Archive for February, 2013

Sunday-Pirate Radio, Boycott Sochi Olympics, Sequestration

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Listening to a friend’s radio show in Austin, TX.

“Doing my thang on the radio again today! playing lots of weird randomness. should be interesting !! today noon til 4 pm (starts in 30 minutes!!!) with DJ Obnoxio……..” - Skot Oh

Reading Facebook postings from London, Florida, Austin, San Francisco and somewhere in Russia. Seems there is a move to boycott the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. One group is a gay group that wants to boycott because of the Russian Federation’s hard line against gays.

Another group takes a more general stance against the Russian States anti-human rights positions and the ripping off of the Russian public to help pay for an elite boondoggle.

An environmentalist position on damage caused by Olympics.

Human Rights Watch has its problems with the Russian Olympics as well.

Been arguing over this Anarchist Bookfair in San Francisco coming up in mid march. It seems that because it is being held at the Armory this year, a location where S/M porn is made, lots of people have weighed in for and against this choice of locale. I was in favor at first but now I am leaning against going. Mostly because of my own negative experience with some of the persons who perform there.

This is the facebook conversation on the topic.

Plenty more going on the sequestration is another political stupidity that is being allowed to proceed by the bumbling politicos in Washington. Seems that secretly they all really want to see this. Just nobody wants to take the heat so they all will. And it seems the Tea Party Republicans are all for it. Personally it seems pretty minor, but lets see if they do something to the education budget. Interesting that it was the Obama administration that suggested it as an unpalatable option and what do we get? Sequestration, or is this just more tom-foolery on Capital Hill?

Another day. I have homework to do. Have a nice day…

Bangladesh Protests & Background, My Day, Tacos

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Protestors in Bangladesh are building as the War Crimes Tribunal has found several guilty of war crimes during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Jamaat-e-Islami was opposed to independence and supported Pakistan in it’s attempt to retain what was then called East Pakistan.

“The government’s consideration of a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami will likely exacerbate the tensions between the country’s Islamists and secularists. Opposition parties say Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s secular government is using the war-crimes tribunal to attack her political opponents. The new law gives the tribunal the power to try entire organizations for war crimes, which could allow Ms. Hasina’s government to push to effectively outlaw the Jamaat-e-Islami, as protesters have demanded.”

“Tens of thousands of protesters in Bangladesh returned to the streets of the capital Dhaka this weekend: this time to denounce the death of one of the key figures and leaders of their protest movement, anti-Islamist blogger Amhed Rajib Haider, who was murdered on Friday.

An architect by trade, and better known under his pseudonym “Thaba Baba”, he had recently received online threats from Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist party.”

“Tens of thousands of people resumed mass demonstrations in Bangladesh’s capital on Saturday, intensifying their demands for more severe punishment for war criminals from the country’s 1971 liberation war, while also demanding justice for the slaying of a blogger who had been a leading organizer of the protests… The crowd were estimated at more than 100,000 people.”

“In 2010, the International Crimes Tribunal charged eight of the Jamaat leaders with crimes against humanity committed during the Bangladesh liberation war by . The verdict passed against Abdul Quader Molla, one of the leaders, recognized the role played by Jamaat-e-Islami and their student wing (the then ‘Islami Chatra Sangha’) as the collaborators in the war crimes committed by Pakistan army in 1971. The party was also found guilty of forming paramilitary forces, such as Razakar and Al-Badr forces, and took part in the systematic genocide of the Bangladeshi people and other violent activities.”

While I am no expert on Bangladesh, I have been to that region of the world, in nearby Kolcata or Calcutta as it used to be called. The mouth of the Ganges is in Bangladesh making the country a great rice producer and victim to global climate change.

“Over the last thousand years, rice has been the dominant crop in Bangladesh and it currently accounts for 77% of agricultural land use. There are about 13 million farm families, who grow different types of rice, which includes traditional, modern, or hybrid rice varieties. Over 11.7 million hectares of land in Bangladesh is dedicated to rice production. It provides about 70% of direct human calorie intake, making it the most important food crop in Bangladesh.”

“Bangladesh has got a population of around 150 million (2011) …almost 75% of the population lives in rural areas and a population density of 954.4 (people per sq. km.). Bangladesh is predominantly Agricultural with two thirds of the population engaged in farming or Agro-based industrial activity mainly.

