Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Thursday, December 31, 2009

WHIRLED NEWS: 2009 Flotsam & Jetsam


Still too many people without work.
Still not enough being done.
Still plenty of workers being screwed by Department of Labor and their companies.
Still insufficient oversight of state agencies charged with overseeing funds disbursement.
Still not enough emergency funds going to those truly in need.
Still a hugely disproportionate imbalance of riches.
Color me amazed.

*********************************************************************************
"Hey, that looks cool! We're doing a GREAT job in Afghanistan! Let's stay forever!"

"Oh, wait; I didn't realize there was another side to it all! "
Bless our little monopolized media outlet nation!

*********************************************************************************
***********************************
Obama tried to buy off the Super-Freaks by letting their
Boy George off the hook, along with Mega-Evil Puppet
Master Cheney. Also, no condemnation for the known
infringement of detainee and prisoner rights with the
whole torture thing. Shocker!
***********************************************************************************


Proposition 8 opposition grew, and calls for a repeal struggled throughout the year....
I like this guy's focus; the church should worry about the
Beatitudes ("What are they?"), not funding anti-gay initiatives.
Of course, the profit margin for the fear and hate mongering
is probably a little higher than running a soup kitchen.
Chagrin!!!
***********************************************************************************


Ms. Palin...cuz she nasty....

Miss Prejean....rekindling her disgust.....

Ms. Beck...fighting crocodile tears....

Ms. Wilson; "Your Momma's a liar!"
MAN, I AM SICK OF STUPID BITCHES!
Can we get a moratorium?
Can we pass some legislation?
Rant over.
Proceed accordingly.
**********************************************************************************

Really? That's the best you can do?


Racism, fear tactics, and baiting?

Yeah, Canada is really falling apart with their health care.
It's abominable.
Oh, wait; here comes some more enlightened testimony!



Are you a revolutionary? Or just revolting?
I know why these No Good Cocksuckers like Tea Parties;
they sure 'nuff like to get tea-bagged.
And just to up the ante some, lest we get sidetracked with
the general stupidity of those involved in being Chicken
Little or following the pandering right-wing talkies,
let's not forget these fascist beginnings;
hangings in Kentucky, swastikas defacing representatives'
offices in Georgia, threats of violence in town halls far and
wide, and the powder keg of insane group think just looking
for an excuse.
Kudos to you, Mr. Dick Wolf, for addressing it beforehand!
**********************************************************************************

I don't really get into the Hollywood Thang, but Brittany
Murphy was just so sweet and cool! I've been enjoying
watching her career for the last 17 years, and was so
happy that she seemed to be doing so well. Her death
really saddened me, more so than someone who had lived
a long and full life. But, it serves as a reminder that we
just don't know how much longer we have. Thanks for
the memories, Brittany. Maybe I'll do a "Brady Bunch Movie",
"Little Black Book", "Clueless" viewing party tonight!
***********************************************************************************

New Year's Eve...or any fresh start



"The heart may freeze
or it can burn
The pain will ease
if I can learn


There is no future
There is no past
Thank God this moment's
not the last


There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret--
or life is yours to miss.


No other road
No other way
No day but today


There's only yes
Only tonight
We must let go
To know what is alright


No other course
No other way
No day but today


I can't control
My destiny
I trust my soul
My only hope
is just to be


There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear


No other path
No other way
No day but today"
-(RENT, "No Day But Today")


Go easy..... This, too, shall pass.


Today is a miracle waiting for us to implement it
and experience it.


Happiness is Choice....not Chance.
Claim yours at any point....but remember,
you may have to fight for it.

No one can truly keep you from it but you.


Peace...
Robert

Saturday, December 19, 2009

As The World Turns

(1965)
(The cast, circa 2000)
**********************************************************************************
I heard the news yesterday that CBS is going to pull the plug on the daytime soap opera,
AS THE WORLD TURNS. This may seem inconsequential to many, but it saddened me a bit.
The show has been on the air for 54 years, and I have been a fan of the show for nearly 35 of those years.

My grandmother was my closest ally as a child. We spent the days together, and later when I started school, we spent the afternoons and summers together. Watching her stories was a part of the ritual. She was a strictly CBS gal, but As The World Turns was our mutual favorite.

There's something very magical about the consistency and familiarity of something you do nearly every single day. Most of us don't see our loved ones five days a week! This show, in addition to being a connection to my grandmother, was a substitute for friends and family that didn't exist for an outsider like me. (I think that appeal is one reason there's such a high gay fan base for soaps.)

I formed attachments to these characters, these actors, who grew up alongside and in front of me. I'm not psychotic; I know it's a t.v. show, but it's entertainment and consolement that has propped me up during dark times. Not everybody can afford a shrink. Not everybody has a large and warm circle of friends. For some of us, the habitual nature of spending an hour a day with others can only be fulfilled through a TV broadcast.

***********************************************************************************
(Cyndi Lauper guests with super couple
Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann.)
************************************************************************************
I think about all the times that my loneliness and disconnectedness were assuaged by a character or storyline (which of course meant that the writers behind it cared enough to write it, and the actors involved cared enough to give it their all; so somebody out there did care!)
The current Luke and Noah storyline has been an amazing resource for gay and lesbian kids the world over. I remember all the times through the years that the show braved criticism and did positive gay-themed story lines. The friendship between Hank (a gay man) and Paul (a straight young man) in the 1980s was incredible.

