WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Who is in Charge?

"Who's in charge?" Often you are reminded, "No one." There are the folks in positions of authority,  those who call the shots for countries, governments, companies, churches, boy scout troops, school councils, they have some sway, some power, but the picture is bigger than all of them combined. And all of them need support, followers, voters, workers, acolytes, etc. 

Who's in charge? Everyone, and no one. What happens on the human realm is the collective energy of all of us. There's the good, the bad, the ugly all mixed up in a ball of confusion.

We face a big existential threat? We're probably toast. None of us can really think as a species, we can't work in a coordinated fashion to the betterment of all. We aren't built that way. So yes, "global warming," or "climate change," or maybe better, "the poisoning of all of our ecosystems" will continue on, we can't/won't stop it. We will deal with the consequences as they roll out - rising temps, overflowing oceans, epic drought, flooding, starvation, mass migrations, dying species, displaced people, dying oceans, but no doubt we will burn the oil, extract the coal, we will burn this little planet up, who is gonna stop us?

And sometimes countries, nations, people do really stupid things, and we all pay the price. Sometimes the crazy, madman, megalomaniacal strongman takes over the reins of power and wreaks major havoc. And many, many of the little people cheer them on, and give them encouragement and enhance their power. Last century there was an amazing collection of uglies: Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Milosevic, Kim Il-Sung.

It can happen here. We've been pretty lucky. We've had some weak and ineffective Presidents. We've had some really dumb, destructive, ignorantly malevolent ones too - George W. Bush immediately comes to mind. Probably the craziest, sickest, dude we ever had as President was Richard Nixon - vindictive, petty, crooked, a liar, paranoid, spying on the DNC, conspiring against enemies from every corner, at war with Pop Culture & the students of America, bombing the shit out of North Vietnam, basically out of spite, proving he was a "madman," - but some of those qualities didn't emerge until his Watergate meltdown. It wasn't until we heard the tapes that we realized that H.S. Thompson's darkest imaginings were actually right on and true. When he ran for President he told America he had a "secret plan" to end the war, and he would be the voice of the "silent majority."

So now we come to Trump. An overtly sick, twisted, man. Right out of the box. His sick and twisted nature was a feature, not flaw. And 60 million or so folks actively supported him. Mind-numbing. He tells us he will build a wall, round up and deport people, crack down on dissidents, curb civil liberties, curb a free press, roll back voting rights, take health care away from poor people, cut taxes for the rich, encourage citizens to arm themselves, tear up treaties with other countries, get tough with China, cozy up to Russia, put white people back in front of the line.

It's an ugly agenda, led by a sick, corrupt, incompetent and ugly man. Will the USA just go along? Maybe our Democracy is falling apart? Our Democracy fails when the people don't believe in it, don't invest time it in, don't participate, don't care anymore. We have all grown so cynical, sarcastic, we believe all kinds of falsehoods, lies, conspiracy theories. Our Democracy fails when a person like Trump can win the Presidency. It's a total failure of the system. No doubt. Will there be any checks and balances? Who will stand up? Who is in charge? Maybe no one. Right?!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Outrage Every Ten Minutes?!

Kevin Drum tells us this morning that Trump "flips out yet again!" I am beginning to think that I just won't be able to keep up. A Trump outrage per day, per hour, per every ten minutes? Someone should confiscate his smartphone right now, lock it away in a secure location, so we all can take a break. I mean, he isn't even sworn in yet, and I already have major Trump fatigue!

He is a bumbling, babbling madman. Yes, he is gonna be President (unless some kind of black swan miracle happens), and it's gonna be a long cold, lonely winter for progressives. We have to fight the fight, keep hope alive, root for the opposition, march, vote, etc. But we may have to just tune out that idiot for much of the duration.

Let the man babble away. Most of what he says is total gibberish. He is so brain-addled, maybe he will just twist himself into a big, fat, useless pretzel. Laughter and Love. And a decided Deafness. Those are our best tools. Just decide not to hear a word that man says. And figure that whatever he says is really, really stupid, and must be countered every step of the way.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Man is Undermining Democracy with Every Breath He Takes!

Somewhere in the New Yorker, the issue where 16 writers wrote about the tragedy of the 2016 election, someone pointed out that Trump is a "performance artist." This seems so true to me. And if you look at him through that lens, everything starts to make more sense.

Everything he does is guided by his need for attention. What he says, what he does, is only performance, an acting out. He does it in real time, no filter. People find this compelling, interesting. Many people can't wait to see and hear what the man will do next. It is all performance art as sickness.

What he says has no meaning, no purpose, no staying power - except as an acting out, a cry for attention. So truth or lie has no meaning. Words are only tools for attention. So yes, lots of provocative, stupid, ignorant, repulsive, retrograde, bigoted, racist, misogynist bile comes out of the man's mouth, but these words are only vehicles for attention. 

It's all just "look at me!" So yes, sort of compelling, kind of like watching a car crash is sort of  compelling, horrifying too. Still, you wouldn't want this type of person as a father, husband, boss, or President. It's a strange quirk in our system/culture, that such a clearly wounded, sick, narcissistic person could find any position of power in society. 

