Archive for January, 2017

29
Jan
17

The Crimson King Takes Office: Thugtown Urbanex; fini

thugtown-iii

The Gary trip is over; it’s back to the reality of things. After a bit of rest and a few more weeks living in this 2017 dystopia, I’m sure to be needing another session inside rotting buildings, somewhere.

Since the trip, our newly elected president has taken to restructuring laws and doing away with various programs that took decades to put in place. Vice President and religious zealot Mike Pence, as well as a slew of other white political goons, stood watching while Trump signed papers against funding for Planned Parenthood programs; a room full of men enacting laws mainly focused on what women could no longer do with their bodies. People suspect the cost of women’s contraception will go up once these bills kick in. I can sense the revolution building up in this country. Small signs of anarchy are beginning to blister on the surface of our streets as we witness Trump throw his Tweet tantrums to a public he claims rule over.

We weren’t the only ones rummaging through buildings the day women marched against Trump. Our party ran into a couple other groups going through abandoned buildings in Gary. One guy we ran into twice while there, named Jason, not only got off on urbanex, but also loved to ledge walk high rise buildings, scaffolding on buildings being built or construction cranes. He pulled out footage he’s posted online of him atop a crane as the sun was coming up in Chicago, he being parallel in height to the Sears Tower. Like I said, we humans have varied ways of distracting ourselves from the world’s woes. Walking the edge of some building up that high would probably take your mind off just about anything but the task at hand.

Republican heavies like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan believe they have control of the president, for now, but you can tell they feel uneasy about this relationship. They hide behind a guise of All-American good morals, and they do a pretty good job for a large portion of people, but Trump’s appearance of being out for himself is pretty evident. The Washington heavies are kind of twitchy about how far they can try to screw over the Amerikan people and they don’t want the Crimson King to blow it for them. Trump could be out in four-some of those bastards in the Senate have had their job for decades…decades. Mitch McConnell is the longest standing Senator for the state of Kentucky, despite him having the lowest approval rating of all. He doesn’t want Donald fucking up his retirement plan. Actually , I think McConnell could live fine off his investments right now; he could retire tomorrow and live a cush life, but for him, it’s about the power. He gets off so much on the fucking power.

The relationship between Trump and the GOP has been rocky from early on in this election.  Donald was ready to abandon them at a moment’s notice if he didn’t get his way, but he did get his way and he’s in office now. The current working cooperation between the Republican (House and) Senate and Trump seems about as amiable as the relationship they had with Barack Obama. Very few programs both seem in attune with promoting, but they will not outright attack one another, in the public eye. That would be too much, too soon…that grace period will eventually end and the honeymoon will soon be over. The Republicans will have to decide just how far they will go backing policies Trump promotes that they might feel uneasy about.

If you look on the other side of the aisle, the Democrats (by comparison) stay true to their modern day nature by being the biggest gathering of milquetoast pussies one could imagine. So little rebuttal is being heard from them opposing Trump. We see snippets of Bernie Sanders, out there fighting the strong fight; Senator Al Franken making solid points against the nominees for cabinet positions being put before the floor…but those acts of resistance are about all we see coming from the Democrats. There was a time, recently, (the past Administration, to be exact) when the Dems had a majority rule up there on Capitol Hill, and they still couldn’t stop the Republicans. What hope do they have now?

I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to do urbanex journeys, and I believe folks like me will continue to engage in this form of activity/leisure. I can only imagine, some time in the future, when more of this country stands rotting away. Enthusiasts will tromp through their grounds, deciphering the clues left behind to try and determine what that structure must have looked like in it’s heyday. Years from now, will there be rubbled remains of a huge wall between the United States and Mexico? Will our National Parks lie open and ripe for the pickings from squatters; will there be square miles filled with oil seeped ground, unfit for living?
Let’s wait and see…..All Hail the Crimson King.

