Archive Page 2


2018: My Continuing Tales From the Bus


A new year begins and with it, the hope of a new and better tomorrow. The Crimson King remains in power despite threats and yodels from Progressive voters and those new (or naive) to the true American political scene. A scathing new book from Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, is now online for purchase in hard print, E book and audio book format. His book unleashes a barrage of attacks against the President, new unearthed accusations and witnessed reports; we run quick to look at the book, or work hard to defend (the man some voted for) against what the book says, or wander about in a stupor over what has happened to this country. Congress…the House and Senate-they all seem ineffective and useless to the common man or woman. New rules and proposed legislation, continuing problems erupting in our face online and on tv. Stress levels are high and we’re all just looking for a little relief, preferably one we don’t have to drink from a glass or shoot in our veins. I find some solace on the bus.

The bus is not the cure all for all life’s problems, it doesn’t hold every answer, but it helps me a bit. It’s not for everyone, but not everyone ticks the same. Some hate scotch, others love it. Those who love it find pleasure in it’s taste, those who dislike it compare it to drinking kerosene. The bus is the same way. Some people may travel numerous times on a bus and never once discover the lessons in life public transit has to offer, while others will get it. The bus holds no repetitive mantra, like Catholic Mass rosary or the silent prayer of Nichiren Buddhism. It’s more like a Zen proverb; an ‘a-ha’ moment that gives me a lesson on the nature of humans. The bus reminds me to be humble, by introducing me to people like the monster screamer, a young man in his late teens or early twenties, with a mental condition of some sort that leaves him belting out monster growls every so often. He’s a daily morning passenger on the ten; Monster screamer has to keep on course, because if he deviates from his daily schedule in the least bit, it leaves his world more upside down than it already is. He’ll pause at the door when they open for him to leave, and he’ll wait until it all makes sense, until he remembers that he’s supposed to get off and it’s okay to advance. He knows exactly which stop he gets off at, always remembers his back pack, says goodbye to the bus driver, and proceeds through his day between two dimensions.

Some trips on the bus remind me of an old adage heard a million times, a saying that you assume must be true, but rarely get to see play out in real life. It shows me lessons in life, leaves me curious to know more. The bus brought me in touch with the past through conversation with a black man in his fifties riding the number ten on my way home. He wore a black and red checkered scarf. He also wore dark sunglasses and carried a white cane signifying vision impaired…didn’t act/react all out blind. He looked my way and smiled after we made some initial conversation about the weather or something.
“You know why I wear this scarf?”
I couldn’t hazard a guess so I asked why.
“I wear these colors in honor of the Red Tail Squadron.”
The Red Tail Squadron, the 332nd Fighter Group; World War Two’s all black military pilots, who endured the hardships of fighting in a war for a country that treated them like shit because of their skin color. The red mark on the tail of the P51 they flew gave them the name ‘red tail’. The Red Tails flew over fifteen thousand sorties as bomber escorts, shunned in the white military, and eventually got the opportunity to fly combat missions…the right to fly combat missions. They were finally given the right to fight and live through it or die, to go back and face a world where they were still shunned because they were black. We have some fucked up history in our past, folks. There’s a lot more to the story of the Red Tail Squadron, aka the Tuskegee Airmen, but my education would be limited that day. Before I knew it, my stop had come and I had to leave the man behind.

There will be more a-ha moments from the bus throughout twenty eighteen, this I’m sure of. What happens to the Crimson King, now having been exposed even more from Wolff’s book? Net Neutrality hasn’t happened yet, but is it just around the corner? Will all our health care go away? Will crops in California all rot because we run out of migrant workers to pick our produce? Scary stories drag on and keep me hugging my knees and gnashing my teeth, but at least I have the bus to ground me with the goodness humankind has to offer, with fantastic people and learned conversations. A living lesson to show me that life has it’s ups and downs, but at the end of the day, we all just want to get home.


