Archive for April, 2012

Fire In The Hole

Previously on this blog we examined the sadsack who wandered into an Oklahoma Walmart to there brew methamphetamine, the place so vast and cavernous that for many hours No One noticed the criminal chemistry experiment.

And also the Mississippi miscreant who attempted to flee a Winn Dixie with live lobsters wriggling around in his pants. As well as the North Carolina gentleman who sought to celebrate his 45th birthday by absconding from a supermarket with shrimp, rib-eye steak, baby back ribs, and smoked turkey stuffed down his drawers.

Now comes a man who has managed to combine these capers.

David Williams of Mounds, Oklahoma was a passenger in a vehicle tooling along through Okmulgee County early Friday morning, when the driver was pulled over for speeding by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Shiloh Hall.

During the ritual production of papers, Trooper Hall asked Williams why a noxious chemical smell seemed to be emanating from his person. Williams, he entered a lizard-brain panic state, and burst from the vehicle. Then, during a struggle with the trooper, his drawers exploded.

“After a brief struggle it was determined there was an active meth lab in his pants that burst during the struggle and got all over his body,” said OHP trooper Shiloh Hall.

Medical personnel checked out Williams and the road was closed so emergency crews could clean up the scene.

Williams was booked into the Okmulgee County jail on a complaint of manufacture of a controlled and dangerous substance.

The driver was not arrested. He told authorities that he was transporting Williams to the latter’s semi. Apparently Williams drives the nation’s roads behind the wheel of a massive big rig, while cooking narcotics in his pants.

In Oklahoma, people brew meth in the Walmarts, people brew meth in their pants. The state motto is currently Labor Omnia Vincit, or, “Labor Conquers All Things.” I believe it is time to change that motto. To something like E Pluribus Dumbfuck, or “Meth Labs R Us.”

Quantum Voting

Occasionally on the Great Pumpkin I encounter people of the glum, who have determined that the Obama presidency is of the bungled and the botched, and so they can no longer support it.

Instead, they have conceived a need, in 2012, to cast a ballot for Rugs, or for some third-party candidate, or have elected to remain at home, staring forlornly into the tubes, casting a ballot for no one at all.

These people are routinely countered by keepers of the flame, who arrive to sternly inform the people of the glum that a vote for Rugs, or for some third-party candidate, or for no one at all, is effectively a vote for the Republican presidential candidate . . . who it is now presumed will be—saints preserve all humans—Captain Underpants, a.k.a. Mitt Romney.

Yesterday, while en route to the acrosonic, I turned on winger AM radio; for, living in occupied territory, I consider it prudent to now and again monitor the occupiers, to learn of their hopes and fears, delusions and dreams.

Those people were mostly in various stages of orgasm, having concluded that this year’s strange and unnatural GOoPer primary season had at last achieved climax, and now the blindingly white chosen one, Captain Underpants, would proceed to rid the White House of the Bad Black Man who had somehow taken occupancy of it.

However, among those folks too were people of the glum, who called in to mournfully low that they just could not support this most recent GOoPer latter-day saint, that he did not resemble enough the One True God, Ronald Reagan, and that therefore they would stick with Rugs, or select a third-party candidate, or stay home, by the fire, cleaning their guns.

At which time the host sternly informed them that casting a vote for Rugs, a third-party candidate, or no body at all, was effectively a vote for Barack Obama.

Now wait just a dern minute, thought I. How the hey could a vote for Rugs, a third-party candidate, or for a pox on both your houses, be a vote for both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama?

And then it hit me.

Just as in physics, the planet has moved out of the Newtonian, and into the quantum age, so too, apparently, in their electoral maunderings, have humans entered the realm of quantum voting.

In which a vote for a particular candidate, or for no candidate at all, can at one and the same time be a vote for this, that, or some other candidate; for all and every candidate; for no candidate at all; or for something somewhere in between.

Or for all that, all at the same time. Or for none of it.

Brave new world.


Dancing Across The Water

Yee-haw. Space raiders.

Fortunately, space is conscious. And knows these people for what they are.

And so, they are not going out there.

Not until they’ve changed.

As it is written:

the first one’s free
you just get one 

To get another, you first have to grow up.

