WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Life of an Addict.

"Know thyself."  Classic Delphic Maxim.

Yes. I think it's a good idea. If we are to live a life of clarity, it's best to start with yourself. You will spend most of your time living with yourself, so you should know the landscape, the features, the flaws, the pitfalls, the contradictions. You also should be aware of your blind-spots. Know what you know, but know that you don't know.

I am an addict. I have an addictive personality. I have discipline, but if I drop my guard, that discipline goes right out the window. As Oscar Wilde once said, "I can resist anything, but temptation." When I see a homeless person on street, someone struggling with substance abuse issues, my first thought, after I drop a coin into their cup is: "There but for the grace of God, go I."

For instance, chocolate, okay, maybe not the most pernicious, debilitating substance, I love it, it agrees with me, but I can totally eliminate it from my life for long stretches. It may not be bad for me, but once I start, I am insatiable. Always wondering when I will get my next fix. Yesterday, my friend gave me a little chocolate monkey, fine Belgian chocolate, locally made, infused with some delectable cream, a little monkey so cute, friendly, and delicious. I ate it in two bites.

No harm, right? It totally lit me up. Seriously. I was soon jumping around the kitchen, animated, gesturing, speaking in tongues. One little chocolate monkey just lit me on fire. Crazy. And of course, I wanted more. If a box of chocolate monkeys was in my possession, I would have gladly eaten the whole thing in one go.

That's the life of an addict. Good thing there were no more monkeys. If you have an addictive personality, the key to survival, the key to a good life, is to choose your addictive substances very carefully. So heroin, or opioids, crystal meth, cocaine, whiskey, junk food are definitely poor choices.

Coffee. Yes. Coffee. That is the one substance I have convinced myself I can live with. For instance, this morning. I wake up, a slight cloud of despair over me, it's a cold morning, the deep freeze in the heartland, it's gonna be a dark and cold day, a darkness kind of enters me... then, well, I brew my coffee, I drink a few cups, and well, euphoria!

One pot. Just one. Oh yeah, and maybe later today one potent cup from the local coffeeshop. I can manage my addiction. Yes. I can.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Reality TV is Not Reality, etc.

"Propaganda, all is phony." - Bob Dylan

"The more I see the lies, the more I hate the lies." 

We are being swamped by the lies. It takes all your powers of concentration to stick to facts, to peel back the onion, to try to get basic truths. Opinions are not facts. Sean Illing explores "How Fake News Conquered the World."  Disinformation is destroying the public mind, flooding our collective consciousness with garbage. It is a strategy, a marketing ploy, and way to render us powerless and befuddled.

"It’s also exceptionally cynical. The point, Pomerantsev says, isn’t to sell an ideology or a vision of the future; it’s to tell people that “the truth is unknowable” and that the only way forward is “to follow a strong leader.” This new style has not entirely replaced the old 20th century model of propaganda, Pomerantsev says, but it’s becoming increasingly widespread.

The book, titled This is Not Propaganda, is a disturbing look into the world of spin doctors, political operatives, and digital strategists, basically all of the people working in the shadows of the information war. Pomerantsev’s background gives him a unique perspective into the modern political circus, which is increasingly indistinguishable from reality TV."

Monday, November 11, 2019

Don't Lead With Your Chin.

Turns out my flip-phone (see previous post), rose from the dead. My "communication space" is fine. Calls made, received, both sides of the conversation alive and well. Maybe the phone just needed to sleep? I took the battery out, blew into the microphone a couple times, and let it sit.

Turns out sleep is essential all around. Yesterday, I woke up "sucking on a lemon," hat-tip: Thom Yorke, went to sleep late, got up early, I was brittle all day. This morning, well-rested, full of vim and vigor. Transformed. Ready to take on the world.

It is a weird journey. Feelings swirling, a goddamn hurricane inside every damn day. I got a text message from a friend yesterday, she was looking for advice, she didn't put it like this, but, boiled down to it's essence, basically her question was: "Why are human beings such shits?" 

I had to laugh at the one. Yikes, I mean, sad, but true, the question totally answers itself: "Human Beings are shits, because, well, Humans are Human, and often Human Beings are shits." No surprise, right? I mean, are you awake? Check out the headlines in the newspaper, the TV, online, radio, etc.

Of course, Human Beings are not only shits. Sometimes they will surprise you. Sometimes you even can surprise yourself. Best advice: Just don't lead with your chin. Sleep well. Recharge. Connect. It's a big world out there, do your best to navigate through the shit and the shits, and remember, the future is unwritten. The new day is untouched!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Voiceless.

"They" say there are no accidents. Who are they? You know, other people. For instance Deepok Chopra.

So I didn't accidentally drop my old flip-phone twice yesterday, and I didn't accidentally break the damn thing, it was not accidental that I find that I can dial up friends and relatives, I can hear them on the line, but they can't hear one damn word I say. It's all just hidden intention

I think this may be some kind of ideal situation for some folks who know me. They can talk all they want, they can regale me with stories, secrets, long rambling monologues, and well, I can't get in a word edgewise. I mean, I can babble all I want, but it all falls on deaf ears.

Voiceless. That's the hidden intention. What can I learn when I find my voice has no power, no ability to get across to another human being? Maybe there is some deep lesson here? Maybe it's time to just be intentionally quiet? Save my breath for other things? Maybe that breath is intended to fortify me for other things? Trashing my phone, what did I really intend, what does the day and the near future portend?

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Wake Up to the Signs and Wonders.


Yes. Unfortunately, I often forget, but I do believe, we all truly live in a world of signs and wonders. Often we are sleeping, sleep-walking through the day to day. Sometimes an image, an event, an insight, a song, a poem, a pebble in our path, makes us pull up, slaps us upside the head, shakes us awake. The mystery of life is all around us, it's like another realm, an invisible membrane, that floats above us, and surrounds us. Sometimes it leaks into the plain sight of day, sometimes it grabs us by the lapels and demands us to see.

This image from that amazing, illuminating, inspiring photographer, Michael Doubrava, is an example of one of those "signs and wonders" that changed the trajectory of my life, and changed the direction of the lives of a handful of significant folks that I know and work with. Funny. One strange, mysterious, luminous image on a t-shirt, it started a conversation which led to a cascading sequence of events, opened doors to new collaborators, new creative projects, new friendships, whole worlds of good work and creativity.

The direction of lives changed. Forever. Lots of great creative work ensued. It's funny to think that it was all so arbitrary, lucky, fortuitous.  A chance encounter. A casual conversation. A glimpse of the mystery. A creative shock. The world shook. Minds connected. And nothing was ever the same. So odd, and such a small moment, almost easy to forget or overlook.

Better to acknowledge the magic of the moment. Yes. Signs and wonders, they are around every corner, maybe even on the next t-shirt, the next blink of an eye. Open your eyes. It's easy. And essential.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Always Close to the "Creative Being."

What is it with my on-going Dylan obsession? I blame Paul Williams. His writing about Dylan is so eye-opening, inspiring, makes me see old albums with new eyes, opens my ears to records I sort of took for granted or overlooked the first time around. This morning I have "Planet Waves," "Street Legal," and "Infidels" on random play. Fabulous songs, great lyrics, superb bands, Dylan in fine voice, pretty much in his post-young-wunderkind-prime. I agree with Joan Baez, not everyone falls for Dylan, but if you do fall, you fall hard, really, really hard, and no other artist, no other body of work has the same bite, kick or resonance.

Williams sort of positions Dylan as an archetype, not just a man, a performer extraordinaire, and everything in his life is open to his creative self. Everything in his life is material, mulch, the fertile, luminous ground for poetry, imagery of heart, beauty, bitterness, sadness, fire, alchemy.

Dylan becomes the Magician, the Artist, the Poet, the Lover, the Evangelist, the Prophet, the Seer, the Fool, the Emperor, the Juggler, the Joker, the Alchemist, the Wicked Messenger, the Prodigal Son. Dylan is everything. A man, a twisted, flawed, brilliant, crusty, a curmudgeon of a human being. I sink into his work, into his vast catalog of songs and always emerge inspired, fired up.