Another Trip Around the Sun


It’s now the second evening of a new year; Two thousand eighteen, and the Church has been quiet for weeks on end. I lacked the passion to drive myself onto a babbling tirade against the social injustice swarming our country-our world, so I left the Church closed. The pews grew empty and dust sets where bottoms should sit. The sympathy and support I offered as a communion for those without hope seemed to have bled dry. The wine was all gone, the wafer had gone bad and grown mold on it’s edges.

Seconds ticked by and turned into hours, days…weeks. The insight I worked so hard to provide about my observations of this silly world didn’t necessarily fall on deaf ears, but they held little impact…and what does hold impact these days? What drives able bodied souls to the streets to defy the reign of nefarious world leaders? Most are quick to point out the devastation we seem to be wallowing in, yet few offer tangible solutions. I keep stumbling onto vapid protests or buzzword dialogue that (at best) boosts moral, rather than evoke real change.

Day to day battles hit the screens we watch. It races us through a litany of button clicking, meme posting prattle, pure online bullshit that doesn’t move a fucking brick. All those live video feeds, all the petitions signed against the pipeline tearing up the homelands of Native Americans, all that did Jack Shit. The furious masses of home protesters who were worked into an irate frenzy over Social Security being robbed….moot. Those protesters didn’t stop the robbery. Neither did our elected officials.

Elected officials-that’s another sore subject with a lot of folks; you and this preacher both. I am hit daily by (on average since January 2017) five emails a day from both major political parties. Emails from Democratic/Progressive superstars like Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Corey Booker and Tom Perez. On the other end of the spectrum, I get daily emails from notables like every fucking member of the immediate Trump family, Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence and a host of others. They beg for funds to help thwart the opposition and use cheesy marketing runs in their body copy to try and convince you to give them a dollar-literally, a fucking dollar. Donation buttons start low and work up to $300, or a button simply marked ‘other amount’. This has to be proof of really lax standards about campaign financing.

Lead paragraphs usually begin by painting some victory speech romance about how they’re working hard to beat the holy Hell out of the bastards in Congress you love to hate. But then they go into the spiel about how they need your financial support before the FEC year end financial deadline. Some emails stress the need to fight Donald Trump and all Conservative/Republican monsters. Others want you to help them thwart the Liberal/Democrat pussies. Regardless, the point I take away from all these daily emails is, political leaders are wasting a lot of workers, effort, time and money (taxes and/or donations) convincing you to give them even more money. For all the effort they use raising funds, they could have raised Puerto Rico. They could have done what they were elected to do. They were not elected to seek re-election, that’s a secondary matter.

There are some campaigns out there which do give off a constructive possibility for actual accomplishment. Bernie Sanders, in conjunction with associations Like Good Jobs Nation, show a definitive strategy to getting the country back on it’s feet again, rebuilding our Middle Class infrastructure with real solutions to economic inequity. Campaigns like this, however, rarely seem to appeal to a large enough audience to keep funded, or lack a base of concerned niche voters to make it a priority issue. We all have so many hours in a day and no one has the ability to stretch out and lend support to every special interest group out there. I’m still waiting to stumble across more bulldog motherfucking politicians from the batch we elected, to get up and do the right thing for America. Right now, we seem to be fed propaganda piece after propaganda piece about Making America Great Again, but it’s really little more than a political rosary of bullshit to quell the ignorant.

Don’t forget the lesson we saw in Alabama when long-shot Democrat candidate Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy S. Moore. Even after reporting his racist remarks and admissions to sexual attitudes that reeked of perversion stumbling into illegal behavior, Moore was considered a shoe-in until election day. It was the effort of a thunderous attendance by black female voters there that kept Moore out of office, not some committee trying to raise funds before an FEC deadline. real people went out and made change in Alabama. Real people voted in California, and now the third largest state in the U.S. has legalized medicinal/recreational cannabis.

I’d better get busy dusting off the pews for twenty eighteen. There’s a protest to Impeach the Crimson King come the twentieth of this month, and I need to be there to look those people dead in the eye and say-
Welcome to the Church.


