Archive for March, 2012

31
Mar
12

The Dichotomy of Politics pt. 2: In the Belly of the Beast

The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself, whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry.

-Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

 I had no idea what I would be opening the door to when I stumbled in the meeting of the Denver Metro Young Republicans. I peeked through the  door drape and saw no gratuitous bloodshed taking place, no game of smear the queer with steak knives, no shackled hippy protesters being bruised up-I figured it was safe enough to enter. The guest speaker, Ryan Call, was into his spiel about how the Republican party needed help stuffing envelopes, getting the GOP word out, via volunteers which they desperately need to stir the drive to oust the numbers of Democrats currently seated in the House and Senate. Call mentioned that, unlike the Dems, the Republicans don’t pay their volunteer workers so it would be on a strictly pro bono effort from anyone willing to sign up; whether this is factual about Democrats paying their help, I do not know.

 The Republican Party strategy (from this local perspective) is to defeat the lower ranks, then aim for the Presidency. Fill the two Houses with Republicans to support one of the GOP candidates. This was  a call out to the people to get behind a favored candidate and jockey their way into the White House. Seemed like a sound strategy to me-if I were running their race that would be the course of action I’d take. The speaker was actually rather good. Answered questions with temperance, kept the communist bashing to a minimum and gave his best to deter conspiracy superstitions-basic Government 101 stuff, keeping it real. During the Q&A portion I asked Mr. Call if the National Republican party had settled on one favored candidate to go against Obama in the fall. “That will be determined by you people” he smiled…..in other words, they wash their hands of the entire fate of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, et al-at least until pol numbers settle on a favored nation choice.

 The crowd itself wanted to talk about more viral issues being spread from sources like the web and FOX news, real trailer trash banter and as I listened in I got a sense that the real problem in the belly of the beast is not the local leaders, it’s the followers that have been whipped into a frenzy, working against itself in the name of some sensationalized bit thrown on the screen for them to react over. Some people tried to address Ryan with their concerns with statements that fell slightly short of coming out and saying someone needs to shoot the prez. Mr. Call quelled that kind of talk and again, stressed the importance of playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played; majority rules. When I asked my question about a viable candidate, this anxious woman with a face like Lauren Bacall leaned over and touched my arm. “That’s what we need” she said with this haunting gleam in here eyes, but a viable candidate may not be enough. I think they want a blood sacrifice from the Dems, Nancy Pelosi strung on a crucifix with a board nailed to her head reading NEVER AGAIN, or maybe Barack Obama caught on birth certificate fraud and forced to put on an orange suit and do the perp walk.

 The after party was more than I could handle. Expensive beer and food platters-I was still buzzing and had to get out of there before I caused some bad commotion. I had the information needed and still had time to hoof it some 10 blocks down to where the opposition was holding an Occupy rally. I wanted this GOP meeting fresh in my mind to put in contrast to the street Dems. No more drugs-for now. I pecked away at my hand held word processing tech as I lumbered toward the State Capital.

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29
Mar
12

The Dichotomy of Politics; Two Sides of Bedlam pt. 1

I had been planning this venture for weeks once I saw a posting online: The Denver Metro Young Republicans were holding their monthly meeting tonight and I needed to get there. My objective was to mill among the crowd of conservative men and women and witness-firsthand-what such an animal as a Denver Metro Young Republican looks like up close, what they think, what they feel-if they feel. I felt it my duty to see if the portrayal of the right wing political devotee as sensationalized by the press was accurate or exaggerated; was the heinous crap coming out of their pie holes as nasty as reported? I needed to give them the same courtesy I had given the liberal left and lie down with the dogs, see if I get fleas.
First things first: I needed to dress somewhat appropriate for the event. I couldn’t show up in some ragged tshirt with ‘Obama Care’ scrawled in blood across the chest, they might scatter like zebras from an approaching lioness. They tend to frown on someone showing up looking like Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. I chose to wear long pants and a collared shirt with an American flag pinned on my jacket, a real ‘Father Knows Best look to conceal the demon beneath. My tag along electronics at hand, vast amounts of drugs and off I went to discover what a Denver Republican was about.

