Archive for September, 2013

28
Sep
13

Huddled in the Pews, the Gnashing of Teeth

It’s time to clutch hands in a big circle, Brothers and Sisters. The road might get a little bumpy from this point so hold tight. This is not the prelude to an apocalyptic ending some of us were expecting to witness. The pews are filling up quick here in this conceptual Church for us ass bleeding morons. Our nation had a population explosion some generations ago, the ‘baby boomers’. which should have given us a sizable attack force against inept legislators.  Sadly, the majority of those Boomers are now suffering, en masse, a world created of part societal ignorance and part technological advancement chaos.

A few days back I had jokingly suggested I open a Kickstarter campaign to fund moving me out of America. It doesn’t seem quite so humorous an idea now.  I’m sure there are a number of people out there willing to donate a few bucks to deport me to other borders so I now consider the Kickstarter idea a win – win scenario. I’ll fill the congregation in, via this blog, when I get that project up and running.

Americans continue to exist within classified subcultures of rich, poor and poorer. The rich keep getting richer, they tell us….hard to say for certain. I don’t know the rich. I do know the poor continue to be poor and the number of poor is on the rise.  Other countries show harsh poverty now as well, but America is supposed to be this shining beacon for them to copy, the living example of Capitalism winning superiority over Socialist behavior or Marxist ideologues. The Capitalist philosophy is still what many strive for but something horrible happened. Somewhere along the way Capitalism morphed into something less free and more methodical. The previous week news stories report on the Republican Party surging into a bills parlay approach before the House and Senate. They hit a hard political backhand over the net launching a move to shutdown government and defund Obamacare. Perhaps they plan to back and forth actions until the 2016 campaign.

We in the public sector have yet to put up an Egyptian sized stink on our governing leaders. We’re caught chasing our tails while decisions of a global proportion are being decided from huddled men in shaded rooms. Syria clashes, violence in Africa – we all wait to see if real smoke and fire kick up overseas in lands that will host our sons and daughters, our husbands, wives and fathers in battle.  A majority of world leaders can’t afford to get stitched into another costly conflict, but they must back their stance of zero tolerance for usage of chemical weapons. We now wait huddled in the pews, gnashing our teeth hoping someone makes the right fucking decision.

Here’s a thought; why don’t we update means of communication with our legislators and governing body? Banking institutions and large corporations within our public domain can operate and transact policy changes, et cetera, overnight, yet our politicians still rely too heavily on dogmatic practices established during times of World War – and prior. We can send our citizens into war with the blink of the proverbial eye, yet actions on health care costs or internal refurbishing of the American network utilities flounder within hallowed walls of Congress. Feebs. Politicians want to blame it on red tape or lack of cooperation from the opposing party. Documentation is too lengthy to read, hidden agendas slip within the pages of bills before Congress, they need to update this voting process to match the speed our society has accelerated into. Mending the infrastructure of this Capitalist nation should not falter – but it has.

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15
Sep
13

The Syrian Powderkeg is Lit: How We Can Kill Honey Boo Boo

honey-boo-boo

There’s a growing lack of something in most people’s diet causing extensive internal damage – that something is human contact. Syria sits on the brink of igniting a worldwide battle and still, most Americans dream their only solace lies inside the monitor of a computer or on the face of a smartphone. I continue to venture out into the world and engage those I meet and can tell you, there is something out there that will heal your soul. You may not believe it until you try it a few times but trust me; there is an appeasing quality within human engagement that you won’t find anywhere else.

News stories keep us informed on recent Middle East uprisings but factual accounts are sketchy and we are left to trust the objectivity of whatever news provider we’re currently tuned in on. Now could these news stories be biased, cherry picked coverage to keep a contained audience content?…you can bet your fucking boots they’re biased. Media conglomerates found out how to corral chunks of the viewing public with reality TV programming, a visceral mixture of entertainment and emotional programming. At what point did we actually consider our leisure pacifier to boil down to watching Honey Boo Boo while swilling down a Heart Smart microwave dinner?