The total land area is 147,570 sq. km. consists mostly of Floodplains (almost 80%) leaving major part of the country (with the exception of the north-western highlands) prone to flooding during the rainy season. Moreover, the adverse affects of Climate Change – especially High Temperature, Sea-level Rise, Cyclones and Storm Surges, Salinity Intrusion, Heavy Monsoon Downpours etc. has aggravated the overall Economic Development scenario of the country to a great extent.”

More About Me

Seems that every other day is a good day, at least emotionally. Today has been good. I woke around 4 am full of worries, after half an hour or so of laying there, I got up and studied, taking my mind off my problems, mostly financial, by reading about the integumentary system (skin, nails and hair). Focusing on learning something is a good way to forget about worries, and after an hour or so I fell back asleep.

After waking up again, I cleaned the bathroom and bathtub, bleached the shower nozzle (should be done weekly), and then ate breakfast. Then back to studies, finished the chapter on skin, lots of details on epidermal and dermal layers and the subcutaneous tissue, sebaceous glands, sudoriferous glands and foilicie, all part of the skin that protects our bodies. I think a bump on my head might be a squamous cell carcinoma, or not. Trying to diagnose yourself after reading a little physiology is dangerous. I will make an appointment with my dermatologist, once I am done with dealing with the kidney transplant. Whoohoo, I know a little medical terminology.

Later I walked to the market got some groceries, using a $5 off on $25 coupon. Good deal. I like walking since my girlfriend has the car most of the time.

My Latest Breakfast Taco

Soy chorizo, potatoes, tomato, bell pepper, serrrano pepper, sauteed with Chili, basil, and cumin, add raw chopped onions, sharp cheddar cheese cubes, and reheated or newly cooked rice with corn tortillas to make tacos with a poached egg. Throw on some salsa, in this case New Mexico green chile salsa, hot sauce, cilantro and fresh squeezed lemon. This is a great breakfast taco, or three or four.

Almost Empty

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

I have the kidney, I am almost back to normal and yet I am depressed a lot. I have to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I can’t go back, I have to move forward but I am so damn old now. Starting over at my age, well, its not easy. I don’t like to admit it, but I am not able to do things like I used too, I don’t even want too. I get tired easily and my body aches. I am too young to simply retire, but I have no desire to get back in the game. Perhaps I will get stronger and my lust for life will come back. As it is, I am just barely able to handle going to school. Its the lack of desire that is bothering me. It is very hard to care about anything. That I guess is a classic sign of depression.

Chinese Smog, Hagel Stymied, Russia Meteors, Gas Prices, V-Day, Fried Dorner

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

It has been a week since I posted. Been busy with school. My GF has been borrowing my car pretty consistently so I mostly have been taking the bus or hoofing it lately. Probably better for me, and since she has little kids, I don’t mind her using the car, but the gas has become expensive again! Regular $4.35 to $4.06 a gallon around Long Beach, cheapest I have found at Vons. Most expensive out by the 405 and airport. I don’t count Arco, United, or some of the other smaller gas companies, I find the gas from those brands is inconsistent and often burns much quicker than say Mobil, Chevron, Exxon, or Union 76 which are the brands I usually buy. Vons gas is the only exception to that rule and so far I have not had problems with their gas. I don’t even look at premium or mid grade gas anymore, not since it got over about $3.50 a gallon.

The meteor shower in Russia was cool. Even cooler was the view of everyday Russians in a rather remote region of the country. It seemed fairly affluent, perhaps because it is defense industry related, but I didn’t see old women in babushkas pushing brooms around on the streets. No lines of people. The pop music on car radios was pretty lame, but I guess that is true all over the world. Glad nobody was seriously hurt. But it seems to show how vulnerable the planet really is. Without the atmosphere to protect us, we would be like the moon, a pincushion for every stray space object.

I have been rethinking a lot of my priorities, after all, having survived a kidney failure and transplant, with health returning, I am wondering what I am going to do with the rest of my life. Should I go for the degree, or get back to work? I am letting the school thing play out while I continue to job hunt. I figure why not. I will need income soon enough. As it is I only have my disability money and that will run out eventually. I am not sure I still even want to write a book. I am not sure I really have anything to say. I am almost silent in conversation, listening to people in a bar go on loudly sounds harsh, like so many donkeys braying at the tops of their lungs.

