wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Another Worst, Worse than the Last Worst...

He had his worst week again. It's sort of like a weekly "ground-hog day." It is some kind of amazing achievement, to continue to find a new "worst." Can he keep it up? I think the odds are good, quite good. Pretty sure we all have lots more worsts coming. Strap in, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Friday, August 18, 2017

From Tears to Curse Words in 10 Minutes!

Admittedly, I'm a little unsteady this morning. Up late, up early. A bad combo for me. I flick on the radio (why?) and I listen to an African American Woman describe an episode of casual racism that she experienced at the tender age of 5 years old.  I sit listening to her story, and the flood of unbidden tears pour out. Tears fall like a summer rain.

Moments later I hear that the Evangelical Community is still sticking with our Abomination of a President. WTF? How is it possible? How can these supposedly "religious folk" swallow the bile, the hatred, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the selfishness, childishness, and blow-hard bullying?

If you stand with the man, you stand for absolutely nothing. Nothing Evangelical or religious about it. I am fuming. Sputtering with anger. Like I said, WTF?!

From tears to curse words in less than 10 minutes.  Good morning!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Test of Character - He's Failed!

Character. Remember how we've talked of character? "The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual."

People would tell us, "character matters." Usually the Moralists among us. A Moralist: "a person who tries to force or teach other people to behave in ways he or she considers to be most correct and honest."

Put a person in a position of Authority. Or put a person under stress. And watch what they do. How they act. What they say. This will tip you to their character.

The history of theater is based on this little game. The history of History too.

One reason we love Democracy. It spreads the power and authority around. Doesn't give one person all the power. Supposedly, if Democracy is working correctly, it is the people who cast their votes who have the ultimate power. At least that's the theory. Doesn't always work that way. 

But anyway, spreading the power around is sort of a safety valve. Think of a situation of concentrated power and you think of Despots, Mad Kings, Genocide, Crazy Wars.

Charlottesville has revealed the character of the current President. The curtain has been lifted. What is underneath that blustery, pile of bilious fat is ugly. Very, very, ugly. It was an event that "tested his character," and he failed, miserably, spectacularly.

Time for the safety valve to kick on. Big time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How Low Can He Go?

How low can he go? Pretty damn low. I mean, yes, I had very low expectations for this President. But he has certainly exceeded them. By miles.

I would think siding with White Supremacists, the KKK and Ne-Nazis is pretty much rock-bottom. How do you top that? How much more cretinous can he get? I suppose we all shall soon see.

You would think it would be easy to choose sides. As Joe Biden said, "There is only one side." The side against racism, bigotry, etc. But not for this man. His core support is made up of the worst of the worst. He just can't condemn them, cannot separate himself from them, because he is of them.

Remember "the Greatest Generation?" They fought the Nazis. They liberated France. They sacrificed, they died, and they saved the Free World. 

Remember "Raiders of the Lost Ark?" Remember all those movies? Whenever Hollywood has needed a bad guy, they have rolled out the Nazis.

Nazis are bad. Really, really, really bad. Against everything America stands for. Our President is out of step with America. It's appalling. Bewildering. Despicable.

Josh Marshall points out the obvious:

"With Trump, he has a revanchist racist politics because he is a revanchist racist. Once you accept that, a lot falls into place. All the heroic and increasingly nonsensical perambulations of misunderstandings, inexperience, missed opportunities, stubbornness and all the rest are not needed. It all falls into place.

What we have in this Times article is the more direct evidence, a confirmation of what we should already know. His advisors know this is what he thinks. They apparently hear it frequently. They were shocked to here him say in public “opinions that the president had long expressed in private.”

I do think he is beginning to bring Americans together. Democrats and Republicans. Americans from all walks of life. This is not acceptable. This man is an abomination. How low will he go?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Fundamental Stuff is Really, Really Difficult.

I do think as a human being you spend lots of your time trying to figure things out that can't be figured. Or solve things that can't be solved. That doesn't mean you stop trying. But over time you begin to realize there are limits to what you can do, what you can know, what you can figure out.

There are mysteries in the world. And the fundamental stuff is really, really difficult. And maybe the answers we are looking for don't really exist.

Why are we here? Why is there evil in the world? What is wrong with me? And what is wrong with my fellow human beings? Where are we going? Is there some end-game or purpose?

