Sunday, May 1, 2016

Resurection Night

It wasn't until the mid-00's that the gameplay for Goldeneye was "supposed" to be based on stealth.  I'm not very good at Goldeneye per se.  I've always played with cheat codes that made me invisible and put a laser machine gun in each hand.  I can stand in the same place murdering infinate computer enemies for five hours and not be the least bit bored, and sometimes I still do manage to get killed when I ignore armed enemies in favor of pistol-whipping civilians to death.  Not the skull but the ribs, one at a time, slow.  Yet if there were no people to kill; if you were the only person to exist on planet Goldeneye,, it would still be the best game ever made in any medium for so long as it has office chairs that fucking explode man, or as long as you can still commit mega-suicide by laying a hundred proximity mines in the same room and than shooting one.

I once told my girlfriend that I wouldn't spend a cent on Christmas lights if I were a billionaire an she got generally mad.  I'm okay with house lights.  If someone wants to put up some Blue Oyster Cult lasers around their house all year long that would be cool but Christmas lights; meh.  It is not Christmas as such that I object to but Christmasismo.  Not even that Fox News War on Christmas shit either, that's fish in a barrel.  Too obviously a case of white people pissing on "our" culture to bother noting.  I mean the loudness of it all.  Fuck special Christmas episodes of Two Broke Girls is what I mean.  I mean fuck anyone who insists on turning off Curtis Mayfield for that pompous pseudo-Old English caroling shit because of the calendar date.  "We Three Kings" is a nice gothic jam but fuck all the rest. I could say fuck bowl games but it's fuck big time sports more generally like and anyhow it's kind of amusing to to watch two 500 teams with no defense for colleges that probably aren't real have it out in Bakersfield or something.  Most of all fuck god for sure and fuck it being all cold with winter just beginning.

Kyle has the right of it.  Fourth Of July.  When I had my van mom would wire wire me $200 to go to Missouri for cherry bombs and other forbidden-here bombs.  i would generally have lunch in KC buy the fire at one of the shops along the Kansas line in the bottoms than cross back to Nebraska at
Brownville because the river smell in summer is all spiritual like.  It was chill.  Sometimes my cousin would come home for the Fourth from Sacramento and he would stop in Wyoming for much the same thing. In Wyoming you see there is simply nothing at all forbidden to white men.  There is not a single character in the Mad Max universe that could survive twenty seconds of Wyoming. Its birth rate can only be guessed at because while abortion is socially anathema bearing a child to no greater end but to serve it to the father on Easter brunch is routine and need not be reported. As recently as forty years ago Jeffrey City WY was a mining town of over a thousand but is near abandoned now.  Because one June winter day back in 78 the grizzly that they all prayed to demanded blood forever. 

My family collectively spend over $1000 on fireworks for real.  That's how white rural we are. The show generally takes over an hour with the job of launching typically that of the younger generation of grown men same as war. Phosphorous burns are acutely painful for several hours after injury even if you nurse them right.  It's fucking worth it man.  Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom.  The experience of being Uncle Josh MC of Fire is one of those that can't be told of.  You either feel the liquid of endorphin flowing from your mind to your meat or you don't.

Hemingway's widow passed off his suicide as an accident so he could have a Catholic funeral.  Why she felt the need to do this I've no clue.  Nor do I know why his choice to sunroof himself and not forty years of writing 'have as much sex with as many as you can kill as many wam bodies as you can and fuck god" is what would have made a church funeral off-limits. 

The level of hangover that isn't really painful but entails a slow heavy feeling on the nerves between your brain and sense organs. You can relieve this with coffee but that brings on the blood pressure headache.  RIP me.  Biscuits & gravy with an egg stack on top mild hot sauce. Hash browns left a touch soft cooked in the sausage grease. An always drunk brain would give my writing more of that flighty controlled chaos style that I've always liked but than again I can write more if I live longer. When I'm sixty and aware that my life is 4/5ths over or so it's going to be weird as hell to buy groceries or drink Mountain Dew or lick a stamp or vote for the candidate I think will help bring the better future.  I know it's cliche but I am communicating with the reality of 2300AD right now and there will be no 2300AD.  It's not being dead as such that I fear because of course nothing is neutral. I did not exist for ten billion years before 1982 and it was fine. That scene in 2001 where HAL can consciously feel the nothing coming on, that's what I fear.  Knowing that in five minutes they'll be people in the room crying or otherwise doing things while on the other side of the world someone will be seeing opposite-sex genitals or eating feta cheese for the first time except no they won't.  I want fucking stimulus to make me feel good or bad forever.  I suppose we all do.  Never mind my body let it rot except no. Have me stuffed and put me on stage next to major heads of state giving major speeches, making wry comments of your choosing through text like the Yellow Kid. One had might as well believe in Christ as that singularity shit I realize.  It isn't happening man.  Or if it does it will be reserved for no one but Henry Kissinger so he can Lovecraft torture-god Latin America forever. Or I've always gotten a purgatorial feel from Kubrick and I think he'd do just fine for a god.  An eternity of walking down illuminated corridors with sporadic breaks of tense euphemistic dialogue while somebody holds down the same two synthesizer notes for eight minutes at a time.  It would be something.    

