Archive for August, 2016

31
Aug
16

Gene Died

gene-wilder

Two of the most poignant words from King James Bible I can think of: Jesus wept.

I’m sure he did, and I’m sure he still does. Right now he could probably squeeze out enough tears to fill a dozen hot tubs. I can imagine Jesus staring at our world and seeing the human race just flushing away centuries of common sense and advancement. Our news streams choke us with knee-jerk headlines and violence pulled from the streets of anywhere globally that excites the eyes. There is senseless pandering going on from two persons running a bogus race for control of our land. Come fall, one will be claimed the winner but everyone feels little sense or progress will be made once that nightmare begins. We’re preparing for the storm and boarding up the windows, while technology allows us to stay in communique’ with one another, and we hole up behind our doors. Topping our communication stream is the info being blown down our throats by news stream sources that want to put you on the fast train and zip you from a tragic story to an infuriating story, then to an occasional nothing news story to offset the taste of garbage they put in your mouth. Wars and judicial atrocities, people of color being blown away, cops being shot, violence and hatred, way too much meth…and barely any news coverage was given to a humbling soul we knew on-screen as the actor, Gene Wilder.

The news that piqued my emotion most about Mr. Wilder passing is a small story they brought up about why he had been more secluded as of recent. Wilder suffered from Alzheimer’s and didn’t want his fans – especially his young ones – to see him sad. It was quoted that he said he ‘couldn’t bear seeing one more sad face in this world’. I thought hard on that statement. You have to imagine a man so giving to others that he didn’t want to shatter this mythical character, Willie Wonka, whom people throughout the world had come to associate him with. He had plenty of other film roles, equally as good and noteworthy. Movies like Young Frankenstein, The Silver Streak, Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother. He was a man of his time, so imagine being part of an iconic institution this film created, the joy it brought to children, and in your failing days, decide you don’t want to possibly taint that great memories. That is Saint-like action. That is the type giving, the type sacrifice, that the Good Ones in our world will do.

San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a political statement by refusing to stand for the National Anthem and our talking boxes fed us story and controversy about it. They seem to like jabbing us with sharp sticks like we’re all rabid spider monkeys, there for entertainment and to make money off. That may not be far from the truth; I did not see the focus on that small tidbit of wisdom flowing out of Gene Wilder’s action staying on the media focus too long. Day after day, they work at creating new pseudo-news gossip about the political heavies in America, especially Donald and Hillary. With Trump and Clinton, there is no new news. It continues to be the same song and dance and neither one of them is adored or really even liked that well. This facade of acceptance is thrown on screen and people sit silent and bite their tongue with little recourse. No one really wants either one of those halfwits, but we know we’re going to be stuck with one of them, so we sit and brood. We get fed more violence and scare, and every now and then, one of our tribe goes off the fucking deep end while the rest of us sit around and wonder how it could have happened.

After a while, time passed, and Gene Wilder abandoned my thoughts; thoughts of not wanting to see another sad face, thoughts of missing one of the good guys. I struck up conversation with different people later that day on my bus ride back home. A man in his forties with a venture to head upstate New York to find work. A young woman with an abscess tooth that had her jaw swelling up like she was storing a grapefruit. People just trying to get home, people just trying to survive. People fighting through the daily grind, trying to make a buck and fearing the future years with some insane robotic ruler in control of our country. For my own sanity and for their reprieve from social insanity, I decided to bring some smiles and conversation to my bus tribe. I could tell they appreciated it and wanted it – needed it. They didn’t need any more stories about shooting and hatred and violence and inequality, they just wanted to shed some of that weight and have someone tell them it was going to be all right.
….and I smile and my eyes well up, and I welcome them to the Church.

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23
Aug
16

You Tell Me It’s The Institution

dead-fish

 My mind was flashing back on Jimi Hendrix putting those words in my ear like sinful knowledge and honey:
“White collared conservative flashing down the street,
Pointing their plastic finger at me.
They’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die,
But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high………….”
That’s where our minds were during that period of unrest when youth was crashing at the barrier and questioning Authority. Back when Kent State got people shouting in the streets mad. Back when Watts exploded with fire and rage. Now we all wait for November to see who gets officially deemed ruler of Amerika. We wage war with one another rather than with the true bastards ruining our nation.

 So what happened to our nation of protestors? Did they lose their balls and cave in, or grow too old to shake a fist? No, they went online in search of the Deus Ex Machina to save their country. Yet no one feels too comfortable about where the results are going to end up. Trump and Clinton camps know it could still go either way, so they keep the campaign rolling with fresh chum to bucket out to voters. The percentage of people, this late in the voting game, who still don’t know which way they are going to vote, must carry a hell of a poll percent….if you believe the networks now struggling to hold a nation’s interest in the election. This is the lull period where most know who they will vote for, and sit and wait. No new update will shake their decision so it’s just a matter of time before they go to the poll. FoxNews and MSNBC, CBN, all the big hitter cable stations, webfeed news sources, all the organizations who have been surviving on income and interest generated by this pony show are struggling now because the herd has been thinned to these two. They can keep it alive by continuing coverage on how idiotic Donald or Hillary looked when they did this or that but that doesn’t have the same amount of fever brought on during those earlier parts of the race. Now we all just sit and wait to vote.

