Archive for 1996

Garbage In, Garbage Out


17 Oct

bodies

Among Speaking Bodies

samplex

Originally published on October 17, 1996

Just when one thinks that it would be easier to drain all the seven oceans of salty fish nip than to squeeze another drop of self-pity from the rather mundane story of my life, then boom, another couple of notches later, I find feeling as if downing a jar of extra large crunchy Greek olives and sardines is the highest compliment I can pay myself for the failure of another unpersuasive idea...

This morning while taking out an armful of corrugated cardboard recycleables, I broke my left foot, again! I'm beginning to feel like a sad parody of Tim and his annual collarbone. The foot snapped lengthwise with characteristic audible clarity. I was stepping from the house to the front porch and my unfastened sandles slipped to trigger the occasion. Ten minutes later, wincing on the sofa, with vigor and gruff I jump up at Sue's notice that a man is foraging through our big blue plastic, metal, and glass curbside recycle bags. Once at the door I yell that rather than plunder the dozen or so smaller bags neatly packed inside the big blue ones he should just take off with the whole shebang.

Why is it that I have to guess at you breaking a limb? Why make me assume such nonsense rather than just say it out straight 'I broke my GD left femur!' Don't assume anyone in your audience knows all the details so you can discuss such as old news.
He was an older, maybe sixty year old black man, well-attired, did not exude the aura of a lifelong wino (would it matter?), but he immediately shot back that he wasn't gonna leave a mess. He was merely taking a few cans. I stared in dreaded white silence for ten to fifteeen long seconds before telling him to go ahead. I watched him scavenge for coke and beer cans, leaving the glass wine bottles and plastic milk jugs behind as he rummaged for parts of a penny. I took a bag of cans to the plant once and got nine dollars for what must have been a thousand crushed cans some years ago, never again. Ah, as I write this, the truck pulls up and regards the trash, and rather early today. Two pickups ago, they missed our whole street altogether. Dutiful citizen on even numbered years, I called Publics Works for a rescheduling. Three days later the trash was snagged, after I was told to leave the stuff at the curb indefinitely until pickup. Neighbor Chisley did not, and so had quite a mess two weeks later the next time. However, without too much gross exaggeration it is safe to say we sprawl along the curb other Tuesday more than the whole side of this block of Eighteenth Street combined. The scavenger in good news to the scafflaw followed his word, and the curb was nice and neat after he left, so I guess my starring role as the Billy Goats Gruff foul-toothed troll who lives under the bridge to the 21st century is safely undisturbed.

11dirtyfeet

Side Stepping

Despite this leg drop injury I refuse to rush to the hospital, unmoved by the indignity and the expense of THAT trouble. If I hadn't heard the snap, crackle, and pop at the time of the 265 pound stomp and roll I'd even doubt it was broken. I can even put steady weight upon it, and feel arrgglike pain only when I bend, drag or rest it in a bezier curve along the sofa. But the icy and instant numbing at impact and consequent prickly twinges further identify my condition. Ooh well dearies, fortunately it wasn't my ankle or heel. I still have a fine pair of wooden crutches I inherited for $30 from my last left foot catastrophe in September, 1993. The blood vessel knot and prickly numbness will no doubt subside in a few days if I don't aggravate it by jumping for joy if that Apple monitor ever frickin' gets here. Sue suggests the doctor. Says we've got insurance. Uh, workman's comp for injury on the job? I just ain't inner rested. Who will putter around doing the countless manipulations it takes to keep a hint of order around here? Who wants to lug around some ridiculous cast for six weeks. Oh I know. We'll hire a nanny...

Nausea. Sartre. Simpletons and Simon Magus. Surely I am blessed among men...

Oh course soon after writing this note I receive another nasty reply from my next door neighbor Blumstein, who types, (obviously from his workstation on the job, a job he wished upon me as often as the spirit moved him:

Gah Bree Elle,

Why is it that I have to guess at you breaking
a limb. Why make me assume such nonsense
rather than just say it out straight 'I broke my
GD left femur!' Don't assume anyone in your
audience knows all the details so you can
discuss such as old news.

But the reality is that if you did break your
leg, whichever left and/or right, you should
get it professionally set before it heals in
an obnoxious way and must be broken again
to correct it thus fucking it up even more.
God I hate martyrs...

Blum

It was interesting to discover he cared, even if it took the form of a Blumfisted flame.

Well Bob, it wasn't my left femur, but some bone, perhaps the cuboid, in my left foot. You're right. What I thought was obvious—I stepped on my foot wrong, I suppose some folks, yourself included, might presume that I had stumbled so hard and so recklessly that I would have been hurled forward, broken my leg, or even my neck, such is the beastly public image, brimming creative minds like your own have deployed as the real Gabriel Thy. My apologies.

—GT

Acerbic Wit Gone South


15 Oct

bringing-home

Bringing It All Back Home

samplex

Originally published on October 15, 1996

Or just imagine you're speaking to a mute. I've seen Boston Common a couple, well, maybe three times. It seems the southern sibling pair have the upper hand and most of the punchlines, but of course the jokes and the hardships ARE aimed at them. But hey, after Carter & Clinton with brothers and mothers hanging from limb to limb from the less than shady side of the tracks, what can you expect the social parrots to seize upon? Tennessee Williams? William Faulkner? Drunks of an elite sort? Ted Turner? Uh, well, Hanoi Jane seized Ted by the gonads I guess...but, Landry, your rage (hey I am just as southern as you) over peanut patch humor seems ever gently exaggerated. I say this because I LEFT Georgia to escape the redneck posse and the arrogant southern gaff which at the time frightened me more as a fellow southerner (and I was much more genteel in 1983) than an army of angry Negroes on the prowl, or so I thought. I since have grown to miss the good parts of the south, but I also am abruptly reminded of tough love every time I go home and stop at a roadside pisser looking a mite different than the locals would have me look.

Hell, when all one’s friends suggest the bogus mood and intent of failure is all I am, can be, should be, I guess after a while that’s all the wit I’ve got in the crapper. I only hope I make it out of my DC period.
The irony is, particularly since from earliest childhood and teenage sibling mythmaking hours curled up around a Dr. Pepper in a crystalballing projection, I the oldest and the smartest, was SUPPOSED to grow up with the handsome pipe in mouth and patches on my elbows professorial look. Be mayor of my hometown. Be rich, a lawyer, and a philanthropist. Instead I am a bitter old fog with a belly Bull Connor would envy, bad teeth and a scraggly beard James Dickey had in mind when he wrote Deliverance, nary a day in college nor a dime to my name, so embarrassed about my appearance and paranoid about the criminal element in the hood that I am afraid to leave the modest ghettohouse my wife struggles to pay for. Now THAT is what is called NOT living up to one's potential...

The road not taken. Or just another sappy success story. You pick 'em.

So mirror mirror on the wall, is art my saving grace at all, or is this dribble just another blind alley and a terribly blind date.

The billion dollar baby question is why am I clutchingly afraid to produce anything. With a post pedigreed background like mine I am no less a fingerpainting in the mud than some new Pat Conroy in the making, but I have nothing to show for all my grief or imagination. Aborted novel. Aborted poems. A web site not worth the monthly fees, much less an audience. Hell, when all one's friends suggest the bogus mood and intent of failure is all I am, can be, should be, I guess after a while that's all the wit I've got in the crapper. I only hope I make it out of my DC period.

