As it should be, Civics, common human decency, devil, Information, Politics, television, The Past, The WEB, trouble, truth

Fire and Flintstones

I was reading something about the ineffectiveness of various youth programs around the United States and was struck by a thought that rarely enters my mind: oh, t’were it we only had more fire and brimstone! Well-meaning liberals (and some conservatives surely) put their grand efforts into turning troubled and disadvantaged kids around at every corner. And they mostly fail, but that is not for lack of effort. There is such a giant stew of reasons – ranging from rap music to broken homes to lack of jobs to under-funded schools and missing parents – that something like after-school basketball just can’t make much of a difference. The kids spend a couple of hours a week in some well-planned utopia and then the other 165 in reality. And reality sucks for most of those we are trying to help.

But back in the day, see, religion had an iron grip on many kid’s minds. Yes, they were also more likely to be from two-parent homes, the union kept dad working, there was no such thing as thrash metal and Facebook, and watching too much Flintstones was what parents feared most about the effects of the media, but it was the Sunday sermon that often prevented the slide from good boy to juvenile delinquent. The real horror of burning in hell for lifting a pack of bubble gum held some sway back in those days. And while my own opinion is that it was (and is) tall tales long ago concocted by men wanting to control other men, women and children, Jesus man, it worked!

Aliens, art, beauty, devil, Information, ourselves, poetry, SCIENCE!, television, The Future, The Past, truth, Uncategorized

The Blue Light Flickers

Each night I wander
through streets mostly empty
and speak to the lights
at the tops of the poles
radiant and still
measured and steadfast
the voices that passed
reach to my present

How real is that nexus
trustworthy the voices?
Am I just a mad man
who’s made the wrong choices?
Who walks in the night
A ventriloquist of wishes
conjuring dead folk?
Highly suspicious!

Terrorized.
Superstitious.
I walk on.
I watch out.

And in every house
the blue light flickers
casting erratic shadows
broadcasting
transmissions
and jittery realities
belying the stillness
the stilted stiffness
of interest coupled with indifference.

To the history of the dead folk
Hubbard’s among them
first to connect us to
the sound and the vision
Like splitting the atom
breaking the silence
smashing the walls
Severing space.

A fine hocus pocus –
And all the world turned
and focused.

But they’re lonely, the dead folk
The ones that you know
They wish you would listen
Pay a little attention
They know that you’re busy, but, really?
You speak to your gods, you stare at your screens
but find not a moment to say what you mean
to the ones who know you
the ones who know now

if you listen, they will speak
if you speak, they will listen
take time. be quiet. talk. wait.
repeat.

And the other dead folk – the pioneers!
they broadcast the future
to eyes and to ears
like sneaky disease
slips in through the breathing
bypassing the mind
dissecting the meaning.
Red, Green and Blue
is plenty for you
native man
lotus eater.

And in every house the blue light flickers.

The sky is eclipsed
by a star machine
manufacturing gods, heroes and
heroines, heroin, mescaline,
vicodin, maryjane,
alcohol, cocaine,
fame,
ecstasy, baby,
you’ll be king!
A queen.
A pawn.

An old man stifles a yawn.

Beneath my feet the sidewalk retreats
the oncoming traffic of life in the seats
and the chairs and the sofas
the idle, bystanders,
loungers and loafers
(bumps on a log
lumps in a bog)
extinguishing stories
personal glories
and staring.

A fine hocus pocus –
And the world turned
and focused.

But the others, the headmost,
ahead of the curve
who colonized the minds
of the hoi polloi,
they were as surprised as you and I.
This technochimera
spearheading and primitive
could (high)jack right into
primordial you and I
inventing the gaping maw
and glassy eye.

And each night I wander
through streets mostly empty
surrounded by dead friends
and family just waiting
for us to discern
them from the gods,
the gods from them,
one is unknowable
one is at hand.

Meanwhile…

A man suddenly stands,
stretches and leaves the room

a woman leans back
and lifts her arm

a guy rubs his eye
and contorts his face

and I see in these moments
what they’ll never see
scenes in the movie
starring the man who stands,
the leaning lady and rubbing guy.

Watching and walking
I’m on to the next.

Please don’t shut your curtains
Please don’t look my way.

