wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

How Does It Feel?

The Universe. How we feel about it seems decisive. Wonder? Horror? Ambivalence? Indifference? It just is, right? It just rolls out. And we are in it.

There is a calamity around every corner. We must always be awake to the next calamity. Ride it out as best we can. As above, so below. Ancient, mystic formulation.

Friday, September 22, 2017

One Day He Was There, The Next Day Gone...

It's fair to say I've always been "death-haunted." Who isn't? Death looms over us. Always. Death never takes a holiday. Death is relentless. 

An Elder in the neighborhood has died. One day he was there, the next day gone.

He was a fixture on the local scene. Always propped up at the coffeehouse, a stack of books at his table. Aquinas, Dostoyevski, Homer. Always a weighty tome. Always reading three or four books simultaneously. 

It was almost ridiculous. So much serious reading. A rabid reader. Reading voraciously, as if he was looking for something. And he needed to find it, soon!

Rumor has it that he was a defrocked priest or wayward monk. His speech was filled with phrases from the Bible. Lonely. A loner. A loner that everyone knew. For the longest time we would nod to each other, but never talk. I used to joke that he was my Nemesis.

Why my Nemesis? I can't explain. Something about the way he looked at me. I imagined I saw contempt in his hollow, far-seeing gaze. I imagined he could see through me, he could see that I didn't believe the things he believed.

After the longest time, many years of silent witness, we finally did speak to each other. And found that we had lots we could talk about. We found we were both obsessed with the big questions. Always. 

I remarked, that I was a former Catholic, and I quipped "I no longer practice, I already know how." He laughed at the line, but his reply to me was weighty, full of contempt and hard-earned judgement: "Arrogance."

That was a good conversation.

Death. Every death counts. Another death, and counting...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Life Out of Context!

Life out of context. Social good. Social harm. Unintended consequences. I do think the Internet & Facebook are altering our lives in ways we do not even realize. Certainly not all for the good. Aye there's the rub.

We live in the age of snark, we live in the age of "surfing." We are all one-click away from everything. Maybe that isn't really a new kind of paradise, but some snarky, surfing over everything kind of hell? Clicking our way to meaninglessness? This new culture of life out of context has been devastating for the old music business model. And for those who consume music. Now, everything is a click away, and just worth one click.

And from the evidence, our last election was basically swamped by Russian influence and disinformation. Information flooding our consciousness out of context. Couldn't have happened in the old world model.

This is pretty interesting, and seems oh so true...

"Listening to music, or for that matter making social connections, is a lot easier and more seamless than ever before. But what we’ve done is strip away a lot of the social context and broader meaning surrounding those connections, in part because we no longer need music to signal our aspirations and our social standing. Musical forms such as punk, heavy metal, indie rock and folk music run the risk of being turned into historical artifacts, mostly disconnected from their original roles in bringing people together and marking the formation of common cultural bonds. As with the Russian propaganda, that too is a problem of missing social context."

There is something to be said for going out and buying a vinyl record, or a CD. Committing to the music. Bringing it home. Listening intently. Making a firm choice. Investing something with our attention. Gives it all more meaning. Choosing wisely. Sort of defines us by the choices and commitments we make. There is something about being selective of the news of the world. There is something about context. Integrating things in our own real world. 

This new social media heaven is also a sort of hell. We have gained something and lost something. Wonder if the somethings add up, cancel each other out or subtract much more than we gain? Who knows?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Inconsolable.

No human being is invulnerable or unbreakable.  Inconsolable? Yes. "Very sad and cannot be comforted." For sure, no doubt. That can (and most likely will, unfortunately), be all of us. Each and every one of us. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Zen Rather Than Rabid Fan!


All NFL teams are owned by White folks. Ownership = 100% White. At the same time, 70% of the players who play football in the NFL are Black. Seems relevant.

Playing football is a brutal thing. Not for the faint-hearted. Every play is a car-crash. Every player risks serious, life-changing injury on every play.

I still watch the NFL. Being a Chicago Bears fan seems like it's embedded in my DNA. Handed down from Grandfather to Father to Me. I am not a Rabid Fan. More like a Zen rather than Rabid Fan. I keep up on what's going on with the Bears, but I don't live or die on game day. I don't always watch the game.