Fruit Loopy

The Araxes is said by some to be bigger than the Danube, by others to be not so big. It is also said to have a number of islands in it as large as Lesbos, where men live during summer on various kinds of roots which they dig up, and for their winter supplies pick as it ripens and put into store any sort of tree-fruit which they have found to be suitable for food. They have also discovered another tree whose fruit has a very odd property: for when they have parties and sit round a fire, they throw some of it into the flames, and as it burns it smokes like incense, and the smell of it makes them drunk just as wine does us; and they get more and more intoxicated as more fruit is thrown on until they jump up and start dancing and singing. Such at least are the reports on how these people live.

—Herodotus, The Histories

America’s Last Stand

“I’ll tell you why the Capri is my favorite casino. You know, the Mafia hired an actor, George Raft, to front for the Capri. Raft acted a gangster so many times people thought he was. He thought he was. Comes the night of the Revolution crowds start looting casinos. One mob heads for the Capri. Who goes out on the steps but Raft himself and says in his gangster voice, ‘No punks are busting up my casino.’ And they went away. He chased them. America’s last stand.”

—Martin Cruz Smith, Havana Bay

The Unbearable Cheeselessness Of Nicolas Sarkozy

Tomorrow the French go to the polls to vote in the first round of their presidential elections.

The French, they vote on Sundays, because, as is well known, they are against God.

They are also against Nicolas Sarkozy, the nation’s current president. Who is seeking a second term. But who now seems less likely to serve again as president, than Tom Thumb, Wile E. Coyote, or a petri dish of scabies.

Sarkozy’s own prime minister, Francois Fillon, has decreed: “the carrots are cooked.” Fillon’s predecessor, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, moans “there is no chance of us winning.”

It is said that Sarkozy was once the most popular chief executive in the history of the Fifth Republic. But today he is less popular among the French people than the German army.

It is part of being French to occasionally embark upon an unfortunate love affair. That is what happened here. The French electorate, heady with too much cheap political wine, hallucinated that Sarkozy was the man of their dreams. But, the morning after, they awoke to discover that he is actually an animal. Somehow they had slipped between the sheets with a truly strange and unnatural creature, a sort of cross between a ferris wheel and a werewolf, a Dr. Moreau melange of an avaricious dwarf and a bad-tempered pot-bellied pig.

And this realization set in almost literally upon the morning after.

Five years ago, as the electorate prepared to engage in its usual scorn of Yahweh by trudging to the polls on Sunday, victory for Sarkozy was assured. Publicly, Sarkozy piously proclaimed that, once the voters had officially spoken, he would for a time retire from public view: he would enter a monastery, there to “rest, retreat. I must prepare myself to occupy this place. I need calm and serenity to find the necessary distance.”

Privately, however, he gloated: “I will have a palace in Paris, a castle in Rambouillet, and a fort in Bregancon. That’s the way it will be.”

And, once the votes were tallied, he threw a lavish election-night party for a small coterie of his wealthiest supporters, in the swank brassiere Fouquet’s, then flew off the next morning for a leisurely cruise off the coast of Malta, aboard a 200-foot yacht owned by his billionaire corporate-raiding pal Vincent Bollore.

As Philip Gourevitch writes in a December 2011 profile in The New Yorker:

Fouquet’s and the yacht: even now, when the French discuss their contempt for Sarkozy the conversation tends to turn quickly back to the impression he made in those first few days after the election—the ostentation, the exclusivity, the strutting, nouveau-riche vulgarity.

And it’s not like he has since changed.

Last fall, presiding over the opening of a traveling exhibition of modern art, Sarkozy could fix only on money. “That cost millions,” he observed of a painting by Yves Klein. “Is a Klein more than a Leger? Less than a Matisse?”

Among the people, he is these days known as President Bling-Bling.

Uncomfortable with his close relationship with George II, the French took to calling him “Sarko the American.” To which Sarkozy replied: “they consider it an insult, but I take it as a compliment”—an outrage that, in an earlier era, would have sent his head rolling into a basket.

When the Obamas entered the White House, Sarkozy shoveled to the Obama daughters several editions of a French comic book. “Were there not other works to offer to them that would evoke French genius?” wailed Franck Mouchi in Le Monde, opining that a non-buffoon French president would have presented Sasha and Malia with Proust.