GT

"I fought with my twin, that enemy within, 'til both of us fell by the side..."
—Bob Dylan

Dollhouse Charms


13 Oct

dollhouse

The Dollhouse Grillyard

samplex

Originally published on October 13, 1996

Anecdotes on the grill, hip-hugging and pressure cooked people sprawled about the deck with all sorts of psychoses just a spoon feed away. All told, it seems everyone left with a pleasant evening under their belts after chortling on cheese dip, assorted dishes and the chow din of new acquaintences.

Bob and Peter had never met. Michelle was new goth bird. Allie announced she was moving in with Bob, saving $800 a month, helpful since she too is leaving Columbia Research for greener pastures, that is to say, her hunt for that illusive green card, saying that CR has a long record of hiring aliens but dropping the ball on green card sponsorship.

The gathering began late, which of course threw off my own psychological equilibrium for most of the early part of the day since I had hoped for an early start, early end, but things softened and turned to a generalized sense of fun once Peter and Michelle arrived sometime shortly after 1730hrs.

The afternoon heat chilled rather quickly, finally underpinning the autumnal ambience to the other seasonal changes visible in the sheets of orange-brown leaves blanketing the backyard matched by the brilliant, cascading angles of the fading sun.

Peter got a call this morning suggesting he’s still in queue for a job interview at, I think, one of the places he’s interned. That’s timely, since we mildly roasted Peter the last hour of last night’s gathering focussing on his need to find a job because neither he nor we are rolling in web business yet, and in order to really be worth his ambition in GSIS stock, he needs to improve his own skills and speed with practice, not on my time and dollar, but on his own.
Bob was cheerful all night long. He and Peter gloried in their common interest in comic books and Japanese animation. Allie unloaded her greencard woes in her horrible English tongue which is less a mumble than a slippery slur of half-formed syllables. But she too was cheery, even as the night pushed late into the mind, curled into her chair, snuggled into sweatshirt sleeves intent on listening to the banter of the boys. Michelle didn't talk much, not that she's shy or inarticulate, but with a full deck of notorious chatterers on board, she politely played it safe. She's a psychology major at Purdue, and was markedly endearing as she also curled in her chair, tilting her head in such a way as to communicate an adoration for Peter whenever he took to the common soapbox.

But she's no mere fawn. Peter had burned some bacon earlier that afternoon, and when Sue suggested the microwave was a saner choice for the chore, Peter of course started in with his own variation of Shipwreck rationale.

Michelle surnamed Carnes as in Kim no relation, immediately backed Sue as Peter mumbled off into that land of geez, can't I ever be right about something, even when pushing the I'm wrong about nothing spin cycle. Maybe not. Perhaps I'm being ever slightly unfair for the sake of a short line of bull. Admittedly, I wasn't there in the kitchen, although at one point I nearly bolted from my chair to race upstairs as my complaint-driven pathos peeled back the stench of newly formed carbon gathering in my ever sensitive nostrils, but Sue witnessed to me later, and I have no problem imagining that when she said he started explaining something about hot grease and the natural water in the bacon combining to blacken it, he was pulling a big time, uh, well you know what I mean. This a been a banner weekend. Had a swell time on the bay feasting with the three Spence dolls plus Pitch. I'm sure this topic has come up before but I forget your opinion on crabs. I would imagine Philly to be a great place for the critters, even while somewhat overshadowed by the world famous Philadelphia cheesesteak culture.

Peter got a call this morning suggesting he’s still in queue for a job interview at, I think, one of the places he’s interned. That’s timely, since we mildly roasted Peter the last hour of last night’s gathering focussing on his need to find a job because neither he nor we are rolling in web business yet...
Shorthand Kenny Sacks, sports fan primo, now in Seattle... I just timed out to ring him, but got the machine, formerly of Philly, still raves about how much he misses the Philly steak of his youth. His mom once had promised to ship him a crate of the whole steak-n-cheese enchilada, bread, meat, cheese from a local distributor just to ease his homesickness and taste bud deprivation after he moved out there a couple, well, maybe three years ago now. Don't know if that panned out, but it was a nice motherly gesture.

His mom is a dear, a small hairspray-blonde Jewish cabana queen who looks and talks like she just stepped out of a Seinfeld episode. She kept trying to feed us sweets from the fridge. One year our colleague in the online fantasy baseball league wimped out in getting our Phillies tickets. She bailed us out with her influence, calling the front office, seating us in the best seats we'd ever had over the four games Sue and I had shared with the Nuthouse Gang, right near home plate just a few rows up and a few seats down the first base line behind the net.

Peter and Michelle are gone for the day. They'll sup at his parent's house tonight, and she'll fly back to Indiana tomorrow afternoon. Peter got a call this morning suggesting he's still in queue for a job interview at, I think, one of the places he's interned. That's timely, since we mildly roasted Peter the last hour of last night's gathering focussing on his need to find a job because neither he nor we are rolling in web business yet, and in order to really be worth his ambition in GSIS stock, he needs to improve his own skills and speed with practice, not on my time and dollar, but on his own.

No feelings were unduly trampled, and I feel the exchange was blithely enlightening, as he admitted that he has often been chastised for a lack of speed and creativity in his work, and is hoping to improve on these fronts in time. I'm committed to helping him where and when I can, but he must certainly begin to pull his weight in some area, and for now that appears to be simply paying the agreed upon rent, and then working to improve his skills in areas that we both can exploit so that he indeed can become a healthy factor in the growth potential of Graphic Solutions Ink Systems and CYFII, his own company. In other words, we're each still operating in good faith.

GT

Early Riser


11 Oct

wesamplex

Originally published on October 11, 1996

Today's Sue's 47th birthday. She's still asleep. I ache all over with a variety of old age outa shape self-abuse seasonal change ailments. Sinus. Pinched nerves. Left earbuzz half death and in a state of perpetual ringing caused at the Zodiac Mindwarp show in London [in '92]. Brain tumors. Colon cancer. The works.

Richard is leaving today on his way to Philadelphia to visit an old friend berfore returning to Georgia. It's been a rather enjoyable three days, but I think we've gone as far as we can go. He'll be seventy in February, has a classical art fetish, and knows little about the 20th century other than what he can remember from yesterday's news, although he has recently redeveloped his fondness for the Beatles. He gave us a nude he painted. The model is a Southern Baptist virgin schoolteacher he likes to tell for the laugh, although he actually paints from pictures in magazines or photographs he has taken. In this case, the former method was used. His style is impressionistic much in the fashion of Renoir, whose works the two of us took in at the Phillips Collection earlier this week.

I'm rather peeved that my fancy monitor hasn't arrived yet. If it doesn't show today, Apple's three week delivery projection will have been proved bogus. Meanwhile, the 8500 just sits on the table unattached. Of course, I recall your PC sat in the box for quite some time before you developed the right combination of enough interest, nerve, and need to string it all together...

Appreciated your last letter as usual. Everybody's beginning to stir, so I 'll sign off and join them...

Love and other short whiffs of similar stench,

Gabriel

Wading the Shallow End Of The Gene Pool


08 Oct

anoldman

The Assumption

samplex

Originally published on October 8, 1996

Yeah, I read about the code, haven't used it either, or have I? Wait a minute, seems I did, but it flubbed, or no, I found a page that linked it, but my viewer did not register the change, yes that's it, and I never dwaddled around trying to find out why.