Last night my GF and I went out to celebrate Valentines, we went to Old Tony’s, a seafood place on the pier in Redondo Beach. Service was good, food was so so, too salty for my taste and the Italian style fishermans soup was mostly a lot of crab and muscle shells with not too much meat. The muscles were kind of bitter on top of it. My GF had Lobster tail but I think it was overpriced. On top of it all we were seated in a booth where we couldn’t really see the ocean, could have been in a Denny’s for all I could tell, rather disappointing for spending $120.00. GF seemed to enjoy it. I think I would have enjoyed a Grand Slam at Denny’s better, it would have cost a lot less. This is another change, I don’t care for eating out at nice places much anymore, I ether have to upgrade to top notch places or stick to the budget eateries, but the mid range restaurants simply don’t seem to do it anymore.

Politics, Obama got stymied but the Republicans in the Senate over his nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, that seems to be what the Israeli lobby wants, to pressure the Obama administration by letting him know that any deviation from the pro-Israel line will have consequences, this line is fine with Republicans who continue to want to throw logs in the path for the Administration.

Big smog over Beijing. I like China, but really, do they want to asphyxiate themselves in the name of progress? Seems that China is going through what London went through in the nineteenth century and Los Angeles in the twentieth Century, unabated pollution until the skies turned black and people simply had enough. Coal burning was culprit in London and seems to be in Beijing along with the automobile. Cars were the main culprit in LA, that and our inversion prone climate in a basin with mountains trapping the air from the north and east. Now LA is not so bad, with the AQMD holding reasonably high standards, the mountains are visible from my balcony in Long Beach, a good 30 miles or more.

Dead as a Dorner. Cops burned his ass. They don’t like rogues, and if they are good at holding off their former brethren in a cabin in the mountains with the cold snow all around, hell, burn his ass. When cops go after one another, I don’t have any sympathy, they kill to many innocents, and in my experience have never helped me out of a jam. My opinion might change, but mostly I find them to be a public nuisance, although possibly needed as a deterrent.

This from Wikipedia:

“A public nuisance was defined by English scholar Sir J. F. Stephen as,

“an act not warranted by law, or an omission to discharge a legal duty, which act or omission obstructs or causes inconvenience or damage to the public in the exercise of rights common to all Her Majesty’s subjects”.”

Dorner may have been a thorn in the side of the police, but the police seem to be a thorn in the side of the rest of us, well not the rich, after all, they are there to protect them, and perhaps we should include the better class of suburbanites. So perhaps I should say, cops benefit half the people half the time, and that is being generous on my part.

Enigmas, Suicidal Resistance, Tibet, First Americans, & Dead Poets

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

I have a roommate who is something of an enigma. He rented the room in my apartment and then never moved in. Perhaps he will but I have not heard from him in a week. His check cleared, there was no address on it, just an account number. I have a cell phone for him, but I have not heard from him since last weekend when he said he was too busy to move. Strange.

Then I started to think a little about this young man from China, Hong Kong specifically. Perhaps this is simply the Chinese government checking up on a blogger that has written sometimes favorably and sometimes not, about the Chinese government. After all they have commented by the bucket loads on my posts that are supportive of China and would have commented more if I hadn’t called them on their fairly transparent use of dummy internet sites to make the same comments over and over. He wanted me to call him, Jackie, as in Jackie Chan, at the time I didn’t think much of it. But hell, if the Chinese want to give me a minor subsidy, and keep tabs on me, well, I need all the support I can get. Interesting thing is I can’t prove any of this. Its just a theory I came up with this morning to explain this mystery roommate. Perhaps he had an accident, or fell in love, or had to go back to China, or got deported. Who knows? Probably he will show up one day and simply move in and my mystery will no longer be of interest.

Be that as it may, I have a new English class and we watched a movie, “Dead Poets Society” and in it one of the main characters commits suicide. Blocked in his ambitions by an over controlling father who wants his son to become a Doctor and not an actor as he seems to intend to become. Thwarted and unable to come up with a viable alternative, such as running away, this takes place in the Boston suburbs in the 1950’s when parental authority is not to be questioned, or at least not by a certain dutiful son of the middle classes, who sees suicide as a way out of his anguished state of frustrated ambition.

