Archive for January, 2012


A Great Night for a Little Protest March; the Zombies Thaw

What started out as a night for Hollywood ended up a night of Hollywood timing. My initial jaunt downtown was to attend a Sunday celebration thrown by the local SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) chapter to celebrate the SAG awards and hold a small membership drive at some sport bar in LoDo Denver. I put on my casual attire, nice shoes and trotted down there in hopes of a fun filled evening among the thespians. I ended up being rather bored with it as most attendees were too engaged with their own tribe and nursing their overpriced drinks and food. I did manage to squeeze a double scotch out of some indie film producer/director but stayed no longer as my tolerance level for mediocrity was wearing thin. Since it was a room full of actors I decided to give them my grand performance of a man being whisked out of a sport bar on an emergency phone call. They were so taken by my cell phone act that no one payed heed to the fact that I was walking out with scotch glass in hand. I finished it off and laid it on the hood of a passing car, an offering to whoever owned the vehicle.

The path back to the bus (that takes me to my home barrio) runs right next to that infamous intersection of Colfax and Broadway, home ground to the Occupy Denver tribe. This always leaves me at least glancing in that direction to see what (if anything) is kicking up. Before trolling down to the sport bar SAG event, I passed the zombie village and noticed the unfurling of plastic tarps and bedding, airing out the stench that must have collected over the past few winter months; an early spring cleaning. I payed it little heed at the time as I was en route to the actor’s guild soiree and it wasn’t until I’d had my scotch and was prepped to go back home that I looked over again. This time I noticed a sizable crowd had gathered, complete with a huge American flag and assorted freshly constructed signs. I still had a good ten minutes before my bus showed up so rather than wait at the bus stop I wandered over to the protester’s camp to see what stirred.

The first person I noticed in the crowd was the Crazy Jesus Lady (see past blog entry “No Shirt Billy and the Crazy Jesus Lady“). I walked up and greeted her, letting her know of the infamous blog debut I laid on her which made her blush. This time she wasn’t sporting her adornment of mascara drawn cross on lips and forehead, but still had that glare in here eyes nonetheless. CJL could go postal on your ass at any given moment if the cause called. She informed me that the crowd was getting ready to start a protest march in response to the situation that happened in Oakland, California just the other day. The weather was nice and it managed to pull out quite a few people from the burbs, older citizens and concerned citizens who felt the need to protest against recent economical strife.  “How soon is the march starting and where is it going?” I asked. Jesus lady told me very soon they would start marching to the Denver Police station so I hurried myself around the crown to get a good feel of things, stopped in on a small group smoking a bowl to get prepped (thanks for the weed guys, topped the scotch off nice) and before I knew it the conga drum beat and voices filled the air as a group of a little more than 100 people began marching down the middle of Colfax Avenue, east toward the Denver Police station.

Media whores, news gatherers, blog stream feeders and local news station anchors jumped in and out of the mass protesting zombies who had come to life and raised their angry voice into the night air. Foul little ditties filled downtown Denver; ” From Oakland to Greece, fuck the police” and other rhythmic chants spurred the crowd on and kept pace, smiling and digging on the whole scene. The crowd had managed to stop eastbound traffic and soon, Denver’s finest began blocking off intersections with patrol cars, leading and following the angry mob as it made it’s way up past the state capital building. Onlookers from local bars stepped outside and encouraged the zombies on, a real crowd participation event. As I followed the crowd some 5 or 6 blocks east I began to wonder what might happen once we all arrived at the police station. Would heads roll? Would calmer heads prevail? Would Crazy Jesus Lady lose it like some Dark Ages berserker and thrust herself into a swarm of Denver cops? I could only hope so.


Oh Ricky, We Hardly Knew Ye

Presidential election campaigns are like heroin to me. I can walk away for a couple days but then I find myself scratching uncontrollably and my saliva gets thick with anticipation over what new meaningless tidbit of hooplah paints a man’s bid for the seat of Supreme Ruler. This popularity contest has yet to  disappoint me with all the ups and downs; a most notorious gang of hard core conservatives chomping at the bit to take the front runner’s seat to face the Great and Powerful Hope and Change in a smackdown extravaganza this November. Rick Santorum is beginning to wear down and is soon to break a leg in the final heat leaving the two top dogs, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, to give it their all to race to the end. The announcement from the Associated Press lists Santorum as ‘tired, almost broke and going home.’