I do think Colin Kaepernick is getting a raw deal. A talented young Quarterback who seems to be shunned by the League because he "took a knee" when they played the Star-Spangled Banner before NFL games. 

Young Colin was protesting racism in the USA. Taking a stand in the days of Black Lives Matter. Seems like a fine thing to do. I have no problem with it. And taking a knee seemed like an elegant way to protest. A quiet protest. Powerful, symbolic, elegant.

So now he is out of a job. I don't think it's right. Reflects badly on the NFL. Reflects badly on NFL fans. I stand with Colin taking a knee. I do not stand in my living room when they play the Star Spangled Banner before a game. I sit. Or head to the kitchen for a snack. Or sometimes I just turn the sound down and watch the colors on my TV screen. Should I be shunned too? Shun away!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Nick Cave, Mercy!


I recently wrote about our visit to Quimby's bookstore. Not only did we have a great time listening to writers reading their work, but we also perused lots of cool books on tables and shelves. My friend purchased a book called "Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales." We are both bird people, don't you know?

I didn't buy anything, but I did make mental notes for future purchases: Peter Hook's book about New Order, a biography of David Bowie, John Doe's book on the L.A. punk scene in the 80's.

I also paged thru a graphic novel called Nick Cave: Mercy On Me. This one is haunting me. I woke up thinking about it. Guess that means I will be purchasing it in the near future. I suppose I'm just happy that such a book even exists...

"Musician, novelist, poet, actor: Nick Cave (b. 1957) is a Renaissance man. His wide-ranging artistic output—always uncompromising, hypnotic, and intense—is defined by an extraordinary gift for storytelling. In Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, Reinhard Kleist employs a cast of characters drawn from Cave’s music and writing to tell the story of a formidable artist and influencer. Kleist paints an expressive and enthralling portrait of Cave’s childhood in Australia; his early years fronting The Birthday Party; the sublime highs of his success with The Bad Seeds; and the crippling lows of his battle with heroin. Capturing everything from Cave’s frenzied performances in Berlin to the tender moments he spent with love and muse Anita Lane, Kleist’s graphic biography, like Cave’s songs, is by turns electrifying, sentimental, morbid, and comic—but always engrossing."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Slipping Away in the Dying Light.

Elegiac: as in "wistfully mournful." Can you spend a life "wistfully mournful?" Probably so. If you are awake to the moment, you are constantly reminded of the fleeting nature of your existence. Even as you live a life, you can feel it leaving you, stretching out away from you.

Yesterday was elegiac. Here in the Midwest it felt like the end of Summer. The death of the Sun King. The light. It's all about the light. A dying light. I spent most of the day out in the elements. It was hot, humid, but the light, it was different. It felt like the end stages of something profound.

My fellow human beings were out in full force. Late in the afternoon, I walked on the beach (the beach is now officially closed, which means you can now fully enjoy it without any official documents),  with a faithful, four-legged companion. We were aliens on the margin, watching human beings soaking in the last rays of summer: swimming, wind-sailing, dining, building sand-castles, burying themselves in sand, playing frisbee, picnicking, drinking, laughing, snoozing, tanning, dry-roasting.

I took it all in, thinking about how I was taking it all in. I was in it, but not of it. I, like so many other people, live much of my time in my head, I am heady, it's my nature, I have always thought that's the writer in me. Not just walking on the beach, but watching myself walking on the beach, and deciding what's important to remember, what's important to write about later.

This scene seemed important. Something to remember. Something to hold onto, but of course, there is no holding onto, just another fleeting memory, a scene, an image, a feeling, slipping away in the dying light. It was elegiac. Wistfully mournful. Another day.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Happy to be Here!

Sun up. Reassuring. Sun down too. What happens in between? Lots of breathing, sweating, running from one place to another. Energy is eternal delight. Animated. Alive. Awake. Days bleed into each other. Time ticks away. The narrative grows longer. The past rolls out like an ever-expanding river, the future continues to shrink. The future ain't what it used to be. Things aren't so bad, maybe not so great either. Maybe it's kind of a push. Happy to here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Community of the Odd Balls!

Quimby's Bookstore - a  Chicago  treasure. A gem. A real-deal, no kidding about it, independent bookstore. Fiercely independent. And cool. As they say on their website: Unusual Publications, Aberrant Periodicals, Saucy Comic Booklets, Assorted Fancies, Independent Zines.
    