I have spent Thanksgivings and Christmases sitting in front of the tube with my surrogate family, when otherwise I would have been alone. Feeling better as they laughed and celebrated, feeling comforted when they went through hardships with resolve and gumption. It seems as though I have always gotten what I 'needed' at any given time from the show. Funny how that works out.
***********************************************************************************

(Tamara Tunie, left, and Martha Byrne & Elizabeth Hubbard
are just a few of the phenomenal actors who hit it out of the park daily under demanding
schedules.)
**********************************************************************************
The show's cancellation comes at a time when the popularity of soaps has hit a bad low. Too many different media draws on the public's attention? To many of the old school fans dying off or moving on? Who's to say? I think that nearly 3 million people a day watching a show is pretty decent numbers. (Those stats don't even account for the untold millions who watch a friend's tape, watch it en masse in nursing homes and college cafeterias and business offices, or those of us who watch online at YouTube.)
The world's changing. We see the familiar and the previously constant being altered or lost all the time. But with a matter like this, where there is such a level of intimacy formed through daily connection with mostly the same people over so long a period of time...it really stuns and shocks. I'll take whatever criticism others wish to launch over my vulnerability on this; it's a loss, and it saddens me.

Ironic that the show's name is a poignant reminder that this is, at the end of the day, just more
of life's changing aspects. It is what it is. But there's always a grief process when losing someone or something close to you. The older you get, the longer you've come to depend on something, the more you experience losses in general...well, you know.
**********************************************************************************

(John Hensley, another long-term fave)
***********************************************************************************
I think about all the wondrous actors on the show, many of whom are underrated and under appreciated due simply to the lingering stigma of soaps, and not in any way reflecting their tremendous talent. I think of them and the huge crew having to find work, all at once, in this time. It took a lot of skilled people to put out a show of this sort on a regular basis; all the set designers and directors and writers and hair/make-up folks. All completely knocked for a loop by this message, in the midst of the Holidays.


I think of all the elderly people who have already lost friends and family to illness and death--people who are isolated and lonely and have depended on this show for almost five and a half decades; what will they do now? There is a definite transference that takes place with such implied intimacy. That's hard to lose.

The program has produced a multitude of actors that have gone on to build careers in movies; Meg Ryan, Dana Delaney, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, John Wesley Shipp, Lauryn Hill, and countless others.

***********************************************************************************
The phenomenal Lesli Kay.
***********************************************************************************

There have been disagreements and politics and dry spells and bad writing and all the usual suspects of conflict and lacking serenity that come with any family. You can't please everyone all the time, and you certainly can't approve of everything a loved one does with their life, and that's true of the show as well. But at the end of the day, it was the strengths and good points that I always recall. All the fond memories that these talented showmen provided me with.

So many of the cast have their magnificent artistic talents at work in a variety of fields already, doing Broadway, singing in night clubs, producing Cd's, starring in films and other t.v., appearing in commercials, showing in galleries.....I wish them continued success.

I would be horribly remiss in neglecting someone's name if I tried to list all the great actors who have made the show work through the years, but I would like to say a few "Thank yous" to some personal favorites, such as Ed Fry, Marie Masters, Ellen Dolan, Don Hastings, Kathryn Hays, Helen Wagner, Scott Bryce, Margaret Colin, and so many more...including all the folks pictured here. This show would not mean what it did if not for such a dedicated ensemble group of talent.

(Elizabeth Hubbard; you are a natural wonder!)
***********************************************************************************

(Eileen Fulton and Colleen Zenk Pinter indulge in a delicious bitch-fest!)***********************************************************************************

So, for now it's all over but the shouting. I can only hope that the show gets a send-off deserving of its cast and viewers. The expectation of such a task may prove too great to deliver on; perhaps it's best to simply savor great memories. But hopefully the writers will toss us a bone and remember some of the history that has made the show so beloved.

Thanks for the memories.

***********************************************************************************

Monday, November 23, 2009

SARAH PALIN INTERVIEW

(Johnston may be doing his own Big Reveal soon enough.)


In preparation for her holiday, Day of Turkey, the infamous Sarah Palin graciously signed up for a hardly exclusive interview with Georgia Unity. Unbeknownst to her, GU doesn't play, and she was slipped Sodium Pentathal to even the playing field and get some straight dope out of this straight dope. That's right, bitches; truth serum! Maneuver that one, lunkhead.
**********************************************************************************



GU: "So, I hear you took up writing?"
Palin: "It's a lot less hard than running a state into the ground. Besides, when you're talking a shit storm of nonsense like my buddies at Fox News, you save on dumb stuff like fact checkers and editors and things."


GU: "Great. So, what was your motivation to publish?"
Palin: "Are you kidding? Instant money, baby! I gotta ride the train hard before it leaves the station for good. All my bridges were burnt, anyway, so why not profit from it?"


GU: "Do you think Levi Johnston--your would-be son-in-law's-- announcement of his Playgirl photo shoot was timed to derail all the publicity you've been getting from your tell-all crook..I mean book?"
Palin: "Let me tell you something about Levi; he just settled for my daughter cuz the big fish was off the table. That little nobody thinks just cuz he has secrets he's blackmailing me with that he's hot shit! I got news for him; nobody cares about Johnston's Johnson other than us Palin women. See-I went for the obvious gag there. Although I wouldn't say 'gag' is the most accurate word choice."


GU: "I see. Well, there seems to be a lot of animosity in the relationships here. Why do you think he's so mad?"
Palin: "He's just miffed cuz we wanted that damned thing aborted and so he leaked the pregnancy to the press before it could be finalized. I came out on the raw end of that deal! My esteemed political career is over a good year-and-a-half before it would have been otherwise. And now my everyone knows I can't play with the big boys since I publicly got my 'Trailer Park' on. It's not fair. Bush gets to be a druggie doofus and have tramps for kids, but I get called on the carpet? It's a double-standard, baby!"


GU: "We might actually agree on that. Next, we got a quote from former Foe Of Liberty ring-leader Dick Cheney, who's still the biggest dick we know.
He said, quote, "Sarah Palin is a two-bit whore who goes where she's told and does what she's told. But she made the mistake all women make; she spoke."
What's your response to that?"
Palin: "That crusty zombie dog-fucker can kiss my ass; this whore's getting paid the big bucks now! Not all of us could make a living off war-profiteering, you Nazi child rapist!"