 Those who studied and paid attention to this campaign race between the Democrats and Republicans made the issue of Supreme Court Justice slots opening up the one sufficient marker. Some see Clinton as someone, at least working on the side of institutions geared toward helping the underprivileged. Trump has this split personification; some view him as a business guru while others view him as pure assbag. Many want to ensure Supreme Court seats to intelligent individuals that can keep temperance on our nation’s laws. From a legal perspective, this is sound thinking but I’m really hoping Americans decide to start taking power back too. Not to the point of Watts or Ferguson, no big burn in the streets….okay maybe small ones to blow off steam. The more successful disruptions in society’s around the world, though, have come by sticking to the convictions of a cause, not through being violent. Gandhi led a country to independence from British rule. India. that’s no small fucking country folks. Second only to China in population and this man leads a peaceful resistance there by sticking to his convictions. Malcom X scared the white collared conservative pointing their finger so deep they couldn’t take it and him wiped out, but his legacy and purpose grew tenfold to work toward change- King too. Great men continued through peaceful resistance and paid a hard price, but helped change nations. Stevie Biko. The Dalai Lama. The list goes on.

 So now why won’t we all take that kind of power, that peaceful resistance with no means of dropping the convictions to our cause, come together and do like Rage Against the Machine told us….”Take The Power Back”? Americans have lost too much control and now institutions are legally classified as (more or less) citizens of the United States. If the concept of Capitalism, in America, is to survive….we have to get serious about addressing some of the problems within our System. Our November election will pull a dead trout out as President – it might be Trump, it might be Clinton – so let’s focus on holding this new President’s feet to the political fire to……make change. This is something everyone could get behind, if we stop bickering with one another. We are not each others’ enemy but we’ve been persuaded to believe that, to misdirect our attention. We gotta take the power back, but not tear apart this land in the process. We should fight against those destroying our land and health and killing because your skin is a certain color. Demand action on those promises to fix campaign finance and term limits, scrutinize unfair rezones of voting districts and allow those truly needed, stop getting in so many fucking wars. There are a list of issues citizens will agree on, but we keep getting distracted by news coverage that has us watching this campaign drama on just core, testicular hate of two people. Work together, take the power back to all Americans, for all Americans….
and apparently the Beatles remind us not to carry pictures of Chairman Mao.

16
Aug
16

Hillary Clinton: Supervillain

miasma

The numbers just don’t add up. The groundswell of Sanders’ popularity should have him well on his way to debates with Trump by now, yet here we are in mid-August and Hillary Clinton has weighed in as the Democrat’s choice for President. The Sanders’ supporters (by now) have dropped silent and given in. Every now and then you hear a cry to rally behind Bernie and vote for him, but that cry now sounds like an echo. Most know better than to even try to mention Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein. We’ve learned from past elections that third party wins are just a faint dream. The last successful jab at an Independent run came from Ross Perot – another businessman/ non-politician trying to head for the White House. You can debate whether Perot split the vote hard enough to give a win to Bill Clinton over George Bush Sr., but that train of thought leads you down another path. My focus on Perot is that he didn’t win. Third party runs don’t win the Presidency. Besides, Bernie won’t run third party, so now we all are left with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump…that’s the mindfuck.

The situation we voters are thrown in reminds me of Brecht’s Threepenny Novel; the middle class at each others’ throats while the author feeds us his belief that in a capitalist society, it’s hard for anyone in power to avoid being (or becoming) a crook. We have our two crooks, Trump and Clinton. Donald is an enigma all himself and I may devote more posts in the future to that animal, but so many writers have been busy picking at that easy target and avoid the covert Bond-like supervillain on the Democrat’s side. There’s a gangster character in the Threepenny Novel named Macheath who I feel has similar attributes with Hillary Clinton. Macheath’s roots were as a thug and later on, when he starts to get a bit of real power, he decides he wants to play things straight. Could this be the case with Hillary Clinton? Could she feel true remorse for the perverse way she’s approached the press and public to keep them off her back? She is a professional politician at base core and piled on top of that core is some master plan only she knows.

It’s coming close to that time we must all go out and press a button or fill out a card to say who we want to rule America. Donald Trump was born from Authoritarians. Hillary Clinton is a crossover between the People and Corporate America. Corporate America will drive Clinton into the White House. This election will not be decided by the common vote; if things were decided by the common vote, we wouldn’t have these two monsters as the sole choice to rule the United States. We would have a much better selection.