Trump has a Twitter account, (I am not going to link to it, find it yourself, if you dare!) with 16 million followers. This is where you can follow along with the thought-stream of the man. It's a strange place to be. Scary strange. Fact or fiction is not even a thing there. Whatever bubbles up from his lizard brain makes it into 140 character tweets.

Yesterday Trump got on an unhinged rant about the recount of Wisconsin and (hopefully) of Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump is obviously unhappy that he is the All-Time Biggest Popular Vote Loser in American History. So he's lying about it!

Now I find this pretty damn interesting. Trump is saying that millions of people voted illegally! If that's true (he's making it up), shouldn't we recount and audit all the election results? And he is implying that all the illegal votes were votes for Clinton. That's freaking crazy. I mean crack-cocaine-crazed-crazy. Doesn't a mature Democracy require that we all agree on a free and fair election? Isn't this really bad performance artist completely undermining his own win in the Electoral College? Is he saying that the 2016 Election is a Fraud?!

The man is undermining Democracy with every breath he takes. You wonder if the people will rise up soon. Could America be heading to it's own Tahir Square Moment? Scary thought...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

60 Million Radicalized White People!

I have read my share of post-Trump articles. My head has been swimming in a sea of unknowingness, spinning like that little girl's head in the "Exorcist." How could it be that many of my fellow citizens voted for such a clearly repulsive, retrograde con man?

This article from the Globe and Mail is quite the good read: "Whitewashed!" You should read the whole thing. It's actually got facts and figures, and real stories about real people, well-researched, well-written, just the kind of thing needed to clear our heads.

Read the whole thing so you can get to the last line, which is a keeper: "If they want to end this nightmare, they will need to find a way to reach 60 million radicalized white people and find words that can bring them back to earth."

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hack the Hack or maybe UnHack the Hack!

Blame it on the pie (see previous post). Make no mistake, pie is powerful stuff. All that wholesome goodness - fruit, sugar, organic flour - shaped in a mystical, ancient, circular pattern. Food of the Gods for sure. Can you over-do pie? Yes, for sure. Look out for the sugar rush, the food coma, the extra calories. But there's is nothing quite like a human being on a pie-binge!

So, anyway, post-pie, I am ready to put on my Political Agitator Hat. There are a few good reasons for the Electors to NOT cast their votes for Trump, and to choose Clinton instead. I say "Hack the Hack," or maybe "Un-Hack the Hack!"

This all may be a long-shot, a Hail-Mary, another Black Swan event, following a Black Swan event, but so what?! There is something fundamentally wrong about the thought & reality of a Trump Presidency, wrong on so many levels.

1. Trump's business interests conflict with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. He hasn't divested himself of his business interests, he hasn't released his Tax Returns, and it's obvious he has many business conflicts world-wide. It's actually Unconstitutional to have him serve as President. He has already essentially violated the clause, in the Transition period, mixing his business & politics. The man is one, unconstitutional, massive, coruscating, conflict of interest!

2. The Russians & extreme right wing elements in the FBI essentially corrupted the election process by spreading Disinformation. The Russians also may have colluded with the Trump team to disrupt the vote before the election. Clinton still won the Popular Vote but her margins were less robust because of the info-hacks from a foreign Government and an American Government Entity (FBI) infiltrated by Anti-Democratic elements.

3. The Electoral College itself is a "system hack" originally created to induce Slave-Holding States to join the Union. In this case, the Popular vote and Electoral vote are so "out of whack," Trump's Electoral win is truly UnDemocratic! Democracy undermined! As of this moment Hillary Clinton's Popular Vote Win Total over Trump is 2,103,589 (and counting)! That's a lot of Democracy!

Oh yeah, he's also a bigoted, racist, misogynist of epic proportions, a man totally unqualified for the job. But any one of the above 3 reasons are probably enough to deny him the Presidency!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pie in the Sky When You Die!

Death by Pie. Is it possible? Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. But then again, as Wm. Blake once wrote in the Proverbs of Hell: "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."

I guess it depends on what you mean by excess, and how much excess you can take. And just exactly what kind of substances, or habits you are indulging.

Opioids? Coke? Scotch? 

So pie. How bad can it be? I mean, you start with a slice of the Cherry, then you try the Apple/Cranberry, and well, 3 slices of that one seem to go down quite nicely, and then well later, after all the hubbub back in your own quiet little bubble you try another slice of Cherry with a sidecar slice of Pumpkin pie.

Yes, too much. Way too much pie. Still you feel kind of happy from this episode of wanton indulgence. You reel from a happy sugar rush and call it a night. Deep sleep comes, and well, you dream of pies. Floating pies. Of every variety. And you wonder did you die and ascend to Heaven? 

Pie in the sky when you die...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Put the Panic on Hold!

A day off. Finally. A day to chill, to reflect. To panic?! Oh please, God, no. Maybe put the panic on hold.

I mean, yes, well, there are plenty of reasons to panic. I won't list them, but let's just say the list is long, deep, and pretty convincing that we are all on the wrong freaking track. Knocking on the door of some weird, ridiculous Apocalypse. Ice is melting, seas are rising, oceans are dying, ecosystems disappearing.

