Wonderland

Wonderland

“The other night I had a dream; it was not the first. I dreamed of an alternative universe” – The Pencilnecks
I ambled down the driveway at dawn; dew drops balanced like diamonds on the tips of God’s velvety emerald-green hair and spread across the gently sloping lawn. The scrub maple seed pods put out their dark red dollhouse chandeliers and the forsythia along the way, Chartreuse and ready to blossom into yellow fronds, made the foliage, moving in the breeze under the bright sun bursting over the horizon, a golden fountain.
I walked through the gray-blue haze that hung mystical. The chill in the air made my breath hang in front of me like cigarette smoke until it mingled lost in the fog. A ruby crowned Cardinal resting on a small swamp maple, green now, held a curious look on its face; as if it wanted to ask me a question. I spoke to her in pantomime and she hung on my every word. After the night I’d just had I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d spoke; not really certain in the surreal setting if I were awake or still astral projecting an out-of-body experience.
The gray weathered dock reached about 15 feet out into the water. Moored to the end was an old heavy planked flat-bottomed rowboat sheltered from the wind in the early morning Indian summer sun. My shore waters were calm but the rest of the lake was alive with small, sun-dappled waves. It was the kind of morning I knew would evolve into the quiet dignity of a sparkling autumn afternoon. I sat there for a while and allowed my thought to simmer; meditating on last night’s magical and mysterious gonzo dream.
Maybe it was just wishful thinking held subterranean and aroused from my subconscious. But the beauty of the dream was it’s what I wished were true; that everyone, once in the hereafter, sit through a rewind of their entire life
It’s not correct to say it was a dream since as soon as my head hit the pillow I drifted into twilight; that place just before REM sleep; the state sleep scientists say we need to dump all the waste our brains pick up in a day from stimuli that comes at us so fast and in such high volume we can’t process it to any logical conclusion so it just bounces around in there. Without the twilight waste disposal period just before deep sleep, that space we think of as an inability to fall asleep, our brains age prematurely; increasing by more than 50%, the potential for onset of Alzheimer’s.
I lay there on my back floating; suspended half in sleep half in wakefulness; empty; quiet. It came upon me raw and unexpected like an avalanche. The bottom of my world fell out from under me. I felt my insides twist which was more than strange since I no longer had any insides. I was ephemeral; formless; only consciousness. But the sense memory of my decades alive still remained; similar to the experience of losing a limb and still being able to feel it. I had the feeling of being forced into a tight corner.
I felt a tilt-a-whirl centrifugal surface tension sensation that held me down, invisible, untouchable, nowhere but everywhere, fragile but all-imprisoning; like an infantry company before an attack, the witnesses before an execution, a courtroom before a verdict, a family before the moment of death. I heard a shuffling distant and low before a bright flash of rainbow liquid light covered the movie screen in my head; like the damn planet had just exploded into Armageddon.
Walt Disney appeared on my Technicolor video screen smiling an introduction to Fantasia as music from the Beatles echoed. “Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly; the girl with kaleidoscope eyes. Cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head. Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes and she’s gone.”
A chorus line of dancing hippopotamus and elephants appeared wearing lace tutu’s backed by a line of enormous Japanese sumo wrestlers in ceremonial belts with long braided hair tied high in traditional topknot; they danced on tiptoes. Images sped past me; an infinity line of identical Dick Cheney’s dressed as The Joker wearing suicide vests. Each one motioned to me with an outstretched red crab-claw hand holding a diabetic syringe with a dissolving zombie toothed snicker mouthing the words “here; have some Ebola.” An endless parade of these undead creepy head of the Mason family of American geopolitics filing past made me certain I was headed for hell. And then, just like in life, he’s smoke; there, then not.
I saw an Andy Warhol portrait series retrospective of the eerie vacant faces of mass shooters. Rapid MTV style flash cuts of images; like cops firing fatal bullets into young black men played in a high rotation infinity loop. The CNN style scroll at the bottom of my screen announced late breaking news. “33 A.D.; Judas Iscariot betrays his buddy Jesus for 30 pieces of silver then hangs himself.” Suicide video at 10 pm.”
I thought I’d died when, rising through the clouds, appeared a majestic figure. He carried the air of a god-man wizard prankster. He gave me a look I couldn’t classify. His hands are not merely without callous, they look larval, as if they have never been exposed to light. They are as white as paint and his fingers are long and thin and so are his fingernails which are the color of pearls. He is jovial, portly and sporting a full white beard; looking every bit Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His welcome had the air of being honorific; as if I had accomplished a great achievement and was being awarded a grand honor.
