Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pulling a Quote

I'm a kinda guy who likes a pointed quote. There's sensuality drawing sharp words from their sheath in history. Pulling a deep breath, here's a boarding saber from the days of wooden ships:

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

Samuel Johnson

This quote holds an edge. Too, it can be built upon. Religion, nonprofit organizations and a job lot of social causes provide bad people an appearance of being good and a foundation upon which to be crooks and liars.

Seven years residence in Pittsburgh's South Side from 1991 to 1998 brought me visits by the late Samuel Johnson's ghost as rafts of hopeful entrepreneurs predicated their business plans on the environmental movement, the national mass marketing of therapy, and the on the New Age demand for spiritual instant gratification. The beautiful historic neighborhood was a refuge for scoundrels since the steel mill days, and the emerging new economy of air and fibs became a remarkable refuge for so many of the scoundrels that made the place special, insubstantive, hollow, ethically vacant, and outright friendly towards political dirt.

With a very special new president of the United States coming into office real soon it may be good to pour a table spoon of ethical cod liver oil, choke it down, and proceed with the closest thing to honor that can be cleaned out and fortified the old way. This is not a good time to provide refuge for scoundrels, and perhaps it will be a bad time to be one. Better morals may just be the cutting edge.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Milk Me, You Brute

Some time past the age of fifty, men don't become more like women, but do become more like cows. People probably carry a gene for future bovine humanity. In this parable I am caused to believe that men with this gene survive by auspices of institutions, the things for which Pittsburgh is recongnised.

The town is guileless and unthinking as soon as you step off the street and into a church, school, or community council. The non-cows tend to be more like wolves or jackals, as you prefer, and they are usually good enough to confine themselves to outdoors. A lot of the creeps are homeless. Others of them live a rudderless existence in smoke filled casbahs off of East Ohio Street, and I reiterate that these people are rotten scum, but you are never more than a block away from some place full of people who can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag, like a nice flat footed humanitarian aid group advocating for people they are unable to locate.

Well, that's all the meanness I can muster out. My udder is full, it's my milking time, then a nap. Moo.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Closet Executive

Amercan political radicalism was in a downward trajectory for a long time and more of less ended with 9/11. While the radical left spent the past three decades working itself into the main stream, Republicans have done the work of saints in easing right wing fanatics into our more hawkish family of man. We have never been more culturally diverse than now, and never did a better job of hiding it. It's the stuff that uneasy truces are made of.

Now that there is no such thing as an American radical, I have had to confront the problems that go with being an obsolete person. Not at a loss for strategy, I invented a phrase to define the political activist in a two dimensional society below Big Brother's cameras: closet executive.

A closet executive is probably unemployed or marginalized one way or other. Some consultants provide a neat working model. Yet a political activist can make executive decisions and take executive courses of action. If a new view point is wanted, projects such a letter writing campaign could net real outcomes.

Any good executive encourages the growth and development of both business and cultural communities. Even executives who live hand to mouth while supporting the unrecognised cause. The nearest thing to radical is a lone activist campaign to develop alternatives to nonprofit urban renewal. I am proposing a plan intended to create empowerment programs that would grant revenue directly to Pittsburgh homeowners who need the help and who can earn that aid in service to the community.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Eliminate the One Dollar Bill, You Dirty Leaders

Money is dirty. People have touched it. With their hands. With their fingers. They woofed snow up their filthy schnozola with it, and some of what is inside the ghastly organ got on the money.

But worse than this, the paper our bucks are printed on cost a fortune. There are good reasons to eliminate the one dollar bill. If we are going to be made sick by money, it could at least be for a fin or a saw buck. Not to worry. The treasury department has made an amazing discovery: People are honest. All of them. There isn't one single cheat or liar in the United States.

Rather than carry money and exchange it for gum, sex or drugs, people will need only say, "I am thinking of the money you are asking me for. I am picturing that money in my mind right now. Can you see the sum of money I am picturing in my mind?"