Monday, April 25, 2016


The Flintstones and Jetsons were new at about the same time.  It occurs that both of them together may have promoted an illusion that the white suburbia of the time was the Only True American culture for all eternity.  Perhaps facilitating the rise of Reaganism or that 'strict constructionist' necromancy.  The answer to the old joke of why we don't have flying cars yet is what the fuck for?  We've had to technical capacity to make one today for decades now but what the fuck for?  We have ground cars that go fast enough and planes that go faster so fine.  All of our fucking food is on the surface and no where else right so what the fuck does everyone on the Jetsons live on giant fucking stilts for? Aren't hurricanes bad enough without every man woman and child in Houston getting fucking Pompeiied out of existence? It's like that ancient patriarchial fantasy of mankind existing above and outside of nature taken to the nth isn't it?  The Jetsons live in some sterile hell where people need to get drunk before tolerating sex through boxing short slots and anyone who gets a pimple is fed to the sky.

I once heard a distant cousin of mine refer to highway restrooms "back east" as hotbeds of gay activity.  I'd guess with some confidence that such furtive cruising is actually more common in conservative areas or maybe it's a matter of population density. The media I consume has implied to me that spontaneous lesbian sex in public bathrooms or the doctor's office or the high school gym is as common as the sunrise though I know that it isn't. Still I have seen it happen at a 24 hour Starbucks in Lakeview Chicago.  Or actually what I saw was a bathroom door with two women behind it for twenty minutes until the manager made point to call the police in their hearing.  They came out to applause but I cannot personally approve. I'm conservative enough to acknowledge the immorality of denying a public bathroom to others by cumming or dying of an overdose in it.  Go have sex on the sidewalk.  Go die of an overdose on the mayor's lawn.  Show some respect.

There was once a guard dog who failed to warn the Romans of an oncoming attack with its bark.  Why most dogs would bark at a strange toddler and this one didn't bark at an army will never be known. The dog was crucified for its failure anyhow, and a wholly random dog was crucified in memorial on the attack's anniversary for centuries afterward.  In some medieval districts a dog that ate a baby or what have you was put on trial for murder.  It faced the same absence of protection for the accused as people in feudal trials but that's just it.  It was treated the same as people; which is more than we grant dogs who merely draw human blood today. 

I suppose I point this out to show that today's vegans environmentalists etc. are at the very least innocent of breaking some ancient consensus.  There has never been any such consensus.  We have always been able to note that other creatures seem to have considerably less going on inside than we do yet also considerably more than nothing; and all while we have been compelled to kill this or that in order to eat ourselves.  The question mark of how we are to treat other beings in the face of this has always been there.  It is not new. Our cultures have always just winged it as we've gone along and then maybe attached some cosmic rationale to how we do when challenged.  So it always is with every hallowed tradition. There are times for example when people will cite that line of Genesis where God grants us dominion over animals; and what's telling is that this line isn't the kind that gets busted out at football games like John 3:16.  It is almost only ever invoked by those who make profit condemning chickens to phone-booth jamming for life or experiment on steers to see how long they live if they're fat enough to break their own legs by standing.  Much of the spontaneous, seemingly mysterious cruelty towards animals one finds in factory farms seems to be a case of inverted guilt; the use of sadism as a way of pretending to believe that these beings are inanimate objects that happen to make noise.

Yet if taken literally the dominion line says nothing at all in grandiose prose doesn't it?  Dominion is the liberty to treat what is ours in perfectly opposing ways as we will. Deciding that a prairie dog's life takes priority over a ranchers ownership prerogatives is exercising dominion same as vice-versa. Gods grant of dominion is a holy license to be as soft in heart and spirit as we fucking ay want to be. Or anyway one need not spend their days tambourining among the trees or chaining themselves to one to recognize that the very idea of mastering nature is quantum-level bullshit.  We shall displace the ground above our graves for a week or two.  There's our dominion.