Totally crazy people will soon be in charge. And the common people are turning on each other. Like mad dogs. Aaarrrffff!

Out of balance. Out our heads. Hopefully not out of luck. Today is the day where Sisyphus can take a break from rolling that stone up the hill. He can chill out. Eat turkey and pie, and watch football, or argue politics with his relatives. Hopefully no one comes to the dinner table armed. Could get messy.

Funny thing. Sisyphus will miss rolling that rock today. Too much time to reflect. Too much time to think. And quickly those thoughts turn dark. Better to do. That's the lesson of the story. Keep on rolling that rock. Even if it comes back down. I mean, actually it's a really good thing it keeps rolling back down, gives old Sisyphus a purpose, a reason to live.

It doesn't take much to keep going. Life wants to carry forward. It's a natural thing. All it takes is a little glimmer of a light. A tiny little glimmer. There's hope in that little glimmer. Yes, there is, for sure.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What is Good and Right for Me?!?

Wisdom. What is it? "The quality of being wise." That sounds a bit "tautological." 

I'd say wisdom is an idea or phrase that holds meaning or truth over time. 

We are in the middle of season 2 of Fargo, (yes, that's right, Fargo, we are binge-watching via Amazon, it's a freaking, kooky, joy-ride; a wild masterpiece, and a real pleasure to watch) and one of the characters said the following, and these words ring so true right now, but really, they probably ring true just about any time, (my definition of wisdom):


"We are out of balance. Don't know right from wrong. No moral center."

Couldn't those words be spoken in pretty much any era? Any time in human history? Yes. Probably. For sure and especially right now. But of course, we are always in the right now!  Still it really smacks of deep wisdom.

Morality.  Slipperier than you think. As Joan Didion once remarked, I'm paraphrasing from memory (basically making it up), "Once you get past the idea of burying your dead, morality gets all kind of fuzzy, and hazy. Ephemeral."

I suppose it comes down to "who decides?" Do you defer to a King, a Pope, a President, a Judge, a Cop, a Council of Elders, your Parents, your Friends, your Tribe? Often we are left to our own devices. And isn't it amazing how self-righteous people can be? What is good and right often turns out to be what is good and right for me!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hope Under the Shadow!

What gives me hope under the shadow of Trump?

1. Barack Obama. This is a must read: David Remnick interviews Barack Obama.  I do think Obama will be a strong voice leading the Loyal Opposition. He is always reasoned, measured, and not one to panic. He is an incredible force, the finest President in my lifetime for sure, no doubt, and maybe, just maybe, he will help the Opposition stand strong.

"This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. And you should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish. And it doesn’t stop. . . . You don’t get into a fetal position about it. You don’t start worrying about apocalypse. You say, O.K., where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward.”

2. Also, I think it's clear, already, that Trump's Presidency will be comically sordid. The Dude has so many conflicts of interest. And he has no clue. To him business is politics, and politics is business. And of course, it isn't. Pretty sure this will sink him. I have high hopes that real investigative journalists will do their jobs. And if and when the rot is revealed, the Body Public will expel the virus!

3. Hillary Clinton's Popular Vote total continues to grow. You can track the vote totals here: the real, raw numbers from the 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker. As of this morning, her Winning Margin stands at 1.3% of the Popular Vote.  Contrary to earlier reports, total vote count is actually up since 2012. We must never, ever lose sight of the fact that more people voted for Clinton than Trump!

4. Alec Baldwin. His portrayal of Trump is epic. His Twitter war with Trump was quite entertaining. Baldwin has obviously hit a raw nerve with Trump via his work on Saturday Night Live. How to destroy the Strutting, Pompous Strongman? Laugh at him. Loudly, proudly. Destroy him with big, joyful, belly laughs. Trump is a fool. Yes, a dangerous fool, but a fool nonetheless.

Ha, ha, ha!

Monday, November 21, 2016

How Far Back Will We Go? 1950? 1850?

Yesterday I did a lot of reading, thinking & talking. With/to a few close people. Sometimes things finally do clarify... and it helps... at least a little bit.

The Trump phenomena, what is it? For a minute, don't think of him as a person, think only of him as a symbol. A big, loud, strongman. Wealthy. Powerful. White. Privileged. Speaks off the top of his head. Doesn't really know what he's saying, but says it anyway. He's actually low-class, white-trashy, uneducated, but street smart. He was born wealthy, never really had to work hard - things were given to him because of his birthright. By an accident of being white and wealthy, he gets it all. And that's the way the world worked for white folks/white men, for centuries!

And whatever he says it's always said loudly, definitively. Realize that to him words don't really matter. They are only tools to help him get what he wants.

He can say one thing this moment, and something totally contrary the next. And whatever he says in the moment is all that matters. He only watches TV. He gets all his news, all his knowledge of the world comes from TV. He doesn't read. Doesn't use a computer. He owns a phone and likes to tweet at 3:00 a.m. He must know something about America I don't know. I never watch TV. 

So okay. His only nods to the present are TV and Twitter. Makes him seem with it and modern, but he's not.

