Archive for December, 2011

29
Dec
11

My 2012 Predictions (Triste per noi tutti)

All the big time psychics get to head off the pages of tabloid fish wrap each year with a list of their predictions for the upcoming year. It is with this in mind that I choose to give my last blog entry of the year the celebratory induction into the halls of mockery by posting my own predictions for the soon to be infamous end of the universe year we have dubbed two thousand and twelve.

1. The world will not end in2012, in spite what some ancient Mayans carved on a piece of stone some time ago. Just as the turn of the century brought about mild ripples of hysteria, the entire 2012 year will more than likely bring out a abundance of social and political cashews who want to scare the world. If by chance, the world does end, feel free to text or call me during the remaining few hours before total destruction to say I was wrong. I’ll make sure to let that haunt me alongside the evident total devastation of everything else.

2. The United States will be involved in at least one new war. The Iraq war is officially declared over and our leaders now feel the pressure of soldiers arriving back home to a country where unemployment is still dangerously high. Iran continues to rear it’s serpent head to the west which will probably make that country the likeliest candidate for another senseless incursion. Maybe our Commander in Chief will try and pull a Reagan and invade some small, insignificant country (i.e. Faukland Islands) to play it safe. The propaganda from such an invasion will be used to continually drive the fear machine that has been created in this country where we have to ‘fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here’.

3. A new slang term for the word ‘vagina’ will be created in order to aid the writing of lyrics by washed up rap artists. The same will not hold true for creating a new word to describe male genitalia as there are just too many words that rhyme with ‘dick’.

4. Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research will continue to bother the press with insignificant findings from their pursuit to capture Higgs boson, better known as the God particle. Why the hell they continue to venture on such a path is beyond most thinking creatures yet they will nonetheless follow this dream of theirs to drain the European economy of more money. Think of it as Europe’s peaceful alternative to having a war. The United States will not follow suit to further develop a super reactor as this will not employ enough people or cause enough destruction.

5. I will take yet one more high end acid trip. It’s been some years since ingesting the mind opening hallucinogen and feel I need to re-examine that altered realty once more for religious purposes. Also I want to see what it’s like to fuck with a long horned sheep on acid, maybe challenge it to a head butting contest.

6. Barack Obama will serve a 2nd term as President of the United States. Not enough people are willing to take their finger out of that hole in the dike to simply stick it in another hole. The list of Republican challengers, although humorous to watch, barely have the ability to self implode. If they actually had brains they’d be dangerous but I feel we’re safe in the knowledge that the powers behind the scenes of elections in our country don’t want to risk some rogue, free thinking individual in that seat of power. Actually Obama may take off in his second term and really start to shine. He seems to be keeping John Boehner on a leash so let’s see.

7. Another sheriff in some Midwestern town will be caught trading meth for sexual favors. This seems to be a growing trend amongst bored law enforcement officials and isn’t likely to stop soon. Meth is a motherfucker.

8. Justin Bieber will continue to slide in popularity as he ages into a young adult, thus making his heart throb appeal to young girls too creepy for managers to back. They will find a replacement boy toy to throw into the arms of waiting tweens leaving Bieber to comfort himself with alcohol and possibly the Olsen twins.

9. Flying car technology will once again be stifled.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful new year.

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24
Dec
11

The Gospell According to Everyone and his Mother

It’s coming on Christmas

they’re cutting down the trees

they’re putting up reindeer

and singing songs of joy and peace

oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on.

-Joni Mitchell, River

 This time of year brings about a plethora of religious fanatics all intent on convincing me that my life is spit without Jesus. This being strong opinion I will not negate the idea that He is real, He is there for us and that we are nothing without him but if you hold me down and twist my arm until I cry commitment to his salvation, I feel you’ve probably done nothing more than create a false following for the Son of God. Go back to your school English literature folks and pick up that classic story by Langston Hughes called “salvation“-such a good story I put a link to it. Read it and hear what’s being said folks. Religious fervor is a motherfucker.