He wore a perfectly tailored futuristic looking organdie tunic of fine translucent silk and a perpetual smile that was somewhat subdued by his eyes that burned Paul Newman aqua-marine. He was a bulging forehead vein of a man seeming of great purpose, visible in the way he walked and in his wizened smile but mostly you could hear it in his voice which spoke of tough love and bitter wisdom. He said his name was Peter, a patent leather name delivered with a soft snap that was rapid but cool. He pronounced in a strange echo “I’ll bet about now you’re trying to find the pony in all this horse shit; trying to make sense of all this madness, right?. This will help” he said. Then a smokey waterfall parted and every friend I had ever known from cradle to coffin walked toward me with a hail-fellow-well-met smile. .
Being in their presence created a pleasant feeling as I would later learn would be true of everyone there. It was something, I was later told, that had to do with being without guile; having pure honesty and no hidden agenda; a result of exiting the physical world. “Wait, wait, hang on Pete, give me a minute man; this shit is nervous. Before we get started I’ve got a few thousand questions. What the hell happened; so what, I’m gone now?” I said. “Yea, physically the vessel that was you is gone but the thing you always were and still are remains and the people who were tuned in still feel you” he said. “What’s that” I asked. “Your frequency” he said.
“Memory, love, connection, these are compatible frequencies. When someone you love crosses your mind and you feel the sense memory of them you’re tuning into their frequency; their essence. When you experience the memory of someone whose crossed over to the other side; that is you tuning-in their frequency. Shrouded in the clouded mysteries of a living being frequency remains. We are all what we always were; Star Children in the ether; passing on knowledge, experiences and forgiveness. The universe is one big radio transmitter/receiver and all self-aware beings have a unique frequency; that is what you knew as identity” he said.
“Star Child; I like that. So, again, what the hell happened?” I said. “Bear; he said; big sucker too. It was an epic struggle but your number was up; you never had a chance. It was your time.” “I don’t remember that. How did it go?” I said. “ Well, let’s just say for now you don’t want to become part of the 20,000 calories a day a Bear needs as it prepares for hibernation. Humans, give or take for size and density, are about 80,000 calories. So you passed on four days worth of life for that Bear. You always said you wanted to come to your end fighting a bear and if you’d have stayed in Oakland we would not have been able to oblige. But, since you moved to where the Bears are, we thought why not, and anyway, we aim to please when we can. It all just sorta worked out. Yea, got you at the garbage can. It was cinematic. You can watch the thing later” he said.
“I’ll answer some of your questions” he said; and began to speak. “Wait; I haven’t asked them yet” I said. “I can understand them without you telling me. Its one of the psychic abilities that comes with our superhuman intelligence coupled with our inherent childlike naiveté. It’s similar to the Martian ability to GROK that Heinlein wrote about in his novel Stranger in a Strange Land. You’ll catch on. It’s actually the same power we all had on earth; a power all there still have. You see; the things we think, the things we want, we can do them or not; but we can’t hide them. Our desires are naked and illuminated.
“We go through life thinking we can perform actions while hiding a competing narrative in our heads; but this garbles the frequency transmissions. There’s so much chatter in life that fact gets lost but we truly know another by knowing what they want and that power is available to anyone who can look past the noise. That problem does not exist here. These are the quiet days loud with implications in this thinnish unseen film of oneness waiting to burst the chrysalis in a molecular movement. If it makes you more comfortable you can ask” he said.
Now I appeared to be in a screening room worthy of Francis Ford Coppola with about 100 over-sized reclining leather seats, a private luxury theater you find in very wealthy homes. My angel-headed hipster guide handed me a huge box set of DVD and a remote control. “This, he said with a wry smile; is your life. You and some of the rest of us including those in the film who are with us will review the thing with you. You can hit pause anytime and explain yourself should you so wish. Witnesses can also interrupt at any time and have a Q&A. It’s just like Shakespeare said: “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts” he said.
“So, what was all that bizarre shit I saw just before the rainbow flash” I said. That was the epicenter of your delusions extinguishing“ he said. ““About that movie of my life; there are a few things I might like to re-shoot” I said. “Life is not a movie where you can re-shoot every scene until you get it just the way you want it; but rather a Play, where each moment is about truth, real and spontaneous and can not be altered. The world where you seek to undo the mistakes that you made is different from the world where the mistakes were made. You are now at the crossing and you want to choose. But there is no choosing there; there’s only accepting. The choosing was done a long time ago.” he said. I was cool in the pocket but the hardest thing to do is control excitement without killing it so I just grabbed my soul psyche and hung on.
“Here you and your friends and anyone else who would like to sit in and watch your life spend about four hours a day just watching. You can stop, fast forward or go back and repeat each scene over and over if you like and you may explain your motivations; everything you ever did or said will be exposed, revealed and tested. It’s the boxing ring of life” he said. “This; is perfect” I said. “You are the hero of our own movie.. We are all referred to here as hero’s. We say that knowing we have all fought an epic battle and all of us wishes to be heroic” he said.
