Archive for September, 2014


The Untouchables


The internet news brothels recently began filling our screens with generous portions of venom aimed at NFL football players. They worked hard to provide accusations launched at these gridiron performers and now we get to feel like justice is being served, at least somewhere in our lives. I’m all for preventing  spousal abuse, child neglect and every other dirty little secret they now seem able to pull out of the locker rooms, but I feel we may be experiencing a ‘wag the dog’ brand of justice to keep our minds from settling on a more disturbing performance among us.
The House shut down on Capitol Hill and won’t be back in business until November. This group of sloths managed to sit around and shuffle papers until it was time to take a break and left the country in a continued state of misery, mocking the public with such a daring move. If you or I held a job where we were expected to accomplish enough to quantify the salary we were being paid but all we did was sit with our thumb up our ass for half a year – then decide to take a little over a month’s vacation…..we know what our job status would be. So why is it we continue to allow this from our elected officials? Why are we merely balking at one another as if our neighbor who holds differing political opinions than ours are all that make this problem exist? Granted anyone who elects some slug bastard in office holds some accountability but all they really did was open the door for the beast; the true damage came once the beast got in and started marking his territory.
Most U.S. citizens now hold a device to oust these pricks in the palm of their hands. Sadly, most of them will spend their time destroying fictitious candy or searching the web for new clips of cute animals. I implore you to take just a few moments away from your numbing pastime habit and call up the office of your House Member. They won’t be there but there will be someone answering the phones and you can leave a brief message for those sagging syphilitics telling them to get their asses back to work. We aren’t going to pay for their vacation anymore because they certainly aren’t paying for ours. They are not doing their jobs, they are wasting our time and money and we are fed up. You can word it any way you want but I think you get my objective. If the offices of our elected officials become swarmed with irate voters, perhaps they’ll begin to pay a little attention. They may not at first – in fact I believe the first to take notice will be those internet news brothels I spoke of earlier, because they thrive off human adrenaline. Once they see this as the hot button topic of the day they will pounce on exposing every rat bastard out there not doing their job or perhaps they’ll even get a bit daring and start showing the criminal activities so many of our paid politicians are involved in.
If we sit and do nothing, the Untouchables will keep going about their charade of public service and claim a fair sized paycheck with benefits. I for one am getting frustrated knowing I can’t afford my own health care but manage to pay for some Senator’s well being; how many House Member’s have I financed over the decades of voting? What have they done for you and I recently? We have the ability to vote these mothers out of office and perhaps we should start doing it now…..right now….


The Sirens of the Internet


Decades ago people jokingly referred to television as the boob tube; they had no idea how heinous a monster we would make that machine once we swapped out the cathode tube for a plasma screen and implanted some interactive buttons on it. Technology has advanced our society in so many ways yet hidden behind the veil of its bells and whistles there is a dark halo which taunts us and I for one wonder where this will lead us. Social media sites connect people with one another allowing us to share stories and swap images of our lives but mixed in that soup of information is a suggestive herb that acts like a heroin. I am constantly bombarded with these quizzes like ‘What Famous Person in History Are You Most Like?’ or ‘What Personality Trait Describes You Best?’. For the most part I can see that these little quick quizzes are nothing more than keys being jingled in the baby’s face but do they leave us running to the screen in moments of self doubt to get an ego boost?
The Age of Information is upon us and right now two things people want are money and to be recognized. The first one escapes a vast majority of us and seems an unlikely candidate to show up at our door however we all have seen how quickly a video of something bizarre or stupid or cute can become ‘viral’. Anyone can have the world peer at them for a moment; Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame prediction has come to life and once you experience it, the ego is bathed in a warped kind of love that leaves us wanting more. These tests that ask ‘What Kind of Color Are You?’ always end with a positive, like a modern day version of the fortune cookie….there are no bad fortunes in a cookie.
So where’s the harm in all this you ask? I see the harm coming from a sugar laced evaluation of you so no matter how big an asshole you are in real life if you take the test and click on the buttons you’ll find that you’re a more tolerable individual that you may have thought. It’s our own form of the Special Olympics; everyone’s a winner. We all know the reality is that we are not all winners. In fact there are a lot of fucked up individuals in the world but if they aren’t confronted enough by lives souls will continue to be deluded by the sirens of the internet. As for the Warhol syndrome that too can be taken to an ill extreme. I’m all for seeing a video about how someone was clever enough to teach me how to improve my life or perform some amazing tune or live draw a picture but someone who feels they have to harm another person to get a laugh online is becoming twisted in the wrong direction.
All I’m suggesting is, if you need some ego stroking, go hunt up a friend and get a drink together. Talk with a good compadre, meet new folks but don’t continue to rely on that little quiz on the internet because that test was not conceived by someone with a PhD in psychology. It was created by someone wanting you to up their site click ratings. There really are a lot of marvelous things in the real word as well as on the internet world…don’t let either lull you into a false sense of contentment.


