Category Archives: Friendship Wars

To Learn The Science Of Naming In Today's World Is Vicious

art-science
Art and Science
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I saw the seven words, then it finally registered with all the synchronicity of a lighted odometer turning over from all nines to all zeroes. This was it! The riddle had been solved! In ill-considered black and white here before me, written three days earlier, on my mother’s 48th birthday was the culminating stroke of this freaky name-change operation thing I had charted for months with soft sell handshakes and strange grimaces to any new person who happened to meet me.

And I took the name Gabriel Thy...

The Howell House was clean and active, even upscale I suppose one could say, secure and nearly two-thirds geriatric. My mother lived four floors above me up on the sixth floor of the 18-story building. She was on staff as the senior citizens coordinator and bookkeeper, and I occasionally helped her out with some of the more confined and colorful patrons doing odd chores for them. I was anxious to tell her of my discovery, although I could hardly expect her to understand the impact this fresh twig of myth and reality would have on me, Richard, the eldest of her seven children. It was her birthday and we were to have dinner together. I was bursting with excitement but I was understandably challenged by a mother's sense of her own naming rights—to bring the gift of reason to the dinner table that night.

How would my family, particularly my mother react to this news, a most suspicious tale ringing with tremendous religious overtones, or as others might prefer, smacking of superstitious or worse, some kind of dangerous demonic affiliations? Of course many people have changed their names with no other purposes other than enhancing one’s business, hiding an ethnicity, blending in, or sheer simplicity in mind.
As it was written on the page, the name—Gabriel Thy—was not given but was taken. This seemingly minor detail concerned me for a quite a while, not in a truly bothersome way, but as a nuisance, like a flapping scarecrow in a field of errors. Having taken this name was it no longer a gift? But when someone gives you a nickel, don’t you take it and perhaps slip it into your own pocket? Such were the subtleties of bible and literary scholarship, and so it was with my own problematic gestures.

I was thoroughly bewildered. The name was certainly an odd one, a very special one. I liked it, approved of it, but without a doubt it certainly had a very pretentious ring to it. I was not at all certain I in good faith could take it. And what would I do with it? The cornpone religiosity, the in-your-face God-component of the now prophetic name-change operation, self-fulfilling and otherwise, was obvious to me. But I was sure others would laugh me right off the sidewalk. What about those who already knew me as RSN—a right interesting vintage acronym already, particularly when pronounced Risen or risin as in...Christ is risen! How would my family, particularly my mother react to this news, a most suspicious tale ringing with tremendous religious overtones, or as others might prefer, smacking of superstitious or worse, some kind of dangerous demonic affiliations? Of course many people have changed their names with no other purposes other than enhancing one's business, hiding an ethnicity, blending in, or sheer simplicity in mind.

Having finished with ecclesiastical literature, about this time I had also finished reading, was presently reading, or would very soon be reading the herded vapors of Gide, Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Miller, Darwin, Kerouac, Nietzsche, Castaneda, and Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, A Metaphorical Fugue on Minds and Machines in the Spirit of Lewis Carroll, the latter, a landmark ransom for me, among others. But I would not wholly give up the ghost. I clung to every shred of hope massaging my investigations that God would clear me for landing his understanding, that each and every one of the moderns were wrong in their denial of deity, dead wrong in their intemperance in disparaging the creative power from without, even as they worshipped the creative power within whether it be DNA or environmental advantages. Time and time again I found the writers complaining not against Christ but rather against the wretched incarnations of the church, its scavengerlike methods poisoning their minds against all of the burlier forms of theology and the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jesus of Nazareth. Still I persisted just as I persist today.

And by no stretch of time or imagination was this an easy task to discharge, seeing as I knew almost no women at the time and had little coin with which to persuade others that this was on the level, was no prank, no plot to appear artistic and sublime, nor merely a passing fancy. Yes neighbor, I was feeling tragically symbolic, alone but for the voice of God resounding in my head, just as intricately wrought analysis of my daily experiences had led me to belief.
I don’t remember my mother’s initial reactions to my telling the tale of the harbinger bringing forth her son a new name. Not then, not there. She in all likelihood, since I don’t specifically remember her response, sighed and said something along the lines of, “That’s interesting, son,” while thinking to herself that this was just a passing artistic phase or something or another and to follow form she’d share no words either of encouragement or of any personal horror. She’d always thought of herself as somewhat of a mystic, but was not easily persuaded that any such thing would rub off onto her children. So I use the words "not then, not there" simply because there was no mindjarring quarrel I recall from that Sunday night, and shortly thereafter, speaking both epistemologically and chronologically, things begin to shift into place with great importance.