Back on the seventh of July in 1977 (yes, that was 7/7/77) I was in the military and invited by the Tech Sargent and his wife who lived in the apartment below me to attend their church service that weekend. I was new to the Austin Texas area and felt it might do me well to develop some friends there so I attended the service, not knowing that his church was a real bible thumping Southern Pentecostal church. We get there and the service starts and people are throwing their hands in the air and signing hymns I’d never heard before, nothing like the classics I was used to. Songs that kept repeating the name Jesus about 15 times in one stanza, Jesus is great, I am not, Jesus died for me, Jesus died for you, Jesus died so you could have creamed corn, blah blah blah.  Some of the newer hymns I’ve heard are about as moving as some of the newer music put out these days; big lack of real artistic substance, heavy on the repetitive mantra.

The sermon starts up and the preacher starts talking about how that particular day, seven seven seventy-seven, was the day Jesus was coming back to Earth and the Rapture would begin. The crowd’s eyes started growing wider and everyone leaned in a bit closer, more hands flew in the air and grown men wept. The Preacher said we had to believe and we all had to be saved. Some elderly gentleman a few rows from the front, tired and exhausted from old age (I imagine) started nodding off which drove the Preacher crazy. The man of God picked a Hymn book off his podium and threw it at the old man hitting him square in the head. “You will not be falling asleep for this people” he roared and insisted the doors be locked so no one could sneak their way out before the Rapture came. A call was made out to all those not baptized to come to the front and be saved. I remembered reading that classic Hughes tale from long ago and knew what my options were; I could fake it or stand defiant. I actually opted out for a third option and told them I had already been baptized just to get their claws off me. Needless to say the Rapture didn’t happen that day, hasn’t happened since and may not happen for quite some time. The point being that the hell this man put everyone in that congregation through was uncalled for and somewhat humiliating…more-so to the true believer of Christ (in my opinion) by mocking their faith in Him. Talk about taking the Lord’s name in vain, this is a brutal example of that. This is the kind of shit that kept Moses on the sidelines when they got to the Promised Land, vanity in the name of God.

So it is at this time of year that I feel the true spirit of giving, the warmth of humankind helping one another get through another day on this spinning marble and the hope of a better, brighter future for all. Shoving Jesus down my throat does not make me more compassionate or forgiving. His teachings were a great example to read and learn from but using it as ammunition to create barriers between the people of this world will only fuel more hatred amongst us. You don’t see masses of Jews taking to our streets at this time of year insisting you believe in their ways or else. People scream how radical Islamic faith is, do you really see a difference in their approach to recruiting and Christianity? You think extremist Muslims are whacked, have you watched footage of abortion clinics being bombed? My wish for the upcoming year is that everyone is able to take it down a notch or two because all the superstitious prattle about 2012 is going to bring every nut job and his mother out of the woodwork, all ready to tell you which way to run. I hope that cooler heads prevail and we all just……get along.

19
Dec
11

No Shirt Billy and the Crazy Jesus Lady

“The best thing we can do is go on with our daily routine.”

-Nurse Rached, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

I have now come to realize the worst thing the Occupy Denver people have to face is not the wrath of rich Wall Street fat cats or organized police squads, it is the mental conditions being created on the street. The afternoon was a balmy mid-fifties so I cruised down to Colfax and Broadway to see how the crowd (or lack thereof) was holding out. This seemed like a perfect day to bask in the sun and warmth, which is what a large percentage of the downtown park inhabitants took advantage of, catching up on some much needed sleep.

The scene there is becoming more and more a haven of lost dreams and mental deterioration with street urchins running in and out of the main vein of activity, meth pipes being ignited in broad daylight accompanied by gangsta thumping rap songs squelched over low output smart phones, washed out signs and banners hanging in the trees-there is actually a floor model fan hanging from the trees across the street, draped with red police crime scene tape that snakes through the bare branches that line Broadway. Heaping piles of old refuse and discarded paper plates, people scouring round for cigarette butts, a melting snow fort with the words ‘Occupy Denver’ spray painted on the side in day-glo pink, cookies and assorted snack items left on a plank of wood makeshift table for anyone hungry enough to risk it….and then there’s No Shirt Billy.