Do you have to put in a full day today? The 8500 is in the shop. They ordered a new logic board which will be delivered on Monday. Hopefully that fixes it, and by the middle of NEXT week I'll be busying reloading software into the bubba box in native POWERMAC CODE.

Left foot has swollen up like an elephant's tootsie, but I'm hobbling around pretty good, yet without stamina. Upstairs, downstairs both feet give out in short order, and I don't want to aggravate too much these poor dogs with 265 pounds of brute force hunkering down onto them one step at a time. No red streaks up my calf, no hint of internal bleeding or other catastrophic parlay.

Woke from a bizarre dream this morning. Starts with Sue and I seemingly younger, she pregnant and bulging, me tattooed and as rich in ugly righteousness as I put to the camera today, strolling into a staid smalltown church of about forty people in the middle of the service. The whole batch of them stop their hymnsinging to turn and stare like idiots in the breeze. We sit sheepishly at the very back in a section of those common metal fold-out chairs behind the last pew although there is plenty of room in the the pews, but why make presumptions?

The stark surroundings of the church prompt me in the dream to question Sue in self-conscious whisper if this were indeed a Methodist church (Sue's heritage. I was raised primarily in a High Episcopalean diocese.). I looked around and saw that the pews were liberally integrated. Several Negro faces. Several Asian faces. Maybe even a Hispanic face. I was counting, just noticing the rainbow. All were visibly shocked by our arrival. I checked for dress code violations. Several men were without jacket, just short sleeves and ties, just as I was wearing, but none sported tattooes of course.

Perhaps it was only the extreme tardiness of our intrusion, for the service soon ended, the offering plates passed. I noticed I was carrying a fistful of change in my hand and as I dropped it into the plate the jingle of coin skirting over coin was long and impressive to several who were charting our every blink. The offering was the last event of the service, and since we were in the back of the church right next to the door, gawking folk were beginning to file past us with oooohs and aaaahs at the clink clink of what seemed an endless stream of coins dropping from my closed fist.

I know this kind of dream. I never win. This is the eternal chase, one confrontation after another with no clear resolution. I am never fast enough to fully escape nor fast enough to catch a culprit when in a rare twist I am in pursuit of them. A variation on the roadrunner and coyote theme no doubt. Thousands of these futile dreamchase scenes have logged in my head over the years, childhood and adult. The best resolution is simply to wake up. And I did. But the feelings I felt in protecting a pregnant Sue were quite warm and fuzzy. I was particularly touched by that portion of the dream...
The first to speak was a black man that I had to look up to see, although I recognized the voice, and then the face as the wizened but genteel man who played the boss in the fact-checking department of a big publishing house on the shortlived Herman's Head sitcom, a black man, who simply said to me, "Hello Gabriel, it's good to see you here."

It was at this point that I knew that this was not the beginning of the dream at all because prior to the church scene, this black man (wish I could remember his name on Herman's Head, or better yet his real name, but only Bernard comes to mind, and uh, that's my neighbor Chisley's given) had greeted me as the principal in a typical highschool scenario as I registered there.

Geez, back in highschool, but married with pregancy, seeking refuge in a bland Methodist culture...a wacky dream, but it doesn't end here. After this first greeting, my polite smile, a knowing nod, I am still cha-chinging coins but finally empty my palm just as some other black man comes dashing through the foyer door to where I am now standing with a shout directed straight into my face, "Now I KNOW God made Jesus a white man!"

I take this in, and squinch up my face before retorting, "No, Jesus was a Jew in diapers." Everyone in the now-crowded foyer hushed and turned the phrase over in their minds. I stared straight at Herman's boss, principal and deacon one might suppose, as he repeated it out loud with full affirmation, and I feel welcomed at last, and the dream then shoots to a pool scene. By the way, the Herman's head dude is not the preacher. A white man of no consequence suited up in that role, but his was a nearly silent part in the dream, but obviously this other character was the center of respect in this exchange.

The pool scene was a drag. Outsiders, insiders, debutantes, jocks, nerds, inepts, me and a preggy goodlooking Sue slippery and machiavellian in god-issued trunks and bikinis. The pool was huge, larger than most but certainly no football field. Positioning, bravado, and social powerplay the only game in town. Kids I recalled now from a quickscan of the schoolyard when I'd signed up earlier just before the church scene were all here. There were a series of poolwater confrontations in the dream, but none I recall clearly except the last one, when a secondary member, maybe third or fourth lieutenent down the dominant male rich kid insider's hierarchy suddenly announced he was well on his way to notching Sue, and there was nothing I could do about it because she'd agreed to swim as his partner in the"big race".

I knew it was time to wake up. I know this kind of dream. I never win. This is the eternal chase, one confrontation after another with no clear resolution. I am never fast enough to fully escape nor fast enough to catch a culprit when in a rare twist I am in pursuit of them. A variation on the roadrunner and coyote theme no doubt. Thousands of these futile dreamchase scenes have logged in my head over the years, childhood and adult. The best resolution is simply to wake up. And I did. But the feelings I felt in protecting a pregnant Sue were quite warm and fuzzy. I was particularly touched by that portion of the dream...

I do love her even if I am sterile and next to talentless, without money, a job, a future, a backup plan, well actually all I have are plans. Why she loves me is still the mystery dance my dreams have not revealed...

GT

The Golem Line


04 Oct

line

Line of Credit

samplex

Originally published on October 4, 1996

Or art was never meant to be taken off the shelf. This morning I awoke at 10 AM after channel tobogganing until the wee moments of early. Fifteen seconds into my new morning a power spike kills the fan and several scattered appliances around the house. Well, not killed, but put down for a sleep while men at work raid the street for quick fixes, but the Hollywood timing of it was a mindblower.

In the past thirty days this is the fourth major brownout on this section of Eighteenth Street. I find it odd that the brownout only affects part of the house. After all, we have our own breaker box, and I presumed we had single feed into the house. Hope it doesn't spread to the computer room as I write this. Timing is a sharp stick since we all know Lucifer is the author of time. Speaking of Lucifer, this morning I also pick up Blum's book, A HISTORY OF THE JEWS for the first time in weeks and was juiced by the page I'd bookmarked when last I read from it.

I had not finished my Liberty Lobby piece I'd started a few days earlier. Kevin Kreider is an old drinking pal, part of the Jack Johnson, Rob Bussius, Tim Shipman, Jim Benjamin, Priscilla Winters, Gabriel Thy and BS routine at its most regular interval from the Forestville warehouse era of 1992-1993. He & Rob Bussius (now married and serving Uncle Sam as a paratrooper stationed in Hawaii) have worked at Liberty about fifteen years between them. Young Kevin is Jewish, has writerly aspirations, and his pretty wife just had their first child. We call him Young Kevin because of his slight but handsome stature.

When I mentioned to Tim about the D'Sousa reference to Liberty I plunged into some speculation of Kevin's employment there, tossing out the line that no doubt he's a planted spy who reports back to the B'nai Br'ith Anti-Defamation League. I've been down there a few times with the two boys of Liberty, even unsuccessful applying for a job there myself at the insistence of Bussius, and reinforced by Avril Shipman, Tim's kindly mom, who gave me a contact name. Turns out they weren't hiring was the response I got over the phone. I dropped the chase, but it's a quaint friendly office located at Third and Independence, SE, right in the heart of Capitol Hill, so to speak. Jarred to realize that a barely concealed form of white supremacy was not only alive and kicking in this raging country, but, how damned really close I am to it, begged the question then, as to why not? In the knowledge of all these other rather militant groups in opposition, any other opinion would be stupid and politically corrupt...