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25
Jan
17

The Crimson King Takes Office: Thugtown Urbanex pt. 2

thugtown-ii

As we drove into Gary to hunt out decaying structures, I thought to myself; this isn’t the end of our country, it’s the beginning of a revolution.

Google maps told no lies. Gary Indiana was covered with a mother lode of abandoned buildings for urban exploring. Large buildings, double homes, single dwellings-a high school and grand theater….a church. Plenty of buildings to choose from in various stages of decay. A good urbanex site should host a definitive amount of rot and matter…too much deterioration and you can’t even distinguish what you’re looking at, just piles of slime. Not enough decay and there is no fascination…it just all becomes a large pile of trash with no organic artistry to it. The Goldilocks syndrome definitely falls into play here. You want it to be just right, and Gary looked like it had quite a few ‘just right’ spots.

Trump’s beginning days as Commander in Chief of Amerika start with battalions of women from all over the country-world-banding together in a surge of unity to go after the monster president and all he stands for. Trumpenstein is now loose on a nation, free to grab roaming pussy from coast to coast under the blessing of his henchmen: a guise of a new agenda slowly forms from within the Republican ranks. Some now train an eye on their new boss and wonder if they might have gone too far by letting this man into this position. A sisterhood stood up the day after his inauguration to address all nations, and said ‘fix this shit-now!’ Women and men from seven continents marched to demonstrate against this man-beast, to have it destroyed. Protests were broadcast from Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles-most every major city across the U.S.-and they show people vehemently opposed to the reign of terror they fear, brought on by Donald Trump and the henchmen he would employ.

Our urbanex group couldn’t get much of a Thugtown feel out of Gary. Maybe it’s because we come from Indy; capital city and haven (on it’s own) for Thug. Granted, Indy didn’t take Top Murder Capital of the U.S. title the way Gary did-twice:1994 and the early 2000’s-but Indianapolis has it’s share of methed up hillbillies and no fucking nonsense bruthas downtown. I have experienced those rough edges of a town; where we were cruising didn’t look that menacing. In all fairness, it was around 11AM Saturday afternoon when we arrived…not exactly the time of day for the really hardcore attitudes a city might spring on you. I imagine some of the streets in Gary around midnight are not where you want to be. Our exploration began at the old Gary Union Station building and continued on to include the Palace Theater and the City Methodist Church. I was told that they shot one of the Freddy Krueger movies at the church and it certainly had that backdrop appeal, like something out of an old Hammer horror film or some satanic cult flick. Wandering around the different floors and rooms, blind hallways leading to a dead end barricade of crushed block and wood, this was a perfect spot. One of the more eerie buildings we went into was the Palace Theater. The huge old building was a dark, massive cave of rubble and nightmarish chunks of twisted metal and debris. There was a good 5 degree temperature drop the moment you stepped into the big room from outside. It felt like it had to be the size of a professional football field, dark enough to need flashlights or headlamps to get around. One big hole of an entrance brought light into the theater but only enough to guide you along the perimeter of the entry. You needed good lighting once you got back in the bowels of the place to avoid rocks or holes in the floor. This theater had holes at least twelve inches in diameter where all the seats used to be, but now there wasn’t a chair left in the place and catching your foot in one of those holes might have fucked you up a bit. This was art in it’s own vacant serenity, a point of disintegration that still showed poise and character. Eventually all things turn to dust but there are those moments when things transform as they deteriorate, like a kaleidoscope of decay, which catch my eye.

The rest of the jaunt that day went fantastic and worked the magic I had hoped for. My thoughts were momentarily distracted from the new age that had dawned on U.S. citizens. Trump was now the ruler of the land and from my viewpoint, the ruler seems mad. The thought of this new reign came back to me at the end of the day’s journey, when we all walked along a sandy beach at the tail end of Lake Michigan. The weather was great and the breeze minimal there on the beach. We were all shaking off the urbanex workout. While I looked out over the blue water, that damned thought hit me; Trump is our ruler. All hail the Crimson King. I had told myself to give the incoming governing team a chance, as I have always told myself when a new administration takes office but this one makes me feel really uneasy. In the following days after my urban expedition in Gary, uneasiness continues to grow. The power hungry axing has begun and Donald Trump is swinging that ax folks. Cuts in funding, censorship on federal organizations, breaking yet one more treaty with the tribal nations of this country. Sweet Jesus folks, how many more treaties are we going to fuck the Lakota over?
(contd.)