I piped off a large amount of weed and climbed on the Colfax bus to make my way downtown to Hamburger Marys, an urban watering hole on 17th with superb food and drink. The meeting would be held with the guest speaker, Ryan Call, leading the discussion and fielding questions. I was running late but I would not miss this. I sat next to some hard working stiff on the bus and told him I was going to attend the young Republicans meeting. He gave me this shocked look, as if I just told him I was going downtown to hit baby chicks with a hammer. My attempts at any ambiguous conversation ended there so I sat back and jammed on my IPod. After a few cuts from an Alice in Chains album screaming through my ear buds I had come to the general vicinity of the event and left the working class behind. Once off the bus I realized just how disoriented I was. The nice thing about technology is you can pull out your phone and click this little button that reads ‘where am I?’ and it shows you exactly where you are in the world….handy when high. I sauntered through a few alleys, lighting up the remains in my pipe and continued my journey. This area is one of those pleasant little pockets in Denver; old historic buildings, J Crew sweaters on middle aged housewives walking their dogs with hubby at hand. In spite my attempts to blend in down here I stuck out like a fused bomb.It was best to hurry the rest of the trip as their meeting had begun thirty minutes ago.

Before I knew it Hamburger Marys was right in front of me and I wandered through their crowd of regular patrons to a side room where the Republican’s meeting was being held. I anticipated opening the door onto a room full of methed out klansmen beating the shit out of an Obama effigy or perhaps a room of Agent Smith drones from the Matrix, all staring at me from behind sunglasses, pointing at me declaring “you’re not one of us!” Time to calm down, the pot was working overtime on my paranoia….time to open the door and face the music.

 

27
Mar
12

The Graveyard Shifts pt. 2

huge semi used to transport fencing to Civic Center Park

 My known pendejo associate, Eduardo, has grown to become the classic representation of Murphy’s Law in the living; whenever I have other things at hand he manages to get in touch with me, strung out and raging crazy over some simplistic problem, like trying to find his lost vehicle or persuading me to meet him to shop for items to take back to his family in some dirt bowl town near Oaxaca. When I do need to get in touch with him he’s nowhere to be found. Such was the case down at the protest site when I found out while talking with Big Country that some maniac had been terrorizing the folks down there, waving a pistol around in the wee hours. One problem that goes unnoticed with media coverage of these ‘Occupy’ territories throughout the country is what happens during the early morning hours when no public traffic is there to witness the shit going down. These people are being raped, robbed, tents and sleeping bags torn apart, cigarettes and clothes stolen…it’s not enough just to be living like a vagrant, they continue to suffer these brutal confrontations on a regular basis. I grumble when I have to get up in the middle of the night just to take a piss-imagine having to put on shoes, walk a block and a half to the bus station restroom and find someone to guard your items while you go there or run the risk of having all the possessions you own in this world stolen.

 Two attempts on the phone and still no answer from Eduardo. I’m hoping he’s on his way to Mexico to deliver goods to his relatives-his brother, Nestor, isn’t answering either but I don’t think Nestor knows my phone number so that might be a problem. I kept imagining the gun waving maniac sounds so much like that Chicano madman, always telling me how the “Occupy pussies need to take it up and start getting serious with fire and guns and shit.” I continue to argue that they need a more plausible agenda to get more people involved with their cause. If they continue this circus act of ambiguous political direction they will make very little-if any-progress. Scores of people communicate daily on internet social networks but have no correlated efforts with these zombies. The zombies have the strength, endurance and deranged tenacity to be real screws in the side of the monster corporate machines they wish to battle, but don’t realize the importance (in today’s society) of becoming web bound and ‘viral’. Most YouTube, et. al, video footage you see of these groups show minor skirmishes (Oakland aside) and fist clenching citizens aged 10 to 80 but why aren’t the Occupy groups more focused on content people can follow and understand? It takes most of my internet friends about three minutes to find some info on some slimy politician screwing us over yet these squatters continue to focus on keeping their asses out of jail and protected from being raped….how will that improve the economy? Everyone knows things are bad but what are we supposed to do about it? Vote out our elected officials that aren’t doing anything? That would wipe out most the House and Senate (the President as well, according to some disgruntled citizens). Years ago when that monster Richard Nixon was sending more and more planes over to Vietnam and Cambodia, the message from the people was clear; end the war…..nuff said. Now days our society is so pitted against one another that there is no definitive solution to be agreed on. This divisive arguing reminds one of the Civil War problems our country may have faced, brother against brother in a war of ideas.

 I left the campsite, still vaporized from the highly potent weed I’d been smoking, and gave up trying to reach Ed that night. The police said they caught whoever was menacing the zombies so if it was Eduardo, he’s probably on his way back to Mexico now, in the back of a blue colored school bus. The change of events there left me wondering what would happen now that the state, rather than the city of Denver, would have to pay patrol officers to keep a watch on things down there. The strategy to break the bank of Denver’s tax funds switches to a federal level now so how long can that hold out? The graveyard has shifted and a changing wind has added an air of suspicion to those residing in Grand Central Zombieland. I hope to earn their trust again with time, cigarettes and sundries. Time will tell.

