Archive for April, 2017


In the Name of Science


This past weekend, science minded people gathered throughout various U.S. cities (Indianapolis being one of them) to protest Donald Trump and his Administration of henchmen, in the name of science. I went to the demonstration under the (wrong) assumption that it would be a protest, complete with shouting people holding signs and bricks. I always assume that and I’m always disappointed; I set the bar high when it comes to what I consider a ‘protest’. Regardless, mi hermano Miguel and I would jaunt down there to record the event with our cameras and get a look at what science could bring to the table of protest. Maybe someone would show up with schematics to build a death robot to turn on the Crimson King-but then we’d all be facing takeover by machines. We might want to wait on that option a bit longer.

When we arrived at the West side of the capital, I could tell this was more a family outing than a demonstration. We closed in on the event and bordering the sidewalk were hawkers selling pink shirts with some political slogan and I didn’t feel like venturing close enough to read. They had one of those shirts thrown over a life sized cutout of Hillary Clinton; merchants preying on people’s emotions, hoping they’ll buy a memento of the day, a real act of civil defiance at the cost of a pricey t-shirt. We drudged beyond the hawkers, closer toward the eye of the hurricane, the arena of those who would protest in the name of science. A row of port-o-lets lined the sidewalk, which I assume were placed there for convenience of those demonstrating. When a rally has pre-arranged restroom facilities, you can guess it won’t get too violent. Restroom facilities for a demonstration? Jesus. What next? booth seating for senior citizens? I felt guilty being the guy to stink out a port-o-let with the smell of cannabis, but those plastic outhouses are a great spot to light up away from prying eyes and I was ready for some medication. Sleepytown is still a state where no part of weed consumption is legal, so it’s best to stay hidden from anyone who might gawk or draw attention to you-plus, the alternative for restroom users was the smell of shit and disinfectant, so, I didn’t feel too guilty.

We estimated the crowd at two thousand people, some holding signs expressing anger from the scientific community. Some folks came in costume, there were more tables with merch to buy… This wasn’t a community in anger; they were families gathered for an outing. People brought dogs and children-you don’t bring kids and animals to a serious march against the System. The attendees planned a post-speech march to Military Park, located blocks away from here; that turned out to be as much a milquetoast display of nothingness as the rally itself. A noticed march should block major traffic veins, disrupt shit, but I knew that wouldn’t happen. There would probably be police escorts to guide the mob along like school children.

We spent time wandering the crowd, stoned, taking pictures and stopping for coffee across the street at the Marriott. We’d had our fill of the science rally the minute one of the speakers summed it up by telling the crowd “I don’t know how we’re going to solve this problem”. Like so many of these protests, those in defiance will state what makes them mad, but have no soluble solution to address their grievances. Seeing this rally brought my mind back again to the protests of 2011, when a chunk of our nation was at wit’s end with people like George Bush Jr. and Dick Cheney. Karl Rove and John Boehner were the dreaded political assholes of that era, and the protest movements to remove them or their policies was as ineffective as these current day efforts to dethrone the Crimson King.

I did one last pipe up in the port-o-let before heading onto the Earth Day event in Military Park. They had tents set up with informative displays from various groups of Eco-friendly companies giving out pens and other crap, like natural food snack samples. I avoid giveaway snacks-one of my personal quirks. I rarely take free sample handouts at stores…my deep neurosis won’t allow it and I knew it would kill my weed buzz. Eventually, the protestors showed up and filled the park with curiosity and their relief that the speeches were over. They were ready to chow down on something from one of the food trucks sent there to cater those angered by our oppressors, or to mill around looking at crafts and vegetarian junk food.

These protests will keep going on and I’ll continue to observe them for the Church, as those who consider themselves more intelligent than our current leader charter more and more rallies and demonstrations. Demonstrations of this caliber is something the Trump Administration can deal with, because they have no bite, no real threat to take him out of his office. If you research the history of Donald Trump, you will find that his normal modus operandi is the same catch-me-if-you-can game he’s played for decades. If the science community really wants to take him out of office, they had better come up with a better plan than a bunch of witty cardboard signs.


