Archive for March, 2016

29
Mar
16

What Doesn’t Kill You…

what-doesnt

When I was ten years old my step father cold cocked me out of a chair because I had improperly screwed the lid on a jar of peanut butter. Punching me square in the face didn’t kill me, but it did leave me with this nagging itch-to this day-when I see a jar improperly screwed on. I try to correct the lid and winch a little inside as I remember…then my life goes on.

I do not agree with the old adage “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. It does not make you stronger; it warps and molds you, but doesn’t always make you tougher. It’s like when a bone breaks. The bone will heal but the mend will never be as strong. Survivors of mass shootings aren’t made stronger, they just survive and go on with a head full of pain and misery. Survivors of war in Europe and Asia, women being raped and abused in African countries, the torture of fellow human beings…when it doesn’t kill them, I can’t see it making them stronger. What I see is it fucking with their minds for eternity. It fucks with the minds of anyone who sees it or reads about it. The most recent story coming out of Spencer, Indiana about a twenty two year old man raping and killing a fifteen month old child sickens me. Another pebble has been thrown into a river of evil and hate, which ripples and grows all over the world. Each time someone is hurt, whether physical or emotional, direct or indirect, the ramifications scatter in dozens of directions. The world is beginning to compile a lot of those ripples, folks. Survivors of gunfire in a theater or a school, thugs hitting people in the head with a brick for a few dollars…people who get punched in the face for screwing the lid on a jar wrong…the initial suffer grows and mends over broken bones, but it will never be as strong.

I hold sorrow for the people in Spencer, Indiana tonight. I am saddened by the loss of a young girl who didn’t even get to see her first birthday….life’s last images for her were violent and terrible. I feel sympathy for the law enforcement officials who have to deal with this case up close. This is the kind of work no one wants to face, but someone does it, and we should all be thankful for that because that kind of sick shit, witnessing the up close and personal on an infant death…that won’t kill you, but it won’t make you stronger; it will make you test your sanity over and over.

My great hope is that more people will recognize and appreciate the seen and unseen pain and scars most of us carry within. Every day the globe compiles more tragedy and we seem to be ripping at the seams of tolerance for one another. Gun enthusiasts support their right to hold weapons as shootings add up. Scary stories of nefarious tribes of foreigners, baying at American borders, put citizens on alert before they can even investigate the validity of a purported terrorist incident. We’re getting strung tight; larger numbers of people need drugs or liquor or weapons-or all three-to cope. Everyone wants justice and there are so many brands of justice out there but most our issues deal within some semblance of logic. This Spencer tragedy is outside the realm of logic. This rape and murder of a child is unspeakably harsh.

So now that I read the story and keep searching for updates on this story, I know that reading it didn’t kill me…but it didn’t make me stronger. In fact, I think it made me a little weaker.

19
Mar
16

Frankentrump Must Die

frankentrump

St. Patrick’s Day brought out the usual crowd on what I refer to as (one of two) Amateur night(s) for festivities. As a seasoned veteran of party holidays I discovered that bad accidents and worse judgement happens on these days, and because of that, I typically avoid going out on the drinking holidays. I have become more lenient in this practice with St. Pat’s however, because many good people I know will stroll out to wear green and drink rank beer that evening, so it gives me a chance to catch up with old friends. An east-side bar threw a giant tent up across the street from where I catch the bus, which led me for curiosity’s sake to mingle with the crowd. It was too close, to convenient not to wander over to see what the buzz was.

My mind needed a break from the horrifying news stories developing each day reporting Donald Trump’s rise to power. All sane people by now felt the pompous ass would be out of the race-but no! The beast lives on as the front runner selected to represent the Republican party in this year’s Presidential election. A line has been drawn in the sand; left and right wing moderates are being forced to accept the Trump monster, or help destroy him. Many Republicans are now starting to cope with the concept of another Democrat in the White House, as opposed to letting the failed business tycoon run our country. Among constant reports and video footage of Trump’s pompous speeches to America, anyone with half a brain will notice the characteristics of an insane despot in this man. He actually addressed the world stating “I know words, I have the best words….”. His rallies have shown violence unleashed against any shred of opposition to him, which tends to intermingle with outright racism and stereotyping. He permeates all that has been considered ugly about our country and managed to sell it to a crowd out there….how?

Answering the ‘how’ question is difficult. To date, I haven’t run into any recognized number of Trump supporters so I can’t ask them. One would imagine there would be an abundance of Trump followers in a state whose Governor peppered the internet with his own backwoods mentality. Mike Pence (Gov.-IN) took steps to give Indiana the appearance of a most xenophobic and homophobic state-a false facade, but the only one a majority of the internet news surrounds the world with. I’m happy to report that you will not see a bunch of Trump bumperstickers here, and not many Pence stickers either. There wasn’t enough time or resources for me to get to that Chicago rally where fighting caused authorities to shut the thing down. It was reported that radical protestors there became so intense, officials made the decision to stop the thing before it got too critical…yes, Chicago has a history of political rallies gone bad. Read up on the incidents when Mayor Daley was rocking around Chi-raq.

