Sunday, December 16, 2012

Unspeakable Horror

Two days ago, on December 14, 2012 a young man burst into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and shot 20 children and 6 adults.  How does one wrap their head around that?

In the last 48 hours I have prayed and fretted over this.  I have been furious and railed against the gun lobby and humans at large.  I have cursed the politicians who have done nothing about keeping assault weapons off the streets.  I have more quietly been angry at God because this confuses me.

The truth is, that at the end of the day, this day or any other day, I have no understanding of this at all.  It's impossible to even comprehend how it could happen.  I will, out of respect to the babies then, be quiet and try to remember to be grateful for what life has given me.  It had to be mentioned though, if for no other reason that one day I may look back on this event and remember that I am truly powerless over the world and that every day is a gift.  Every single one of us is on borrowed time.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Photo Tribute to Chris Rock's Uncle






sorry... I had nothing really to say today...

Friday, December 07, 2012

Interview Tips 1

There are times when navigating a job interview becomes merely an exercise in recognizing the red flags when they wave.  Here is an example:

Interviewer:  Dress for the interview will be casual.  Some of the staff gets nervous when they see someone come in...

This one is not at all uncommon and it doesn't exactly evoke trust, does it?  Why should you trust this person now when they've just admitted that their employees don't trust them?  Or at the very least that there is no open communication in this workplace. 

Whose job is in jeopardy?  What restructuring is going on that might be seem threatening to their current employees? 

Do you want to work in a place with secrets?

Do you want to enter a new position where your co-workers may already harbor suspicion or resentment fostered by the secrecy? 

It's not unreasonable for you as a potential employee to ask questions.  Be diplomatic, but do ask questions.  Is this a new position?  Is not, is the person currently in this position advancing?  These questions can be asked within the context of inquiring about your own growth potential in this role, but ask these questions. 

I'm leaving for an interview today, and I'm already suspicious about the potential employer.  Granted, we've established recently that my tolerance for dishonesty is desperately low, but this isn't paranoia.  This person as much as confessed that something is going on. 

And my own confession, again, is that my tolerance is painfully low, and my sense of smell is...

Very acute. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Secrets & Lies

Secrets and lies, same thing really.  Your own will weigh you down sure enough, but even another person's... you can sense it from way off and feel the weight of it, or like an undertow.  You wade in too deep and you're done, just as sure as if you owned them.  And a person with a secret has a smell about them.  Dogs smell fear and you can too if you pay attention. ~ Anonymous

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More ghosts

The ghosts appear more often lately, as the days are getting shorter, and the weather colder.  I can be awake or asleep but I can always make them out amidst anything else that's happening.  They appear like old, warped, VHS tapes, slipping on the playback head, and when they speak it warbles that same way, like an old home video recording left on a window ledge.

I don't know why they insist on coming back around.  Sometimes it seems like they have something to say, or some unfinished business.  It's entirely possible that they do, but I'm not really sure I want to hear it.  

Some do, in fact, deliver short succinct messages.  No translation or interpretation necessary.  That is rarely less than jarring, and I stop in my tracks, or sit bolt upright in bed unable to go back to sleep.  I think I know how Ebenezer Scrooge felt.

Some seem nostalgic.

Some are apparently just coming around to remind me that they are still angry, or profoundly disappointed.

And some have their own soundtracks, and this song was delivered to my bedside like a gift, wrapped in old black & white newsprint and remorse.  I haven't figured out what the message is, but I haven't slept since it arrived. 

I want no more of these visitations, at least not for the moment.  Or at least they might be more spaced out, allowing time for processing. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pot calling the kettle... um... not quite black, really.

This story and photo originally posted at The Gothamist.

Okay, I admit that it's kind of cute.  A graphic designer in the somewhat ambiguously located East Williamsburg, in the post electoral frenzy of secession petitions, has written a petition for the secession of "East Williamsburg" from the now stodgy, toasty and often ridiculed Williamsburg. 

BUT, there is a certain cringe-worthy thing happening here too.  I don't know how to phrase it delicately so I'm going to come out and say it.  At what point during the transition of a neighborhood do white people moving into predominantly non-white neighborhoods acquire the license to point out newer white people as... gentrification?  What makes the first several thousand more "cool" and less "guilty" than the next several thousand? 

I bought a house on the south end of the Park Slope area in 1996.  I wasn't really thinking of it as what the realtors may call a 'neighborhood in transition.'  It was what we could afford at the time.   I didn't think of myself as a pioneer or an investor, let alone an interloper or a yuppie, but there was little question in the minds of my new neighbors that this is exactly what I was.  The real estate trends that followed for that block and those surrounding bore out all their worst suspicions.