Because he is French, Sarkozy while in office switched wives. He entered office married to Cecilia, who had earlier warned: “I don’t see myself as First Lady; it bores me.” When she left Sarkozy to return to her lover, the president took up with Carla Bruni, a woman famously bored by monogamy, who has publicly sighed that “burning desire” lasts only about two weeks. Bruni, she Sarkozy promptly squired to Euro Disney. Which caused a member of his own government to rend his garments, as “Euro Disney is the worst image in France for someone who is already seen as uncultured.”

When, during an audience with the Pope, Sarkozy pounded away at his Blackberry, French philosopher Pascal Bruckner moaned that “he desecrates everything,” pronouncing Sarkozy “a figure from Italian comedy.” Sarkozy’s former friend Bernard-Henri Levy has stated that Sarkozy, “in morphing as he has from a questionable but imposing statesman to a quaint, Warholian character, may now interest only folklorists, or students of political curiosities.” Dominique de Villepin, who will probably be charged with salvaging the wreckage Sarkozy has made of the French center-right, describes “Sarkozyism” as “the marriage on a dissecting table of the sewing machine and the umbrella. Sarkozyism is surrealism.”

Sarkozy has even heaved cheese out of the presidential palace. He doesn’t like it, so he doesn’t want it around. He also eschews wine, in favor of Diet Coke. Guzzling Diet Coke, while tossing wheels of cheese into the garbage, is the French equivalent of Barack Obama placing a baby, a crucifix, and a legless soldier on the White House lawn, and then peeing on them.


Yowl, And Ye Shall Find

Many peculiarities there are, among human religions.

Muslims run from pigs faster than Richard Pryor with his body on fire. Catholics each week munch flesh and guzzle fluids that have been laying around for more than 2000 years. Jews would rather hack off their hands than write out the full name of their god. Scientologists wander the land waving “E-meters” in order to get “clear.” Fundamentalist Protestants believe that their lord spends most of his time peering through a giant celestial telescope to determine whether human penises, vaginas, and sphincters are comporting themselves according to his Rules.

And so on.

Now, down in Georgia, is apparently a-borning a faith that requires adherents to journey out into their yards, and there bark like dogs.

Officers cited a man for violating the county’s daytime noise violation Sunday afternoon after people complained he was cursing and barking like a dog in his yard in the 100 block of Brentwood Drive, Athens-Clarke police said.

The ordinance forbids noise in residential areas that can be heard more than 300 feet away, and the officer noted in the report he marked a distance of 320 feet from the spot where he heard the man, police said.

The 35-year-old man denied that he was yelling, and told the officer some people call him “the holy lamb of God.”

He refused to sign the citation, police said.

Oh well. It could be worse. The world according to David Berkowitz, recall, involved a dog that ordered him to take human life.

I Give The Invocation To The Protective Angel; It Goes Like This

What They’re Building Up There

Here in the Manor, we are devoted to, among other things, Science. This includes the natural sciences.

That is, we study Creatures. And those creatures include ants.

Who are kind of hard to miss here. For they are involved in a Project. And they don’t care who knows it.

From the very moment of occupancy of the Manor, I have observed a steady stream of ants proceeding up and down the front wall, from the ground to somewhere Inside The House. They are always there. Always in motion. Doing whatever it is that they’re doing.

They are like the Post Office. Neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor gloom of night nor knuckledragging GOoPers who want to kill them, stay these beings from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

The difference is, I know what the Post Office is up to. Its mission is to tote mail to and from Ala. But as for these ants, I have no clue, what they may be about.

On the ground, I have traced their trail out nearly to the street, where they go subterranean ‘neath the lip of the concrete walkway. Above, as the photos over the “furthur” illustrate, they disappear under the eaves. Into what I presume is the attic. For there is an attic here. But I have not been up there. And consider it unwise to go there, anytime soon. Or maybe ever. For reasons which shall be discussed presently.


Passing Easter Over

I tried to do my best, here in the Manor, to get with the season, in re Passover and Easter.

It’s true that I didn’t splash any lamb’s blood on my door.

But I did purchase and place a new doormat. Upon which Jesus could wipe the blood off his feet, if he happened to drop by.

Not that I expected him. Because I happened to know that Jesus last weekend was wallowing in roll-away-the-stone passion with a Minnesota siren, there in her abode of toast the savior warm, bouncing the bedsprings with thee.