The Chicago incident is more of what the public needs to see-an honest attack against Frankentrump. The angry villagers are finally beginning to leave their homes and light their torches. Donald is being chased after from various directions and hopefully will get cornered and tossed out. The Republican party, the party which has him as their leading candidate, is ashamed at what they now represent to the world (albeit this racist/xenophobic personification of how ‘Republicans’ are viewed has been on the grow in modern times since Ronald Reagan.). Only now are more voters feeling they should choose between the remaining GOP hopefuls and nix Trump at all costs. Sadly, it is too late for some. Primaries have come and gone and all those who felt no real harm in giving Trump their support may now feel very different that their state has helped keep the monster alive. They would rather have Cruz or Rubio on the ballot, but Trump has stolen their soul and their vote. I don’t think a lot of right wing voters would switch party this election and vote for a Dem; more than likely, they would just stay home this November and mull around ideas for the 2020 race. This one might be in the shitcan for them.

St. Pat’s evening was a fantastic night of drinking and inebriated love. All turned friendly and fights were non-existent…at least there in that east-side bar I was at. I continued to sip on a large glass of Jameson and mingle, thinking I would run into more political discussions, more issues of the day, but none could be found. Everyone was too busy being everyone’s new friend and the forbidden talk of politics wasn’t even considered. We need more days like that. Maybe once a month have a holiday where we all gather and put our differences and prejudices aside over a pint or three. The next recognized drinking holiday here in Indy will be Memorial Day, when eyes focus in on the great Indy 500 race….let’s hope that Frankentrump will be defeated and ousted by then….but don’t count on it. We can’t be lazy about this, we must be diligent.

Frankentrump must die.

13
Mar
16

Media’s Frankenstein; Bigger Than Elvis

biggerthanelvis

By the time I began to witness tree branches growing into my arms, a mental notepad of bullet points began to develop on Donald Trump’s current stab with popularity. Whether you like the man, support the man or wish him dead, Trump is the monster most heads are turning to look at. Some see a savior; most see a shill.

It was Friday night and I wanted to get away from my own personal madness for a while. I needed some space and devilish hallucinogenics to whisk me away; some great music to stomp my feet to and jar my soul…something to possess me like a Santeria trance. A music house on the metro south side of Indianapolis was hosting a band called Bigger Than Elvis. I knew this would be perfect. Me, jaunting off to see a band (self claimed) bigger than the King, while bullet pointing my thoughts on the man who acts as if he’s bigger than God. This Trump thing had been nagging me a while now and I had to see if there was some minor theorem everyone overlooked.

I steeped a large portion of psychedelic mushrooms, drank it quick and hit the road. The music venue was about two and a half miles away so this would be perfect timing with the effects of the mushrooms. They typically take about thirty minutes to begin kicking in good and that was exactly the amount of time it took the trees to start growing branches into my arms. I envisioned a Dystopian Trump society as a police helicopter flew over my head. The streets were vacant except for me; the drugs exaggerated this scene with an eerie solitude of oppression. I imagined myself in this Trump world and it was not pretty. I assume most of us have imagined that horrifying Trump world and none of us like or want that…so why is this guy still in the lead? Hell, why is this guy still in the race?

Since Donald Trump came down that slow elevator and announced a bid for the White House, his antics have shown up being the front running footage for most newscasts. In the beginning, we were all amused at his pomposity and morose behavior but now the race is in it’s final months. We all thought he would be tossed out on his ear by now, or at the very least, be at the bottom of the polls-popular only to Skinheads and dullards. We have ourselves and the media to blame for this Frankenstein. Our focus on watching the man we loved to hate brought high ratings/viewings.and those numbers played to news outlet moguls who saw a cash cow in keeping Trump in the public’s eye. Frankentrump is a result of our over-indulgence in watching the freak. Media outlets couldn’t help but harbor the man on their websites. He was internet browser gold.

I made the show and watched a fantastic performance from this band who played whiskey drinking, boot tapping rockabilly music. Old covers from Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. The voice of the lead singer, this man who was truly bigger than Elvis (pounds/acreage) had a sweet crooning voice that crashed out these old hits with emotion to move you. It was impossible not to shake and dance while watching him. The hours passed by as I slammed down Dewars like it was water. Mushrooms will make you do that. The alcohol puts a nice damper on the tremors you can get from them.