A twisted question of personal cowardice keeps me both near and far on the issue of race to say much on the topic. Stating principles, everybody loses. Silence is kept, nobody wins. But I will have to wait until the beast shows itself. That's the only clue I have. The beast will show itself, so I wait. While discussion is hushed up, I realize this will immediately—in a so-called politically correct black ascendancy culture—brand me a foul racist type from the south, must have something to hide. Nonsense. I simply have no to add to the conversation. So I wait. Go figure, shameless finger-pointing lemmings. Might as well be albatrosses the good they provide the nation.

Page 262 from AHOTJ: “It was the sages who let the devils into Judaism. The difficulty was, of course, despite the Bible’s condemnation of sorcery, and despite the Judaic belief that all actions were willed by God alone, ruling out any kind of dualism…

“There were not many devils in the Bible, but they did exist: Mevet the death-god, Lilith the child-stealer (sometimes an owl), Reshev the plaugue-god, Dever, another sickness-god, Belial, a sort of devil-commander, satan, leader of the anti-God forces, Azazel, the scapegoat-god of the wilderness. So the invasion of Judaism by devils over the period of 150 BC to 300 AD had some precedents. Needless to say, [High Priest] Hillel could understand devil language too. Devils varied greatly, though according to Issac of Acre, they all lacked thumbs. Some, like Satan and Belial, were formidable, serious…

“To combat these devils, an army of angels came into existence. These too had biblical sanction in some cases. Angels like Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Metatron had special alphabets, derived from ancient cuneiform writing or obsolete Hebraic scripts, the letters often containing small circles which looked like eyes. These letters were put on amulets and other charms to magic away devils. Or they could be driven off by pronouncing special combination of letters. One such was the name of the devil in Aramaic, which was given as abra-cadabra…

“Letter combination magic, performed by using the secret names of God and the angels in special formulae, was known as ‘Practical Kabbalah’. In theory only men of great sanctity could, let alone should, exercise this white magic. In practice, protective charms were mass produced and circulated freely in the ghetto. There was also black magic, invoked by manipulating the ‘unholy names’. According to the Zohar, the sources of this forbidden magic were the leaves of the Tree of Knowledge in the Book of Genesis…

“The most stupendous piece of magic was the creation of a golem, an artificial man into which a ba’al shem, or Master of the Name, could breathe life by pronouncing one of the secret divine names according to a special formulae. The idea derives from the creation story of Adam, but the actual word occurs only once in the Bible, in a mysterious passage in the Psalms. However, Talmudic legends accumulated around the golem. Jeremiah was said to have made one. Another was made by Ben Sira. From the fifteenth to the seventeeth centuries the notion gathered force, so that the ability to make a golem was attributed to any many of outstanding sanctity and kabbalsitic knowledge. The golem was brought to life to perform a variety of tasks, including defending Jews from their gentile enemies. In theory, a golem came to life when God’s secret name, with the letters arranged in the correct order, was put into its mouth; it was deactivated by reversing the the name. But a golem occasionally got out of hand and ran amok—thereby generating a new layer of terror-tales…”

As we are the hollow man of TS Eliot, we are all golems, and the acronymics, go fish! The porridge is always spoiled by too few or too many cooks...

The primary question being, had I already read the page before bookmarking, or had I finished the previous page, bookmarked the next page as is usually my habit in this matter, or is all this only so much blarney, irrelevant to anything anybody anywhere needs to know, or may find mildly amusing, or self-incriminating? It's not like we have loss of life or limb anywhere among us to date...

Working Towards Collapse: A Chinese Finger Puzzle


03 Oct

Working Towards Collapse

Working Towards Collapse

samplex

Date: Thurs Oct 03 04:54:43 1996

As I think so I do. What is THAT all about? Thinking I know or can control the hour of my demise provides me no extra power or strength or talent or conspiratorial edge to pull it off. Believing I never consciously tell a lie to a person, corporation, or government agency hardly makes it so. Believing the government can solve the plethora of social problems generated by poor or intolerable parenting at home better than the private sector is just as false if I sign a piece of paper confirming I am a Democrat or a Republican or a member of the Communist or Nazi Parties...liberty is the oxygen of productive citizenship among the mundane as well as the splendid splinters who own the bases, the fences too. And Biggie, well he's no pugilist, just a sweet fluffy lumpkin, and shows no sign of a streak of meanness or any other feral tendencies we observe in the high-stepping Truman. It's all in the latter's muscular shoulders. Effingham, I can smell your excitement from over 'ere. From your massive feudalistic top down plan you no doubt think you have me pinched up against the equatorial wall with the absentee parents problem, don't you? It's in our nature to think well of ourselves and our plans. Well, I'm going to just let you enjoy that measure of satisfaction for a moment while I take another tact in laying out the fuller issue at hand for you. It's really not that complex. So Eff, you and your boys had better relax while you can. Tell Forsyth to loosen a button. With his fingers, not with that Bavarian smile he brings to the chart table. And bring Corporal Longbolder in from the mud docks. That's no way to break Lent. Call his wife to bring her usual weights to meet him at the gate as he re-enters the state. Just make sure this time he's properly decontaminated.

Tuesday, 0600 Romeo. Gripping the thick set of notes his immediate superior had tossed onto Eff's regulation neat desktop as he departed, Captain Charles Earl Effingham is puzzled why it is that the operational things we think only take us so far, while the rest is up to the fist or who you can impress through sex appeal or physical toughness? He had long dismissed crazy half-baked theology for the smooth operations of his military post, but times were changing faster than he could keep up. The military as he knew it was changing, and he didn't like it, not one bit. Should an idea take root in infertile soil, is this a miracle or hard work with emphasis on the probabilities? What about you, Private Ware? Anything to add to this discussion? For instance, is any soil truly infertile, even the contaminated and inert stuff? Dirts and soils, unlike men and women, evolve optimum relationships to nature. Maybeeeee I am wrong about men. Define irony at the atomic level. If when tired I am still inspired, is this a good, bad, or ugly thing? Is any soil truly infertile to its inverse proportion that it is a soil horizon and not something closer to another idea or thing (to peel back the Bill Williams onion), running its game under another name: sand, silt, clay, peat? Rock, stone, oil. Dirt unlike salty men evolve optimum existential relationships to nature. Men flounder, lose trust, betray, play the numbers poorly. Perhaps, I am wrong about soil. Real estate law insists that land never loses face value, only improvements do. In my lifetime, I will see this proven false, I just know it. Define irony without an appeal to some measure of accumulative error and I will show you a field without dreams. Man returns to the soil from whence he arrived, and yet, perhaps we should ask if man is an improvement, an impertinence, or a mere integer without intrinsic value except in terms of accumulative error divided by the sums of its parts. Men fight over soil, and while soil can and will fight men, quaking and rolling, it almost always fights beneath the feet of men, but just as dangerous once it sneaks into the bloodstream. Only one thing is certain, value shifts between soil and men are temporary claims which makes the game so risky to man, and of little value to soil which is always shifting, and statistics on both are just dots on the matrix of time. Fuels rustling in the dead heats of ancient fire. If uninspired when completely comfortable, what is THIS all about? There are some things a poet puts in his own back pocket. There are others he puts in hers, and with a vertical laugh, he whispers to her but it turns out like a grunt as he's sliding it in as if punching a time clock, he's working towards collapse. As time would have it, he means one thing. She senses something else entirely.

