Swing that hammer, John

yellow axe“It’s really refreshing to be in a group with people who aren’t completely out of their minds,” he said, according to court documents.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/john-hinckleys-return-to-normalcy-has-been-years-in-making/2016/07/30/fb761c9c-5655-11e6-b652-315ae5d4d4dd_story.html

This is pretty amazing. Ya ever been to a fish market where the big fat frozen fish eye on ice is staring you sideways in the face? So is this: so this guy goes to a place called “Retro Daddio”? I mean, talk about red flag city galore! “Hi! I’m your avuncular uncle of yesteryear coming to pay you a visit and a little pat on the knee.” And what’s that taped up on the wall, but a nice pic of hot young Jodi F. who inspired it all coz the dude lookin’ outta the corner of his eye can’t go on the Internet to do it.

He’s like stuck in the past, i.e, “retro,” you dig, and is makin’ a good impression on the proprietor, naturally. Otherwise all bets are off and the bells that ring when he opens the second hand goods store, they’re not ringing to St. Peter’s. I betcha if she’s got ‘em, ya gonna catch him lookin’ at ole Jodi there sideways glance eye-wise on the security cameras keeping all the customers street legal, coz tape and posters, they ain’t against the law to look at.

Now you just figure if he’d be going to visit Momma if 35 years ago he’d been a black guy who’d shot a president. Snowball’s chance in hell [entailments of “white” fully intended] he’d be outta prison a day, if for a lifetime.

It’s just crazy, man, crazy!

Say it ain’t so, Joe

homeless armani“We’re defined by a common creed that says to our children that if they work hard, if they struggle, if they are loyal, if they are courageous — they will have an opportunity to live a better life than the generation before them,” Biden said.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/24/politics/joe-biden-brexit-ireland-speech/

Put forward as a positive-sounding antidote to separation, or isolation, or, by extension, xenophobia, bigotry and so on, this is one of the almost forgettable comments that spells out quite clearly the horror of the times. Not by what Joe Biden seems to believe he intends—as a pretty stand-up seeming guy with a ten dollar haircut—but by the underlying ethos driving the menacing principles within his words I can only guess he must be unaware of.

Still, in 2016, the second-in-command is explicitly defining what he means by work as “struggle.” And the point of this struggle is not for now but for some unforeseeable tomorrow, some amorphously defined “better life.” Combining a penchant for his militaristic terminology of being “courageous” with his homespun, off-the-cuff ease, the vice president is suggesting a way of living and a way of life that is a throwback to times at least as grim, demeaning, and dehumanizing as those lived by the suffering and exploited masses at the burst of the Industrial Revolution, the wars of Napoleon, if not thousands of years prior to the nameless slave-hordes of Egypt.

Offered as a way of worldwide grace and virtuous living which all people deserve, the monocultural, American blight of drudgery, oppression, and pointlessness proposed is the real terror inside this silk-gloved hand whose magical grip is so tight around the neck of the world it cannot see itself for the released dove it—in its nearly immaculate self-deception—sees itself to be.

Nevertheless, people in the U.S. and elsewhere, are like dogs buying in to the notion of “hard work” and its close friend “getting ahead,” two of many sub-categories beneath the rubric heading of “progress.” And that if we all do our share, all do our pull at the oars, our turn at the wheel, if not for ourselves, then for others living in the future, life will be better. Certainly, disease, starvation, and sickness are not anything like they were in the not too distant historical past in many parts of today’s post-industrial cultures. Obviously, the material quality of life is better than at any other time in human history.

At the same time, no other point in human history has had to bear witness to the common proliferation of human violence in all parts of the world (by both individuals and nation-states alike), the ubiquity of human diseases (made only obvious by the masses seeking to put to sleep both their physical and psychological ill health through pharmaceutical means), and the boundless human destructiveness of our own environment as this present one.

Consider how far the United States as a nation has fallen short of creating a civilization of people who actually struggle less, work less hard and—in turn—have more time available to think, create, and just be—nothing more than that! Consider how far along the rest of the world has followed this progressive nightmare, this God-awful creed, almost blindly, gladly, willingly, religiously, nationalistically. It is as though it had all been for the asking to line up on the front line, to be shot upon, to fall, to die—all for the next in line, row after row, to line up and in their time in their own history, to die, to fall, to have lived and to have fallen really for nothing.

