Archive for November, 2011

30
Nov
11

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Watch waterfalls of pity roar,

You feel to moan but unlike before

You discover that you’d just be one more

Person crying

– Bob Dylan “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

 Take a good fifteen seconds of your life and stare at the picture atop this post and ask yourself if this is the face that will turn the tide on our nation’s woes. Now picture in your mind, an image of fifteen beef fed police officers equipped with pepper spray and a baton, and convince me that the guitar playing kid has one chance in hell against them. Occupy plagues throughout the U.S. are being squelched or held at bay by our elected official’s henchmen and women. Cities like Atlanta, Denver, Indianapolis and Oregon have the ability to schedule a cleanup of protesters any given day they deem the infection to be at a critical state. Sometimes I feel they do it just because they love to get a big group of ants together before smashing them with their boot; not so big as to cause any harm to their fighting forces, but big enough to intimidate the wary looking inhabitants of makeshift tent homes looming on our streets.

New York got cleaned out and came back with a slow turnout. New York is one of the bigger circuses to date, like something out of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest; a bunch of babbling incoherency on the fast track to nowhere. Your message is being lost, oh Occupy fodder, because any sane individual looking out over your fluxuating crowd sees a form of anarchy without direction. Signs tout slogans demanding everything from jailing Wall Street bankers to giving out free homes to anyone without a home to arresting war criminals. All good causes I’m sure but why don’t we put everything in order of priority and knock off one problem at a time? Who could possibly solve or address any of these issues when they are being propped up and thrown away before any citizen can understand what the hell they just witnessed?

Another suggestion I have is to mix it up a bit and stop being so predictable. I have no problem figuring out where the throwdown in Denver will happen. I just get on the light rail and haul myself down to the corner of Broadway and Colfax and voila! Zombies and cops, cops and zombies. All this seems to be accomplishing so far is having people avoid traffic while driving or hurt any small business ability to draw a seasonal buying crowd to their store. The last time I spoke with the zombies of Denver, Jim ( an unemployed cable man who has been with the movement in Denver since the beginning) said they were preparing to launch a new strategy. The protesters would find homes in foreclosure and protest on private property dwellings to have loan companies bring proof of loan ownership and/or validity of documented agreement(s) signed by the buyer of said property . Sounds like a good idea to me. Plus throwing the game plan around a bit will certainly keep city officials on their toes. Don’t just protest in front of your Government building, set up camp in the suburb somewhere and watch the people go out of their minds. You may gain some new support from individuals who haven’t had the opportunity to see a plague of demonstrators in their home town. It got one of my daughters psyched up to the point of wanting to stay down there and get her butt sprayed and arrested. God love the young and their zeal. I should hold her down and mace her for educational purposes.

Just remember you would-be champions of our nation. Staying power is one thing but predictability gets very little support or accomplished. Also, focus on the main issues and collaborate with one another. I know you pride yourself on having no leader to this movement but if no one tells the soldiers where to march they may all just wander off in different directions. I personally feel we, as a nation, want to hold off on giving out those free homes. Let’s get the job crisis addressed. Let’s find some corrupt corporate and governmental motherfuckers and toss them in jail. Let the smaller stuff slide for now. Don’t worry about your shoe being untied when your head is on fire.

29
Nov
11

Something Wicked This Way Comes

You got to hidey-hide

You got to jump and run

-John Fogerty “The Old Man Down The Road”

 I thought we would have until February of 2012 before the real freakshow began to unmask itself but here it is not even December and the madness begins. Strange reports keep hitting the airwaves leaving us wondering who exactly is creating this piece of political fiction. Is it the alignment of planets or merely the inbreeding of society that has caused so many mutants to rise up before us as possible leaders of the free world. Europe has no answers; their economy is going down the tubes as fast as ours here in the states. Japanese households feel the economic pinch of every day life, Italy is being forced to pay record rates, Angela Merkel’s Germany is pessimistic about the future, cats chasing dogs…it’s hell out there folks.