Last night, a friend and I went to listen to three "Zine Writers" read pieces inspired by songs from P.J. Harvey, Guided by Voices and Sleater Kinney. There was also a rollicking, over-stuffed, slightly alcohol-stoked, multi-cultural, glee club singing songs between readings.

It was heady, funny, inspiring, entertaining. Lots of quirky, nerdy, intelligence in the room. It is so life-affirming to see and to meet and to listen to folks totally engaged with the world. Proudly, determinedly, onto something. Folks not shy about proclaiming their nerdiness, their geek-hood  They are folks who are finding connections, culling insights from the odd, the weird, off the track stuff outside the mainstream culture. Subteranean, marginal, a sub-group of a sub-group.

It was also cool to see that these folks have found each other. They have embraced each other, lifted each other up. A Community of the Odd Balls! We blended right in.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Everyone has Something"

The people are crazy. Have they always been crazy? The world is on fire. Has it always been on fire? No one seems to know what they are doing. Have they ever known what they are doing?

I (for one), am decidedly swimming against the stream. Have I always been swimming against the stream? Yesterday, in conversation with a Wise Old Soul, she says to me: "Everyone has something."

Yes. Indeed. No one skates. No one gets out without getting their hair mussed. No one gets through without scars, broken bones, heart-breaks, deep loss, disease and death. Right. 

We have to try our best to keep it together. Don't get too high or too low. That's the Cooler Head idea in action. Yes. It's your life. It means everything to you. Don't take it all so personally. You will get through, until you don't. That is the way it goes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Never Fit In Anywheres!

My long time friend, lover, collaborator turned to me yesterday and said: "We don't belong anywhere!"

So true. We are both mongrels. Cultural refugees. Always on the margins. We have never really fit in, anywhere.

It has always been like that, for both of us. Family. School. Work. Childhood. Adulthood. Always Strangers in a Strange Land.

Luckily, somehow, we did find each other. So we have kind of made our own small, 2 person tribe - "The Never Fit In Anywheres."

It's hard. The way we've been wired. Probably not worth it trying to figure it out how or why it turned out that way. Probably no "why" about it. That's just the way the Universe rolls.

We do have some "Spirit Guides" that we look up to for inspiration and guidance. These would be the "creative ones," people in the "arts" who have inspired us. We do feel connected to them. But most of those folks are "one-offs." Strangers. Kooks.  Still, knowing that they are out there, somewhere, doing the good work, does make us feel less alone.

It's ok. We don't really identify with the things other folks identify with. That's the kind of tribe the Never Fit In Anywheres is...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Movement of Cooler Heads?

A movement of Cooler Heads? (See previous post).  Not likely. Everyone is sitting on the couch, TV turned off, or at least with the sound muted, watching all the pretty colors, biding their time. How the hell are you gonna organize the Cooler Heads? 

Try to rally them and you'll get - "It's OK." "No worries." "It will all work out." "Sit down, take a load off, put your feet up, can't be as bad as all that..."

No stirring up these knuckleheads. Call them "knuckleheads," and they just don't care. No flinch, no blink of an eye, no increase of pulse rate. Chill. Damn chill.

Try to rile them up. It's futile. Cooler Heads. All they seem to care about is being Cool. Staying cool. Cool is the highest compliment in their lexicon. "He was a cool guy." Or. "She is so cool." Better than a Nobel Prize. Better than a Grammy. Better than hitting the lottery. 

Cooler Heads. A movement? Make me laugh. Might as well try to herd cats. Which just ain't cool...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cooler Heads Prevail...

Cooler heads.  Cooler heads prevail. Yes. We need cooler heads. There are so many hot-heads among us. So many extremists of all kinds. Kicking up storms. Pissing off people. It is the hot-heads in the herd who like to stir shit up.

We need a movement of cooler heads. Take a deep breath. Count to 10. Or sit quietly. In silence. Breathe. Deeply. Cool off. Chill out. It's sort of like in The Big Lebowski... you know, "The Dude Abides."  

Cooler heads prevail.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Brilliant Clear-Seeing!

My favorite photographer, past collaborator, and the all-around noble gentleman Michael Doubrava recently ventured to the Holy Land. He came back with some wondrous, stunning, haunting images which he posted on his blog, Beyond the Limits of Reason.

