The New World Order Wreaks of Dying Empire Odor
May. 26th, 2011
01:23 pm - Yourself: It's who you are
Peaceful and serene, I sit at my desk. Pens and paper litter the landscape, while a cup of over brewed coffee (now cold) from 7-11 sits next to me. I stare at the blank screen and wonder about my life. What is it that brought me here in the first place? Was it my love for the written word? The fact that I consider myself a creative person who can mold ideas into mature soldiers ready to battle contradictions? Or possibly just the fact that I never considered myself a worker cog, stuck in a factory machine constantly churning out numbers? Hell, all of the above and then some. But as I sit here I can’t help but wonder: where is this all going?
Of course everyone has to follow some sort of “calling.” Whether it’s engineering, secretarial work, a cop working the beat or a musician busking on the corner for change, we all have an idea of what the “good life” really is. They (yes the ominous “they”) always say to follow your heart; that whatever it is you’d do if you never had to work again should be the true goal of your career. But honestly, if I never had to work again, why would I do anything that resembled it? I subscribe to the controversial belief that if people were just given the opportunity to live, that they would enjoy their lives to the fullest. Afterall, just because you love to hike doesn’t mean you’d get your rocks off building trails and picking up other people’s litter.
So why is it that we as humans are so obsessed with finding a career that defines who we are? Is there no other way to define our lives than by what we make money at and by what we then spend said money on? Just look at good ol’ Bobby McGee. Yes, the one and only from the Janis Joplin song, “Me & Bobby McGee.” He’s now homeless in Santa Cruz, elderly and missing a few teeth. He’s gained a reputation for being a street character that routinely interrupts bands’ sets at the local record store just to say hi and that he loves the music. And while aspiring to be homeless and half-crazed isn’t for everyone, it’s equally hard to say that his current state of affairs is a definition of his life. His name will live forever in the annals of the music and culture that defined his and future generations. He’s met people and done things that most of us could only imagine in our wildest moments. Not small potatoes if you ask me.
I guess in the end the true nature of human definition is in how we define ourselves. Do we traverse the chasm of self-loathing and doubt, always reaching for bigger and better or do we stay by the shore, safe and sound? When times are tough do we continue the good fight and keep spirits afloat or let our problems topple around us, eventually burying our spirits and extinguishing any fire we have left? Nobody knows what the future will throw at you, but how you react will define you better than any job, clothing or crappy DVD in your collection ever will. Just ask Bobby McGee. As for me, I’m gonna keep writing because, after all, I can fill blank pages with sometimes poignant, sometimes crappy, commentary. But if you were to ask me, I’d say everything I write is pure gold because that’s just who I am.
Aug. 28th, 2010
12:35 am - Glenn Beck Has a Dream
I'm supposed to be working on the several articles and various other projects that are due, but I heard about this and suddenly nothing seemed as important. At first I was shocked, like that first hallucinogenic wave when you realize you're high and nothing is familiar. But then it was immediately followed by the old familiar taste of disgust and "doesn't surprise me" that only America can really deliver.
Glenn Beck is one of the smartest, slickest salesmen in the country and that makes him dangerous.
Tomorrow, August 28, 2010 marks the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where he gave his infamous "I Have a Dream" speech. The eloquently moving and passionately enraged speech has become a cornerstone not only for the Civil Rights Movement, but also in our culture and shared history. And as of August 29th, 2010, it will also be the day that Glenn Beck bought out Washington and delivered HIS own speech, "Restoring Honor."
If you aren't already pissed off, here's why I am.
It's hard for the people of my generation to really grasp who Dr. King was. We all know what he did and what he stood for, (well, most of us. We ARE talking about a generation that grew up with the American educational system) but we were raised a couple decades after his assassination. He was a martyr and therefore already untouchable, almost holy. He had done so many amazing things and changed the world in such a significant way that he had helped to CREATE history along with the rest of the Civil Rights Movement.
We forget that he was a man. A scared, tired, man who had faith in something so much greater than himself that he sacrificed everything in struggling to obtain it. He wasn't born a public speaker, though being a preacher certainly helped. He wasn't a talk or radio host; yet on August 28th 1963, with the help of many others within the Civil Rights Movement, he did organize some 200,000 - 300,000 to PEACEFULLY march upon the nation's capital where he would deliver one of his most famous speeches. This day, speech, and march would later be credited for helping influence the passage of the Civil Rights Act and, later, the National Voting Act. He didn't volunteer to be a spokesperson or a celebrity and certainly didn't enjoy the publicity despite what some may think.