I feel like Dylan helps me get in touch with my own "creative being." And really, that is the most important thing for me. To always be close to that creative spirit, to carry it with me through every day. Dylan's music is a doorway, a portal. Always open and ready to let me in.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter.

Two posts ago I linked to an op-ed by Martin Scorsese, Art vs. Commerce. I take Marty's point, if you go to the big movie multiplex today all you will find are the big soulless theme park movies. Grand hollow spectacles. Art is nowhere to be seen. It must be confounding, disturbing and heart-breaking for a filmmaker like Scorsese who came of age when art films actually had the opportunity to find a mass audience. Commerce has swamped Art. No doubt.

I remember seeing some great "art films" at first-run movie houses, the audience totally packed to the rafters, films like "Magnolia," "Taxi-Driver," "The Deer Hunter," "Apocalypse Now," "Scarface," "The French Connection," "The Exorcist," "The Shining," "Eyes Wide Shut," "Boogie Nights," "The Godfather (both I and II).

Those movies were able to cut through and reach a wide audience. Nowadays those films would either not be made, or would be found streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime. The movie business is a hard master.

But you know, Art will find a way. I also remember going to "art houses" to see movies by Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman, Werner Herzog, Jean Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lean, Francois Truffant, Orson Welles. These films had just as much an impact as any of the others. Often I saw these films in nearly-empty theaters, with students and other cranky, off-kilter souls like me.

So yes, Art vs. Commerce. In the multi-plex, Commerce is triumphant, but you know, Art will find a way. It's like water. The creative impulse, the creative spirit cannot be crushed. It's the same in the world of Music, or Theater, or Poetry. Folks will create, they will put work out into the world. And if you seek you will find. All that is Gold does not glitter.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Empty Vessel.

Nature abhors a void.
Clear a space
in your room
in your head
it will be filled.

It is good to clear
open the door
open the window
see what flies in
what scoots out.

Empty vessel
waiting for
the next thing.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Art vs. Commerce.

I liked the print edition headline better: "The Dying Art of Filmmaking."

I know exactly what Martin Scorsese is writing about. Scorsese and I come from a time when movies,  those shown on the big screen, were an "art form." "Cinema as an equal to literature or music or dance."

Theme Park spectacles have swamped the art movie.  No doubt. Check your local multiplex. How many damn Marvel super-hero movies can we stomach?

"For anyone who dreams of making movies or who is just starting out, the situation at this moment is brutal and inhospitable to art. And the act of simply writing these words fills me with terrible sadness." - Martin Scorsese

Monday, November 04, 2019

Beat a Drum, Close Your Eyes, Let the Visions Come...

Clarity. Lucidity. Clearness. Transparency.

So many resonances yesterday. The day after (see previous post), my night with the Shamans. I felt like an empty vessel. Cleared out. Opened.

The Poets and the Prophets, they follow their visions, they listen, and act, they embody new information. During the drum circle I envisioned an amazing scene. It seemed so real, but at the same time it was like a day-dream, I knew that I was in a room, banging on a drum, but at the same time I was in another realm with strange beings, in the midst of strange and momentous happenings.

How do I explain it to myself? I am a long-time meditator. I often do creative visualizations. So nothing strange or weird about conjuring up scenes in my head. Vivid, lucid, dreams. I know when I am awake in the world, and I know when I am in the middle of dream. The two realms do not bleed into each other.

So, no, it doesn't feel like madness. Just affirmation of my creative sensibility. It's the same force I use to write songs, or write plays, or dream, day-dream. I have always felt really close to my creative being. It's one of the strongest aspects of myself.

So yesterday, back to the "real world." Walking around in a familiar environment. But in a small way, everything was transformed. Everything was more real, more defined. Everything alive, full of possibility. Maybe it's always like that, but I noticed it. The world glowed around me. I seemed more defined too.

It's funny to be reminded that the mundane and extraordinary sit side by side at all times. There is the sacred and profane, the brilliant insight, the hair-brained idea, the sublime and ridiculous, the holy and the silly. Sometimes it's just a matter of degrees, a matter of perspective. These simple things can have maximal impact.

A small thing, a simple thing. Beat a drum, close your eyes, let the visions come. It's a trip, a journey. Momentous, but simple, mundane too.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Hanging with the Shamans.

For the second year in a row we celebrated the Day of the Dead by hanging out in a roomful of Shamans. I wrote about last year's experience here.

This year, what to write? How to write about the unwritable? How to know the unknowable? The short answer, last night was a powerful, transcendent, inspiring event. It was an amazing experience.

I focused on the drum, on drumming , on being one with my drum. I became the drum. I could feel my body sort of melt away, and I was just the act of drumming. Pure motion. Pure sound. There is something powerful about completely "losing yourself" in the moment.  Hard to explain. Just one of those things to experience. The summing up pretty much misses the mark.

There was a journey, a healing; a community of musicians, seekers, healers and seers all converging, focusing their energy in one unified experience. Nothing quite like it. Sort of like a church service, but much more primitive, other-worldly.  I went to amazing places. Discovered amazing things. Really. I would love to tell you all about it, but I think the power of it all would diminish in the telling of the tale. Better just to embody the knowledge, the experience. It's deeper, more profound that way.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Day of the Dead, 2019.

Yes. Today. November 2, 2019, The Day of the Dead. 

Just a note: You will be dead. We all will. Everyone we know and love, and everyone we don't know and don't love too. Many have come and gone before us, and (most likely), many will come and go after us. It's a bit daunting & humbling. Being human. Kind of puts us all in our place. No immortality. Living forever just doesn't seem to be in the cards.

We don't really know what death is, maybe we find out, maybe we don't, maybe it's just a grand mystery or maybe there will be some astonishing reveal. No sense in worrying about it, no sense in being afraid. It's natural. Part of the process.

I fall back on the idea that life is a mystery and death is a mystery too. There's a light in that mystery. We just don't know. Maybe death is just a reconstitution, a reincarnation, a transformation of energy? Everything is energy. Everything is connected. Everything is something else.

It's that kind of confusion and contradiction that frees me. What's it all about? Who knows? We are just human beings. We don't know. Maybe we can't know. We are born, live and die. Part of some grand cycle.

We walk into the movie theater. The movie has been playing for a long time, almost an eternity, and we will exit well before the movie finishes. We get to see what we get to see. We experience what we experience. And then... well... I suppose we will find out... or not...

Friday, November 01, 2019

We Need an Impossible Future


If we are going to save ourselves, our species, in the face of our own stupidity and greed, and the shredding of the life-giving ecosystem that supports human and all other life on the planet, we need some good ideas and pronto. We really need to think out of the box.

We need an Impossible Burger... we really, really do. "To dream the impossible dream." Turns out Pat Brown is the "Man of La Mancha." I highly recommend you read this article from the New Yorker, a few issues back: "Can A Burger Help Solve Climate Change?" Pat Brown - "A sixty-five-year-old emeritus professor of biochemistry at Stanford University, Brown is the founder and C.E.O. of Impossible Foods. By developing plant-based beef, chicken, pork, lamb, dairy, and fish, he intends to wipe out all animal agriculture and deep-sea fishing by 2035."

Fuck yeah. That's ambitious. A better burger. Not just a veggie burger. A burger that tastes like meat, better than meat, the best freaking burger you've ever eaten. Funny. I haven't actually eaten a hamburger since early in Ronald Reagan's Presidency. I'm pretty much a vegetarian, with a few lax carnivore episodes. Giving up meat has not been hard. I am shocked more folks aren't vegetarians. Seems like the healthier way to go. I mean, better for our bodies, better for our planet. Come on, folks, give it a try! Vegetables!

It is safe to say, we need more vegetarians on the planet. We need to eliminate meat, eliminate the meat industry as it stands. We need less cows. Less cow burps and farts. They are helping kill our ecosystem, we are mowing down our forests so those cows can graze. Insanity. Yes, really, I know it sounds silly, ridiculous. Our addiction to burgers, our addiction to fast food is helping destroy the interconnected web of life. Seems impossible. But it's true. We really do need the Impossible Burger. Have I eaten one? Not yet. But I plan on tracking one down soon. I am willing to sink my teeth into the impossible. I'll let you know how it goes, but really this is a great idea. Necessary.