Maybe we only get to ask the questions. Maybe the question is the answer. Maybe. Maybe. That's the kind of Zen conundrum that those Monks are always floating by us. And maybe the answer is a question and not really an answer at all. And maybe we just have to live with that. As best we can. Maybe.

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Actually Pathology!

Yeah, the more I think of it, the more it seems so obvious. This "White Supremacy"  thing is actually pathology. We don't think or talk of it that way. We talk about it as a political philosophy, a movement. We give it more credence, and credibility than it deserves.

It's not normal behavior. It's not normal thinking. It is sickness, pathology. Those white folks with torches, KKK costumes, screaming their bile, and their unmitigated hatred, are not healthy human beings.

They are sick in the head. They need help. We think it's just ignorance, but I think it's a determined ignorance. Ignorance as a choice. These folks do not have healthy minds. They need therapy. 

I'd recommend, talk therapy. I'd recommend meditation. I'd recommend a better diet. And a more expansive reading list. I guess, we are left with the conundrum, how do we uplift a blighted mind? A mind is a terrible thing to waste...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

No Superiority!

A true leader. An example for us all. There is light to be found in the midst of the darkness... yes, there is...

I come from a long line of dead white people. I am a mixture of Polish, Irish, German, French, British, and Russian or Serbian, or whatever. Pretty much a mongrel. White. Pretty damn white.

I just don't get it. 

I don't get Racism. I don't get White Nationalism. I don't think one race is better than another. I don't think America is a fundamentally "white nation." I don't think we should keep people separate from each other. 

Do I have any prejudices, any latent racism in me at all? I don't know. I am a human being. Not perfect. If I do have any prejudices, I try to suppress them, bury them, fight against them, because I know prejudice and racism is just ignorance. I am against ignorance!

No superiority. 

I subscribe to the Dalai Lama's fundamental idea: "We are all Human Beings first!" All the same. Every one of us on the planet. Race, Nation, Tribe, these things confuse us, fundamentally, they don't really, really matter. We are all Human. 

Being human isn't easy. We are easily confused. We are ignorant of our ignorance. So yes, even those people spouting hatred, preaching nationalism & racism, are human beings. I think they are wrong, deluded, filled with ignorance, they have a misguided view of the world and themselves. Maybe they are sick, have "damaged psyches?" Maybe we should think of them as people who need help, who need therapy?

The hope is that people can wake up, and realize what they thought they knew is not what is. We have to hope that people can educate themselves, and learn to be better beings. We are all just "works in progress..."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

There Lies Madness.

There lies madness...

Anyone talking about nuclear war, anyone making threats, anyone promising devastation for a country, a city, a people, there lies madness, nihilism.

Hiroshima. Does anyone remember? Does anyone really, really, want to go there? What kind of species are we? How can we put such devastating power in the hands of such obviously over-matched leaders?

Bluster. Arrogance. Ignorance. Madness. There lies madness.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Can You Impeach a President for Being an Asshole?!

Can you impeach a President for being an Asshole? Probably not. I haven't reviewed the Constitution lately, but I don't think there's a clause or a sub-clause that states: "And then the people can demand impeachment, when the President clearly demonstrates that he is a world-class, unmitigated Asshole."

So, unfortunately, we have to live with this guy for awhile longer. We actually have to be patient, and wait for the Special Counsel to come up with something juicy. 

While we wait, we have to watch this guy kowtow to Putin. It's wince-inducing, stomach-turning. It's like watching someone being beaten with a stick. And what's the poor, sick, twisted response from the guy being beaten: "Thank You Sir, can I have another!" And we all have to witness it. It's so ugly, sordid. Creepy.

Icky too! But a Russian Dupe will do what a Russian Dupe does. Isn't that some kind of folk wisdom?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

30 Years Later...

I didn't know... 

I wrote about Morrissey and the Smiths (see recent previous posts), on my own timeline, out of time, out of the blue. I just finished Morrissey's Autobiography and ordered up Johnny Rogan's "Morrissey & Marr - The Severed Alliance," because of my own private obsession.

Little did I know that I would be in tune with Mark Simpson, who writes about the Smiths in the latest Rolling Stone... 30 years since the Smith's breakup. And according to Mark we should be happy the Smiths broke up when they did, and happy they have never gotten back together.

I think I agree. 

Their career seems perfectly preserved in aspic. Kind of like one of those extraordinary butterflies preserved under glass. But spin the discs and it all comes alive again. And Mark Simpson, who wrote a gloriously cool and funny and brilliant book about Morrissey called "Saint Morrissey," tell us there are only three questions you need to ask about the Smiths...