That's another thing the people of my generation can't grasp. Our celebrities and public figures that we are supposed to see as "heroes" are all pussies. Dr. King didn't have any corporate sponsorships or Wall Street contracts. In other words, you wouldn't have seen him on "Cribs." He lived off of a mediocre salary and was harassed daily. There were a lot of white people that hated him and the government that was supposed to be protecting his life also hated him. He was under constant surveillance and threatened numerous times by what he suspected were government agent and, as we have seen from the Black Panther's history with the police, it probably wasn't just paranoia. Yet, through the hate and adversity, struggling to decide what the next best thing would be for him and his family, he managed to change a nation.
And now Glenn Beck will dishonor the man and the date under the false flag of "Restoring Honor" in a move straight from Orwell's 1984.
Beck is the man who says things like "if you take what I say as gospel, you're an idiot" (New York Times, March 29, 2009) and "I COULD GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THE POLITICAL PROCESS" because his company "IS AN ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY" (Forbes magazine, April 2010, ONLY FIVE MONTHS AGO) will be preaching his brand of doublethink with the ranks of a country singer, a Navy SEAL, (and here's why he's dangerous), Dr. Alveda King (also Sarah Palin but that's another tangent that neither you nor I have the time for). Yes, that's right, he was able to convince one of the only two, publicly ultra-conservative King family members to participate in his shenanigans. How ultra-conservative is Dr. Alveda King? She's fought against gay marriage and rights legislation since the 1990s. But by having her speak at this "protest" (protesting what?) he isn't getting the King "blessing" but it sure LOOKS like he does.
And here's the punchline: he claims that he originally didn't realize he had chosen the same date AS THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON and it must be A SIGN FROM GOD ("divine providence" to be exact). It must also be "divine providence" that he decided to throw his little charade at the Lincoln Memorial where, you guessed it, MLK gave HIS speech. But not to worry, because MLK is a "hero" of Beck's, he won't stand on the same step as the martyr, just the one below it. I have to say though, Beck is pretty lucky God has his back because apparently not only is he too stupid to think this beautiful co-opting of history but his staff is too stupid to fact-check the date.
Stupidity, that's what it boils down to. ALL of it. Beck plays himself off as just another Joe; an average American who just loves his country and freedom so much that it enrages him to see it being taken over by liberals. So much so that he feels he has to fight for it (or sometimes cry, depending on what the mood and cameras call for). He bounces back and forth between claiming he speaks for the little guy, who are usually middle and lower class white people, then turns around and claims he's only an entertainer. His show is one of the highest ranking on television because he eggs people to prove him wrong when most of what he says are ideas or opinions and simple ones at that: freedom is good, don't you hate the way the economy is going, are you happy, etc. All the while his pockets are being lined from his radio show, his television show, his book deals, his speaking tours and his Goldline International sponsor (a controversial group that has been investigated numerous times for fraudulent claims and misleading tactics).
With this much cunning, star power, and money, Glenn Beck could be the next Anti-Christ or Republican president. He's crazier than Nixon, more popular than Reagan and able to sell more bullshit than Bush. He knows how to put on the charm; saying all the right words and elaborating on fanciful ideas then claiming it's all innocent. And let's not forget he got Palin, a 2010 contender, to agree to show up. That's not to say I'm arguing that he WILL get into politics. In fact, I think it would probably be too boring for him. He's making more money (legally) than he would as a politician and he reaches a bigger audience, most of which are hardcore believers, making the danger ever more real.
So on this Restoring Honor day, let us sit and contemplate what a truly momentous occasion it is. The long and arduous struggle we have fought these past two years, will not soon be forgot. Our people have faced "tyranny," "racism," and "socialism" for too long! Yes, brothers and sisters, Glenn Beck has a dream!
Feb. 23rd, 2010
11:57 am - Two Birds in a Bakery
For the past hour I've been sitting inside Gigi's bakery/cafe, a small shop by the freeway off Water street in Santa Cruz. A steady drizzle streams from the silver clouds above as I gaze out the large crystal windows to my left. "It's not a hard rain" as an elderly customer says with a grizzled laugh; just enough to clean the world. I fumble through a blueberry muffin and gulp down my first of at least four cups of coffee, all black. My morning ritual. But this morning, two middle aged birds are squawking about. Not quite desperate enough to be cougars, not young enough to be lusty, they are busily filling up the bakery with their upper class ideas on corporate business, the marketplace and all of their neo-new age corporate guru ideas on the finer things in life.