Understanding that one plus one equals two, why does one more make three? One times itself is nothing more than itself, but adding one to itself, we come closer to the relationship of the bumble and the bee in this man's army. Apologies, ma'ams. We won't mention birds in this context of seeking justice, and punishment for the guilty to avenge the innocent and the weary. EDgar case predicted ow te world would turm upside dowm, fippimg om its axis.Think of all the involuntary movements that enter numbers for duty in this calculation. More fun to run in an endless traceless race against the dead heats of ancient fire, but I think I just lost that argument to a hot-aired leftist with a balloon full of bubbles kept secret from the bean counters. Besides identity can never be added to or multiplied by itself without unfurling a conundrum, but I think this is why America is so very confused right now. I lied on my contract with myself, so dub me an epicurean who works outside the box regarding personal issues. Like the good admiral John Paul Jones. I choose to know only simple things like who am I and why am I here? Are not these the basics building blocks of a life's work on this white continent? The basics we find simple, even fundamental to help sweep our minds clean of certain residue leftover from the purple grains of racial contentment. Siblings or cousins, they put to us, as if offering us the choice between a slice of pecan pie or lemon meringue. First things being first, if I multiply myself do I remain the same as if multiplying permits a clone? If I multiply 6 times 3, eighteen is neither a clone of six or three, but one. Silly I know, but have you ever read the instruction manual of a programmable calculator? Back to the puzzle. Should I add myself to myself, do I become of two minds, nine or eighteen? Is it Wittgensteinian to question the mark at the end of this sentence, which for obvious reasons must remain gutless...

She made these self-deluded statements on the Derek McGinnety (sp?) Show on WAMU radio a couple of weeks ago. I was in the unfortunate audience. My longstanding pleasure rejecting federal grant monies was rocked by her arguments about art subsidies. It's a discipline thing that keeps on giving, she says, as I distill. Damn, I was indeed moved by her logic. Yet her gall still floors me as she added, and of course the quote marks are bogus as I again paraphrase but only somewhat, "Cutting art funding is racist. The arguments about not enough money are bogus. There is always money for this or that. Computers? What is THAT about?"
From the Guy Kawasaki file. True or false, he taunts: Managers would rather delegate problems that cannot be solved than empower subordinates to implement solutions that cannot be understood. He continues: "Pity the poor echidna. Captain William Bligh documented this animal's existence on a voyage to Australia in 1793. (This was a trip Bligh and a small number of loyal crewmen had taken after having been "right-sized" from the BOUNTY.) The echidna is an egg-laying anteater that combines reptilian and mammalian characteristics likes its relative the duck-billed platypus. "Because it exibited reptilian characteristics such as laying eggs, biologists in the early 1880s typecast the echida as primitive—not quite up to the standards of us mammals. These bilogits ignored one minor detail: the echidna has a very large brain for its body size.

"We can surmise that these biologists cherished their precious theory: reptilian equals primitiveness. This theory was so powerful that it prevented them from seeing an obvious and myth-shattering fact: the echidna's big head. Retrofitting a popular riddle, we might ask, 'Which came first—the brain or the egg?' The answer for biologists in the 1800s was clearly the egg. Like these biologists, business people can become prisoners of conventional wisdom, traditional methods, and the holiest of mismanagement litanies: 'This is the way things have always been done." My message: Resist the known and defend the unknown. Switching from biology to..."

Trumpets. Gold. Now does gold trumpet its appearance like so many fameseekers man has produced, or does it just exist, sprawled across the bed, inert? Gold is like a boring lay since Pliny the Elder. Laid within a manger, the ultimate manager of fools, Jesus changed his name from Emmanuel, and the world forgot. The early Macintosh was spelled McIntosh, but Apple was forced to change it, but before that grand illusion, there was a configuration originally called Lisa. Poor Lisa. Lost her whammy to the Mac. Forgetting that time is just another number, age becomes the deciding decoding factor in the youth culture which promises itself the same promises at least a dozen generations before them promised in spades. Has someone sued for lack of original thought yet? Language as redemption. I only WISH I could talk like a kitten. Money buys its own safety, but safety buys nothing money can own. Sometimes, I feel like Ben Franklin, but gawd what a fat twisted turnkey he was, no wonder is son William was such a frothing benchwarmer...somebody needs to confront Felicia Rashad on her comments about the computer industry. She made these self-deluded statements on the Derek McGinnety (sp?) Show on WAMU radio a couple of weeks ago. I was in the unfortunate audience. My longstanding pleasure rejecting federal grant monies was rocked by her arguments about art subsidies. It's a discipline thing that keeps on giving, she says, as I distill. Damn, I was indeed moved by her logic. Yet her gall still floors me as she added, and of course the quote marks are bogus as I again paraphrase but only somewhat, "Cutting art funding is racist. The arguments about not enough money are bogus. There is always money for this or that. Computers? What is THAT about?"

I'd bet Dave could have used the same information. But somehow, I forget now, I knew Dave was not privy to this roving free range nymphomaniac card Shirley that afternoon bragged about passing to complete strangers, albeit mostly sailors and air corpsmen she and her husband knew and vetted through his E-5 PO2 desk rank. Dobbins AFB was a big place but Shirley'd found what she thought was the perfect way to make it feel even bigger. At least, we were G building stack neighbors—Harban on top, Nix on bottom, just like this fuck. Given the annual Thunderbirds Air Show was scheduled for that weekend I admit yours was one fine feathered sack I fell into that afternoon. I'd seen a Blue Angels air show once when I was a youngster in the Boys Scouts Troop 219 down at Glynco back when it was still a naval air station. Got to crawl inside one of the stationary jets afterwards. As a salute to perfect timing I never saw you again.
Girlfriend, GET a clue. Computers are about the end of time as we know it. What exactly causes a series of word links to race across the finish line of a completed thought? Armageddon of the Almighty brings us closer to both God and the devil. I love Jack and Jack loves me, but I think this analogy frightens us both to the point of a designated conversational nix. Well, a one-sided event multiplied by itself is still one-sided. Added to itself it an event, a single, seemingly detached event becomes a clue doubled over, much more powerful than a mere echo of eggs still in the basket. Easter is a lovely depravity. Who am I when on first, the egg, or the sperm? Both. Dual nature. Gabriel coagulated on Christmas Day, 1954, squeezed out on September 26, 1955, nine months and a day later, as a sign of the ushering in of the age of rock and roll. Not everybody can say this, and mean the same thing I mean, and it follows that Jesus was a Libra, not a Capricorn. Yom Kippur. Yessir, we brake for atonement, children, dogs, falling kites, bridge trolls, indigenous snakes, religious dissidents, foreign nationals. Interrogating the flocks in the asylum fields, the men were kind as they removed our bandages. Ninety-nine versus the one. The still white heat of the perfect messiah, the questioning messiah. The salt marsh imperfect. And we toss the junket to that jerk who invented common numbers in common with uncommon numbers, only to mistreat millions who sought a taste, the banana cartel mechanic wrote into his Nissan pocket notebook. Carrion Funds and its first rung media sources made much of Aloysius Alzheimer's later work on brain pathology in the implementation of Nissl's method of silver staining, in a playful scoop not dissimilar to a George Carlin routine, but many were not convinced of anything much beyond their next line of code. Do the language dude. Fear of flying? Does this mean I am predestined to NOT make the cut on rapture day? And are we sure it won't happen over the six o'clock news, with a LIVE FEED? These two times are congruent only in their outcome, but not at the starting gate. Do the math, screamed the soiled mechanic from Stumptown, VA, who had been recently identified as drunk on upmanship while on duty, which, given his big head and long record at the shop, was deemed a multiplier not a sum, a relief to the tiny community nestled at the foot of the Butterfly Mountains. Not to be outdone, I simply replied, "A hops man, myself." Why haven't the feminasties and their therapeutic hordes abandoned the word: w-o-m-a-n?* Can we not agree that swapping a "Y" for an "A" is hardly a clarifying solution to what ails these daring harbingers? To change the subject, let us suggest that facts are like fantasies. The more rare they are, less one tends to share them with others. So maybe it will be rapture night, or as is frequent with biblical a day is equal to a year or an age...

