WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Unraveling of a Presidency...

It is all like a weird deja vu for some of us who have been around for a long time. Yesterday was the first day of the unraveling of the Presidency. We watched it happen with Nixon, it is happening now with the Idiot. First day, first step. I expect things to accelerate in the coming months to warp-speed...


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Karma Train is Rolling...

"A Racist... A Conman... A Cheat." - M. Cohen

Someone is talking about someone we all know. Someone's long-time lawyer, fixer, go-fer is spilling the beans on his boss.

Some people say, "Oh yeah, well, you can't believe a word he says, he is a convicted liar." But then, think for one minute - this convicted liar was convicted for lying FOR the man's boss, the someone we all know.

The Karma Train is rolling down the track, gaining speed with every revelation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Certain Gentleness!

How about a little of that Vince Lombardi 
Spiritual, Go-Go, Happy Talk?

If you cling to pain, anger, hate,
if that is what you
show to the world,
you will be shown
pain, anger & hate
in return.

If you match
anger with anger,
hate with hate,
pain with pain,
you will live & die
in a world
of anger, hate & pain.

The only way to heal
is to embrace
love, grace, compassion,
silence.

Best to try to
embrace & cultivate
a certain gentleness
with your self and
the world of other selves.

Not easy to do,
but essential.

It is difficult to show love
in the face of hate,
to show joy & good feeling,
in the face of pain & anger
but that is the only
good & healthy
way forward.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Mask.

Try to rationalize
with an irrational person.

It can't be done.

Of course, we are all
a bit irrational, so it's not
a totally neat construction.

Rationality has its limits.
Don't you think?

As someone once said,
"Rationality is just another mask we wear."

A mask we put on to appear rational.

So when wearing the mask of rationality
it is nearly impossible to rationalize
with someone who is wearing the mask
of irrationality.

And, often,
when we rationalize,
we are trying to
rationalize what
can't be rationalized,
or
we are trying to digest
the indigestible,
or
we are trying to understand
the un-understandable.

Mask or no mask,
I mean,
It is a hard thing to do.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Down in the Valley.

Down in the valley
of emotion.

Death Valley.

Anger is an energy.
Costly.

It's a tool, a weapon.

A flash of anger
is a double-edged sword.

You can use anger to
match someone else.

Meet anger with anger.

But it also has consequences
internally.

That same anger works
on your internals.

Opens the door
to a certain Death Valley.

A desert.
A hard country.
Gnarly. Twisted.
A swirling whirlpool
of darkness.

A country not easily traveled.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Feeling Less...

We look to the skies.
On the look-out for gods.

We are stuck with
humans. Humans
everywhere.

There is the long, never-ending human stream.

I mean,
there must have been a beginning,
there will be an end.

But here in the middle of it all,
the stream of humans is strong.

How do I scare myself?
Not with thoughts of death.
No.

I scare myself with
thoughts of the cold, gob-smacking
immensities of Time & Space.

Time stretching backwards,
Time lurching forward.

Space,
infinitely expanding.

Breath-taking.

Makes me feel less than small,
less than insignificant.
Less than less.

Friday, February 22, 2019

New Gods.

Reading Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" now...

"Now as all of you have reason aplenty to discover for yourselves, there are new gods growing in America, clinging to growing knots of belief: gods of credit card and freeway, of internet and telephone, of radio and hospital, and television, gods of plastic and of neon. Proud gods, fat and foolish creatures, puffed up with their own newness and importance." - N. Gaiman, American Gods, 2001

Thursday, February 21, 2019

In the Dark...

Other realms.
I think they are
real.

I have
experienced
them.

I may be
wrong,
confused,
not understanding
clearly
what is happening
to me.

But this idea,
and sense
of other realms
once in awhile
bleeding into
this one
is strong.

I don't draw
any big
conclusions.

I don't know
what the rules
are, I don't know
what is happening
most of the time.

I'm not worried
about being a
human being just
feeling along
in the dark.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Even the Bad Ones.