Click ‘Share’ and Accomplish Nothing


I sit at the back of the Church now, not wanting to take my place by the pulpit. I feel it would be easy for me to lie down on a pew and swill a few bottles of Ardbeg, pass on to the next life in a drunken stupor. Our world has abandoned us and we, it. No one is sure what will happen next, but it doesn’t look promising. Take us now, Jesus, take us and lay down the flames.

Day after week after month I follow the flow of activity, actions performed in the name of making a better world, actions made online or in person-neither accomplish much. The mismanagement of our country trying to ‘Make America Great Again’ destroyed what Middle Class we had and leaves us a nation of Third World citizens living among soon-to-be Third World citizens-those too naive to recognize their fate. Oh we still have rich people; the Upper class continue to be rich and, in fact, have become more rich, but larger numbers of Amerikans fall deep in inescapable despair and are being duped into believing all the online clicking of buttons and ‘share’-ing of feelings will cure our nation’s ailment…hasn’t done much yet, has it?

My observation of campaign rallies, political speeches and protests since the beginning of the twenty-first century…everything since those Twin Towers came down….I have put all that in comparison to the era of the sixties and seventies I lived through; the time of Nixon and King Jr. and Vietnam. Students and priests, everybody and their Mother-they hit the streets and roared like lions back then, back in the sixties and seventies, to make changes toward a better world tomorrow. In the twenty-first century, however, a typical act of defiance is to change the background image on your Facebook profile.

Jeff Miller, Bill Schroeder, Sandy Scheuer and Dean Kahler died at Kent State University on May 4th, 1970 protesting the Vietnam War; that tragedy helped lead to the ending of the war back then. In 2017 we have paranoid citizens going off the deep end, grabbing high powered weapons, mowing down people in record numbers. In 2017, tragedies spike ratings on 24 hour news shows and make those rich folks I mentioned earlier, even more rich. Our modern day tragedies lead to a string of click-bait stories being posted on the internet to sidetrack a mass audience of people on the web from accomplishing anything constructive to stop this madness. Daily news feeds have us all fighting one another more than working with each other to overcome our hurdles. Sensationalized horrorshow freaks in our world-not the made up Hollywood monsters, but the real ones out there, like Weinstein or Cosby…more surfacing all the time. Our nation’s leaders, Senators and Congresspeople, our President…another strain of monster out there. Those we choose to govern and make life better for us spend a vast majority of their time and your money just working toward keeping their job. The clan of Upper Class who produce our social/political media du jour, fine tuned the tool of electronic distraction to keep our Lower Class at bay. The Lower Class continue fighting one another and that leaves the elite alone and makes media companies cash. The boost one gets from being noticed for a post they put up about how disturbed they are from one of these stories is being nurtured with images and slogans, each and every fucking day, that the media companies provide. People begin to feel they’ve accomplished something if they sign an online petition or shoot out an email to someone of importance or post a picture to sway opinions. That ends up being a ‘preaching to the choir’ end game though. Online petition signing hasn’t fixed gun laws or given the people of Flint clean water or helped anyone in Puerto Rico…Florida…Texas…California…but those videos and pictures keep coming. The vocalization of voices online show numbers, but no strength.

I should pull that thought back a bit and give some credence to the influence online display of opinion plays. Certainly, it helps us understand percentages (skewed, at times) of people who feel one way or another about various social, political or moral values. What gets out of hand are the magnitude number of stories on a subject though, crammed on our screens to vie for more readership. Think about how much money is been generated for some agency posting pictures of faux celebrities that millions view every day? How many companies out there have Frankensteined into an organization that supports their company soliciting stories of human hatred? Positive, constructive news is out there, just not promoted as much as the negative stories. Good news stories don’t generate as much interest as bad stories; perhaps a sad reality of humanity. When it’s all about the numbers, where do you think news providers are going to go? They work hard to build news feeds with shocking information to keep people coming back, rather allowing them to do something about the horrorshows in our world. They’ve learned that the majority of our mass public will only go so far as to click ‘share’, and that’s about as far as they’ll go.

Get ready for the next mass shooting, and Welcome to the Church.