Hours later, I had walked back to my side of town and stopped at a neighborhood bar which hosts great bands. The outside cigarette smokers patio had a discussion going on about a disruptive crowd in Chicago upsetting a Trump rally there. This led to my asking the question to that small group; how many of them knew hardcore Trump supporters-people who definitely want the man in the White House. One man knew one supporter. More peculiar to me was the fact that the same number usually gets pulled up when asking the same question with regard to any other Republican candidate. The right wing political machine is somewhat stalled for the moment and not sure what to do about it. The media placed Trump as their front runner but most Republicans look at this guy and refuse to believe he is going to be their designated man. They aren’t sure who they want, but they know who they don’t want. They have to see a future with another Democrat in the White House this upcoming term and this upsets them. They seethe at the thought of Hillary Clinton being the next President and aren’t really sure what they feel about Sanders-other than they think he’s some incarnation of Vladimir Lenin. Republicans are pissed and feel they’re going to have to take it up the ass four more years, all because their party couldn’t get it together enough to provide them a candidate they could get behind. They yearn for the days of another Ronald Reagan but so far all they get is Ronald McDonald…some clown selling them a lot of cheap, tasteless shit.

The evening eventually turned to morning and all the effects of the drugs and alcohol washed away leaving me to feel reassured that I don’t believe Trump will be elected president…this time, at least. Sweet Jesus, the majority hasn’t gone that insane yet. I had ventured out into the night to see a man know to be Bigger Than Elvis, while thinking about a man who feels bigger than God. At least one of these two proved worthy of praise and title, and that one man sings with a voice of gold.

01
Mar
16

The 11th Hours Sanders Rally pt. 2

sanders-3

Time oozed on as I sat in the lower level bar at the Hyatt. I sipped on my Wild Turkey and started up a small chat with a young man drinking dark beer and viewing in on some college basketball game. When I told him I was downtown for the Sanders rally his attention perked up a bit and a slight smile came on his face. He had no idea there was a rally at the state Capitol building but didn’t seem all that eager to leave his bar stool and go join in.
“I like Sanders,” he said in this kind of melancholy voice, “but I don’t think he’s going to get chosen by the Democrats. They gave the delegates to Hillary. Sanders can never win.”

We had a little more discussion and I finished off my drink and began to head back to the rally. The moment I showed up at the lip of the location where Bernie supporters gathered, the march had begun down the street and I got pulled in. I was sucker pulled into a crowd once again; it reminded me of Denver, when I was sucker pulled into a rally and some lady, who swore she was hypoglycemic and needed to get food, gave me her huge sign that read “Fuck The Police”…and of course I had to walk right in front of a cop car, but that was another time, and another town. This was Sleepytown and those attending here were giving their best show of support to get Sanders on his way to the White House. I walked along as the crowd made their way around the Capitol building. This isn’t a revolution. This is a controlled walk, a mild wave in the wind to show support for their preferred candidate-but will their preferred candidate make it into the finals of this race? Is there enough of a push for the style and leadership Sanders offers to get him on the ballot? Soon time will clue us in on that one as Super Tuesday comes closer…

The liberal or progressive advocates in today’s political marches lack the ability to focus their strength or guide their cause. The Indy group of advocates went on as a show of support for Sanders and hoofed their way around the old building, but I wonder who really paid attention? Police cars escorted their path to ensure everything was safe and controlled, and all I could think of was how sheepish this seemed. The nation noticed the town of Ferguson, Missouri, when shit went south and led to people getting fed up with what was happening in that town. They noticed because some people in Ferguson decided to get metal about the situation in Ferguson and put up a fight. I don’t want to promote violence in this scenario, but I bring up Ferguson to relate a point. We live in a tech society where everyone is watching video of different things at a rapid pace, and it takes something of a certain level of interest to gain our attention anymore. Ferguson gained the attention of the world but with dozens of various ‘march for Bernie’ walks going on throughout the nation, not much was covered on 24 hour news stations. Not much of a viral blast on the internet either. The Sander’s machine is up against crazy extremist groups and babbling politicians ranting on like mad dogs; to compete with that kind of nonsense they had better come up better action/eye candy. Perhaps a Sanders march would get more attention from media and cause his Feel the Bern campaign to grow tenfold, if they can figure out how to stand up and be noticed. A good portion of the public will watch you online and may join your numbers in supporting Bernie, but America just got off a video high of watching wild folk holing up on federal land, waving guns, opening up boxes of dildos…it’s a competitive market out there on the news feed.

….and here I sit now, less than twenty four hours away from Super Tuesday news coverage. The streaming numbers feed which will show just where the Democrat’s undertow of power lead this thing. Let’s see what the race boils down to folks…




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