24
Mar
12

The Graveyard Shifts; Eduardo on the Prowl?

Medicinal marijuana comes in a variety of strengths and is priced accordingly. I recently stumbled onto a wicked psychosis inducing strain and plummeted into the bizarre world of the depraved and insidious in downtown Denver. Denver is filled with freaks and vampires of all flavors but it does allow you to do your own thing and not be so much a spectacle. Groups of barely legal kids hang on 16th Street that remind you of something like Dicken’s street punks from Oliver on X. Girls in tight dresses all dolled up as waitresses for outside restaurants that pay attention to anyone with money, various hucksters and pimps of all merchandise. Open patio bars where people go to pay top price for a drink and engage each other on a humid dance floor to do the hump and bump….they feel 20 years old again, or wish they were, for tonight. Various street performers litter the LoDo district, most half assed, some exceptional-dear God, a fucking mime! The police are on hand, parked on their cycles in a circle, no real problem tonight, everyone is grooving on the fine weather. Political dementia takes the mind of some and leaves them leaning against walls with crude signs, shouting random two word protests at passing people. This is Denver.

Then, there is the other side of the route on 16th Street, the one that ends at the Occupy Denver encampment. The zombies down there have turned their quarters into some parallel dimension, living off scraps of food and bastardized technology. Being piped up on some strong strain of weed can either relax you in these surroundings or turn it into a real nightmare and mine took a turn to the dark side this evening. I noticed a bad vibe the minute I showed up among them which is uncommon for me. They typically welcome me down there but this time things were pretty quiet and standoff-ish. One noticeable difference was a large iron fence that now stood around the Civic Center park where the zombies had been  residing. No one was in that part of the park now. The entire clan had dropped their bags and belongings on the other side of the Broadway Street, one block closer to the State Capital. Their numbers were diminished to 30 or so people, a sloth gathering of the really nasty mongrels, dirty urchins pawing over pipes and egg salad sandwiches. They stare at me but make no attempt to greet me. I sit down and pull out my drugs to try and coax some information out of anyone interested in a buzz but the only taker was some small skinny character that reminded me of Ratso Rizzo from Midnight Cowboy. He keeps hitting me up for cigarettes, more pot, anything he can scrounge from me.

Finally, A familiar face walks by-it was Big Country, the easy going young man with a southern twang in his voice that I had met not long ago (see earlier blog, ‘The Man Called Big Country and the Rainbow Fingered Girl“). I walked up with a smile and asked what was going on but even this friendly face looked at me with suspicion. Dear God what had happened? Were the drugs that strong or was this paranoia I was experiencing justified? The zombies may turn on me at any moment so I prepared myself for a quick escape. Big Country did explain to me that the fence was put up to allow maintenance on the park. Apparently all the police cars, people and tents were so weighty that it crushed the sprinkler system and repairs were needed. Actually this somewhat worked to their advantage; the park area bordered on the west side where they had been living is under Denver PD jurisdiction, the east side is under Colorado State Police territory. Although the east side of the park is smaller the state cops are a lot more lenient, or have more to do than play tit for tat with the zombies like the city cops do.  While I stood there talking to Big Country a State patrol car rolled to a stop in front of us and the officer said they caught the man everyone was looking for down there.

“Who’s this guy everyone was looking for?”

Big Country told me some guy had been terrorizing the protesters, running around their camp waving a gun and ranting;  my thoughts immediately went to Eduardo.