I highly recommend you check out his work. There are some among us who not only know their way around a camera, but who also possess an eye, an aesthetic sense, an artistic sixth sense,  that transcends the normal, humdrum, day to day, and leads us to new doors, and new vistas. Maybe takes us beyond the limits of normality, and enters a territory of brilliant clear-seeing.

Just because you own a camera or smart-phone doesn't make you a photographer. Not. Even. Close.

Anyway, extraordinary... here are two of Doubrava's latest photos from the land where that Jesus-guy walked and talked...

Church of the Holy Sepulcher


Desert Plant from Galilee


Saturday, September 09, 2017

The "White One" Intended to Erase the "Black One!"


The First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Read it. Brilliant. Nuanced. Powerful. Essential. I don't want to try to sum it up. I would just say, "read it." And weep?

We are all implicated. It's the Black and the White thing. Totally bound together. Slavery and Genocide. They are the building blocks of our Country. We have never fully reckoned with our History. We are crucified on the cross of those "original sins."

“Race is an idea, not a fact,”- Historian Nell Irvin Painter

I have always been baffled by racism. I subscribe to Dalai Lama's famous dictum: "We are all Human Beings first." We are all unique and at the same time, we are the same. The same substance. The same value. The same flesh, blood & bone. Cosmetic differences are just cosmetic.

For many in my country, the "White President" is an "erasure" of our last "Black President." A tragedy. Racism writ large across the land.

"And so the most powerful country in the world has handed over all its affairs—the prosperity of its entire economy; the security of its 300 million citizens; the purity of its water, the viability of its air, the safety of its food; the future of its vast system of education; the soundness of its national highways, airways, and railways; the apocalyptic potential of its nuclear arsenal—to a carnival barker who introduced the phrase grab ’em by the pussy into the national lexicon. It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, “If a black man can be president, then any white man—no matter how fallen—can be president.” And in that perverse way, the democratic dreams of Jefferson and Jackson were fulfilled." - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Friday, September 08, 2017

Biblical Times without Bibles...

Earthquakes. Floods. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Plagues. Droughts. Fires. Never-ending Wars. Existential Conflicts across the Globe.

Rain of Frogs. 

Ok, that's an exaggeration. No reports of bloody frogs plopping down from on high. Still, is it possible the Natural World is at War with us?  Have we entered Biblical Times? 

Biblical Times without Bibles! Every day seems like another glimpse of the End Days. 

A world in Crisis? Or just another day in Paradise?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Yes. Clearly. A Mutant!

Vanity Fair is extraordinary. Again. Great writing. I check in on Vanity Fair's The Hive often. Their Editor Graydon Carter gives us National Lampoon's Presidential Vacation.  Good stuff.

"The man is clearly unfit for any kind of public office, let alone the highest office in the land."

Clearly! 

"His time in office, like so much of his life, will be deemed a corrupt, messy shambles. The only lingering question is the extent of the damage he will have done by the time he is forced out of office."

Yes. A corrupt, messy shambles! Is that great for America or what?!

"You come to the realization that our 45th president resembles none of the others—there is no true parallel. He is a mutant."

Yes. Clearly. A Mutant!

"He may be as psychologically disfigured as Nixon, but he lacks Nixon’s intelligence and stamina."

Yes. Clearly. A Mutant that makes Nixon look good! Yikes!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

"Chaos Rules Baby, Please Pass the Condiments!" - JDSJ

Chaos - complete disorder and confusion.

synonyms: disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, uproar, maelstrom.

antonyms: order

PHYSICS

behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions. the formless matter supposed to have existed before the creation of the universe.

GREEK MYTHOLOGY
the first created being, from which came the primeval deities Gaia, Tartarus, Erebus, and Nyx.
noun: Chaos

A friend of mine, quoting someone else, remarked to me: "Chaos is a ladder." I think Chaos is also a door. We can climb that ladder, or enter/exit that door at any time. Ladders and Doors are embedded in our every cell.

Then there is the mathematical theory - Chaos Theory: 'Chaos' is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming at the initial point known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. The butterfly effect describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state, e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.[1]

I love it when the Scientists and the Math Wiz Folks sound like Esoteric Yogis: Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.