He is a throwback to another time. Let's all set our clocks back. How many decades or centuries back shall we go? We will go back to a time when big, loud white men had all the power, all the privileges. Woman were objects to be used. Minorities were slaves and servants - objects to be owned, and pushed around.

Folks who supported Trump and voted for him, voted to go back to the Past!

When Trump says "Make America Great Again," he is telling us that he doesn't believe in the Present or the Future, he really only believes in the Past! And his followers do not want to live in the Present or the Future either. They want to go back to a Past that exists only in their dreams.

It's a mythical, beautiful time when everyone knew their place. Woman were not a threat. Minorities were not a threat. The big multi-cultural experience of America was not "out of control." Men were men. So yes, everything that us Liberals/Progressive found repulsive about Trump were actually the primary features of his appeal to another slice of the population.

I was stumped for a long time on the question, "How could they even think of voting for that Man?" The answer to the question: "Because they don't believe in and are afraid of the Present & the Future, they really do want to live in a Retro Paradise from another time."

It really is about the "old order." A time before Civil Rights. Before Roe v. Wade. Before Equal Pay. Before Political Correctness. Before China & India were economic powers. 

So now we see Trump, sort of like Jed from the Beverly Hillbillies, or Stalin in the 50's tromping around the halls of power in Washington. For some of us, it's ridiculous, sad, so backward, and transparently ugly, and contrary to our hopes for the now and the future.

But it is that ridiculous, backward picture, exactly, that Trumps supporters are excited about. How far back will we go? 1950? 1850? 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Fierce Vision!

You know I did the sane, rational, upstanding, right thing. For sure. I voted for the progressive woman with a long track record of competence and dedication to public service. I voted to continue Barack Obama's agenda. I voted for a positive future. An inclusive, multi-cultural soup of a country.

And my candidate won more votes than the other one, maybe close to 2 million more votes, (never forget), and the guy who is taking office will be entering it with the lowest approval ratings in the modern era. Oh yeah, he has also shown himself to be an unashamed bigot - misogynist, racist -  a man of colossal flaws, with a sea of conflict of interests floating around his rotund body. He never once tried to hide this reality. And nearly half the voting public voted for him anyway.

Baffling. Unexplainable. So, anyway, everyone in my orbit is freaking out! Totally. And we are all scratching our heads, asking, "What happened?!"The Black Swan has landed. Right in the middle of our multi-cultural soup.

It's funny. We are the ones doing the soul-searching. We are vowing to clean up our acts, be better people. We somehow feel we have let folks down. We did the right thing, but for some reason we are all being punished. The gods are not happy. They are bringing down the Reign of the Con upon our confused land. It's such an ugly picture.

How to move forward? That's been the question hanging over us the last week. And it's a question that will hang over us for a long time. I don't wish anything terrible to happen to the Hollow Con Man, that would be counter to my "spiritual" ideals. But I do hope that he "gets what he deserves," you know, "reaps what he sows." If you act hateful you attract hate. If you cause pain, you attract pain. If you treat others with contempt you create contempt for yourself. That's the land he lives in: hate, pain, contempt!

I intend to live in a different land, one that coexists with the Reign of the Con, but in loyal opposition to it. Instead of hate - love, instead of pain - comfort, instead of contempt - joy.  I will cling to this vision fiercely!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Outrage is Just Starting!

Yes, it's like a death in the family. No doubt. No way around it. And the Outrage is just starting. Hasn't even been sworn in yet. So it's a slow-motion, multi-year death, that will hang over us all - this country, this world, this mankind, for a very long time - and things will never be the same again. Maybe it's more like a plague. A deep disease that has infected the land.

Sounds pretty fucking dire.  Yes, and it is.

No way around it. And as Krugman reminds us, none of this should be "normalized." People must call it out, they need to take a stand. 

"And anyone who doesn’t — who plays along and plays it safe — is betraying America, and mankind."

I say, gimmee the truth. No, scratch that. I figure no one is gonna gimmee anything. We need to search for the truth. To nail it down, find out the sources, confirm the facts. Too much disinformation floating around. Too many conspiracy theories. 

Tune out the noise machine. Search out the true investigative journalism. Search out the true progressive voices. Be tough-minded. Don't fall prey to lazy thinking. 

We the People have some explaining to do. How could we be so thoughtless, cavalier, contemptuous of our own democracy, our own country? It's a shame. And a tragedy. Many of us are to blame. And now we will bear the consequences. No way around it.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump Trifecta: Kakistocracy, Autocracy, Kleptocracy!

Bad shit happens. Maybe you learn something. I learned a new word this week: Kakistocracy. "Government by the worst people." Welcome to your new American Dream. Ryan Lizza tells us the first week of Trump is already quite "alarming." 

And Masha Gessen, an old hand at living with Putin, gives us some rules for living with an Autocracy. What is an "autocracy?" A government ruled by a person with total power. Think Putin. Think of Trump as America's Putin. Some of the rules to navigate our new reality:  #4 Be Outraged. And. #3 Institutions will not save you. And. #1 Believe the Autocrat.

Chilling. Scary. A new way to think about your new America. We have entered uncharted territory. Maybe it's much easier to destroy our country than we ever really imagined?