No Shirt Billy is this semi-insane juggernaut running rampant around the occupy Denver site, bare chested and sporting a scarf and do rag combo head gear. When I first arrived he was banging on a conga and shouting with this voice that sounded like Tom Waits with a sore throat. He was bellowing at this one woman who appeared to be in her mid to late thirties, shoulder length auburn red hair with a cross scrawled onto her forehead. She carried a shoulder bag with her that had a post it note attached to it reading ‘Crazy Jesus Lady’; I took her word for it and decided not to get into any religious debates with her. The Crazy Jesus Lady and No Shirt Billy were having this confrontational spat that was most likely brought on by one of Billy’s deranged ramblings. He picked her up a few times over his shoulder like a WWF wrestler while she beat him on the head and back, finally being released; at that point Billy would take off running and striking poses with his face upward like some ebony warrior praying to the heavens. Then he rattled off some insane shit and ruined the whole image. Billy is bat shit crazy and he was loose in the Occupy Denver scene.

The Crazy Jesus lady honed in on Billy with the accuracy of a shark and started lashing out these maniacal untrained karate kicks at him. Billy kept rattling back at her like James Brown on PCP, it was intense underlying sexual/harassment stuff going on. Not much time passed before some of the regulars down there intervened and kept Billy back. Apparently Billy must be a new fixture down here, a new problem to contend with. I saw some BMX bikers doing stunt jumps over their friends, prone on the sidewalk while the bike attempted to hop over their body; this was a month or so ago and I thought that was a circus to witness, but now, Billy the Howler, No Shirt Billy doing the wild dance with Crazy Jesus Lady. Yes people, Occupy Denver needs help.

One of the helpers down at the site trying to keep an eye out for the needs of the inhabitants in the park is a lady who asked if I would convey a message to the outside world. They are in need of some supplies. The encampment they’ve been living on so far seems constructed out of cardboard and a lot of tape and crap. She asked if anyone can provide hot food, water, sleeping bags, wood, nails, hammers, spray paint and Christmas decorations it would be greatly appreciated and well received. Don’t kill the messenger folks, I just bring the word back from the nether regions. I make no evaluations or recommendations of the ramifications cities might possibly experience due to contributions (or lack of) to the Occupy crowds. They are living pretty bare bones from what I see and although it is a self inflicting martyrdom I can’t help feel a bit sorry for their struggle. All cities throughout the country where their own private protest villages lie, be it Seattle or Indianapolis or Oakland, hold similar settings and it’s up to everyone to decide if they want to throw a nickel and watch the dance, or turn a blind eye and see what happens. The one thing I wold urge any of you to consider, is at the very least, someone needs to put a leash on Billy.

17
Dec
11

The Animal We’ve Come to Call Newt

The day started out with another media moment barking some new sound byte on Newt Gingrich’s latest verbal escapades. This left me mulling over the question about how this guy continues to pull in the poll numbers he does. Granted the competition from the Republican side of the bench is not too full of charisma but to have Newt as the front runner in that pack certainly took (and is taking) me by surprise. For most of the day that question plagued me. It wasn’t until I was on my way downtown for some holiday purchase that I came across what I believe might hold a key to this mystery.

In the 1800s Japan’s main route from the shogun’s capital (Edo) to the imperial one (Kyoto) was the Tokaido. The Tokaido route held 59 stations where the people who scurried about day after day traveled back and forth. This is how I’ve come to think of the light rail system that leads from the Technological Center south of Denver into the very heart of the city; a mixtures of cultures and neighborhoods converging upon the public transit system day after day, the working class folks. I look around at the passengers and notice that a growing number of us are plugged in, tuned into a phone or a hand held device of some sort that takes us away from the world where our body exists. The common problems of your daily lives can be tuned out with a pair of ear buds. Our mingling in society consists more and more at the touch of a button. My point is not to argue whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, this is merely an observation on how our lives are changing. A dual reality has sprung forth in our lives and now we have the cyber life as well as the flesh and blood life.  We electronic junkies bounce along inside the comfort of the light rail train, soundless shells plugged in for cerebral information transfer along the Tokaido.