In Search of Bernie: Fini


Sweet Jesus, right out in public…no beating around the fucking bush. She asked me to do photo manipulation of the crowd, as if I were some staunch Trump supporting photographer. Then more people began to mistake me for being one of those who praise the Crimson King and it made me wonder what I had done. By allowing myself to be objective, was I leaving myself open to false identification and classification from those gathered?

The two middle aged ladies from some White White White city North of Sleepytown had driven about 40 miles to come down here to lug a big sign around. Imagine transporting a six by eight foot sign forty miles, struggling with it to get on the downtown Circle Monument roundabout, while light rain peppers you and historic Hoosier humidity stands ready to sweat you down. You suffer all that to go stand in a crowd of people who despise you…that’s dedication to one’s ideals. That, is the art. That is where my fascination is most nourished. I could give a rat’s ass about their politics or how fucked up I might think they are for backing some candidate. I just want to look at them, like a social voyeur, and watch how my species behaves; we’re fucking insane.
The taller, dark haired lady smiled at me (once I had won her confidence by snapping a few photos) and tried to chew the fat in a polite manner. “I mean, what is Alt-Right anyway?” she smiled, her head shaking to negate the notion of such a term, but I wasn’t playing in. I wasn’t going to get pulled in, not into being too polite, not by getting too hostile. Mr. Objectivity here, ladies.

Just as that ‘Alt-Right’ conversation was going on, a dark haired woman in her thirties walked up to the second sign lady, the blonde who had asked me to take the pictures earlier. The dark haired woman was clutching to her tween daughter’s hand, tugging the girl along. Both women acknowledged one another and the mother did a verbal launch on sign lady:
“Why do you want children to die?”
Sign lady looks at the Mother and replies:
“Why do you support abortion?”
That kid had a slight grimace on her face when she heard that, or did I imagine it? Was the grimace on my face? I felt bad for the girl not being allowed to go have fun, but forced to attend one of these rallies, and then hearing talk about someone wanting children to die? -And what the hell is a ‘bortion’?

That exchange of words kind of sums up the whole political feel of things in this country right now. Each side barking at one another with hostile intent, no one working toward a mutual agreement or action to get this country back on it’s feet. More Sanders supporters began walking up to confront the sign ladies. They assumed I was a Nazi camera wielding sympathizer for the Trump side. This was a tough one to keep unbiased on. I had been attracted to Sanders early in the 2016 campaign circus, but I can’t expose my personal politics out there. I would have none of the wonderful dialogue with those ladies if I went at them like some of the opposition did. I worked to convince the Sanders folks I didn’t support Trump, but wasn’t there to support Sanders either. The camera thing helps, because if you have a real camera in your hand rather than a phone camera, it seems more like you could be more for reporting, rather than supporting-another reason it’s convenient and helpful to have someone like Miguel around. He has done this shit, the crowd thing, so long that it’s become a cake walk for him. He doesn’t let them suck him into carrying a sign that says ‘Fuck the Police’.

The importance of staying the fuck away from subjective analysis at these sideshows will merit insight, every now and then, to the human condition. The true nature of mob mentality can come alive before your eyes and let you witness how humans really behave. Shock value reports in the news have moved people to do some horrible things against one another rather than look for a solution, and it seems all I want to do now is watch. I get to witness masses, spurred into action by the media, each side acting and reacting as bad as one another. I have found Bernie, and he brings noise of love and peace, but in the background a crowd is busy fighting one another. The Crimson King sets another fire and dances into the sunset, laughing, while I witness the common folk jab at one another. There is solace in the knowledge that Trump’s supporters were few in number at this rally, which means the reign of a New Reich can be defeated. I wait now for the next demonstration; I’ve had my fix.

March on, Mr. Sanders, and welcome to the Church.