Pat Brown could help save us from our own doomed madness. I wish him the best. We really do need an Impossible Burger. We need the Impossible. Go on, give it try. A better idea for a better world, and a real future.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

First Snow, Fall 2019...

Snow is falling here in the heartland.

I hear tell that in Washington D.C. the U.S. House of Representatives are voting for a resolution to lay the ground rules for impeachment of our Little Baby Man President this morning. It must be so disturbing for that big bully, really just a whiny, blow-hard coward, to finally be held account for his actions. Historic. Historians will write about it all in the history books. Are there still history books?

It's hard to remember what happened yesterday, last week, last month, etc.

Listening to Dylan (of course), right this moment he's singing Woody Guthrie's "The Land is Your Land." Should be our national anthem. Plain-spoken, beautiful, so American. Dylan sings it so well. The words resonate this a.m. This land where everyone is welcome, folks, immigrants from all walks of life, all creeds, colors and kinds. Diverse, multicultural. A rainbow of humanity.

The day of first snow, impeachment, accountability, truth & justice.  Snowflakes, they fall thru the air, settle on the ground. This land, this holy, beautiful land. We should take care of it, and take care of each other too. We really should.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island,
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters;
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway;
I saw below me that golden valley;
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding;
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there,
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing.
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

-- Woody Guthrie

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Young Dylan Already Death-Obsessed.

It's funny. My Dylan obsession is still in full force. I have been reading the great Paul Williams, (the father of rock criticism, the founder of Crawdaddy), and his Dylan performer series of books. No one writes about Dylan with more passion and authority than Paul Williams. He's a great writer, a man who devoted himself to Dylan with all his creative being. He makes you re-think and re-listen to tracks you may have missed, or dismissed. He brings incredible knowledge, strength and soul to the task. Williams makes clear that early on he considered Dylan one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, standing toe to toe with Pablo Picasso. Williams makes a compelling case. Plus he's a kick to read, funny, engaged, loves music and the creative pursuit.

I started reading about Dylan's Gospel years 1979-1981, I was long horrified by Dylan's Christian-Born-Again period, but after reading Williams, and taking a deep dive into the music from Dylan's studio albums (Shot of Love, Saved, Slow Train Coming) and live recordings from those years, I  now consider that period one of Dylan's most passionate, creative and  dynamic eras. I then started working my way backwards in time. I am now in the early Dylan years.  Hanging out with the young, earnest, folk-troubadour, Dylan singing with an "Okie" accent, suffused in the classic folk & acoustic blues, deeply influenced by Woody Guthrie.

This morning I re-listened to Bob Dylan's first record released in 1962. Talk about the way-back machine. JFK was alive and still President. The first stirrings of the Civil Rights movement were percolating, the blossoming of r&r and the Summer of Love was in the distant future. Folk music was big in New York City, bigger than r&r. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones hadn't hit the shores of USA yet. Dylan, just a green kid from Minnesota with only two original compositions on the record.

I guess what's amazing, funny, and completely clear, Dylan was totally obsessed with songs about death. He was a peculiar, charismatic, death-haunted young man. The record is raw, powerful, no-frills, Dylan's unvarnished, untutored voice, already captivating. Bare-bones folk and acoustic blues. Death. The young man was thinking and singing about death an awful lot.

It funny, knowing what we know, to hear this young kid. We know he has a lot of living to do: writing, singing, performing and morphing into many different Dylans. There will be big civil rights anthems, voice of generation stuff, redefining r&r, opening hearts and heads to new meanings and methods. But first time out of the gate, he was already singing about the deep mystery of our lives. That young voice, speaking of Love, Loss, Death, Mystery. Essential listening.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Small Things...

The small things...

a smile
a vibe
a sparkle in the eye
a quiet moment
a hug
a long walk
a cup of java
the beat of a drum
one note
one word
a dream
a breath of fresh air
a hot bath
bubbles
a song
a lullaby
a fairy tale
a perfect truth
a moment of clarity
a blazing insight
an ounce of love

Monday, October 28, 2019

Oh Poor Little Baby Man, Where Did the Love Go?

I was going to post something spiritually inspiring this a.m. But then, I checked the news, and well, I just had to laugh out-loud, big belly-laughs this morning. Seems there is a World Series going on, and last night's game was in Washington D.C. and our Little Baby Man President and his entourage were in attendance. What happened when he was announced and his big, shit-eating mug was projected on the enormous Jumbotron?

Hah. Little Baby Man was booed by the crowd, greeted with an "Impeach Trump," sign, and chants of "Lock Him Up!" At the World Series? 

Now that is freaking HILARIOUS!!! :) Nice Monday morning gift!

Our Little Baby Man President has been running his own long-running Jerry Springer Show. Folks acting like idiots, making fun of people, jeering immigrants, liberals, women, people of color, poor folks. Last night was a bit of KARMA.  What happens when the Jerry Springer show goes off the rails? The big bad host becomes the object of derision? Not all those little folks?

This is America! We still get to jeer our leaders.  It's almost like jeering Stalin or something.  Of course, that didn't happen, the jeering of Stalin, or if it did, folks they ended up dead or in a Gulag in Siberia. Not here in America. We still have that freedom, the freedom to boo who we want to boo.  Oh poor Little Baby Man, where did the love go? 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Church of the Creative Seekers.

Biblical rains last night. We performed at a little storefront. It was pretty inspiring. A night of fairy tales, Shamanic journeys, a drum circle and a set of music from our band. A smaller crowd. The essential folks who figured that despite the rain, it was essential to be there. And it was really something. Powerful, inspiring, thrilling. You know, it's hard to sum up, it was a superb evening. We love being around other creative, searching, open, funny, intelligent, warm and welcoming folks. It's almost like Church. Maybe it really is a Church. The Church of the Creative Seekers. It's pretty open, free-form, improvisational. The only creed is be awake, be aware to the creative moment, and that moment of creation is always within reach, a blink of an eye away.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Acting.

Acting. It's a profession. Pretending to be someone else. Acting "as if." It can be liberating. Taking on another persona.

It's also one of those "recovery"ideas. "Fake it till you Make it:" imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life.

Act like the thing you want to be. Of course, like everything, it has its limits. If you walk around acting like Napoleon they will probably put you away somewhere, feed you drugs, try to get you "back to reality."

Not feeling it? Act like you do feel it. Who knows, maybe you will feel it?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Wrapped in Mystery.

You think you have a handle on things, and then you read about Parallel Universes, and you realize you don't have a handle on anything at all.

"Now there's a "new" theory on the block, called the "many interacting worlds" hypothesis (MIW), and the idea is just as profound as it sounds. The theory suggests not only that parallel worlds exist, but that they interact with our world on the quantum level and are thus detectable. Though still speculative, the theory may help to finally explain some of the bizarre consequences inherent in quantum mechanics..."

Are those Scientists just messing with our heads? "Many interacting worlds..."

Yes, mystery. I always fall back on the mystery of our world, our lives. It increases the wonder, also sort of kicks open the door on consciousness. Maybe everything I know is wrong? Maybe what I think I know and perceive is partial, clouded, obscured?

Maybe there are hidden things, things I just can't perceive because I am a human being, stuck doing human being things? That's makes a sort of sense. So the poets and the mystics are right? We can't really figure it all out. Mystery reigns.

And maybe that's ok. I mean, it has to be ok. It's our lot, to be wrapped in mystery.

“How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way, Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?” - William Blake

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Pray or Pay Homage. Or "You Gotta Serve Somebody." - B. Dylan

When the chips are down, where do you turn?

Some folks pray or pay homage to...

God
Big Pharma
The Divine Opioids
Nature
Love
Toys
Sex
Drugs
R&R
Power
Denial
Entertainment
Sports
Lombardi
Walking
Burying their heads in the sand
Buddha
Jesus
Mohammad
Kanye
Cheap Thrills
Old Books
Meditation
Creative Endeavor
Art
Music
Beatles
Dance
Drumming
Coffee
Coffee Bar
Hoodoo
Voodoo
Lord of Light
Conjuring
Dylan
Mystery
Anything
Everything
Nothing
Science
The Big Sleep

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Open Yourself to the Wonder...