I could tell you how disgusted I was when the agent who first showed us the house brought around other potential buyers (all white) to introduce us as "a family that has kids and feels safe enough to buy here"... but it's not about my perception of myself, is it?  People followed because I bought.  The entire character of the area changed, and I was part of it.

I am the face of gentrification, like it or not.  Just trying to keep it honest. 

You'll not meet a hipster that admits to being a hipster (not that the label means much anymore).  Twenty years ago you never met a yuppie who copped to being a yuppie.  It was always the other guy.   So these articles make me uneasy in their dishonesty.

 I have had three homes, by the way, in the last 10 years, all within blocks of each other.  What neighborhood they are all in changes every few months depending on the whims of the market.  Park Slope, South Slope, Windsor Terrace, Greenwood Heights, etc. 

Of gratitude

It seems I've lived long enough to find that it's true.  We are a culture ruled by our purchasing power, and addicted to credit in no less a way than some are addicted to alcohol or nicotine.

The compulsion to buy. 

To own.

To have.

I have less now than at any point in my life, and it's true that while during the recent hurricane this was in many ways an asset, but it doesn't change things.  I am financially in dire straits and it would be dishonest to say that gratitude isn't a greased pig.  It's really easy to overlook things not yet lost or lacking.  It's true that money cant buy happiness, but equally true that poverty can't pay rent.    As of today, rent is once again three months in arrears. 

I can say this though.  I will not go down without my dignity.  You will not find me on the Black Friday lines grappling for garbage I have no use for.  It's not just a lack of money either.  It's not something I ever wanted a part in.

I simply won't. 

At my lowest, it's not where you would find me.  Pride isn't always a bad thing. 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Of Class & Classism...

Can 5 minutes of concession speech compensate for 12 months of generally bad manners, public anger and obnoxious condescension?

I'm glad that I'm not the only person who finds the very idea distasteful (click here).

I've always hated the word "classy."   It connotes that only people of means are capable of good manners and comportment and if the last four years of right-wing bile and politicking doesn't disprove that, then nothing will.  It's a horrible word and I've cringed as I've witnessed it creeping into common usage. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cocktails, anyone?

Are you in the market for FROZEN SPERM?

No, seriously. Famedaddy.com advertises themselves as "The world's first first celebrity sperm donor service." So I'm guessing this is about artificial insemination, but...

I don't know.  Perhaps I'm far too judgmental, but it all seems rather desperate to me.  It raises so many questions too.  Like, presumably it is very expensive, and donors and "consumers" are screened extensively, but couldn't there be some really unfortunately mismatches?

For example, what if sperm from some genius rocket scientist ends up in some nouveau riche lottery winning dullard?  My guess is the child ends up a dullard too, but perhaps tortured by all the added expectations on him/her of coming from special sperm. 

Ugh.... I just can't. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

BROADS LOVE DISHONESTY!





WANT TO MEET WOMEN?

It is apparently AS EASY AS LYING!

Don't take my word for it.  Just click that link above and listen to true players in action. 

I wonder if this is how Ted Bundy wove his magic web of charm.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lean With It

There's a metaphor somewhere IN THESE PHOTOS BY CHICAGO PHOTOGRAPHER PAUL OCTAVIOUS, or at least I'm going to pretend there is, about being somewhat compromised by one's environs, but still standing despite it all.

The wind.

The rain.

The weight of the snow or whatever...

Still standing. 

This Pretty Much Says It All


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A change of pace....

It seems an age since there's been a proper afternoon rain in New York City.  There have certainly been a few summer squalls with wind and hail, but nothing really approximating the kind of rain you just settle down and rest through.  You're not even waiting it out, but taking a break the way the sun is taking a break behind the clouds. 

The thunder is rolling across the borough in the same sort of lazy way.  Nothing dramatic or theatrical.  Just taking it's time and making sure everyone knows it's there.   Strolling through with the rain like a gardener watering the plants, making sure everything is getting a good soaking 

I've been praying and hoping, every time I see rain clouds coming in, that there will be some kind of a break from the heat behind it, and to be fair it's not like every day has been scorching.  It does seem like it's been the hottest summer ever, at least to my memory.  The news reports say July was the hottest ever in New York, with the most day above 90 and the most intense humidity. 

I'm hoping for cooler temperatures behind this lazy afternoon rain.  I am just vain enough to believe that I deserve some kind of break.  And if it happens, I will wish the break came in some other aspect of my life.  Hopes and prayers are like that.  Be careful. 

So that's it.  Nothing to report.  It's raining.  And I'm hoping for something that may or may not happen.  Nothing new here.  Move along.  Nothing to see. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Election 2012 Theme Song

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste...