And Matt Yglesias delves into how Trump will almost assuredly be our most corrupt President ever.  It's pretty much a given. A built-in feature, not a flaw. Think Kleptocracy. Seeking status and personal gain? Mixing business with politics? Using power to punish people? That is the essence of Trump.

Only a week into the transition to Trump. It's clear we are fucked. Beyond our imaginings. Anyone who spent any time worrying about Hillary's emails, should have their freaking heads examined. It's gonna be a long, painful, 4 year, winter.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Dark Ages Redux Again Survival Tool-Kit!

How to survive the New Dark Ages Redux Again? (See previous 3 or 4 posts).

1. I recommend sleep. Lots of sleep. Sleep to recharge, to recover, to dream. And dream about a better world, sunnier days, and sweet revenge. You know revenge in just the best way.

2. Be careful what you listen to, what you watch, what you read. Avoid click-bait. Go to real news sources with real investigative journalists. Read stories with original reporting, not just opinion pieces. Although, I'd recommend always checking in with Paul Krugman to see what's on his mind. This will sound like a Liberal's reading list, and it is, but remember, "reality has a distinct liberal bias." Stick to publications/websites like: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox.com, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New Republic, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo.  Now that I think of it, don't watch the news at all. Forget Cable, forget the Network News. No time to waste on TV.

3. Submerge in books, plays, movies, long-form series. Lose yourself in another story, another time, another place. 

4. Create. Something. Anything. The act of creation itself is a positive thing. Doesn't matter what. Knit, sew, write, sing a song. Whatever. 

5. Move: Walk. Run. Jog. Dance. Twirl. 

6. Meditate. Sit in silence. Alone. For long stretches of time. Clear your mind, or create pictures in your mind, or repeat a mantra. Maybe try all three methods. Breathe. Deeply. 

7. Music. Listen to music. All the time. Jazz. Classical. Rock. Country. Rap. Anything. Really.

8. Stay engaged. On your terms. Don't let the news overwhelm you. Don't let cynicism, or sarcasm sink you. Keep your sense of humor. Keep your sense of yourself.

9. Love. Show it. Live it. Mean it.

10. Hope. For a better world. A new day. I know, it might sound a bit sappy, like a Hallmark Card thing, but really, I really, really I mean it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Soundtrack for the New Dark Ages Redux Again!

It sure looks like we are in for a long, concentrated and determined, darkness. I think the word, "clusterfuck," should come in quite handy in the next few years. How to survive? Love, laughter, poetry, dance, art, music, living a full, well-rounded existence.

We will probably need to do some marching, protesting, and standing around with other like-minded folks too. Most of us (actually 1 million more, and counting), voted for a much more enlightened, progressive future. So we must not be silent.

I was thinking we need a soundtrack for the new Dark Ages Redux Again. So here goes...

First up, here's the great British sage, Richard Thompson. He reminds us that "Good things happen to bad people, but only for awhile..."



Next up, the 2016 Nobel Laureate, that great, switchblade-like, prophetic, old testament voice, older than the mountains, older than dirt; the always elusive, shimmering, mercury-like magus, Bob Dylan: "Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull, from the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol..."




And finally from my own band, whitewolfsonicprincess. This song, and a few others too, now seem like songs of prophecy. Didn't quite know where they were coming from, but now I have a glimmer of an idea that we were just seeing things very, very clearly, maybe a bit, clairvoyantly... "Didn't want to look into your eyes, it couldn't be helped, didn't want to see through your eyes, it couldn't be helped... didn't want to put a curse on you, it couldn't be helped..."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

No Silver Lining!

It would all be sort of funny, if it wasn't so tragic. What is that saying, something about tragedy repeating as comedy? A black, dark comedy. A dark comedy so dark, laughter hurts, draws blood.

Names floated in the new Dark Ages are the  reliable old "stormtroopers" - Giuliani, Gingrich, Carson, Bannon. These are the worst of the worst, the dregs of the dregs. The loyal henchmen to the big Con Man. Bad news, follows bad news. It is hard to avoid it. 

Doing my best, but still the stench, the rot filters in. Looking for a "silver lining?" There is none. Guiliani is being floated for Secretary of State? Hah! The mind reels. The rabid, frothing dog traveling the world, how embarrassing, and of course, how dangerous.  The new Dark Ages. New and improved. Darker more retrograde than your wildest imaginings.

Monday, November 14, 2016

It's like the Dark Ages Redux Again!

"Yes it's like the Dark Ages have descended... and, we all know the exact moment: this day, this time, it has begun... the darkness came, and nothing was ever going to be the same. And we all know what living through dark times is like, we can remember those years of terror, torture, and institutional ignorance. Not that long ago, except it feels like another lifetime. That time we didn't know, we were dancing in the dark, not realizing how dark it was going to get, how bad things we going to be, but this timewe know, it's as if we all have "precognition," we can see what's coming, and it's not good. It is not a happy, sunny vision. This time the forces of darkness are overloaded, abundant, all-powerful, and willfully, proudly, diabolically ignorant. It is so dark at the moment, we have to root for ignorance to somehow undermine, or override the whole grand, lurching, movement. But of course, ignorance on it's own can do great damage too."