No one was that surprised to hear the former Pennsylvania senator slowing down. Most people expected it, they just weren’t sure how soon it would happen or what it would be that would take him out of the race.  If they found out he put a bun in some campaign worker’s oven or perhaps a dead body found at his estate, all heads would have shook in agreement to say yes, this man needs to be removed at once. When a presidential hopeful announces that he’s run out of cash, we want to call it a copout, the pansy wuss out statute. I feel we should push him back in there to waste even more time and money. C’mon Rick, what happened to all that drive to save the country? Where’s all that strong conservative willpower to oust that dark demon in office (no racial pun intended)? Not too long ago ole Ricky was out there spewing quotes from Abraham Lincoln and wearing really nice sweaters and now he just wants to go home and do his taxes? He did promise to continue the fight in Florida but everyone knows he’s just lying there on the track with a broken leg, jerking with spasms while we all sigh with empathy and wish him well.

I think I would have felt more for him-either more loathing or more respect-had he been less a wallflower in this campaign. Santorum would kind of strut around in the outer corona of the spotlight but never managed to bask in it’s light like our favorite reptile, Newt. Now there’s a fellow who knows how to play the camera. If things get a little stale, he tells the working class they can clean shitters for a living. He’ll contradict himself, call someone out in a one on one. Rick just sat there like a choirboy….This is the big league man, grow a pair! His meager approach at making himself appear to be the thinking man’s choice didn’t go over. Perhaps being categorized as hating gay people, all for income inequality and in favor of putting doctors in jail for any kind of abortion he more or less fell into that small wading pool of voters that continue to cling on to an old Jerry Falwell school of followers. How many attempts will it take before these presidential wanna-bes learn that the percentage of voters out there who advocate such extreme conservative values amount to a spit in the bucket. The people who cling to such harsh standards for all to live by are the same people who think we need to start hunting witches again.

I continue to get my high from the antics of all the candidates and shed a small tear as they fade away one by one. New reports show Ron Paul will skip the Florida primary, Romney holds an 8 point lead over Gingrich in the Sunshine State but will that hold once Newt starts planting worms of distrust inside the minds of voters, reminding them of the newly discovered millions Mitt claimed on his taxes? The closer the race gets to the finish line the more all out surge the politicians exude. Quick last minute promises like a high school boy trying to get in a girl’s pants, erratic behavior, blatant lies….ahh, like sweet heroin.


A Cholo Netherworld pt. 2

All I really wanted to do that evening was watch the freaking State of the Union and here I was in this dirty ass bongmobile in front of some vatos home that Ed was approaching with a gun in his hand. Scenes like this will sober you up real quick and in spite of Eduardo’s request for me to pull my hood up, I left it down and pasted my face close to the window. I did not want anyone mistaking me for a gangbanger. Some hefty looking Chicano comes to the door and Ed steps back from the porch and is arguing with the guy. A minute or so passes and Ed takes his gun, aims it at the ground and pops one off for emphasis. Now this other guy has real cajones because after that he just turns around slow and goes back in is house. Ed is standing there with the smoking gun-literally-but a few moments later Nestor comes out and Ed starts in on him like a mother hen. They both come back to the car and I get to enjoy the argument all the way back to Ed’s casa.

The argument those two had about Nestor wanting to join the Marines became intertwined with our watching the recap of the State of the Union, more killer weed and some home made quesadillas. My one nice payback for Eduardo was a present I graced him with. Earlier that day my boss gave me a couple of these high fiber health oat bar snacks that taste delicious but because of the high dose of fiber in them you are only supposed to eat one a day; I found that out the hard way a while back and remember those moments on the john. I gave Ed two of the bars knowing the weed would make him chow down both those things. I didn’t need to be there to know that hours from then he would be squatting it out.