GU: "We also heard from Levi, who said "It doesn't matter if 'Momma' can't make it to the Playgirl shoot; it ain't nothin' she ain't seen before. But I know she does hate to miss a good spread." What's your response to that?"
Palin: (sobs uncontrollably) "Levi... (sniff!)...I would have given you the world! If only you could have smiled for the cameras, dammit!"



GU: "So, what's next on Sarah Palin's agenda to help the world by utilizing your considerable beauty contestant and talking head skills?"
Palin: "I think I'm a start me one of them Queer conversion centers, and fuck gay people up real bad so they're miserable. And if they refuse to convert, I'll shoot 'em and hang 'em on the wall like the endangered species they are in our new Amerika. Heil Jesus! Heil Jesus! Heil Jesus!"

GU: "I ...think we're good! Georgia Unity OUT! Begone, bitch, before I drop a house on you too!"
Palin: "I feel funny. Something's wrong; I feel like I've been clear and articulate. What'd you do to me!?!?!"

***********************************************************************************

"I'm a-huntin' you next, faggots!"
(Palin considers her next career choice.)

*********************************************************************************
Georgia Unity suggests that if you need it pointed out to you that this is a spoof, then you are in need of much more than a clue or a sense of humor. Legal notes that although the name 'Jesus' was invoked in the above interview, no actual likeness to any Jesus living or dead should be inferred by said invocation. Happy 'regular old Thursday in November' to all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Popularity, like the rest of life, is not constant



Back when I was in high school, I started a habit that has served me
well in life. Rather than try to fit my square peg into the round hole
of an established group, I gathered my own troops. I learned to draw
together miscellaneous individuals who didn't quite fit in anywhere,
giving us vagabonds an erstwhile 'place in the sun.'

The point has never been that everyone sit around and sing
"Kumbaya," or even necessarily have conversations. But the
disparate need companionship just as much as the masses who
long to be identified by their very sense of 'belonging.'

At one high school, the 'group' consisted of the hyper-active
and overweight kid, the gawky nerd, the upper-crust closet
lesbian, the misdiagnosed 'special needs' kid, the depressive,
and me. I was--and am-- a combination of socially awkward,
health problems, mental problems, emotional problems, non-
conforming sexual identity, etc., so I can pretty much identify
with anyone...except someone who pretends there's nothing
wrong with themselves.

At another high school, I brought together tomboys, flamboyant
blacks, abused rednecks, orphans, and the vampiric.

At my final high school, there was Suicide Girl, the hippie,
the German exchange student, a former gang-banger who
had given it up after her best friend died, and a cracker who
was living in an orange grove because his home life had been
so bad.

As I said, there wasn't always hand holding and indepth
political discussions. But there was camaraderie in our
differences. We all knew the pain of being disenfranchised
and left behind. Having someone come and ask us to join
them, even if only for a meal, sometimes made a difference.
Looking into the faces of people who understood one's pain
absent words and definition was a solace of its own.

Sometimes, the new found confidence given by finding a
piece of acceptance led those in the non-team (think "The
Defenders" comic book) to draw new people to them.
Sometimes, people would 'desert' us in favor of a new
group that was more socially desirable or simply more
compatible.

It hurt at the time, feeling as if I had been used to help
someone 'over the hump' only to be left when things
got better for them, a la a starter wife, but through the
 years I have gained perspective. I often think of the line
"We have friends for a reason, a season, or life." You
never know going into it what your investment will yield--
what level of commitment will be given back.

That's as it should be.

Life is all about the not knowing. Rigidity and expectation
accomplish nothing good. When we give of our self to
another, it is always risk. There is no guarantee on our
investment.

Furthermore, if we care about someone....truly, deeply
care about their well being.....then we want for their happiness.
We want for them to be happy; not to have their happiness
contingent upon their connection with us.

But humans are fragile and our egos reign supreme. Feelings
do get hurt. And, as "Jane Austin Book Club" so aptly pointed
out; "High school is never over!" These occurrences of being
passed over for better offers continue to this day.

A friend that I made some time back had been pretty
much a loner, as I am. We hit it off and helped each
other through some rough spots; inadvertently caused
a few along the way, too, I'm sure, as such things go.
But there was at least a one-sided sense of 'Butch &
Sundance' about the whole pairing, that sense of 'being
alone, together.' And then something happened, and he
seemed to really blossom into new relationships with
others almost overnight.

Now, it goes without saying that the newfound connections
are a blessing, and I'm proud of the growth and thrilled for
the new life being experienced. But there is an inevitable
sadness, too, at the passing of the status quo. That seemingly
unique connection now seems lost, and it's just a reality. No
blame, no regret, no big deal even; just a reminder not to
take things for granted. You never know how long they'll last.

I feel more confident in my ability to relate to new people,
and the possibility of coming into contact with them. But in
my present circumstance, I don't imagine the possibility of
too many liberal-minded fellows flowing my way. It was
precisely because this friendship was so unique and
unexpected that it meant so much. As I've gotten older,
the number of people I care to talk to at all--let alone
feel genuine affection for--has greatly been reduced.

And no matter how old you are or how accomplished
you feel, there's always a sense of the whole "What's
wrong with me?" self pity that creeps in with any rejection,
perceived or valid.

I'm smarter these days, possibly even a tad more mature.
 I won't be lighting any candles and playing whiny chick
music while I decry the injustice and betrayal of it all. No
waxing on about abandonment, either. But the familiarity
of the empty spot within and how easily it can creep back
 in to my reality is a bit unsettling. Yeah, yeah; ebb and
flow, circle of life; I get it.

Maybe my purpose as a person in this instance was to
teach my friend about their inherent potential and love-ability.
I know I gained a great deal from his insights and example.
Shouldn't that be enough? At what point is keeping
perspective more easily done than said?

After all, just because a new friend isn't on the horizon, I
know intuitively that I haven't met my last fellow sad sack
in need of commiseration. I wouldn't trade my independence
for a million party invites, and somewhere out there is
someone who can appreciate that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Identity

It's hard to lose your position in the rat race. (Like the joke says, "Even if you win, you're still a rat!") Most of us identify ourselves--through connections big and small--to our immediate surroundings. But when we fall from our station, maintaining a sense of who we truly are can become a tricky endeavor.