Sunday, November 13, 2016

America's Original Sins Come Back to Haunt Us!

Spending lots of time alone with my acoustic guitar. Finding new riffs to fill the void. I am only tangentially engaged with the world at the moment. So many pictures and words I just don't want to see or read. It's funny. I truly am mourning the death of an idea, a dream, a vision of my future and the future of my country.

I do see this as a pivot point in time. And the pivot is in a backward, reactionary direction. It's heart-breaking to point out that by the time all the counting is done, the progressive woman with a firm grasp on policy, the most qualified candidate, will end up with around 2 million more votes than the other person. The progressive woman won the "popular" vote. Which is the actual, real vote!

And this interview enlightened me... why do we have an Electoral College?   Seems it was basically an inducement to entice the slave-holding states of the South to join the union of states. So instead of one man/one vote, we concocted a mechanism to give weight to smaller states, and established electors who actually elect our President. It's useful to recall that many of our Founding Fathers were slaveholders, they embraced Democracy, but their version excluded African Americans, women, and Native Americans.

America. Dig a little deeper, just below the surface, and somehow racism and slavery (and of course genocide) always come to the fore. Slavery, racism, sexism, prejudice, are truly America's original sins. 

In my lifetime this has come back to haunt us big time. I try to imagine a President Gore being elected in 2000 or a President Hillary Clinton in 2016 and my heart skips a beat. Both won the popular vote!

It's also sadly ironic, that it is the now the former slave-holding states that are so intent on preventing & suppressing the votes of African Americans. First they were worried they'd be underrepresented in the new country because their slaves couldn't vote, and now they are doing their best to make it really hard for the descendants of slaves to vote today.

Did anyone say, diabolically tragic?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Disrupted, Unsatisfied, Troubled Imagination

Events conspire, and we fall back or are propelled back to the basics. If you are a writer, you write, a painter, you paint, a poet, you poetize, a singer you sing. Pushed from the public square (you know the place where they cheer the new leaders, it's also the place where they hang the new transgressors), back to your lonely room.

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a movement and a mob.

The lonely room is the natural habitat for some of us: cast aways, refugees, renegades. In opposition. To the prevailing national conversation. Being in opposition comes naturally. When I was a wee lad there was the culture, and there was the counterculture. From my perspective, in my lonely room, I could see clearly that much of the fun, creativity, beauty, love and wisdom was with the counter side of the equation.

In my imagination I will fall back on this dichotomy: Nixon vs. Lennon.

Time is not linear. Time is a wheel. Time is an illusion. Events unfold. Progress is not a given. There is action and reaction. We can waste lots of time fighting the forces of reaction. The fight doesn't have to be in the streets, or the public places, although it probably will be fought there, but more importantly it will be fought in our heads. In our lonely rooms. 

A revolution in the head.

So dark times can create works of light. I am not talking about "political art," most of what we consider political art, art that directly addresses politics, is pretty much dreck. I am thinking of deeper, subtler works, works of the deepened heart and the disrupted, unsatisfied, troubled imagination.

Light in the age of the darkness.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Imagine the Light!

If you've been around long enough, and you pay attention, some things become clear...

Any day is anything can happen day. Anything happens all the time. Good things. Bad things. I suppose it's all in the eye of the beholder.

And good things happen to bad people. And bad things happen to good people. And there is no justice on the human realm. And when human beings try to enact "justice," things often end up even more unjust.  Maybe there's some cosmic, karmic justice, but as beings in this grand edifice we are too little and too dim to make it out. We don't get to make those kinds of judgements. And my guess, Judgement Day is just another thing like the Tooth Fairy. Sounds good, but probably not real.

Is there a plan? Is there fate? Is it all luck and probability? We don't know, and probably never will. We have developed some nifty tools: math, physics, economics, philosophy, religion, science, psychology, art; they are all ways to try to make sense of this constant stream of never-ending, always confounding, moments. Nifty but inadequate to contain what we want to contain.

We will make predictions and plans, and sometimes they will work out, and sometimes not. You would hope it would kind of even out, but it doesn't work that way. You can have a good streak, a bad streak, and those streaks can define your life.

And we are all going to live through events and times that are unbearable. For sure. We will witness the death of loved ones, we will endure broken hearts and broken dreams, we will lose things most precious to us. Some of us will also experience incredible love and acceptance, and have great moments of insight and transcendence. Again it's all sort of a crap shoot. If you are lucky maybe the good and bad can kind of even out, but that is not a given. 

What to do? Carry on. As best we can. Lean to the light. Even if we don't see the light. Sitting in darkness, in silence, we can imagine a light. Sometimes the imagining is all we get. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Waiting to See the Light!

I think David Remnick nails it in the online version of the New Yorker: "An American Tragedy."

What can I add? Nausea. Waves and waves of nausea. Chalk it all up to bad luck, or bad timing, or bad karma. Whatever.

Progress is not assured. Maybe it's an illusion. Anything can happen. And anything did. I do not think it's a good thing to give the keys to the car to an "unhinged" madman. I cringe to see that the GOP, the forces of reaction, now will control both houses of congress, the White House, and can populate the Supreme Court with backward-looking stooges.

