Mom

Jeez. Mother’s Day. What can a fella say that hasn’t been said already? It’s well-trod territory. We love our mothers. They brought us into this world and bypassed a thousand urges to take us out. They went through the pain of birth, something we can only imagine feels something like crashing down on the crossbar of our bike and sliding forward into the goose neck in the wreckage of another Evil Knievel inspired stunt. While one can never know the other, it’s pretty well accepted that hers hurt quite a bit worse than ours. We got blinding pain and nothing more. She got the ball, chain and glory of us for eternity as a bonus.

And no matter how old or successful we get, we remain a ball and chain. Our pain hurts our moms. We suffer. She suffers. Having kids is like re-setting your life in a way that while you thought the traumas of childhood were behind you, they return in full-force and informed by our ability to remember and inability to step in and make it all right. Loving your child means leaving them to the “normal” fears, frustrations and heartbreaks that life doles out. Loving your child then means suffering right along with them.

Sure, we also glory in their successes. In fact in the process of writing tonight, I stopped to put the kids to bed, during which, Ben, two, had his first poop on the toilet. There was rejoicing all around. He called in the ladies (his mother and sister) to allow them a glimpse of the sunken little turd.

It was a pretty nice mother’s day gift to Jana, when you think about it, that sunken, beautiful little turd.

And to my mom I say thank you for suffering along with me. Thank you for sending me back out in the world when I just wanted to hide away. Thank you for loving me when I deserved very little. I know why you did it though and it has something to do with all those sunken, little… Glory be.

depth and intensity

“A popular misconception is that depth of experience is something to do with intensity of experience. …It is only on the foundation of a clear, relatively integrated mind that experience will penetrate deeply.”

This from A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation by Paramananda.

I find that arc of thought particularly resonant for me now. It is such a part of American culture, youth culture, as well as the culture, and also personal intense engagement, of drugs and alcohol. We tend toward the intense, exciting, and anything that will provide the short adrenaline rush, then confuse that experience with that which is profound.

I think back to my childhood and Evil Knievel, a man who spent months between jumps doing who knows what, and then with great fanfare and long-drawn-out hype, jumped a motorcycle over a line of buses. That – then – was considered something to be praised, looked up to, and even emulated with a bike, a wooden jump and a couple of the neighbor kids.

Entertainment is like that as well. The thrills we get at a horror or suspense flick, the tears from the jerker, the laughs from comedies, rocking out to Foghat live! tantalize us certainly, sometimes blow our minds, but ultimately it dissipate and leave us depth-wise exactly where we were. We toss words like brilliant around – “Mad Men is brilliant!” It’s really good television and it’s entertaining, but brilliant, brilliant might be reserved for the reflection of a mountain on a still lake, the profundity of which is lost on only the most jaded or empty of souls – while there’s no clear agreement on what’s brilliant on HBO right now.

That is not to say that we should look down on those experiences. On the contrary, they’re fantastic, we enjoy them, we come out the other side feeling rejuvenated and thrilled and, in the very short run, altered ever so slightly.

But the truth of the matter all of those experiences while providing a brief intense, adrenaline rush are truly shallow to the person, to the soul. Void of depth.

The more I drink, the shorter the intensity lasts, until another drink is added upon that one in a desperate and failed attempt to repeat the intensity, and so on. The moments of bleary-eyed brilliance become fewer and farther between. The trip is over sooner and I don’t travel nearly as far as I once did – or think I did.

Clarity of mind goes deep and lasts. It opens us up to transcendent understanding that will never come from a bottle, a smoke or snort, all of which ultimately act against it.

Stop it!!

The term “Prominent anti-gay activist” seems to mean “Actually gay anti-gay activist” these days.

Why does this keep happening? This needs a little more looking into. There is some link to religion certainly. These guys tend to be very, if not balls-out (no pun intended) crazy religious. They go to church and preach the evils of homosexuality from their pulpit, be it there, at work, among friends and so on. But soon – bang! (again, no pun) they’re outed! And usually in some rather unsavory manner. It’s not like we find out they’ve had an ongoing, mutually loving affair with a man, but it’s call-boys, illicit sex in a gay bar bathroom, shit, throw in some crystal meth and bondage!

So, what’s going on? Are they so self-loathing about their feelings that they repress and repress and scream the opposite of their actual feelings? Is it the religion that tells them over and over that their natural feelings are sinful, evil and against their god’s teachings? Certainly, the church is involved. The legions of pedophile priests says volumes about the relationship.