“So, I watch others lives once I’m through with mine?” I said. “You may choose from a catalog of every person who ever lived, Michelangelo, Aristotle, Muhammad Ali, Castro, Alexander, Genghis Khan; anyone. A lot of guys are waiting for Hugh Hefner. Also ancestors are big requests, or even better some say; your future progeny. Here is where we see into the future; it’s all been fated”. he said.
“You know we sent prophets with the message but you kept killing them so we stopped. We sent John Lennon back with the song “Imagine” trying to hip you to the fact that there is no heaven or hell but, well you know the rest” he said. “Lennon, huh” I said. “Yea, we reincarnated him. He used to be an African Lion and we reanimated him as a Beetle and sent him back. It’s a perk very few indulge but he was rather special” he said.
“Here is something you may enjoy. We have synthesized the DNA of over a trillion hero’s and cloned them, so to speak, on a tab of Owsley” he said. “You mean Orange Sunshine?” I said. “Yes, he’s here; dying to meet you” he said. “You mean Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the first underground chemist to mass produce high-quality LSD in the 1960s?” I said. “Yes, his orange sunshine LSD combined with the spliced DNA of the hero you choose will allow you to do, be and experience the real feelings of anyone; live their life for a time and any moment in their life that you choose. We call it star fucking. For reasons we’ve yet to fully understand many folks want to experience the suffering of Jesus and Mandela” he said.
“Come along; let me introduce you to the equipment. Watching one’s life can be very disconcerting for some. So, we have a MASH unit on hand along with grief counselors and Sisyphus; a drug we can inject intravenously to treat major freak-outs” he said. “Why Sisyphus” I said. “In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. We think its àpropos for the experience we call life” he said.
She was a weirdly beautiful woman machine, looking somewhat like R2D2 from Star Wars, and reacted like a Terry Gilliam contraption in a Monty Python skit; a maze network of gears and wires. She had knobs on her chest, the kind you tune in like a radio, with a large red button in the middle of her perfect breasts. Her eyes upon activation became the movie screens through which one watched their movie. “You just plug-in here” he said. “What is this thing?” I said. “This is the switchboard of the universe” he said. “What’s the red button for” I said. “That’s our default rescue clip. If the hero gets overwhelmed by self-loathing from some particularly dicey section of their video; wherein they’ve done something really awful and begin to cry or moan, we instruct them to hit the red button and the current default rescue clip plays” he said.
“What plays are real-time images seen through the eyes of a child in the worst place in the world where people are doing the worst things to each other; a place that has come as close as a human being could get to abandoning his humanity. By viewing this, by seeing real caused suffering, relative to ones own, it elevates the suffering of the hero. The rescue tape changes from time to time depending on where in the world the most awful shit is going down but we’ve yet to find anything worse than the Congo. Five million people have died there in 15 years. One in 6 kids doesn’t live to see the age of five. The so-called Democratic republic of the Congo has almost no functioning state security apparatus. There are regions in the country where two out of three women have been raped. It’s an incredibly broken, needy part of the world and there almost no international relief agencies with balls enough to work there. This is the world some see everyday” he said.
“Say, sorry bout the bad language earlier. I was a bit freaked out” I said. “No worries; we believe that a word in and of itself is not good or bad” he said. “Really; even cunt” I said. “Yes; even cunt. It’s the intention that matters. We got that from Emmanuel Kant; would you like to do a hit of Kant” he said. “So, 4 hours a day. What about the other twenty hours” I said. “There really isn’t any time; it’s all an illusion. We use 4 hours to give some context to the new arrivals since they are freaked out already and we want to give them something they can relate to. As to the rest of your infinite time you may do whatever you please with whoever you choose for as long as you like. There are no compulsory directives, no needs, no commands and no being may tell another what to do. You’ll never age or get sick and you’ll never die. We’ve set you into your imagined body at its prime, not that the vessel matters, but again; just trying to help you adjust” he said.
“Each one of us is endowed with our own complex psycho-emotional constitution with the spiritual wisdom of a philosopher. Yet you may or may not be surprised how few lives are worth a look. The math of life boils down to answering the question; am I going to be the commodity people want me to be or am I going to do the things that interest me. The former has a real riptide to it and so is compelling but all the music, all the magic and all the mystery; is in the later. The revelation that genius giving birth to ideas and ambition, crystallizing into action, just scared some folks. The best of us chose right livelihood; finding in the end that the ordered life just didn’t contain enough magic in it. What was also one of the important similarities of an interesting life was holding the belief that not one drop of self-worth depended on any other beings acceptance of them” he said.