Make no mistake about it. It's been ugly for a while and getting worse. This isn't about being a prophet of doom. It's about one and one adding up to two, which in case you haven't noticed, happens every single time. Anger and desperation always end the same way. Keep your heads low.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

What might you say to your younger self?

Had you the opportunity to go back and give one bit of advice, knowing what you now know, to your younger self, what might that be?  This question keeps appearing in my path, of late, perhaps because of my old habits of being drawn to pointless pseudo-intellectual excursions.  It does lend an opportunity for reflection though.  What has been learned?

The latest intertoobz tidbit on the topic here:  PLEASE CLICK THIS

And so I reflect on this child:


What could I say to him that might change where I stand at this moment?  What could be said to ease his path?  Herein lies the problem:

I recall getting what I know now to be solid advice.

I recall getting what I know now to be great advice.

I recall getting what I know now to be very bad advice.

I have no recollection whatsoever of having taken any of those suggestions, any of which, good, bad or middle ground, may have smoothed my path, helped me along, or taught me a hard lesson much younger than I eventually learned it.  None of it.

So what would I say to this child--and I recall the day this photo was taken with remarkable clarity as it was the day I learned I was painfully nearsighted--that he would have listened to?  Probably nothing.  He did it all, for better or for worse, and often for worse, his own way.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

An indictment or a curse?

I remember reading this.  I do.  There is some place back there in linear time fog that this echoes from, and it was probably from some class that was a course requirement, and not an elective.  Poetry eluded me (and might still).  This doesn't elude me, though.  Quite the contrary, it chilled me.  It never struck me until just this morning, sitting here with my coffee, crud in my eyes and an irksome sense of disconnectedness, that he is cursing someone to old age, loneliness and regret.  Yet still light in tone... I'll have some whimsy with my bitter, please.


“When You Are Old"


WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.”
W.B. Yeats

And it gave me a bit of a chill...

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Twenty Years Ago Los Angeles Was Burning

I was out and about yesterday but it bears mentions, especially in light of current events, that Sunday, April 29 was the 20th anniversary of The Los Angeles Riots, or the "Rodney King Riots," if you will. 


It's important to consider that very little has changed since 1992.  It could be said, in fact, that many things have gotten worse.

The point of this brief missive is just a reminder that outrage is directly proportional to outrageous behavior.  Take a look around you. 

Who is better off today than they were in 1992?  How has our government, both local, state and federal, responded to our growing desperation.  I am using a collective "our" here.  It's easy enough to write off the L.A. riots to the unaddressed racial prejudice of the LAPD, and that would be accurate, but the issues have broadened.

As issues have broadened a growing number of people have taken advantage of their 1st Amendment rights to speak out through demonstration and protest and boycott.  They are not burning.  They are not acting out violently.  Yet the demonstrations across the US have been met with police brutality.

My message here could be expanded and more detailed, but consider this a bookmark.  There will be more.  This is just a short note to point out that in case you haven't noticed, things are heating up. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Harriet. Harriet? Yes, Harriet


If I like a newer/new-ish band, it's really an accident. It's hard to put a finger on what  it is that appeals to me here.  The voice?  It's everything I like in a rock & roll voice.

But there's really more tedious (and pointless) than trying to explain why you like a pop song. 

I just do. 

Who the hell is Rocco Deluca?



Son of a bitch!  This guy can play!

I've never been so out of touch with current music.  This guy may not even be current.  He may have come and gone.  This video was originally uploaded nearly two years ago.  You blink and you miss all kinds of stuff.  The geezers my age who exhibit a foaming phobia for anything recording after 1977 make me sick. 

If this song doesn't move you, just to to the mall and rent a L'il Rascal.  Sit around the foot court ogling little girls.  You suck. 

I was waiting for the train today at West 8th Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island, having just come from a frustrating visit with the DMV, when the following exchange took place between me and a pretty-ish young man:

PYM:  Hey Mister, you got a cigarette?
Me:  Don't smoke.  (I used to apologize because for some reason not smoking seemed lame.)
PYM:  Okay.  Where's your girlfriend?
Me:  She's at work, I guess. 
PYM:  I could take care of you for 20 dollars.
Me:  No thanks, buddy.  I'm good. (I'm laughing here, a little surprised.)
PYM:  You sure?  You're kinda cute.  I could give you a discount.
Me:  Nah man, I'm good... wait... (now I'm really laughing) You give 'cute' discounts?"
PYM:  Sometimes.
Me:  How much is a cute discount.
PYM:  I dunno.  A couple dollars.
Me:  That's not that much.  (Don't ask me why I engage strangers.)
PYM:  You ain't that cute!
Me:  Oooooh!  Nah, man.  Thanks.  Really.  I'm good.
PYM:  Okay, have a good day! 

