Peace, love, contentment, to all.
To that day. When we all go together.
Into the great wide open.
because the light is beautiful
Peace, love, contentment, to all.
To that day. When we all go together.
Into the great wide open.
F. Scott Fitzgerald saw it. To the bottom of every bottle. Which, early—44—killed him.
No matter. He got it right. Wrote the Great American Novel. The Great Gatsby. Which ends with this:
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away. Until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . . And one fine morning—
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
The green light, it will never be attained, as Fitzgerald knew, on this continent, by white people. Because they do not belong here. It was a mistake, for them to ever to have come. To this place. Because it is not their place.
The green light, they can bask in it—the white people—when, “boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” they return to from where they came. Where they should, forever, have remained.
the little bird; all that there is
. . . from Election Central . . . .
While elsewhere on the tubes tonight people are being snored into somnambulism by the anti-news that Captain LapBand, a.k.a. the Baron Harkonnen, a.k.a. Chris “Meaty, Beaty, Big, and Bouncy” Christie, has secured a sentence of a second term as governor of the incredibly foul and indescribably noxious uber-fart known as New Jersey, and that some ugly ooze-slug of a Democrat has slimed into the governorship of Virginia, because his dufe GOoPer opponent was so batshit insane he even called upon the febrile fuck-brained “chain-the-nig*ers” nimrod Pawn Rawl to wildly ejaculate the confederate flag at his final rallies, we, we here at red, are offering the Real News: that is, that AvoWoman has been elected mayor of the Minnesota metropolis known as Icepick.
People who Don’t Know think that Icepick is actually called Minneapolis. But that is because they Don’t Know. In truth, and in all realms of Reality, as soon as all the region’s native peoples were all buggered out, the place became known, to all its white inhabitants, as Icepick. Because it is so often so fucking cold there that an icepick is required to perform even the simplest tasks: opening the front door, gathering firewood, grooming the cat, cooking a meal, making the bed, engaging in sexual congress.
These, the Icepickians, have long been the hardiest of American souls. Though it’s not like they really knew any better. Because most of them sprang from some sort of Viking stock—Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, Normans, High Germans, etc.—and so they considered it perfectly normal that one had to wield an icepick to, say, carve one’s sexual partner out of an ice cave before beginning the breeding season.
Those who did not consider this normal; those who did not spring from any sort of Viking stock; those who, among these non-Vikings, settled in Icepick; they really quickly died. Like fucking fruit-flies.
But: lo. A new dawn. It is shining brightly. On Icepick.
For global warming, which in so many elsewheres, has so many people shrieking their undies into their ovaries—well, over there in Icepick, it has people sunnily rolling the dice on avocado futures.
Because the ice, in Icepick, it has gone astray.
The cold, more and more, it has forgotten to come.
And thus, Icepick, it is poised—yea, verily—to become the new premier avocado-growing region, of all the planet.
There were Some who saw this. But none of the Some saw it as did AvoWoman. Who saw not only that Icepick would be growing whole town-rows of avocados. But also saw that people would next be wearing avocados.
Avocados. The clothes of the future.
The photo. Over there to the left. Depicting the common everyday costume of the Icepickian. Before the illumination that was vouchsafed to AvoWoman. Which resulted in her AvoWear.
Clearly, there needed to be a Change.
A change now embraced by all Decent citizens of Icepick. Who have, this night, ecstatically elevated AvoWoman to the mayoralty.
. . . . we interrupt this program for a special news bulletin . . . .
This here site, red, is now in possession of the full text of the victory speech emitted by AvoWoman. She having this night overwhelmingly been elected mayor of Icepick. These, her Words of Wisdom, we reprint, exclusively, below:
Your full embrace of the platform of environmentally friendly high fashion meets prison abolition is a tribute to the long standing progressive legacy of Icepick.
I am honored to be your Mayor. I promise to Do Better than that Man from Toronto.
And now, let me go shovel some snow :/
Yeah, but what does AvoWoman really want? This, the two or three readers of red who are at any one time fitfully conscious: they might wanna, maybe, someday, know.