Now back to this animal we’ve come to call Newt. This man cut his teeth in the House of Representatives back in the late seventies and grew to popularity  as Minority Whip from 895 to 95. The guy’s been chewing balls for quite some time and knows how to play the game of politics. I admit I thought for sure we had seen the last of him (as far as being a viable political candidate) when Bill Clinton came into office but one day, there he was rearing his big melon head in front of the camera as a Republican hopeful. In spite of his hypocritical  family value antics, in spite of his foot in mouth blunders, this creature from the depths of the Republican Magog continues to rise to the top of the heap, and may well become a contender for the presidency. Some may scoff at this but I find it easier each day to believe he could do it. The other GOP candidates continue to falter and the numbers keep faltering on Barack Obama’s favored status with  more and more Americans. The President’s latest blunder involved a U.S. drone being captured by Iran and any way you want to slice, he will be held accountable. Everyone is looking for change, quick change, change as quick as the touch of that button on your computer or iPhone. Think back to how the current president utilized technology to market himself, it could happen again and if enough people from the right jump on board they could rally round someone like Gingrich before the rest of the country knows what hit them.

One last point popped out as I observed the traveling common folk, plugged in and tuned out. The means to utilize technology in order to stay politically active isn’t being taken advantage of as much as I had thought. Peering over the shoulders of people as I passed by I noticed quite a few were plugged into a social media site or playing some mind numbing game that melted away the outside world. Staying connected or even more informed with what our nation’s leaders are up to is the furthest thing from a lot of people’s mind. In point, most of them are playing those games to directly forget about our nation’s leaders. This can and will leave the door open to  a political coup for anyone with enough connections in the world of politics to gain just enough needed support to win big in the November elections. Rather than relying on what the country wants or needs to heal in this world threatening economy, all it really takes is enough cash and a huge toe hold in the Electoral College; Newt definitely knows that game.

So keep an eye on the horizon folks and watch this amphibious Titan of the GOP while he struggles to maintain his status as the darling child of the Republicans. The fun will continue into 2012 as the race heats up.

15
Dec
11

Tim Tebow and the Flying Jesus All-Star Football Team

I’ll probably be assassinated by some local Denverite preacher wanna-be armchair coach for besmirching the name of the All-powerful Tim Tebow, Colorado’s newest answer to victory through purity. Some of those who have followed this kids rise to glory in the ranks of the NFL are a zealous group of fanatics hell bent on holding his faith as testimony to better living through Christianity. From his days at Nease High school, then on to become a Florida Gator and now winding his way into the shadow of John Elway, the media floods the Broncos quarterback with praise and attention. Religious talk show hosts and general politico-sensationalists parade this poster boy for family values as the living example of the chosen path to salvation.

Having become a Bronco follower since moving out here I desire a great team to watch as much as the next fan. Everyone loves a winning team but why must we be whisked away on the wings of  superstition to feel we have achieved it? A multitude of quality players in the NFL have brought their own branch of voodoo to the gridiron. Joe Namath was legendary with a career that spanned three division championships, one league championship and a world championship. Players like Joe Montana, Dan Marino, even the bad boy antics of Lawrence Taylor in his hey-day were admired by supporters; they all have their moment of glory, then slowly fade away. Every individual in the NFL is subject to the rules of the game, and I don’t mean the game on the field. Tebow could be starting off his career with a bang but all it takes is one busted knee that could leave him running for a syringe full of thorazine to compete. Designer steroid stamina kept Bill Romanowski on the field competing in double super bowl championships for the Denver Broncos and all the while local fans shouted him on as he delivered pain to his opponents, merciless shit to take them down and make them hurt. When push comes to shove, needle goes to muscle. These titans are pumped full of juices to make them run faster work harder and generally perform with superior abilities and we as spectators love it. If you mix into the formula the name of Jesus, well, now you have an All-Star league of Apostles on the field to watch every Sunday to thwart the evil opponent, whatever team in the NFL that might be.