Life offers up a good laugh every now and again.  I'm not going to get hung up on the whys and wherefores and all that.  Everybody has to make a living any way they know how.  I really don't judge.  There are certainly more dishonest ways to make $20 and there must be a market for it.  Whatever.  Go to Coney Island.   Ride the Cyclone.  Go to Nathan's.  Get serviced by a male prostitute.  Whatever floats your boat, really.

But people do judge.  I'm not exempt.  Like, pertaining to the above photo... there's a "dating" website that hooks up hot women who want to travel on a rich dude's dime. (click here).  Now, the owner says it's not about sex, but seriously... See?  I'm judging.  I think it's the artifice and dishonesty in this transaction that makes it seem so much more unsavory than a quick cash transaction in a subway station.  There is probably, a slightly lesser chance of the transmission of a seriously scorching STD with MissTravel.com, but DO. NOT. BET. ON. IT!  Seriously. 

So maybe I'm a bit twisted, but my fear of catching a horrible STD is only slightly less than the dread of being on a holiday with a complete stranger.  To each their own.  Any way you slice it though, in my book, the hooker in the subway station is doing pretty much the same thing as the people that sign up for a sugar daddy online (or offline).  Let's keep it honest. 

OMG!!! JUST RELAX FOR CHRISSAKES!!!





This falls under "Article I Sort of Wish I'd Written."  I've got sort of an issue with Euro-Americans and Euros who piss on about some Third World religion or philosophy that they've "discovered," especially when they've only kind of cherry-picked parts that appeal to their vanities and affected those parts in a manner that really doesn't interfere too much in their otherwise smash-n-grab lifestyles.   (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

From Vice Magazine:  "Saying you’re a Buddhist is less work than burning up your entire buzz trying to explain secular humanism. Plus, it has the added bonus of conveying that you, in the manner of a Buddhist, firmly believe that people should relax more often. That’s a good way to get out of the situation, because it’s a good reminder to Mark that he needs to calm the fuck down and if he’s gonna have a marijuana freakout he should at least have the common courtesy to go on a ridiculous paranoid bear patrol and not hassle everybody so much."  CLICK HERE TO LINK TO VICE MAGAZINE ARTICLE

What I like best about the article, however, is that it's really only a sort of Top 5 Desert Island Discs List.  Clever bastards!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

BUSTED!!!


Sooo... APPARENTLY, Park Slope is the Number 2 Cheatingest Neighborhood in the New York City Region.  This is from data gleaned from AshleyMadison.com, the... well, they're a dating site for married folks looking for a bit of the strange, right?

I'm not exactly sure where they find time around here, what with very exciting jobs and coaching the t-ball team, working shifts at the Food Co-op, dog-walking, yoga, cycling about the park, 1st Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and classes about artisanal cheese.

Yet the numbers don't really lie, if you're looking at the numbers of people who sign up, by zip-code.  Either that or Park Slope is the Number 2 Most Insecure & Paranoid Neighborhood.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.


Moonwalking At Gunpoint sounds like the perfect album title for...  I don't know... a bunch of kids living in a dingy apartment in "East Wiliamsburg."

But no, this tidbit comes to us from Idaho, which from my experience is like Disneyland for White Supremacists and people who delight in killing Bambi.  God help me, I find it insanely funny and profoundly sad at the same time. 

What's wrong with me? 

"It's like a little treat."


SURPRISE!!!

The Australians are a clever lot. 

It's not always your choice

But you do get many opportunities to decide how you want to live, and how you want to go out.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prostitution or wishful thinking?


New York City gives these away.  They can and will be used against you in court as evidence that you ARE A GODDAMN HOOKER!!!!

I'm not joking. 

It's weird, right?  It makes me want to punch someone.  Several someones.   I mean, technically speaking,  every teenage boy walking around with that hopeful rubber in his wallet is carrying evidence that he sells sex.  It would be funny... well, if it were funny. 

Hard & Sole


Up yours, Vibram!!!

From Maskull Lassere

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm not saying that I have no fear...


Just that I don't fear being afraid like I used to. I can handle it...

Friday, April 20, 2012

On the thin ice of a new day...


When dreams lift and fade within minutes of waking, the way the sun burns off a morning fog, perhaps it's safe to say that they contained no special message. No illuminating revelation. No dire warning. Just shadows, like floaters across the field of vision. Rub your eyes.

Gone.

Sleep came somewhat easier last night. I could feel it creeping in like a brandy glow under a blanket by the fire. The burn hits the pit of the stomach like molten metal filling a die, a hot sizzle and the smell of ozone. It fills all the nooks and crannies, bubbling and popping.. and then settles and cools and hardens.