The touchy scenario for our fearless leader, Barack “Hope and Change”, is the balance of conflict brought about by Syria’s recent unrest. Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, was not meant to be in charge. His brother, Bassel al-Assad, was expected to take over as President of Syria but died in a car accident which left Bashar the new President. Bassel had been groomed at an early age to be the next leader of Syria – his father and former President, Hafez Assad, was publicly referred to as Abu Basil” (Father of Bassel). European and Arab leaders were introduced to Bassel, everything was in line for him to take over and keep the game plan rolling, then he’s taken down in a fucking car wreck…now everybody has to shift gears and start from scratch with Bashar and no one knows dick about how this guy will behave.

My outings into the public involve a lot of live music shows. This is where I have found a great source of enrichment by coming into contact with fellow humans that share a desire to enjoy their lives rather than let it be numbed away under the dome of monitors and keyboards. The irony of live entertainment is that not enough people are jamming into these venues to make it profitable for bar and club owners to book acts, yet they can’t persuade people to come to their clubs or bars if they don’t provide live entertainment. Without enough boots through the door there is no profit to be made, which means the club owners can’t afford to pay the bands, which means the bands will stop playing there. It’s a vicious circle that can be eliminated if more of the public becomes willing to jump in and help. If just one-maybe two days out of the week, more people got off their ass and went to a club, this would do a number of positive things. First, it would kill programs like Honey Boo Boo by ignoring them into obscurity. Second, it would provide income revenue for clubs to pay indie bands an adequate amount to play, giving more people paying jobs. Last, it will give folks that human contact I wrote about earlier, the unseen medicine to heal the psyche. If you think watching Duck Dynasty is funny wait until you go out in the real world and come into contact with creatures equally as bizarre…much more enriching.

Bashar has been accused of using chemical weapons and bringing down the hammer on his public. The images coming out of Syria are abhorrent and concise, collaborative news is hard to come by. Substantiated reporting is being stifled, reporters are being fired at, accurate coverage is sketchy at best. Is Bashar really doing all these monstrous things, gassing kids and women, or is this a ‘wag the dog’ to hide the covert dance going on between Middle East leaders, Russia and the U.S.? Conspiracies are getting mashed up with the reality of this situation at the speed of the internet so how can we say for certain what’s in the plans of the future over there? We’re an ocean away from the true world happenings and any speculation as to what might happen is just that; speculation.

In contrast, we Americans do have the ability to do something about the real live, local spots where folks gather to dance and sing and forget their troubles for a while. If we make an effort to get out more often, it will become as habitual as clicking in to view reality TV or typing away on some social network like Facebook. Facebook will be there, with all it’s frustrations and dulling memes, whenever you come back. Honey Boo Boo may not and I’ll be the first to cheer when they kill (not literally) that pudgy fucking kid who has amassed more cash than I will see for years, merely by being a modern day circus geek for us to stare and laugh at….stop making the little kid bite the head off chickens folks, get out and support your local bands!

I give no final analysis on the Syrian situation because it’s far from over. America cannot support a policy that turns a blind eye toward weapons of mass destruction but this conflict has an underlying stench that makes me wonder what’s really going on. If the world leaders allow chemical weapons to be used and the instigators to go unpunished, this leaves the door open to future chemical attacks…and Israel really doesn’t want to hear that because they know a half dozen countries near the Persian Gulf would like nothing better than for them to be wiped off the face of this planet. My issue remains that there has not been enough – and the key word here is ‘enough’ – substantiated information regarding the whole trauma in Damascus and other parts of Syria. How easy it was for us to point the finger of accusation at Saddam Hussein and cry about him using chemical weapons on his people, but if you remember, America was a key supplier of those nasty things to encourage them to use against Iran when they were in conflict with one another…doesn’t this at least give you some pause?

Now o out and watch a band and have a beer….you’ll feel better.