“What about the truly evil fuck’s; the irredeemable; like mass shooters” I said. “They are inverted star fuckers. They study everyone from Columbine on, try to top it in body count and or showmanship. From suicidal idealization grows the delusion of grandeur; from the wish to kill yourself grows the wish to kill as many people as possible. With immortality on the line it doesn’t matter if they’re complete strangers; the goal is to expire in a chaos of their own creation with them selves the only one in control, their everlasting infamy insured by the videos, the “legacy tokens”; the coded public farewells they leave behind. Mass shooters want release, transport, escape. It’s not a desire for death. They go elsewhere” he said.
“What about ISIS; the head hackers” I said. “They are our version of cancer. None ever make it here; they dissolve en route; vanish into the ash can of infinity. Some slip through on a technicality but explode en route. We wipe up the goo from the portal module and then break for a drink and a smoke; the mess they leave smells awful” he said. “What about Hitler; suicides” I said. “They never make it here either. They disappear on the ephemeral plane after they do the deed and never evolve to the hereafter. They essentially, upon expiration by their own hand, resign from the human race and hero status” he said.
“So what’s the deal with religion” I said. “We create our own realities. Those fantasies, like religion, are all two-dollar smokescreens that distract us; preventing us from asking the really important questions and we agree because the reality we create is too hard..Religion like most ideologies is a delivery system to get your money and stop you from free thought by using fear. Fear of the unknown mostly; the worst and most effective kind of fear. All the prepackaged belief systems that tell you to suspend reason and buy-in on faith are bullshit. Brother Bill Mar was right on that one. there is no heaven, no hell; only purgatory” he said. “So, what about JFK; who killed him and why?” I said. “That, we get that one a lot; Oliver Stone had that one nailed in his film JFK.” he said.
As I settled in to watch my movie one thing unspoken became implicit; that there was no right or wrong good or bad; everything was good since what was considered bad directed our attention to some error in our thinking system that needed fixing; ergo; it’s all good. What became clear as we watched my movie was it wasn’t the big things that mattered since many outside forces took part in and influenced my decisions. It was the little things that mattered. How I reacted in times of moral dilemma; conundrums like the acute stress of the fight or flee response. These were character defining moments that everyone seemed to be interested in. Did you freeze, cower and hide, run in fear or fake a “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up act” or did you spread your wings and soar like a hawk.
Most important of all, what everyone zeroed in on, was how did you act when you had power. Peter said Abe Lincoln had it just right when he said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” So, to test someone quickly the audience would ask to fast forward the video through the executive summary and watch how the person reacted when power was handed to them.
After a while I asked Peter; “So what’s the point of all this” I said. “There is no point; he said. This is the culmination, the redemption or repudiation of your life. At our noblest, we announce to the darkness that we will not be diminished by the brevity of our lives. And to know that if you ransacked the archives of the redeemed you would uncover tales of moral squalor quite beyond the merely appalling. Reviewing your life will have a twofold effect. One, to make you more compassionate and sympathetic of yourself and increase your empathy toward and for others. Empathy is really important. Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our true potential. And two; this will inform how you go forward from here. Remember the only judge here is you. It’s your self you have to be proud of in, and after, life” he said.
“So, if I could send a message back to my beloved brothers and sisters still in the game what would be most helpful” I said. “We can arrange that but we can’t assure you anyone will listen. It’s the understanding that life is not going to take you back. You are the world you have created. And when you cease to exist, this world that you have created will also cease to exist. But for those with the understanding that they’re living the last days of the world, death acquires a different meaning. The extinction of all reality is a concept no resignation can encompass. And then, all the grand designs and all the grand plans will be finally exposed and revealed for what they are. The hardest thing is to transition into the realization that life will not take you back” he said.
“Anything else” I said. “I mean what’s the secret Pete”. “Couple o’ things. If you listen to yourself when at your most vulnerable you’ll hear the truth. When you first wake in the morning after being comatose for hours your brain pushes what’s necessary to know to the front and its right there if you listen and most importantly act on it. If you’ve done something wrong; fix it. A good person is not defined by never doing wrong but by feeling bad when they do something wrong. That and always ask yourself; is what I say and believe about myself consistent with my actions “ he said. “That’s it” I said. “Pretty much, that, and you could also add; watch your diet” he said.