21
Mar
12

Ladies and Gentlemen, Tebow-Jesus Has Left the Stadium

I woke up listening to talking head radio trying to focus on what the day’s  subject was while wrestling with the espresso machine. . The call-in diatribe pounding the airwaves revolved around that nasty social media distraction we call football. Normally at this time of year my mind is off season from any gridiron activity as I have other pro sports to focus on, but the recent negotiations involving Pat Bowlen and John Elway (legendary quarterback for the Denver Broncos and current Executive Vice President for Football Operations of said team) finalized a five year, 96 million dollar contract with former Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Peyton Manningm to play for the Denver Broncos. This announcement shocked a huge amount of Mile High fans that had experienced the Second Coming of football last year thanks to the shaky efforts on the gridiron by that hulking Christian media darling, Tim Tebow.
From my observation I found Tebow to be an above average QB for Denver -he did get the Broncos into the playoffs, which is a big bonus for any team, plus I take into consideration the rocky start he had, thrust into the starting position as a disgruntled Kyle Orton left the team. Post season play brings more cash to the owners and gives the average Joe and Jane additional eye candy to numb the senses so it was no surprise that most Bronco fans were pleased with Tebow, even those that scoffed at the religious following he attracted were happy. The paranoid hysteria increased with each game that took Mile High fans closer to the Big Enchilada. Fervent fans crossed their fingers and prayed to this demigod to let the team win one more game.
With every player transition comes a rash of support, opposition and madness from crowds of fans that feel they have all the answers to catapult their team into the winner’s circle; Denver is no different. Huge scores of Tebow fans are sobbing now, a scene akin to Elvis leaving for the Army. Zealous Christian supporters and misdirected housewives are saddened and distraught, their youngsters no longer have the Lamb to look up to and admire, no role model to say their prayers for. Naysayers are calling the incoming pro quarterback ‘Satan Manning’ without ever having seen the man play longer than a few seconds on NFL highlight footage and they’re ready to string his ass on a cross.
 I don’t know how many times I’ve explained this to people and still a large group of them don’t get it; God doesn’t give a rat’s ass about football. Any God that would focus on a pro league team with the largest percentage of praying devotees, while neglecting the rape and genocide in Africa, is not a God to follow folks. As far as role models go, football players are unstable animals that should not be trusted outside the boundaries of a chalk lined field. They breathe testosterone out their nose and swallow violence to survive this game of  tug and tussle. They are performers to entertain you not Jesus in pads and helmet. If you really want a sport to let your kids watch, take them to a good hockey game. hockey is the definitive example of team effort and tenacity. Hockey is the only sport I have watched live where the crowd will applaud both teams whenever someone on either team performs well-THAT is true sportsmanship.
 The dust will settle on the Tebow-Jesus/Manning story and we’ll all forget about it until fall, just about the time our presidential race should be in full kicking gear. Perhaps we should view our politicians in this same light and remember that God does not sit there with a scale weighing your devotion to him like Anubis, punishing those that don’t meet the quota. God’s love is supposed to be unconditional. Gang fucking a prayer out on to the field will not guarantee a win in the NFL-watch old footage of Roger Staubach sometime, learn from that old Christian fart that bombed the big one on a regular basis. In that same vein, massive Christian prayers will not ensure the survival of America over other countries. Praying may well help you sleep at night, but don’t bank on it for all the answers and help. If God wanted us to be a nation of subservient drones….he would have made us all Raider fans.
19
Mar
12

If That’s Daniel Boone, This Must Be Occupy Denver

 “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how
the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have
done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the
arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who
strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again,
because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who
spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in
the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst,
if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place
shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither
victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt
April 23, 1910

The political zombies now recognize me as I walk among them and each trip to their dwelling at the corner of Broadway and Colfax provides a new face and story for me to enjoy. I have been given the seal of approval and can walk the park freely as a celebrity guest inside that carnival of suffrage and insanity. The permanent fixtures that spend most of their time hibernating inside plastic tarp cocoons wave to me. I can walk along the sidewalk path in the middle of the park where the serious drug dealers and abusers convene to sell almost any narcotic you can think of; I usually burn a bowl out there so they see I can be trusted-scary creatures there, tall hooded ebony dopers with blood brimming from their eye sockets, the white part of the eye now an orangish yellow, all offering to sell me pot or hash or smack.

I can’t figure why the truly insane babbling ones down here have yet to approach me with their nonsense and dribble, I’m just glad they haven’t (yet) confronted me. When I say insane I don’t mean someone with an off-key logic to the situation across from the Capital building or someone a bit drunk or high, I mean an all out run through the park waving your arms in the air screaming like a possessed harpy loon. No, the truly warped are definitely a thing to avoid, but the others, they make for an interesting take on things in the Occupy camp.