The reports came flooding in and news agencies couldn’t decide which story to throw out there first. Representative Barny Frank  (D Mass.) said he’s had it, after 45 years of playing politics he will hang up his hat next year and not seek re-election. That story was quickly undercut to make way for Newt Gingrich, Story of the Hour. Newt was given a warm uprising with quick reports that placed him as the front runner on the Republican’s platform. For now, the white haired ex-House Speaker is on top, rising through the ashes of Michell Bachmann, Hermann Cain and Rick Perry. Perry struck out with a series of stuttering flaws reminiscent of the Late Great George W. Bush and Cain now has another woman’s tryst to deal with-and the best part about it, her name is White! Ginger White, could you get any more Caucasian a moniker than that? Cain’s sleeping with white women folks that doesn’t sound good for the party that knocks moral values of that caliber…yet somehow Gingrich’s infidelities seem to slip by with a quiet turn of the head, ignoring the large 800 pound gorilla in the room. So Newt slips by Cain and Perry and then there’s Bachmann but no one is turning to her. They won’t trust her with a pack of matches so Newt knows he has this one so far. Throw all the other GOP wannabes out the window cause they don’t stand a chance against the man who sat side by side with Ronald Fucking Reagan and made it his personal responsibility to annihilate the Democrats.

Of course some will still take a wary finger and point it toward Mitt Romney but I tend to agree with Gingrich who uttered these words in Charleston, South Carolina; “I’m not perfect, yet I’m better than Romney”. Oustanding. That’s the kind of circus we all want to see coming out of the Grand Old Party. What next? Does he stand up in Alabama and declare “I’m not perfect, but I ain’t chasing white women”. Yes send in the clowns, we all want to be entertained for a while; at least during the Christmas season when most of us are wondering where we are going to squeeze enough money together to buy a present for one another. We all want a break from our financial woes so why not entertain us with bickering mongoloids that jab a finger at one another and accomplish absolutely nothing? Our own personal Punch and Judy show, political heavies slapping one another with large paddles, what fun!

Yes it’s all fun and games for the moment but remember. January 1 2012 is coming up quick and these old Republicans better get a winning candidate to stand up and deliver a real haymaker if they expect to overthrow the incumbent. Take notice at the lack of push and strain coming from the Democrats. Those guys are just quietly sitting in the corner waiting to see which opponent comes after them. They don’t want to make any sudden moves or the might give away their strategy, their winning right-left combo to ensure another 4 years for their side. Just be ready, oh tribe of the Donkey, because something wicked this way comes and if you’re not careful…..

28
Nov
11

It’s the Holiday Season…Who Would Have Known?

“Another sound from you…

and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation!”

-Ebineezer Scrooge, ‘A Christmas Carol’

Thanksgiving has come and gone and everyone’s getting excited about DongZhi, the best of all holidays…or maybe it’s Soyaluna, that festive Hopi celebration. Whatever you plan to celebrate this December, be happy and spread your cheer amongst the masses because we all could use a little happiness. Enrich yourselves and with other cultures greetings and promote to others your age long traditions. We have so much to be thankful for so don’t be a sour ass about it.

This time of year usually brings about dismay and stress because people all over are hurried about trying to meet company deadlines before their place of business shuts down for a few days, desperately seeking that perfect gift for that not-so-perfect relative and basically too scared to utter the words “Merry Christmas” out in open public. A while back most retail stores took it upon themselves to become politically pussified into taking those two words out of their standard customer conversation. Too many individuals who got coal in their stocking or have no one to be with on the holidays or worship the fucking cabbage complained to management and we lost that smiling response at the mall. A growing number of my friends tell me they stopped saying it as well because they were given a response of “Happy Holidays” whenever the uttered the ‘c’ word to cashiers. Don’t let them win folks, hit’em with a big Merry Christmas.