In the new emerging economy, the merchant, hooker or career criminal will respond, "Yes, yes, we are sympatico, I see the money you are thinking about, and I accept this clean, valuable currency."

Our leaders are wisely starting small, allowing only one dollar bills to be thought about so fondly. But if it works as well as I know it will, soon twenties, fifties and hundred dollar bills will be transacted in our depraved American minds.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

You can't see it or hear it, where ever you are, friends, other individuals, people who think I'm a jerk, but I am pronouncing, "Tsk, tsk, tsk," while gesticulating. An article found on the Internet pulled the pin out of a metaphysical, imaginary and physically harmless handgrenade that I keep in the prop rooms of cognition. The article claims that vitamins A, C and E are not as good as was once believed. One or all of them could cause untimely death or illness, and I am most especially miffed with vitamin E, for such great hopes had lain on it.

If this new view of vitamins plants in your mind a cold war era loathing and uncertainty then welcome to the club. It is as if the agents of proper nutrition have revealed their dark side. But since it seems that antioxident vitamins don't work as orginally believed, and probably don't lengthen people's lives, there is a matter of civil duty to air.

It has to do with 'free radicals.' When the antioxident vitamins were still honored nutrients, it was believed that they worked their miracles by neutralizing free radicals which were said to be toxic at the cellular level. All X-billion of your body's cells will live longer and happier for the free radicals killed off by anti-oxident vitamins. But 'mais non, mon freres." The vitamins may have lead a Stalinist purge of innocent, productive and morally superior substances inside of you.

The free radicals killed off by vitamins A, C and E could have been the Abbies Hoffman, the Jerries Rubin, the Lennies Bruce of organic matter. I propose that we can not be free and healthy people in a hailing atmosphere of suppression.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bat Freeze

The late Mrs. Flimpton (not her real name) taught fourth grade and she has had a place in the shallow closet of my bungalow. An obit had her peacefully retiring for good at her home a long time ago and she is remembered for playing 45 rpm records during recess. She encouraged dancing, showed us the twist. It was nothing out of school, so to speak, honestly it was more part of charisma, some people have it, such as durable grade school teachers. The phrase 'in the closet' in this case means a realization that Mrs. Flimpton was a great person operating an economically healthy small town, Pennsylvania.

A memory is like a G.I. Joe in the wood box under the bed. Under the futon, if you will. Consider the Batusi because it is an off shoot of the twist that was being introduced on the television show "Batman," fresh as cream. Danny W started doing the Batusi as soon as Batman brought that lively Goldberg Variation of the bar boogie out of, if you will, the all inclusive big closet in the sky.

Kindergarten, Mrs. Dickey.

Kindergarten trustee gets to pass out construction paper. Mrs. Dickey gives instructions and demonstrates tearing a circle, seven inches in diameter, much like her. Class is ordered to stand in a circle inside the austere classroom and tear a circle from the construction paper as much like her sample as we could force from our selves.

I applied the inner forces on it, and recall noticing that I was working faster than the other five year old yardies. I was correcting a long roundish train of errors and making a pile of tiny scraps on the floor. When Mrs. Dickey pushed the button on her stainless steel stop watch everyone froze like sprayed with the Bat Freeze. We were standing in a circle with our circles held out in front of us. My assessment was that my circle was more precise than
those of the hoi-paloi, and was feeling proud of the fuzzy disk. It was among my first memories of institutionalized misperceptions.

Mrs. Dickey hated the pile of scraps at my feet, which pretty well indicted my ass, not that the normal larger type of paper scraps other kids dropped could be impeached, they were the norm. My pile was more like those of a hamster, mia culpa. Also, she detested the size of my circle. Other kid's circles were closer to her size of circle. So they would be more like her in the future. Well shit, I took it pretty good. Mrs. Dickey announced to the class that we would be doing this same circle jerk again in a few months. She invected "And I don't want to see anymore of your little circles," directly to me, then closed her lesson in shredding low grade paper.