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Noise

“For the most sensitive among us, sometimes the noise can just be too much.” – Jim Carrey – upon hearing of the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

The cross city bus clamors out a murderous seasick solo backed by an orchestral scrum of whizzing internal combustion engines in uproarious brawl spewing invisible air and ear pollution death while begging for second gear; both instruments of audio-olfactory destruction, an offense to the ear and nose from landlocked personal space-ships bumper to bumper on the narrow streets of San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood; all, along with the antique streetcars sing out a cacophony of noise so disturbing I had to hold the phone, physically 1,500 miles away from the action, six inches from my ear.

Our story’s hero Jeff is laboring, careening up and down intensely inclined ski sloop streets chasing said bus while he screams into his cell phone at me “Man, the first thing you’d notice if you came back is the noise”. I tell him he’s preaching to the choir. The air in my environs of northern Wisconsin is so calm I can hear the sound of autumn leaves rustling along the well-kept lawns and iridescent blue birds singing their daily arias.

Writers flood into big cities, whether they know it or not, to be uncomfortable; since like the late, great Charles Bukowski opined “no one comfortable ever wrote anything worth a damn”. The city is life on steroids; it’s intensity keeping us all tense. The boulevard is a raging river of humanity and sometimes inhumanity. There is rarely a shortage of stimuli upon which to opine. Here the writers cup runneth over.

Our hero confides he’s been reaching back into his past to make that connection that sooner or later, sooner I think for some of us given recent societal developments, we all eventually make; that DNA linked memory to our roots. Jeff is currently covered by a warm blanket; surrounded by like-minded west coast social justice warriors – yet when looking back over his shoulder in contemplation of revisiting comrades from his mid-western past; he is floored, repulsed and catatonic over the addiction he sees in his childhood pals adherence to the new ersatz fascism; the redneck noise that is Trumpism.

In the same way it’s nearly impossible to escape the noise coming at us all like a Chinese parade, from eight different directions all at once; it’s the same for our natural inclination to decipher the content and arrange it in some assemblage of bite-size order. Is it as it seems? Is the new avalanche of information overwhelming our capacity to upload, sort-out and categorize it’s meaning and importance so we might get a handle on our collective future?

It can’t only be me and our hero who, overwhelmed by the noise, wish solace in heeding the wise voices from our past. Timothy Leary’s advise was “tune-in, turn-on and drop out.” Or the angelic voices of groovy guru of the day who suggest wandering in an open field for mindfulness training. Or the Birkenstocks environmentalist who insist we head back to nature and hug a tree; or the mental spiritualist that whisper meditation is the key. Maybe the best of them are the Tantra yogi’s who claim sexual pleasure is the way in and out; that the answer is a bit more of the old in and out. Being a hedonist myself I tend to flow in this direction.

Yet, with escape valves in place in case of overload and prayers to the universe for guidance, I can’t help myself wanting to sort through the noise and discover, like a pathfinder, which direction to point; for myself and others. The Stoics posited that the philosopher left the cave, examined the outside world and returned to tell the others of the joys and dangers outside the cave.

Now they’re be a noble and heroic cause; to be a fearless scout in the face of unknown dangers; to be a trailblazer for the greater good in a quest to report, interpret and transmit the findings. The conundrum seems to be we can’t translate through the noise to know what’s coming if we disengage from it.