Cheer up people, it’s Christmas. You remember it from when you were a kid, the only thing that’s changed is your attitude to spread good will to all in the face of mediocrity. Put it out there and you might be astonished at how it will spread. Make sure not to go overboard though and ignore or refuse to respect other religious observations at this time of year. I have a few Jewish friends who make it a point to let me know that they don’t observe Christmas which is fine with me. They let me eat ham and I leave their dradle the fuck alone, everyone’s kosher-er, happy. Tell me what you would like me to know about Ashura and I will gladly listen, I want to make people feel they have the right to celebrate what may be a life long tradition to their families. Encompass one another and make everyone feel welcome with who they are.

I believe one of the biggest instigators of our seasonal misgivings are (once again) the media and the government. By strict law and standards put down since Moses parted the Red Sea with a stick of wood (?) American law has prohibited the display of religious scenes, artifacts and icons from appearing on public property. Fine, who the fuck cares? Let those drab buildings of stone and blood stand lifeless like a gravestone for all I care. As for the media their main stories will more than likely revolve around government’s lack of allowing said decorations on their hallowed walls. That subject is moot as we should all focus on family, not the motherfuckers who work at putting this country in the crapper. Let the news continue to babble about those old walruses on Capitol Hill while we ring in a joyous time with one another, celebrate our diversity and basically get along with one another. Put up a tree and turn on a light, welcome all people and greet them with open arms because after the holidays it will be 2012 and back to finding a job for a million or so people in this country, fighting a few wars and seeing what sock monkey they put in office.

25
Nov
11

Pre-Thanksgiving Zombie Talks pt. 3;Where Do They Go From Here?

It would still be an hour before I (ingested all that absinthe) went to watch my favorite local band, Tequila Mockingbird, perform and the preppy kids I smoked some pot with had already left; time to wrap this current survey up and get to the wine bar. I made another round to see who I hadn’t spoken with. The city park grounds were still littered by the circus that I have come to know as the political zombies, the circus of the everchanging agenda. This pack of protesters are a variety of babbling street people suffering the ills of alcoholism, college kids trying to find something to do and gangstas who prey on the weak minded,  all smashed together like different colors of Play-Doh that can’t be separated after joined.

I was speaking with a gentleman who has been filming the scene down on Broadway and Colfax since it’s inception when I looked up to discover my brown pal, Eduardo, making his way into the park. I broke off my conversation with the cameraman and met Ed near a group of squatters chowing down on the free spaghetti provided. Ed seemed a bit calmer, a little more susceptible to conversation, so I started the Q and A with the squatters to set things off. I truly feel Eduardo would like to be more politically active and learn about what this group stands for or intends to accomplish; I would like to know as well. As Aaron, the professional homeless man stated, ‘this group down here is just running around in circles getting nothing done’. The lack of leadership is their blessing and their curse. The Occupy circle-jerk mantra they perform with one another is reminiscent of a high school pep rally for a 12 and 0 team. No one has any faith and the crowd is merely going through the motions, There are a handful of believers like Rick the hyperactive, unemployed cable guy and Miss Kayte, both who have been physically accosted in the name of the cause, but for every hard preaching soldier down here there is a counterpart, a malady from the Bizzaro world, that counters any progress made.

Some of the first things this group needs to work on in order to gain back their momentum is to make an alliance among those camping. Don’t allow the mummies to just lay in their sleeping bags reading dimestore novels, get them on there feet and moving, increase the activity of those who occupy. Second, spread the word and gain recruitment. The number of occupiers tends to fluxuate between fifty to a hundred maximum; they need a steady population of three hundred minimum, shouting and waving on the curbs, bleating their message into the night air while the staff at the Denver Post watches from their fortress across the street. More media coverage means more people attracted; right now few individuals are aware of what’s really going on down there. I rode down to the park via the free bus on 16th Street, a convenient trolley-like transport that rails you up and down downtown Denver’s mid-section and not one individual except myself was gong to the protest. I mentioned it to some out of towners on the bus who were trying to locate their hotel but all they could do is smile and give me that raised eye response, kind of like you give a kid that shows you a picture they just drew and you’re just trying to figure out what the fuck they drew. They weren’t going to get involved but they were entertained by the thought that a protesting mob did actually exist.