"Do you have any taste? Do you have a heart? And do you have a sense of humor?"

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Pretty Alarming!

You don't want to be an alarmist... What is an alarmist... ? "A person who tends to raise alarms, especially without sufficient reason, as by exaggerating dangers or prophesying calamities."

How about when alarms are ringing out from all corners? "Hey is that an alarm ringing?" "Is all holy hell about to break loose?"

What if two Tin-Pot Strongmen, two Cartoon Tough-Guys, two men who have an estranged relationship with truth, honesty, and clear-seeing, two Malevolent Clowns with access to nuclear weapons, start hurling threats at each other?


One declares "Fire and Fury," the other shouts "Sea of Fire!" Unimaginable. Terrible. Horrible. Is some kind of nuclear war in our future?

Holy, holy shite... one can only hope cooler heads (Are there any cooler heads out there?), can be found to talk us all out of this pretty freaking scary idea...

What happens when the people in charge are more ignorant, more crazy, more irrational & impulsive than you? Who do you appeal to? What gods do you start praying to? What alarms do you set off, and who do you hope hears them?

P.S. - Kevin Drum sort of talks me off the ledge...

"I don’t think that will happen either. Kim Jong-un isn’t crazy, he just likes to act that way. He’s probably completely rational, in the same murderous kind of way that Josef Stalin was. He might bluster like Trump, but he knows perfectly well that any war involving the United States would end with the obliteration of his country.

All that said, this represents one of the reasons that Trump is so much worse than garden variety Republicans. With, say, Ted Cruz in office, I think there’s a 0 percent chance of nuclear war. With Trump in office there’s a 1 percent chance. That’s not much, but it’s 1 percent more than I’d like."

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Everything. Essential.

Of course, if you speak of Morrissey, (see previous post), you inevitably must also speak of his collaborators... 

Boz Boorer and Alan Whyte and Mick Ronson are key figures in the Morrissey solo years.

And, of course, Johnny Marr  is the guitar wunderkind of The Smiths years. An amazing, musical genius. Morrissey's perfect complement. Not only an incomparable guitar wizard, but a fabulous music-maker. He thought of himself as a Phil Spector-like maestro, wielding shimmering, incandescent guitar arpeggios with perfectly-composed abandon. Layered Pop Confections. A rich sonic palette of awe and wonder. 

You must listen closely. The more you listen, the more you hear. You have to live with The Smiths for a long time to really take it all in. They never really made a false move, musically, artistically. And once you really get it, once you sink into their world, you can't let go. You must own everything they ever recorded. Yes, you must. The albums, the singles, the live tracks. Everything from the first to the last.

Everything. Essential.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Morrissey. What to Say?

Morrissey. What to say? Maybe the finest lyricist in the English language? I recently finished reading his Autobiography. I thought it was some kind of masterpiece. I actually, immediately, went back to the beginning and started reading again.

It reads like Dickens, with a dash of Poe.

How many Pop/R&R Singers have ever been so well read?

Think. What if Oscar Wilde, James Dean, and Sandie Shaw had a baby? You might get something like Morrissey. A very unique human being.

Morrissey is smarter than you. Funnier. More opinionated. More sensitive. He knows more and feels more, which is a deadly combination. Puts lots of people off. But if you decide to go along with him, the payoff is immense. Morrissey puts it all into his art. He is known as being a "difficult" artist. For sure. Probably so. He is guided by an incredible intelligence, he possesses the soul of a poet, he is a song and dance man extraordinaire, and he comes across as completely, fiercely uncompromising.

A rare bird. He and his music, both as a solo artist and lead singer of The Smiths, is quite exquisite. The finest stuff. Once you are bitten by the Morrissey thing, there is no going back. One can easily fall in love, become obsessed, get totally lost in his world. It's not exactly a healthy obsession. Morrissey will go anywhere his muse takes him, to fully appreciate him, you must go with him, no questions asked. 

There is nothing quite like Morrissey to be found anywhere else. Highly recommended. But be forewarned. You will never be the same again.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Did I...?

Did I really hear this? "Life grows longer, thought grows shorter. Not a good development."

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Bruce & Bats!


One night, I dream that Bruce Springsteen, a young mid-70's version, came to talk about songwriting. He gave some me encouragement too.

