seventh day Elvis stood before me in my tiny, barely furnished apartment. He was not impressed with his new digs but he was impressed to be resurrected. I was speechless to be looking at this legend in person, up close, standing three feet in front of me.  Looking so cool. Looking so damn good. Turns out I didn’t need to say anything. Being dead, he was quite aware of what I had been up to and what my plans were. His smile was sarcastic but his manners were impeccable. Southern gentleman all the way.

We became close friends.

My wife and I had stayed in contact over the years, mainly because she felt sorry for me and because my love for her had never died. Pity allowed me to lure her to New Orleans for a visit.

At Elvis’s insistence I had rented a more spacious apartment; he can be quite convincing. After all, the man was used to living in a mansion; the least I could do was to give him his own bedroom. We moved to Frenchmen Street, steps away from the French Quarter and walking distance from Bourbon Street.    It was a romantic location filled with nightlife and locals and so much music your ears could party around the clock with the right stamina.

The night my wife showed up, the apartment was decked out in romance; delicate candles, sensuous music, exquisite aromas. She kissed me carefully and the dinner conversation was casual.

Until dessert.  I told her I had prepared something special and that’s when Elvis stepped out of his bedroom. At first she laughed nervously and asked what the hell I was up to. But there was something in her eyes. She kept saying he was one hell of an Elvis impersonator until I asked him to sing.

She fainted.

When she woke up I explained the whole story to her. This was something that would normally repulse her but apparently because it was Elvis she was able to overlook certain grisly details. This should have been a warning beacon to me but I was too full of myself to feel anything but boastful pride over how my plan was coming together so smoothly.

In a couple of days we were one cool, although admittedly unusual, family and she was more in love with me than she had ever been. She was animated, alive, energetic and happy.

Then things took a turn.

I still spent a lot of time with my New Orleans friends. In bars, jazz joints, fabulous hole in the wall restaurants. I dug the life and indulged in it freely. Elvis had to stay behind for obvious reasons but he was used to being quarantined and it didn’t bother him. Too much.  My wife partied with me and we laughed a lot. Until she started making excuses. She felt sorry for Elvis, didn’t think it was right to leave a man of his celebrity alone so often.

I began to go out alone.

An awkwardness crept into the apartment whenever the three of us were together. Sometimes when I crawled in late, my wife would look frazzled, hair a little mussed, and Elvis seemed on edge.  I refused to let my imagination poison my thoughts even though my wife had become distant.

One night they confronted me, Elvis being the Southern gentleman that he is. Told me they were in love.

I was furious and raged out of the apartment to my favorite haunt. As I marinated my brain I realized how naïve I had been. It was Elvis for Christ sake, what else did I expect to happen?

But I wasn’t going to take this lying down. What was required was a plan to humiliate them both.  I could have sent Elvis back to his oversized coffin but that was too easy. It took a couple of three finger whiskeys, but when the plan came together in my mind I knew I was on the right track.

I crawled back home and slept the sleep of the dead.

It was tense the following morning when the three of us came face to face. Got even more tense when I told Elvis that he was about to begin a new career. As an Elvis impersonator.

He was furious; he was too proud to sink to that level but finally realized that I held all the cards.

Now my nights out are so much more enjoyable. As I stagger from bar to bar I always make a stop at whatever dive Elvis is performing in. It is sweet revenge to see my wife’s tears as she watches him suffer and sweat on stage with a no talent garage band.  Sweeter revenge watching him pathetically trying to convince people that he is the real Elvis, in his drunken and weaker moments. They look at him with pity in their eyes and buy him another drink.

Yeah, Elvis is a drinker now. He thought Colonel Parker was hell on earth. Colonel Parker was nothing compared to me.

Banana flavored liqueur with creamy peanut butter blended in. Not a very manly drink but Elvis always had his own style.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Aromas and Corporate Associations

Walked out on the screened in porch this morning to the fresh and invigorating aroma of a skunk. It hit me with sudden clarity that, strangely enough, I encountered the same stench upon walking into the interview/interrogation chamber at New Hampshire Liquor Commission HQ.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Will Blind You As I Laugh

Part time NHSLC workers are today's migrant workers. Desperate, downtrodden, exploited workers who go where the work is. Bouncing from store to store within the system devoid of pride, full of need, in search of hours.
The almighty hours. Got to hustle to get as many hours as possible within the limits the liquor commission will allow. That's all you get. Hours. No security, no respect, no peace of mind. No reward.
Hours, gotta get those hours.
I believe working on Sunday sucks. It sucks royally, it sucks absolutely. It sucks in a way that redefines sucking.
You work on Saturday you can rationalize it. People run around on Saturdays. People are busy. Food shopping, hardware store, errands, taking care of business. It still sucks but its not quite as bad.
People slow way down on Sundays. Its a lazy day and it should be. Working on Sunday is a huge contrast to what most people are doing.
I have reduced myself even more by agreeing to work on some Sundays. For the money. I can't even see myself in the mirror anymore.
Working in another store yesterday and it was so slow I started banging my head against the wall. I had to stop when blood smeared the wall and I had to clean it up. I really didn't want to work that hard on a Sunday.
The woman I worked with was a mouth. That's all she was. A mouth. She talked for seven straight hours about anything and everything that could not possibly, in any lifetime, ever interest me.
I wanted to dismember her and dispose of her body parts in the dumpster.
Seven hours felt like fourteen. It was unadulterated, horrific torture of the most unbearable kind.
I buzzed home to catch the end of the race only to come face to face with a depressed wife who had just paid some bills. Lifeless, quiet, oozing hopelessness.
It floored me. Tortured for seven hours for the questionable opportunity to earn time and a half, to come home to a financial reality that makes me want to quit. Walk away. It is such a waste of time to sacrifice everything you hold dear just to pay some shithead who would be happy to see you dead.
Got home tonight after crawling around half the day on my hands and knees cleaning shelves and rearranging bottles of booze to find out my wife is applying for a part time job. A second f***ing job.
Over the past year I have had crystal clear visions of my life off and on. Because I am working the vibe. Visions where I see my life as if I was an outsider.
I am going through that now. My commute to work is a new ride; I look around and wonder why I am making the trip. At work I look around the store and everything looks weird. How did I get here? Why am I here?
It happened yesterday and tonight. I saw a me who worked a Sunday for the money even though I despise working on Sundays. And I have volunteered for more.
I saw a wife who can barely function out of fear The Mortgage Vampire will sink his fangs into our necks as he evicts us mercilessly.
I saw a wife applying for a second job when she should be planning on retirement.
I saw a man applying for jobs in good faith and being screwed by asshead cretins playing out agendas.
I saw a life I f***ing hate and cannot tolerate for much longer.
Everything is wrong. No breaks are coming our way. Our lives are becoming smaller.
My anger is becoming HUGE.
I could walk away from all this shit. I cannot stomach the idea of wasting the few remaining years I have left living like this.
You want to rig the game against me? I will rake your eyes out with my fingernails and feed them to your pets.