The words from Peter, Paul and Mary singing ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ kept racing through my mind that evening; when will they ever learn? The protestors, Eduardo, they all had a long way to go. The most concise plan I heard coming from the zombies was they wanted to have big corporations investigated for corruption and punished (if found in violation) and big corporate money driven out of politics. I do acknowledge the fear we the people have knowing now that recent Supreme Court rulings will allow our electoral process to become a standard buying practice  of Senate, Governor-hell Presidential positions, which means I can forsee the horizon of American voting to undergo some radical nightmare changes. Investigation of large companies would certainly be entertaining, like watching Al Capone having his fat guido ass hauled off to the slammer, but in order to do that, our country will need a modern day Elliot Ness. So far all we have is the likes of Bill O’Reily and Keith Obermann…not exactly the dynamic duo of corporate crime fighting.  I left Eduardo to deal with the zombies and I made my way back to the other side of town to drench myself in that devil liquid, absinthe, knowing the cold of November would be followed by the ice of December, January and February. Will the protesters survive and keep the cause going? Will they develop a stable, solid plan? Will Eagle Force Five (see earlier blog posts for name reference to ‘Eagle Force Five’) grow to become Eagle Force Five and a Half? Will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?

24
Nov
11

Pre Thanksgiving Zombie Talks pt. 2: A Cacophony of Idealists

I slowly made my way into the pulse of activity taking in all this sideshow had to offer. Police presence was at bare minimum which explained the small group of younger college sorts on the corner gathering to smoke some pot. I brushed into them at which point they felt they’d pull one over on this old thug. Some girl wore eyeliner that looked as if she applied it with an industrial Sharpie. She smiled and stood there with this goofy grin holding her glass pipe. Her friend or boyfriend or boytoy looked at me and said “yeah we’re having some great tobacco products here” . Lame. I grabbed the pipe from the girl and lit up. They were shocked as shit but didn’t try to stop me, in fact had me stay with them a while and join in. I found out that they weren’t really here for the protest, just hung out here because it was a safe place for them to blend in and get high. Point taken.

The real hard core zombies didn’t seem to be worried about them one way or the other and after a few bowls I furthered my investigation into the crowd. The fluorescent lights from the Denver Post lit the sky and I viewed huddled sleeping bag encampments here and there in the park. No tents, just bags and figures in parkas and overcoats stooped around each other in conversation. The main strip, as I refer to it, is a wide sidewalk where the main group supporters and carnies gather, dudes on bikes doing tricks, wandering souls who babble to themselves, care-giving providers handing out plates of spaghetti and turkey (much better meals than the gruel I saw them munching last time I was down here). The sidewalk bore inscriptions in chalk, myriad thoughts and ideas scrawled down by the unseen hands of the undead; such memorable statements as ‘MLK used direct action’, ‘cops are terrorists’, Obama is a war criminal’, ‘one love’, Saint Paul is a sexist’, ‘oppression is everywhere’, and my favorite quote etched on the sidewalk, ‘poop on peace nazis’.