Solid.

Except it didn't remain solid. It was a brittle sleep, fragile and fractured by various interruptions. An animal outside. The dog sounding an alarm at a drunk neighbor stumbling in. And the dreams, however empty of meaning, still not without the odd phantom brushing past me and leaving me chilled and unsettled. I was not, for the first night in ages, visited by the giant dreadlocked man who seems determined to see what's inside my head... literally. I did not wake up dodging blows, bobbing and weaving in a boxer's stance. It was still not what you would call a sound sleep, but it was better than recent nights.

Perhaps because I have done more in recent days to address the anxiety, or at least to wear myself out. I have refused to sit in the fear like a hockey player sitting in the penalty box. I have tried to go out and play clean and not get drawn into heavy body-checking and fights. I have made an attempt to simply focus on the goal, and keep my gloves on and my stick low and just skate. Finesse it. It doesn't have to be a fight. Make it to the final buzzer. Shower up. Rest up. Get ready for the next game.

And here it is...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sense and Sensitivity


The world is all sharp edges as insomnia drones on. Pin-pricks, paper cuts, nails on the blackboard, empty box trucks across potholes, broken glass.

It's hard to identify a single, nagging fear, but rather the steady rasp--the fine side of the cheese grater against the fingertips.

Oops. That might leave a mark. I am fairly sure I won't bleed to death, but...

And fear is like that spot on your tongue that you accidentally bit yesterday. You can count on opening that sore at least a few times more--that it will find its way between your grinding molars several times before it mercifully heals when you're not thinking about it.

Not unlike the tendency to stub the same toe as the one you stubbed yesterday, and often against the same corner of the sofa.

My sleepless brain cannot seem to guide my hapless ape feet through the broken bottles this morning and I am not one of those Hindu mystics that can walk across it barefoot, or sleep on nails or pass a rope through my colon. I will feel every sharp edge today, and maybe tomorrow and the next day and I'm told this is a good thing and that I will understand one day why it is a good thing.

That I just have to believe...

Okay. What are my options?

Sleep does come, but then I wake up sitting upright, or in a crouch like a boxer with my arms shielding my head.

I know now instinctively that the way out--the only way out--is straight through. Across the glass, and sharp corners that seem to jump out and bruise.

Some days are just about endurance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Idle Mind Is the Devil's Workshop


Circumstance dictates that I reconsider the truth in what I'd almost certainly relegated to the waste bin of do-gooder, pollyanna, Calvinist bullshit. I've been unemployed, but for a 3 month stint as sleazy, pencil-mustached shill for a rare... okay, no. It was just a job. It came and it went, and I've been on the dole since right before Christmas.

It's not all sitting about, mind you. Job hunting is a full-time job. Poverty, despite what the most recent crop of Republican Presidential candidates may claim at their sanctimony-fueled pep rallies, is a 24/7 grind.

Yet there is still far too much time to think.

That can be a problem.

So I've been considering re-naming this blog "The Devil's Workshop." It's not going to happen. It was just a thought, driven by the growing realization that left to my own devices I tend to fester. Tedium becomes anxiety. Anxiety becomes resentment. Resentment becomes anger. It's not even justifiable anger. Quite the opposite, it can be directed at anything and anybody and is really unreasonable.

And unhealthy.

My latest pain in the ass, for example, is a real winner. There is a leprechaun faced homeless man that lives in The Skinny Park around the corner. His name is Francis. I used to see Francis once or twice a week and engage him a bit (Lucky Francis, right?) and give him a couple bucks. I've known him since the early 90s before his alcoholism spiraled and he ended up on the street. It was no big deal though to hand over some mixed greens.

The difference is that now I'm broke and I see him sometimes up to a dozen or more times a day, and he asks for money every time. It's annoying. It's more annoying that he's taken to throwing snarky comments in my direction when I don't give him anything. Then this morning when I was out with the dog he asked me when I got back around the block to the same spot.

Ten minutes or less.

"WHAT THE FUCK, FRANCIS? I HAVE NO MONEY! DO YOU THINK THE DOG WENT TO THE FUCKING ATM?"

Yes, I yelled at a wet-brained, homeless guy. I'm not proud. But yes, I did. I have to work on this. There is no telling how long it will be before my daily blitz of cover letters and cold calls will yield fruit. In the meantime...

Yah, Francis is kind of a dick. He always has been. What should that really mean to me?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shhhh!!! Everybody will want some!!!


So this means over half of all chicken consumers are getting far less but paying the same...