 

22
Jan
17

The Crimson King Takes Office: Thugtown Urbanex – pt. 1

thugtown

January twentieth, two thousand sixteen, and the world stopped; it was given the opportunity to rise and hail the Crimson King, Donald Trump, now elected President to the United States of Amerika. A slow dance begins from a twenty-first century country, it’s citizens up in arms with one another. No more speculations or predictions about what might happen in a Trump ruled society, we now begin that era in real time. My observation of Trump/the Trump Administration starts a new chapter of ramblings from my pulpit here at the Church. All sides of the political fence are filled with folks bickering at one another and posting angered messages on social media platforms; we are a nation gone mad. There is no middle ground, it’s been eradicated. The best way for me to escape this societal hell was by taking an urbanex (Urban Exploring) jaunt to immerse myself in meditative inspiration.

We humans have varied ways of distracting ourselves from the world’s woes. Some people do it by rock climbing or base jumping. Other folks just enjoy floating lazily down a river in some boat. Some prefer lines of white powder on a mirror to stuff up their nose but for me, my solace really comes out while exploring the remains of decaying urban structures. I would let this new Civil war carry on while I went on a photo shooting excursion in Gary, Indiana. Gary, with it’s infamy sung about in the musical, the Music Man. Two time winner of the ‘Murder capital of the U.S.‘ title. Gary; borderland outpost to Chicago and Detroit, a city kissing the butt end of Lake Michigan. We were on our way to Thugtown for some well needed R and R.

The Saturday I would be on the journey to Gary, the rest of our nation filled the streets in cities all over Amerika with mass demonstrations. The Presidential Inauguration turned out to be an embarrassment to all we deem decent with this country. Both sides squabble and fight, like children in Kindergarten, and I wanted to let this initial start to the Trump term presidency continue without my opinion or attendance. The Civil war could go on with out me a while. Some times, you just got to give up trying to stick your hands in the middle of a dog fight…you can’t break it up so you have to let them fight. One side will come out victorious, but guaranteed, both sides will suffer.

Gary was a couple hours drive from Indy and the trip would include four of us, with my brother, Miguel, leading the expedition. He did the history and footwork to make this thing happen and the weather was unseasonably warm so everyone felt this trip should prove bountiful. Up until now, all the urban jaunts we’ve been on were to single structures, like a hospital or an abandoned multi-story hotel. Google maps showed Gary hosting a seemingly endless supply of dilapidated structures to venture through, so even if one place turned out a flop, the Gary location had a number of buildings inside the city to investigate. Being able to map it online with help from Google Maps is one of the boons of our technology. Another benefit is being able to stream live video of events all over the world on your phone. We were able to see the marches and protestors in cities all over the U.S., as well as the melancholy coverage of Trump’s victory celebration.

Road trips can wean you off your norm routines and help you set aside troubles. It also gives you a personal look at America, the true folk living out there in little cities and burgs, the wandering landscapes and such. One of our pit stops included some BP gas station in Lafayette, Indiana, that sold guns. Yes, right there where you pump gas, you could pick up a glock, or a Walther PPK painted in camo whites and gray tones. Too bad I didn’t have more money or I would have picked one up, just to rub that off my bucket list….yeah, marking ‘buy a pistol at a gas station’ off my bucket list…that would have been nice.