Shirley knew, after spreading her warm but nasty harbinger around the entire commissary, then to the rest of the base, all behind Dave's back, she was born to seduce me, although speculative math proves nothing as long as free will remains a constant, except that men are easy pickings, and we know this is mathematics enough for rock and roll. Said she'd wanted to fuck me ever since the first time she saw me as I moved from the top floor unit seventy-five yards across the parking lot from the backside of J Building to the frontside ground floor apartment in Bldg. G two Decembers before, though years later I'm more convinced my fifteen minutes of game (more like ten) under tiny thin-lipped chain-smoking Shirley had to have been a called audible that convinced her bellwether cunt she was only interested in herself. At least she were bold enough to put it into words, gasping to my 23-year old face that she were done and that was all that mattered to her as she fell off my still throbbing and not yet ejaculated cock, rushing to throw on her usual jeans and tee with the excuse she had to pick up her kid from day care now because Dave was coming home early that afternoon. I'd bet Dave could have used the same information. But somehow, I forget now, I knew Dave was not privy to this roving free range nymphomaniac card Shirley that afternoon bragged about passing to complete strangers, albeit mostly sailors and air corpsmen she and her husband knew and vetted through his E-5 PO2 desk rank. Dobbins AFB was a big place but Shirley'd found what she thought was the perfect way to make it feel even bigger. At least, we were G building stack neighbors—Harban on top, Nix on bottom, just like this fuck. Given the annual Thunderbirds Air Show was scheduled for that weekend I admit yours was one fine feathered sack I fell into that afternoon. I'd seen a Blue Angels air show once when I was a youngster in the Boys Scouts Troop 219 down at Glynco back when it was still a naval air station. Got to crawl inside one of the stationary jets afterwards. As a salute to perfect timing I never saw you again. Within two weeks I was packing off to Big Texas to start making the biggest money of my life to date. Such was my changing luck in February, 1978. Smyrna was in the past now. That apartment would become the home of siblings; no word from Shirley arban again. My path had been set before me.

Taking a bullet and taking a cold for you are two different energies, ma'am. But I also know the only way to get the point across a circle is to throw it like a heavyweight title fight. It doesn't take much insight to realize the iron horse is more than a sum of its rail drinks. That much is cold science. The spice elephant and his pachyderm sister deserve better treatment than they have received at the hands of bitter swarthy men in these latter periods where once the proud beast was celebrated with great cultural awe and tradition. Today, that tradition is rote, and any awe is delinquent, and more apt to be pulled from a bucket of itching powder. Men are slow to change unless it's to die for, while women change every day.
This certainly applies to writing, interrupted Tom. When questioning Darwin, Tom insists I don't understand the enormity of time. I suppose he does, given he's a vocal member of the Russ Braen wing of the Dupont Circle-Mt. Pleasant considerati (formerly, the DCMP Freethinkers Society of 1967), and the number of legacy donations he's bestowed upon it. Tit for tat. It's long been rumored that when Tom Howell speaks it's all hands on deck, or get zapped back to the Mother Ship. Mother, if Mom suffices, why do you bother with the other? There are times I think on purpose and there are times I cannot stop. My question, sir. Are those two points in time initiated from the same congruency? Do the math, screamed the aeolist drunk on uppers and oneupmanship. Why haven't the feminasties abandoned the word: w-o-m-a-n and replaced it with willpower? Tit for tat. If one figgers a wigger is not a ni**er on the trigger why scramble for a bigger chigger in the woodpile? Rather we'd rig her routing gears for each rocker along the first set of stones timed to sinners as blood is to beer.

Facts are like fantasies. It takes one to know one. After a naked lunch break along the tabby walls of Dungeoness, there's one less goose egg to fry. Tit for tat. In all honesty, I can't believe I am delivering this to you, Frau Viperschaden, but my disbelief is as illogical as your own I'm sure you'd agree. The sun sets around 'ere on a fisherman's wink. Our island is groom to a cascade of astonishing celestial lights from the intracoastal banks out into the sounds at both the northern and southern tips. The unsettled sun fumes and cackles, heats the system for breakfast, and sums the days of our scientific year, giving up on voluptuous blonde virgins and rare pop-eyed mice long ago. Tit for tat. No wonder the subsets and parrot squads are rioting in the streets. Bright students of the calling fell out when the signal was clear. A freaking star leads to a mangled Chinese finger puzzle dangling on the wood beam in the grand room. Put some newspaper under it. It'll drip more than you think. Taking a bullet and taking a cold for you are two different energies, ma'am. But I also know the only way to get the point across a circle is to throw it like a heavyweight title fight. It doesn't take much insight to realize the iron horse is more than a sum of its car parts. That much is cold science. Remember that afternoon at the National Zoo? The spice elephant and his pachyderm sister deserve better treatment than they have received at the hands of bitter swarthy men in these latter periods where once the proud beast was celebrated with great cultural awe and tradition. Today, that tradition is rote, and any awe is delinquent, and more apt to be pulled from a bucket of itching powder. Men are slow to change unless it's to die for, while women change every day. Somewhere a fisherman winks. Tit for tat. So, can we count on your signature, Frau Viperscaden? This is a very important project, ma'am.

GT

Just Another Jesuit Poseur


03 Oct

woman

The Trust Factor

samplex

Originally published on October 3, 1996

Notes is a bust, can't find a use for it, but I guess before I'll ever get around to affording Director 5, Avid VideoShop is a decent start, so again, rather than webbing I was reading for pleasure this afternoon. Like Tom Howell once said to me, "Any fool can spend money...." Most interesting concept, hiding as it was in his mouth. Little green apples...

What I'm concerned about right now is the olfactory packaging assault. Hardware and literature needs no sniffing, but aromatically introduces itself with gusto to the nostrils as soon as the box and ever more powerfully when the plastic wrapping is unfurled. Taking delivery on new hardware is absolutely a fresh breeze in the nostrils. The absence of the 1710AV display undercuts what would surely be some sort of full frontal euphoria though. A call to Apple just now netted me nothing more than what I already knew. Two more weeks may pass before all the backorders are filled. Or then again it may show up tomorrow. Credit card is billed as each portion of the order is shipped.

According to the set-up manual the 8500 is shipped with voice recognition software enabling user-scripted commands to perform tasks as well as rendering responsive feedback from the Mac itself. Uhmmm...wonder how well that will work out of the box; I have my suspicions...

We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.
When at Microcenter I did ogle over a 200mhz Performa that spoke the application names when the mouse passed over them, but I was completely ignorant that the Mac had voice recognition capabilities already out on the 8500/120...