No, God help me, I love chicken, but it hasn't escaped me that more than any other animal I've eaten, raw chicken tastes closest to how the crap smells.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Great Dictator



A bitter irony, that I've seen this clip re-posted online several times recently by men whom I know to be beyond politically conservative. There was a time when I would have pointed out that Charlie Chaplin was as famous for being a Socialist as an actor... that they were taking this speech entirely out of context.

But it's been decades since there has been real political discourse in this country, or any exchange of ideas within a framework of civility or any historical reality.

I'm moved by this film clip, but have very little fight left in me, and life is too short to be consumed by shouting into the wind.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Time consumes history...

and leaves memories like clouds passing over the sun, and in the end it's probably better to take a simple inventory of fond remembrances...

The smell of Amphora tobacco

The way Cremora clumps up at the top of instant coffee

The comfortable machine rattle of an old IBM Selectric

Sunday crosswords

A series of pulp novels we shared. He would pick them up at the airport when he traveled on business and pass them on to me as he finished.


And these remain some of my fondest childhood memories.

Donald Ian Morrison: November 7, 1925-March 23, 2012


RIP Uncle Ian... Wish we'd had a chance to reconnect. I'll take the hit for that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rick Santorum Takes Mississippi & Alabama Primaries


And if elected, every man over the age of 21 will receive one free prostate exam!!!

Right this way to the polls---------->>>>>>>


On the off chance this man does get elected (and I think we have a better chance of seeing God) the reality is that we're all getting a lot more than a digital, we won't even get a friendly reach-around, and there will be no healthcare coverage to pay for it.

Cheers. Don't forget to vote.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Inception? (Paul Weller & Maud Kwawkawee)

Middle-aged man posts a video of a middle-aged man singing about a middle-aged man...



I remember when I felt that rock & roll was kind of dangerous. People were afraid of it, and since I was a "part" of it, they might just be afraid of me too. Many of my friends felt the same way.

We were all proven wrong.

Provided you don't, as a young man, drink too much and wrap your car around a tree, a mid-life crisis is far more dangerous than rock & roll. Far more expensive too.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rock of Hemorrhages

And I've just named my first death metal band...


It is every American's right to squander their own 1st Amendment rights, and who am I to judge?

But of course I will. Apologies in advance, but this random search of Death Metal band names and songs speaks of trying way too hard. There was a time when rumor and innuendo was enough. Remember the Rod Stewart stomach pump rumor? Remember when Alice Cooper frightened parents? Remember when Punk Rock was reviled on CHiPs?



Anyway... the list:

Splatter Whore: Golden Shower Glory Hole
Kataklysm: As The Wall Collapses
Tampax Vortex: SuperWhoreRape
Splatter Whore: Rohypnol Power Hour (okay, I laughed at this one)
Amputated Genitals: Vaginal Super Grind Vomit
Wormrot: Set to Kill
Torsofuck: Cannibal
Spasm: Paedophilic Kindergarten Party
Insect Warfare: Death to the False Grind
Hypocrisy: Inseminated Adoption
Wormfarm: Maggot Attack
Pathology: Blessed Through Suffering
Wargore: Brutally Mutilated
Gutted With Broken Glass: Headfuck

Okay, so someone has to keep it edgy, even if it borders on parody. Katy Perry dying her hair blue is just not rock and roll.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Something to think about...


" Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, an arm's length behind us. Death is the only wise adviser that a warrior has. Whenever he feels that everything is going wrong and he's about to be annihilated, he can turn to his death and ask if that is so. His death will tell him that he is wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. His death will tell him, "I haven't touched you yet.""
(Carlos Castaneda)

Don Juan went on to tell Carlos (and I'm not here to argue the veracity of Castaneda's stories) that since a warrior never knows when Death will take him, he must remain forever mindful of all his words and actions. Nobody wants their very last word or act in this realm to be petty or horrible.

Or maybe that's not the case at all. One SHOULDN'T want that, but certainly many don't care at all. One might, if only for vanity, be careful since we are often remembered for our last misdeed, no matter how we lived otherwise. Last words are forever quoted.

Being the man behind no small number of misadventures and petty verbal assaults, Castaneda's/Don Juan's words in print resonated with me. I may still be taken to task for mindfulness, but the message still rings clearly.

Mind your step. Mind your words. You've only got one shot at this dying thing. Do it well.

It's a damn good question...

I'm not trying to be a wiseass here, but it cannot be denied.


There is, as far as I know, no real explanation either.

Faith is funny that way.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Genocide Collectibles

... and other such stuff.

I've long been wary of those who traffic in/collect artifacts and assorted paraphernalia from the darker periods in human history. The lines between genuine curiosity and creepy nostalgia often seem blurred, and it leads me to question the motivation. Call me judgmental.