Another night, I have a dream that a bat bit me. I got bit by a bat! What the hell is going on in my dream world?

The Bruce dream sat well, the bat dream not so well. 

I take to the internet and look for answers about that bat. I read all kinds of conflicting interpretations. Some of it seems pretty damn ominous...

I decide to go with the Chinese interpretation. The Chinese seem to look kindly on bats. I am desperate for good news. You pick the omens you like, right?! 

"Chinese admiration for bats began thousands of years before Christ. Sometimes people view the Oriental world as an interplay between active and passive forces (male and female). Bats were thought to embody the male principle while the flowers and fruits are the female. These creatures was also often displayed with the peach, a popular female fertility symbol. The peaches, being one of man’s favorite fruits were first cultivated in China about 5,000 years ago. Before that, these fruits relied on bats for dispersal of their seeds. In the Manchu period, bats were very popular and used everywhere. They were painted onto vases and walls, worn on the robes of the emperors and carved into furniture and thrones."

"Bat also came to represent longevity and happiness, so it is an auspicious symbol in Chinese culture."

Friday, August 04, 2017

Be Smart!

Vox gives us a nice "explainer" about the Mueller/FBI/Trump/Russia/Dupe in the White House/Collusion Story. I know, it's not as catchy as "Watergate," but it looks like the political scandal of our time. You should read up on it and know what's going down. Be smart. Impress your friends & neighbors at cocktail parties and backyard barbecues!

I think of my own life - bounded by political scandal - as a Wee Lad it was the Summer of Watergate, 1973 - and now in Adulthood, it's the Russia Dupe in the White House story! Pretty wild.

Yesterday, pretty big news - Mueller has convened a Grand Jury. That usually indicates criminal charges are likely! I have been way ahead of this story. I already imagine seeing the Authorities frog-marching the Malevolent Idiot out of the White House in cuffs. But, really, that is a distant possibility, and who knows where this all really goes?

Get the popcorn. Interesting times. History in the making. Wouldn't it just be so sweet if the Rule of Law and Justice, and a Free Press came to save the nation from ruin? Yes, it surely would.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

He Knows, That We Know, That He Knows What He is Saying is Total Bullshit, But He Just Doesn't Care...

Yes, I am working under the somewhat informed premise that the guy in the White House is guilty as sin of a multitude of serious crimes. So all the bluster, lying and bullshit sort makes sense. He is hiding something. Lots of somethings. He also appears to be a pathological liar: "a person who tells lies frequently, with no rational motive for doing so," but I also  kind of get the idea that he actually lies constantly because he wants us all to believe the world is what he wants us to believe it is. It's kind of power thing too. A sick power thing. Kind of out of the Stalinesque/Authoritarian playbook. He knows, that we know, that what he is saying is total bullshit, but he will insist this bullshit is not bullshit. And if he sticks to his bullshit, or changes his line of bullshit on a dime, maybe we will finally get tired of the game and give up? I guess, also, maybe he's so sick he actually truly believes all his own lies. He believes whatever pops into his head. Even though the next lie  contradicts the previous one. Whew.  How to keep up with all the lying? And, of course, uncomprehendingly, some of his followers just fall in line... ok, maybe he's right, maybe 2+2 does = 5?! Sure. Yeah. Right. Why not?! At least he's not Hillary!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Patti's Good Buddy...

An existential wobble. Something happens, and everything sort of tilts, or maybe it's sort of like a flash of lightening cutting through the tear in the fabric of everything. And your life just wobbles. That's how it felt when I heard (see previous post), Patti's good buddy had passed.

Patti Smith writes about Sam in the New Yorker. 

"A long time ago, Sam sent me a letter. A long one, where he told me of a dream that he had hoped would never end. “He dreams of horses,” I told the lion. “Fix it for him, will you? Have Big Red waiting for him, a true champion. He won’t need a saddle, he won’t need anything.” I headed to the French border, a crescent moon rising in the black sky. I said goodbye to my buddy, calling to him, in the dead of night." - Patti Smith

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Sam Shepard - Force of Nature.

I'm thinking of artists who have influenced me, there are a handful that have changed my life, no doubt. Some of them are still around. Sam Shepard was a force of nature who inspired me on so many levels, an influence on everything I've ever done in performance, theater, music, life... 