Certainly there is nothing that I could offer him, that she was not then delivering.

I did bake some lamb’s blood. Oozing outta ground lamb, the essential ingredient in kofta, born of the Egyptians—the Passover connection, there—but these days most often munched by mountain-dwelling Afghans, a little sustenance before they commence to race down the hill to scream and shoot at dull-domed Americans, trying to convince them to get the hey out of their “country.”

You can find the recipe for this wonderment, as well as various assorted other Judeo-Christian heresies, beyond the “furthur.”


An Interest In Ants

“There’s no difference,” Natasha was saying, “between belief in a ‘supreme intelligence’ and the faddish interest in aliens from other galaxies.”

Someone protested. “Statistically there has to be life in other galaxies.”

“But they’re not visiting us,” Natasha said.

“How would we know?” It was Kolya; who else? “If they have achieved intergalactic flight, then they certainly have the ability to disguise themselves.”

“Why would they come to visit us?” she demanded.

“To see scientific socialism in action,” Kolya said, and drew some approving murmurs around the cafeteria, though to Arkady the idea was the equivalent of walking around the world to see an anthill.

—Martin Cruz Smith, Polar Star


Love Is My Badge

Many Mansions

(There was a request for this one. Since its first nascent appearance in 2009, it hasn’t been able to decide whether it’s more a Christmas, or an Easter, piece. So let it be both. And neither. For what it really is, is “Left Behind.”)

* * *

In my Father’s house are many mansions.

—John 14:2

Christmastime again is here, and so be Santa, and so be Jesus.

A couple years ago, in contemplating Santa and Jesus, the two began to get confused in my mind. Santa Claus, for reasons that have never really been explained, devotes each year to overseeing minute laborers who fashion gifts which he annually delivers, in a single night, to all deserving children the world over. Jesus Christ, for reasons that have been variously explained, roamed for a short time across a relatively minute plot of land, uttering gnomic wisdoms, then was seized and subjected to excruciating suffering, so that all, deserving and undeserving alike, might be gifted with salvation.

When a sprout, I was taught that while Santa’s labors never end—a yearly, year-long grind—Jesus’ was a one-shot gig. Wander around Palestine, ascend the cross, into the tomb, three days later out again, brief appearances before various friends and lovers, then up to heaven for a well-deserved eternal rest.

I no longer believe that. I believe that, as is set forth here, “Jesus Christ suffers from now until the end. On the cross. He goes on suffering. Until the death of the last human being.” That is the mystic meaning of his tale: he suffers with all beings suffering in the exile of existence. And we are called upon to do the same—to grow to empathy, so that thy neighbor truly is thyself, and suffering everywhere, for everyone, may be eased. With this meaning there is no need for the resurrection. All of us are him, doing the same work; our work, his work, never ends.

For those who are wedded to the resurrection, the advances in science and philosophy in my lifetime, in the understanding of the multiple dimensions and multiple worlds about us, too mean that his work never ends. For the planets, it is now known, are innumerable, and so are the dimensional variations of this one. And if salvation is indeed his calling, he will forever be busy as twelve bastards, for there are those who need saving, inhabiting every one.


Feets Don’t Fail Me Now

A lot of people don’t like English ivy.

A lot of times these people have been my landlord. Or landlady. Who will bellow: “It will tear the house down!”

At which time they commence to put on the Hitler moustache, and start goose-stepping furiously around the property, decreeing that no English ivy vill they permit mein to das grow.

Well . . . sure, ivy’ll tear a house down.

But there’s no malice in it. That’s just the way they be.

Now, finally, at long last, here in the Manor, I am Free. For this here rental agreement says that I am “solely responsible” for all “landscaping.”

And the property-manager ladies have explicitly said “you can grow whatever you want.”

Meanwhile, they will pay for all the water.


There is English ivy here—a lot of it—and I fully intend to permit it to get completely out of control.

I am Free; so is they. I shall not allow these ivy people to actually rip the walls off, but close to that: okay.

This ivy is absolutely beautiful, and pulses with pure life-force.

It’s just rained and rained and rained here all late winter, early spring, which has kept everybody else all sullen and underground, but the ivy has sent out these pure raw youngblood lime-green shoots, that are avidly crawling all over all and everywhere.