A gradual decline over an extended period may be somewhat more easily accommodated, but when one's descent is rapid and overlapping? The acclimation process may be formidable indeed.

The deceptively sneaky ease with which change can occur is terrifying. Lay-off, natural disaster, health crisis, break-up, death of loved one, and the rest can necessitate the need for a prioritizing. When these events steadily interlace, a breather may not be possible.

Perhaps the frightening and tenuous nature of bad luck being such a lurking threat is what makes for observers' discomfort. When tragedy affects many, there is a compound effect of friends, family, and loved ones not staying for the ride, let alone the long haul.

People don't like to watch difficulty, even when experienced by another. They fear the starkness of reality when it confronts them in such a personal way, befalling someone in their circle. There is a paranoia liken to early response to HIV/AIDS that colors people's interpretations; they seem to think hardship could be readily transmitted by proximity.

Some tell me that people stop calling because they are afraid I will ask them to borrow money. Or I may invite myself to eat with them. Or ask for help with tasks or debtors.

Some say that the reminder of my circumstance is too depressing for people to deal with; ignoring a friend of 20 years is the equivalent of crossing the street to avoid a homeless person on the sidewalk. The actuality of one's own perceived doom being so close at hand, so arbitrary, is too much for folks to bear.

Self-preservation takes hold, and friends must abandon the person bringing down their life raft. Otherwise, their perspective of how the world works may be tainted. Their spider's web veil of delusion that their temporary comfort and denial is not defense against the raging storm will surely fall away.

It doesn't take much: A single car accident. A stolen purse. A problem--perceived or real--at a job. A pulled muscle. An infidelity.

Our worlds are tenuous and fragile, constantly furthered by tricks and luck and whim. No matter how seasoned you are, that can be a hard lesson to learn. When you learn a vital truth that not everyone else possesses, there is a certain prerequisite loneliness. Buck up, true believers; this one's gonna require armor.


For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
-proverb

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

JOBLESS...and LOVIN' IT!!!! Woo-hoo!


Not really. Not even remotely close to an accurate statement. But that doesn't stop nimrods, morons, and troglodytes from speculating and being asinine.

Being jobless isn't a chosen fucking profession. I'm not coasting along on mass amounts (or any size amounts) of government funding. (Or any other sort of secretive benefactor-provided aid.)

My days are not spent popping bon-bons and watching soap operas. I don't sleep in, stay in my bath robe, or keep the shades drawn.

Tell me where the job that will hire me is located and I will pack and leave tonight. I will live out of my vehicle, assuming the road-weary bitch lasts to this mythic destination, until my first check clears.

As someone who doesn't bullshit or 'play games' well, I don't have an extensive network of people known to me. There is no hookup in the offing. There are no nepotistic dream desk jobs in my future.

You hang on to the hope of the possibility of the illusion of a potential maybe. You just keep plugging away, in spite of inane comments, unreturned phone calls, disappearing friends, and broken faith. You just keep plugging along.

But the 'Little Engine That Could' gets old when there seems to be no end in sight. Perseverance is do-able when there is a designated time or place for a finish line. When the status quo becomes "no end in sight," dignity and integrity become harder to maintain.

And as the deficit column continues to rapidly magnify, at the expense of the dwindling surpluses, what's a person to do?

People give advice like "Do the next right thing." "Tie a knot in the rope and hand on."
"This, too, shall pass."

The trick is breaking free of the despair which is cemented into your heart. This may not be the inevitable outcome. This may not be the final tally. But believing that gets increasingly difficult when one loses sight of any positives, any prospects, any hope.

A life lacking options is a horrifying place to be.

So I think about my heroes. People--men and women--who endured far greater than this and kept their sense of self. Survivors of poverty like my grandmother. Survivors of hardship like James Baldwin. People who suffered unimaginable living, like Solomon Radasky. People of courage and conviction like Harper Lee.

I remember that it is possible to come through torment, no matter the type or level, and remain intact. To endure. To survive. To thrive. To prosper.

Despite handicaps, heartaches, hassles, or homelessness. It may not be the most eloquent of hope-filled notions, but I know I am broken, not beaten. I know that this is temporary, and the momentary darkness needs my permission in order to take me down. I don't give it.

I am reclaiming my fighting spirit. I have everything I need within me, no matter what losses I have suffered or continue to face. I remember that others have not caved in under these same circumstance, or worse. I draw inspiration from them. Perhaps someone else can draw it from me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

WHEN YOU'RE UNEMPLOYED.....

When you're unemployed...

...and people ask you repeatedly "Have you found a job, yet?",
it wears down your nerves.

Do they plan on offering you a job if the answer is "No"?

Are they such a close friend that such personal information is
pertinent to them?

Are they unaware of what a personal inquiry this is? Are they
stupid? Insensitive? A real ass with a penchant for 'sticking it to'
others?

Do they realize how loud and booming their voice is in a public
place filled with onlookers?

Is the question curiosity, or indictment?

Should I be running my daily agenda by strangers to make sure
I'm maximizing my job search potential? Should I be seen in front
of stores, lest the talk be that "He really does have money; he's
feigning hardship."?

Do I need to carry proof of my 25 year work history to show
nosy bastards that I have pulled my weight, and food stamps
are a legitimate return on my paying in?

Should I be 'dressed for success' at all times, lest a "once-in-a-
lifetime" job offer slip through my fingers at the post office?

Is it worth my time to explain that the Such-and-Such Store is
not really hiring, they just have a permanent sign in the window
posting otherwise?

Why does the question "Where all have you applied?" seem
like a casual chat type of query? I know they don't want the
actual list of one-hundred-and-thirteen-and-counting distributed
resumes and applications. Will the comment "Everywhere"
be met with equal disdain?

