Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Politics Unusual

The goofballs are out in force, pretending to have an election and acting as if it mattered. Yippity yip yap zippity zap! Which gang of criminals gets to wreck the country, next four years?

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.”
--Charles Bukowski

1968: The Youth International Party carried the hippies’ love and peace nonsense into federal politics, nominating a live pig for president (“Pigasus the Immortal”) down the street from the Democratic National Convention. Soon cops were conkin’ hippie noggins and baptizing them in tear gas. I was ten and it was on TV. So much for the right to peaceably assemble. Dan Rather and Mike Wallace were roughed up, as was Hunter Thompson:

What I learned, in Chicago, was that the police arm of the United States government was capable of hiring vengeful thugs to break the very rules we all thought we were operating under.”
 from Kingdom of Fear p. 82

Knowing that even a mild threat to the established order will be met with state-approved violence leaves us with this “voting” charade.

If voting could change the system, it wouldn’t be legal
 —bumper sticker on my old old truck.

I vote anyhow, to protest however feebly. First time, 1976, I wrote-in Frank Zappa. After that always “third party,” Angela Davis on the Commie ticket in 1980 and ‘84, a hero.

At a Rainbow Family gathering, I shook the hand of a presidential candidate named Love 22 at a “pot-luck” dinner. Tried to vote for him in Indiana, where no write-in votes were allowed. Dictatorship: vote for whomever you want as long as they’re on the ballot. (He's running again this year! The only clown candidate who doesn’t pretend otherwise.)

I quit voting for a few rounds, it was so obviously pointless. Later, Ralph Nader whenever he ran. Most recently, 2008, Cynthia McKinney, Green Party, still a protest vote. As a Georgia Representative she had openly opposed war in Iraq and was destroyed politically since no dissent is allowed. But she refuses to sit down and shut up. Another hero. Great recent interview here.

So, 2012?

We’re dealing with a real sick, decaying Democratic Party that can’t defend the country against the cruelest, most ignorant, most anti-worker, most war-mongering, most Wall Street–indentured Republican Party in its history, since the 1850s.” --Ralph Nader, last month.

My wife insists that by voting for a third party, I am wasting my vote on a guaranteed loser. But the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil, also wasted. My vote says “I reject your lying script.” A vote for the big two parties is a goofy “Maybe this time’ll be different.”

My son insists my “protest” vote is mocked by the Owners: “Ha-ha, look how many dumb hippies are still around,” or something. His tactic is to not vote, since nothing will change, and I can’t argue. The U.S. has stumbled mostly downhill all my life no matter who was elected. Real political issues are complex; most humanity is too busy, apathetic, lazy, and/or stupid. Politicians scarcely bother to pretend they aren’t whores for the rich anymore.

One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or bad one.” --Henry Miller

Business has always ruled hand in hand with government. Now we have the Interzone, with undeniable updated details of their non-theoretical conspiring. They fixed that by fooling the pre-Google crowd (who vote), and merging into the best government money can buy.

The new electronic voting machines are easily hacked and manipulated (see “How to Rig an Election” by Victoria Collier in the November Harper’s.) Now it no longer matters whether we know, care, or vote, they’ll do as they damn well please.

Third parties are the only real option, I say. We may not win, but at some point, if enough of us defect, the Owners will have to pay attention. Or at least increase their propaganda budget.


My protest vote this season: Stein/Honkala 2012

Also, always on the ballot, plenty of local stuff that might matter if you take the time to figure out who’s lying least.


Some Cheap Ass-Toot Political Yammering:

Difference between the two ruling parties:
Republicans honestly say they plan to kick poor people in the teeth and lick the boots of the rich.
Democrats pretend to want to help poor people, to get elected. Then start kickin’ and lickin’.

Our two-party system is like two horses pulling the carriage of the Owners. Sometimes veering a little left, sometimes right, never leaving the highway to hell. Every child left behind but their own, “devil take the hindmost.”