In the end I’m left perplexed. Shall we try to make a path through the noise though we fear not knowing the answers and fear worse not even understanding the questions? Are we all just like our hero; wishing to be heroes; but succumbing to the dictates of surviving the day and reach for the safety and sanity of just catching that bus? #rednecknoise #Stoics #Trumpism #CharlesBukowski

Trump Trumps Reagan

And how trivial the things we want so passionately are.”Marcus Aurelius

A dog chases a bus; the bus stops – the dog catches it; what now?

The last time the money changers and the Army guys took over our government was during the Alfred E. Newman What Me Worry presidency of W; and you don’t need me to tell you how that turned out. The two sensational wars and the brilliance of the snouts-in-the-trough types like Dick-less Chaney and the top Wall Street-walkers detritus still lay smoldering at our feet.

This new Trump pseudo-populist phenomenon looks to be a replay of the 1980’s Reagan revolution when it became fashionable among the elite money fetishistic to popularize the bumper-sticker ethos “maximizing share-holder value’. This greed for its own sake origination created an accepted ethos of the T-Boone Pickens Green Mail artists of that era, set free by Reagan’s firing of Air traffic Controllers, signaling labor unions would be crushed.

That message was received by the twisted Orwellian named “job creators” and along with it came the export of manufacturing jobs sent overseas where peasants fresh from their countryside’s pure agrarian economy, paid $1.20 an hour for assembly-line factory jobs, would later land in suicide nets, as in China’s Apple works, after experiencing the sweat-shop working conditions, or as we like to call it, (absence of) regulation; the new drumbeat of the well-heeled mouth-pieces like Mitch McConnell. Americas middle-class lunch-pail voters who put both Reagan and Trump in the catbird seat where left abandoned; dazed and confused. The fat cat scoundrels disguised themselves wrapped in the American flag while secretly masturbating to their money porn financial fantasies under it.

The current zeitgeist buzz-phrase “economic growth” harkens back to the Ronnie-the ray gun Reagan era asleep at the wheel administration touting the maximizing of shareholder value and explains the diversions of Nicaragua, Grenada and soon thereafter Panama and explains why the old man left office in disgrace; a doddering, confused inept; not that dissimilar, save the aggression and vulgarity, to Trump’s persona; Americas’ Eddie Haskell president. The maladroitness of Reagan had him dismiss the Gorbachev plea at Reykjavik to ban all nuclear weapons because he’d seen some reality in the fiction movie that was Star Wars. Trump sees the future of nations as nuclear armed; locked and loaded on hair triggers; saving the USA from the cost of defending them.

Trumps picks for cabinet posts, like Reagan, signals, also well received, that agencies meant to foster our health and welfare will be headed by terroristic bomb-throwers set on blowing them up and killing them off. The Republicans long fantasized wet dream of shrinking government small enough to drown it in a bathtub seems to them closer to fruition than ever before. Their giddiness at the prospect of privatizing everything worth a buck has them caring less that the boss is a no-nothing gasbag shill. Someone might tell these diamond encrusted turds that America is not a business and they should not attempt to run it like one but the dazzling shine off their Gold Rolex watches blinds their cerebral cortex.

The Reagan period of selfishness, like Trumps soon to be phantasy, also laid waste to where we started; when capitalism was first envisioned; the idea that the corporation was a guest in the community. Now we’ll no longer be so crass as to subscribe motives to maximizing shareholder value; no. Now it’s the smoke screen of hire America and buy American “corporate responsibility” for the greater good of us all as cudgel to make their actions sympathetic to “America First” and their motives to lift ourselves up as pure as the driven slush.

There are a whole lot of literati out in the hustings angst filled over current affairs and rightly so. We seem to have elected a jackass bully with self-esteem issues to pull the levers of power and he’s handing those levers off to billionaires and x-generals. Is there another war for profit in our offing? Well; since no one, most of all the King himself, knows his next move; stay tuned.

Seems to me the best detergent against a stain is exposure. Once realized, once hung upon their own jaundiced cynicism; charlatans, most especially the narcissistic variety, fold under the weight of their own self-serving ideology. Shouting them down in the public square is thirst quenching but provides them with persecuted status; the very thing they claim; much like the long-suffering white nationalist Neo-Nazi shit bag fanatics. Let their actions speak I say; good citizens will recoil in disgust. In the interim we are left to hope the nincompoop don’t get us all killed from stupidity while they focus on coming after our social safety net. #TrumpTrumpsReagan # T-BoonPickens #wedon’tgetfooledagain #Newbosssameastheoldboss

Menagerie

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am; stuck in the middle with you”.Stealers Wheel 

Ensconced in intimate accustomed comfort at Alley Cats, my fairy-tale towns time-honored espresso bar, same as every day, tattered rugged men commune reposed in cloistered arcade oasis. Banishing twitchy remnants of all-night acquired fogs in bits and pieces, tuned up on caffeine and camaraderie, an edgy restlessness jitterbugs between us.