I suppose my take on moral superiority received an early awakening. Years ago before the advent of DVD in home viewing and internet porn there were adult theaters everywhere. I had a job at one in Indianapolis where I spent my days selling tickets, sniffing amyl nitrate and writing short stories for a local porn publication. An endless parade of citizens walked through those doors to view sex showing man on woman, woman on woman, woman on animal, man on man…you get the picture. I sold tickets to local high school teachers there for Gay Sunday movies. Local priests and cops, upstanding community leaders all came through those seedy doors to view a movie and enjoy a bit of lust for the evening. The guy who taught me English turned out to be a huge fan of man on man films and indulged in large doses of amphetamines. A downtown deacon always came in looking for a threesome; I learned not to condemn or judge these folks for what seemed to be blatant hypocrisy, rather I understood it to be an affirmation of how human we all are.

Remember you football fans throughout the world, we are all human, we all have our flaws. If you find yourself holding the moral compass up to the masses or creating golden statues of pro league players that thank God every weekend for not getting their fibula shattered, you leave yourself open to a pious finger pointing at you.

09
Dec
11

Refrigerator Heaven pt. 2; Giggling voices Amongst the Insane

We’re today’s scrambled creatures,

locked in tomorrow’s double feature

-David Bowie “We Are the Dead”

Anticipation weighed on my shoulders as I approached the end of the line where the LoDo shuttle lets passengers off. This was the no turning back point and right across the street the zombies set still in the crisp winter air, meandering amongst themselves like wasted human flotsam, biding their time. I approached the scene wondering if I should have made one more trip back to Starbucks for another pipe in the bathroom session; it was now getting cold enough to make this excursion seem more task than leisure. Since leaving Starbucks I had left the Bob and Carol world of fine clothes and drinks at eight behind and stepped into a third world environment of political prisoners. The torture inflicted on these poor devils was self induced because no Capitalist Pig would be out here to see them or give a rat’s ass if they lived or froze to death.

The main causeway of action for the protestors takes place in the downtown park with a spectacular view of lights on display from buildings near the Denver U.S. Mint. Iron benches line a double wide sidewalk that takes you inside Civic Center Park, typically known for housing street people and random low key drug users. I began to walk that stretch of sidewalk that leads up into the park  which is lined with human tragedy, lost souls ensconced et al, beneath layers of mud streaked parkas and faded comforters. Last night had to be rough on them and now this sidewalk crew had created a line of small domiciles out of plastic tarp and canvas. No longer tolerable to just lay there on the street they had taken the initiative to build cubby holes which will be destroyed by Denver’s Finest on warmer days ahead. For now they are allowed to fester in their small shanties where I can hear giggling voices chanting poems and what-not to drive the chill away. They are like frigid Tomyknockers that huddle to the foundation of some political ideal drummed up months ago. I don’t think they’re even certain why they are there anymore. I pass by the row of tents and clutter, styrofoam bowls littered about with food drying in them, they are developing vermin-like characteristics; not healthy for any of us.

As I approached the main vein of activity, the political ‘circle-jerk’ as it has been called by some, I listened in on the current order of business to see how the troops fared. One was reminded of how General Washington must have felt on that cold battleground with his troops, freezing their nuts off for a cause that seemed hopeless, yet somehow it all worked out, we became a nation, blah blah blah-Occupy Wall Street. In less than half an hour I will have to take my frozen stoned carcass on the cross town buss filled with pipe thumping gangstas to my home base and I want to get some tidbit of development out of this group for my blog posting….probably won’t happen so as I said in the first installment of this trip’s recorded journey, the end result is not necessarily the best part of an adventure, it is the journey itself that will more than often be the best part of the trip. Nowhere to be seen were likes of past trip soldiers I had spoken with like Aaron the 32 year old professional homeless person or Robert, the unemployed cable guy. Miss Kay-tee, the pie eyed food provider for so many down here was no where to be seen. Had they snuck away for a night of warmth in some hotel or had the others trapped them in their labyrinth tent village with gifts of warmth and love? I noticed some man lying on a park bench in really bad shape, coughing and wheezing, looked as if he would  not make it much longer. Luckily someone did pay him notice and began to ask around for blankets; I can only assume he was watched over. By this time I had seen enough for tonight’s entertainment. This showing dealt very little substance in the way of true civil disobedience. The active group talked and balked and continued to lose patience with their inability to drive any true agenda into a focused plan of attack. This was primal survival and all that political jive could go out the window until they got a bit more warmth into their joints. One group of zombies was mad at the other group, control freaks lorded over the other individuals with caustic verbose, lot of folks trying, lot of folks crying, even more dieing. It was time for me to get on that pipe thumping gangsta bus. Perhaps, like the cycles of our seasons, this group will have to undergo death to be reborn again in the spring. Life will go on and the 2012 race for the presidency will be at a full gallop, the Dow will go up and down like a whore on a fat man I will continue to have the best of times, and the worst of times.