[Regarding the following: hate is too strong a word. No one is important enough to bother hating, it’s too much like work. Besides, the Prez is mostly just a figurehead for the Owners. So I mean “hate” in the rhetorical, cheap inflammatory TV sound-bite way. And in love, agape not eros, right?]:
If you hated Bush and hate Obama, I understand. Tools of the Owners.
If you hated Bush and love Obama, you are probably admiring the person, his stated principles, and what he represents, not his policies.
If you loved Bush and hate Obama, you probably still have a racist nugget in you somewhere.
If you loved Bush and love Obama, you probably work for a bank, insurance company, or defense contractor.


The only good news is that the fate of the world is always in our hands anyhow. It’s easy: Stop driving, quit wasting, don’t buy any dumb stuff, grow your own food, blah blah blah. Non-violent non-participation in anything. Be kind and generous to everyone, that really "freaks people out" and "blows their minds." Also, the actual democracy of the Interzone makes the Owners very nervous.

Under a freeway. Carefully spray-painted next to this:
“Be warned! The nature of your oppression is the aesthetic of our anger.”

Monday, October 15, 2012

Frontier Justice

Three 12-hour night shifts, three hours hard sleep, then on the road for Law and Order. Last time I was called for Jury Duty, I was busy goofing off and “ditched,” so they sent me a threatening letter. Better go this time. Civic Doody.

Extreme sleep deprivation is a mild hallucinogen. You see things in your peripheral vision that aren’t there, laugh at your cracking dashboard, leak tears over a sappy country song about Amer’ca. This didn’t keep me from speeding--breaking the law--to ensure punctuality.

Always thank gods the Owners keep coffee legal. For the shift worker it is the juice of life. On this day, it was the only thing that kept the van from zipping off cliffs along the winding road over Mingus Mountain to Prescott. That and a couple cigarettes I bummed off the wife, they’re like crack if you hardly ever smoke.

Another country “classic” on the Amplitude Modulation receiver--
”...you still want to hold her, you must not be drinking enough....” (--Earl Thomas Conley.)

Then on the grassy flats near Prescott, Linda Ronstadt singing the Lowell George truck-driving anthem--
”...if you give me weed, whites, and wine
and you show me a sign,
I’ll be willin’...”
A teenage crush, now we’re old, but I’m still willin’ Linda darlin’!

Nowadays we are all assumed to be armed criminals. In my case the grumpy “security” cop confiscated the little pen knife I forgot to leave behind, then made me unfasten my belt, show them the inside of it, and turn around with my shirt pulled up. Later, after a break, the same dance for a grumpy lady cop felt almost lewd. Forgive me, terrified Amer’ca, I prefer the old way: a well-trained, preferably well-paid, well armed cop at the door, giving everyone The Eye. This worked just fine for many decades.

Prescott was the original Territorial Capital after enough Natives were run off or murdered. I was going to research and tell why the Capital moved to Phoenix, but why bother, it’s always about money. Now the old building is a bad-ass old courthouse for Yavapai County. The west men’s restroom on the third floor is huge and marble, bright from a giant window. The glass is lined with wire mesh; expecting well-hurled rocks in 1906 or what?

Helpful hint for potential jurors: get high first, the process is stupefying. (None for me, work checks my wee-wee, I brought a book.) They take roll and read a bunch of rules, twice, slowly. Everyone acts like they’re in church (not the one where they holler and roll on the floor.)

We all got a chance to say why we should not be on the jury. Last, I told ‘em the cement mine had just started full production and I would be working 60-70 hour weeks, all night shifts. “I could do it,” I told the Judge, “but I won’t be no ball of fire.” I was just stating a fact, but the whole court cracked up, and a while later he excused me and a few others. Never underestimate the power of a good laugh. Didn’t have to use my self-important speech about never convicting anyone for a drug “crime" ’cause they’re a cultural and mental health issue.

So in the end, justice was done. Retired people, of which there are plenty here in Olfart County, will serve on the jury and hopefully put only bad guys in jail. The working man gets to work. I ate my peanut butter sandwich on the mountain top, drove the switchbacks home, and slept 12 hours.

“They still fly Old Glory down at the courthouse,”(--Merle Haggard,)
But the Chevy dealer’s got the biggest flag of all!

(And, Merle, insisting that white lightnin’ [illegally distilled booze] is “still the biggest thrill” is an insult to fine distilleries and Haggard Groupies everywhere.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Beware the Cattle Guard!

Beware the Cattle Guard!