In Search of Bernie: Photo Ops


Just as I began to debate having enough time to duck between buildings to fire one up, here comes Bernie Sanders and his entourage, coming straight at me. I was stage left of the podium next to the sound engineer’s tent, fumbling quickly to get the lens cap off my camera for a shot of the Senator. The crowd was chanting his name and Sanders seemed uncertain where he was being led, but continued to burrow his way toward where I was standing. He got close enough for me to reach out and grab his hand but I wasn’t there to be that asshole who prods and pokes at a public figure.

I still hold an image in my mind from years gone by: Indianapolis, back when Bill Clinton was our president. There was a dedication ceremony being given for a statue of Bobby Kennedy that was to be placed in a park just north of downtown. Speakers for the fanfare included Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. At the end of the President’s speech, he smiled with the others on stage and waved out to the people, a few folks even managed to shake his hand. I was tempted to fight the crowd and get up front to shake the hand of a real U.S. President, then I looked at the swarm of those who were doing what I was thinking. They weren’t as polite or humble as I would have been…or were they? Could I become like one of those animals, pushing and shoving my way to get close to the flesh of a celebrity? I was pretty fucking shamed at the human race that moment. They acted like a starving mob of wild boars being thrown slabs of meat.

Bernie’s people called at him to back up, away from me, to navigate his way through the sound engineering tent and up the concrete steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. I was given my moment and snapped a few shots of him before he got away. I wasn’t caught on the wrong side of his approach to the stage after-all, so with the Bernie shot taken, I could ease up a bit. I took a few more pictures to document the occasion-Bernie with the rep from Jobs in America and Good Jobs Nation, Bernie next to the President of the Indiana Chapter of the AFL-CIO…and the fanfare continued. Sanders began to speak about the nationwide drive and support of this team which is working to better wage conditions for workers in America. This was a more calm event than I had anticipated, proof once again that you can’t predict these fucking rallies. I was halfheartedly expecting a call for blood after the incident in Charlottesville, but Bernie brought a more tempered approach on what to do at this moment. So many people and politicians are currently caught up chasing the fires the Crimson King starts on a daily basis. Rather than waste all their time trying to catch Trump, this group wants to try and accomplish some positive, constructive action, while our mad ruler continues with his schemes. They still feel the importance of pursuing Donald Trump and holding him accountable for all his committed acts, but they can’t let any form of progress on issues they find a support for just slip away. The wage issue is their big agenda. All these rallies have their agendas, this rally was about wages.

I pulled away from the sound tent and wandered back out into the street around the Circle Monument, now more curious about crowd watching. Those up front and swarmed together to hear Sanders were in for the long haul, listening with intent. Gathered on the outskirt perimeter of the crowd were a mixture of Conservative and Progressive attendees. Trump people and Sanders people, however, the Trump people were under-represented…not many Trump folks there. I went over to talk to some of them, including the guy I met at the anti-Sharia demonstration at the State Capital not too long ago, the man who was from the group called Identity Evropa, sometimes called the Dragons. I wasn’t imagining him getting too radical in this surrounding; just there to show a presence. A few hardliner Right-Wing, or Alt-Right supporters stood around too, but no sign of dudes in paramilitary outfits brandishing weapons, like the Sharia law gathering.

I wandered over toward two ladies carrying a big sign promoting Trump and began to snap some shots of them and their big sign. They asked if I would mind taking some shots of them positioned in front of the Sanders crowd with their big ass sign. I had no problem with that-I was there to document what was happening. Sure, I told them, stand there in the street and I’ll snap some pictures. While I tried to take pics, various individuals would wander over to where me and the ladies were, peel off from the Sanders speech and sort of get in the way of my shot, or accidentally run into the sign. They wanted to make the picture difficult to take. I did manage to get a couple of shots and the ladies thanked me, then one of them casually, yet kind of under her breath, asked if I could email them a copy of the pictures. Sure, still, no problem with me. Then she asked if I would send them some images of the Sanders crowd I took, but could I do a little manipulation of the image to make the crowd appear to be sad.
That was a problem with me.