The State of the Union went on pretty much as I anticipated but I do enjoy watching them. It’s a lot like watching the Oscars. Same faces show up, formal affair, positive speeches, not too many surprises and at the end of the evening everybody claps and goes home. As for the actual content of the Great Hope and Change’s speech I found it to be a great presentation and full of point at the screen and giggle moments. His milk spill joke really brought the house down (yes, that’s sarcasm people). The cameras did the usual ‘pan to the most relevant person in the House Chamber at this moment’ routine. If the President, any President giving a SOTU speech, goes on about our military, then you’re going to get a shot of the Generals sitting there. If he talks about laws and court rulings the Supreme Court is there to pan to. If there is some controversial issue that a particular Senator opposes the President on, you can be assured that the camera will focus on him when our Supreme Leader gives a dignified mention of the subject. I wish just once when some elected official is pictured on the tube he would scowl and shake his fist at the President like some nefarious super villain. They had to have the tender moment of the night which showed Barack Obama hugging Gabby Giffords. They couldn’t help but have a few good shots of John Boehner and Joe Biden as they sat in the background like trained monkeys. Biden didn’t know what to do with himself but did manage to keep from falling asleep. Boehner gave the courtesy applause when needed and I swear there was one time when he rubbed his gums like he just did some cocaine. Boehner is no crazier than any other Speaker of the House that has to sit back there, lest you forget Nancy Pelosi; that lady was something else to watch seated back there with those Betty Davis ‘I want to kill you later’ eyes.

Edaurdo, Nestor and I traded comments the rest of the evening as if the whole gun popping incident never took place and we actually had some pretty meaningful dialogue. I think that’s why I hang around Eduardo so often. In spite his insane exterior there are moments when I break through to him. It’s like being able to speak with the dolphins; for a moment you actually feel as if you’re getting through. As to the weight of the content in the President’s speech I will not trade stats, exaggerations and kudos that may have been presented. I still believe my credo of describing most politics and politicians now days holds true; monkeys chasing monkeys. If they ever sat down together and devised a plan we would all have great health care, good jobs and flying cars but as long as partisanship plays favor to progress, we will remain in a void of futility. The way to fix our country is not via the President, it is through the House of Representatives.


The State of Our Union From a Cholo Netherworld

“Trying to make some sense of it all

But I can see it makes no sense at all”

– Stealers Wheel, Stuck in the Middle With You

I can’t tell if I’m a magnet for sociopaths or if they’re a magnet to me; regardless, the end result is I always end up with one by my side. My earliest connection was a hometown menace named Norman that coerced me into a bi-state car stealing spree, against my better judgement and it just seems to have jumped from one psycho to another. My latest flavor of insanity is this thumb head Latino named Eduardo that I met while waiting tables at a pizza parlor in Parker, Colorado. Had I known at the moment how volatile this dude could get I may have thought twice about associating myself with him, yet something inside me continues to be fascinated by the slightly toxic individuals out there that are ready to jump outside the box at any given moment.

Eduardo called me and as luck would have it, this was the night the State of the Union came on. I try to make a point to watch every one of them whether I like the President or not; again my fascination with toxicity. I figured I could catch the recap at Ed’s house, some seedy little flat on the west side of Denver near to where the old Broncos stadium stood. I always make Eduardo come pick me up downtown and drive me to his place because I will not be caught walking the streets of that Mile High barrio alone. I usually have him pick me up by the encampment of the Occupy Denver ‘pussies’ (as he likes to call them) so as to get a quick glimpse of the situation down there. The protest movement has been wiped out for all intentional purposes and replaced with a cesspool of vagrants and drug addicts. underage girls screwing barely over aged boys in sodden sleeping bags, very few true politicos left at all. There was one man, 60 he told me, who was going around cleaning the park of litter because as he put it “Obama is comin’ to town and he doesn’t want to see this kind of mess.”  Various street rats are milling around asking me for a cigarette or asking where I’m from and what I’m doing down there and Eduardo eventually pulls up in some rattling wine colored Tercel, a new vehicle since he was arrested, sent back to Mexico and resurfaced here. He leans over and opens the passenger door letting this huge plume of pot smoke out of the car. “Get in man, I gotta go get Nestor.”