Actor, Writer, Director, Playwright, Musician. I think of him in Terrance Malick's great "Days of Heaven." I think of him in Dylan's "Rolling Thunder Revue." I think of him collaborating with Patti Smith on "Cowboy Mouth."

So many great plays. A multi-colored lava-flow of stream of consciousness & wonder. A deep, in the bone American language. I saw many of his plays performed live by some of the great actors of our time: John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, Michael Shannon, Rich Cotovsky, Guy Swearingen, William Peterson.

I read the short stories. I read the short plays, the long plays, the brief poetic flights. I saw "The Right Stuff." 

I wrote plays totally inspired by his language. His sensibility. He inspired me in the way I approached all of my creative work. Reading his short plays totally opened the door for me. I thought, "I can do this too!"

Hearing of his passing was a total gut punch. Sent me reeling. Rent the fabric of my being. A loss. Bone-deep. A part of me taken too. It is not the same world to know that he is gone. 

We learn people come and go. It happens every day. We never get used to it. It's is always a surprise. There is always an unresolved sadness.

Rest in peace Sam... 1943-2017.

Monday, July 31, 2017

You Might Ask: "What's Really Going On?"

Hey, if you really want to know "what's going on," in the corridors of power around the Globe, you have to do a bit a research, a bit of digging, a little concentrated reading and listening. If you don't you are doing yourself a disservice. 

The number one rule to keep front and center in your head - Follow the Money...

Be sure to read up on the Magnitsky Act. Be sure to check out the BBC's report on the Magnitsky Affair.  And then read (in the Atlantic) Bill Browder's story, which he just detailed to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Or, if you prefer, watch Browder's full testimony on CSPAN.

Want me to sum it up? I hesitate to do so. You really should read and watch for yourself. BUT let me just say, Vladimir Putin runs a vast Kleptocracy. He sits on an incredible pool of wealth. Most of it is skimmed off the top in Russia. Putin is a thief. He steals from his own country. Putin is joined by approximately 1000 other rich Russian Oligarchs who are part of his illegal operation.

Lots of "illegal money" is flooding the legitimate banking system, the legitimate real estate market, and other markets all over the world, and has been for many years. Lots of Bankers and Rich Folks around the world benefit from all this illegal money flowing out of Russia. 

Think New York Real Estate. Think "money laundering." Think what you would do if you were incredibly, filthy rich, what would you do to keep your money? And what would you do to make sure no one messes with it? 

Might you arrest, and kill and torture, and lie, and cheat, and murder? 

Would you try to disrupt and confuse the people who could "sanction" you? Would you fight tooth and nail to lift sanctions that threaten that vast pool of illegal money? Would you bribe, extort, blackmail anyone who might be useful in your efforts?

Would you meet with Americans who you could easily compromise by making promises, just so you could gain influence? Would you try to tip an election? Would you try to "collude" with a potential Candidate for President?

Ask Bill Browder. He paints a chilling picture. You can't ask Sergei Magnitsky because he was jailed, tortured and beaten to death by Putin's thugs. Just one of many innocent people caught up in this terrible scenario.

Go on. Do some research. Follow the money. It is what's going on...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hilarity Phase of Dysfunction!

After worry. After outrage. After you are totally exhausted by the constant barrage of ignorance, ugliness, stupidity, malevolence. After it all. You are finally left with hilarity. Deep, gut-busting, belly-laughs.

The President's Chief of Staff, did he jump or was he pushed? Certainly he was humiliated in public over and over. And our Coward in Chief doesn't even have the decency to fire him in person, does it by a Tweet. What a world-class Coward!

And the dysfunction actually has hit a new "Lord of the Flies" level. Like I said, we have entered the hilarity phase of dysfunction...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Brain-Washed Uglies!

Sometimes you do think you are living in North Korea. I mean, I have no idea what living in North Korea is like, but my impression is that it is a closed society, with a pretty much brain-washed population who either believes their Fearless Leader can walk on water, OR, they are so afraid of their Fearless Leader and his Wolfpack, that they pretend that they believe their Fearless Leader can walk on water.

So really America 2017 is nothing like North Korea. 

But there is a subset, the brain-washed Uglies who believe that the Ugliest American can do no wrong. So yes, from my perspective, I see a man, a flailing, ignorant, malevolent, asshole puffed up to epic proportions who is at war with all that makes America great including the Free Press and the Rule of Law.