08
Sep
13

Too Legit to Quit, Too Insane to Stop pt. 2

syria-2

The evening ended with MC Hammer putting on a performance that had me eating my words of pity for him. The man was far from being washed up, and I have to be big enough to admit when I’m wrong. There was a capacity audience larger than any before witnessed at the Taste of Colorado adn everyone was talking about his show days to come. The people were packed ass to ass in the ninety plus weather, waiting to see the iconic hiphop artist and when Hammer showed, he came on strong. As hot and uncomfortable as it was, we all got groovin’.

Night fell and the show ended; soon the food and beer tents began shutting down for the evening. This is when my true interest of the human animal kicked in, witnessing the folks still down here after the Hammer crowd had left. I always wonder what the street dwellers do once everyone else clears out to go back to their homes. For a brief period of time the street kin have crowds of strangers walk into their turf familial to disrupt their normal schedule of park sitting. Drug dealers are shooed out, homeless plod off somewhere outside the park’s parameters and then finally, the evening festivities end; the rides and popcorn stands are closed and tribes of urban dwellers rise to the asphalt once again to claim their land.

I thought of going back home but luck and timing threw a bone of curiosity in front of me. While discussing my indecision of plans on the phone with a friend, a fight broke out across the street from me between a couple meth heads. one guy was in an irate rage (probably ripped off from the other person) and they began clawing at each other. Miraculously, in a matter of moments, a Denver fire department truck stopped in front of them to break things up and dole out some treatment to wounds. One of the methheads was having none of this treatment shit though, and started attacking the firemen. Three of them finally took the guy down and held him with his face to the ground while all waited for the cops to arrive. What a great photo op I thought to myself. My friend on the phone was in a bit of disagreement with me on this one:

“I need to get over there and get a pic of me next to the guy.”
“This doesn’t sound like a good idea” my friend cautioned.
“Are you kidding me? This sounds like the best idea” I told him and hurried to the other side of the street before the incident was a closed case and the doped up guy hauled off to jail.

While crossing the street to get closer, Denver police showed up and quickly strolled over to the perp and tazed his ass. I couldn’t see me fitting all this activity and myself into one picture – not at my arm’s length. I needed someone to take the photo for me. The first candidate to cross my path was this incredibly small woman with white hair, barefoot and all inked up, strolling out of a bar no more than 100 feet from the incident.  Perfect. I pushed my handheld into her small palm and quickly blurted out some instructions on how to take photos with it. As drunk as she appeared, the concept of snapping a photo was easy enough, so I got my picture and left the police and firefighters to finish up the paperwork on those two drugged disasters.

While observing the tribes of Colfax that evening I began to reflect on their lives and compared it to the people of Syria. Most Denverites know very little about the actual day to day affairs of the nomads that live on their streets and our nation knows very little about the people of Syria. We are an ocean away from seeing the truth over in the Middle East and are forced to rely on the news being dispensed on networks that guide their coverage and bias based on the audience they favor to keep as subscribers. With this form of subjective news, mixed in with political disinformation, do you really expect to get a true picture of what’s going on? We can’t even be sure the footage we’re seeing is real. Faked video has been released by a number of nations, some exposed, some not-with no substantial groundswell backlash from the public.

The vast majority of Western society tend to shy away from any organization that has the word ‘Brotherhood’ in it’s name; Westerners really shy away from groups with the word ‘Muslim’ in their title. If I were laying Vegas odds, I would have to say that most Americans are going to side up with any group opposed to a Muslim organization. The paradox provoked here is caused by the myriad splinter groups in the Middle East that operate with secrecy and double-even triple-loyalties to each other. It’s like a family of starved rats fighting over a scrap of food…related to one another, yet ready to take anyone out in order to achieve their objective.