"What's Going On?"

"Who really cares?"

"Who is willing to try?"

Listening to the great Marvin Gaye this morning, his incandescent masterpiece:  "What's Going On?"

Yes, perfect soundtrack for another existential crisis. It comes around often around here. The crisis I mean. Could be once in awhile, once a week, once a day, once an hour, pretty much every blink of an eye. Why are we here? Where are we going?

I was in the heaviest of heavy conversations with a close friend last night. The conversation took a bleak, dark turn. The deepest yearning, the most essential questing, the darkest of emotions, the deepest of fears, the pain and suffering of being human exposed to the light of the moment.

There are some questions you just can't answer. There is some pain you just can't fix. You can only listen and acknowledge the reality of it. Embody it. These are things we all face. Life. Death. Loss. What do we believe? How can we feel safe? How do we make it in the world? How do we take it all in and move forward? How to find Grace, Love, Humility?

I always fall back on the cliches I've learned over my life. It's all mystery. A strange, bewildering adventure. What are my devices for survival?

Meditation. Be onto the next thing. Remember it's not all about you. Keep moving. Lean to the light. Listen to the Great Coach, Vince Lombardi: Run to Daylight. We don't need to solve life. It's not a riddle to figure out. We live it the best we can. Embody the moment. That is where life resides.

It's okay to not know. It's okay to ask questions. Find a quiet place. Find the quiet center inside of you. Open yourself to the wonder. That's basically all I got...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Division.

You wake up. 

Brew the coffee and put on Steely Dan's "The Royal Scam." You then follow that album with Sturgill Simpson's latest "Sound and the Fury." You are thinking of a stacked deck, a rigged game.

You are thinking about division. You hope against hope that it isn't all just division. I mean, there are those who preach division, who whip us up, and take advantage of us as we all divide.

Young vs. Old.
Right vs. Left.
White vs. Black.
Man vs. Woman
Pessimist vs. Optimist.
City vs. Rural.
Stupid vs. Intelligent.
Past vs. Future.
Rich vs. Poor.
Have vs. Have Not.
Etc.

When pressed, you think that instead, everything is connected. That it is not all division. That division is just an imperfect way of seeing the world. Instead, you believe that basically we are all the same, we are all made of the same substance. You recall your one great epiphany: Everything is One. Everything is Everything.

But really, sometimes, you are not so sure. I mean, it's early. There's more coffee in the pot for the drinking. There are more records for the listening. Let's see what turns up today... 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Change.

Change. Ever-changing. Always changing. Change is always in the air. Change is the natural state of the Universe.

Can't hold on. Can't stop it. Even when we are motionless, our cells are changing, blood is moving, heart is beating. How many beats does one get? Stability is an illusion.

Change, we eat it, breathe it, embody it. One day you look up and everything has morphed, become something else.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Mere Epiphany.

Patti Smith, r&r poet, speaks. This is from her latest book (see previous post), "The Year of the Monkey."

"Nothing is ever solved. Solving is an illusion. There are moments of spontaneous brightness, when the mind appears emancipated, but that is mere epiphany." - Patti Smith

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Dreams are Just Another Angle on Reality...


I am reading Patti Smith's new book "The Year of the Monkey". Maybe not so much reading it as luxuriating in it, savoring every word. Slow reading. It is a slim volume. Attention must be paid. It's worth it. I usually blast thru books, also, I usually start yawning when someone tells me about their dreams. Not this time. No yawning. The book is dreamy, beautiful. The dreams are as real as the "reality." Everything is grounded by old boots and fresh-brewed coffee.

Patti Smith, 70 years old, living like a vagabond, rambling around the USA, in conversation with inanimate objects; a life where reality and dream morph and infuse each other, "dreams are just another angle on reality." Patti is a poet, living poetically, you want to live in that world with her. It's pretty inspiring.

Friday, October 18, 2019

I Finally Won Over My Favorite Barista!

My Favorite Barista and I have had a running conversation about our President and his love for Vlad Putin and Russia, and all the scandals and skullduggery that flow from that relationship. I have maintained that this relationship will sink this Presidency, and, in fact, our current President will not only NOT be re-elected, but in fact, he will not even be the Republican Nominee in 2020. I have been predicting that our current President may not make it to Xmas, but, for sure, will be out of office by March 2020.

My Favorite Barista has maintained, that I'm nuts, delusional, crazy, and totally misreading the situation. While he is busy making my morning Latte he tells me that although, he hopes I'm right, he just doesn't see it, that I live in a little Blue Bubble.

It is true, I do live in a little Blue Bubble. But I don't think I'm crazy, I'm just projecting forward into the future, reading the tea leaves, and I strongly believe that the corruption of our current President is so complete, there is no way this can continue. How will it all end? I'm not sure yet, but I am sure it will end in a blaze of epic stupidity.

Yesterday, there was a change in the conversation. For the first time My Favorite Barista told me he thought I was correct, that yes, indeed, Impeachment is inevitable, and the sands are shifting quickly, right before our eyes, and well, maybe I really was right all along. It was a sort of enjoyable breakthrough. Smiles all around.

What does it all mean? My Favorite Barista and I are now in agreement. That's a good sign. Let's see how events unfold. They seem to be turbo-charged, and most of the news is not good for our Little Baby Man President. He is getting pretty whiny and needy. A man so puffed up with his own B.S. The deflation will be epic. I do believe. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

"All roads with you lead to Putin." - Nancy Pelosi

A Heroine, a champion for our Democracy...

Yes, I love this photo of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi confronting our Little Baby Man President. Notice all the old white guys. Seems no one else is willing to stand up to the petulant, child-bully.

Nancy Pelosi, speaks the truth: "All roads with you lead to Putin."



When I was a wee lad, a neighborhood bully - older, bigger, stronger, fatter - would push me around, knock me down, sit on my chest, make me eat dirt, etc. One day, surprisingly, I pushed back, got in a lucky punch, gave the bully a bloody nose. He never bothered me again. I always admire folks who stand up to bullies. Calling their bluff usually reveals a coward waiting to be called out. Nancy Pelosi, you ROCK!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Helplessness Blues...

I had a rough night. Damn alarm ringing in the street. Alarming. Am I the only one who heard it? Was that ringing only in my head? I moved to another, quieter part of the house. Still, a rough sleep, not restful, crazy-ass dreams. People from my distant past kept popping up, unfinished business, slogging through menial tasks. It was all pretty exhausting.  This morning there is only one CD I can think of to put on the box: The Fleet Foxes, "Helplessness Blues." Acoustic instruments, beautiful harmony vocals. A beautiful helplessness. Exactly.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ukraine is Russia. 2016 is 2020. Trump is Putin.

If you really want to track with the latest scandal, the impeachment inquiry, and the Ukraine extortion, you really, really need to be tuning into the Rachel Maddow Show. She really does have her finger on the pulse, she has a knack of conveying the story with verve and excitement, she really knows how to unroll the narrative. So many details, detours, back-stories, it is easy to lose the thread.

Rachel reminds us the Russia Hack story is the Ukraine Hack story. The election interference story in 2016 is the same story in 2020. Trump was doing Putin's bidding early in 2016, and he's still do it now.

We are getting to the nitty-gritty phase. I do think it's all gonna get quite captivating, and funny as hell too, except of course, at the center of it is an epic constitutional crisis. How to deal with a criminal-Russian-tied Mob Boss in the White House?

Keep your eyes peeled for that spiteful, lugubrious, walrus-moustache-wearing, right-wing flame-thrower John Bolton. This is gonna get quite fun and interesting:

"Bolton instructed aide to report Giuliani pressure campaign to White House lawyer. “I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton said, according to testimony to House investigators."

Yes. Confusing. Remember: Ukraine is Russia. 2016 Election interference is 2020 Election interference. Corruption is Corruption. Biden is  the new Hilary Clinton. Disinformation = Disinformation. Disinformation Rules. Trump is Desperate. As Steve Bannon once said: "Trump doesn't know anything, and he doesn't give a fuck." Also keep in mind: Trump is Putin. Everything flows from Putin's lips to Trump's ears. Watch our President do Russia's bidding around the globe.