The name was mine to take. That much was had been chanced upon, had been written, had arrived in a happy circumstance. There was no doubt in my mind that this was living theatre, that I had been given an emblazoned word of prophecy in Corpus Christi, and it was fulfilled here in Atlanta because I had stayed the course. But I also intuited that there were certain terms involved, certain measures and quotas to be filled, certain spiritual hoops to be jumped through in order to discern whether or not this was this real McCoy. Because it was my understanding that I’d come to this earth through the wondrous body of a woman, was named by that same woman, had bullishly married and was now irreparably separated from another woman once twice my age, it was preserved in my mind and reinforced by circular logic that if this name change was truly from God, my doubts could only be dispelled if endorsed by a woman. And by no stretch of time or imagination was this an easy task to discharge, seeing as I knew almost no women at the time and had little coin with which to persuade others that this was on the level, was no prank, no plot to appear artistic and sublime, nor merely a passing fancy. Yes neighbor, I was feeling tragically symbolic, alone but for the voice of God resounding in my head, just as intricately wrought analysis of my daily experiences had led me to belief.

I was working three hours a day downtown delivering pizzas and sandwiches on foot to the downtown Atlanta highrise luncheon crowd. I saw many faces and shared a quick grin or a few words of friendly chat, but my social importance was next to nothing. When I had a few dollars to spare I’d occasionally dip into a rather eclectic pub down Peachtree Street a few blocks from the Howell House for a pitcher of cheap suds, but knew only a few guys, the bar maid, and maybe one woman superficially at best. The happy hour crowd was always buzzing with a spattering of high profile cultural scooters including the nucleus I later grew to appreciate individually as an art curator, a couple of attorneys, an old hippie or two, a librarian, a couple of salesmen, a science fiction aficionado, a banker, a copywriter, an amateur actress, a faux cubist painter, a few struggling musicians, a chess champion, and a CDC technician.

The nihilistic era of the rude nickname had arrived in spades, the new epithet of the unsung, pacing the steamy streets and charlatanic nightclubs with the vengeance of a caged wolf, with little respect for anything, hardly sparing themselves. Visceral yearnings in youth were reshaping a new generation’s perspective on love and hatred, and the mad rush for mostly vulgar monikers had already begun in earnest.
This circle of soon to be regulars was still small at the time of the White Crow writing. All of them knew me as Richard, slightly weird and chalked up with an armload of library books. Keep in mind of course that when I introduced myself to someone, that was the last mention of a name-change operation, the line was dead until the next stranger was introduced. I didn’t go around like some enfilading riflemouth spraying people with some nonsense line in search of attention. In fact I was often quite self-conscious when introducing myself. Within a few days (three, four, five?) however I was to meet a young woman four or five years older than me named Kathleen Baker, a woman whose more delicate features were overshadowed by the liberal contours of her body. She weighed over 300 pounds, sang classical music with the voice of a monk, and immediately seemed to enjoy the nimble dispatches my wit invested among the afternoon mélange. Thinking again as I write this, perhaps I hadn’t told my mother of the Gabriel Thy transmogrification after all, not then that night of her birthday, for whatever reasons I now forget, because with each ascendant memory, in fact, as I am thinking about this concentratedly for the first time in many years, it seems that Kathleen Baker’s were the very first ears to hear the entire mess of fish from beginning to end, sans of course, the still confidential part about needing a woman to validate the transition (part of the test is to not publicly reveal all the details but to allow the truth to unfold according to God’s will and not mine), and that she energetically embraced the novelty of what she was hearing and resolved at that very first meeting to call me Gabriel, Gabriel Thy, enough said. And so in that unorchestrated off the cuff fashion this woman became the first person to know me only as Gabriel Thy, not Richard Nix.

Yes, that was it. She listened to my poem and she approved. Mother would learn only later, and now I recall another event which I shall get to shortly. That afternoon at the Stein tavern I did however note my apprehension at appearing far too pretentious for these cynical hobbyhorse times by dubbing myself Gabriel Thy. I was a nothing, a fledgling writer, a seeker after an illusive and much debated truth, caught within the mechanical web of all breeds and conjugation of fact and fantasy, and yet despite my busy faith and rote exhilaration, I could not call myself a christian because quite frankly I couldn't fathom exactly what the word meant anymore, if indeed I ever did. There were so many conflicting versions of the title that I just preferred to leave it alone, to let the scavengers pick the bones clean if need be.