The streeties of Colfax went about their business the rest of the evening. Twenty somethings waiting for their baby-mamas to come pick their kids up off the bus route, drug dealers hooking up with their regulars, spats over who gets to canvas which corner. If all you looked at was the surface you may be a bit disgusted at seeing people living a life that seems foreign and bizarre, out of context from the norm. I tend to look beyond the cover of the book to see a lifestyle that is different from mine, yet the same in many ways. When I watch footage of Middle East factions killing and dismembering their enemies, I see a lifestyle that is different from mine, but similar in many ways. If tomorrow I was invaded by people that lived a few blocks away and those people took the lives of my friends and loved ones, revenge would run through my veins so how can I accurately judge that which I have never experienced? We (most of us) in the States don’t experience this so we find it hard to relate to killings and bombings. We find it easy to express our opinions about the horrors of what’s going on over there but all we have to base our feelings on are projected, cherry-picked news stories that someone else feeds us. Were we to live in that kind of nightmare for even a few weeks, we may see things in a different perspective.

Whether it’s on the streets of Colfax or the streets of some Syrian town, all we can really do, effectively, is stay out of the way. You can theorize until you’re blue in the face about why we should or should not invade but until you step onto the streets and live the lifestyle a bit, all you can do is postulate the best course of action. In this scenario, even to do nothing is to do something, but my mind considers the action of putting U.S. troops on the ground over there as another walk of shame for our country at the expense of God knows how many lives. Let’s keep the fuck out of this conflict and let someone else die for a change,

02
Sep
13

Too Legit to Quit, Too Insane to Stop pt. 1

legit

The infamous rapper/hip-hop artist, MC Hammer (Stanley Burrell) was making his way to the Mile High City for their annual 3 day event, the ‘Taste of Colorado” and once I found that out, nothing was going to stop me from seeing him. News out of Syria continued to shell the airwaves and blogosphere with no one really sure who was on whose side. Syrian officials warned the press that any actions taken against Syria by outside forces will not only become potentially hazardous, but may “instigate chaos throughout the world”. I needed a distraction from Damascus.

The ‘Taste’ is a three day event that I have an interest in , for the sake of watching the crowd, enjoying the music and taking notes on the unique form of chaos it creates for locals. Traffic on Colfax and surrounding streets within a 5 block radius are rerouted, bus scheduling is a total clusterfuck, refuse everywhere, drunken amateurs and all the general misfits of life hone in on the festivities. My primary interest this year was to have a big scoop of schadenfreude at the expense of Master Rapper Hammer. This entertainer had a blockbuster career that went up and down, dabbing his fingers into music and dance; his songs have been used in a number of television shows and movies but his tainted legacy stemmed from trash talking other rappers down and bad business decisions. For me, his moment of pure sellout came when he recorded “Addams Groove” (or “Addams Family Groove”) for the OST of the movie “The Addams Family“.  his persona slowly turned from a hustle and bustle hip-hop king to a sellout shill for the recording industry. I was anxious to see this man have to whimper before a carnival sized audience, tears streaming down his face while he blubbered out “you can’t touch this”.

Bashar al-Assad is the purported menace who released chemical weapon attacks that claimed the lives of hundreds of women and children. News from the Middle East continues to be a sketchy, a best guess game for reporters as the he said/she said dialogue leaves everyone unsure what is true and was is subjective, volatile mudslinging. The Obama Administration is now saying that there could be military intervention which leaves both major political parties passive to the public. Republican and Democrat politicos alike are not that anxious to stand up and rattle their sabres, Dems being the most likely to fend for humanitarian reasons. The problem is, no one is sure who the fuck to back in this dogfight. I think this quandary was very well stated in a letter from a Mr KN Al-Sabah who wrote:

Iran is backing Assad. Gulf States are against Assad!

Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.

But Gulf States are pro Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood.

Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!

Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!

Gulf states are pro US but Turkey is with Gulf States against Assad; yet Turkey is pro Muslim Brotherhood (and) against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being back by the Gulf States!

Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.

I’ll let your mind wrap around that one while I gather myself at the keyboard.

 

 




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