"Well, if I was to see an employee with his desk disorganized I would immediately assume that he wasn't ready to be given any more responsibility and I would continually pass him up for a raise. I guess some people need to have a lot around them, but it just looks so unprofessional and whether you like it or not, this world is based on appearances."
"Oh yes Mary, I agree. People like that are always breaking promises to themselves. They haven't realized their full potential. I saw this seminar the other night all about that. The speaker was saying that broken promises to yourself are the best way to destroy your self-esteem. He told us that if you were to do five push-ups a night for ten nights, and made yourself do them, after the tenth night you'd have done fifty push-ups. Not only could you pride yourself in a job well done, but it would be better than telling yourself to do fifty push-ups in one night and not being able to complete them."
As I'm trying not to spit my coffee all over my laptop with a sarcastic laugh, I notice that while this asinine squawking is going on, one of the many homeless faces from downtown has been tap dancing away inside the cafe. I have seen him around many times before, but still don't know his story; if he's one toke over the line or just quiet. But there he is, tap dancing away in the same old hand knit baby blue beanie and dark striped jacket. Clicking his rubber souled boots against the shiny, wood floor with a thud and a squeak, the whole time a smile of simple enjoyment on his face.
Now, what pisses me off about these high society women suckling way at the corporate tit is not necessarily their way of life (though they sold their souls a long time ago for comfort) or the fact that what they were saying was not only painfully obvious but complete bullshit (yes, five times ten equals fifty but then you're only doing five push-ups a night which isn't really exercise so you're pride in accomplishing fifty is false and undeserving not to mention if you're already making yourself do five you might as well do all fifty at once). What really made me loathe them was that they were talking about things they knew nothing about.
These were women who had lived their whole lives in and orderly fashion. They had taken the steps to rise up the corporate ladder, accumulating spouses and children along the way basing their lives and merit on the appearance of success. The idea that if you succeed in having and doing what everyone else is, you too will be envied and loved just how you envy those perfect people around you. They go to self help programs, the corporate version of the self-esteem movement which was just another version of the earlier "love ins," in order to feel good about themselves during the times that the power, consumption and glossy ad lives just don't have the same sweetness they used to. Their world view and lives are so layed out and categorized anyone who doesn't fit into place is unprofessional, messy, and not worthy to rise up in the world. They don't base this persons' worth on the actual work he does, on how he handles tasks or if his deadlines are on, but if he does it in an orderly manner. The squeaky cog gets the grease, or in this case, greased over.
My annoyance grew steadily until it became a great sadness for them, these two parrots squawking from behind their croissants and jewelry. In all of their talk about corporate mannerism, they never once discussed what it was they actually did, just how they looked when they did it. It seemed to me that their lives were just as empty and nutritionally starved as the conversation they were having. And all the while the man in the blue knit cap tap-tapped away, a satisfied grin spread across his unprofessional face.
Jan. 6th, 2010
11:20 am - Books for 2009
1. The Sea Captain's Wife - Martha Hodes
2. Choke - Chuck Palanhuick
3. Enrages and Situationists in the Occupation Movement, France, May, 1968
- Rene Vienet
4. The Captain is Out To Lunch and The Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship
- Charles Bukowski
5. Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
6. What Da Vinci Didn't Know: An LDS Perspective - Richard Neitzel Holzapfel
7. Post Office - Charles Bukowski
8. Beyond the Pleasure Principle - Sigmund Freud
9. Anarchism and Other Essays - Emma Goldman
10. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - Tom Stoppard
11. Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs
12. Diary - Chuck Palanhuick
13. Vietnam Wars 1945-1990 -Marilyn Young (only 1/2 though since someone stole my book. Bastards. They best be reading it at least!)
Dec. 7th, 2009
Standing at the counter of an empty record shop on Pacific Avenue, original Jamaican reggae ska lightly bounces over the speaker as more and more people gather outside to watch the slow parade of wood paneled cars, high school bands and old ladies in Santa hats march down our version of Main St. Children in tye dye shirts holding streamers with smiles of personal importance, wave at anyone who will look. The paraders ring sleigh bells, each jingle jangle creating auditory snow, making the watchers forget it's only 60 degrees in this sunny beach town, even if for a moment. Old hippies raising the new generation, sprinkled with pockets of roller derby girls, classic car buffs and people wearing giant umbrellas on their heads made to look like jelly fish, complete with long pink streamers flowing in the air.