Someone on the radio
tells me
"every day is a good day."

That's a good one,
not always true
but good.

We all have bad days.
For instance when
someone we know dies.

Or pretty much when
anyone dies.

We know
every little death
counts.

Every death.

Hard to get our heads
around the prevalence of death.

It goes hand in hand with
life.

Hard to get used to.
But after a few decades
there is a bit of
a certain feeling of acceptance.

It dawns...

We all die.
It's not failure.
It's natural.

So there's another
weird thing
we live with.

We live with lots of
weird things.

It's the nature of life,
the nature of nature.

Every day is a good day.
Even the bad ones.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Everyone is Falling!

Over here
in the land
of ice & snow
we all fall down.

Everyone is falling
every step is an adventure.

1 day it rains.
1 day it freezes.
1 day it snows.

Ice is everywhere.
Deadly, invisible, ice.

That's winter in the midwest.

What happens when you fall?
You will fall.

Sometimes it's not catastrophic.
A bruise here. A strain there.
Pick yourself up.
You carry on.

Sometimes it is catastrophic.

Broken wrists,
broken arms,
broken legs.

Hospital waiting rooms are full.
Morphine drips for the pain.
Doctors are stretching limbs,
putting bones back in place.

3 people I know are walking around in plaster-casts.

You pray to avoid the catastrophe.
You wear the heavy boots of gravity.
You walk like a slow-footed zombie.

You count your steps, you count your blessings.

Your days are a long slow-motion slog.
You keep walking - one step, one step, etc.
You are always thinking of the thaw.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Truth is Our Life-Boat!

Truth.

We are truth-seekers.
Basically,
from an early age,
we, as children,
watched adults,
we listened to their
words, and then,
we watched their
actions.

We always saw
the truth, we always
knew the truth,
we were little
truth-detectors.

We always saw the lies.
We learned to lie too.

Lying was so adult.
That was part of
growing up.

Why lie? It's a strategy.
For living.
Lots of pretty lies
we tell to others
and ourselves.

We live in this adult
world of lying.

Still.

We thirst for the truth.
We seek the truth.
We grow tired of all the lying.

A confusing sea of lies.
Truth is sometimes the simple path.

We look to the truth-tellers.
They stand out like sore-thumbs.
Tiny life-boats in the churning sea.

Truth is our life-boat too.
Turns out we can stand the truth.
The truth really will set us free.
Clarity.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Wall is Fear.

The wall is fear.
Realized.
Materialized.

Love & compassion
erase borders & barriers.

Love & compassion
melt all walls.

No...
Take two...

The two above claims
are false, pretty lies...

Love & compassion re-wire our
brains. They are emotions that remake us.

Love & compassion are tools
that obliterate borders & walls
in our hearts and heads.

We then do the good, hard work
of erasing, melting, dismantling
re-purposing and destroying
barriers of all kinds.

Love & compassion
compel us to do the work,
they are not soft feelings/emotions,
they are steely, powerful,
warm, resilient. Essential.

Human.

We must cultivate
Love & compassion
in all ways.
Inside & out.

Demolish walls.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Spinning a Tale...

Heaven.
Hell.
Limbo.
Purgatory.
God.
Angels.
Devil.
Saints.
Sinners.
Losers.
Winners.
Hope.
Justice.
Good.
Evil.
Peace.
War.
Despair.
Love.
Hate.
Sin.
Penance.
Indulgences.
Prayer.
Redemption.
Transcendence.
Haves.
Have Nots.
Past lives.
Future lives.
Etc.

Our little brains are quite over-activated. For good reason. How to make sense of the conditions we were all were born into? What kind of Universe is this? We spin a tale. And in the spinning we live our lives.

Friday, February 15, 2019

National Emergency in that Loud Fat Man's Brain!

The only "emergency" is in the Loud, Fat, Stupid One's head. His muddled, over-taxed brain cells are scrambling around, looking for some distant signal of intelligence. Nope. Not to be found in that sad, squishy, underperforming, underachieving, complete train-wreck, loser of a brain.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

What a Nice Wall!