I remember being thirteen and newly hardcore enough to stay up REALLY LATE.  This entailed Cinemax porn of course. (It's the very same Miami Vice looking shit to this day if you were curious.) MST3K, cult stoner movies on TBS: Heavy Metal, the Evil Dead series; all of it a third parent to my eventual being in some ways.  Someone once snuck a full-reveal lipstick lesbian porn onto 10-11 right after Dave Letterman and experiencing that made me feel like I'd exposed the Lizard Men.

Jerry Springer hadn't quite blown up at this time. He got play at two or three in the morning out of Kearney's ABC.  I saw an episode called "Gay Nazis in Prison and the Black Men who Love Them" and I was so enthralled by this that it was like I was cumming myself this was just damn. I've been unable to find clips of it on Youtube or anywhere else and anyhow that spell is broken mainly. I've grown up, learned things, had family in legal trouble. I've learned that in prison it is no thing at all for a Nazi and a black nationalist to form a deep human bond over chess. That it is indeed only somewhat more notable for a Nazi to have an interracial gay romance.  The gay part of it is of course a given anyway, and we all know that prisons have been minority-majority a couple centuries ahead of the general public. They are simply who the fish in the sea are; and the world just Works Different in prison.  In the free world one's reasons for joining the Nazis are understood to be highly exceptional by definition, while in prison it is considered strange for a white convict to not join the Nazis: and you really don't wanna be seen as strange if you're in prison.  In aiming to describe this scene in a factual/neutral manner I did not mean to imply that it's an amicable place because.... well no.

When I was a post-toddler boy the space between daytime shows on NET was filled with nothing but a blue IBM screen to the sound of Mannheim Steamroller or some Atari sounding noise. In this age there was a miniseries set in post-apocalyptic Nebraska.  It was made to teach kids how to read maps.  I remember the sight of a bombed-out Columbus and it must have cost a heavy nickel to produce it all. By age ten I was a motherfucking ace at Carmen Sandiego though I never did try out for the show. The world that will die when my generations brains are shat out as dust has been nurturing enough I suppose.          

And Now You've Got Something to Die For

You might know about that cartoon that's been censured for softer modern sensibilities.  That one where a Depression-era hobo flea camps out on Porky Pig's dog. Shenanigans happen.  The dog self-mutilates in an attempt to kill the flea but it's a cartoon trickster god flea who always wins through some contrivance. (Why they bother to put such in the nominal underdog form of a flea or a mouse or a bunny I don't know)  Affairs reach a point where the dog is angrily chasing Porky Pig while being chased by the flea in turn.  A cat observes this says "Well now I've seen everything" pulls out a gun and blows his own head off.  They do not show the suicide on TV anymore and they've completely covered up the existence of the cartoon's final half hour, which shows nothing but the cat involuntarily urinating and convulsing while it gradually bleeds out; bits of cerebellum falling out with the blood. 

A nation of sissies where kids don't throw lawn darts and skin deer anymore. Go ahead and keep telling yourself that but I think you know that you would have simply been happier if you'd been born twenty years later.  You weren't and I was so I win Waka Waka Waka.

I know a bit about Budd Dwyer.  The guy who killed himself on TV, 357 Magnum delivered in Manila envelope fired through his mouth, camera lovingly closing in on shredded sinus muscles falling through his nostrils.  Dwyer was the Republican treasurer for Pennsylvania who was up against corruption charges of some kind.  I do not know the evidence against him or how strong it was.  If he had been innocent after all well that's so much the more unfortunate for everyone.  Nor is the fact that he killed himself necessarily proof of guilt. Maybe it was just a case of politicians naturally having a stronger than average need for public approval and being more deeply hurt by public loathing. His hopes of experiencing national fame as a live man; as a big-state governor or US Senator were out the window now. Now the world will always know about the man who killed himself on live TV on the afternoon of a school holiday.  Way to tell the world to fuck off Budd. Dwyer had dressed for his suicide in a standard business suit. If he had shown up to the press conference naked put his dick on the podium and interviewed it for an hour what would have been the consequences anyway?  The cameras being turned off before he got down to business is what I suppose.

There was talk of Chuck Hagel running for president back when Becky Paul Dan and I went up to Pine Ridge. At our hotel in Rushville I would wake up horridly early for reasons I forget, generally hungover on Hurricane. I would go to a nearby gas station for coffee a sausage biscuit and a World-Herald, fresh off the presses to that distant village, and it was through this that I learned that Chuck Hagel had called a press conferance to announce that he had nothing to announce. He had held an anti-press conference.  This Is Not A Press Conference live on CNN; and it still fills me with pride to know that this Nebraskan had only been posing as a standard farm-state Republican all along; that he was in fact a brilliant culture jammer whose true goal was to make heedless mock of artificial conventions.  Chuck Hagel has no gender identity.  Chuck Hagel keeps a map of the world "upside down".  Chuck Hagel does not sleep but spends his nights liberating industrial hog farms with a ski mask and a blowtorch.  Chuck Hagel is Jack Chick.  Winning converts for atheism has always been his true goal though I guess that much has always been apparent.