A herd trained strictly to guard pasture and stinky ponds has become a marauding bovine paramilitary. Possibly with “Homeland Security.” Presumed to be walking two-legged, toting spears until hoof-operated automatic weapons are developed by moo-cow science. Arizona Citizens: carry identification papers on all back roads. Or a gun, a knife, and a grill.
 (Thanks for the warning, Nathaniel.)

True Tall Tale:

Itinerant miner Ulysses Shoehorn Tobias Pisztov was rattlesnake-bit so many times he eventually learned to simply lie down, enjoy the near-death experience, then go back to work.  

(Found the rubber snake at the bottom of the Grand Canyon years ago, a common ruse to keep crows and squirrels away from unattended backpacks. I carried it home. Roadrunners will fight snakes; recently the roadrunner that lives in my yard attacked and tossed it around, just to be on the safe side.)


Almost Straight

I sewed this button on a tar-stained but unholy work shirt. Took five minutes. A little off kilter, but no one criticizes fashion at a cement mine. Dear lazy sons, especially the one who cinches his belt tighter to hold his pants up since the button fell off: I gave you needle and thread; five minutes of sewing will make your shirt brand new, or, more importantly, keep your britches on. Now it’s on the Interzone, so it’s “cool.” Just Do It!


The Dumb Sayings of Wilhelm von Buellschidt

Born in Alabama to a German mule-skinner and a former “Miss Ethiopia,” Wilhelm’s first words were utter nonsense. An Idiot Savant, or just Idiot, he was awarded a scholarship to Carvard Haulage, from which he graduated 22 years later, with a degree in Hillbilly Engineering Philosophy. His writings sound noble and wise, but they aren’t. Let us take another look at

“Buellschidt’s Sayings”

1. “You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To, If You Just Try Hard Enough.”

You might be able to do some things, even most things, if you try. But not “anything.” For example, young Cheap Dude loved baseball, and decided as a child to be a professional baseball player. He tried, and tried, and tried, and tried to get better at baseball, but never did. Baseball requires excellent vision; Cheap’s eyes require thick glasses. If this Buellschidt saying was correct, Cheap should just keep trying, harder and harder, at 54, because:

2. “You Haven’t Failed Until You Quit Trying.”

Same concept as #1, and just as dumb. When you fail, you fail. Go ahead and keep trying if you want, you might succeed someday. But forever trying, and forever failing, is not heroic perseverance; it’s hard-headed insanity. If I keep trying to play baseball, I still may not have failed, exactly, but I am clearly an idiot for believing that old Buellschidt.

3. “Hard Work Always Brings Success.”

A Buellschidt classic. Hard work always brings hunger, thirst, pain, and exhaustion. Perhaps a meager paycheck, and the satisfaction of doing something useful if by chance you did. Success, sometimes, depending on your definition, your physical and mental fitness, and where you live. (Workers of the World, Unite!)

4. “Freedom Isn’t Free.”

Pure Buellschidt. Freedom is free as the wind. But as soon as people band together for commerce and protection, the price goes up, you give up some freedom for the common good. It gets deadly expensive as soon as one government decides their restrictions on freedom are better than everybody else’s.

5. ”Follow Your Dreams.”

So I should fly a tandem bicycle nude over a full football stadium, with my beloved first grade teacher, while drinking from a five-gallon bottle of vodka? That Buellschidt is crazy! To follow my dreams would mean years of wandering aimlessly through a high school/food market/Grand Canyon hybrid, and, (if their dreams include making it with a creepy old man,) several pregnant supermodels. If you have a worthy goal, by all means pursue it. But following your dreams is only slightly less dumb than following your horoscope.

6. “Love Makes the World Go Round.”

No, the laws of physics do, stupid Buellschidt! Love merely makes our time on this blighted sphere tolerable. Luckily, love is just like physics--free!

7. “It is Better to Light a Scented Candle, Than to Curse the Fart-ness”

OK, we’ll give ‘im that one.


Today's Philosophical Meditation: Holy people are worshiped, but holy shirts are converted to greasy shop rags. A holy mystery.

Today’s Political Analysis: The sad legacy of everyone’s right to bear arms is a lot of armless bears out there. The only practical solution is to arm bears. Amidst the controversy, let us not forget the critical right to bare arms.