Well. Shit. Because I am an omniscient being, one aided greatly by my access to all and every NSA intercept, I suppose I could go ahead and here reveal previously private conversations that indicate that AvoWoman is, probably, an imp of Satan.
We begin with a September 13, 2013 missive from Satan himself. Who suggests, temptingly, to AvoWoman:
You can campaign in AvoWear, and announce that you will appoint a cat as chief of police. You can propose mining the bridge to St. Paul, to keep those people out, and suggest an electrified fence at the state border, to take out any blind Iowans who attempt to wander over with their six-guns. Your jobs program can consist of starting the Icepick cheese industry, since Wisconsans are simply too embarrassing to be allowed to make cheese. Any Icepickian caught with cheese on their head will be forced by city ordinance to clean the sidewalks with a toothbrush.
AvoWoman, already a shrewd political operative, replies thusly:
You know—that’s kinda an appealing thought. Not a bad platform—especially the part about Police Chief and the electrified border w/Iowa. Possible appeal to many constituencies.
The NSA intercepts next indicate that crazed penis-hacking lesbians will be running hog-wild throughout AvoWoman’s godless anti-man administration.
The evidence, as ever, begins with a tempting missive from Satan:
Am I remembering right that there were one or more lesbian students who really Wanted you? These could serve as your security/bodyguards, when you are AvoMayor.
To which AvoWoman replies:
And yes you do remember correctly. More—maybe many?? So i have wardrobe, an Icepick-centric platform, a press secretary, and security.
The evidence: it is irrefutable.
No penis, is hereafter safe, in Icepick. Now that there is AvoWoman, as AvoMayor.
Why has the News Media not picked up on this? Why is red the only Fount of True Knowledge? And why do we even care if a penis survives in AvoWoman’s city? Where previously a penis was serviceable only if it was pried outta the permafrost with one or more icepicks? Why don’t we just listen to Lou Reed?
Because there are no coincidences, the night before Lou Reed swirled out the corporeal container, I was watching a documentary called After Porn Ends. A film that takes a Lou Reed approach. To Lou Reed people.
A film that trains its eye on transgressive people. Here, in this film, on people once and future active, in the adult-entertainment industry. Porn. A film that presents such people as they are. Without judgement.
Until we reach the coda. Wherein the filmmakers, in an extended, a long and lovely epilogue, bring us up to date, on all of the people we have just seen.
And we then understand, that they, the filmmakers, love them all.
From the people who have since gnarled into Christianity, and deny all of what they once had been. To those still proud, of all and every, of whom, they once, on camera, did join their loins.
And we understand that the filmmakers love them all, not only because of the coda’s photos and words, that are baldly spilled upon the screen. But because of the music.
Which begins as a long and lyrical instrumental piece. Until, eventually, after more than four minutes, in a really magical, yet so simple, chord change, the music reveals itself to be “Sweet Jane.”
And, like warm honey and wine, the words, they pour over, healing, all that we are:
anyone who’s ever had a heart
wouldn’t turn around and break it
and anyone who’s ever played a part
wouldn’t turn around and hate it
And, experiencing this, that night, I became higher than the world. Simultaneously spouting deep tears, and whooping in high joy. Because, I understood, completely, in this film’s concluding “Sweet Jane,” two things. That the filmmakers had opened themselves, to sanctify, heart all open, everyone in their film. And that “Sweet Jane,” the song, had entered into the immortal. Become a song that will never die.
So, when, less than 24 hours later, I heard that Lou Reed had shuffled off this mortal coil, I again spouted tears. But also gave a smiling nod to the stars; to the great wide open. Because, I know, now, that they will be playing that song, his song, “Sweet Jane,” two thousand years from now.
And so, like Jesus of Nazareth, another nice Jewish boy, also ripped all to hell and to shit, who also knew more than a little something about sin, Lou Reed will never die.
Know why? When we really get down to the all and all of it?
Because Lou Reed perceived, and presented, people as they are.
And then: he loved them all.
There is only one category/tag on this site that can be traced to a single human being. And that is “What’s Good.” Which comes from Lou Reed.