Nestor is Eduardo’s younger brother, slimmer and taller and much more sane. Poor Nestor is always getting the shit kicked out of him by Ed who claims he is just trying to ‘keep the boy right’. Eduardo drives and lights the car bong for me while getting me up to speed on the situation. Apparently his brother was mad at him because Eduardo doesn’t want Nestor to join the Marines and Nestor is all about joining the Marines. Somehow this spat between the two hermanos caused the younger sibling to tail out and stay with some friend that Ed thinks is a bad influence on his bro. A bad influence for Nestor? Is it possible? Eduardo is serious about it and tells me this guy Nestor is staying with convinced him to take Ed’s car a week or so ago (again, I was called in on this one but put very little effort in to helping that saga) and this was the last straw as far as Ed was concerned. All I knew was that he was getting more upset by the moment retelling this story and I was getting one of those ultra, weep for Jesus highs, the one toke over the line kind so I wasn’t clear on how I was supposed to be helping. I was having enough to deal with trying to remember how to swallow. Oh Mama, could this really be the end?

Ed promises we’ll watch the State of the Union and he’ll make me something to eat after we get Nestor. I was in no condition to rebut so I sat there while he weaved around the streets and I worked at shaking off the baking. We pull up to some calamine colored slab home and he shuts the motor off.  “Just sit there and look out the window-pull your hood up so he can’t see your face.”

And Eduardo pulls out a gun. I just want to watch the State of the Union but he has to pull out a piece. Nice.


Federal vs. State: Who Yanks My Chain Hardest?

Sitting at my own personal media center thumbing through the pages of Denver’s local counter-culture fish wrap while Al Jazeera Englsh streams over my computer. I have found Al Jazeera to be a great counter balance to the bias media coverage our own country feeds us so by taking a little bit of ours and mixing it with a little bit of theirs I figure I’m getting about as close to the whole story as I can. The local rag, Westword magazine, is about 2 percent story and 98 percent advertisement for tattoo parlors, massage therapists who imply a ‘happy ending’ treatment and page after page of pot clinics; $60 doctor evaluations and renewals of license, $39 quarter ounces, buy an eight and get one free. The ads are pretty much the standard now and with Colorado gearing up to put full blown legalization on the ballot this fall it makes a lot of Coloradans wonder why they should give a fuck about the big Presidential gaff taking place?

Seems local efforts raised at least two times as many signatures as is needed to put this marijuana law on the ballot which, in my mind, shows a great local effort toward getting what they want. This kind of free wheeling law would never fly in Birmingham and I wouldn’t want it there, not unless the people decided for themselves that it was time to run crazy in the streets like my little Cow Town wants to do. State and Federal laws constantly clash with one another which brings about some subtle changes to one’s lifestyle, some major changes. Certain nationwide policies step aside to local demands if the push is strong enough. Why else would Montana have portions of their interstates allowing record breaking speeds as opposed to the more standard 55 in large metro areas? Why is Carson City, Nevada allowed to let prostitution carry on unfettered by a bunch of Federal badges poking their noses in with arrests warrants? Why are there dry counties in Utah? Why is Louisiana constantly fighting to keep oral and anal sex laws on the book (that’s a really good question)? Federal laws are a good standard for keeping emergency services available, to guarantee certain rights and freedoms to us all and to regulate fair trade commerce but when it comes to more minor lifestyles adjustments, do they really need to be governing us? Why not let the position of local citizens vote be the governing factor for what constitutes their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? A true democracy.

There is an evil side there that most people will pick out and want to argue; how could you allow a community to vote for, say, legalizing sex with minors or making it okay to hunt wild animals within a metro downtown area or any number of acid-induced what-if scenarios. That same Devil’s Advocate approach was put before a number of states who worked to gain legal recognition of same sex marriage. The opposition balked that it would open the door to people marrying dogs and cats, sex with llamas and an entire race of mutant horse people being born. I think most people would have enough discerning powers to know whether or not they lived in a community of citizens that wanted to fuck goats and I know if I found myself living in such a community, I would definitely move. We are a nation of fairly slow to move individuals and won’t jump too quick into life altering decisions so our Federal government should let the strings ease up a bit and allow for more local representation. Feds can still print the money and tax the liquor to help support national programs, parks and highways but when they get into the practice of telling people like Joe from South Dakota that he has to follow the same laws as Marcel from the Bronx, that world of difference is gong to result in someone’s dissatisfaction. Mandatory goat fucking is not a federal law, but if it was, where would the people who didn’t want to screw those devil-eyed beasts go? Carson City?