I do believe I'm gonna get a kick out of wearing the QuickTime movie producer's cap. All that video footage collecting dustbunnies will finally serve a purpose as I push to integrate multimedia into the iMote core premise: the cult of personality exposed for what it truly is, nothing more than reality itself. Understatement and pomposity explored from the historical and futuristic prespectives. The perilous dichotomy explained as the everbroadening gulf between inexplicable social aloofness and seamless integration into the fabric of worldly imperative.

From Jesus to Debord (did I mention Bracken confessed last week when forced into the corner of my argument that among some dissenters Debord is ridiculed as just another Jesuit poseur?) I wish to stake a claim for what ails the world in general and will use the tracks of classicism to upbraid the apostles of the classes. I believe I have been laying in the groundwork, and now I have nearly all the tools of production.

Is premature death or irrepressible riotous living the only two acts separating me from my destiny, or am I merely a hollow shell of a pretender? That is the test I have always dared to wait while all the pieces are gathered onto the board (bored?). I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us, to borrow a phrase. Like I have said to Bracken in several a lucid moment, revolutions are a dime a dozen. If it ain't the bum on the street asking for a dime, it's me asking for a dollar twenty. We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.

So to quote YAST, of course ripe in a rebellion of his own with SAST...

Let's Mac on! dudes and dudettes! Or is that more properly put, LET'S MAC ON DISKS AND DISKETTES?

GT

Kinetic Christ


03 Oct

I was deprived of power as a child, said the balding
eagle to the claims department, his breath
on fire, and his hand on third base flying
homeward, relieved of duty

and pitched into another shift on a close call.

Woman's intuition is that a man should do it,
evidently another lost cause, his death
to prove nothing but the release
winging it to spare us his fall.

Pop crackle. Moonsong.
The efforts are worn from the chest,
splinters of glory dancing in the fireccaves
nearer to thy loins than lions in the wind
and the murmurs of generations
never savvy to the wisdom
of peppermint slaves.

The choice of ironing the only shirt in town
or swinging with the slugger's club
parches a few tongues, a brain
and a bodyguard on leave from art school,
the video drones loving the effects
much more than the call of DNA
but denying it in fashionable cliques
of gestation. The metal clown—
chirps,

"Woe, woe, woe your boat , mintly down the cream,
wearily, wearily, wearily, wearily, wife's a butterbean!"

Home court presses, visitation rights,
kinetic christ's the neurophone the verifier,
the metal clown chirps.

[ 1996, Washington, DC ]

Making Tracks With My Moonie Girlfriend


01 Oct

teresa

Teresa

samplex

Originally published on October 1, 1996

Hope you don't think that you have figured out the whole of my philosophical slant in these few paragraphs to have blitzed your eBox in recent days. The more I write the less I am confident any real communication can exist outside of fuzzy logic. A thousand pages later, and there is still room for clarification, redundancy be damned. However any aspiring philosophy must start from a foundation of concrete suppositions. The GT foundation rests solely upon a single concept. I am nothing in a crowd, and only something by the gift of God.

The concept of God working through the genuinely dependent individual rather than institutional flavoring is not unique to me, nor is it universally accepted, but I suspect I have been dipped in the collective spirit of this contemporary age in order to put a uniquely quiet 21st century spin on this ancient wisdom, and perhaps shed some light on a problem which pits humanity not against itself but against the old demons of the past, and in a word, is the sin for which we—the generation now kicking against the pricks—are being judged right now.

In an early poem (circa 1981 of mine) I accuse Lucifer as the author of time. All of nature's manifestations are both inspired and corrupted by the torque of time's perspective. We work finally within this framework of time, but we should suspect its motives.

Perhaps the best model I can use to relate what I mean when I unilaterally dismiss collectivism as the prime mover of spiritual and physical matter, and thus, an unrivaled conductor of truth is the marriage, or lover's problem. I suggest that no matter how close we want to become the mirror of our partner, or merge dissonance to create a more diversified whole, an irreparable separation is evidenced against us. While ancient teachers suggest that the two become one, this metaphor has rarely been illustrated in fact. History as failure in this regard has shown a bigotry against this unification of two into one. And if two cannot become one, how realistically can dozens, thousands, millions, billions, simply and without fracture? Thus my point. Even the individual is plagued and ultimately corrupted by opposing forces. One may argue this diversity strengthens the individual, and thus the whole of thousands can thus be strengthened by this diversity, I hold with the old proverb that a house divided cannot long stand.

Competition and greed. Nothing satisfies us when we know someone else has something that seems better than what we have. The marketdriven culture (just as Marxism predicts) is a vicious line of defense against human nature and natural forces from the outside. But the “clock” can never be turned back without catastrophe. This is human nature corrupted by greed and envy. Doublespeak crowds into every arena stealing from the human spirit every good motive as time’s own author extracts a token penalty for every semblence of progress. Confusion multiplies itself with human numbers. We do not argue good versus evil. We argue me or us verus them.
This approach say other, less insightful accusers, steers me into the traditionally conservative camp. I will not reject the label out of hand, but I hardly think anarchism the way I define it can be held up to the conservative light without displacing a few fundamental concepts of both.

Personal responsibility leads to acceptance of a status quo. This does not mean doing nothing to change the world in which we live, but I am simply restating the oft noted idea about not wasting precious time on vociferous alliances whose represent a major threat to personal autonomy.

We are not born with natural or civil rights outside of the social contract, contrary to what our founders told us, or what conservatives and liberals try to insist is their birthright. As an American citizen, yes, certain privileges are bestowed upon her children as natural rights and civil rights because of a social contract, but as a human being without God, there are no rights, only grievances and positions that one wins or loses in steady nullification of the natural because the world is a conduit of transgression, a mean, ugly, terrifying assault on self and the other. Of course there are wonders and pleasures in this transgressive world, but these wonders exist despite our presence, not because of it. Political correctness is the perfect metaphor for this condition where meanings of words are diverted from a common meaning to a more specific task warranted by the political realm. The graces of political correctness are far removed from any natural graces, but are designed by man's misapprehension of God, of perfection, of the spirit of best practices, we might say today.

Too many folk presume on the basis of envy and tokenism that what Joe Blow possesses (however he gained it, and yes it appears self-evident that evil has always lent a helping hand to all so-called progress), Jim Jackoff is entitled to the same. The conspiracy of universal equality—while a feel good aspiration—is not played out in reality bytes. None are free from the taint of evil, and yet we struggle for greener grass while negating the same spirit that made the grass seem greener to begin with. Competition and greed. Nothing satisfies us when we know someone else has something that seems better than what we have. The marketdriven culture (just as Marxism predicts) is a vicious line of defense against human nature and natural forces from the outside. But the "clock" can never be turned back without catastrophe. This is human nature corrupted by greed and envy. Doublespeak crowds into every arena stealing from the human spirit every good motive as time's own author extracts a token penalty for every semblence of progress. Confusion multiplies itself with human numbers. We do not argue good versus evil. We argue me or us verus them. Confusion versus confusion. Good and evil.

Here's a clarifying sidebar. The year—1982. Mid-summer. Midtown Atlanta. A few days before I'd been approached by two strangelooking women about my own age just outside the Omniplex. I was 26. Teresa was defiantly overdressed in several layers of streetdrag wool skirting and sweater. I do not recall the other woman's appearance anymore because it was Teresa who gave me her phone number and the Moonie tract. Not being naîve to the Unification cult's ways and means, having hit the books on as many of the major denominations among world religions I could find in the library—for several years by now—seeking an anecdote to the poisonous experience, I and many, have suffered at the wishing well of the Jehovah Witnesses, I decided I was prepared enough to befriend this curious girl with eyes wide open.

