WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

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.

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