And the brain-washed Uglies? They don't care. They don't doubt their Fearless Leader. I actually heard some folks on the radio who said they think everything is fine, their Fearless Leader is doing a great job, it is just all those "enemies" out there trying to tear a good man down.

And what would get them to change their minds? They would need to hear from someone they trust. A Voice of Authority, like Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity...

Jesus H. Christ! The brain-washed Uglies are in deep denial, dire straits. What a sorry lot. You begin to realize there is no reaching these folks. Maybe we just need to write them off, move around them, leave them behind?

Would they be interested in traveling to new and interesting places?  North Korea? I hear it's beautiful there...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Why Would Anyone Work for the Ugliest American?

And if you had a shred of dignity, intelligence, integrity, why oh why would you work for the Ugliest American (see previous post)? Maybe you see a bit of your own Ugliness reflected in him? And you want to amplify it?

But silly human...

You can't out-Ugly the Ugliest American. And he will undermine you, torture you with lies and vacillations. You will not be able to keep up with this dynamo of Ugliness. You will fall short. And then, he will hate you too.

The Ugliest American demands loyalty. Total loyalty. But no one, no matter who it is, no matter how hard they try, can show enough loyalty. Just can't be done. No one can submit, grovel and offer up every last shred of everything decent thing in their beings. It just isn't possible. Any sentient being will cling and hang on to at least one small spark. 

There is always one last spark. Tiny as it may be. And that will enrage the Ugliest American. Because that little spark does not exist in his own being. He will want to kill it in those around him. And he will. Why? Because he is the Ugliest American. 

And you aren't. Even if you want to be.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Uglies!

He is the Ugliest of the Uglies. No doubt. He is the Ugliest American. And he leads the movement of Ugliness. A subset of a major political party. And that major political party just went along with the Uglies. The Uglies made the most noise. They looked like they were having the most fun. They just didn't care about the beautiful people. Didn't give a fuck about anything.

So Ugliness ascended to a position of power. Out of step with the country, the world, but all the various Uglies were very pleased, indeed. It's hard to watch. It's painful to see the country dragged in the mud. It's all a very, very bad, off-color joke. Not funny. Wince-inducing.

What to do? Resist, of course. Take note. Try to understand. And then defeat, bury, obliterate this movement of Ugliness with beauty, intelligence, determination, organization, engagement. Maybe it is instructive to see such unbridled Ugliness on display? Teaches us how not to think, to act, to navigate in the world.

There is better way, a better day. Right around the corner. Just have to wade through this period of Ugliness.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Coffee & Hope!

This morning on the cell phone with my friend, she tells me her train is delayed; seems a pedestrian and a train met at a crossroads, and, well, it did not end well for the pedestrian. This is not an uncommon occurrence. It actually happens with a determined regularity. 

You wonder to yourself, how is it possible? 

If it is unintentional, how can such an event occur? What sequence of events must roll out to lead a pedestrian to be on the tracks at that particular deadly moment?

And if it is intentional, what sequence of events leads one to put themselves in harm's way on a sunny, Wednesday morning?

Either way it is a brutal, deadly, messy end. 

Can't imagine. I mean, yes, I can imagine, but it still seems unimaginable. I wake up each day determined to hold onto the wheel. And does the day come when you just want to let that wheel go?

What keeps me hanging on? Coffee and hope. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Are Loyalty Oaths Next?!

Loyal - "unswerving in allegiance: such as (a) faithful in allegiance to one's lawful sovereign or government were loyal to the king (b) faithful to a private person to whom faithfulness is due a loyal husband (c) faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product a loyal churchgoer loyal to the party of their forebears (d) showing loyalty a loyal friend"

A fundamental, foundational question we all must ask ourselves: What are you loyal to?

One gets the sense that we we all soon be required to submit "loyalty oaths." Seems our "current President" expects unbridled loyalty from all his various boot-licking lackeys.

And it seems he is a man, a shabby excuse of a man, who is only loyal to himself. 

We usually expect something better, something more lofty: loyalty to the "rule of law," loyalty to the Constitution, loyalty to the State, the People, loyalty to something high-minded and noble.

This is a different time. 

And what of me? I'm loyal to a vision of creative freedom: art, love, grace, beauty, inspiration, music, poetry, and an inbred rebelliousness. As the song says: "I'd rather be a free man in my grave, than living as a puppet or a slave..."

Still, give me liberty and life, sweet life...

Monday, July 24, 2017

They are Messing with Our Minds!