Sitting abreast at the counter, a separate wiggling column; like a worm cut into many parts still alive; we are a collection of wild animals, paused in voluntary captivity; curios for the entertainment of our public other; our traveling show road game, a diverse, exotic unusual ensemble of natives in spa-like enclosure; on display for private, yet public, exhibition.

My comrade on the dais today, had, once upon a time I surmise, drank a good deal and held it well. Though his large inflamed nose veined with blue filament and voice hoarse thick with authority; it holds a bit of an air of fatherly friendliness. Like many hard men in this local, spawns of mother’s Midwestern Gothic, sparse in showing love or giving compliments, he has seen hard times; yet seems to have potential for being a good man.

Beneath our nirvana facade desperate lonely surface thoughts are masked.  Mutual descended angst is pealed back and the naked animal burdens all men carry, closeted with their bones, have been caged. For this performance we are in the present tense; in the now; always right here, right now.

Veils of personal miseries, those small deep sorrows held subterranean, over and above routine annoyances, hangnail to holocaust, fall away. They are cast off for these moments. Our bed of spikes alchemically transforms to goose down. No enemy is present here. Though this venue offers protection; a man’s hidden identity still hangs on him like armor. We are defined by the scars carried; tending to share losses over victories since losers know more about life than winners; each of us mangled and marked by the things we do to cope.

Holding forth, each a turn at the pulpit; a chance on stage, we suck on our auras. The topics skip nonchalant; to drone porn, the rise of the machines, and how that war crime is meliorated by the enemy with his constipated mixture of blocked compassion and wish for power; to whether it’s a prime time war crime or simply overblown drone moan matters less than our talent for the momentary subterfuge of omniscience.

Our fame and power, made possible by GOOGLE in the way Sam Colt made all men equal, does not change us; it amplifies who we are. We cannot but feel that here is something which exists only in this Rockwell painting clubhouse fortress; it belongs in the daydream of cinema or a novel. We are purple caped princes resplendent at court; defined by the topics we choose and the positions we take.

The women serve our portions like concubines, caressing us evenly with a friendliness color shaded with sensuality superior to wives or lovers. This kabuki ritual surrounds our mystic carnal thoughts splayed in torment. They are gleaming soft tissue lottery tickets we all find comfort in within our fantasy worlds imagining home spun ecstasies await when the sun sets.

Robert, emperor of the espresso machine, mixer of potions, liquid remedy tonic healer; poster of literary nuggets from which I steal, leaves vapor trails burning ecstatic machinations on his monarch scaffold. He is our master of ceremonies, keeper of the thread, holder of remembrances, perfect host, traffic cop and game show impresario; our triage surgeon.

Like fireflies we assembled princes of the day spin-off through the exit bound for separate glory or misery or mediocrity; just another glorious day in the service of our personal muse. Every day here is a holiday; every meal a banquet. When we flee they will play our theme songs and carve our names into the bar. We cast off our capes and leave them by the door; our daydreams sending us off to bed forever more.

UNION

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, clothed in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality”.—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Theodore Roosevelt said “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in”. History shows us that without Unions and their right to collectively bargain for the betterment of workers the suits would have us working for the same subsistence wages peasants in China and Viet Nam toil under; without health care or safety codes or environmental standards.

The greed motivated neglect visited on workers without a voice and without the power to band together as one will lead us back to the days of Norma Ray Textile Mill sweatshops and the current state of coal miners in Appalachia. Today’s short-sighted profit motivated Republican coup in Michigan, home of the Teamsters that gave America a middle-class, to eviscerate Unions with the Orwellian language of Right to Work is just what Barack Obama said it was; the right to work for less. #The “Economic Bill of Rights”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt #Unions # Justice #China and Viet Nam #American standard of living -1944 State of the Union # Economic Bill of Rights

The “Economic Bill of Rights”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Excerpt from 11 January 1944 message to Congress on the State of the Union

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.