Maybe it’s partly that they spend so much time thinking about gays, first in that very negative light, that eventually they get more used to them, then curious, start experimenting and then, busted and back to wifey (sometimes).

I don’t know, but the truth of the matter is that the more someone talks family values, the less i’d ever trust them to have any contact with mine. And the more someone hates fags (and yes, here it comes) the more I would bet they are beyond curious. It’s a cliche, but it just keeps on proving itself true.

Here’s the best part: “Rekers told the New Times he hired the escort to help carry luggage, not for sexual purposes, and that he only learned his companion was a prostitute midway through the trip.”

Now that’s ballsy.

Hey, Dad. I’m in jail.

It’s going to sound sexist and i don’t apologize for it, but the two mfers who shot and killed the cop yesterday in St. Paul, while being total tools themselves, were obviously failed by their dads. Boys need dads to raise them up right. And when a boy can grow up to think that killing a cop or anyone elseĀ  is anything other than appalling and even consider doing it, let alone doing it!, his dad fucking blew it. I honestly think that when a young male – say to 25 – commits a crime like that their biological father should be forced on television answering questions to their own crime of fucking up raising a kid. A little public shame would be great, we might learn something about how not to raise kids, it might have a scared straight effect making other dads pay a little more attention to their boys and so on. I like it.

I’m pissed off also because one of those assholes was sentenced to 10 years for an assault and robbery charge and ended up doing 280 days. My second cousin is doing a full five years for growing marijuana, which is on its way to full-on legalization in some states (sorry, Mexican gangbangers, you’re about to lose your lock in that particular profit center) and happening to have a hunting rifle in the cabin where he was growing. Mandatory minimum. Five years for growing pot. That is one fucked up system and the fact that judges don’t go on strike due to having to impose those mandatory minimums is beyond me. It’s like telling mechanics they have to overhaul the engine if the car comes in three times in a year. Even if it was in for wiper blades, new tires and a detailing.

Yes, i know women raise up good boys alone all the time, so don’t start with me. Go spend more time with your kids and buy some pot from a good local grower. The world will be a better place for it.

On Karen Carpenter and t.f.e.

You’ve heard it. You could have been living under a fucking bridge but you would have heard it blasting from some car driving by. The vocal track shat on by that fucking effect (T.F.E.). It slightly modulates so it mostly sounds like the singer just blew back an entire Bubble Up and is either burping or hiccuping or both. Constantly. Because they seem to have a penchant for using it throughout the entire track. Because it’s so fucking cool!

Actually, it’s lazy. It probably sounded cool some years back when it was introduced. A couple of acts might have benefited from the novelty. Cool enough. But it went from some cool vocal thing to what is what? Standard? Certainly ubiquitous. Now they’re like. That vocal kind of sucks, let’s put that fucking effect on it! Now it’s gone from sucks to stupid. Can you tell I hate that fucking effect?

But it does lead me to Karen Carpenter, the most perfect singer in the history of humankind. Karen Carpenter’s voice is easy to describe. It’s perfect. She has perfect pitch. She hits every note. She sounds like the very personification of ‘I’m alive!’ which, I know, is somewhat ironic and definitely sad. But her voice is perfect. She never noodles around notes. She sings the fucking note! As it was intended to be sung! Perfectly.

There are lots of great singers around now of course but can you tell I love Karen Carpenter?

I do.

A.I.

My wife and I have an ongoing argument as to whether you can be trusted to act as impartial judge of the art of a person you hate for some other reason. I say no. It’s my American Idol theory. I often have an unwarranted hatred towards one of the singers. Each week, I know they sucked; but each week, the judges hear something else. I think we have to recuse ourselves in situations like that. I could never properly judge say Glenn Beck’s work though I do wish him good health, love and happiness. As well as those young singer hopefuls!

She mentioned a few artists that she ‘could not stand’, but she recognized they were talented and she would listen to them if ‘they came on in the car’. I have one band that I was so annoyed by a magazine interview, that I went from loving them (at least the t.r. produced lp) to getting a kind of squeamish something in the stomach whenever they surfaced.

this whole new thing, right?

Most technology based modern communication is indirect. It becomes, or better yet, comes at us obliquely. It is oblique. So truth is warped or misrepresented or misunderstood. That’s due, I think, to the fact that it is often very truncated (devoid of nothing but a small thought, a zing, a shot), or simply obscuring and protecting the communicator from owning up, supporting or backing their assertions up in any way. And it’s lazy. More often than not it simply says, check this out. Here’s a link to some shit you might like.

Hey, thanks.

We’re not talking with each other. We’re chirping.

This is my first blog thing.