Do people watch the news? Are they aware that joblessness just
came in at over 10% in the state of Georgia, again? That the
Georgia Department of Labor--a worthless wretch of an institution,
anyway--is publicly declaring that there is no reason even to call for
jobs, since there are none available.

Please, do......
tell me what you think I should do. I'm sure the perspective on my
myriad failings is more illuminated from the advantage of the outside
looking in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cleansing: "Grandpa...Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ole Days"


The entirety of this world is built upon artifice and subterfuge;
without illusion and lies, this society would crumble in weeks.
As a result of the foundation of secrets, manipulation, delusion,
dishonesty, and facades, we are nonetheless self-destructing.


The question at hand is not "Why does violence in the workplace
occur?" The question is "Why are all the inequalities perpetrated
in the workplace allowed to occur and build resentments in the
first place?"


"Why is bullshit so prevalent?"


"Why are people more likely to lie than tell the truth?"


"Why do some people get preferential treatment while we
pretend they don't?"


The 'different standards applied to different people' is in full
effect throughout this country. It's involved in race relations,
divisions between the sexes, the demonizing of gays & lesbians,
religion being given a free pass, and more.


What happens to you in this country (and whether it's good
or bad) depends on several key factors. Your last name is a
factor (your family connection.) Who your friends are is a
BIGGGG factor. The amount of money you have buffers
you from hardship--or invites it--depending on which end
of the spectrum you fall on.

Perhaps the most influential, though, is personality type.
How good a 'player' you are; how well you can charm and
deceive and lie to others. Tell them what they want to hear.


I long for the Wild West, when the winner was the one left
standing. Or even further back, when survival of the fittest
was just that basic and dependent on how much fight you
had. And a bastard had to get close to you to finish you off;
no cowardice of the computer or anonymity of secretive
phone calls.

Because nowadays, if you fight back, you have to do it with
a savvy smile and behind-the-scenes terrorizing. Folks with
Cop friends who look the other way. With Friends and family
that assist them through their jobs or a fake alibi.... maybe even
hiding evidence. No fair fights, anymore. No sirree, Bob.


In the old days, when somebody who thought they were
'something' gave you a ration of shit, you could just beat
them to death and go on about your business. Now we
have this bullshit 'civilization' that the rich have worked out
so that a violent reaction like that gets you gassed or jailed.....
unless you're related to the afore-mentioned rich. Or devious
enough to get away with it.

But emotion is frowned upon. 'They' can break your spirit
day-in, day-out for years, and no one even shakes their
head in disgust at the ghoulish tyranny. But respond in kind?
It's the end of life as we know it. "Slave shall not rise up
against oppressor. It just isn't done." If you're being treated
poorly, that's just the way it is. Treat the oppressor poorly
in return, you're a terrorist godless bastard who needs a big
injection.

We storehouse souls in this country; warehouse them until
we can strip them clean and shit them back out. Prisons.
The Military. Institutions. Churches. Schools. Mindless
workplaces. Loveless marriages. Rigid homes. Uncaring
families.


Just keep treading water. Just keep being grateful for all
your 'blessings.'


Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
Don't use your outdoor voice.
Don't say anything untoward.
Don't step out of your place.
Don't have dreams.
Don't promote a different way of doing things.
Don't have a high opinion of yourself.
Don't believe in anything that isn't mandated by the state or religion
  or the group consensus.


Well, my Give-A-Fuck is busted.
I like drama, and I have nothing left to lose.


Get ready.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quick Test


Feel like shit?

Constantly in pain?

Surrounded by dolts?

Accomplishments dissolving steadily?

The avalanche of horseshit is endless?

Nothing works and nothing matters?

People a constant disappointment?


CONGRATULATIONS;
You're an instant winner

in the Game of Life!

Welcome to another day in paradise!

Thanksgiving Day prayer...and salvation

"Bull dick and onion is served!"
What matters the menu if it's all hard to swallow?


This week seems the perfect time to touch on this, since this week
kicks into high gear the season of trying to 'keep up with the Jones.'
Maybe it's a good time to ask yourself why you do what you do,
and whether your traditions are healthy or not. ("It's always been
this way" is not really a deductive reason for continuing a pattern.)

After determining this, is cutting your own path something you feel
confident enough to do?

If not, read on for inspiration...or at least solidarity in your heartache!
And try not to let it get you down!

"This too, shall pass!"

***************************************************
Other people are only too happy to tell you what's 'wrong' with you.

Especially when the only thing 'wrong' with you is that you have a leg
up on them.

People will despise you for your intellect, your success, your strength,
and anything of value. But of course, that's not how it appears. Usually,
bullshit takes the form of 'concern for your welfare.' Maybe that's
subterfuge, maybe it's denial on behalf of the oblivious. Maybe people
are really that damned stupid. Bottom line; don't buy what they're selling.

Your own family and friends benefit when you fail. They find an inner
push and joy that awakens when anyone who even appears 'together'--
in any area--takes a tumble. No one is really on your side, anyway.
When a crack in the armor appears, the people who show up don't
want to piece you back together again. No, they want to make sure
you know you weren't all that to begin with.

Sometimes the quicksand you find yourself in isn't a product of happen-
stance; your neighbor or acquaintance or colleague just casually observing
the mess from the sidelines. Often, there were insidious remarks or
insinuations that led to a particular set of troubles. A warning that could
have been given (but wasn't,) a helping hand that could have been offered
(but wasn't.)

Why do we subject ourselves to the insanity of people we have nothing
 in common with? To avoid being alone? Is it really that scary to be alone
as opposed to being miserable with people that don't respect us or our
values? Out of a misguided sense of obligation or assumed connection?
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of spending time with people who are
in our immediate environment just out of laziness to seek out someone new.

Blood means nothing unless we assume it does. If other people don't
have the same dedications, what good is a one-sided sense of duty?