You know the Loud Stupid One could tell all the other Stupid Ones rallying in their stupid Red Hats that the wall is built. It's done. It's in place on the border. You know, he built it. He commanded it to be built, and it is built. He commanded the Mexicans to build it with their little brown, bare hands, and they did it. Because of course, who could resist the Loud Stupid One?

Everyone knows that if the Loud Stupid One says it it so, it is so. If there is any evidence to the contrary it is of course Fake!

The wall...

It's big, it's beautiful. It keeps out all the people the Loud Stupid One wants to keep out. No undesirables, no poor people, no people of color. And it's totally impermeable. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out. No drugs, no disease, no poor people stuff. And the Mexicans paid for it. It's on them. The Loud Stupid One won. He did it. Let's all praise the Loud Stupid One! Wow, what a nice wall!

Can we move on now?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Accidental Nature.

We are all accidents. Happening. And waiting to happen.
Old churches scare me. Lone spire piercing the sky,
dirty walls, dumb bricks, heavy and worn, diminished
by souls passing thru. Too many generations to count.
The counting scares me. Numbers scare me. Numbed
by the endless stream of numbers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I Wonder. I Live in a State of Wonder.

I really don't know.

I wonder. I live in a state of wonder.

Are my feelings everything?
Are my feelings nothing?

Are my thoughts everything?
Are my thoughts nothing?

Are my actions everything?
Are my actions nothing?

Am I only the sum of my feelings, thoughts, actions?
Am I more than the sum my feelings, thoughts, actions?

What of spirit?
Is spirit everything/nothing?

What of soul?
Is soul everything/nothing?

What of the invisible connections to everything in the world? Everything? Nothing?

I wonder. I live in a state of wonder.

Monday, February 11, 2019

DIY - Rock and Roll!

Funny. 

I forgot to write a blog post yesterday. I was up late the previous night putting on a rock and roll show. Our band is so DIY. We do it all ourselves. For the show we brought and setup our own P.A. We brought in our own sound guy. We ran the cables, we set up the mics, we helped set the EQ levels, we attached the iPod loaded with all the tracks and artists in our iTunes music library for the pre-show, post-show and between acts times. We organized the acts, we put together two unique lineups of our band: two different rhythm sections, two violins, an additional guitar player. We reached out and got the other acts on the bill to join us. We brought refreshments and snacks. We helped arrange the stage and prepped the little storefront where the show took place. We chatted up the audience and did all the promoting to get folks to come out, we sold our cds, our t-shirts, collected the $. Passed the hat for donations too. It was a "sold-out" affair. Over-capacity. Stuffed to the gills. We actually had to turn some folks away. That never happened before. It was quite the extraordinary show. When it was over, we were the last to leave. Had to pack up the P.A. pick up the cables, take the stage setup apart and load it all out. DIY. It's empowering, but kind of exhausting too.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Burn that Tabloid to the Ground!

You always knew it was just a trashy tabloid. Crazy-ass stories. Ridiculous gossip. Nosy and annoying. Always there at the check-out counter in every grocery or pharmacy you've ever been in. You kind of thought it was just stupid reading for stupid people. Noisy, annoying, but basically harmless.

Nope. Not really. As Jeff Bezos has revealed (see previous post), The National Enquirer's business model was/is blackmail! “The threats, the blackmail, that’s their business model,” one former National Enquirer staffer told The Daily Beast. All part of the fame & shame culture. It would not be a tragedy if this tabloid was burned to a crisp and relegated to the trash-heap!

Friday, February 08, 2019

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

Wow. This is kind of an interesting story. You could not make it up.

The Richest Man in the World, Jeff Bezos, founder/owner of Amazon & the Washington Post just published a series of letters which seems to demonstrate that David Pecker (yes, that really is his last name), his legal team, and his scandal-sheet, The National Enquirer are trying to black-mail & extort him.