My mother's dog Taz died of heart failure at fourteen last week; life likely shortened by Mom's smoking but never mind that for now.  I remember my twentieth Christmas when she was a pup.  She had pulled an entire roll of toilet paper thirty feet into the living room as pups do.  So I put my plate of hash browns and eggs in a low spot took the TP out of her mouth and went to the bathroom to roll it back up.  I came back to find that this tiny poodlish mutt had eaten it all, what must have been twice her own weight in food devoured in eight seconds.  Three nights before in Lincoln my girlfriend and I were in a threesome with a railrider from Casper.  There was LSD at that party.  There was meth a tank of nitrous two brothers who fist fought for hours and an undocumented man from El Salvador who calmly drank Bacardi by the bottle and played solitaire until dawn.  If it's singular and intense than do it.  Eighty isn't so much longer than fourteen; time speeding up with age and all.  It is a commandment that we inhale twice our weight in eggs.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Greener II

Emery fucking Blagdon is what fuck death means, for any who may have been curious.  That brave conscious speck who faced being swallowed by so much earth in the most optimal way he was able to.  He could have dealt with it in the way some of his neighbors did, through the property-god nationalist grandeur that was springing up in his last years, the thermidor against the civil rights  era just leafing in the time of Nixon, the Sagebrush rebellion and all that.  That sense of wounded control that would soon take its respectable guise in Thatcher/Reaganism.  One of the self-styled Nebraska militias that have come and apparently gone (to judge from google) had its base in the northeast, in Norfolk's hinterland.  One would find the boilerplate for such on their website; graphics out of date by a dog's life, midi playing 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' or some such.  These men once traveled to the Rio Grande valley to do some 'volunteer border patrol work', standard practice as well.  And what makes them most notable is a photo they took of two guys fishing on the Mexican side, Mestizo or wholly native in descent to judge by distant appearance; and under the photo the militants had wrote a caption that read 'two smugglers of illegal immigrants posing as fishermen."  the militia offered nothing to support this statement beyond the sight itself of two Mexicans in Mexico looking absently towards Texas.  Though it is true enough that anyone who appears to be fishing anywhere might actually be using an earbud to direct a virus bomb release in London or Hong Kong.  Maybe this has always been the case with every "fisherman" back to Peter himself'; locked in nefarious demon combat with the Masons.

North Platte is among the biggest towns in the state to lose people since the 2010 census.  The town's main sources of comparative rivalry, Grand Island & Kearney both grew, as of course did both of the cities.  It is not as if NP has suffered a complete economic collapse as this mountain logging town or that Great Lakes factory town but yes I can see it.  When I visit home I notice the lack of such energy as even a small market town should have; a torporous half-lived nursing home feel.  The quiet of the surrounding prairie reaching into the very bones of the place.  an old robust western fortitude morphed into something more like resignation.  Local distinction giving way to a generic right-wing white rural tribalism. The tired bumper sticker claims of moral or masculine superiority to the coasts which are not of course the least bit new but which now bear an edge of anger and broken hearted need instead of the cheap heyo that had been there before.  Part of this perspective may just be perspective; the world growing smaller and more familiar as I've grown older and been abouts the different cities and regions of the country.  Yet on the other hand no.  I know my town; and I know that these feelings of discontent and diluted life are more intense than they've been before; not new but more.

North Platte will not physically die.  Bailey Yards, that vast web for organizing rail freight for shipment across the entire trans-Chicago interior, is always there as an economic fallback.  More generally North Platte will always be there as the modern equivalent of a fort.  A way-station for Omaha-denver and greater cross-country traffic by both rail and road, the banks to integrate ranching wealth into the global fold, the concentrated medicine and media that Out There needs to have somewhere.

Still I cannot stand to see North Platte and places like it as ones where life is merely endured. The Prairie needs its hubs to be places that pump vitality and joy into the ether or else be a bleak parody of civilization; one of tired stilted people alienated from the modern US as it actually is; a land seized by the United States with treachery and blood to no ultimate end but to make the conquerors miserable.  I cannot hold that we have always been doomed to this and I will not have it.