The story falls apart in historical context, after all in the mid 1950’s there was a vibrant alternative culture in most cities with Jazz clubs and beat poets finding their muses and companionship in cafes and bars. Perhaps to a small town person without transport to a city, this would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle, but youth is generally resilient and will find a way, unless the youth has in some way been led to a fatalism that would preclude positive action of this sort. A young Miniver Cheevy perhaps or a would be Richard Corey. The theater is the youth’s ambition and the father stands as fate blocking his path to his hearts desire, will he find freedom and break the bonds of fidelity or succumb to the forces of tradition and his father’s unbending thwarted personal ambition, making of his son a mere pawn in his personal chess game with death? Shades of the Seventh Seal.

Below are reproduced these poems from my own junior high school English classes, a faint memory from early times when such things seemed so important.

“Miniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam’s neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediaeval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.”

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

“Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.”

by Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Those two poems are the only thing of note I remember from Junior High School English, that and the teacher playing “Societies Child” but Janis Ian and Simon and Garfunkel’s version of Richard Cory

“They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town,
With political connections to spread his wealth around.
Born into society, a banker’s only child,
He had everything a man could want: power, grace, and style.

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I’m living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.

The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes:
Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show.
And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht!
Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he’s got.

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I’m living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.

He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch,
And they were grateful for his patronage and thanked him very much,
So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read:
“Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head.”

But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I’m living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.”

Shawn Phillips singer did a version of this song.
“Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn
Gruelling as he assailled the seasons
He wept that he was ever born
And he had reasons
Miniver mourned the right renowned
That made so many and named so fragrant
He mourned romance now on the town
And art a vagrant
Miniver scorned the gold he sought
But so annoyed was he without it
Miniver thought and thought and thought
And thought about it
Miniver loved the medici
Albeit, he had never seen one
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one
Miniver cursed the common place
And eyed attack ye sooth with loathing
He missed the medieval grave
Of iron clothing
Miniver Cheevy born too late
Scratched his head and kept on thinking
Miniver coughed and called it fate
And kept on drinking”

In the modern world we have thwarted desire in many forms that take suicidal forms. For instance think of the Tibetans immolating themselves. From the viewpoint of the Chinese Government they are feudal remnants of a previous era when tribal superstitions reigned and the people lived in poverty. China works hard to improve the living standards in Tibet, removing decaying housing for modern more sanitary housing, perhaps not as colorful, but an improvement in the lives of the people. Then along come these deluded monks, full of enthusiasm for a dying way of life, much like American Indians when faced with the juggernaut of American Progress that wiped out their way of life, so the same is happening in China and with much the same justification, progress, perhaps without the racist implication that the only good Indian is a dead one not made explicit in removing troublesome Tibetans making room for Chinese progress.

Westerners wring their hands over the fate of the Tibetans, just as do-gooders in 19th century America wanted to preserve the last of the native Americans from the safety of the long pacified eastern bastions of European civilization, New York City and Boston. American government policy decided to Europeanize the last of the Natives, forcing their children into boarding schools and their lands to be broken up into individual plots.

Tibet is the wild west of China, but an interesting difference, Tibet historically had a period when it dominated and almost conquered China some thirteen centuries ago. Chinese historical memory is long. Something that we Americans cannot comprehend. Tibetan, Mongolian and Uyghur’s were some of the many people that the Chinese had to fend off to maintain autonomy. The Mongols actually conquered China, as did the Manchus later. But Chinese cultural institutions were so strong that they were able to dominate and assimilate all conquering forces over the centuries.

Back to suicide, so in modern Tibet, like on Native American reservations there are high suicide rates. These are people driven to a form of cultural despair.

“A youth-suicide epidemic is sweeping Indian country, with Native American teens and young adults killing themselves at more than triple the rate of other young Americans, according to federal government figures.

Native youngsters are particularly affected by community-wide grief stemming from the loss of land, language and more, researchers reported in 2011. As many as 20 percent of adolescents said they thought daily about certain sorrows—even more frequently than adults in some cases, the researchers found.

“Our kids hurt so much, they have to shut down the pain,” said Garreau, who is Lakota. “Many have decided they won’t live that long anyway, which in their minds excuses self-destructive behavior, like drinking—or suicide.”

The lasting effect of the abuse and the loss of land and culture is often called historical trauma. Martus calls it genocide. “They set us up to kill ourselves,” he said. “The point of all the policies was ‘take them out.’”

-Stephanie Woodard from “Suicide is epidemic for American Indian youth: What more can be done?”