This trip’s interesting figure was a man named Daniel Boone, a 47 year old homeless man sporting two black eyes and a coating of dirt and hard times on his bare arms. He said he recognized me from the time I spend downtown and said a lot of protesters know I’m there to correspond and report what they’re up to. Daniel has an idea to write “Occupy; The Play”, a portrayal of the individuals who have come to be known a the Occupiers. His thought is to have the play carry itself in all major cities where a protest is being held. He convinces some loner playing a guitar to get in the street and start singing protest songs to inspire his writing of this play. I wish him well with his play and scoot along to other parts of the park. I love the diverse concepts being pitched here, very little of it makes sense, at times a nugget of good tought comes about but then it gets mixed up with all the other banter. The irony of something as humorous as this chalk scrawled message in front of the Capital that reads ‘ they can break the law (lawmakers and cops implied) but we can’t’. This gem of a message is not more than thirty feet away from two guys smoking weed in a pipe. ‘Fuck the Police’ has become the seasonal mantra, blaming them for hauling away fellow zombie protesters for a few days (I have to imagine the Crazy Jesus Lady is in the tank as I have now seen here down here for some time).

To conclude, I think it might behoove you to visit your own local protest site….take a bag of chips or something for the starving demons. Talk to the cognizant ones and get a feel for what’s going through their mind, show some interest in what they have to say even if you think they’re full of shit. At base level, aside from all the politics, they are human beings (sort of) and who wouldn’t give a hungry person a bite to eat? Hell an Oklahoma church youth group showed up to hand out chips and drinks, all the way on a mission from Oklahoma to feed people in protests like this. If an Okie church group can provide a small bag of corn chips, why can’t the rest of us. Keep these zombies friendly, I’ve discovered they’ll let you walk among their sarcophagus and come up with your own conclusions on the whole politics of things. Besides, if and when the masses begin to clash with ‘the Man’ you’re gonna want a lot of loons backing you up. These monsters are ripe for the cause, they just need someone to remind them what the cause is.

The numbers grow on Broadway and Colfax. They have now crossed the streets and are spreading like a weak rash. A small cantina has been erected again, the numbers are increasing. I smell the rise of the zombies.

14
Mar
12

Pt. 2: Big Country, Uffie, Fat Jesus…..

I walked toward this huge drink of water, flagging him down with a half pint of Jim Beam. “You look like you could use a drink” I smiled, to which he gave me a cautious grin and swallowed a long pull from my bottle. He thanked me and told me everyone called him Big Country while I smiled and loaded up my glass pipe so me and Big Country could have a small palaver. His voice was soft with a slight accent that sound Oklahoman. He appeared to have a poke of snuff in is front lip and thanked me again, this time for the pot.

“What’s the deal with the plastic bottle” I asked.

He flexed his eyes and explained it to me. “I want a cop to come over here and give me a ticket for pissing on the sidewalk in public. Then when he starts to write the ticket, I pull this tiny bottle out from under my stomach and he cain’t do nothin. It’s just a trick on them. I want someone to put it on YouTube.”

We talked a bit longer and I surmised Big Country was a daywalker, one of those mutant cross-breed inhabitants here that wasn’t in it for the ’cause’, but wasn’t a homeless street drunk who just needed a place to rest. These daywalkers are all about harassing the cops-in fact they’re more brutal to police than the true Occupy Zombies-but they have no directive, no political focus or concerns. They can recite the same protest mantra like mynah birds using the 99 percent slogans, but use them as justification for any actions they choose to take. Piss in the street? Call it a protest. Civil unrest is a means (and sometimes it’s actually effective) to show disfavor with laws, bad government, etc. but if you do random acts that are reminiscent of something you’d witness on St. Patrick’s night at an Irish bar, what political purpose does this serve? They’re like the drunk friend who won’t go home. The sad thing about it was, my daughter, Uffie, is all about the cause. She desperately wants a future for herself that still holds a middle class, that allows a person to make a decent working wage and able to afford health care, that provides opportunity for a better tomorrow. She and I both met a variety of zombies, daywalkers and true derelicts. My favorite was this scruffy thin guy drinking PBR singing that classic protest song by the Beatles, Eight Days a Week. Priceless. Uffie met a small young man that looked like a leprechaun with really tiny hands they call Fat Jesus. I met a gent named Al who relayed a nefarious plan the protesters set in motion to make a certain police officer’s life pure hell as payback for some earlier bust. Old Mama was this lady everyone down there knew who let my daughter hold the FUCK THE POLICE sign for a while, Ratboy with his skateboard, Ebby looking for smokes-a plethora of beasts out here of every shape and size. Still, I don’t see a plan in focus. This is not a protest this is a new shire, our own third world village pleading for smokes and more cardboard. The protest movement I first ran into down on Colfax and Broadway nearly a year ago is souring like old milk. I’m beginning to feel as if somewhere in the dark recess of the park lies the dying body of Kurtz uttering “the horror…the horror…” Where will this all lead?

Where?




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