It would be predictable to blame Wal-Mart for it all, and that is part of it as a matter of fact.  the Wal-Mart parking lot blossoms with meth deals and Chinese chain buffets while traffic lights are pulled out of downtown for disuse.  But even Wal-Mart is more of a symptom than a cause.  North Platte needs to go home to the railroad that spawned her. A necessary part of the town's soul was lost with the last passenger train, some ten years before my birth. A human bond to the nation at large was lost.  now the rail offers only tons of dead freight bound for Michigan power plants, or sometimes the thrill of a trespassing arrest for vagabonds and adventurers.

North Platte has the interstate now; its gravity symbolically warping the towns shape from a four-mile wide two-mile long rail hugger to a gormless amoeba flowing southward; the south valley filled with streets lovingly paved in advance of super expansion that will never come while neighborhood streets on the poorer and less uniformly white north side remain dirt. the interstate offers jobs at Applebee's Starbucks or making beds at the Comfort Inn, where people learn that the greater urban world offers disregard and condensation. Where one learns that they are here to break there back for vacationers off to go frolic in the mountains or Marylanders who've spent 10G on Call of Duty shit to make trophies of our wildlife.

Downtown once had thirty passenger trains a day and more.  Chicago-LA via Denver; Chicago-San Fran via Salt Lake, an entire fleet of Denver-Omaha routes.  The local bond with train riders from LA or Chi was one of more equilibrium. they would slip out of the train during refueling for a quick drink at the Alamo with that ranchers butchers switchmen and prostitutes and maybe get trade their wallets for not getting stabbed.  Front Street was the unchallenged core for all the human energy for a hundred miles; people of different colors just casually being there likely more common than it is today; and there was Life at night.  Not that two light beers on tap sports-bar shit but some small replica of urban night; buskers and hustlers, prostitutes and street food; a place for such devilry as an isolated western town must have to express itself in the open instead of behind curtains of eternal night with meth and pharmaceuticals.  Real hotels downtown with sex and dancing instead of the euphemized falling down nursing-home/homeless shelter that my epileptic aunt faded away in.  A place where drifters and adventurers could feel Of A Place if not exactly welcome.  The place where the same cornfields one finds in Indian finally give way to real topography and hint of sage in the summer air.  Not an exit but A PLACE you see.  It was the people trains that made my town a place of the world and A PLACE.  

Public transportation is sometimes assumed to be an urban concern or even mere urban conceit.  An exotic oddity for crowded minorities presumed to be impoverished as of course cars are the default.  That's not true.  City and countryside would both benefit from public transportation that is cheap available and gets fucking used. The lack of it is slow poison, a body torn from itself by segregation and a false individualism of the most selective and philosophically painless degree. I say again that it is passenger rail that pumps blood from our cities to our lonely corridors while interstates only pump blood through them.

Bring back a pair of Chicago-to-Cali-in-24-hrs trains to North Platte, along with a Denver/Minneapolis and some regional trains to Casper Rapid or Cheyenne, and NP will breath again.  It's downtown may be something worthy of the name again.  I'm not a complete train utopian and I realize that such renewal will likely entail some quasi Power & Light style bullshit but be it so.  Desperate straits do require some compromise.      

Greener 1

I've read that a Lincoln street woman was arrested last night for stealing a beer truck and then crashing it of having been already drunk. I know a man who'd done time for that previously as it happens, and there are many of us who have reached a stage where being drunk invents the desire to get drunk.  I do not think that I have ever quite existed outside of that stage to tell the truth.  Still while the motive for stealing a beer truck is obvious there is no possible way to do so stealthily is there?  It might seem to stand to reason that the homeless have 'nothing to lose' and are free from law as such but that's not true. Being locked up is simply the worst no matter what you're coming from, especially with the high prairie spring coming on.  One cannot be greedy.  Wait out of sight for the driver to be occupied in the warehouse, then grab yourself 'one' 40 or 'one' pint from the back and jet. Something small enough to hide under your clothes and light enough to not slow you down.  That's how you do.

North Platte has a small Coors bottling plant across the tracks from downtown; and I have been to several parties where the drink was provided by someone breaking a window climbing through and he-manning out through the night with as many boxes of two 24-packs each as they could carry. The plant is only a couple of hundred yards from my parents house, along the original town grid that hugs the railroad like lungs, and I once saw a an jogging in broad daylight down "my" 6th Street about halfway between the plant and home with one of those tell-tale boxes. I once partied with a man who had jacked the plant two days after having been paroled for burglary then tried to seduce our host in front of her and her boyfriends kids. The man was about my age though I would guess dead now by logical deduction. Candle at both ends right?

The bottlers make profit enough in spite of all this. North Platte drinks and drinks. The cattlefolk in its supporting hinter drink and drink. My old friend Sam, that infamous 90's white rap fan sort, (unbrokenly from toddlerhood to now as he tells it) is among those who have the delightful work of driving a beer truck through the Sandhills spring.  Out to the village bars of Brady, Thedford, Hershey, Maywood, Arthur, Wallace. I have likely drank stolen beer intended for Ole's deathhouse itself.