The upcoming Presidential election is whooping it up and soon we will have two men facing this country in debate. On one hand, I am quite cognizant of the power our Supreme Leader holds-it wasn’t too long ago when George W. Bush held the football and that was pure hell. He screwed up a huge portion of our country with his mad laws and bylaws but what power did I have to stop that evil Witch Doctor? No more than a single vote that was aborted via the Electoral College. Local voting is a different issue. I have seen the cause and effect of a number of local Colorado issues that I voted for (or against) and the fruition of planned campaigns to get certain items on the ballot, i.e. legalization of marijuana, played out over Federal laws to win. We all need to choose wisely when it comes to deciding who we want as President, but just as important-if not more important at times-are the local and state representation we pick.


A Newtonian Explosion in the Land of Snake Handlers

Newt Gingrich made a slam dunk in the South Carolina which is no real surprise to most political junkies. Anytime a fat white man can face a black man in a popularity contest, guess who the south will vote for? Granted all the GOP hopefuls still in the race are old rich white guys, but Newt is the cream of the crop when it comes to the stereotypical epitome of white supremacy so who else would they choose down there? This is the land of snake handling Pentecostals and Carolina Panthers fans-one of their GOP activist down there compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla so I would have to imagine that the Republican swing dance down there wanted the whitest of the white to face the Great Hope and Change in this fall’s election.

The numbers came out having Newt Gingrich 12.6 points ahead of the nearest contender, Mitt Romney. Next closest was Rick Santorum that trailed Newt by 23.4 percentage points, Ron Paul coming in last place with 13% of the vote (aside from the .4% that went for Rick Perry (apparently too drunk to remember that he dropped out of the race). I had a moment’s thought about writing a short piece on Santorum but held off knowing my efforts might be in vain as by now he is starting to feel the door hit him in the ass. I imagine him in an ethereal analogy standing before an umpire pleading his case to remain in the political game while the umpire throws his thumb in the air screaming “ooouuuut!”.

Now it’s on to an even deeper south vein of conservative pomp and glory, down into the land of the Magic Kingdom where I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for the remaining candidates to wrestle out a few good photo ops standing next to cast members of Disney’s famed vacation spot for clean Christian governed fun and entertainment. I would pay dearly to see a picture of Newt with his hand on Cinderella’s ass or maybe Mitt could stand next to Pluto and ask, who let the dogs out. They will surely camp the whole thing up and mix it in with their deep concern speeches that paint our country’s woes as foreseen doom brought about by the Obama administration. A little bit of panic to the people, a little bit of fun for the camera. The Gingrich election committee posse will certainly be keeping eyes on Romney’s tax return release, as promised by Mitt after the arm twisting in S.C. forced his hand on that issue sooner than he had wanted. Romney did say he would release his tax statement in April but most analysts felt this was intentional to wait until he (if he) secured the nomination.

So now what happens if Newt takes Florida? Is that affirmation that the Beast with a Thousand Heads continues on to face Barack Obama in a shout off? Could be folks, and this is what scares both sides of the political spectrum. The left is frightened at the possibility of a nation with Newt and the right is offended to be associated with a man that cheats on two wives (while they were deathly ill-bravo Newt!). Certain family members won’t even give support to Newt so where does that leave a desperate Republican population who want to oust our current President? In the back of their minds they know in order to get Gingrich elected they’ll have to rely on the same little hanging chad trick they pulled during the Bush/Gore election and that one was hard to pull off folks. My favorite part of that whole swindle was when it was declared that the boxes of uncounted votes they found stuck out in the swamps down there were deemed inadmissible for counting because they were retrieved too late.  The race is coming into the final stretch for sure so keep an eye for Santorum to bite the dust and Ron Paul to hang on like an irritating tick to the front running candidates. Watch’em run, sweat dripping down them as the can see the finish line just up ahead. Florida may well be the finish line.