Teresa sat in a chair on a perpendicular wall where she was soon approached by an older woman of the faith. They were soon engaged in conversation that barely rose above a whisper. I thought nothing of this, and heard only occasional snippets as I dug into a random book I had pulled. This was a libraaaaaaary after all. Bits and pieces of their chat floated over to me. I was surprised to learn Teresa had been born a third-generation Christian Scientist. Seemed this was a girl with quite a checkered past.
For the next two weeks we saw each other daily. I visited the Unification House in the quaint Little Five Points neighborhood. She came by the Howell House highrise apartments, no relation to the Tom Howell I would later meet here in Washington, I was then sharing with my mother for tea and crackers. It was actually my mother's place, but my visitation with her lasted for six weeks upon returning from Corpus Christi where I deadpanned for the previous twenty months. We traversed the city on foot for five or six hours every day, she in low-keyed proselytizing mode, I, in a gentle informative resistance.

One day we crossed West Peachtree and turned down Peachtree Main along the infamous corner now revitalized but on this day was still marked by the tiny triangular 24-hour Dunkin Doughnuts and just beyond, the Christian Science Reading Room. Teresa, I knew already, was a product of the 1960s subcultural elite. I knew for instance that she had spent her adolescence in a nudist camp, and that background emerging from the fog of unbearable shame had driven her to the neurotic devices of concept-defying heavy clothing and long frizzy hair in which she hide her dark but very attractive facial lines. I knew she confessed great comforts in the teachings of the Moon organization even when she found them lacking, or pleasantly wrong, evident in another anecdotal tale I will save for another time.

Keyword—beauty, animals, humans

Beautiful weather, a little warm, but Teresa still wore her heavy skirts and sweater tops. We crossed the busy intersection. I never asked her if she was too hot. Evidently she dressed herself as she chose. None of the other female devotees wore such covering on these hot summer days. A simple concept explained my reaction—I took people as they were. Teresa was always polite, gentle, soft, compelling, and now she was questioning me had I read the two or three theological booklets she had given to me a day earlier. These rather thin booklets were published in a very simplistic styling, oversized pages, large typefaces, and hordes of colorful cartoon drawings, reminding me a child's publication. This literature literally reminded me of the kiddie biblestory volumes I had voraciously gobbled up as a child, only thinner. These were workbooks, with a quiz at the end. I had not read them. Confident I already knew all the answers I had put them aside meaning to take a half hour to skirt through the topics to meet my obligations to Teresa, but at this point I hadn't done so. Besides I had loaned Teresa a 1500 page theological hardcover called the URANTIA BOOK that had been given to me by a former lover a couple of years before, so I expected a day or two grace period. I never got my volume back. Of course after admitting that I had not read the booklets but I intended to do so, Teresa countered with predictable and similar remarks.

These confessions led me straight to the point I wanted to make to her. Everybody believes their own version of the truth is self-evident and required for everybody under the sun. "Oh but if you would just read these..." she countered. I again repeated the premise that all works claim the truth, and great works have great legions of followers. Nothing is proved right or wrong except in the minds of believers of this or that truth. Whatever Teresa might claim, Johnny Can't Read has a contradictory truth. Jimmy Can Read has another. Evereybody's running around in this crazy attempt to convince everybody else that they are wrong. Teresa smiled at this empasse. Just then we were rounding the corner. I spied the Christian Science Reading Room, and having never stepped into it to date, thought this was the perfect time to test the spirits in living color, so I asked her if she wanted to dip into the Christian Science operation for a few minutes, cool off, rest our feet...

She acquiesced with a sweet okay. We strolled to the reading room. This was not a very large place, fitted into a space nestled in the vee between two major thoroughfares converging at roughly a thirty degree angle, but it was airconditioned and pleasant and waiting for us. I found a chair a few feet from the bulk of the library. Teresa sat in a chair on a perpendicular wall where she was soon approached by an older woman of the faith. They were soon engaged in conversation that barely rose above a whisper. I thought nothing of this, and heard only occasional snippets as I dug into a random book I had pulled. This was a libraaaaaaary after all. Bits and pieces of their chat floated over to me. I was surprised to learn Teresa had been born a third-generation Christian Scientist. Seemed this was a girl with quite a checkered past. They argued in ever polite tones. The woman persisted. Fifteen to twenty minutes into this routine I overheard the words good and evil, and some reference to the edenic tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Was this the stroke of God himself drawing us into the Christian Science Reading Room for an example of divine truth, I put to her as we strolled on toward downtown on this sweltering summer afternoon. She finally burst into a rapt amazement, profoundly moved by my explantions, and was giddy that God had shown her a sign. Otherwise nothing would have occurred to her. No threads ever match up. Nothing is connected. An intellectual zombie I’m afraid is all so many of the most devoted folks on earth appear to be.
That was when I spoke up. "Does not the tree of the knowledge inspire knowledge of the DIFFERENCE between good and evil? I inquire of the old woman who to this point had only nodded a respectful hello to me upon entering the room. "Yes, you can say that. Different translations render it a little bit differently, but you can read the CORRECT rendering in OUR books." I replied that I had to confess that I did not know the difference between good and evil. Fire immediately plunged into her eyes, a gift from inside her. "Oh you certainly do, and if you do not, you can read it in our literature. You only have to READ it to understand," she growled. I countered again that men for thousands of years have argued over these things.

I'm not sure what I said next but I drew upon current ecological and ecopolitical concerns or some matter such as this, to give a few examples of what I meant by my own confusion with this complex issue of good and evil. She flew into a unmistakable rage, "Oh you are just a troublemaker. You'd better leave. Right now I say. Just leave, and don't come back. I mean it. Don't come back!" I returned the book I still had in grip to its rightful place, and said not another word. Teresa was ushered out alongside me. As the glass door swung close, the pinchedface woman, probably in her late sixties, muttered the word troublemaker one more time just in case I had missed the point.< On the street again I immediately sensed what had just happened and inquired of Teresa, "Do you know what just happened?" She didn't know what I meant. "Do you remember what we were talking about just before we stepped inside?" Again she couldn't piece her memories together. I played it out for her. "We were trying to convince each other to read each other's books. I told you that everybody believed they already had the truth, IF ONLY OTHERS WOULD READ OUR BOOKS." Teresa's face was beginning to show a glimmer of recognition, but I continued. "Then we step inside and you are barraged by yet another somebody who does exactly what I predicted. It's in THEIR book, THEIR truth, THEIR certainty that all life must bow..." Was this the stroke of God himself drawing us into the Christian Science Reading Room for an example of divine truth, I put to her as we strolled on toward downtown on this sweltering summer afternoon. She finally burst into a rapt amazement, profoundly moved by my explantions, and was giddy that God had shown her a sign. Otherwise nothing would have occurred to her. No threads ever match up. Nothing is connected. An intellectual zombie I'm afraid is all so many of the most devoted folks on earth appear to be. Teresa didn't suffer a loss of faith with that event, but I was overwhelmed by the finger of God in this point blank proof of what I knew to be oh so true... We are all fools in this game nobody can win. My girlfriend, however, would soon go the way of all proselytizers once she finally realized I was never going to be a convert. With a touch of sadness I realized our salad days were numbered.

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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