Facts. What are facts? 

1. A thing that is known or proved to be true.
2. Information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article.

You know, facts do still matter. There are not conservative facts. Or liberal facts. Republican facts. Democratic facts.

There are just plain, simple facts. Things known or proved to be true. Maybe sometimes it takes a bit of work to get to the facts. It pays to dig for the facts. It pays to stick to the true. 

Helps keep us on the straight and narrow. Keep your eyes peeled for the facts. Don't believe the lies, the spin, the misinformation.

Stick with the facts. Those crazy, malevolent, twisted people are messing with our minds!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Powerful, Beautiful, Therapeutic!

I started the day listening to "On Being" with Krista Tippett this morning. She interviewed the Buddhist Monk Matthieu Ricard, "The Happiest Man in the World." The conversation was like taking a morning bath in the most powerful, beautiful, therapeutic healing waters on the planet. Yes, take a listen, highly recommended.

Science and Buddhism find common ground. And we all benefit. I mean, I won't try sum up the episode, best for you to listen for yourself, but lots of things "ring a bell," for me.  Our brains are plastic, we can always be learning, how we act, and what we do, is a dance with reality, and our brains are always learning, responding, changing. Meditation is our doorway. Happiness is a skill that can be nurtured and trained.

We are all interdependent now. And if we are to continue to evolve, and survive as a species, altruism and compassion for all of our fellow sentient beings is absolutely essential. 

Listen. Learn. Love.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Rare Good Night's Sleep!

A rare good night's sleep. Deep. Refreshing. Doesn't happen often enough. Kind of takes the edge off. There is a well of relaxedness that resides under the surface. Nice to find yourself dipping into it.

Unlike the night before. 

The neighbors decided to have a Tequila Party. A Thursday evening Tequila Party. It kind of went off the rails. Neighbors #2 and #3 getting all liquored up. Things got dicey when #3  brought the grill out to barbecue at 11:00 p.m. Maybe a bit late to grill up a boatload of chicken? Loud conversation and then a disagreement. #2 had a fit and started throwing around cans of beer. 

#3 and #2 got into an over-loaded shouting match. Not sure what it was all about, but two very pissed off women raising bloody hell. The cops came a couple times. That was eventful. Kind of put a damper on the restful sleep idea for Thursday night.

Friday night, all quiet on the western front. Maybe licking wounds, counting up the slights and insults? Living in close proximity to other folks.  Makes for interesting times.

Friday, July 21, 2017

We are at the Precipice...

Josh Marshall at TPM has been a fantastic resource on the Russian Asset/Dupe in the White House story. An excellent, clear-headed writer. He knows all the ins and outs of this saga. This is where we are now, at the precipice (emphasis provided by me) ...

"Trump is in many ways his own worst accuser. Anyone who’s been in business for decades would not welcome a searching legal scrutiny of years of business. Most people, certainly in Trump’s line of work, aren’t totally clean. And a determined prosecutor can often find technical infractions that in the normal course of things would never be an issue. So no one would like this. But Trump is willing to run the most unimaginable political and even criminal risks to block even the beginnings of a serious probe into his business history and the 2016 election. We are far, far past the point where there is any credible reason to doubt that President Trump is hiding major and broad-ranging wrongdoing. No mix of ego, inexperience, embarrassment or anything else can explain his behavior. It just can’t. He’s hiding bad acts. And the country is likely heading toward a major constitutional and political crisis because Trump is signaling that he will not allow the normal course of the law to apply to him – a challenge which puts the entire edifice of democratic government under threat."

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Days of Bafflement & Wonder

Days of bafflement and wonder. 

More walking. Less talking. That has been my modus operandi the last few days. Taking the world in through my senses five, and maybe, just possibly a sixth or seventh I don't know about too.

Clarity is front and center. I see clearly. But some of what I see looks like madness - Hurly Burly, Toil and Trouble.

It's the human thing x 7.5 Billion (and counting). That is a lot of "needing, wanting, grasping." A seething, throbbing ball of confusion.

Maybe it has always been so. There are just many so more of us right this moment. Just in my paltry, infitesimal life-span, the population has increased by nearly 5 billion people. That's some serious propagating. "Be fruitful and multiply." We have taken to that command with supreme gusto.

Think about the collective energy of the planet. The collective consciousness of all those billions of human beings. No wonder we spend lots of time wondering...

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