Wednesday, July 30, 2014

That Kind of Disappointment

I remember vividly when I was in elementary school going to music class. Twice a week or so, we’d gather around Mrs. Perry’s piano to be instructed on the basics of music, sing songs like "America the Beautiful" and "Oh! Susanna," or learn to play the recorder.

I can still fumble through a yowling-cat-in-heat version of "Hot Crossed Buns."

But I really really liked going to music class when I was a kid. My brother Nathan was killed in a car accident when I was in kindergarten. I also have a cleft palate so I spent most of my early school years attending some form of speech therapy. Music class was one of the things I looked forward to the most in elementary school. It made a very unpleasant time just a little more bearable.

I think that’s one of the reasons it stung so badly years later when I learned that they taught us a censored version of Woody Guthrie’s "This Land Is Your Land." When I heard it much later, I understand immediately why.

Yet, understanding never quite fixes that kind of disappointment.

This Land Is Your Land
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land, this land is my land.
From California to the New York island,
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway,
I saw below me that golden valley,
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway.
Nobody living can ever make me turn back,
This land was made for you and me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't Make Fun of Him, Be Appalled

So many things annoy the hell out of me about Gov. Perry and his bullshit photo ops with machine guns at the border.

First, let's be honest, the Border Crisis he keeps talking about is in reference to children. He’s got the National Guard staked out at the border to stop children from crossing. Yes, I know he’s given some bullshit about how all these resources being diverted to dealing with the children are allowing some Invasion U.S.A. style influx of criminal aliens, but it’s just that--bullshit. He's hoping if he repeats it often enough, you'll forget this is all really about kids and just remember him saving us from evil foreigners like this is the mid-80s and he's Chuck Norris. It’s all a shell game to portray what should be a no-brainer bipartisan response to a humanitarian crisis as the lax liberal policies of the Obama Administration contributing to the disintegration of this country. Just like the pictures of him with military weapons at the border, it’s bullshit PR for his 2016 Presidential run we all know we’re going to have to suffer through.  

And let’s talk about the children at the border who've endured a hell you cannot even fathom to make it this far. The bulk of them are from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.  Honduras has the world’s highest homicide rate, El Salvador isn’t far behind, and all three countries are incredibly impoverished with "30% of Hondurans, 17% of Salvadorans, and 26 % of Guatemalans living on less than $2 a day."

You spent more at Starbucks this morning.

What else do those countries have in common? Every single one is a victim of America’s terrible foreign policy. Just take a look at the WikiLeaks documents about US support for the 2009 coup in Honduras. Or spend five minutes reading about The Salvadoran Civil War. Or maybe the US backed 1954 Guatemalan Coup that sparked the Guatemalan Civil War.

This is what he's capitalizing on. Poor children from Central American countries who've sufffered a great many terrible things due to our meddling. Don’t make fun of Rick Perry, be goddamned appalled. Seriously. Be appalled.

Oh, and fuck that guy. Seriously, fuck that guy. Repeat that until you remember it. We've got a long time until November 2016.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pretty Deadly

Pretty Deadly is a creator-owned comic series from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.

And it’s amazing.

Fucking seriously. I’m not going to bother with some fancy write-up because I couldn’t do the comic justice. Pretty Deadly is a beautiful, violent, magical realism, manga spaghetti western. A mythic, glorious story with breath-catching prose and artwork I want tattooed on my bare arm.

Highly, highly recommended.

Friday, July 18, 2014

To Each Their Own Till We Go Home

I heard “Turtles All The Way Down” by Sturgil Simpson again this morning. Even if country music hadn’t died under a corporate bootheel and now lives only vegetable existence thanks to twangy, second-rate pop singers, this would still be a kind of perfection.

I've seen Jesus play with flames in a lake of fire that I was standing in
Met the devil in Seattle and spent 9 months inside the lions’ den
Met Buddha yet another time and he showed me a glowing light within
But I swear that God is there every time I glare in the eyes of my best friend
Says my son it's all been done and someday yer gonna wake up old and gray
So go and try to have some fun showing warmth to everyone
You meet and greet and cheat along the way

There's a gateway in our mind that leads somewhere out there beyond this plane
Where reptile aliens made of light cut you open and pull out all your pain
Tell me how you make illegal something that we all make in our brain
Some say you might go crazy but then again it might make you go sane

Every time I take a look inside that old and fabled book
I'm blinded and reminded of the pain caused by some old man in the sky
Marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT they all changed the way I see
But love's the only thing that ever saved my life

So don't waste your mind on nursery rhymes
Or fairy tales of blood and wine
It's turtles all the way down the line
So to each their own till we go home
To other realms our souls must roam
To and through the myth that we all call space and time

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Greatest Television Married Couple

The lovely wife was not feeling very well over the weekend so we watched The Addams Family. No matter how many times I watch episodes of the original television show with John Astin and Carolyn Jones or even the two features films with Raul Julia and Angelica Huston, I’m always struck by the fact that, still to this very day, Gomez and Morticia Addams remain the single greatest married couple that's ever been on television.


Full stop.

End of story.

Seriously. Think about it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Elvis Still Dead

Mick Farren
Still enjoying my slow trip through Mick Farren’s Elvis Died For Somebody’s Sins But Not Mine. Yesterday I came across this little gem:

“Needless to say, alienation was one of the major motivators intended to create the psycho-civilized society that was the authoritarian dream for the second half of the 20th century. The goal was to breed a population that was isolated, uncommunicative, obedient, conformist, and very, very afraid. In some demographics, it worked all too well.”
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