Anyway, Chaos was on my mind when I woke up this morning. It is a thorny subject. Does it bind or rule us?

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Maybe We are Time?!

Time: "The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. The continued progress of existence as affecting people and things."

Is time the conundrum of conundrums? I don't know. Add it to the list.

"Empathy is a clock that ticks in the consciousness of another..." Hmmm. When we connect with other folks, do we synchronize our clocks?

Borges: “Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

Yes. Maybe we are time. Time is what we are made of. We are time-keepers and time-makers. We embody time. We can speed it up and slow it down. And in some rare cases make it stop.

Alan Burdick: "Time is a social phenomenon. This property is not incidental to time; it is its essence. Time, equally in single cells as in their human conglomerates, is the engine of interaction. A single clock works only as long as it refers, sooner or later, obviously or not, to the other clocks around it. One can rage about it, and we do. But without a clock and the dais of time, we each rage in silence, alone."

Monday, September 04, 2017

A Breath on the Wind!

Collaboration: the situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing.

One of my obsessions. 

Creative collaboration. A melding of ideas, talents, desires. The real kick is when you get a small group of creative souls all working towards the same goal. Creates an energy that transcends the individual parts.

An energy, a vibration, that hovers above and beyond the physical, mechanical world. It's a strange alchemy. A sort of magic, conjured up from simple things.

The performance, the play, the song, the album, that is only a memento, a sign, the "leave behind." The real achievement floats above and beyond. A vibration that is released into the Universe. It enters another realm. Has unforeseen, unknown consequences.

That is what is really the phenomenon that "is created." It's the "lasting" essence. Everything else is just a trace, a shadow, a footprint in the sand. A breath on the wind.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

"Everything else seems broken..." - S. Shepard



Vinyl is making a comeback. There is something about our analog world that refuses to fade away.

I wonder if letter-writing can make a comeback? It's been awhile since I have written anything in longhand. I can't remember ever really writing and sending a memorable heartfelt letter. 

I have read some amazing collections of letters. Both Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson did some of their best writing in letter form. Seems Sam Shepard had a "pen pal" for over 40 years.

Shepard on the art of letter-writing:

Dear John,

One thing I realize I love about the ‘letter’ as a form is that it’s conversation; — always available. You can just sit down any old morning & have a conversation whether the person’s there or not. You can talk about anything & you don’t have to wait politely for the other person to finish the train of thought. You can have long gaps between passages — days can go by & you might return & pick it up again. And the great difference in all other forms of writing is that it is dependent to a large extent on the other person. It’s not just a solo act. You’re writing in response to or in relationship to someone else — over time. I think that’s the key — over time. We’re very lucky, I figure, to have continued the desire to talk to each other by mail for something like 40 years. But then again, what else were we going to do? It is probably the strongest through-line I’ve maintained in this life.

Everything else seems to be broken — except, of course, my other writing which has been with me constantly since about 1963. I’ll never forget the elation of finishing my first one-act play. I felt I’d really made something for the first time. Like the way you make a chair or a tale. Something was in the world now that hadn’t been there before.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Just Carry On!

People. Beings of the Human Kind. Inspiring. Disappointing. Baffling. Confounding. Disturbing. Mysterious. Simple. Twisted. Dark. Light. Funny. Sad. Predictable. Unreliable. 

Sometimes I think: Imperfect Beings in a Perfect World. Or: Imperfect Beings in an Imperfect World. How do we make it? How do we carry on? 

Knowing what we know. And not knowing what we don't know. How do we do it?

We will die. Everyone we know will die. And what of it? Maybe we reincarnate every moment? Maybe we are in constant flux, and maybe we aren't what we think we are? Gosh. Who knows, right?

Just carry on...

Friday, September 01, 2017

"The Missing Link Between the Shangri-Las & the Rolling Stones..."


Lately I've been diverting my mind with Johnny Rogan's "Morrissey & Marr: Severed Alliance." It is a weighty tome. Thick as the King James Bible. Johnny Marr and Steven Morrissey meet, (finally) around 200 pages into the book. I do love books about Pop Culture that treat Pop Culture like High Culture.

It almost seems like a miracle when Marr & Morrissey meet. We know what they don't know. We can marvel that these two Manchester youths will join forces and become a dynamic songwriting team of great distinction. 