I managed some good conversation with a number of individuals who I noticed have been down here at Broadway and Colfax since the beginning of the protest in Denver. Rick, an unemployed cable worker has been here throughout the whole ordeal with a zeal and energy that seems equal to someone jacked up on three or four Red Bulls. His stamina is relentless and he will talk your ear off if you let him. His sarcastic take on the entire bankers/large corporation corruption has limitless ability to point his finger and shout down ‘the man’. Another regular is a thirty two year old professional homeless man (as he calls himself) named Aaron who made a point to talk with me and see what the hell I was doing down there. My guard was up because the last thing I wanted was to talk to someone who would pull me into the Zombie Ring, a ritual I had seen happen down here on a number of occasions. My first witness of the Zombie Ring took place back when Eagle Force Five (see earlier blog posts for reference to Eagle Force Five) spewed out their credo before me and my friend Emilio. Imagine the Cub Scout oath being given by someone on speed who didn’t know when to stop; that’s the Zombie Ring. Aaron, the professional homeless man referred to it as the ‘Occupy circle jerk’. Good analogy. Then there was Miss Kayte and her friend, a duo of overzealous caregivers handing out food and water to anyone who walked by. Kayte (pronounce Kay-Tee) shoved a large plate of steaming spaghetti in my face and began to talk and overtalk her friend as they both tried to explain their purpose down here. It really was touching to see how many people are down here to care for the front line soldiers that stay here day after day, week after week. A couple of younger kids from Oregon walked up and donated a huge bag of chocolate chip cookies to the cause; that’s the kind of support this group is getting. There are splinters of humane care being donated to try and keep the drive alive but my concern continues to be, what the fuck do these people want done? More investigation was needed. I left Katie who told me he doesn’t shake hands, she only gives out hugs-I being a hapheophobiac certainly found this uneasy…thank god I smoked pot earlier to calm my ass down.

24
Nov
11

Pre-Thanksgiving Zombie Talks and the Return of Eduardo

It was easier than I thought to remember the conversations I had with the downtown Denver protesters. The absinthe I took in later that night left me groggy but not damaged. I can see why Lautrec and other artists used to get messed up on that juice. I went to see some friends band play at a downtown bar and jokingly told the waitress if they didn’t carry absinthe I just wanted club soda. She said they did carry the lethal stuff so I ended up drinking a few and enjoying the night’s events. Absinthe is definitely the drink of the damned.

What started the whole thing off was a call from my latino henchman, Eduardo, a thick necked South American (I assume) abomination that for some reason continues to amuse and amaze me. He had been arrested a while back and I hadn’t heard from him in a while. He called me and said he was ready to go downtown and see how the ‘Occupy pussies’, as he calls them, were doing. This sounded good to me a I had not seen the crowd of political zombies in a while and wondered how they were holding up with colder nights approaching and the feast of the turkey holiday tomorrow. The main thing was to make sure my friend was sober; he is a mean drunk to put it politely. One of those people who is really somewhat reserve when he’s straight but give him a head full of liquor and the beast comes alive in him. I told Eduardo I would meet him down there and planned my trip via light rail train to that all too familiar setting across from the state capital. I wondered if the tents would be set up in force or if it would be another low-show out there on the streets. Darkness was setting in and my objective was to hook up with Ed and talk to some protesters, get an update on how the movement was going.

Hunting my friend down took. I found him in a corner liquor store fighting with some Korean woman about the price of this booze he wanted. Bad luck, he’d been drinking. I could see that red rimmed glaze in his eyes and knew I wanted to lose him as soon as possible. I didn’t have time to see what the status was down on Broadway and Colfax but my gut said there probably was no hard core rioting gong down. Had there been police in the streets with clubs and pepper spray then yes, by all means, the monster inside Eduardo would be welcome but I wasn’t going to risk it until I saw what was happening at the protest site. He got pissed off at the lady and tipped over a big display of  snacks and stuff leaving me there with this poor Korean woman to clean up the mess. He looked back to see if I was coming but I felt bad just leaving this mess there for the lady to clean up so I helped her while he slowly walked down the street. He kept looking back expecting me to run after him but I felt obligated to clean up the mess he made. Now he was starting to piss me off so if he wandered off in a drunken stupor, so be it.