The census I’ve taken from individuals on both sides of the political spectrum show a significant percentage believing Hillary Clinton is a liar…..a big fucking liar. This is a huge piece of mistrust with older Bill Clinton or Barack Obama voters. Younger ex-Sanders supporters or first time voters…none of these groups should forget it. Don’t stop watching that woman. She has bounced her way out of so many obstacles…someone younger than me and driven by the narcotic of political conspiracy should take reins on reporting her history. Follow that lady from her roots with her husband back in Arkansas when she was Governor’s First Lady. Yet in spite the mistrust issues, in spite not even seeming to like the lady, most people will still support her instead of Donald Trump. A larger percent of people don’t want crazy in the streets with Trump, they would rather have enslavement by a Bond villain. What has this world become?

This is certainly one of the more subjective writings I think I’ve put up in a while but I’m trying to paint a picture of my observations and evaluations of Hillary Clinton. An overall opinion of the lady from my perspective and from the perspective(s) of different individuals I spoke with. A lot of people are worried and no one wants to face this inevitable November ritual knowing we have to vote for a lady of mistrust in order to keep out the man who would be Il Duce Part Two. My main reasoning behind a more subjective piece is to remind people to keep an eye on the future. If and (or?) when we place her in office to keep Trump out, we should not take our eyes off her and make certain she works toward following up on good policies for the country. We cannot let her drift more pieces of our country away from us. We don’t need to go back into more wars on foreign soil where lives are lost to gain superficial rewards for the rich and powerful. We need to work on the infrastructure of our transportation systems. We still need lots of work on health care. These are the things she must address so keep a watch on her…but if and or when Donald Trump becomes President, then
Welcome to the Church…

11
Aug
16

GenCon: A Momentary Distraction, A Momentary Solution

gencon

American politics and the November election have become a giant, fetid turd on the plate of all voters. The race to see who heads up this country is now whittled down to two of the worst monstrosities imaginable. We look at one other and wonder how we ended up with this selection of human waste. The polls continue throwing numbers out there to spur interest and participation from voters; not to get them to vote for someone, so much as to vote against someone. It’s become a hate race to see how many people we can stack against someone, how many they can get to vote against your candidate. What a sad state of affairs when the idea of ‘Make America Great Again’ is based on destroying rather than constructing. The best solace for me from all this campaign madness was to go to GenCon -walk away from Trump and Trump-haters and Hillary drones…go geek out on cosplayers and the fantasy realms they create.

GenCon lasted through the weekend in the heart of downtown Indianapolis and from Thursday through Sunday the streets and Convention Center there were overrun by people dressed up as various walks of life from fantasy realms. Characters from comic books, sci-fi films, television shows, fantasy books, video games, card games…the list is almost endless. I saw a group of middle aged adults wearing those red garden gnome caps, playing some bizarre game that had small shrubs and crap thrown onto the floor like a huge playing board. There were literally hundreds of people sitting at tables playing board games, card games, video games or caught up in some make believe entertainment. There was an area roped off for those wanting to battle with stiff foam swords. Gigantic inflatable Pikachus hung from the ceiling, Klingons sang Ozzy Osborne tunes, families dressed up and joined in the activity together. Mashup creations by people with ingenuity and a shoestring budget made the halls of the center a gala to stroll and gaze upon. This was geek-fan heaven and all the angels had come ready to rock the fucking house with gusto. People from all over America were here to celebrate, having saved up all year to make this pilgrimage to their personal Mecca, their Terra familiar. Vendors hoped to sell wares and entice new and old fans to throw money at their latest releases. Miniature figurines were painted and put out to sell, t-shirts and game boards, steampunk gear and horned headdresses-the list is endless. Any and all imagined fantasy worlds were represented and for those four days the world was theirs. Screw Hillary Clinton and screw Donald Trump. Those mutants didn’t exist in their world (although in all fairness, yes, I did see one sole individual who came dressed as Donald Trump….asshat…)

Not only was GenCon a distraction from politics and the 2016 campaign, it was a relief from the stress, hate and fear the election has brought us. No one was here to discuss political issues or the glut of shootings that plague our nation. People weren’t rallied here to save their guns or keep transgender people out of their restrooms (or allow them in their restrooms). They were here to make believe, to create a world where they felt in harmony with their world. Now some will sit back and laugh at them for playing ‘pretend’, but I say to those that scoff, how is this different from the masses of people who lose themselves on the screen of their phone chasing fictitious creatures around town? Why is GenConner’s constructed fantasy more delirious than the made up world so many people create through Facebook? Most GenCon tribes were more tolerable and friendly than other gangs of humans in our society. In spite the dozens upon dozens of various classes and tribes of followers, whether they were elves or Star Wars characters or some anime clan, all respected one another. Everyone gave each other the space they needed and the respect they deserved. There was no quarreling among Batman villains and Batman in this world. This is the mentality we need to spread through our country. Let all clans and tribes and different people respect and live side by side with one another. As fucking corny as that may sound to a lot of you, once you experience something like this in person, it will give you pause and wonder, unless you’re just some heartless bastard who wants to see the world burn.

We could all learn a lot from GenCon and I suggest you attend one when it comes close to you. Go there and marvel at the world these fans have created. This is not like the NRA convention I got booted out of-this is not a scarefest, this is positive and of good-nature and should help you forget about November for a while……
…for a short while, at least.




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