Or, if they have have fallen, if they have died, it will have been for the sake of the smallest of small elites in all countries in all nations whose sons and daughters do not fight and do not die, who dine on abalone and wear the pearls others in the deepest of cold waters have dived for holding their breaths. For the smallest of small who do not seem to suffer so much, who do not seem to struggle so hard but whose belief-system, not different than those others, is no more than the flip side of it. And so, their perishing, though not as harsh, is just as pointless.

Mallory McGiven

I had been lying in bed blue and depressed. Even the pills did nothing. They didn’t make me sleep. Just even more immobilized. And that had made things even worse. The ruffled hawk feather from the dirt hills of Arizona. The bar of hand-poured silver from Eureka. The smooth Petoskey stone from the shore of Lake Michigan. Stashed away. In a shoebox. In another shoebox. All the other shoeboxes. I had had an entire row once that had been thrown away. Automatically. Even those. Hopeless. And even his colorful striped woolen blanket. Folded and dumped in the curbside dumpster. Even my notebooks. Dumped out in the same dumpster. Even there I could not bear witness to, bear to read my own testimonies. My self-deception. Amazing! The one! In love! At last! The same thing. Ad nauseam. Depressing. Even my own confidences with myself had been wistful inventions of the imagination mostly. Mostly like pretty, colorful decals a little girl had once pressed onto square glass bedroom windowpanes to make herself feel better about her grimly lived life—there’s a rainbow! there’s a unicorn! there’s a windmill! there’s a four leaf clover! there’s a smiling sun! Imagined. Made up. Pretty. Make believe. I had disconnected the landline, blocked my cell, same for any messages. I had lain in the lavender oil bathwater and had remembered how beastly he had been, crouching on his elbows lapping up water with his tongue by the lake, who had, it seemed, completely loved me from his ruined castle which love I had not I felt, dozing eventually into oblivion, nor had I accepted had been my own before I had completely slipped away myself.

Turning Points

darkened room view

Between him and her there weren’t the usual things that derailed people, uncoupled a couple. There weren’t infidelities or nasty, name-calling arguments. There were other issues. There was, foremost, her illness which, like an outbreak of poison ivy, or some skin disease, kept coming back. And no matter what, no matter what she did: yoga, eating well, some exercise, meditation, weekend spiritual retreats—her need for support from him, through recurring morning bouts of tears, or frightful attacks of utter panic, did not abate. And there was his own need for secrecy, privacy. His walled off world of emotions and ideas, why, these he had stopped sharing with her some time ago. Some time, ago, yes: for both of them. At one point, he recalled, later on, that one day he had brought home a blue-glazed Moroccan dish, a beautiful object just for her to hang upon the kitchen wall. As he unwrapped the newspaper around it and lay it at her place at the dinner table, she barely noticed, barely acknowledged it. That was a turning point.

Maybe two years later, he came home and she was lying in the backyard grass half-drunk listening to something, music or some spiritual recording, on her phone and earbuds. She hadn’t noticed him pulling in. They went out, as she had planned, and she told him about the time the block of cheese being grated was dropped onto her plate by the waiter when she had been to this restaurant before, some other time. Yes, it was an earnest but misguided effort on her part to appear perky and lively for him, though he witnessed that evening that she could well have been with anybody else. That was another turning point.

He did not, for his part, ever mention to her that prior the end, while they had gone on a weekend vacation together, that he had seen a woman—middle-aged and light on her feet—jogging on a dirt road near their hotel. She had, having finished her jog, reached into a weathered tin mailbox, smiled, and even said to him a simple, friendly ‘hello’. That unknown woman and her address from the mailbox he had kept in his mind for two years now and had wanted to write her a letter declaring how lovely and alive and fresh and especially kind she had appeared. But nobody really ever does such things. Only mad people. Wrong people. Disturbed people who do inappropriate things. So, he didn’t.