My Spiritual Sojourn As Our World Burns


Last year on my birthday I decided to rekindle the pursuit of spiritual matters and see if there were any hope of keeping a belief in higher power alive. I gave myself one year to see what happens; see if something moves me back to the studies that made me ponder beyond our lives on Earth, or maybe I would distort into a zealous following of Appalachian snake handling…maybe venture to the Minnesota Temple of Eck and revive that old 60’s cult, Eckankar.

I started rummaging through teachings and philosophies I had laid aside about three decades ago, telling myself back then to revisit spiritual matters when I got older-if I made it that long (which I did…proof being this absurd blog). It seemed easy enough for me to let go of religious doctrine back then, back in the 80s, back during the years of Ronald Reagan. Most of the public at that time were busy being yuppies, the 80s equivalent of current day Hipsters. Spiritual organizations and mystic teachings were not among the trendy things people craved in the 80s. A lot of folks had their fill of following soulful paths to enlightenment back in the 60s and 70s and wanted to pursue gourmet food, drink giant mixed drinks and line dance at clubs. I don’t fully even recall a lot of the chatter on the street from that period (as far as spiritual matters go), but I do recall there being an awful lot of political actions going on. The pendulum of our nation’s politics had swung back right after a period of shame with Jimmy Carter. Everyone was tired of Carter’s failed attempt at stopping inflation, gas wars and lines at the pump, and to end his final year as President, Iran captured a group of U.S. citizens. Americans wanted blood but Carter couldn’t supply, so, Reagan was elected and the hostages were released. The era of young Republicans grew, and they looked the other way and paid no attention to the Iran/Contra scandal or other issues opposition would bring up. These Reagan supporters felt everything was movin’ and groovin’ in America and they had paychecks in their hands, so things were copacetic.

I was younger then and kept abreast of politics but laid back on participation, for the most part. I also set aside my search for life’s meaning. I was a family man with a wife and children. Things were going okay and I could pigeon-hole the doctrine of the Tao Te Ching in my mind for later. Later eventually showed itself to me, after the nation swung back and forth through a spectrum of presidents, Senators and political lizards that went (ideologically) from left to right; Reagan to Bush to Clinton, then Bush the Second…on to Obama…then…

Good leaders and inept ones and we still have large groups of citizens saying all politicians are crooked. That may be, but there are degrees of how crooked a person is and if you put that on a sliding curve of performance, there are defined ‘good’ leaders and ‘bad’ leaders in this country’s history. America’s current leader, the Crimson King, is a unanimous choice winner to receive the title of our worst. We are being governed by some emergency standby crew of knuckle fuckers, scrambling around Washington trying to plug up holes the president keeps creating in public relations. It’s to the point of going beyond the concern of Republicans as to how this man will reflect their image to the voting public. Most people have begun to believe that true Republicans are not associating themselves with Trump; everyone’s distancing themselves from the man, and he just storms about lighting little fires. Imagine the pressure his current staff must feel patching up the wrong Trump keeps creating…yeah, I know, shed a fucking tear for the monsters who helped support him. Donald goes off to play golf, steps in now and then to do something-and he has no barriers about what he might do. In the last few days he launched missiles at Syria and Afghanistan, meet with China, who he badmouthed as the bad guys throughout his entire presidential campaign, played golf a lot and worked hard to hide his past tax information.

All this madness going on and you wonder if I still have an interest to seek a higher power out there? Now more than ever, folks. The logic of humans trying to make a better world seems almost pointless. No matter how good a plan we have for society to run, shit keeps falling victim to chaos, and chaos does not play by the rules of physics. You’d imagine, with all our intellect and intelligence, we’d do the right thing…but power and greed is a variable that poisoned our governing system and no one knows how to stop the transgressions of the Crimson King. We may not need to throw out the ideals of Democracy or Capitalism, but we certainly need to throw out the asshats running ours right now. As ridiculous as some feel it is to seek out an ethereal Supreme Being, I can’t say there is much satisfaction seeing what humans are letting happen to this nation. I’ve felt the pull of truth coming from moments in meditation, when I’ve let my thoughts of politics and the woes of injustice on our streets leave my mind. There is an answer out there and I will continue to pursue it. That answer is not coming from our leaders. That answer is somewhere beyond them.

Welcome to the Church.

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