We left the little gas station, with it’s cheap priced guns and some quaint sculpture-scape of boats sticking out of the ground, and cruised on toward Gary. Halina navigated the route on her phone while popping up images, videos and stats of those protesting. There were also images of the Inauguration celebration where Donald and Melania Trump, Mike and Karen Pence and a differing reported number of spectators celebrated the new reign of power. All hail the Crimson King; Melania hides her eyes, almost as if in shame, or like a subservient mistress who has been traumatized into submission. The scene reminds me too much of that classic story by Poe, The Masque of the Red Death; the common folk outside the castle walls, suffering a hellish doom while the rich and powerful remain inside the confines of the wall, hidden from the disease outside…it takes time before they realize it is they, who are truly doomed.

Gary, Indiana was now in sight…
(contd.)

07
Jan
17

Life, Death, Trump and LSD – pt. 2

trump-lsd-2

That evening’s trip proved yes, you can take acid at 60 and survive. The purer, the better (naturally), but we aren’t always privy to personal chemists, regardless your age. It’s not easy to hunt up a LSD cooker. I could have done one last venture on psychedelic mushrooms but kismet placed the man with Chinese eyes on my path and you don’t fight that type offering from the Strange Beyond.

I sifted through my thought in various states of meditation and/or medication and still can find no reasonable explanation how this punk Trump got elected to be President. If this doesn’t scream to you of a conspiracy I don’t know what will. You can place some blame on an increasing amount of shell game antics and yellow journalism dissuading the public from electing one of the other candidates, but when you think back about how many there were running for office and the odds Trump faced to defeat them, it seems too much like black magic or a plague of biblical proportion. Yet, we aren’t being cursed with rivers turning to blood, instead we have oil pipelines bursting in them to create toxic sludge. We don’t have frogs being rained down the heaven, we have bees dead from pesticides and other human made concoctions. We see signs sprouting up of intolerance and hatred, a developing wave of Nazi mimicking racists pushed in our faces on the internet. Our corrupt politicians in office are able to snatch out freely under the presumed permission of the incoming Administration and we haven’t even hit the Inauguration, folks. What happens the day after that? What happens on Saturday, January twenty-first, when the black bell tolls and all rules in the rule book go up for grabs?

The acid wore off sixteen hours or so after I took it; at least wore down enough to be able to draw my focus from the hallucinations to more cognizant thoughts. Thoughts of spiritual nature, merged with thoughts of societal matters…the balance of life in my sixtieth time around the sun. A large portion of things I’d been taught in life have turned out totally different than the sum I promised. We were told to work hard and if you worked for a company and were dedicated to it for so many years, you would receive a livable pension for your latter years in life. We were told we were paying into Social Security and that the Government would never dip into that resource for funds, that it would be there for us when we got old. We were told that America’s election process was a great system and that Donald Trump was fairly elected President of the United States. This is by far the most crooked vote I’ve experienced in sixty years, but it’s also the most lacking in moral. The moment Sanders was not allowed to run alongside Clinton and Trump it became evident to me that this is, and will continue to be, a two party country. More than that, we the People will not be in control of either of those parties, even though we are the reason they exist.

The ill turn of events Americans suffer so often come about not from an outside force, but from our society itself…we the People. The deadliest terrorist attack on American soil prior to 9-11 came from a corn-fed white boy named Timothy McVeigh. Random violence with guns is on the increase because of matters ranging from racial intolerance to someone not handing over the tv remote. We as a nation have proven time and time again that there are stupid people out there, so at times, we have to create laws to try and protect the rest of us people from the insane ones. We elect officials to oversee this process of keeping citizens safe, as well as other matters, like keeping our roads open and in good shape, or making sure there are medical facilities we can use. We expect our elected officials to work their best at keeping our cities and infrastructures moving like clocks, but instead we find them wasting their time and our money on devious crap that will make them richer. This fight continues and it’s about to get really crazy these next four years…but we can survive. We as a nation will have to fight for it because the bastards we put in charge aren’t doing it.