I love Rogan's description of The Smiths and their music... "the missing link between the Shangri-Las and The Rolling Stones..."

Thrilling. Cool. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Work Arounds!

Work Arounds!

Think of our Body Politic as a Body. A collection of cells, organs, systems. All working together. Alive.

Think of our current President as a nasty virus, a pathogen - an infectious agent that causes disease. The 45 Prez brings out the worst in us. The symptoms of our current infection include: Fever, Muscle aches, Coughing, Sneezing, Runny nose, Headache, Chills, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Rash, Weakness

But the antibodies are swarming through the Body Politic. They are attacking and neutralizing the pathogen!

Work Arounds! 

Rule of Law. Democracy. Sanctuary Cities. Citizen Volunteers. Voting Rights Advocates. Planned Parenthood. ACLU. Greenpeace. Progressives in all walks of life. Fighting. Day by day. Fighting for a better, healthier Body Politic.

And maybe, just maybe this current nasty spell will lead to a healthier Body Politic. I do believe!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wonderful Writing & Reporting from Vanity Fair!

Eyes on the story of our time. This Vanity Fair article is just fabulous. Fabulous. Wonderful writing & reporting. It gives me hope. There are people out there, clear-seeing, intelligent, perceptive. Not fooled. Not running down rabbit holes of disinformation.

So many great quotes and lines, Sarah Ellison is a writer/reporter of great distinction. Here are some highlights...

"A combination of self-assurance and utter ignorance is a defining trait of this White House, along with cocky vulgarity and casual cruelty."

"As a former West Wing staffer from a previous administration told me, speaking about Jared and Ivanka, “There’s nothing more obstructive and distracting and unhelpful than to have a bunch of stupid apolitical family members calling all the shots.”"

“I haven’t had anything to do with them since they moved,” said one New York friend, “and it is because the day that man gave an inaugural speech, what am I going to say? ‘What the fuck is wrong with you?’ ”

“What is off-putting about them is they do not grasp their essential irrelevance,” this veteran told me. “They think they are special.”

"Jared Kushner once described himself as “first among equals” in the West Wing, and one wonders as time goes on if he might be inclined to drop the latter part of that description. “Trump is emotionally dependent on his son-in-law and his daughter . . . but they can’t do anything for him,” said the Washington veteran. “All they can do is make him feel better about what his life has come to.”"

Commentary from Me: No. They aren't special. And they work for a Dick. They will bail, sooner or later. And turn on each other. A drama full of sound and fury. Let it come down!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Impeach the Freaking Dick!

Yes. It's time. How many months? Seems like a freaking eternity. Time for the Dick (see two previous posts) to go. I know we can't demand Congress to just Impeach the Dick, because he is a Dick, that's probably too crude, too simple, too reasonable. No. We need a list of charges, or as they say, we need a list of "Articles of Impeachment."

Let's turn to Lawfare, and Benjamin Wittes. He is learned. He is sober. He is intelligent. He knows his shit! What say you Mr. Wittes? "It's Time: Congress Needs to Open a Formal Impeachment Inquiry!" And what are the articles?

1. His abuses of power, most obviously exemplified by his conduct with respect to the investigations into his campaign’s collusion with Russia.
2. His failures of moral leadership.
3. His abandonment of the basic duties of his office.

Also, of course, and maybe most damning of all, he is a Total Dick! Impeach the Freaking Dick!

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Dick Era (Part 2)!

Yes, I for one, really love this framing of our time. The Dick Era (see previous post), it explains everything. It's like a weight was lifted off my shoulders as soon as I articulated it. Maybe it's just the "knowing" what's coming that is totally liberating?

I no longer need to wonder "what's going on?!" The answer: The worst. The worst actions, for the worst reasons. So what can we expect? Every day? Every week? Every Tweet?! The worst!

So, for instance, I am now confident we can expect:

The Dick tries his best to derail the Russia Investigation. He fires Mueller. He preemptively pardons everyone implicated. He pardons himself. He destroys the rule of law, the Constitution, and dares Congress to do anything about it.

The Dick tries to divert us by ginning up a War, and he will gin up the War of Wars, since he is such as Dick, nuclear war actually has a certain appeal to him. Historically Dickish! 