In Search of Bernie: Prelude and Beyond


The moment of focus for this post will go back to August twenty first of this year, but I may jump ahead in time just to mention some of the madness that follows my intent to see Bernie Sanders. I’m trying to play catch-up with all the atypical insane shit that surrounds us. Natural disasters greater than ever recorded. A United States President with unprecedented behavior, possibly due to an inbred culture, something similar to what’s witnessed when dogs get bred too much along a bad lineage…mutant minded pups. So with hurricanes and out of control fires tearing up the landscape and causing people to struggle, I go back to Monday, August 21, the day of the total eclipse.

When the actual eclipse started hitting Indianapolis, I was on the city bus headed West on an errand; a pre-engagement before the downtown Circle Monument rally featuring current Senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders. He’s the only successful Independent Party politician in the Senate right now, a rare bird with knowledge, charisma and resilience. I had a camera and would rely on my phone to be the notepad. Take notes, get the shots, evaluate stats on crowd size and variety…it’s like bird watching to me, in a way. I’m there for observation more than personal involvement. If you get too close to the subjective persuasion a rally of any political or religious flavor has, it can ruin your objectivity to record what’s happening. I try to be objective. Some who read my posts may detect bits of bias now and then, but I try to allow individuals to be judged on their actions, rather than my assumptions. Yet, as hard as I try to stay objective, some people out there have pulled me into situations. The next thing I know, I could end up holding a protest sign that says “Fuck the Police”, a situation I got thrown into in Denver, Colorado during the Occupy Denver era. My current Bernie rally incident this post recalls wasn’t as magnificent as the ‘fuck the police’ sign thing, but I found out it did confirm what I had seen posted online. I needed to experience that in person, if I truly wanted to stay objective. I wanted a whiff of what the political scene was here in town after the masses had a few days to chew on the incident that erupted in Charlottesville. What would Bernie offer to the crowd?

Following the eclipse viewing in Indy, clouds moved in and spotty rain hit the bricked circle street as I arrived. I had time before Sanders would speak to wander the crowd. Background music was being provided by some bearded dudes strumming on trendy ukuleles and stringed shit that gave you the feel of a Phish concert-not that I’m against Phish concerts, they are great for when you need one, but my mind was on trying to get some shots and wondering where the best area to stand to get a shot of the Senator would be. I had no fucking idea what route they were going to make in order to pull him up to the podium. I needed some voodoo to make sure and place me on the right side of the audience. Crowds can be like enamored zombie pig things when politicians or famous people gather out in public, close enough for them to see, close enough to experience-hard to navigate through the closer you get to a celebrity. I could just imagine myself talking to someone like the ultra-pregnant girl with a huge henna tattoo on her stomach (I met), and all of a sudden, Bernie whisks by and the moment is missed. I needed a backup for photos, like Miguel…but he wouldn’t be here today. The good news for me was the crowd size wasn’t too intimidating, about 400-500 Sanders supporters and about a dozen Trump supporters/Left Wing opposition. I could get my shot of Sanders in this size crowd. Getting close enough shouldn’t be too difficult.

My initial positioning took me to the left side of the stage as I watched the big group of the Jobs in America team, assembled on the steps of the monument. This was their drive, with the help and backing of Sanders, to protect the rights of workers in America. A worthy cause and not the typically recent, in fashion attempt to arm a crowd against the Crimson King, aka Donald Trump. Sanders would be endorsing and working in cooperation with representatives of Good Jobs Nation, advocates for higher wages and better opportunities for federal contract workers.

The crowd was ready and I was no more than thirty yards or so from the podium. I wanted to keep my timing on pace. Grab some shots of Bernie speaking, maybe some of the pre-speakers, wander through the crowd another time or two and definitely go over and talk to the opposition. The small group of Those who support the Crimson King were huddled on the outskirts of the gathered crowd. Signs for Sanders followers were demanding fifteen dollars an hour wages and a Union. The Trump people had signs urging you to get a Trump/Pence sign from them. A few ladies stood holding the signs and next to them was a flag I had become familiar learning about not too long ago at another downtown crowd meeting. It was the Identity Evropa flag.