I had become friends with a fellow in school (read: we shared an interest in long, chemically-fueled discussions on politics, sociology, etc.) who collected WWII stuff. He told me it started with pieces like an old Luger and an SS Dagger and an Iron Cross that his grandfather had brought back from Europe in 1945. He built from there, going to auctions, flea markets and (tellingly) ads from the back of magazines like Soldier of Fortune. His collection had expanded, at that point to several glass cases of medals, knives, flags, a full uniform and several walls of portraits.


His little museum seemed nearly harmless at first, but as time wore on, and he grew more comfortable with me presumably, he did reveal himself to be extremely anti-semitic. He openly scapegoated black and brown people and had little to no tolerance for Asians, with the exception of the Japanese whom he characterized as "industrious and of superior intelligence."

I hadn't given him much thought in years, but several days ago I was nosing through a flea market and came across a booth with quite a bit of what I've come to learn is called "Black Americana" CLICK HERE displayed. Now... I've seen brief news bits on this stuff, and it's really not difficult to see why it's so controversial. You'd be an ass not to question who comprises the target market for these items.


It does a fairly complete job of creeping me out because my suspicion is that like the Nazi Collectibles CLICK HERE, the market is driven as much by nostalgia as by historic interest.

Again, call me judgmental.

I am by no means saying that we should pave over history and try to forget it. I'm just saying that I remain wary of some of the people trying really hard to preserve it.

And perhaps reenact or revive it. Maybe I'm not being fair, but I didn't see anybody darker than I am approach that booth at the flea market the other day.

vHarmony

Find your familiar on vHarmony

Blues Culture--Bill Steber Photography


I do, on occasion, run across things on the web that speak for themselves, and therefore require no comment from me. Bill Steber's photo archive is its own best advocate. CLICK HERE

Friendly Reach-Around


The King? Bollix! I'm Lemmy. I'll do as I want.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Missing Passage from Exodus: The 11th Plague

And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I shall smite thy borders with cheerleaders...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RIP Davy Jones

Of course I could carry on about how much I enjoyed The Monkees. It might mean more to share how much The Monkees meant to other people too. Music, at it's best, is shared with other people. So here goes:











The 70s... in case you were wondering

what it looked and sounded like back then.



And if you had no other talents but wearing cool clothes and clapping your hands, you could be in a band.

Where form meets function...


I'm fairly certain the "soft ripples" they mention are meant to work along the same lines as a triple-blade, disposable razor.

Just say... Oh.

or Oh, no...



File this under www.ijustcant.com.

Then again, it was 1985. Things were weird.


Just say no, no, no, no, no... The Just Say No campaign might have worked if they hadn't started to simultaneously make better drugs. Sure, I'll say no, right after I give a few of these a whirl.

Same as it ever was.

Same. as. it. ever. was.

Or we could take it further back a few years.



Nope. It's probably best to just have your kids watch Scared Straight.



For some reason the fear of being ass-raped by lifers is a whole lot more tangible than the fear of death. Go figure...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Revolution Will Not Be Catered



Demonstrations got boring,
Well it was obvious that the government was ignoring us
It's hard to drag yourself through empty streets
On an empty stomach with no sleep
The shortcomings got clearer
As the price we paid got dearer and dearer
It's supposed to be a case of give and take
Well I was feeling the give and making the mistake
And I've heard it said the unexamined life,
Isn't much worth living, and I'm sure they're right
But it's hard to keep on fighting the good fight
When no one else seems bothered
Yeah, when no one's on your side

Because I'm young enough to be all pissed off
But I'm old enough to be jaded
I'm at the age where I want things to change
But with age my hopes have faded
I'm young and bored of being young and bored
Lyrics www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/frank_turner/
If I was old I could say I've seen it all before
In short; I'm tired of giving a shit

I've got friends who are bankers
And it's an easy rhyme to call them wankers
But I must say I envy the way that they live
And it's all; it's all take and no give
Well I'm playing the lone ranger
Riding to the rescue with 6 billion strangers
Armed with only an original song
And a sense that something's wrong

And I must admit that I'm tired of saying no, all the time
Well I must admit that I don't really know what would be right

And if politics, is helping all the people
Then my political career is pretty fucked
Because the truth is I don't like people all that much

The times they aren't a-changing
Yeah England's still shit, and it's still raining
And everybody's jaded and tired and bored
And no one lifts a finger, because
It's just not in our culture
Our culture is carryin'
And we're all vultures
And no one seems bothered by the state of play
It seems that the stench is with us to stay
So I had a go, I tried examining life
It wasn't much worth living
I guess they're right
And I'm tired of fighting a fight that's not my fight
So is everybody else, we're all on the same side.