I fear for our country, our democracy, our future. It's hard to see anything positive from this at all. Progress can be unmade. Good will can be squandered. The future can be made dark. This fine country can be destroyed. Maybe easier than we all realize.

Why do we suffer? To deepen our hearts. Lots of heart deepening around here. Someone said that "the wound is where the light comes in." I see and feel the wound, waiting to see the light.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Ouch!

The noxious dirigible (see previous post), landed safely! Who knew?! No one that I knew & trusted: the Pollsters, Political Pundits, the Wonky Data Crunchers. They all missed it. Nate Silver was the only voice I heard in the wilderness that said, you know, it's possible

One of his unlikely scenarios turned out to be the likeliest scenario: one candidate, you know the sane, rational one who knew the issues, the woman would win the popular vote (translation: more people voted for her, but her people primarily live in big urban areas), and the other candidate, you know, the crazy, irrational one who didn't know the issues, but talked really loudly & stupidly, won more Electoral votes (translation: we are toast!).

This morning it's hard to imagine how this could be a good thing for our county and the world. Pretty sure it really, really isn't. I tend to lean towards an optimistic frame of mind, but can't really conjure that mojo this morning. I worry for our country, and our democracy. I am baffled by a good proportion of the old USA. I do not understand the thought process of many of my fellow citizens. At all.

It's like a ton of bricks with an improbable hairdo dropped on all our little progressive hopes and dreams. A really, really bad joke with no punchline. Just a punch to the gut.

Ouch!

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The Plump Gaseous, Noxious Dirigible Meets His Destiny! Yes, of course, Loser!


Election Day 2016. The plump, gaseous, noxious, dirigible, known as "Trump," will meet it's spiky pole (poll!) and finally, mercifully, crash and burn! Ding Dong!


"If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise."
William Blake: Proverbs of Hell

Yes, well, this is advice from the Devil! Some times the fool should know when to stand down. There is no wisdom to be had for Trump. He has always been on a fool's errand, fueled by ignorance and hate.

And hate breeds hate. Hate x Hate = Hate.  What was Trump's "closing argument?" "The World Hates Us!" He was talking about the world hating the U.S. but really isn't it a perfect motto for his whole campaign? He hates us, we hate him, he appeals to those who hate and magnifies and encourages their hate!

Karma. Gravity. The harder they come, the harder they fall.

The losing dirigible will end up alone. A loser. Forever. A definitive, unequivocal loser. As a human you might have some sympathy for another human so clearly incapable of sympathy and compassion for others.

You might, almost, have sympathy. But really you understand sometimes people get what they deserve. They say it has been a difficult last few days in the Further-Bunker, "An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance," sleepless nights, brooding over slights, vows of revenge, no more late-night Twitter storms - they are babying the big, whiny bully. He's a mean cry-baby. 

It's time to move on, leave that dark, twisted soul to stew in his own little hell. Tonight's the night!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Alone in My Room!

Day before election day. Do we vote for the Woman or the Fascist? You'd think today I'd be writing about politics, but instead, I'm thinking about the posters in my bedroom when I was a wee lad.

No football players, no baseball players, although, I did play Little League baseball & Pee Wee football. One year I even made the all-star team as a left fielder. I don't think I was very good in football. I stumbled around on the field a lot. Still, I do remember making a interception on a hot humid evening as my team's left-side linebacker. 

My all time highlight was in Little League when I was moved to pitcher. I wore a long sleeve t-shirt and between each pitch, I'd stop to hitch up the sleeve on my pitching arm. Games I pitched were the longest ever. I'd spend lots of time staring a hole in the catcher's mitt. Anyway, in my greatest game as a pitcher I gave up 10 runs, not too good, but we won the game when I hit a grand slam homer. We won 14-10. I remember rounding the bases, trying to be cool, and all my teammates jumping up and down in joy at home plate to welcome me. I broke out into a wide, shit-eating grin. Highlight reel!

Still, during those years my head was filled with imagery from another world, the world of r&r. My hair was getting longer and longer. And I refused to go to the barbershop. Rebellion! These posters were foundational to my psyche.  If I was looking for a clue to "who I am," - hey I have an existential crisis every morning - this might give me a bit of a hint...





Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Strength of Our Beautiful Experiment in Diversity & Multiculturalism!


I don't have any special insight. I rely on other folks. There are quite a few people I read that tell me early voting in Nevada and Florida are looking especially good for Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign. If she wins one of those, or both, she is pretty much a shoe-in to be our first Woman President.

And it will be those who have been called out this election season for special hate & abuse who will have made it a reality. Think especially: Women & Latinos! The great forces of diversity and multiculturalism will have risen up to slay the Rampaging Beast!

Sweet Poetic Justice! All the tiny votes, all those who have been the target of hate & abuse, rising up in great number, one tiny vote at a time, to take the Beast down! We will be able to celebrate the strength of our beautiful experiment in diversity & multiculturalism. Tuesday night!

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Death of Trump's Movement!