Ugly. Democracy in Crisis. It is the story of our times. Stay tuned. Be assured, Rachel has the latest.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Re-Writing Headlines Now...

I know, making fun of ridiculous, charlatan, TV Evangelists is sort of like shooting fish in a barrel, but, shite, someone has to do it...

A recent headline reads: "Pat Robertson: Trump could risk 'losing the mandate of heaven' with Syria decision"

How the headline should read: "Creepy, Delusional, Lunatic Televangelist, Pat Robertson, Long-Time Charlatan & Grifter, Promoter of 'Pussy-Grabber President'  Reeling from Slaughter of Christian Kurds in Syria, Has Second Thoughts, Thinks He Knows What's in God's Mind, WTF ?! Creepy Old Guy Now Committed to a Rubber Room, Under Heavy Sedation!"

Yes, much better...

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Attorney General of the U.S. is an Ayatollah of the Hard Christian Right.

I cringe at having to take up the topic. William Barr, Attorney General of the U.S. , the head of the "Department of Justice" reveals himself as an "Ayatollah of the Christian Right." Really. Funny. Horrifying.

So it turns out the Barr is a right-wing, true believer, at war with secularists & progressives:

"This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion & traditional values." - Wm. Barr

Explains so much. Barr is bending the law to carry on his war with the modern world, in support of a "pussy-grabbing," white, racist, imperial President. Good luck, fucker.

So according to Barr our problem is not crony capitalism, not white supremacy, not discrimination against women and people of color, but "secularism" & "progressives."

The mind reels.

An aside: As an Ex-Catholic myself I can testify that much of the flight from the Catholic Church is not the result of the pressure of militant progressives, but from the Church's own moral corruption. Think: support and cover-up of Pedophile Priests. Years of coverups, and official protection for abusers of children. Many of my friends and associates have exited the Catholic Criminal Enterprise and gone onto greener pastures at other more "liberal-minded" places like the Episcopal Church. Woman Priests! Lesbian Women Priests! Diversity! Multiculturalism, Social Activism, Progressive Politics.  Oh my! Organized Destruction, indeed!

Barr is so full of his own shit. He is a position of great power, but I do think he is whistling past the graveyard; Barr is like one of those old Stalinists of the Soviet Era, a relic from the past, fading away, a dying breed, good riddance.

Can secularists and progressives live moral, ethical lives without clinging to the old creeds? Of course. What of the Left-Wing, Liberal, Progressives who preach love, multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion. What of equality, fraternity, liberty?

Hope lies in the future: beyond racism, beyond slavery, beyond patriarchy, beyond the old creeds and superstitions. The most destructive forces today? Rampant corruption, malignant capitalism, white supremacy, income inequality. Barr is clinging to an old world picture. A dead-end. Good riddance. May the corruption swallow him whole.

Justice. The future is unwritten. We can write a new future: more diverse, more equitable, more inclusive, more welcoming of all races, creeds and colors. A rainbow of love. Yes. I believe.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Thinking of a Better Human Being.

Thinking about Rodney King and his famous question this A.M. - "Can't we all just get along?" 

The short answer seems to be "No." Too many competing interests. Too many complications. Too much hate, small-mindedness, greed, selfishness and ignorance.

We really do need a "better human being." I don't think it's something we can, or should, try to engineer (see Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange"). Our Dystopias usually emerge from our desire for Utopia. We need to try to cultivate our human gardens. More kindness, more gentleness, more thought, more contemplation, more grace, more humility, more silence. Quality.

I am listening to John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," as I type these words, certainly one of the greatest masterworks ever committed to vinyl, so inspiring, so beautiful, powerful, mysterious too. What do I hear in the grooves? Lean to the Light Pilgrim. Turn out the noise, the constant chatter, the loud-talkers, the know-nothings, those who want to divide and conquer. Turn to the silence. Turn to the Love.

We need Better Humans. We can do it ourselves. Together. Everything we need, all the tools required to transform ourselves, resides inside of us. We just need to reach deep down, to be honest with ourselves, to be giving and vulnerable, and to do the good work. To live it. Every single day.

Friday, October 11, 2019

One of our Favorite Past-Times...

I didn't even think about it.

I grabbed a CD from the stack and put in on the box. Peter Gabriel's "Passion," the soundtrack from Martin Scorcese's "The Last Temptation of Christ." One of the all time great soundtracks, pretty good movie too. Willem Dafoe as Jesus, and maybe even better, Harvey Keitel as Judas.  Funny. I "blame" Kanye (see previous post).

A brief Interlude: Thinking Gods. Holy Men. Leaders of Cults. Kanye vs. Jesus. I'm thinking Kanye wins. Hands down. Sure he gets some criticism, lots of on-line hate, but he also lives like a King, he's a made-man, a Hip-Hop Genius. No crucifix, no whips, no sweating blood in the garden. Plus, you know, he gets to sleep with Kim Kardashian. Some would consider that a bonus. Jesus, he had a pretty, hard-luck story in comparison. Maybe he rose from the dead (not verified), but died at 33 under difficult circumstances.

Thoughts of Gods, religion, cults, transcendence, spirit, what's it all about, good jobs, purpose in life, mission from God, etc.  It's a rainy, dark morning, the smell of corruption in the air. My fellow humans and I, we seem so corruptible, so fallible, so ridiculous. Amazing how so many of us spend our time. Seems one of our favorite past-times is to fuck each other over.

One of those pearls of wisdom from that big old black book: "The love of money is the root of all evil." Pretty sweeping. Kind of an indictment of Capitalism and our whole economic engine. In the world we live in, money makes everything go "Whoosh!" Frankly, easily, obviously, it is all about the Benjamins.

Those crazy, renegade Jews in the desert, living in communes, living on bread and wine, preaching Love and Forgiveness, makes for a nice little fairy tale. Do any of those folks who tell us they are "Christians" actually live by that code? Or is it all just vanity, hypocrisy, bogus crap? Just another cudgel used to smack other folks on the head? Don't forget to put coin into the cup.

I mean, who among us can walk the walk? We talk big, we preach, pretend to be holy, god-fearing, etc. But when it comes down to it, who really lives like Jesus, or Buddha, or MLK, or Gandhi or fuck, man, pick your idol. So much damn hypocrisy. Quoting Dylan (another fallible man) "No man, Righteous, No, Not One..."

We live with a little parakeet here, she is pure white, white as snow, we named her "The Holy Ghost." Sometimes we just call her "Ghost." She is a reminder. She seems so much better than us. She is above the fray. Once in awhile she will sing. She can conjure up a big storm of sound. She loves the sound of water running from the tap, she loves the sound of the strings ringing on my acoustic guitar, she loves when we stream a flick, or play music on the stereo. (She is not a big fan of The Who). She is a singer. Our little Ghost.

She barely trusts us. She will sit on your finger. Briefly. Her hard, black eyes staring a hole right through you. She wants to fly to safety, to sit on a stick on the far side of her cage. She likes it there. A distance from the humans. Humans. I think to her, they smell funny.

Ghost knows. Humans are loud, stupid, unreliable, corruptible, greedy, not pure, no, definitely, not pure.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Off The Hook!

Feeling off the hook, like one of those old rotary phones.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, never mind, it's from another time and place in a land far away. Did it all ever really exist? I don't know. I have lost the narrative thread. Too many unreliable narrators, too many cul de sacs, too many random episodes and surreal, nonsensical scenes. David Byrne: "Stop Making Sense." No worries on that count. Some mornings, really, nothing makes sense. It's all sort of David Lynchian - dark doings, dancing little people, ominous music, lots of foreshadowing, and hints of strange violence and volcanic emotion.

You get the distinct impression no one is in charge, no one really knows what's what, and all the supposed explanations fall flat, or sound ridiculous, or are just calculated lies to confuse you even more. Living in a state of confusion. Ha.