Will it rile up the population? Yes. So, well, he thinks, "Bring it on!" The Dick will continue to stir up Racial Tensions, insulting everyone who happens to disagree with him. The Dick will continue to embrace the KKK, American Nazis, White Supremacists because they are all little Dicks too.

The Dick will attack good Americans of all stripes. Anyone who doesn't bow down to his absolute Dickishness. The Dick will provoke a Constitutional Crisis. He will shred all norms of good, honest behavior. He will push past the limits of decency. Why? Because he is a Dick. A total Dick.

Figure the Dick revels in pissing people off. He will continue to piss people off. It's his only way to get attention, and he craves, demands attention, even if it's actually just total and complete condemnation from all corners.

Expect the Dick to be a total Dick. At all times. Where does this lead?! Who knows? The Dick has no boundaries, no limits. Being a Dick is not a very good governing philosophy. It's not a movement. It is a dead-end. 

The Dick will dare anyone to take him on. He will dare good people to take action. How long will folks put up with the Dick?The Dick will go down in flames, kicking and screaming. Being a total Dick is all he has, and he will go down in flames in full Dick-hood glory...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Dick Era!

Let's say I have a new default mode. Assume the worst. The worst actions, for the worst reasons. We are in a new era. The Dick Era. A major Dick. Practiced at the Art of Dickishness. It explains everything. Don't need to overthink, don't need to fret, or overtax our brains. "He is a Dick!"

Plain and simple. 

"A Dick does as a Dick does!" It helps to know what's going down. It gives us a framework to process the evil, the ignorance, the bluster, the bad blood, the backward, racist, misogynistic, xenphobic, demeanor. The Dick is just a man. A little, pathetic, hopeless, man. Probably beyond help, although some of his Dickishness is really a cry for help.

We don't need to waste brain-cells on this Dick. We need to figure a work-around. A counter-strategy, a reistance. A Dick. He is such a dick: he is ineffective, inconsequential, inept. Being a Dick is a bankrupt movement. He and this era: a fluke, a pause, a side-track. A bad joke. Sick. The Dick is Sick.

The Dick has no staying power. Dickishness is a dead-end. We will get through this. Maybe the rest of us will learn, and reduce the Dickishness in ourselves. Let's make this era of the Dick, a time of learning. A time of healing!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Buddism, Evolutionary Psychology, Meditation!

"Why Buddism is True."  Provocative title. They say it's a bit of a misnomer. Sounds like author Robert Wright is onto essential things. Wright is an interesting case, an Evolutionary Psychologist a student of Buddism, and a Meditator. These are things I am also onto.

No big promises. No eternal life. No miracles. No salvation. But how about silence, focus, attention, a bit of empathy, a sense of calm, a certain well-being, a connection to all things in the world?

Sean Illing: "By “true” Wright means that Buddhism’s “diagnosis of the human predicament is fundamentally correct, and that its prescription is deeply valid and urgently important.” That diagnosis goes something like this: the human condition is defined by constant and ultimately inexplicable suffering. Meditation isn’t a way out of this suffering. But it helps us transcend it by teaching us to see it clearly for what it is, and by making us more attuned to our emotive impulses and the behaviors they produce."

And: "Wright believes meditation, if not quite a solution to this problem, is at least a corrective. By training us to focus our attention on the present moment, to the breath and the body, we can start to see most of our thoughts as petty and our emotions as fleeting. Through this practice, the self starts to dissolve and we can be more aware of other people, and build something like a broader consciousness."

Friday, August 25, 2017

Rachel Maddow, Not to be Missed!

Have you been watching Rachel Maddow? If not, you are missing out. What are you missing? The story of our time. And the best person today in our media landscape to explain, and unravel all the twisted threads of an amazing saga. It's a story of espionage, skull-duggery, collusion, obstruction of justice, money-laundering, extortion, hacking, black-mail, double-dealing, bribery, disinformation, trolling, bankruptcy, pee tapes, a stolen election, a fake president. Rachel knows how to weave a compelling narrative. And she takes the time to delve into and thru this mad hall of mirrors. Thrilling journalism. Not to be missed.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Don't FK with Us Don't FK Without Us!