From a song he wrote. In all his anguished, tearful, loving-them-all fury. A song about death. Death bringing his lovers down. Taking them out.
There is a studio version. I eschew it every time. Because the live version, in all its many imperfections, it bleeds.
Acknowledging death. But not granting it supremacy. Because, in the final crash of Reed’s mournful, joyful, chords—death, it is over.
The first thing that must be understood about Science Men is this: they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.
To wit: the latest wonderment to bleed from these people: that there was oxygen on this planet hundreds of million of years before they previously thought there was.
Kind of a boner, there.
Squeal like a pig.
In truth, they’re just groping.
Like everybody else.
And the only truly really way to get there, near as I can tell, at least on this planet, is through, first, knowledge and appreciation and attention and empathy, which results in pain, and pain, and pain, and pain, and great loneliness; and then, through magic, and through childhood, and through grace, there may be achieved a conscious uncoupling of oneself, from all and all of all their all and every, and a return of thyself, to from where we all did came: the great wide open.
when i was a child
i spake as a child
i understood as a child
i thought as a child
but when i became a man
i put away childish things
and now, we see through a glass, darkly:
but then: face to face
now i know, in part
but then, shall i know
even as also i am known
and now, stays: faith, hope, charity
but the greatest of these is charity
for though i speak with the tongues of men
and of angels
and have not charity
i am become as sounding brass
or a tinkling cymbal
and though i have the gift of prophecy
and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge
and though i have all faith
so that i could remove mountains
and have not charity
i am nothing
Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
—William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
So far as I can determine, Darth Cheney has always been controlled by Fear.
He grew up—a child—in Caspar, Wyoming. Staring across the endless wastes. Where there was nothing. Nothing at all. Least of all: him. Amidst all this nothingness. Young Darth. He became Afraid. So lonely. So cold. Just . . . so lonely.
And then, his corporeal container, it failed him. Utterly. And early.
In 1978, when Darth was but 37, a massive real-bad heart attack, attempted to carry him away. This he, somehow, survived. Six years later, he had a second heart attack. A third came after four more years. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery at age 47. In late November of 2000, while waiting for the United States Supreme Court to complete its judicial coup, and thereby elevate Darth, and his minion George II, to the vice presidency and presidency, of the United States, respectively, Cheney was hit with a fourth heart attack. A fifth struck in 2010.
In the many meantimes, Cheney underwent coronary artery stenting, urgent coronary balloon angioplasty, the implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator. Etc., etc., and etc. He also had fitted this and that and the other, and more, pacemakers.
In the spring of 2011, amid desperate and extraordinary attempts to extend his life, he became a man with no pulse.
Basically, Darth Cheney is a roboman. Nature, it tried to carry him off. And many years ago. But technology. It keeps him keepin’ on.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just when I was born. Or maybe it’s brain damage.
Most likely it’s both. With something more, other, besides.
The reason why, I can’t climb aboard, whenever comes round, the latest death ship.
Debt ceiling. Climate change. Poisons. Population. Nukes. Nimrods. Drones. Wild-eyed crazy people, wielding knives.
So. Let us all. Rend furiously our garments. Weep. Cry in our beer. And at the sky. For all. Is all over. Humans—wring us thy hands—they do be succeeding, in killing all the planet.
What baby-blind arrogance.
To believe a little bone-throwing nascent mammalian species, can croak an entire planet.
What I meant, above, about “just when I was born,” is that, right when I emerged in this life from my chrysalis, was when Lovelock and Margulis first announced what was then known as “the Gaia hypothesis.”
Which, to put it simply, postulated that the planet is one giant organism.
I, instantly, saw it a little—ahem—furthur.
That not only is the planet one giant organism, but it is also conscious.
And, basically, I haven’t worried, a day, since.
And so now the Science Men have determined that in the Milky Way galaxy alone there are some 60 billion worlds pregnant with water.
And since the Science Men have previously determined that, where there is water, there is life . . . that’s a big heap pile lot of life.
Out of all them 60 billion or so neighbors, who be roiling and boiling with life, wonder some, how come none have ever come on by, this here Terran place, to at least say “hi”?