The country between North Platte and Valentine remains dead to radio and smartphones. On the highway there are beer delivery trucks, cattle delivery trucks, the odd outlander who likes the idea of a secret shortcut between Denver & the Twin cities though it's no such thing really, also nuclear deliveries. Missiles being carried to and from silos in the Dakota Badlands, drivers armed with 45's.  There have been at least two occasions when a missile truck has overturned forty miles from the nearest village and shut down the highway for a full 24. And once these things reach the Platte Valley there is of course no way to the interstate and the world from there except right through downtown, ten blocks from where my mother naps with her dogs. I've heard fears of where "The Terrorists" might strike western Nebraska; Kingsley Dam, Bailey Yards, or maybe one of those Nuke trucks.  Worry not about the Jihadists friends. They simply do not know that this part of the earth exists. I do; and I have been known for my discontent towards the social and political conditions of my home region. Then again I do know Judy and Phil, who used to work the Kramer ranch up Stapleton way.  And I am Joany's kid, the gal who used to wait down at Skelly's Truck Stop. I have drinken of your Coors Light, I have eaten of your fried cauliflower, and I have cheered of your Huskers. Fear not me either, certainly not.

If you try to rob a beer truck driver he might be armed too though it's frankly unlikely. It's a myth that westerners are more likely to casually never not have a gun than anyone else; a myth that we are happy to perpetuate for ourselves.  At the northernmost gas station on Jeffers Street, the one you must stop at before the river comes town suddenly peters out and you're in dead smartphone country, there is a prayer behind the cashier's desk that calls for God to smite the ACLU.

Emery Blagdon, born in the early 20th century to an OG sodder ranching family near Stapleton, as much as anywhere.  In his teens he took to meandering about the continent and kept at this for the entire meat of his life, returning in his fifties to find that his mother was gone and his family had a genetic disposition to cancer; that he himself was like to be already end game old with such a bomb in his cells. so he built a shack for himself on the family land; unheated, about the size as a town yard shed, and found relief for his existential pain in religion, sort of. One of his own invention exclusive to and dying with himself.  One day he took his old truck into North Platte, into "town" and went about asking jewelers or pharmacists for "elements" with "earth powers".  It is in this way that the world learned that Blagdon was filling his shack with incredible sculptures of wire, jars, broken glass, reshaped metal, complex beyond what prose can describe and gloriously beautiful.

Blagdon intended his creations to be "healing machines" and as the man nearly made it to eighty in spite of his family curse perhaps he succeeded after all. 

Drive through the Sandhills at 3 AM. and you wouldn't quite be a fool to assume that there is no true human activity to speak of here except for yourself your car and your radio static.  You would be wrong to assume this all the same. Among the twenty people in a forty mile radius at least two are surely making love, and there may be someone just beyond the close ink horizon doing some thing that only a human being could ever do, that only their own human mind out of the billions that have ever been could have ever done, and who thus redeems all of our cruelties tyrannies and arbitrary hierarchies with some singular act of being awakened matter; winning memory for their bones that shall last far longer than that for all the proud patriarchal Barons with their 80000 beeves.       

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dogs And Cats Living Together

Any conservative who styles themselves a 'moral realist' and holds that ours is a fallen species that must be controlled with strict universals does not really believe it.  Actual realism is accepting that the social conditions our own small selves happen to have been born to cannot possibly be the One ideal; that our own parents teachers & other perceptively giant local authorities of our childhood cannot possibly be THE standard for How People Are And Should Be.  The actual realist would be much more concerned with the implications of these facts than with seeking cause to vilify all those outside of one's own in-group. 

"If established norms are bad, then we are bad for having abided by them.' so blogged somebody about the Gamergate business.  My own memory can offer you no citation beyond 'somebody'. That truth bomb of a line is what stuck with me, and helps explain among other things how racism is able to persist across generations without necessarily requiring a constant and deliberate personal sadism on the part of most white people.  Sexism in video games has always been an obvious, acknowledged and joked about thing among players.  Justin had a robot girlfriend on Fallout; French for no conceivable reason, and we were both aware of the implications while finding black humor in them. "Misogyny: N.- Robot girlfriend" would fit in Webster's perfectly well wouldn't it?  Anyhow there came a day when someone suggested a serious reckoning with this obvious and acknowledged norm; and video game misogyny was suddenly no longer an obvious & acknowledged thing but a thing that only conceited PC fools would dare suggest the existence of, and those who so claimed that water was now dry quite naturally claimed the authority of 'common sense' for themselves.