“On Monday (Feb. 4) state-run CCTV produced and broadcast a documentary called about self-immolations in Tibet called “Outside Tibetan Separatist Cliques and the Southern Gansu Self-immolations.” It accuses the United States official external broadcaster, VOA, or Voice of America, as well as the Dalai Lama, of inciting suicides in Tibet.

In the film, a Tibetan monk is interviewed who is supposedly recovering from a self-immolation attempt. The monk said he was inspired after seeing other immolators who were treated like heroes on Voice of America’s broadcast. The film accused “outside forces” of inciting the immolations, and VOA in particular.”

This from the South China Post.

“The self-immolations of monks and nuns in Tibetan-populated areas were extreme actions that had disturbed and undermined social harmony, Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.

But he also said the young Tibetans involved were innocent and he felt ‘deeply distressed’ by their behaviour.

‘The so-called government in exile in Dharamsala, India, is a theocratic one, no matter whether it is under the direct control or indirect influence of the Dalai Lama,’ he said. Wen accused the government in exile of attempting to ’separate Tibet and Tibetan inhabitants from China’.”

And then finally a short notice about Chinese arresting those they hold responsible for the suicides. This from the Times of India.

“Stepping up its crackdown against self-immolation protests in Tibet, China has detained 70 suspects for a string of suicides in November last year, coinciding with the once-in-a-decade leadership change in China’s ruling Communist Party.”

The situation may be seen as similar, ethnic minorities who had a tradition of independence swamped by a more populous dominant culture, with despairing youth committing suicide as a way out for their thwarted dreams. Among the Tibetans the despair is recent and still dominated by the political hope that these actions might force the Chinese to loosen their hold on the Tibetan homeland, at least to allow them some cultural respite. This in contrast to the state of affairs among the American Indians who after a century or two of dominance by the alien western culture have almost no hope of autonomy, but simply give in to despair. Political hope as was expressed by the radical political socialist nationalist American Indian Movement or as is now expressed in Canada among the first nations people protesting at the border has been quashed in the United States and has led to the suicide of no hope as opposed to the political suicide of hope found among Tibetans and Islamic fundamentalists.

Yet Canadian suicide rates among native Americans is high, perhaps higher in some respects than among their counterparts in the USA. The numbers from Canada are a decade old.

“Suicide and self-inflicted injuries are the leading causes of death for First Nations youth and adults up to 44 years of age. (A Statistical Profile on the Health of First Nations in Canada for the Year 2000, Health Canada, 2003)
First Nations youth commit suicide about five to six times more often than non-Aboriginal youth.

The suicide rate for First Nations males is 126 per 100,000 compared to 24 per 100,000 for non-Aboriginal males.
For First Nations females, the suicide rate is 35 per 100,000 compared to only 5 per 100,000 for non-Aboriginal females. (Canadian Institute of Child Health, 2000)

Suicide rates for Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average.

Historical determinants, such as the legacy of residential schools, are believed to have shaped the mental health of Aboriginal people. A research project commissioned by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation found that 75 percent of the case files for a sample of Aboriginal residential school survivors contained mental health information with the most common mental health diagnoses being post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse disorder and major depression. (Research Series, 2003)”

Political activism among Canadian first nations is an indication of the education levels being achieved by Natives in Canada with major increases over the last half century.

Groups like Idle No More have formed to organize Native resistance to Canadian Government policies that are abusive to native peoples.

Perhaps the Tibetans can learn from the experiences of the Native peoples in North America in their resistance to the onslaught of modern civilization. Perhaps not. Perhaps the Chinese will come up with a way that does not involve the genocide of the Tibetan people, certainly the Chinese have coexisted with Tibetan and Mongolian and other cultures in East Central Asia for thousands of years. It would be a shame for all traditional culture both Chinese and other native cultures of Asia to be swept away in virtually one stroke by the strong hand of modernism. Suicide is a cry of resistance, perhaps it will not be a futile one.

Former President Bush Takes Up Painting

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Good for him I say, I did some paintings just after I went on dialysis and was trying to figure out what to do with my time on disability. They weren’t very good, but they were good therapy. President Bush is a better painter than I am, and that isn’t saying much, but it is something. Perhaps as someone said, he is a better painter than he was a president. Whatever, his paintings are interesting, a self portrait of his back in the bathroom, and of his feet in the bathtub. A bit narcissistic perhaps, but at least he isn’t trying to play Napoleon, just a regular guy, in the bathroom, with a paint brush, nothing gay about that.