Because I'm young enough to be all pissed off
But I'm old enough to be jaded
I'm at the age where I want things to change
But with age my hopes have faded
I'm young and bored of being young and bored
If I was old I could say I've seen it all before
In short; I'm tired
And in short; I'm probably fired
If the revolution doesn't want me, I don't give a shit.

Clever bastard, this one...

Watching The Rum Diaries a couple nights ago rather tickled my Gonzo Bone so I was surfing about some Hunter S. Thompson searches when I came upon this gem:


It's from a rollicking little backwater Tumblr called BETTER BOOK TITLES (CLICK), which is a cache of illustrated capsule book reviews--the title tells you what it is--you decide. Some are a bit dry. Some are piss-pants hysterical. They're pretty darn accurate.

Mark Lanegan Band: Blues Funeral



Not going to do anything resembling a review. You're either a fan or you're not, and I'm too old to even care to convince anyone else. Mark Lanegan's voice is a force of nature. This is the opening track from his new album, Blues Funeral.

Enjoy.

It's going to get a lot worse before...

No.

Nevermind. It's not going to get any better.

Ever.


Science has proven CLICK HERE that people aren't smart enough for democracy to flourish.

Furthermore, CLICK HERE we're not likely to get any smarter because we're either too dumb or too stubborn to realize just how dumb we are!

Sad, really.

Creating Mini-Dicks (Relatively Safe For Work)

Unless you are prone to fits of apoplectic rage...


Let's say one thing first. This is not cute. It's simply not cute.

I'm not going to fly off the handle. I've no more ammunition and no more armor to steel myself against this special brand of... Well, there really is no word for it, is there? For lack of the proper vocabulary let's say this.

Narcissism is nurture, not nature. I'm over narcissistic milquetoast Brooklyn parents and their precious children. They walk. They talk. We are just awaiting the third miracle so that every last one of them can be sainted.

Oh, by the way, this is Ipecac that put me in this state: CLICK HERE

Some days it feels like I'm living inside a Luis Bunuel film.

Because some people are cooler than you...

Hardware > apps





CLICK HERE, PLEASE

Monday, February 27, 2012

More Art, Please


Want to see more of this?

CLICK RIGHT HERE

I would love to see something like this in NYC, but people can be really stupid. This would end up tagged by some dickhead with a 3 dollar can of Rustoleum.

Damn shame too.

Iran Threat Part 2

So Haaretz picked up the story, but hasn't made too big a deal of it. They ran it though. One might still believe that more media outlets would have said something.

CLICK HERE FOR STORY

How big a threat is Iran?

The Hawks have been beating the war drums about Iran for some time now. The story has changed somewhat over the last few days, however, that the idea of Iran as a nuclear threat has been somewhat overblown.

So if their nuclear capability has been exaggerated, and since downgraded:

1) Were we ever in any danger?
2) If so, how much.
3) What new intelligence have we received that changes the perception? Let's see some specifics.
4) What has changed?

I'm really just trying to keep it simple. Wikileaks is claiming that they have received information (in the form of hacked intelligence e-mails) that Israel has recently launched covert attacks, disabling Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

CLICK HERE

That would explain everything, EXCEPT, why the attack and the WikiLeaks statements have been kept so quiet. This would be headline news, wouldn't it?

So much for investigative journalism. So much for objectivity.

So much for trust.

Academy Award Recap


There was a huge awards gala last night where they celebrated a bunch of movies I haven't seen, and can say with some degree of certainty that I will not. The Best Picture honor went to The Artist, a film that caught my interest for about 5 minutes when I learned it was largely silent. Best Actress went to Meryl Streep (snore) for her portrayal of one of my least favorite political figures of the last 40 years.

There were a bunch of people in expensive clothes, most of whom I am unfamiliar with.

Then there was this:


International relations being what they are, how did Billy Crystal get Kim Jong-Il's hair?

Bela Lugosi?

The Count from Sesame Street?

He looks like an old Borscht Belt comic that stood up out of the coffin at his own funeral.

My point here isn't to be mean, but am I the only one that thought that perhaps Billy might age with a tad more grace? At what point did he decide to just let go and be a caricature? He was also painfully unfunny.

This all just furthers my resolve to wander out onto an ice floe like an old Inuit.

Useful Science?


This would certainly appear to be a useful application of medicine and science to address a very real problem. CLICK HERE, PLEASE, the premise being that you could tweak genes thereby lessening the odds of chemical dependency.

I remain leery, however, of approaches that treat substance abuse as the problem and not a symptom. It's a hard call. I'm not the doctor here, despite any firsthand experience I may lay claim to. There is the harm reduction factor though, and that's nothing to sneeze at.