I aim mainly to comment on the glut of anti-gay 'religious liberty' laws going about as well as the operatic passion that motivates their supporters.  Sexism and homophobia have always been the norm in monotheism.  That much is true.  Yet there are some today who claim in near so many words that universally required gender conformity is as definitional to Christianity as the resurrection. This of course is brazen bullshit.  A change of norms to acceptance of LGQTB's would be a far less basic change than many others Christianity has made before (the invention of Protestantism for example) while maintaining its identity and social predominance.

The protest-too-much element in modern homophobia has long been apparent.  Some prominent haters have of course been revealed to have been secretly gay themselves, and there is the related factor of some people wanting most forms of sexual expression to be forbidden because that is precisely what they find sexy about them.  Yet we should not make too much of this as some occasionally do.  It would be absurd, however amusingly so, to presume that latent same-sexuality has been a Bokononist human universal though millenia of sexual repression.

'If the norms are bad then we....' The intensified and exaggerated homophobia of some is a reaction against the lessening homophobia of the general public.  The Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality is of course the most vivid example of this; and as with previous civil rights decisions by the courts there is the myth that judges have "radically" invented new attitudes out of nothing; instead of simply reflecting attitudes in spontaneous evolution; attitudes that authoritarians will not accept are not their property to control. 

In the manner by which the laws in Mississippi and North Carolina were passed; special sessions with accelerated token debate, it is clear that conservatives were moved in no small part by a desire to assert to the world and themselves that they could pass these laws because they could.  To assert that it is not Our culture our ethics and our 'mainstream' but theirs theirs theirs and theirs alone.  In the NYT there was one NC state senator who spoke of the 'politically correct fiends' or some such who had passed a Charlotte city law protecting trans people, a law that small-government conservatives at the state level were especially eager to overrule. "Politically Correct" can mean lots of things, most commonly nothing.  but there are several ways in which it is used as a mantra to magically delegitimize progressive positions. In this case the intended meaning is that there cannot truly be such a thing as an ethical, sound-minded person authentically believing that laws protecting trans people are good; that such a stance can only ever possibly be a fashionable conceit. There is a self-betrayal in such an attitude, an implied assumption that all moral or political stances held by everyone exist in the foremost as gestures of conformity and claims to superiority.  There is also a heavy air of sticking it to the urban elitists here; an implied claim that no one is truly ok with living within impersonal diversity, that the hipsters are only pretending to not need the affirming effects of common lifestyle and identity, that Kids These Days who move to the city instead of validating their ancestors choices through repeating them are only acting out of fashionable conceit.

In our time there are members of the white rural and suburban middle class who retain a dry-drunk attachment to superiority or at least cultural centrality.  The standard way to claim entitlement through these things is through the language of religious concern (and the special respect that religious concern is imagined to command.) instead of through increasingly taboo outward claims of white Christian male supremacy. LGQTB's have become an all-around scapegoat for those who hate the very possibility of any social mores ever changing for the better; because they have prided themselves on abiding by the established ones better than thou. Let the comparatively sexually conventional among us bear in mind that the freedom of all is the freedom of all, that the liberty of the most straightarrow demographically normal John Smith is imperiled for so long as those who imagine themselves to be in normality contests hold inflated power.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Brave Minority Stand Against Tomatoismo.

Lincoln has always seemed more urban to me when it's raining; even more "eastern"somehow.  There's probably no good explanation for this. I recall being struck by the way BO-WSH denizens found rain to be wholly unexceptional but it's all just magical thinking on my part even so.  I would more appreciate a climate where the hydration we need came in the form of an hour-long light storm every day at sunset and be done with it.  It was in fact not so long ago, within my own adulthood even, that the Northern Plains spring was something like that.  But climate change has warped our reality already.  Now it is dry for weeks on end and when rain does come it is in the form of hour after hour after hour after fucking hour of never not raining. It's quite obnoxious for one who prefers walking for local travel. A jet stream that shall drunk dance forever now; leaving no prevailing conditions at all for a body to acclimatize itself to.

One need only look at space photos of America to see why our cultural west extends well to the east of our physical center. The Rockies and the cold current on our side of the Pacific combine to change green to brown quite suddenly from above. (Though of course it takes hours on the ground) Still there are fools, the militia fucks and more sympathizers of them than you wanna know, who still cling to that old "rain follows the plow' magic thinking; blaming a conspiracy of hippies and bureaucrats for why the interior west lacks the density and economic stability of Iowa or what have you.