Meanwhile here in LA the manhunt for former officer Dorner has filled the airwaves with speculation about why this man is a whack job, the assumption being that whatever his grievances, nothing justified this kind of response, killing that is. Cops kill people all the time, is is just unacceptable when they turn on their own.,0,3164064.story

I am registered for classes, bought books but am finding it hard to get motivated. I really hate studying stuff I am not into. I just really would rather put it off until sometime when I might change my mind about it. Right now its this Human Development class. It is some kind of requirement, something that might make sense for a teenager, but for me, its just busy work. I am way too old for this crap. I have no intention of becoming a preschool teacher. That crap about, well you will need it someday in the future just doesn’t wash.

Sleep Deprivation

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Yesterday I was pretty paranoid, lack of sleep, recovery from surgery, pain pills and dealing with school, all of it had me pretty wound up by last night. I let some of the psychic angst out on the page and after a long nights sleep I am feeling much better, at least not preparing to commit suicide. I am in my second day of figuring out what classes to take. I have so far been able to get into all my wait list classes which meant dropping some of the other classes I had. 18 units is max, I wonder if I will be able to handle that. Already I am kind of freaking out. That is mostly because I am job hunting and school attending at the same time. At some point I am going to have to focus on one or the other. Until then I am simply going to have to muddle along.

The hole they put in my stomach really hurts like hell, I take pain meds but seriously, this has got to stop. I need some time to simply recover. I probably will have to resign myself to a reduced academic load and another semester at LBCC.

As for the world, not much to say today, more shootings in the USA, this time a former cop in LA area is on some kind of rampage, killing other cops. Shooting anyone is undesirable, but if it has to be, I would rather see cops killing one another than their guns turned on some poor crazy homeless guy.

The Bells, The Horror And The Nightmare

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Picture that person on the bridge in Edvard Munch’s painting. The Scream. Imagine the horror felt by this person, and think of it as a reaction to the future, a visionary anticipation of the 20th century with its bloodletting and the 21st century with its endless vistas of devastated concrete monuments, destroyed by a vengeful nature, while man, watches from his bridge the onslaught of one more tsunami, this one about to swallow all of human creation. That is me.

A link to a current exhibit of a pastel drawing version from 1895 is on display at MoMA.

Or perhaps the Conrad tale Heart of Darkness illustrated by Kurtz the failed ivory trader who went native and then became ill and as he was dieing said these famous last words.

“He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath—”The horror! The horror!”"

— Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

Or Lou Reed’s The Bells

Or perhaps Celine’s triumph of despair at the end of World War 2 in Castle to Castle, Rigadoon and North tales of the exiled Vichy French in Baden Baden, a German resort town where they are protected, if that is the term by their Nazi hosts. Even more splendiferous is Fable For Another Time about his experience in a Danish prison after the war.

“All this is good for a laugh, but nobody wants to take my place at the bottom of the hole!…they leave me here to rot, my admirers!…songs or no songs!…All in it together!…The behind full of pus, blind, deaf!…hateful-fans, enemies, what’s the difference? All they want is to see the beast in the bullring brought down!…the traitor, the purveyor of death, the Judas-in-Chief: me!” - Celine Fable for another Time page 197 translated by Mary Hudson. U of Nebraska 2005.

I have forgotten my MLA style formatting and I was so proud of it only a year ago. I am a dog, eating shit from the road, I am watching the end of my world, watching my collapse into mediocrity, something that I was seemingly born to be.

I am trying to cooperate with this on line site, this web class in some social science class “Human Development.” It bores me to death simply looking at it. I am pressed down by the rules, the internet of rules and time limits and links to links to links and the demand for a study of preschool children, as if that were going to lead to some miracle of revived interest in this flagging ship of state, of fools, of rats abandoning ship, of plague ships of ghost ships, of Captain Jack and his tender morsels of Disney propaganda for the next edition of Pirates of the Caribbean, explanation there of I am woefully short of. But let the sentiment be said, there was a time when men dreamed of more, of reshaping the world, of freedom. Not this head down in the concrete world of processed words and thoughts that are only a mere mote in the eye of a gigabite driven marketer of the same shit over and over again.