Lawyers for The National Enquirer seems to be implying they have series of photos, "dick pics," and other compromising photos of Bezos while he was carrying on an extramarital affair. Bezos is going thru a messy divorce, and well, someone, somehow got access to a trove of intimate photos online.

How to blowup a black-mail/extortion attempt? Go public with it, right? Damn the torpedoes. Not many people would be in position to do that, but Bezos is certainly uniquely positioned. He can go public and take the black-mailers on. This is an excellent example of "The Truth Will Set You Free!"

This story has legs. And major political ramifications.

Remember the Washington Post is in the midst of major investigations on our 45th President, a man who just happens to be one of Pecker's "friends." There are rumors that Pecker also has a trove of stories and photos about 45 too. You wonder if he is holding those over his good friend too?

There is also an on-going investigation into the death of the Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered by Saudi Arabian agents in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey. Did Saudi intelligence hack Bezo's phone or iCloud and share those photos with the National Enquirer? Did anyone direct them to do it? Are there folks in America who directed the hack and blackmail attempt? You know folks in high-profile positions in power who are in conflict with Bezos and the Washington Post?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

"We are but Blockheads!" - M. de M.

One of the best things about reading books? You get to see the world from other perspectives. New eyes. New brains. Other times. So happy to have recently "discovered" the philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592). He is the master of reminding us that we don't really know what we know, and we don't really know what we don't know.

"To learn that we have said or done a stupid thing is nothing, we must learn a more ample and important lesson: that we are but blockheads!"

AND...

"Our life consists partly in madness, partly in wisdom: whoever writes about it merely respectfully and by rule, leaves more than half of it behind."

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Our Last Best Hope...

I didn't watch it, of course, why listen to a large, idiotic, always-blathering, no-nothing fat man?

I did catch this phrase on the radio this A.M...

"Ridiculous, Partisan Investigations..."

Some of us, of course, feel that those investigations are the last best hope for our reeling, beat-up, tattered little Democracy.

** A bit reminiscent of this moment in history: Richard Nixon's last SOTU in 1974.  "I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of the matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough." - R. Nixon --- 7 months later he resigned in disgrace! 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Seen/Unseen!

The dichotomy to be seen, to be unseen.

Pop Culture & Capitalism try to make us believe that only what is seen, what can be viewed, touched, poked, prodded, purchased and consumed is real, (see previous post). Uncountable Wealth, Fame, Fortune, are promised to those who are seen by the most eyeballs.

This is a lie in our space, a lie in the public consciousness.

The unseen is just as real, just as important, most likely much more important to our lives and well-being. Think of all the unseen things, all the hard to envision, hard to grasp phenomena that make life worth living: Love, Grace, Compassion, Soul, Meditation, Prayer, Imagination, Day-Dreams, all that we feel, the endless thought-streams running thru our heads. The life of the Unseen offers a different path, away from the herd, away from all the needing, wanting, grasping of the teeming masses. There are also riches to be found in the Land of the Unseen: Peace of Mind. Clarity. Vision. Intuition. Humility. Creativity.

Some of us are lucky. We can easily find our way into a deep, welcoming solitude. We can be happy living in the world of the unseen. And when we do come out to face the world of the seen, we are careful about what we reveal, we are careful of what we choose to do, and who we choose to spend our time with. We have no problem saying No. Or saying Yes. But those decisions come from a deep calm center within.

There is something about having a Sacred Space, in your mind and body, which you can retreat to in a blink of an eye. Unseen.

Monday, February 04, 2019

A Grand Ritual Humiliation: Pop Culture's Finest Spectacle!

Superbowl #... whatever...


The game. What about the game? I actually enjoyed the game. It was a slog. A throwback. An existential defensive struggle; sputtering offenses battered around by excellent defensive schemes. It was sort of an old world NFL game, one that those ancient football beings Halas and Lombardi would recognize. The old world-style team beat the shiny, new-fangled team.

The rest of it?

