Comfortably Numb

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

The Japanese have a saying: “the nail that sticks up gets pounded down”. This idiotic but unfortunatly true idiom infers that if you are different from others, you know; guys like Socrates or Galileo, you will be outcast from society. It’s also a warning meant to convey the fear inducing notion that conformance is enforced. If any one of you tries to be different, then you can expect aggressive treatment. I suppose this message worked well for centuries on the Japanese; since if any one of them ever had an original idea they’d huddle around it like a squirrel around a nut before winter.

We didn’t use to be like that here in the melting pot of the world where the divergence of humanity, unlike the homogeneous Japanese, fosters competition. But that ugly backlash of free children from the sixties; the ones that stopped a war and pried a president from the White House gave pause to the powered élite. So in the same way we now have all volunteer armed forces and no TV war footage over dinner and no pictures of caskets filled with the flower of America coming home in pieces; we also don’t take any lip from our kids. Now we nip that shit in the bud.

The added benefit of having a yearly for life multi-billion dollar windfall for the drug company vultures, and if that fails to be  lobotomized, and a whole new prison-for-profit industry for the seriously incalcitrant that lay in wait; is not lost on our rulers. Everything not mandatory is compulsory; so if we can’t drug you into submission we’ll simply throw you away. This is disconcerting; since it’s our youth that will save us; those fresh sets of eyes and ears that tell us the dominant paradigm is a steaming pile of bullshit.

When our future saviors wake one day teenagers, just the other side of childhood, when all was Unicorns and rainbows, and discover the news shooting across the wire reports infants being shot in the face while in their strollers for their morning walk and a few dozen more massacred with a machine gun in their fifth grade classrooms and a midget Moe from the Three Stooges look-alike promising to Nuke us till we glow from his hermit kingdom; they rightly wonder what the point of this mess, after all, is. Having digested the morning news; feelings of depression, thoughts of suicide and insanity take hold; along with a wish to pay no attention to this horror, all very reasonable and sane responses.

The parents, who’ve slowly learned to accept this ever worsening god awful shitty mess, search for a solution to their child’s sanity; their teachers wishing only that they’d quit fidgeting and pay attention, find the kids will have none of it and lurch to drugging and/or running useless power trips on them.

The best answer of course is to direct them toward some form of service to their communities, to humanity, one that they feel will make a difference. It’s like our new dope smoking Pope said: “authentic power is service”. Not only is this maxim true for those served; but it’s true for the servers as well. To even try to do good for others boosts our self-esteem and self-worth, brings meaning to life and vaporizes depression. Nothing will get an optimistic child, or an adult for that matter, out of a funk faster than to find a way to offer solutions to the madness and suffering, not all of it, but at least some of it. Save the world, or just one other person, and save yourself.

William Burroughs offered the opinion that drugs have been systematically demonized. He was referring to the ones I and many others have done pretty much every day for the past fifty years; the one’s Eli Lilly doesn’t get a cut from. I’m not advocating drugs, no one has to do that, though I would recommend steering clear of the needle; like we use to say; the only dope worth shooting is Nixon.

The recent fascination with a one stop shop to solve the so-called problems of Americas youth labeled with attention deficit and other horse shit make-believe ailments by hooking them early on one-a-day chemical solutions will not only ruin their heath and negatively alter their minds; but even worse for us collectively; it will stigmatize what would otherwise be a generation of our next Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Pulitzer award recipients; and if we commit that obscenity, then surely we are lost.


In The Now

In a voice reminiscent of Raymond Carver‘s minimalist realism, Charles Bukowski‘s raw journals of life’s underbelly and Alan Ginsberg‘s poet-political essays, Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized, short stories, philosophical essays, poetry and prose are funny, insightful and heartrending, describing often in non-linear dreamscape narrative with the liquid lyricism of a poet; the love, loss, joy and angst of the fascinating and often mystifying connections of men and women in the intimacy of their daily lives. His writing style is both Anti-Novel and Imagist; fragmenting and distorting the experiences of characters, forcing the reader to build a reality to the story from a disordered narrative, stressing economy of language; writing free; with precise imagery, clear, sharp language, clarity of expression and meticulous visual images in musical phrase. – Gino Rossi