I am thinking about Kayne West this A.M. Taking a break from my Dylan obsession I am listening to  Van Morrison's, "Hardnose the Highway," and "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart." Inarticulate. Indeed. Anyway, the last time I wrote about the Branded Hip-Hop Genius Kanye West,  I quoted Tariq Ali: "Wealth determines consciousness." I wondered if it was all about the $. Maybe. Where do you go next after you've acquired everything? Do you get fat, sitting on the couch, eating fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches and shout obscenities at the TV all day? Or do you hide in your mansion and store your urine in jars? Or run to therapy, or a 12 step-program, or you end up doing a cabaret act in Vegas? Or medicate yourself with every drug invented and surf off into a zoned-out oblivion, and certain death? Just how are you gonna kill time?

What is the logical next step for a Branded Hip-Hop Genius?

Well, I didn't see this one coming, but of course, it does make sense: Turn to Jesus. Then become Jesus. Then transcend Jesus and become a God. And then lead a branded-NDA-wielding Cult. Brilliant. Logical. Kanye.

Who can argue with any of that? Really? Being a God, leading a Cult? Shite, man, that's a job! Put me back on the hook! Taking calls now!

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

The Oracle of Imbecility!

Rules for Survival #, well, I'm not sure what #, I haven't compiled a list yet, but recent events compel me to start a list, so not sure what # this one is, but it's an important rule.

Rule # (who knows?): If anyone you know puffs themselves up by crowing about "My Unmatched Wisdom," run for the hills. Don't hesitate, please, just stifle your laughter, there will be time for laughter later, when you find a safe place, run, just drop everything and RUN for your LIFE!''

Who used this phrase? I refuse to utter the name. Let me give you some clues, all of them relevant: Oddly Colored White Guy (see smudges of Orange), Loud, Fat, Ill-Fitting Suit, Goofy Hair, Brain-Worms, (the brain-worms are aggressively & progressively working thru his brain-matter), speaks nonsense always, constantly, a Colossal Imbecile.

You know those ancient Greeks, they had something called the Oracle of Delphi, it was located at the navel of the world. Folks would trek there, seeking guidance, words of wisdom, and to have their burning questions answered.

We instead have the Oracle of Imbecility located in the shadow of the Washington Monument. This man is a never-ending fount of stupid. His "My Unmatched Wisdom" phrase is not the stupidest thing he has ever said, you know, it truly is impossible to parse and to rate his complete idiocy. He is a man who declares himself a genius, a genius of geniuses. It is hard to get a grasp upon his imbecility, it is still spinning out in prodigious quantity. We expect the frequency and audacity of his infinite stupidness will increase as the folks around him try to figure out how to oust him from his position of power. This is a black hole of stupidity. Unfathomable.

It is all going to get so much more stupid. Run, Pilgrim.  Run for the hills.  Find a safe place. Then let go, laugh, big belly laughs are recommended.  Thrill at the infinite stupidity of man. I mean, for sure, the infinite imbecility of this man.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Popped Into My Head.

I have not thought long and hard about these, they just popped into my head...

It's not good enough to support Leaders who hate the same people you hate. Hate is a powerful weapon, it can move people, destroy mountains, help build concentration camps, murder children, etc. Hate is nihilism. Hate is a cheap high. It doesn't last. It is Death. Finally leads to a solitary bunker and a fully-loaded revolver. The Leader who promotes Hate, Hates himself too. That Hateful Leader will make the history books, but he will end up in the dust heap, a black hole, Hell. Increasing suffering in the world is no way to live. Hate+Hate=Hate.

It's not good enough to side with the Man who only works for his own self-interest. Another dead end. A short-term high. Follow the money. Follow the Ego blowing smoke up it's own ass. You get the thrill of watching a Shark being a Shark. It's a tired thrill. Watch the Greedy One stuffing himself with the treasures of the world. An Epic, failed, toxic, over-stuffed clown.

Watch the thought bubbles rising across the land. Even over those who you consider your Political Opponents. What happens when even they see that their Last White Hero is working for the interests of another country, another TinPot World Leader? What is the fate of a Man who betrays his followers, who betrays his country, who betrays the law, the constitution and and all moral and ethical limits? What happens when the Last White Hero is finally revealed to be a sycophantic toady to another nihilistic power?

Justice can be a thrill too. Watching Folks getting what they deserve. Earning their rewards. Justice can be appealing, swift, brutal. What happens when the Last White Hero stands naked before the world? Weak, blubbering, no defense, no friends, no allies, finally standing to face the music. The Smart, Gentle Ones amongst us, must turn away. Yes, we say, "Let it come down." But let us not celebrate. There is no joy. Justice is a hard master.

Monday, October 07, 2019

The Almost Never-Finders.

I  found myself in some unknown, foreign territory this weekend, a church-like gathering, a Stepford like neighborhood. Felt like an intruder, an outsider, a misfit, an interloper. That's not unusual. Not sure just exactly where I fit in, and really, if I think about it, the answer is probably nowhere.  Sometimes it's slightly disconcerting, a little surprising, maybe humbling. I'm one of those humans who just doesn't fit. I have always been a bit uncomfortable in my skin. I have never really felt at home, except maybe in my head. My own imagination, my own internal landscape. I have affinity for the dreamers, the imaginers, the visionaries, the poets, the quirky singers, the searchers, the almost never-finders. I suppose I would put myself in that camp. But of course, this camp only exists as a vapor-trail in my dizzy head.

Of course, there's a Dylan line that comes in handy: "If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine." Right. It's kind of like this idea that the not fitting in is a problem, a weakness, but then, I suppose it's also a strength. That is something I have learned over the years. Even when I try to fit in, it doesn't really work. So maybe just accept it? Don't judge it, just let it flow. So the not fitting becomes a way of life. An affirmative thing. I just don't, so maybe like Melville's Bartelby the Scrivener, I choose to "prefer not to."

Yes. So preferring not to is a way of life,  a way of life totally acceptable to me. I'm not worried about it, just reminded of it, often. I didn't just adopt this pose, I embody it, ever day, every moment of every day. "You're not from around here, are you?"

Sunday, October 06, 2019

A Series of Dreams, No Really Just Two...

I have been battling a nasty cold. Nights have been feverish, lots of tossing and turning.

I had two strange dreams last night. I don't always dream, I don't always remember my dreams, but sometimes I have very vivid dreams, and they seem important, like real events, real experiences, they often echo or mirror my reality, but at the same time, they are a bit weird, surreal, fractured, sort of like they are filmed and projected by a filmmaker and director who doesn't really understand how to tell a coherent narrative. Of course, there are times when my life doesn't resemble a coherent narrative either, so maybe the mirroring is spot on?

First up, someone I know, a beautiful woman was telling me about her latest, best, orgasm. It was an odd conversation. We were laying on cushions outside on a driveway. An intimate conversation outside on the hard pavement. Weird. Not erotic. Sort of clinical. Or not clinical, just matter of fact. There was a shared intimacy, but it was all in smiles, and laughter and gesture. I never learned how this orgasm emerged, this woman talked about it almost like it had rained, or she experienced a sunny day, or she had just eaten an amazing sandwich, or an angel had come down and touched her forehead. I think my main reaction was, "Wow." Nothing resolved. We laid back on our cushions, enjoying the day, looking at the big blue sky above. us. "Hey, did I ever tell you about my best orgasm ever?"

2nd dream: I was in a play. An actor. A major role. Most of the cast members were folks I know from all walks of life. There was big, elaborate set, many rooms, many levels, secret chambers. The actual stage and the backstage area sort of melded. The dressing room, the lunch room, the theater, the stage all was equal. Not sure if there was a script or if everything was improv, don't recall seeing a director. I was in the middle of the play, doing my part, I had a significant role and I was in a long scene with another male actor. After the scene resolved, actually, it didn't resolve, it just kind of dissolved, I went backstage, chilling. The other actor came at me violently, grabbed me by my shirt, got right into my face, and accused me of acting poorly. He was totally pissed off, accused me of "phoning it in," of being a phony, a charlatan. My response? "That's called acting, asshole." I walked back onstage, and someone I know, one of my closest friends was there, dressed just like me, she was playing my part, she was doing my lines, doing my gestures, acting just like me, only, maybe, better, more genuine. I walked off stage into the darkness. Scene.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Impeachment, It's On All of Us.

Patti Smith: "People have the Power."