This Thursday is just another day of the week. No stress required or
desired. It's all relative (but in a good, subjectivist fashion, not the
'uncle-I-have-to-endure' kind of way.) People look at you funny
when you say you're not close to your family, as if the sole burden
of that onus is on your shoulders as a freak individual who anti-socially
shuns all things 'right' and 'good' (or whatever passes for such values
on a certain day.)

There's no possibility given to the concept of a family being filled
with undesirables who critique and bitch and judge and spew venom,
causing all with a clue to desire being away from them. Oh well.
People will assume whatever they want, and their misinterpretations
are none of my concern. Anyone who would make snap or misinformed
judgments isn't someone I'd likely want to hang out with, either.

My typical 'thanksgiving' tradition does exist. No, it does not involve
colonization, indoctrination, brutal massacres, nor spread of disease.
I have a nice meal at a Chinese restaurant, typically some wine (though,
no more!) and watch favorite movies. At some point I call all my friends
and offer support and a friendly ear as they rant over whatever
ridiculousness is transpiring at their homes. They release, enjoy the
sanctuary, and then reluctantly return to the briar patch of 'forced'
responsibilities.

Sorry. I am responsible for no one else's happiness besides my own.
If an individual wants to be sad or discontent because any one person
is not in their presence on a specific day, that is definitely a personal
problem! Don't try and shame or guilt me into shit. Homo don't play that.

Do what you need to do.

CYA: Cover Your Ass. Just refuse to buy into the drama!

The rest will work itself out...it always does.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Revisiting Abandoned Skills



The most key skill one can possess is the ability to defend oneself.

Though we no longer reside in the wilderness or savage tribes, man
is still a mercenary creature. There are always threats of varied sorts
vying to destroy us or take what is ours. Unfortunately, as the import-
ance of society in general has been promoted, man's vital protection
skills have been outlawed and lost. Morality, as well as a lazy
sedentary lifestyle, is guilty of incapacitating people's natural
defensive capabilities and territorial nature.


The previously innate self-preservation skills have disappeared.
The need to retrain citizens in the way of self-defense is crucial;
not just physical strength and fitness, but emotional and psycho-
logical spiritedness, too. Many modern men and women are
casual and passive in their daily lives. They have been brainwashed
by religion, workplaces, and government to be demure and calm
at the expense of their own sense of self. People are conditioned
to accept bad situations, rude people, and violations of their bound-
aries. Citizens are expected to 'grin and bear it,' for the power of
the individual has been subdued.

 When someone becomes reliant on someone or something outside
themselves, they give away power. A man should not be concerned
with the restriction of laws or interference of the police when
defending his home, his things, his honor, or his life. If a family
member is maimed or killed due to negligence or cruelty of a
stranger, what is the repercussion? The stranger may get some
jail time, but the man is simply expected to go on as if nothing
happened. There is no means of returning a life or a limb.
There is no justice once an act is committed. (This example
speaks to the situation of a poor man without influence,
obviously. There are different rules for different people in
this classist culture; yet another reason people must take
care of protecting themselves.)


People will respect a person only to the extent that that
person demands respect. They will take advantage of
an individual to whatever extent they are capable. Even
‘simple’ name-calling that goes unanswered gives bullies
an invitation to further disrespect a passive person. And
small incidents build into larger ones all the time. Insults
devalue a person and set the stage for submissiveness to
build. This is still a world of ‘kill or be killed,’ even though
the pretense is that civility and societal laws prevail.

 The ability to defend one’s self may be a secondary skill;
the initial need might be that people must be taught to have
greater self-respect (the more butch cousin of the much
promoted ‘self-esteem’ of the last 20 years.) But the end
results of being actively capable of protecting oneself and
belongings may become necessary before a strong sense
of self is intact. So, this is a case of needing to put the cart
before the horse. With the increase of economic instability
and social unrest in this last two years, the possibility of being
robbed, overlooked, or hurt increases all the time. Human
beings need to adapt a more proactive response to potential
violence or violations besides thinking they are safe in their
little corner of the world. Wishful thinking won’t cut it when
the eviction notice or the home invader comes.


People need to know that everything from 'unsatisfactory
customer service' to 'illegal wars fought with their tax dollars'
is not something they must begrudgingly accept. Each time
one allows another to step on one's toes, a precedent is set;
the smaller battles are cumulative in effect. When someone
is dismissive or disrespectful, they must be confronted.
When a person in a position of authority takes advantage of
you, a line must be drawn. When another person invades an
individual's space or threatens them, the individual must be
willing to speak up and defend themselves.
 The first step in learning to protect oneself is to recognize the
existing problem of passive acceptance. The only difference
between someone who is a victim and someone who is a
victor is willingness. We are trained in schools, jobs, families,
and churches to be submissive; standing up to all manner of
threats is a skill which must be learned. A first step in altering
the existing problem is to seek out classes or books to learn
what is needed. Martial arts, boxing, and other physical self-
defense courses are available most anywhere.


There are also books and self-help classes to become more
assertive and even aggressive in work, personal, and financial
relationships. Sometimes one has to learn to release old
relationships, as even friends and family can be contaminants
restraining one from achieving a better self. Some people are
sick enough to prefer a friend’s failure so they can continue to
feel good about themselves, or keep the status quo. The reach
of cutthroat thinking is far indeed.


The need to properly and confidently defend oneself is the
greatest ability a person can have. Unfortunately, it is a lost
art that has to be learned (or at least reawakened.) Without
the ability to defend self, people in all areas of a person’s life
will take advantage of them. No one else can be expected to
defend us adequately or fully, and it is therefore our right and
responsibility that we train ourselves in this area of expertise.


Once one recognizes how fragile life is and how easily it may
be diminished or extinguished, the reality of defending oneself
is seen as imperative. ‘Survival of the fittest’ is still in play,
even in the Land of Plenty. Don't be fooled by claims to the
contrary.


**************************************************

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Black socks with shorts ?!?!



"Why on earth would you wear black socks with short pants?"