They tell us "the polls are tightening." But the folks I trust most, Dr. Wang from Princeton Election Consortium & David Plouffe (Obama's former campaign manager) tell me there is really nothing to worry about. It's all about demographics, data, numbers. Not about statistical noise, or raw emotion.

Of course, I do worry anyway. There is so much raw emotion swirling around this election. And I can't help but see this national drama as trauma, some kind of existential crisis. It is hard to think about and try to understand how my fellow Americans can seriously consider voting for Trump. Really, really can't understand it at all.

So clear that much of his campaign is driven by hate & racism & sexism, and whatever other "isms" you can conjure up. I do believe in diversity, empathy, compassion, but it is hard to extend a hand to hardcore racists, it is hard to be empathetic with folks who hate, it is hard to feel compassionate for people who seem to have no compassion for others. So there is a visceral horror of all that Trump has churned up in the populace.

It is hard to "love thine enemies." Really, really, really hard. I do have high hopes for a better day, I look forward to our first woman President. I am happy to think that Trump will lose because he woke up and motivated women, minorities & immigrants to vote in record numbers.

I worry, but I can' wait to celebrate the death of Trump's "movement!" Tuesday!

Friday, November 04, 2016

Spiritland in London? Let's Go!


We all need an oasis. Shelter from the storm. A nice clean room away from all the insane hurly-burly. A place where we can all chill out.

I was so happy to read this story a few days ago in the New York Times: An Audiophile Listening Room! Spiritland in London features the "best sound system in the world!"

"Listening clubs tantalize Audiophiles in London!" Made me smile! Sent an adrenaline rush through my body. I just think this is the greatest idea ever. I hope it starts a movement around the world. Truly a movement I can get behind!

Ditch your iPod. Trash your Mp3s. Join us at the Listening Club and listen to music the way it should be listened to: A first-class audio system. Quality vinyl. Listen to a record from the first groove to the last.

I truly, madly, deeply believe that the LP (the long player), the vinyl album (approximately 22 mins. per side), has been one of the great art-forms that emerged last century. For example, think: The Beatles' "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" and The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds."

M-F @ 6:00 p.m. we will listen to Classic Albums!

If I were programming the week here's my first week Audiophile list:

Monday -  "Dark Side of the Moon" - Pink Floyd
Tuesday - "Tommy" - The Who
Wednesday - "Electric Lady Land" - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Thursday -  "Everybody Knows this is Nowhere" - Neil Young
Friday - "Astral Weeks" - Van Morrison

OK, can't resist, here's my week two schedule:

Monday - "Revolver" - The Beatles
Tuesday - "Highway 61" - Bob Dylan
Wednesday - "Horses" - Patti Smith Group
Thursday - "What's Going On?" - Marvin Gaye
Friday - "Exile on Main Street" - The Rolling Stones

Ok, sorry, one more week of programming. I have to say, I'm enjoying this...

Monday - "Quadrophrenia" - The Who
Tuesday - "Houses of the Holy" - Led Zeppelin
Wednesday - "Sticky Fingers" - The Rolling Stones
Thursday - "Tonight's the Night" - Neil Young
Friday - "The Doors" - The Doors

One last week's programming (with notes!), final week, first month. My personally foundational music...

Monday - "The Beatles" (The White Album) - The Beatles - the first LP (double album!) I ever owned! Mind-opening!
Tuesday - "Let it Bleed"- The Rolling Stones - Hunter S. Thompson tipped me to this one. Maybe greatest R&R album ever recorded?
Wednesday - "Live at Leeds" - The Who - what the hell is going on?!
Thursday - "All Things Must Pass" - George Harrison - triple-album delight! George - the moody, spiritual one, brings it home!
Friday - John Lennon Plastic Ono Band (John Lennon) - A masterpiece. Destroyed my brother and I when we first played it. It still stands as the finest, more elemental, brutal, searing album ever. Love it! Scratched into my DNA forever!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Crazy Time!

Yeah. What a weird election.  This post is inspired by a tweet I saw this morning on Twitter (no link)...

This year, the FBI, KGB and KKK are all in for the same candidate, you know, the one who likes to grab woman by their private parts and put his name on buildings. Who would of thunk it?! Crazy!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Last Days in the Furher-Bunker!

The last days in the Furher-Bunker! The true believers, or maybe just the folks who have sold their souls for a buck, hunkered down with the delusional strong-man.

A place of madness, back-biting, spinning, bad blood. No one wants to tell the man that no, he will not be President, and yes, he has destroyed his "brand." Great reporting from Gabriel Sherman.

The countdown continues. Can't wait for this all to be over.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Has Russian Intelligence Compromised Putin's Puppy?

Sure. I am up for some unfounded speculation. Why not? Is it possible Trump is the "Manchurian Candidate?" You know, Putin's Puppy?

Maybe he's been compromised by Russian Intelligence?  Where there's smoke, there's fire right? Why not?! But of course, a Russian Sex Orgy isn't gonna taint Trump. Not even sure if an orgy featuring little boys or farm animals would do anything to his poll numbers. Maybe an orgy with little boys AND farm animals? Probably won't faze the true believers!

The Russians: What do they have on the man? What do they want? How have they compromised him? 

The people want to know!

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