Mitt Romney; The Political Fillet ‘O’ Fish

The race is in the final stretch with four Republican contenders racing at a furious pace for the line. According to most avid watchers of the debates and primaries (among them Reid Wilson of the National Journal) Romney will take the show despite the efforts of the other three candidates. Gingrich as been trying hard to bite his tongue and tone down to appear as a more settled, more ‘normal’ candidate (Gingrich’s own description of himself) but once he feels his poll numbers slip he’ll lash out with some mouthful of venom and it’s back to being the NewtMonster we’ve all come to know and fear.  Ron Paul continues to wade through the shit thrown at him and Santorum is barely mentioned anymore.  Rick Perry threw is support Newt’s way in an effort to overpower the Paul supporters but any true Perry supporter doesn’t have the focal power to stay up with Gingrich. It’s back to the cow pastures in Texas for those voters to hunt down more psilocybin.

With these predictions in mind I thought it might be a good opportunity to look at this political frontrunner’s history, just a few points to ponder when figuring this could be the man to run our country if enough disgruntled citizens say they’ve had enough of the Great Hope and Change. Right now it’s still a back and forth decision for a growing number of independent voters; a lot of people are sorely disappointed with Obama but not enough (yet) to put someone inept in office. It’s like figuring you’re tired of having to contend with this old dusty turd that’s not doing anything for you, so you trade it for a new wet turd.

So, Willard Mitt Romney. Married 35 years, five sons, ten grandchildren, Governor of Massachusetts from ’03 to ’07, Republican nominee for Senate (Mass.) and Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012. My initial take on the man is one of a guy with the social appeal of a Fillet ‘O’ Fish sandwich; pretty white bread taste, no zing or spice, no fancy lettuce or tomatoes folks, just a bit of white sauce and maybe (if you feel really wild) a slice of American cheese. The epitome of how out of touch this guy is can be viewed by looking up “Mitt Romney-Who Let The Dogs Out” on YouTube. This is my favorite clip of the Mormon megastar standing next to some black kids in Jacksonville, Florida, four years ago. He’s trying to let them know that he’s all gangsta by asking these kids who let the dogs out. I love their detached response. You can imagine what’s floating through their mind at that moment wondering how they ever allowed themselves to be filmed with a Fillet ‘O’ Fish?

This man’s political intentions are varied and evasive, earning him a following of reporters and analysts that continue to find flaws and contradictions from his campaign. I can’t possibly list all his quirks a it would take too much space on this post; there was so much interesting fodder on Romney that back during the ’08 campaign, John McCain had a small booklet published to highlight the Massachusetts boy’s misbehavings. The facts found do not necessarily reflect a consistent mainstream Republican or right-wing take on politics which in the end could be his blessing or his curse for gaining enough support to boost him to the presidency:

• April 2006 – Signs into law a comprehensive health care reform package designed to provide health care for all Massachusetts residences by 2007.

• December 2006 – Boston Globe reports that Romney has used illegal immigrants at his home to perform maintenance work.

• October 2005 – Romney signs bill expanding family planning services, including abortion counseling and morning after pill.

• 1994 – Romney shows public support of  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’  calling it a first step to ward allowing gay citizens to serve openly in the military.

• 1994 – Romney backs the Brady Bill on assault weapons saying “I won’t line up the the NRA.”

• August 2006 – In an effort to win gun enthusiast support during his ’08 presidential campaign, Romney brags about owning a gun. He finally admits that he dos not own a gun, that the gun belongs to his son.

• Romney states that he has been a hunter “pretty much all my life”, then later admits that he has only been hunting twice n his life.

• While serving as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney left his successor a budget deficit exceeding $1 billion, raised state taxes and fees more than $700 million per year, quadrupled gun licensing fees and rose the state tax burden more than 7%.

• Romney proposes a state tourism tax and a signs a 50% increase tax on cremation fees, placing more financial obligation on the dead.

The list of accomplishments goes on and to read some of the stuff this guy has himself involved in paints a more broad picture of the candidate than the Fillet ‘O’ Fish title I placed on him. His appearance is an impressive cloak of ambiguity covering his true feelings on matters which leaves a lot wondering what he truly stands for. I feel the 2012 showdown with Barack Obama would become an interesting, more dignified debate should Romney take the lead so if a gentleman’s bout is what you wish, hope for a Obama/Romney showdown. If you want some MMA action, vote for Gingrich and Obama. Keep tuned folks because it’s coming down to the wire and any day at any given moment, any candidate can slip and break a leg on the track. Keep your eye on the finish line as the race tightens.

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