GenCon, a Faltering Kingdom and the Return of Bernie


 Joel Osteen in some mega-cathedral, walking back and forth…smiling at the frail and desperate flock that follows him. Other Televangelists sticking to the Trump Principle and refusing to call him out-instead, they are rebuking citizens who would oppose the Crimson King. A twenty-some year old girl dressed up as a female version of Marvel’s Thor. A female Deadpool. Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Trump’s book The Art of the Deal predicts the President to quit by Autumn, if not sooner. All this activity going on and I don’t even feel I have adequate time to jot down notes or thoughts before a new day erupts, and more insanity unfolds.
Then news hits about Bernie Sanders coming to town to speak on the Circle, downtown Indianapolis.

It started out as small groups of kids and nerdy adults gathering inside rooms at cheap motels throughout the U.S., and grew into a billion dollar business. Sales of games, game pieces, dice and playing boards, architectural structures, costumes, books, videos…so much crap one can hardly believe it. Back in the late 70’s I was privy to having some freelance association doing illustrations for an indie game/magazine publisher in the Austin, Texas area. The era of computer gaming was just about ready to open up; Dungeons and Dragons had brought about new found interests from players wanting a more elaborate scenario than Monopoly had to offer in a board game. I saw the involvement small business people put in to create a more elaborate game. They used stunning graphic models to play with rather than generic plastic pieces, introduced more variable game options…a continuing quest to make the game play more imaginative. This upcoming line of games definitely added flair and flexibility, but required more dedication to learning rules. When I looked at some of these highly detailed board setups in the main Con gaming area, a huge hall that used to host major rock concerts, I was impressed with their devotion to the play. Some boards averaged the length of two eight foot tables, neatly arranged with thousands of dollars worth of miniature scaled villages, rulers to measure movements and effects, multi-sided dice, cards and chits…it blows your mind. This is a sandbox, taken to extremes and enhanced with quality merch, that could only have been imagined decades ago. This is Twenty-first century gaming, bitch.

The mesmerizing affair at GenCon laced with the reality of a young woman killed over a disagreement, sparked by a leader who drove one guy to get in a car. That’s a strange mixture of action going on. I didn’t want to leave the serenity Con brought to me and those attending, the nonsensical folly you could lose yourself in while attitudes heated up out in the real world.  I knew I had to leave though, and hearing of a Bernie Sanders speaking engagement the day after GenCon might at least be something to help me transition back into the world. Bernie Sanders on the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. This couldn’t have been thrown together quick enough to respond to the Charlottesville incident. The Sander’s bandwagon was certainly already in full motion, visiting other states, but this would be an interesting time to see what response he would get out there from disgruntled citizens in the Indy area. I wanted to see if the feel of things, the tension between the two sides of our main political spectrum would flare up. Is Amerika now going to become some abstract version of the Crips and Bloods that mutate from the scores of freckle headed Trump followers out there that believed he would make America great again? Will the U.S. become a Western Hemisphere version of the conflict we see in the Middle East?, or can Americans skip all the back and forth violence and focus on getting things in running order?

Bernie Sanders seemed to be a man with a plan when he stepped onto the 2016 Campaign Trail. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who vanished from sight for all intentional purposes after losing the race, Sanders continues to be vocal and stands up in defiance against the Crimson King. Bernie Sanders, out there keeping the drive alive…personally, I think the King is scared of Sanders, probably because Sanders is still working toward dethroning him. I needed to update myself on what the plan of strategy was now from Camp Sanders. Trump will continue to wander around out there, day after day, stirring pots of trouble and media attention, but I had no idea what Bernie was up to at present. It was time to wave Aloha to GenCon and prepare to see the man and hear the plan. One downside would be that, like so many rallies and speeches, they take place during the week day when many people would not be able to attend. The representation numbers of supporters and opposition at a weekday event isn’t a true ratio, but it is pretty close to accurate. Probably better for me in a small number turnout. GenCon crowds were strange enough…political rallies have a whole different set of cosplayers and I would be navigating it solo-no Miguel for the Bernie speech gathering.

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