A simple, direct, true statement. If the people forget that truth, if they forget that they hold the Power, then Democracy no longer works. Democracy is NOT a government of the rich for the rich. Democracy is NOT a vehicle for the Corrupt Ones to rule over us. When we go to the ballot box, we do not elect Rulers and Kings. We elect folks to represent our interests, to speak and act for all of us. All of us. It's an awesome responsibility, difficult too, to speak for and represent the common folk. And if those that we elect don't do their jobs, don't represent us, don't act ethically, legally and in the public interest, we should vote them out, or in extreme cases IMPEACH them with extreme prejudice.

That's they way it's supposed to work. We all have a role to play in Impeachment. Every Politician, Democrat and Republican must be held accountable, must stand up and be counted. We all must demand accountability. We can fix this, we must fix this, we deserve it, the country deserves it. We can do it.

Friday, October 04, 2019

A Fruitless Exercise.

No matter how bad you think you have it, there is always someone else dealing with something worse, maybe much, much worse. You have a nasty cold? Be happy that's all you are dealing with. That's nothing, brother. You have no idea the pain and suffering some folks are enduring. So try keep it all in perspective. Deal with what you have to deal. Grin and bear it.

It's the same thing on the upside.

You think you have it good? Well, there are plenty of other folks who have it better, in some cases much better, no doubt. That's just the reality of our existence. It's kind of silly and ridiculous to fret about it. No sense in measuring or comparing yourself to anyone else. It's a fruitless exercise.

What to do? Live. Do your thing. Do the best you can do. Take some time to smell the roses.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Can You Die From Hiccups?

I am the optimistic sort. I recently came down with a nasty cold, and my first thought, "Well, maybe this will be a little reset?" I have had that experience where I'm feeling "under the weather," makes me a bit more careful, quiet, observant. I am forced to slow down, take care. And then when I recover from a cold I feel better than ever, almost euphoric. Funny. I find myself thinking of the upside of a nasty cold.

This A.M. my first question: Can you die from hiccups? Yes, it was that kind of night. I had a coughing fit last night, which then led to the hiccups. There was a brief moment of panic, "What if I never stop hiccuping? Will I die?" That actually crossed my mind. The answer? Probably not. Thank god, it really would be a silly way to go.

"Charles Osborne hiccupped for 68 years straight and holds the Guinness Book record for the longest bout of hiccups." 

Yikes! That is a major bout of hiccups. So. What happened with my bout of hiccups? I was laying in bed, hiccuping like mad, and the thought popped into my head, "Go to the kitchen, pour yourself a glass of Aloe Vera Juice, and drink it, pronto!" Really, I swear.

And you know what? It worked. I drank a glass of Aloe Vera Juice, and also a glass of mineral water and the hiccups totally disappeared. No Guinness Book of World Records for me.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

"... Power and Greed and Corruptible Seed Seem to be all there is..." - B. Dylan


I am still in the midst of my Dylan Obsession. Almost exclusively listening to Dylan these days. It's been like that for months and months.

Bob Dylan. Genius. For sure. He is a perverse genius. For sure. He recorded one of his greatest songs, "Blind Willie McTell," in 1983 with Mark Knopfler for his album, "Infidels," but then left it off the record. Puzzling. It was released in 1991 on the Bootleg Series.

The "Bob" of "Infidels," "Oh Mercy" and "Under the Blood Red Sky," is one of my favorite Bobs.  The Post Conversion, Post-Apocalyptic Preacher Man, bringing a cold, brutal eye of Judgement on Mankind.  It's Old, Old Testament Bob.  A voice conjuring a dark world. You know, our world (see previous post). Read the headlines. See what's going down in the palaces of power and greed, all over the world.

"Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell"

Bob Dylan
Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Too much skullduggery to catalog this A.M.

The leaks and bombshells are coming fast and furious now. That's the result of Nancy Pelosi pulling the trigger on an "impeachment inquiry." Everything has changed.

Too much news. Too much skullduggery to catalog this A.M.

I am still trying to process it all. The narrative has branched out in so many ways, it's a bit difficult to pull the threads together into some rational coherence. That's the world we live in now. Information Vs. Disinformation and trying to parse & understand which is which. Head spinning.

As I write these words I am listening to Roger Water's great record "Is this the Life We Really Want?" Perfect music for our dysfunctional dystopia. I try to tell myself some basic facts. They are like lifeboats. Essential ideas.

Some plain-thinking, plain-speaking is in order...

1. Our President is corrupt as fuck. He is a desperate, ignorant man, who cares not a whit for his country. Keep that in mind as this all comes crashing down.
2. "The whistle-blower" whoever he or she is, is a hero, a patriot. Brave. Courageous. Finally one person in this mad adventure has stood up and called out the corruption. This person has totally changed their lives, and ours too. Nothing will ever be the same. Their lives are altered forever. What a grave and important act. To blow the whistle on a corrupt as fuck President.
3. The President's enablers, lackeys, boot-lickers in his administration and in the GOP are the worst cowards. They have looked away, knowing that corruption oozes from every poor from our Little Baby Man President. There will be lots of back-biting, back-stabbing, rats jumping from a sinking ship. Expect lots more bombshells, leaks and black deeds brought to light. Ugly for sure.
4. The Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, have to step up and lead this effort to reveal the truth. They have to do the clean-up. The American People need to pay attention. To listen. To support this effort to bring the corruption to light, and then to fix our Democracy. A big job, for sure.
5. Keep our heads. Pay attention. Don't get swamped by the news, the lies, the spin, the disinformation. We are all easily swayed. We have such short attention spans. It's time to pay attention. Be awake. Alive. Our Democracy is teetering.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Reflect and Mirror.


Visiting the graves of loved ones. I can recommend it. Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead , it reads even better in Spanish: Día de los Muertos.

"The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them."

Yeah, here, in good old USA this concept is a bit foreign, not a popular thing in White/Anglo culture. We Americans tend to celebrate eternal youth.  A total fantasy. We don't really want to think about death, until it smacks us in the kisser.

Anyway we trekked to the Cemetery yesterday. A dark, rainy afternoon. Rolling hills of green dotted with elaborate stone monuments and simple grave markers too. Lots of imagery of Angels, Jesus, Crosses, lots of flowers, and doodads decorating graves.

It was quiet. A certain heavy beauty. Thoughts of gravity, flesh, bodies, spirits and endings. Time is palpable in a cemetery. The boundaries of a life. Dates carved in stone. You start counting up the years. Some folks die young, some span many, many decades.

The "natural part of the human cycle." 

Reminds us of a greater thing going on. Life. Prayers. Memories. Spirit. Endings. Beginnings. You will find a bit of humility in a graveyard. You will find a certain peace. There's a longing too. 

I tend to believe that body and spirit are one. I don't really know what that means. I reflect and mirror the life and death around me.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Believing...

I believe in...

a better day
clear-seeing
being awake
the moment
another chance
change
the sea of possibilities
imagination
believing
knowledge
curiosity
grace
beauty
love
voting
speaking
laughing
justice
truth
liberty
the scientific method
blind-spots
discipline
humility
practice
walking
healthy-eating
vigilance
integrity

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Secret Server - The Road to Hell!

A "Secret Server." That would be the perfect end to this crazy time in our country. What destroys Little Baby Man? His own words illegally stored on a Secret Server. All his little minions, lackeys and boot-lickers will go down too.

This from Journalist Michael Weiss: "He told the Russians he knew they interfered and that it was fine, but he kept denying or casting doubt on this fact to Americans. Says a lot about this president."

Three phrases from Bob Dylan dancing in my head this a.m.

"No man righteous, no not one."
"Corruptible seed."
"There is a Slow Train Coming..."

No one is totally clean. It's a struggle, a battle, there is the Angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other. There are the big dreams of big bucks, lots of diversions and inducements and ways to cheat and steal.

We all pay a price for the things we do. There is some kind of karma underlying everything. And everyone will have to stand up and account for the things they have done. Look around. Corruption. Lies. Secrets. High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Little Baby Man is finally gonna have to face the music. He betrayed his country, his oath of office. All the sordid details will be revealed. Truth will out. There will be a day in the future when no one will freely admit that they voted and supported this man, a man sold his country out to a hostile foreign power.