Maybe it was my time in Germany and Canada that endeared me to the practice.



Maybe working and spending much time in a theme park in Tampa developed a strange fascination with the socially unacceptable phenomenon.



Maybe it's laundry day and they were the only socks clean.


Maybe my "Give a damn"'s busted.



Maybe I'm color blind.



Maybe I'm just that damned good, baby cakes.



Maybe I'm trolling for Grandpas (and you know how sexy that combo is for them!)



Maybe they're the most comfortable, incredibly padded socks I could find for my poor diabetic tootsies, and they only come in black.



Maybe it's a psychological litmus test to see what sorts of people are overly concerned about aesthetics; a Priorities bell ringing, if you will.



Maybe it's all the rage and YOU'RE just not hip enough to know it.



Maybe it's a test to see what people's real interest is when reacting to someone in social settings.



Maybe you need to find a hobby, and stop worrying about petty bullshit.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Life Lessons from FRIED GREEN TOMATOES"



'nuff said.

Ruth: You're just a bee charmer, Idgie Threadgoode. That's what you are, a bee charmer.


Ruth: Don't you ever say never to me.


Miss Threadgoode: I found out what the secret to life is: friends. Best friends.


Miss Threadgoode: A heart can be broken, but it will keep beating just the same.


Sipsey: Oh it don't make no kind of sense. Big ol' ox like Grady won't sit next to a colored child. But he eats eggs- shoot right outta chicken's ass!


Evelyn: Towanda! Righter of Wrongs, Queen Beyond Compare!
Miss Threadgoode: How many of them hormones you takin', honey?



Grady
: Ruth, I have to say. I believe Idgie's been a bad influence on you.
Ruth: I agree!


Sipsey
: It's all right, honey. Let her go. Let her go. You know, Miss Ruth was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.


Ruth: Go on you ol' Bee Charmer, tell me a good tall tale.


Idgie: See, now is a time for courage. I guess you already know that there are angels masquerading as people walking around this planet and your mom was the bravest one of those.


Evelyn: I never get mad, Miss Threadgoode, never, the way I was raised, it was bad manners. Well I got mad, and it felt great. I felt like I could just beat the shit out of all those punks! Excuse my language. And then when I finish with those punks, I'll take on all the wife beaters like Frank Bennett, machine gun their genitals.
Miss Threadgoode: How many of them hormones you takin', honey?


Evelyn: ...and if you wont listen to reason, theres always...TOWANDA.



Buddy
: I TELL YOU ABOUT THE OYSTERS ?
Idgie:NO.
Buddy: THINK ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF OYSTERS LYIN' AROUND THE OCEAN. THEN ONE DAY...
GOD COMES ALONG AND SEES ONE AND HE SAYS, "I THINK 'M GONNA MAKE THAT ONE DIFFERENT." YOU KNOW WHAT HE DOES ?
HE PUTS A LITTLE PIECE OF SAND IN IT.GUESS WHAT IT CAN DOTHAT THE OTHERS CAN'T.
Idgie: WHAT ?
Buddy:IT CAN MAKE A BEAUTIFUL PEARL.
Idgie: WHAT IF GOD MADE A MISTAKE ?
Buddy: WELL THE WAY I FIGURE IT,HE NEVER MAKES MISTAKES. I MEAN, HE MADE SURE WE GOT TOGETHER.


Miss Threadgoode: YOU KNOW, A HEART CAN BE BROKEN, BUT IT STILL KEEPS A-BEATIN' JUST THE SAME.



Missy:
YOU KNOW, WHAT WE REALLY NEED INSTEAD OF THIS BALONEY...IS AN ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING CLASS FOR SOUTHERN WOMEN. BUT THAT'S A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS, ISN'T IT ?



Idgie:YOU GOTTA STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK.
Ruth:I KNOW.



RUTH:
I HAD A DREAM. THE OTHER NIGHT. I DREAMT THAT BUDDY WAS GONE. I RAN TO HIS CRIB
AND THERE HE WAS, SLEEPIN' LIKE AN ANGEL. YOU KNOW, I THANKED GOD...FOR LETTIN' ME
STILL HAVE BUDDY.
AND I REMEMBERED...HAVIN' THE SAME REACTION AFTER FRANK WOULD BEAT ME,
THANKIN' THE LORD FOR GIVIN' ME THE STRENGTH TO TAKE IT.
AND I REMEMBERED...THANKIN' THE LORD FOR EACH DAY MY MOTHER LIVED,
EVEN WHEN SHE WAS SPITTIN' UP BLOOD, AND PRAYIN' FOR ME TO KILL HER.
I LOOKED IN MY MOTHER'S EYES PLEADIN' FOR ME TO HELP HER...
AND ALL I COULD DO WAS PRAY.
WHILE YOU WERE GONE, AS I WAS HOLDIN' BUDDY, I THOUGHT IF THAT BASTARD, FRANK BENNETT...EVER TRIES TO TAKE MY CHILD, I WON'T PRAY....I'LL BREAK HIS NECK.



Ed;
MY GOD !ARE YOU TRYIN' TO KILL ME ?
EVELYN: Oh ED! IF I WAS GONNA KILL YA, I'D USE MY HANDS.


Miss Threadgoode:YOU COULDN'T BE SWEETER TO ME
IF YOU WAS MY OWN DAUGHTER.



Evelyn: I HATE DEATH. IT SCARES ME SO.
Miss Threadgood: DEATH IS NOTHIN' TO BE AFRAID OF ! LOOK AT ME. I'M AT
THE JUMPIN'-OFF PLACE...AND I AIN'T AFRAID ONE BIT.


Evelyn: DON'T YOU EVER SAY "NEVER" TO ME. (pause, angry) SOMEONE HELPED PUT A MIRROR UP IN FRONT OF MY FACE...AND I DIDN'T LIKE WHAT I SAW ONE BIT. YOU KNOW WHAT I DID ? I CHANGED.