This: easily answered.
First: why, hoot the testosterone-pumped Star Wars/Alien boogaloos, have none of these neighbors “invaded”?
Because you don’t get to go into space, if you think in terms of “invade.”
Space won’t let you.
That’s just the way it is.
Space, it’s firm, in that way.
“Invasion” an atavist thing, a relict of the cradle. No one who is serious, no one who actually ventures into space, is in any way concerned with such anathema. No more so than with “harvesting” or “exploiting” resources.
That stuff stops, in space. Or, space stops you.
This can be understood very simply. Check the trailer below, from the 1970 documentary film Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Where, from 0:11 to 0:16, the gorilla commander of the local serial-killers chants: “Invade! Invade! Invade!”
This is what this planet looks like to the 60 billion. And so none of them are even going to even briefly entertain the idea, to visibly come here. As space will never allow, such a de-evolvo, unfortunately alpha and omega, of this present-time planet, to ever get much off the ground.
It’s so small, thinking in this “invade” way. Just because humans have, so often, so far, been about “invade,” why should humans then think that, in all of the vastness of space, it will always inevitably also be about that?
Eyes be closed.
Not a chance.
How come, question next, none among these 60 billion neighbors, have ”communicated”?
Well, no doubt they have.
But how would humans ever know?
Humans are considered vastly more intelligent than ants. But how the hey would a human “communicate” with an ant? Even if something was achieved that looked like “communication,” from the human end, it would, from the ant end, be so bizarrely out of the realm of Ant Normality, chances are it would not be perceived as “communication.”
So, the same, the neighbors, communicating, with the human inhabitants of this here orb.
Communicating, are they, maybe, with you, right now.
Maybe, just, listen.
And then, question last: how come, these 60 billion neighbors, they haven’t “visited”?
Because, if you do not—as the space-traveling 60 billion do not—think in terms of “invade,” you simply don’t make yourself known to those who do.
No good can come of it.
Like, say, a monolith.
But nothing traceable. No appearing, say, live, on TV.
I like how, in this Science Man piece, it says that if humans were somewhere else, looking at this here earth, they would probably conclude it was real cold and inhospitable, in places like Brazil and Indonesia. Because those places “read cold” in infrared, due to the cloud cover. But underneath, it’s all about sweltering.
“If you look at Brazil or Indonesia with an infrared telescope from space, it can look cold, and that’s because you’re seeing the cloud deck,” Cowan said. “The cloud deck is at high altitude, and it’s extremely cold up there.”
Proving, yet again, that you never really know. Because machines don’t know shit. You have to actually get there. In your body. Transcend the readings of machines. Touch, taste, smell, hear, see it, for yourself.
“Man,” said Mordel, “possessed a basically incomprehensible nature. I can illustrate it, though: he did not know measurement.”
“Of course he knew measurement,” said Frost, “or he could never have built machines.”
“I did not say that he could not measure,” said Mordel, “but that he did not know measurement, which is a different thing altogether.”
He retracted it, raised it, held up a piece of ice.
“Regard this piece of ice, mighty Frost. You can tell me its composition, dimensions, weight, temperature. A man could not look at it and do that. A man could make tools which would tell him these things, but he still would not know measurement as you know it. What he would know of it, though, is a thing that you cannot know.”
“What is that?”
“That it is cold,” said Mordel, and tossed it away.
It’s kind of funny that it took the Science Men this long to look for clouds. Which, once they looked for them, caused them to immediately double their estimate of our life-pregnant neighbors.
I mean, clouds are kind of important. Humans figure that out when they’re just kids.
But maybe that’s the problem. It’s one of those things that, when you “grow up,” you forget.
When those of us who are, now, creeping into age, were kids, everywhere, all and every over, all over the globe, both the Science and Religious, then-wisdom, taught, taught that humans, were all alone, in the universe of the world.
There were no other planets.
Anywhere in the universe.
Much less anything that was “life.”
It was just humans.
We are all going into space. Anywhere we want: we will be.
We are not going in anything even remotely resembling any machine.