A symphony of children laughing and women cheering up and down pacific make it hard to believe that this is the same street where dozens sleep nightly, where the run away kids with dirt encrusted hands bum change for booze, smack or whatever else they are feeling at the moment. Where just last night two separate fights broke out in front of a couple local bars, which are interspersed on Pacific every 5 buildings or so. All the trash, grime and lost dreams covered with a blanket of holiday cheer, tinsel and red fuzzy hats. Maybe this really is a special time of year, where people can put the differences and pain aside to help their fallen man, even if it's with a smile, the simple act of a good deed done or a parade. I hope so. If not, then we are just as fake as the felt gingerbread suits marching down the street, still eagerly swallowing the Kringle myth. No kids, there is no Santa, it's up to you to fill in his place.
Oct. 16th, 2009
10:59 pm - found this in the files. . .
Wrote this back in April and forgot about it. It's short and written in a wine blur, but i think it conveys my thoughts nicely. I might even say I'm proud.
"Welcome Home. Welcome back to the parties and wine. Welcome back to the clean streets and crooked police. Welcome back to the plastic families in their plastic homes and their plastic life. Welcome back to the weed and women. Welcome back to the old friends and the new beginnings. Welcome back to desert roads running like veins; if you're a junkie and know where to look. Welcome back to the misfortune of having everything you wanted materialistically, but a life completely void of soul. Welcome back to the heartaches and headaches. Welcome back to the tragedy of the upper middle class. Welcome back to the compassionate Christians who care more about the unborn than the living. Welcome back to fake smiles to your face and rumors behind your back. Welcome back to the force fed American dream that is now the nightmare we're choking on. Welcome back to late nights, long conversations and creative destruction where ever you turn. Welcome back to your life."
Oct. 15th, 2009
Shit. It's about time I update this thing. My problem is that I'm too diverse; I have two other paper journals besides this and I have the damnedest time switching between the three. But a month or two is a long time in between.
Two weeks into Oct 2009 already. It seems time goes by quickly in your 20s and slows to all hell in your 40s, or at least they make it seem so.
God, this is a horrible way to start. Who the hell writes this shit?
Fuck, I don't even know what I want to say anymore. More and more I feel like I've been losing my voice, my identity. Is it because I'm in a relationship, or because I never really had one? Is it even real or just the way I perceive it in my warped mind? See that? I used "warped" to describe my mind because I subconsciously believe it . Not a good sign.
I need to remember to write for me. One thing I see over and over again from my favorite writers, or even just people who enjoy what they do like that "Stuff White People Like" guy, is that they all put out things that they like; that they wanted to see in the world rather than trying to cater to what they thought someone else would like. Quite good advice, but a hell of a hard thing to do when you're still trying to find your solitary voice in a world of confusion. Not to mention the more I prattle on the more I believe just how god awful this really is. Tripe, all of it.
So it's back to the lady then. We've been fighting on and off all day, this last one because I was apologizing and trying to explain to her my thoughts, if you can believe it. That's just my luck, or maybe just the stage in the relationship. We're at a code orange now and Bin Laden just sent in a new video tape straight from the caves. We may be in the Obama administration now, but that's still a good metaphor damn it.
I need to stop using my inhaler so often, it's been only two weeks and the thing is almost empty already. Or maybe I should stop smoking. Yeah, that might be good. I'm on the road to quitting cigarettes. I say "on the road" because in the past two weeks I've only had 1/2 of one down South after staying with my parents. The way I see it, I wasn't so stressed I smoked 1/2 a pack so I'd say I'm doing pretty well. This succulent herb, however, that's another story.
I was doing well for a while there, I must say that I've cut back my cannabis intake by great leaps and measures. But since I was perpetually stoned for the past couple of years, I'm still stoned a lot more than the average human being with things to do in their life. Not too long ago we were smoking around an ounce a week. This past week I think it was a quarter, so cutting out 75% ain't bad. But I still feel like I'm not getting anything done, so maybe it's not the weed. But why not take a break? One of two things could happen: you could either enjoy it and never go back to smoking, or go back after a little while. Doesn't seem like there's a loss either way. But admittedly, it's hard to go cold turkey in a town like Santa Cruz, or when you're sitting on an ounce and a half with 4 more lovely ladies on their way, ready to be plucked and trimmed in the next week. I guess life's not all bad, eh?
Of course not, there have been some very good things the last month or so. For the life of me I still can't remember the end of August. **"Invalid number" tone: "Marijuana affects the memory."** No matter, August is a shitty month anyway, what did it ever do for you except horrible weather?
Oct. 14th, 2009
12:43 pm - I sold my soul to a Burning Angel
Aug. 5th, 2009
12:08 am - Your Music Magazine #70
Warped Tour 2009 Review
The Fabulous Jeffree Star
The One and Only Fire Whiskey
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