The commercials and half-time show were a Complete Bleak Spectacle of Ineptness! Pop Culture eating itself. Feed everything into the Pop Culture Beast and watch it shit it all out in vivid technicolor. Somehow the ghost of MLK Jr was conjured up and worked into the spectacle. Just to sell shit. That is the point. Turn everything into shit, reprocess it, repackage it, and sell that same shit back to the teeming masses.

Then there was The Last Temptation of Adam Levine.  Whatever the man believed he was doing up onstage was not what was actually happening. It was a comic, horror-show of epic proportions. He kept undressing as the show went along. He finally stripped down and displayed a body full of tattoos.  Maybe it is his way of claiming his body for himself? He just looked like a confused human billboard of contradictory signifiers. Maybe he's serious, maybe he really is sincere, but it looked like Pop Culture has totally hollowed out, eviscerated and extracted this poor man's soul. A lost pilgrim, a hollow husk of a human, in search of the last remaining, misplaced cells of his integrity.

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam once pointed out that when dealing with the demands of the masses, and the voracious Pop Culture Machine, one must learn it's often wise to say "No!" You don't actually have to take every gig, you don't have to pose for every camera, you don't need to expose yourself to every last eyeball. Sometimes the "No," will be your saving grace. No to this fiasco. Just No.

Did I really forget to mute one segment of commercials? Yes, I did. And I watched and listened to Bob Dylan's 60's Civil Rights Anthem "Blowing in the Wind," used to sell Budweiser beer. "How many roads must a man walk down..."

Yes, that is perfect. No, nothing is sacred, everything is infinitely consumable, everything is commodified, more product for the machine. That is the beauty and horror of Pop Culture. A Civil Rights Anthem one day, Cheesy Beer Commercial Theme Song the next. A Grand Ritual Humiliation. Pop Culture's finest spectacle!

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Step Lightly...

Well, it is probably best to step lightly. To figure much of the world, and our experience in it is arbitrary, random, subject to lots of noise. In fact, most of our lives consist of noise. We try to make sense out of experiences, we cull out the best bits and tell ourselves stories, but of course, our stories of our life aren't really our life. It's all much more complicated and complex, and confusing than we want to acknowledge. We think it's better to wrap up things in a nice, neat narrative. We want to simplify and emphasize the things that we cull out, but that process is already overblown and misses and leaves out so much. Think back to a day in your childhood. Can you recall every last detail? No. Silly question. Of course not. We tell a story. We leave out so much. Who knows, maybe accidentally we leave out the most important details, or maybe we just don't even know what details are important to include or leave out. Random. Arbitrary. One story out of an uncounted multitude of stories we could tell about ourselves, if only we knew.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Aronofsky's Howl at the Moon!


Darren Aronofsky's "Mother!" is another bright, shiny, snarling beast of a movie (see previous post). Maybe it's the new film genre I'm into now? Bright, Shiny, Snarling Beasts! What is "Mother!?" Some call it a "psychological horror movie." Aronofsky calls it a "howl at the moon."

That's just perfect. Another movie about where we are right now on the planet. This one is a head-spinner. Totally compelling. Sucked us right in. Great performances from Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. What is it with the Human Beings? The needing, wanting, grasping? I mean, like totally, freaking, yikes!

Friday, February 01, 2019

Despair & Hope...


Yes. Paul Schrader's "First Reformed" is a bright, shiny, snarling beast of a movie. There are resounding, deafening echoes of Robert Bresson's "Diary of a Country Priest" and Martin Scorcese's (Shrader wrote the script) "Taxi Driver."

So yes. A major work. It's a hard slog. Stony. Difficult. Forces you step by step into a world of despair. Oh yes, it's our world today.  You may hate this movie. It is not light entertainment. I didn't hate it. I think it's brilliant. Bitter medicine. Essential.

The movie leaves one with essential, real world, of the moment questions: "How to live in the world today? How to see clearly? How to live honestly? How to live with both despair and hope in your head at all times?"

The answer I am left with? Do the hard, good work. Always, even if it sometimes feels impossible.

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