Evelyn: AND IF YOU WON'T LISTEN TO REASON...THERE'S ALWAYS TOWANDA.



Miss Threadgoode: WELL, SOMEBODY SHOULDA TOLD ME. I'M OLD. I'M NOT A CHILD.



Evelyn: DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'D BE LIKE A GIFT FOR US ? YOU'RE THE REASON I GET UP EVERY MORNING...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

THE NEW RACISM..(Reality can't be glossed over with humor)







"I've got your watermelon patch right here!"

by Robert Sayre II

As a Southerner born and bred, I'm no stranger to particular nuances and peculiarities of
life in these past-based states. But with the enticing allure of the pitch "It's so nice here in Donalsonville; everybody waves at you when you drive by," I moved to a small town in rural Southern Georgia, and my education began.

The pleasantries are delivered to your face , sure enough. Some times. Depending on whether you "mind your place" or not, though, disgust and disappointed shakes of the head are also dispensed regularly. It's the Good Ole Boy Network, and it's in full effect.




The twin mantras of "That's the way it's ALWAYS been done" and " That's just the way things work around here" are the
fiercely held tenets of these supposedly God-fearing and God-loving people. Don't upset the apple cart, and you may witness some superficial twinges of Christianity. But it won't be the creed of "Jesus loves us every one" or "Treat others the way you would treat Jesus Himself." No, it's definitely more of a polarized "public persona/private persona" sort of mystique they go for here. Or, more accurately, a "preferred company/mixed company" difference of presentation and attitude.

To set foot in Donalsonville (and--to be fair--we aren't the only town like this....that's the scary part) is to step backwards in time. The outside world is a mystical conjuring by which these good folks won't be swayed . Things are cozy and comfy here, with things just the same. And since no one complains, that must be the same as no one is
unhappy, right? Why, the 'coloreds' even have their own section of the newspaper, called--quaintly enough--The Ebony News. I kid you not. That's their version of progress around here, and they're mighty perplexed as to why some folks have a problem with that.

Now, if a man with dark skin commits a crime, he can be on the front page, naturally. But death notices, weddings, and church news, well, they can make do with their own separate--not equal--section. "All the white folks seem happy with that. So how is it a race issue?"


This is the New Age of Racism. Quiet. Unassuming. Aware enough that it is unwelcome in certain quarters, so
duplicity is employed to discern the right time and place to use oft-heard terms like "greasy niggers", or "Lazy fucking worthless niggers" or some such terms of endearment that Christ would surely approve of; the same mouths will greet Black folks in the street with glee and alarming levels of concern for their well-being. Somewhat more toned down if too many white friends are close by, but you get the picture. It's glad-handling to some, and the unedited truth for others.

When it was leaked to the actual newspapers an hour away in Albany that the KKK was coming to Donalsonville last year, a slow burn started. Shock and outrage that the Klan had already gotten a permit some months beforehand from Donalsonville officials--tho no one would cotton to who had ultimately been responsible for the blunder--spread slowly, enhanced by the existence of the small town grapevine and also a Donalsonville-designated online news forum site.



I knew ahead of the news that 'something' was coming when a tow truck driver I'd had need of was having a very bizarre (and none too subtle) conversation with some fellow sheet-wearers in public about how "The Thing" from Mississippi had come through, and they were "really gonna do it now" Well, the average male Southerner is a little 5 year old boy trapped in a 30-something or 40-something year old body anyway, but when you throw in secret codes and secret handshakes and special outfits, they just about lost their tea. They want you to know what's going on, but they want to make it seem dark and mysterious and special at the same time. We're not dealing with NASA personnel here.


But after the creepy gruesome feeling that was left from overhearing that conversation, I was leery of something happening. That's when I heard about the Klan and that they had gotten word in Bainbridge (where the head Dragon
was located, approximately 30 minutes away) that the Klan would be receiving help from other states for their Klan-Bake...including Mississippi. Oh, the proud shine of being a Mississippian that joyous day!

(to be continued...)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Loneliness

I say to myself,
"Self...I really think
you have a lot to offer.
It's too bad no one else
seems to think so."


And I convince myself
that my insides are transparent
to the world outside.
Surely my needs,
like the truths of the
Declaration of Independence,
are self-evident.
Independence has a price,
like all great notions.


I sit alone and contemplate
my aloneness
as a point of some irksomeness,
but the thought of leaving home
and being around others
is irritating, too.


There may never be another
who 'gets' all my jokes,
who finds all my flavors tasty,
who wants to lend a hand
even when I might not know
I really need one.
Who told me that this partner
I seek
is external, anyway?


I have become aware of my own
precociousness, arrogance,
insolence, self-pity, isolativeness,
and more.
I also am equally sure there are
untold additional perks of which
I am still unaware.
But still I need love.
I find myself adorable and delightful,
still.


(You, on the other hand,
have serious fucking problems
and personality quirks.
It somehow seems so clear.)


The call of the familiar and the old
is so alluring,
even with the empty house
and the sleepless nights
and the echoing endless thoughts
and the lack of human voices
and touch.
My soul,
how long since
a warm embrace.




I know I must first
embrace myself
before another can do same,
before I am ready
to offer something true
to another.
Today I wonder,
"Will my entire life
be preparing
for a moment
I never can achieve?"




What the hell's so great about
inclusion anyway?
Screw e-harmony and
be damned.
Like the man
said, "I didn't want to
join, anyway."
I don't need matching t-shirts,
a logo, an i.d. card,
or a false idol.


I remain ever enchanted
by the surly
and sullen and stand-offish,
despite
my real needs,
despite 20 years of therapy,
despite
common sense.
The past patterns us well,
and being disregarded
was well imprinted
on me.


Every day
I seek
to end that servitude,
to cruelties ancient
and self-perpetuated.
Today being alone is
a burden
on my heart.
Tomorrow it may be
a blessing from above.


Man...
how could I subject
somebody else
to all this drama?


Loneliness....
by Robert Sayre, II
08/2009