I apologized to the lady who didn’t quite grasp the English that was coming out of my mouth and left the liquor store to head down to Zombie Central before the cold night air hit. Eduardo was somewhere out there, probably fisting his way into some other fine establishment. I do feel like Enfield sometimes, retelling his horror story encounter with Dr. Jekyll, only to be confronted moments later by Hyde. Eduardo can change at the flip of a coin which really makes for a juggling act on my part. So now I headed to that familiar street crossing and found a lull of activity. Three patrol cars stood by Civic Center Park and fifty to sixty zombies were on the scene with signs, sleeping bags and one annoying guy playing with one of those juggling sticks. The mood seemed calm as I walked by the all too familiar line of mummies wrapped in blankets and extra clothing with little puffs of cigarette smoke billowing out of their war torn faces. Most had been here from the beginning of this event and time was taking its toll on them. You could see that dullness in their eyes, like cataracts, while they stared off into space or read paperback books. I had time later to talk with them if need be, right now I wanted to get into the main vein of the group to see what new news they could give me on this night before Thanksgiving.

23
Nov
11

Love and Empathy Will Destroy Our World

John Lennon urged us to grasp the concept that all you need is love. John was shot. Mohandas Ghandi preached non-cooperation and peaceful resistance. He was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting. Jesus spoke of love and helping your fellow man, turning the other cheek. They nailed his ass to a cross, didn’t they?

Why are we constantly struggling to get along? Ideas were meant to be shared and put to debate but isn’t the purpose behind that to better our society? More and more we grow further apart from one another, attached at the retina by the internet’s beckon call. Website postings and Twitter blather makes it abundantly easy for anyone out there to rip out a piece of harsh criticism or beat at another person’s ideals with wit (or lack of) and venom. Some of the nastiest shit spews forth on blogs all over the world because we can hide behind the screen of our laptops. If half the individuals who carry on and rattle your cage were to meet you face to face they would have the common courtesy to be polite or suffer a shank from some individual who didn’t care for their tone of voice when called an asshole.

The verbal bullying technique utilized by neo-zealots along our nation’s airwaves is not meant to solve anything, rather it’s a tool utilized to continue a crowd gathering. I have listened to my share of talk radio whores since around 1985, when the aspiring pipes of Rush Limbaugh were climbing the charts on AM stations throughout the country. Agreeing or disagreeing with his politics wasn’t the worst of his damage as I saw it. What really hurt was his masterful turning of a phrase, an iconic representation of his opposition. Women with a pro-feminist opinion were referred to a ‘femi-nazis’. Jabs were taken at the other side and before long it became standard practice to look beyond the point of a person’s view in order to overtake them with name-calling and suggestive character flaw references.

Compassion, love and empathy have been thrown right out the door. If you don’t have a job, you’re dirt. If you can’t afford to buy your own health care you’re below dirt. Rather than logically look at the cause and effect of our current state of political affairs these bullies want to question the integrity of the individual. Rather than looking honestly at the effects of problems that may or may not be caused by minorities, people want to throw the word ‘racist’ in the face of anyone bringing up the subject.

One of the most valuable things I found while serving in the military was the effect basic training had on an individual. You had misfits from all parts of the country, present self included, and we were forced to work together as a team. Everyone from the street punk out of Brooklyn to the hayseed from Alabama, the Texas cowboy and the West LA cholo, if they signed on the line, they were in there for the long haul and no one got out of working as a team. What a wonderful display of a union created. If only our political hired were as cooperative, imagine the obstacles we could address but still our country sits in a squabble over who is a fuck up and who is a do nothing. Each side blames one another and the rest of us sit on the sidelines wondering if anything will get done.

Imagine what pressure we could put on our leaders if we were to come at them in force? Yet here we all stand, one side yelling ‘Socialist’, the other side yelling ‘racist’. What needs to happen is a bit of cooperation to get something done. Find a middle ground where both sides can agree to accomplish small tasks. Nothing so broad as to end a war or fix our economy, not yet. We need to start small and work our way up. As it stands we aren’t even able to agree on wanting to talk to one another. Call me an asshole if I beat a woman or child or kick my dog, but don’t stop working with me to better our nation because our political ideas vary; let us both listen to one another and tackle problems together by finding where we agree and start there. Give a little and get a little.

I still think Lennon was right. All you need is love. Don’t shoot me.

 




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