My Lady-Friend turned me onto this button. I for one think it is brilliant. Sometimes a phrase or tagline does the complete trick. Says so much, with so few words. I have a perfect hat to display one of these, my button is pink, it will sit nicely on my fuchsia  Newsboy Cap. Proceeds go to Planned Parenthood...


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The White Racist Majority!

The great Civil Right Activist, Politician and Diplomat, Andrew Young, was on the radio this morning. Remember Andrew marched with Martin Luther King. He was there when history was made.

Andrew kept using the phrase "the racist majority." Kind of brought me back to earth. Sometimes I get over-excited, extra-positive for progress in America. And this subject of "race," as in any group into which humans can be divided according to their sharedphysical or genetic characteristics is a tangled web, a killer conundrum, the original sin of America.

So, yes, there is activism, and protest, and progressive politics. But we must remember that African Americans are only around 13% of the population of the U.S. They are out-numbered. Any issue that comes up regarding African American rights, and Black Lives Matter, has to take into account that America's white "racist majority" has the final call.

White America owns pretty much everything. White America is in control. If there is to be a Progressive Politics, it must be based on a Rainbow Coalition of like-minded, progressive beings. Black Lives Matters, for instance, needs to appeal to and to peel off some of that White "racist majority," in order for their movement to succeed; a portion of White America needs to exit the racist majority, and join and identify with a different, rainbow-like group.

Some of us have no problem doing this, but we are probably a minority of the racist majority. So progress is tentative, partial, and can easily be snatched away. If too many Whites feel threatened, or slighted, or left behind, all our lovely progress can be crushed. Sobering. Important to remind ourselves of the reality of the situation.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

We Become What We Love & Hate!

Maybe we become what we Love and Hate. Maybe we wear our love and hatred inside and outside of our bodies. Life is this process. We are constantly becoming. Our DNA, our Genetic Entity has a blue-print, a plan, and our bodies are continually evolving, going through the steps in each stage of our lives.

We grow, we age. We become one thing, then another, then another. I think everything counts. Every thought, every breath, every heartbeat. So yes, there is the physical instrument that we inhabit, and then there is the thought-train we conjure, and the spirit we embody. Each of these create us, make us, who we are.

So, right. Love and Hate... what we love and hate... we wear those things like a cloak. And that cloak actually seeps into us, leaches into our bones. That's what I think...

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Key To Everything...

In my Universe, there is a center. What is that center? The Good Work. What is the Good Work?" The creative life: art, music, dance, poetry, theater, literature, performance.

I have spent much of my life pursuing and carrying on the Good Work. It's best when it totally consumes me. Or I totally commit to it, when I put every fiber of my being into the Good Work.

The Good Work isn't always good. I mean, sometimes it falls short, or gets side-tracked. Mainly it fails when I don't bring the right amount of energy and dedication to the table. Usually this is not intentional.

How to be totally present? In the moment? Every moment? Not easy. But essential.

To do the Good Work you need a single-minded focus. A crystal-clear intention. Complete, total dedication. You drop your ego and plunge into the work.

You never quite get there. You glimpse the Promised Land, it's out there, you just know it. And that's what keeps you working. That and the doing. The doing is the doing, and that's the secret of the Good Work. You can only get there by doing, and the doing is the key to everything.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Side-Show/The Main Show

I do a lot of thinking, writing, singing, playing, talking. I come from a line of talkers. The longer I'm on the planet it seems to me the talking, the making of words is not the main show, probably just a side-show. The only show we can really get our hands around.

The main show is beyond us. Beyond our feeble imaginings. There are bigger things afoot, bigger things we are implicated in, bigger things we are carried along in, things we can't understand; we don't get what's really going on. We just don't. Not made to understand.

And maybe we can't know. We have to bury some truths deep in the ground, deep in our consciousness. We need to carry on in the world. We carry secrets. We hide them, we can't face them.

Some of this is just basic survival. There are toxic thoughts. Thoughts that can destroy us. There are toxic actions. Toxic words and feelings. There are so many things to avoid. Other things to embrace. How to know which is which and what to do? That's some of the figuring we left with.

So we think, write, sing, play, talk. It's a sideshow. Not the thing. But it has to be enough. Is it enough? Who knows? We could talk about it, but sometimes the talk is just chatter, and sometimes it's best to embrace the silence.

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?

Alarming?!

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!

Dreams. 

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...

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