09
Dec
11

Mutants Squabble in Refrigerator Heaven

I’m freezing, I’m freezing,

I’m icicle blue

-Alice Cooper “Refrigerator Heaven”

It has been said that the best part of an adventure is not the end result, but the journey itself and I would stand in agreement with that statement. My meaningless drug induced trips to the nether regions of downtown Denver has uncovered very little hard news but has left me with unforgettable experiences and insight. The human drama unfolds before me like a twisted Dickens story where one observes, it is the best of times, is it the worst of times. I seem to be titillated with freudenshade, my obsession to watching these demonstrators against corporate America as they begin to evolve. After a few encouraging words from a reader of this blog I was convinced to tour the Occupy Denver site again to see how morale was holding out. The day prior to this brought below zero temperatures to the Mile High city and my curiosity did have me wondering how they were holding out down there.

The first part of my trip is fairly typical for the (still) working class of Denver who ride the light rail train to and from work. A diverse mix of individuals that one can see in most modern cities now days; aging women with wrist tattoos, business types tapping away on their phones sending messages into cyberspace. Across from me sits a guy who resembles the comedian George Lopez sharing a seat with Iggy Pop. Regular meat and potato crowd. In preparation for my jaunt downtown I made sure to grab my incognito bag which contains various electronic devices, a pipe and a bud of marijuana the size of a small mouse. I”m ready to roll folks but here is no place on this train to be lighting up so I get off at a very secluded drop point along my route and wander into some dark parking lot area to prepare myself. This place resembles the kind of hush hush setting where you’d expect someone to get knocked off, a drug deal gone bad or maybe some mafia types paying some back interest on a late loan. I blend in perfect with the scenery clutching my black bag of goodies like some psychotic Felix the Cat, out for a late night ganja break.

Two or three light rails whisk by me by the time I’m sufficiently medicated enough to get back on board. Before long the train snakes it’s way into a different side of Denver, the Bob and Carol out for drinks with friends part of Denver, Bubba Gump Shrimp company waving to onlookers, nice evening garb on well behaved folks. I get off in front of some convention arena that has this two and a half story blur bear peering in it’s window, a site beloved by tourists and extacy fans alike. Only a few blocks away lies Occupy Zombieland and the weather is still holding out for me. I opt to down a Starbucks coffee first to help the cold and to utilize their restroom; can’t be seen on the Occupy Denver premises with hot liquid, those monsters might take me down for warmth.

This is my last opportunity before launching into the bitter grounds of the protestors so I lock myself in the Starbuck’s restroom and light one more pipeful. I hear a couple waiting outside the door so I prepare myself for the inevitable facedown. A lot of people panic in the face of being discovered ‘high’ but I approach it with ease, no use to get unglued about things. I walk out of the bathroom and there stands an elderly Asian man and his daughter (I presume) waiting to get in and use the restroom. I give them a quick warning:

“Watch out, I think some kids have been smoking drugs in there”.

The old Asian man looks at me and nods but it’s one of those nods that says he understands I’m saying something, but he has no fucking idea what it is I’m saying. I could have said there was a dead squirrel in the toilet and got the same reaction. Now that I think about it, that would have really capped the evening off perfect; if only I had a dead squirrel. A dead squirrel in a Starbuck’s toilet, what more nightmarish image could that old man have taken? Would he stand there trying to figure if I ate the squirrel or what?

The coffee and pot flowed through me in equal portions and I was now ready to face the wicked depths of Refrigerator Heaven. Onto the shuttle for four more blocks and I would be at the corner of Broadway and Colfax to peer in, once again, on the arena of political zombies.




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