It’s alive: therefore, so I am.

I might not appreciate it so, if I had smilax here, but I don’t; smilax was my pal, for many a year, ringing green and clear and lovely, every February, when everybody else was all still head under the hoodie.

But smilax is a couple abodes behind, and now I hear you can’t even buy it in California anymore. Supposedly it’s a “weed.”

Yeah. Right. Like it’s a “weed,” worse than “politics.”

Anyway, English ivy has like these most marvelous feet. That’s how it grabs hold of things, and causes landlords and landladies to screech that it’s a menace, about ripping houses down.

In the photo above, hopefully, you can see its little wee feet, in nascence, before they’ve grabbed hold of things.

Once they do, of course, the feets get all dry and brittle and clingy . . . like anybody or anything else that grabs too tight ahold of things.

Anyway, it’s a gas, right now, watching this sweet yearning alleged menace climbing up over my front-porch wall. At any time, I can trim it back. But not yet. Not yet.

Top This

Once upon a time, I traveled deep into the winter Sierra, with the woman who would one day become the mother of the award-winning deviant. At a fair time before the award-winning deviant manifested herself in Consensus Reality.

Upon a turn, we encountered a wondrous natural display. In which falling water, passing over a tumbling rock face, had hardened into a freeze, forming marvelous, and marvelously extended, icicles. Feet—unto twelve or fourteen feet—these icicles extended.

We stopped the car, and wandered out of it, to view this wonderment up close. The wonderment beautiful. Awe-inspiring. Bold. Expressive. A reason to be.

Because even then I was preparing for Ala, preparing to be “my next boyfriend will have a box camera,” I brought then forth from the car a camera. To capture. The water in freeze.

This I did.

And after this photographic capturing was complete, my then-lover strode boldly forth, placed herself before the icicles, lifted up her shirt, exposed to the frozen water her naked breasts, and challenged: “Top this.”

Of course, at this moment, they, the icicles, utterly lost.

They were a natural wonderment, true; but so too, were this woman’s breasts. The icicles were transitory; so too, I suppose, this woman’s breasts—but not for many and many more a moon. They were hard and cold, these icicles; this woman’s breasts, soft and warm.

In every way, through her challenge, this woman had won. She was, as my brother used to say, “the wiener.”

Was it my imagination, that the icicles, upon receiving the challenge of this woman’s breasts, seemed visibly to sag, to begin to drip more profusely, even morosely?

As Arlo Guthrie used to say, “I told you that story, to tell you this one.”

For something like that is today going on here, on the grounds of the Manor. Of which ye shall learn, if ye but travel beyond the “furthur.”


Like Babies At Birth

I have no name
I am but two days old—
What shall I call thee?
I happy am
Joy is my name—
Sweet joy befall thee!

—William Blake

Space is changing humans. And that is a good thing.

A while back I wrote about Ron Garen, spacehuman who takes marvelous photographs, and compiles wondrous videos, while up and out, in the great wide open.

Garen is responsible for, among other things, the video below, which always makes me happy, in the best, because the most vulnerable, of ways. It documents the final hours of Garen and two Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station; then, their return to the planet.

I realize there still exist supremely silly larvals, like Captain Underpants, who, in presuming to speak for the transitory artificial construct known as the United States, recently bellowed that Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe.”

But all that is so over. Russians and Americans: they are the same human. Space helps people to understand that. For: as above; so below. Garen and his fellows, Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko, they get that. So should we. Space, it has shaped these humans’ sense and sensibility. Having gone up, they more clearly apprehend and appreciate what is down to the ground. So should we.

Now comes this spaced-human. Who has fallen in love, up there on the International Space Station. In love with space itself. And so, as all true lovers will, he has written his beloved a poem. Titled “Space Is My Mistress.”

This would never have happened, if he’d never gone out there.

But space has made him more, of who he really is.

we stroll outside together 
enveloped by naked cosmos 
filled with desire to be one 

Yes indeedy.

This sort of thing has been happening to humans ever since they began venturing into space. Most recently, in machines. As we not long ago passed the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s first trip into the great wide open, let us recall, beyond the “furthur,” what happened to Mr. Glenn, in his up and out.


We Is Risen

When I Worked

April 2012