The horror… do I explain myself, no I am emoting, I am responding to one more of those bricks in the wall, remembering that once I was a brick thrower, but I let fear of violence and my own hubris take me down, I feared for the life of me, and I failed those who looked to me for some form of heroic gesture, I flung up the finger, and got a job where I could lay low. I laid low alright, low enough to miss the fact that life, love and disaster were all one and the same tied together and bent before the mast. Instead I buckled and went back to fairy land Boulder and dreamed of peaceful, easy feelings. I failed and with that failure came the shame of knowing, and having eaten the fruit, I suffered in it for thirty odd years…

Do you know of what I speak, Ted Kaczynski, much smarter than I knew and was not afraid to follow his vision. Below is a link to a written interview.

“Kara: How/when did you decide to bomb?

It would take too much time to give a complete answer to the last part of your ninth question, but I will give you a partial answer by quoting what I wrote for my journal on August 14, 1983:

The fifth of August I began a hike to the east. I got to my hidden camp that I have in a gulch beyond what I call “Diagonal Gulch.” I stayed there through the following day, August 6. I felt the peace of the forest there. But there are few huckleberries there, and though there are deer, there is very little small game. Furthermore, it had been a long time since I had seen the beautiful and isolated plateau where the various branches of Trout Creek originate. So I decided to take off for that area on the 7th of August. A little after crossing the roads in the neighborhood of Crater Mountain I began to hear chain saws; the sound seemed to be coming from the upper reaches of Roaster Bill Creek. I assumed they were cutting trees; I didn’t like it but I thought I would be able to avoid such things when I got onto the plateau. Walking across the hillsides on my way there, I saw down below me a new road that had not been there previously, and that appeared to cross one of the ridges that close in Stemple Creek. This made me feel a little sick. Nevertheless, I went on to the plateau. What I found there broke my heart. The plateau was criss-crossed with new roads, broad and well-made for roads of that kind. The plateau is ruined forever. The only thing that could save it now would be the collapse of the technological society. I couldn’t bear it. That was the best and most beautiful and isolated place around here and I have wonderful memories of it.

One road passed within a couple of hundred feet of a lovely spot where I camped for a long time a few years ago and passed many happy hours. Full of grief and rage I went back and camped by South Fork Humbug Creek.

The next day I started for my home cabin. My route took me past a beautiful spot, a favorite place of mine where there was a spring of pure water that could safely be drunk without boiling. I stopped and said a kind of prayer to the spirit of the spring. It was a prayer in which I swore that I would take revenge for what was being done to the forest.” From Letter to a Turkish Anarchist

I have had visions, but my mind is not strong enough. I weep for this world, and the worlds to come. If only Moloch can be stopped. I have survived for a reason, perhaps, or I am simply the detritus of another era gone by. Sing softly old songs of rebellion, and warm your aging heart on the documents of your youth. Rights of Man, surely you are not considering razing that flag, black and red, again!

Thinking About Stuff On Super Bowl Sunday.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

I have been engaged in some kind of debate about spirituality on Facebook. It is on the site of a guy who is a writer on psychedelic drugs. It was originally a discussion on the possibility of African Roots to Civilization in Central America, and evolved into a discussion about gurus and how do you know truth. Which is an ultimate question, how do you know the source you are studying is reliable, is truthful, and even as we are all biased in how we interpret what we see, how can we be sure that someone who claims to be reporting divine inspiration is even accurate, let alone the question of delusion.

But that was a couple days ago. I was tired, and couldn’t continue my thought. Now the Super Bowl is on, and a boring game got interesting after the power failure in New Orleans. Seems strange to see the lights go out at the super bowl. Seems almost like the end of civilization. Fantasies of collapse come to mind, I mean what is the world coming to when the most watched event on TV becomes a bust for half an hour while the electricians fiddle with the lights?

I have been depressed most of the day. My new roommate is conspicuous by his absence. I rented the room last Thursday, and its Sunday night and my young friend from Hong Kong is nowhere to be found. He gave me a check, I am sweating out whether it bounces or not, I need the money with my unemployment run out and my job interview on Friday another bust. School starts Tuesday, I have a surgery on Monday and I am suffering from a couple of financial hits. I have to come up with an adequate Valentines present for my GF but I am strapped. I want to go to PBR, and watch the cowboys and bulls. She wants basketball or dinner. We will probably settle for dinner.

Game is almost over, less than two minutes left. One touch down would do it for 49ers, but there is no go. Ravens running out the clock, and won game.

This is kind of a boring post. I don’t want to get into a long posting about verification of spiritual knowledge, experiential wisdom versus scientific method, repeatable results. In any case I am done with this until after the next surgery.

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