The NFL; An American Horror Story


The ink has barely dried on fantasy league sheets throughout the country and already we have been bombarded with stories of indiscretion from gridiron performers. The Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice from their team when public outcry over video released that showed him cold coking his wife emerged on the internet. Most people were appalled over this incident and shocked to hear his wife come back days later in support of her husband but in spite her pleas, a ban on playing in the NFL is Rice’s set punishment. Early Saturday morning Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson turned himself in to authorities for charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. The list of felonies and bad judgment continues to grow leaving many to believe we need to crack down and do something about this 300 lb. gorilla in the room known as the National Football League.
The most concerned people I speak to seem to be those left trying to explain to the youth of our nation why it is that the honored profession of being a professional athlete is tainted with oozing pus. Kids are encouraged to join in team sports to help build their character yet what can they learn from watching some pro player get criminal charges leveled at him? I remind these concerned folks that football is not the only sport laced with problems. We spend a good portion of the summer engrossed with stories of substance abuse from our baseball teams, winter holds continued coverage of NBA players pegged for street thug violations of the law…a frightening group of role models making more money than I will ever see in my lifetime.
We need to compare this to other occupations in order to keep a true perspective on things; sports aren’t the only tribe out there with problems in their ranks. Politicians, police and preachers have their fair share of monsters as well. I’ll never forget watching that defamed preaching huckster, Jimmy Swaggert, standing there on national television blubbering like a baby confessing to the Lord that he had sinned. Yeah, no shit Jimmy. You plooked some girl and before someone else could release the whole story to the press you beat them to the punch in order to (hopefully) maintain hold on the multi-million industry you built. Politicians continually find themselves in hot water yet manage to hold on to their jobs. Hell, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught – and admitted – smoking crack but managed to hold onto his position for some time. I know he’s not an American politician (seemed like the best recent candidate to highlight…other than maybe Rick Perry) but we have had our share of drug abusers and crime demons as well….lest we forget Marion Berry.
I think we’ll have to cope with the societal arrangement we have with our pro sports teams and players. There is no way we can stop the problem before it happens and as long as the league is willing to follow up with repercussions for those who are caught punching their wife or shooting someone or hurting a child, I feel that’s about the best we can do. I’ve said before in a past post that I feel the NFL could do wonders running our country. Rather than bury their dirty secrets, like our politicians do, they air them out in the open and say ‘we don’t tolerate this behavior’ and quickly oust those convicted; then a new batch of thugs come in and the circle of life continues….welcome to the Church.
In reality these shining stars that fall from grace may be the perfect examples to hold up to our kids. They are proof that money and power can corrupt you if you’re not careful. It also shows that no one is above the law (or at least they are the best example we have for that….our politicians certainly don’t prove that). So today I salute you NFL as that continued horror story of our nation that brings so much joy and pain in equal doses to those who watch or participate. Keep the game going, and don’t stop playing ‘the game’.


The King is Dead


They told me the King of Mayfair had died,
I thought for a while,
And then I just cried

I tagged this street person who frequented my neighborhood the King of Mayfair, out of respect for his perseverance to keep on keeping on. He came every now and then on an old bike and parked in front of an abandoned building where, at one time, the Mayfair Coffee Company stood in business. Now all that remains of the coffee store is the building and the weathered sign that reads ‘the Mayfair Coffee Company’.  He would chain his bike to the stop sign that stands next to the building and make camp for the evening. Often I saw him writing in a journal and at some point before the sun went down he would curl up in the small doorway of the abandoned coffee shop and fall asleep.
I almost asked him once what he wrote about but never did; I suppose I felt like I would be invading his personal space or something to that effect. I did get a chance to say a few words to him once and gave him some money. I could tell he was not one to partake of extreme alcohol binges or battling with mental illness; he seemed rather normal for the most part, but damn what a strong guy he had to be. Imagine being in the heart of some neighborhood where hookers and drug dealers and gang banger wanna-bes plague the evening…now imagine this is your bedroom. I would never get any sleep but he did; the King could turn his back to the street and be out before sunset and up before sunrise – and no one ever took advantage of him.
Like an outside cat, he could be missing for some days before turning up again on his designated spot and I constantly kept watch for an opportune moment to sit with him – catch him before he went to bed or rode off to some other location in town. I wanted to know more about his history, what he wrote in that journal, what I could do for him. Other people in the neighborhood would leave money in the crack of a baseboard at the Mayfair coffee shop or pamphlets on where he could get assistance from local churches and so many of us wished more in life for the King. Just as soon as you got into a frame of mind thinking he had found the help he needed to get off the street, the King would show up in his kingdom and chain up his bike for the night.
I found out from Jerome that the King had died in a hospital downtown. Jerome is an old retired black man that wears a Panama hat and spends his days in the local Burger King dishing out wisdom and gossip. Jerome’s word is pretty good and I haven’t seen the King for some time now, so I have to assume Jerome is probably right…the King is dead. With so many street people near my home, so many people down on their luck, I can’t help but ache for their hardships. I try to give what support I can by being on the streets out there to talk to them, shell out a buck now and then for some coffee or food but the King always seemed to stand alone. He asked for no help and made his way through what had to be a very hard life…and now and then we all have a hard life so help those you know, help those you don’t know and humble yourself enough to accept help when you need it.
The King is dead…long live the King.

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September 2014

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