Yes. Yes, we can survive and yes, I will continue the spiritual journey because putting trust in something bigger than us, this planet, is more optimistic than any one political party out there. People will continue to fuck things back and forth and we are about to experience a real low swing so I definitely feel now more than ever is a great time for me – or anyone, for that matter – to get spiritual.

04
Jan
17

Life, Death, Trump and LSD – pt. 1

trump-lsd

This tall dude with Chinese eyes smiled at me and asked it I liked the Grateful Dead. I said sure and he told me to hold out my hand. This piqued my curiosity so I put my palm out and he plopped a big drop of liquid on it. It was like that Steve McQueen moment from the movie Papillon – the moment when the leper holds his cigar out to Papillon (McQueen) and without flinching, has him smoke it. The leper smiles at him and says “how did you know I wasn’t a wet leper?” McQueen replies “I didn’t”. That’s the kind of moment I had when I licked the clear liquid off my palm. I noticed as he watched me, his eyes opened up a bit and then he started apologizing for giving me way too much. He said he didn’t know the stuff would come out of his dropper that fast and admitted he might have given me anywhere from 4 to 8 doses of liquid LSD.

In hindsight, I see that as my perfect moment of karma and happenstance, married to one another that evening to be the final statement on my year long journey seeking higher knowledge (once again). At the beginning of 2016, I turned sixty and I told myself I would mark the occasion by using the coming year to explore a spiritual quest I started back in my twenties. Back then I was grabbing up books on Transcendental Meditation, the writings of Castaneda, the Bible, Zen Buddhism…anything and everything spiritual, I searched out. My head became twisted with theories and beliefs and the best thing at that moment for me to was what some Zen writing told me to do; walk away from all the learning, for a long period of time, then come back to it. My sixtieth birthday seemed like a perfect time to do just that; it was because of the even number. I could have done that shit at 59 or 61, but 60 seemed nice and round so that’s how I stood. I’d give it a year’s time and see how I felt about continuing the quest, or throw it all in. So during January 2016 I once again studied and contemplated spiritual matters while the outside world pummeled me (and everybody in America) with electing the monster we have come to know as Donald Trump, our next President. We all got to witness the shock and horror of this country becoming a puddle of venom and remorse raging war against one another. Fuck the enemy – we are the enemy. While all sides of the political voting spectrum argued against one another, progress came to a standstill and Americans once again voted in a council of crooks to keep us all free. Trump is just the cherry on the icing on the cake of the Republican Party, but not even devoted, old school Republicans can get behind him too strong. A splinter sect of voters have sprung up from the Conservative ring and this bastard conglomeration was to become known as the Alt Right.The Left has become dismantled (once again) as we see President Obama in his final days of office leave a void of strength with Democrats. Bills sneak in to give Congress even more power over the citizens of America than they already have, yet any real progress in growth is at a stalemate. Catastrophes and bloodshed but no great achievements. I couldn’t stomach listening to all the political cynicism parties and tried to immerse myself in December’s holiday by following my spiritual quest…that, mixed in with good visits to friends and great people-in person, rather than online. This led me through the New Year and out on that long holiday break to a local place to shoot pool and relax. I keep ignoring the laws on weed in this town and that got me and a friend kicked out of one bar and down the road to another bar, where we ran into the man with the Chinese eyes.

The dose was strong but this wasn’t my first rodeo. I have an extensive past related to strong batch acid and kept my wits while wading through the strange world it created. Besides, I didn’t have much choice at that point, in regards to the amount of acid I took. As an infamous doctor once said, you buy the ticket, you take the ride. I rolled the dice when I licked my hand. I strolled around alone on the streets at four in the morning, bizarre creatures running around me and because it was such a hefty dose, the effects would carry on into the next evening. I made it to the shelter of The Church and pulled up some mindless babble on talk radio and forced myself to relax and focus on those spiritual thoughts I had reviewed over the year. While the effects wore down I reviewed spiritual thoughts and talk radio chattered away about Donald Trump-our next President.
(contd.)




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