Archive for January, 2011

Budget Cuts

Seeing as how there is a Democrat in the White House, the GOoPers have of course embarked on one of their periodic pious jihads against the federal budget deficit. The nation is awash in a sea of red ink, so ululate the GOoPers, and we will all drown like shrieking rats unless a great meat ax is taken at once to nearly every government program extant.

It is extremely telling that the GOoPers’ most consistent cry is that federal spending be rolled back to 2008 levels; the bone-ignorant racist Sean Klannity has been daily pounding that drum for months. Why 2008? Because that is the year before The Negro moved into the White House. The GOoPers explicitly want to roll back time, return to that Golden Age before the slouching coming of The Negro. That there dwells The Negro in the White House—this, these people cannot, cannot countenance. All and everything the GOoPers have said and done since the election returns came in on the evening of November 4, 2008, has sprung from the fact that they simply cannot stomach the reality of The Negro as president. And when the histories come to be written, that is what they will say.

However, in the spirit of bipartisanship, comity, and the new “civil tone,” I am now willing to assist the GOoPers in their crusade to cut federal spending. I have previously explained here why the United States does not need a military, why the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines can and should be abolished. I recognize that this may be too much for the GOoPers to swallow, all at once, and so my more modest proposal, for the purposes of this piece, is that they begin by wholly jettisoning the Marine Corps. The photo offered above, of Marines serving in Iraq, offers all the evidence that is required to prove that we simply do not need these people. That they are, in truth, and at root, Wrong, Embarrassing, and a Menace.



The Beauty Is Enough

“I would like you to go forth like your ancestor Don Quixote on the high roads of the world—”

“He was a madman, monsignor.”

“So many said of Saint Ignatius.”

“He was a fiction, my bishop says, in the mind of a writer.”

“Perhaps we are all fictions, father, in the mind of God.”

“Do you want me to tilt at windmills?”

“It was only by tilting at windmills that Don Quixote found the truth on his deathbed.” And the bishop intoned in Gregorian accents: “‘There are no birds this year in last year’s nests.'”

“It’s a beautiful phrase,” Father Quixote said, “but what did he mean by it?”

“I have never quite made it out myself,” the bishop replied, “but surely the beauty is enough.”

—Graham Greene, Monsignor Quixote

Lifestyles Of The Witch And Famous

One of the charms of the world created by J. K. Rowling in her series of Harry Potter novels is that although the young people featured therein can do all sorts of magic and stuff, most times they must contend with the same sort of miseries that afflict anyone else their age.

That is, their parents are clueless embarrassments, their teachers are fearsome weirdsmobiles, schoolwork is stupid and hard, bullies roam the halls, mindless cliques diminish the strong and destroy the weak, and their bodies start behaving strangely even as their minds decree that they must fall desperately in love with people who don’t even know they’re alive.

Meanwhile, out in the real world, the young people selected to portray the various Potter characters on film have indeed become rich and famous, but they have also found themselves as constrained and constricted as any other youngbloods. Without exception, all greeted the final wrap of the final film with great hosannas of relief.


Golden Arches

It has occasionally been said, most recently by somebody who dropped by to grouse in the comments of Alexa’s “For Just One Day” piece, that things are too dark on this blog. And—who knows?—maybe this is so. Jeebus knows we do try to be shiny happy people here. But in a world too often owned and controlled by Mr. Ha-Ha, tales of Badness will, inevitably, out.

Take the Golden Gate Bridge. Pretty in the sunlight, but pure hell to drive. I regularly negotiated the thing in the late 1980s, and was gratified to open my San Francisco Examiner one morning in January of 1987 to read that Hunter S. Thompson had aptly expressed the experience:

Driving the bridge has never been safe, but in recent years—ever since it became a sort of low-tech Rube Goldberg experiment for traffic-flow specialists—it has become a maze of ever-changing uncertain lanes and a truly fearful experience to drive. At least half of the lanes are always blocked off by flashing lights, fireballs and huge generator trucks full of boiling asphalt and crews of wild-eyed men wearing hard hats and carrying picks and shovels.

They are never gone, and the few lanes they leave open for what they call “civilian traffic” are often littered with huge red Lane Markers that look like heavy iron spittoons and cause terror in the heart of any unwitting driver who doesn’t know they are rubber . . . . Nobody wants to run over one of those things, except on purpose, and in that case you want to take out a whole stretch of them, maybe 15 or 18 in a single crazed pass at top speed with the door hanging open.

People often accused Mr. Thompson of exaggerating for effect, and even outright lying. And it is true that he frequently and unashamedly reveled in those sins. But there are no lies or whoppers in the passage above. There is only Truth.


For Just One Day

(Alexa posted this on her Never In Our Names blog for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 2009. I think it’s worth reposting every year.)

For Just One Day

by Alexa

“And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn’t done, and done in a hurry, the whole world is doomed.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.”

For just one day, let there be no progress. Let us not find a new way to convert seemingly worthless pieces of earth into technological slaves that fulfill our every whim. Let us not alter the chemical composition of this substance to turn it into something new, something nature never thought of, that will come back in the fish as a poison lasting millions of years. Let us not bring the fossil fuels up from the ground so that we can burn them, their particles rising into the air to return back to us in rain water. Let us not re-engineer the rice so that we get three crops a year instead of two, but are forever dependent on the manufacturers of the rice seed, because it is a sterile, patented product now. Let us leave Mars to the science fiction writers and give up thoughts of permanent homes on the Moon.

For just one day, let us be something less than what we could be. Let us have something less than what we could have. Let us look at what is possible and say, “no thanks,” in favor of what is preferable. Let the moon be for poets who make meaning out of its reflection on a lake. Let all things be as they are born and enjoyed just for that. And may you too be loved and embraced just as you were born, needing no embellishment or proof of your worth. Let how we treat the least among us reveal a societal identity we are proud to claim, one that leaves each of us feeling safe and secure even as we rest in the pure essence of our being.

For just one day, let us not earn our keep. Let us instead be still and listen to the birds sing in the trees, watch the wind blow in the leaves, feel that same breeze against our skin, and smile at how lucky we are to be living on Earth.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Today marks the holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. who dedicated his life to the freedom and dignity of all people, just as they were born. He was slain by an assasin’s bullet, but you still live. There remains a hope that if you dare, if you have the courage and the conviction, you may claim your life as your own and set yourself free.

This is an invitation. Be still and know that you are God, that God is all there is, and that that is good enough.

The Thing Itself


The Romanian government needs money. Now, all governments always need money—or at least that’s what they say—but Romanian government officials have now decreed their nation’s financial straits to be so dire as to require levying a 16% tax on the income earned by the nation’s witches, astrologers, and fortune-tellers.

Bad idea. For in response, a number of Romanian witches have decided to curse the government. Literally.

Some witches are turning to black pepper and yeast, in order to sow discord within the government. From the banks of the Danube River, other witches have hurled mandrake root into the waters, calling Wrongness down upon the president and his associates.

Said president, Traian Basescu, is believed to have taken to wearing purple, the royal color, in order to deflect the wrath of the witches.

Bratara Buzea, self-identified “Queen Witch,” warns that “we do harm to those who harm us. They want to take the country out of this crisis using us? They should get us out of the crisis because they brought us into it.” Buzea, who was imprisoned in 1977 for practicing withcraft by former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, promised that “my curses always work.”

Buzea is employing several sister witches in a ceremony that relies upon cat excrement and a dead dog to Bring Badness to those who would rake in her coin.


When I Worked

January 2011
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