We thought it was Robert Mueller and his report who was gonna bring this man down. Turns out it will be Little Baby Man's own words stored on a secret server. Who enabled this man? All his minions, boot-lickers and lackeys will need to testify and pay for their misdeeds too. Crime. Corruption. The Power and Glory.

What will be the fate of Little Baby Man and his cast of criminals?


"A one-way ticket to burn." - B. Dylan

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Old Marty Feldman/Igor/Young Frankenstein Defense...

Ha, ha, ha...

The President is caught in the act of shaking down Ukraine, spinning disinformation, trying to smear a political opponent, trying to steal another election, holding $ as leverage. Blatant corruption. Impeachable. "Violating his Oath of Office." Serious shit, right? Little Baby Man is basically caught with his pants down doing more "crime-ing." He just can't help himself.

He is uniquely Corrupt & Ignorant. Hard to tell what is more dominant in his psyche. Maybe they are  co-equal branches in his deeply dysfunctional mental landscape?

What's his defense?

"Hey, look over here! Nothing to see! Move along! You can't believe your lying eyes and ears!"

It's seems some of his Republican defenders have very poor "reading comprehension." They just don't want to know. The rest of us can plainly see that this time, there is no doubt, Little Baby Man has stepped in it, big time.

Finally all he has left is the old Marty Feldman/Igor/Young Frankenstein Defense. "What Hump?!"

Postscript: Yeah... this one is called, "whack job." Is it any wonder two old white guys with advanced brain dysfunction are leading the destruction of the USA and the GOP? There are remedies. Impeachment & Prison.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Impeachment & Prison!

Wow. Didn't see that coming. Our current President got help from Russia in the 2016 election, and now, he is embroiled in a scandal where he was trying to enlist help from Ukraine in the 2020 election. Seems he just doesn't believe he can win an election fair and square.

Also, freaky wild, our current President wanted to run a disinformation campaign to blame Ukraine for election rigging in 2016 and take blame off of Russia. Why would our President want to help Russia declare innocence?

And he wanted to concoct an elaborate conspiracy implicating Joe Biden, the DNC and Ukraine. Insane. Crazy. So damn corrupt.

Funny our President is so damn corrupt, he just can't stop committing crimes against his own country. There are remedies for that kind of thing. Impeachment and Prison!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

"No Man is Above the Law." - Nancy Pelosi

Ha, ha, ha...

Nancy Pelosi pulls the trigger on an "impeachment inquiry" and Little Baby Man is throwing a tantrum. Welcome to Democracy.

Remember: Pelosi is not doing this because Little Baby Man is a Republican, it's not because he is a "conservative," it's because he's corrupt, a two-bit crook, and has been running the Government like his own little Mafia Kingdom. As they say, "No man is above the law." Elijah Cummings, take it away...


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"We Will Never Forgive You." - Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg speaks to the U.N. in full. Essential listening... take 3:53 to give her your full attention... "how dare you..."



Monday, September 23, 2019

"Small Acts, When Multiplied by Millions..."


Yes, thinking a bit more about Greta Thunberg. Every movement needs a leader (see two previous posts). Or make that many, many leaders. One young woman stands up, speaks out, demands action, and captures international attention. Maybe she is the MLK, the Mandela, the Cesar Chavez of our Climate Catastrophe? Maybe her courage, fearlessness, her plain-spoken-ness, her bold truth-telling will inspire others? Speaking Truth to Power.

Moral Authority? Where does it come from? Usually some kind of suffering. Often from the outsiders, the ones who don't fit in, those who are marching to a different drummer. Those who don't just "get along and go along."

Greta Thunberg suffers from Aspergers Syndrome. She considers it her "superpower."

"I have Asperger's and that means I'm sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances –being different is a superpower." - G. Thunberg

Yes, of course, it is often the case, our greatest weakness is our greatest strength...

Thunberg's attributes — including her fearlessness and ability to speak and act so matter-of-factly — that makes hers such a potent voice. He writes:
She disdains celebrity. She makes no claim to heroism. She rebuffs efforts to idolise her. She isn't calculating or preoccupied with fame or ego. There is no artifice about her. She speaks plainly, without affectation or embroidery.

In words and deeds, Thunberg is the embodiment of philosopher Howard Zinn's admonition: "We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world."

Sunday, September 22, 2019

"We Can Still Fix This..." - G. Thunberg


Climate Catastrophe. This is the movement of our time... we all must stand up, speak, act...


We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed, but homo sapiens have not yet failed. Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this.

Maybe it has to start with one to build to millions or billions? One face, one body, one mind, one spirit, one voice. Maybe Greta Thunberg is the "one," who will inspire millions or billions to take action on our Climate Catastrophe?

Think of other movements. We have always needed one to stand up to show others that they can stand up too.

We need a million, a billion Gretas...

The climate is not going to collapse because some party got the most votes. The politics that’s needed to prevent the climate catastrophe—it doesn’t exist today. We need to change the system, as if we were in crisis, as if there were a war going on.”

Saturday, September 21, 2019

I Saw the Future Yesterday...

I saw the future yesterday at the Climate March. There was a gathering in the town square. Folks from all age groups, all walks of life gathered to listen.

I saw the future on a makeshift stage equipped with p.a., a microphone, a bull-horn. High-school-age girls were speaking, leading the rally.

These very young women are the future of our community, of our country, of our planet. Young, female, engaged, socially-smart, totally-connected, plugged-in, aware, awake, active.

They talked the talk: The future is now. We must act. We all can play a part in addressing the looming climate catastrophe.

The future. These young women are the future. They will be here when the worst of the worst climate projections will become real. Lots of folks in the audience will be gone. Some of us will be long gone.

So what does the future tell us? Vote. Support the New Green Deal. Vote out politicians who deny climate change. Be vocal. Demand action.

What else? Each and every one of us can change our behavior. Eat less. Consume less. Become a vegetarian, or eat meat much less often. No fast food. No burgers. Avoid plastic containers & bottles. Turn off the lights. Buy less stuff. Be conscious. Conserve. Live with less.

Some of these sound like paltry, tiny steps, but multiply any of these actions by millions of consumers and you begin to see the logic. One thing we are good here in the U.S.A? We are excellent consumers. Let's be smart, Green, Climate Conscious Consumers.

I saw the future yesterday. There is hope. It was in the eyes, hearts and voices of those young women. The future is now.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Tumbling Down...

Silence today. Radio silence. The news is so confusing. Everything seems to be going to hell. Pretty sure our current President is wrecking the country. Ukraine is now the latest flash point. Did our President try to extort and bribe a foreign country to sway an election? Well, no doubt, of course he did. I think I will just unplug, and watch the walls come tumbling down.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Motion Itself is Good!

Motion: an act, process, or instance of changing place : MOVEMENT. Maybe motion in itself is a virtue? To always be in the act, the process of changing place?

Always be moving Pilgrim. The act or process itself is good for us. One step, one step, one step. Look to the Sun, look to the Stars, look to the Moon, look to the little blue planet we all ride upon and call home.

Everything is in motion. Always. Even if you sit still in a room, in the lotus position, the images in your head are always moving, your heart is beating, your blood is flowing, your cells are changing, synapses are firing. Energy flows, transforms.

Go with flow...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Crazy, Unimaginable, Impossible, Bewildering Ride

Chaos.

We were birthed from chaos, and we shall return to chaos. That seems about as good as a description of the origin of our lives, and our universe, as you can conjure up.

We know this in our bones. We emerged from the vast pool of a complex stew of oblivion, and we will return. This order, this organization, this body, this vast space we inhabit which we are connected to, is temporary, always in flux.

Time does not stand still.

"It is enough to say that the Greeks thought it was Chaos who, with a massive heave, or a great shrug, or hiccup, vomit, or cough, began the long chain of creation that has ended with pelicans and penicillin and toadstools and toads, sea lions, seals, lions, human beings, and daffodils and murder and art and love and confusion and death and madness and biscuits. Whatever the truth, science today agrees that everything is destined to return to Chaos. It calls this inevitable fate entropy: part of the great cycle from Chaos to order and back again to Chaos."

Chaos to order and back again to Chaos. I think we are here to try to find joy and purpose and meaning in that crazy, unimaginable, impossible, bewildering, ride.

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