Aliens, aminimals, art, As it should be, Civics, detritus, Information, ourselves, The WEB

Facebook is…

Facebook is to communication what chicken McNuggets are to haute cuisine.
Facebook is where people who don’t really like each other can stay in touch.
Facebook is to friends what 🙂 is to happiness.
Facebook is an opportunity to say “happy birthday!” (to veritable strangers).
Facebook is where real thoughts are nipped in the bud and presented as such.
Facebook is a grandmother’s dream come true.
Facebook is where you can picture yourself over and over and over…
Facebook is where people are sure to find…something.
Facebook is where bitter people blossom.
Facebook is where interesting ideas can be shared until they are no longer.
Facebook is where people who are obsessed about something obsess.
Facebook is to friendship what water is to single malt scotch.
Facebook is the bathroom wall for logorrhea sufferers.
Facebook is where you can care shallowly.
Facebook is to productivity what termites are to two-by-fours.
Facebook is for sad people to seem happy.
Facebook is where you can change your status without changing one iota.
Facebook is a kennel of barking dogs.
Facebook is the La Brea tar pits for the egregiously self-centered.
Facebook is a tower of babble.

Facebook connects human beings to bits.

aminimals, art, detritus, devil, God Bless America, Information, poetry, Politics, Reading, SCIENCE!, television, The Future, Uncategorized

We’re just buggin’ the shit out of each other

It started out with stopping by, droppin’ in and poppin’ over. Cave to cave. Cabin to cabin.

Then we learned to write with letters and along came letters written to drop in the box and on to whomever.

The telegraph turned letters into tweets – instantaneous and terse.

The telephone turned everything else upside down, inside everywhere – voices over lines of metal – spoken in Spokane heard in Japan. Conversations across the universe. There was nothing more to say. And when they got into homes, there was nowhere to hide. They had you in your house. The perfect crime.

Then phones divided into cellphones and proliferated. Popping up everywhere, public spaces, intimate places. Joined at the hip. Cool shit. The crime perfected.

Emails hail down upon your desktop, your laptop, iPad and cellphone. Damage occurs.

But that was not enough – we’ve rebuilt the telegraph from man to man, phone to phone. Tweeting everything. Leaving out nothing.

We’re dropping by all the time.

We’re just buggin’ the shit out of each other.

art, brands, Civics, cool, honesty, Information, poetry, Politics, SCIENCE!, the rest of us, Uncategorized

andiwaslike

My kids say, “I was like…” all the time. And it fucking pisses me off. [Full disclosure: I say it all the time.]

“I was like…”

Whatever happened to “I said…”? or “I turned to her and replied…”? or “I looked at him and basically screamed that…”?

It’s all, “I was like…” now.

It’s a verbal simplification that will destroy the minds of man. Over time.  All of us.

The simpler we make things, the stupider we make things. Consider the tweet or Ikea. We find so that the mind doesn’t matter more and more. Design for the dumbest among us. The quickest fixes. The quality falters.

And what? Hope for the best?

Aliens, aminimals, art, As it should be, beauty, honesty, Information, the rest of us, Uncategorized

balls

My four year old came down the stairs while I was making dinner. “Dad? What do you call the thing below my jingler.” “Jingler”, in our parlance, is penis.

“Well…” I said

“It looks like a bag!” he said.

“Well…” I said. “It’s sometimes called that, yes.”

“A bag?”

“Or a sack.” I offered.

“But what do you really call it – really?” he pleaded

“A scrotum,” I said.

“A scrotum?” He was not at all happy with that crappy word.

“Or your balls,” I said.

“What!?”

“Your balls,” I reiterated. “Like ball sack.”

“Mom!” he yelled, turning back up the stairs. “Dad said I can call it my balls!”

I know now that he asked his mom that same question and she said, as every mother does (who can), “Go ask your dad.”

Well… He’s got a word for it. And it’s a pretty common word. I think this was a win as a dad. I’m not sure though. Unless he brings it up in polite society as I would never do.

Aliens, brands, Civics, honesty, Information, Politics, Seriously sad, the rest of us, trouble, Uncategorized

I don’t like tube socks.

Allow me to come out at this point against tube socks. I know it’s not a huge issue on anyone’s mind right now what with the slow economic recovery and that lady with flesh-eating disease, but tube socks just really piss me off. They don’t fit…anything, but some piece of wood shaped exactly like a tube sock. And that seam at the toes does whatever the fuck it wants! Might’s well just toss a piece of wire into your shoe and allow it to land where it may. And there being no heel means there’s never a heel. You can wear it a thousand times and work in a thousand heels, basically inflating the sock in every direction nine inches from the toe so you’ve got some tricked out cotton Japanese lantern, drunk on sake, making very little sense. Ever. Tube socks are bad.

On a related note, no human has walked this earth looking better with a Mohawk than they would bald. Truism, that.