Bodies, these, they will come, and they will go. As we please. And we will be very pleased indeed.
Over the past week the temperatures here have averaged eleventy-billion degrees. It is like living inside a solar flare. Many old people, if they happen to open the door to let the cat out, and inhale just once of the outside air, collapse in a heat coma. They are then rushed to hospitals overflowing with people seeking treatment for third-degree burns incurred when they laid hands on the molten metal handles of the doors to their cars. If you have not seen any of this on the news, it is because there is a Coverup.
During this period, I have not been around this here red, because I have been intensively involved in a Science Man study. You see, it is my hypothesis that, through some Unholy process, the interior and the surface of the earth, they have somehow been Exchanged. So that here, on what once was the surface, we are now living in magma.
However, as ever, all is relative. For yesterday, in the late afternoon, in utter grumperment about the warp-ten heat, and as I was trying not to pass out in the kitchen, I switched on the local community radio station . . . mostly to learn if there might be anyone else left alive.
I heard chirping a young pre-teen, hosting one of the station’s “kids’ shows.”
The heat certainly hadn’t beat this human. In fact, she was content, even joyful, in it. For this plucky little person played the song offered below, “Walking On Sunshine”; the sunshine, or something, making her feel all bouncy, and happy, and hopeful.
And, through her, at least as long as the song lasted, I felt that way, too.
This is Faith, church cat at Church of England (Episcopalian) Church of St Augustine’s and St Faith’s, Watling Street, London.
She was awarded the Dicken Medal in Silver, and a silver medal from the Greenwich Village Humane Society of New York, for her courage in sheltering her kitten (Panda—he was black and white) in a hidey-hole in the rectory basement, to which she had retreated from her more comfortable position upstairs, in the course of a severe bombing raid on the night of 9 September, 1940.
The church and rectory were, basically, battered and burned to destruction by the Luftwaffe, but Faith continued to shield her kitten, under a heap of smouldering rubble, until rescued by her human friends the following day. Shortly afterwards, the remainder of the church fell down, destroying her position of refuge.
Faith resumed her life as church cat, dying peacefully some years later on her mat in front of an ecclesiastical fireplace. The kitten, Panda, went on to a successful career as resident cat in a care home.
Yes, I know—this will seem silly to many In Here. But consider. Apart from the fact that it is true, Faith’s story became widely known in London at the time, and must have contributed to the morale of many hard-pressed Londoners. Her courage and endurance reflected something that Londoners hoped to find in themselves—and generally did.
“When I listen to him,” Zina said on the second side, “I hear a first boyfriend. Men are like malicious children, but he is like a first boyfriend, the sweet one. Maybe he is a merman, a child of the sea. In a rough sea, on a big boat, I hold on to the rail. Down below, on his small deck, he stands with perfect balance, riding the waves.
“I listen to his innocent voice over and over again. It would be a dream, he says.”
—Martin Cruz Smith, Polar Star
(Okay. Time to put things in perspective, with a reprint of George Orwell’s “Some Thoughts On The Common Toad.” This piece appeared first in Tribune on April 12, 1946, a time when things seemed just as fraught as they do now.)
Before the swallow, before the daffodil, and not much later than the snowdrop, the common toad salutes the coming of spring after his own fashion, which is to emerge from a hole in the ground, where he has lain buried since the previous autumn, and crawl as rapidly as possible towards the nearest suitable patch of water. Something—some kind of shudder in the earth, or perhaps merely a rise of a few degrees in the temperature—has told him that it is time to wake up: though a few toads appear to sleep the clock round and miss out a year from time to time—at any rate, I have more than once dug them up, alive and apparently well, in the middle of the summer.
At this period, after his long fast, the toad has a very spiritual look, like a strict Anglo-Catholic towards the end of Lent. His movements are languid but purposeful, his body is shrunken, and by contrast his eyes look abnormally large. This allows one to notice, what one might not at another time, that a toad has about the most beautiful eye of any living creature. It is like gold, or more exactly it is like the golden-colored semi-precious stone which one sometimes sees in signet rings, and which I think is called a chrysoberyl.