Respect to the man who named his movie about the Turner rebellion "Birth of a Nation".  I haven't seen it yet.  It could suck like as not; but even so that's some motherfucking steel right there.  In "Rules for Radicals" Alinsky dismisses the supposedly vital question of means vs. ends as a red herring; and I agree with him wholeheartedly on this in the abstract. But in practice this must necessarily mean coming down on the side of ends mustn't it?   By Saul's logic for example Nat Turner was wrong for the precise reason that he lost.  And because he did lose the condition of slaves grew even more oppressive while rationalizations for slavery became even more Queen Gertrude dogmatic and intense. There is however a truly important ethical quandary here; as of course the provocation for slave revolt was far deeper than what led a minority of East Coast colonialists to revolt against Britain.

It is a lucky thing that I am of the post-modern left and thus reject the very idea that there can be either affirmation or damnation in historic origins.  When I say that it does not matter if our national origins are good or bad or that there is no such thing as any human institution having a prevailing and inherent good or evil nature there is no Queen Gertrude at all in that I assure you.  Certainly not.

Much has been made of the fat that Griffith's 'Birth of a a Nation' was a huge blockbuster and not wrongly so. This fact does indeed speak poorly of our culture.  It is no coincidence after all that the film's popularity coincided with the most psychopathic white pogroms in US history.  The William Brown riot in Omaha, murdering fucks straight up air-bombing the black side of Tulsa.  Our social trends were paralleling those of pre-fascist Europe.  Anxiety over a more urban and less routinely intimate state of being, a new ambiguity around identity and 'place'.  The idea of one's life having value precisely insomuch as one's genes exclusively did, though by no means new, given a temporally unique ferocity by these things.

Still for whatever little it may be worth it is so that no small amount of the film's profits came from a particular subgroup of people who paid to see it twenty times in a month of ten in a day.  At the core of authoritarianism and bigotry is a need for validation so intense as to be tantamount to drug addiction.  The "Left Behind" books for example did not dominate the best seller lists because they suddenly became more loved by more people than Huck Finn or Hamlet but because of a built-in audience who would by five for themselves eight for the kids and three for the church-skipping neighbor.  Or think of the old complaints about 'liberal media bias'.  Purported examples of this largely boiling down to casual suggestions that 'conservative' is not synonymous with 'normal' or that there could be such a thing as being so conservative as to exist outside of 'mainstream' social mores.  There was never quite a point when 50+% of the general US public was all "go Klan go" is what I'm saying.  We do at minimum have that small morning grace note going for us. 

I nearly wrote "extreme" where I placed "intense" in the last paragraph but thought better of it. Extreme is taken to imply "unusual" and addiction in the form of superiority nicotine or the classic cowboy combo of both is in fact the overwhelming human norm.  We are going to die.  All of our family friends and intimate partners are going to die. All of our holidays or particular styles of food, clothing music etc. that may give us some connection to folk a century removed from us on one side or the other are going to die. Of course there is no such thing as dealing with this in a rational and utilitarian manner. It is not for example such a wild leap of logic to conclude that if other religions are acceptable than one's own faith cannot actually be a cure for annihilation.

I have inherited my mother's contradictory love of salsa and loathing for raw tomatoes.  In me the loathing has in fact grown into outright phobia.  My first conception of intolerance or conformist thinking may have at age eight or so; when I saw an old woman at a church dinner spontaneously chop up a tomato and throw it into an already-prepared bowl of lettuce.  Then she grabbed three more and said "let's just throw these ones in there too.  Who was going to have salad without tomatoes anyway?"  My God but she seriously just up and fucking did that.

Or in fact my conception probably goes back even further; to when I was two or three and my grandma was about to spank me for not cleaning the tomatoes off of my plate until my mother intervened. Fuck you Grandma.  Fuck your garden fuck your grave and fuck your church.  I am free for so long as no unaltered tomato touches my lips. My mother and I are the whole of a free nation.  Any children I may have can join unless they eat that shit in which case they'll be shipped off to Spain to live as fatherless freaks with a forced name change because fuck them too.

Does it seriously not occur to some that there's a reason the word "taste" is used as shorthand for any arbitrary, value-neutral personal preference?  Well of course it occurs to them, the truly stupid are very rare, they just can't stand it is all.  They have such a strong need for assurance that they are always doing something worthwhile that they will not accept anything in the vastness of human being as value-neutral. In their eyes the neutral is actually bad because it is wasting time and is thus death. Sexual prudery and sneering contempt for tolerance are surely related to this but that's a whole nother rant.

Behind all operatic rhetoric of cultural purity or national superiority is a poorly hidden petulant child.  The elitist tyranny of holiday trees, bicycle lanes, carrot dogs with Dijon mustard, the quest for cheap arugula.