Little did I know at the time that even as I in all seriousness was changing my name thousands of others were performing a similar operation. The nihilistic era of the rude nickname had arrived in spades, the new epithet of the unsung, pacing the steamy streets and charlatanic nightclubs with the vengeance of a caged wolf, with little respect for anything, hardly sparing themselves. Visceral yearnings in youth were reshaping a new generation’s perspective on love and hatred, and the mad rush for mostly vulgar monikers had already begun in earnest.

Names like Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious became the norming curve for acceptance into this thriving cult of nothingness. My own name mutation, void of applause or record deals, shock value or normalcy, was a serious matter, referencing everything I earnestly believed about the nature and signature of the Creator, flagging for all to observe, his will for me and mankind. To understand this name would take time for me as I experienced what surely would be a new direction in destiny. The easy part was over. Onto the Directed Path of God’s dotted line I was willing to sign, but where, and how?

My anxiety with these problematic questions did not evaporate with the introduction to Kathleen. I still begged in my spirit for more validation.

Efforts Of Comportment In Linguistic Scholarship

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Palin Supporters
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The mainstream media keeps trying to make Sarah Palin irrelevant and within the NYC-Washington Corridor she is exactly that. But the highbrow mainstream media might want to put down their lattes and New York Times and embrace the concept that Palin is still relevant. Her words and endorsements will matter in the 2014 Midterms. And beyond? Who knows.

—David Brody | The Brody File

My friend with the Mexican mustache, savvy art collector and former Mike Gravel campaign strategist, José Rodriguez, could not contain his glee that he had gotten another whiff of the Sarah Palin meme, and so rushed right in to let me know how beneficial to the nation she would be should she stretch her wings to fly right at the old bastards who are in cahoots in destroying the economical sustainability of this nation in the long run, just one of their many political sins, "Cruz Palin 2016! Please help make the GOP irrelevant."

I had to capitalize and punctuate his words to meet the standards of this punk rock blog. You must understand, I have always been a grammar Nazi, having fought at least two underqualified English teachers in junior and senior highschool right straight to the revolt of the class when they tried unsuccessfully to assert their ignorance over what I knew to be true. I would walk away with a F in Comportment and a visit to the principal's office on my final day of Eighth Grade with an A in scholarship. That story I tell elsewhere, so I'll just flash my hall pass to get on with this one. So. Later, in the Tenth Grade, I refused to reread Huck Finn as I had read that book silly a dozen times as a grade schooler on summer break on my own, instead cutting up in class, clown and resident know it all, but was woefully prepared for the more sophisticated written essays of the highschool finals, so to my surprise I turned in an empty page. Still, Miss Harris, whose fiancée, was just starting out on the PGA tour, and who had only come to Glynn Academy as a sub after Christmas holidays to replace the beautiful young but tough Mrs. Mayhew who took a leave of absence to have the baby she'd been carrying long before the first September bell of the school year 1970-71. Mrs. Mayhew was also my first Negro teacher. I liked her. She was deliberate, adjudicated, serious, temporate, friendly, charming, but when analyzed as a complete package suggesting woman in charge who knew her place she was as tough as nails, as I said.

Did I mention I later ran for Senior Class President at another school from which I in two years would graduate, on the platform to bring a junk food canteen to campus? An idea that has become the contemporary norm but is now frowned upon just like it was back then at the front of the caloric revolution, an idea of freedom of choice, of brief respite, of the mouth-watering zest that sometimes is just a little bit more satisfying and attention-grabbing than the traditional wares of zealotry...
At the end of the first quarter of fifth period Mayhew English, we got our report cards. I was pleased I had received an A in Scholarship, but was stunned when I saw a B in Effort. I also received an A in Comportment, but it was the B in effort which startled me, as rumors soon circulated that I had received the only A in that fifth period class, and that she had only given out four A's across the five classes of sophomore English that she taught that semester at Glynn Academy, located in Brunswick GA, Glynn County along the famous "marshes of Glynn" made memorable by some romantic long-bearded mid-19th century minor poet named Sidney Lanier, for whom the nearby grade school where my youngest brother, John, now also a painter but always a woeful student, was attending.

I recall the class had mostly been rote memorization at that point, no essays, just spelling and a rehash of grammar studies we were forced to memorize year after since since we were first taken from group tables and put into individual desks like the big kids we would become.

Yo Rodriguez. Palin's not running for anything, but Cruz will take a bite out of that left-wing biscuit of you'rn...or put another way, I'm sure he'll step right up to announce without a drop of insincerity, "I'll be your Huckleberry. Seems I recall a chief strategist, a mutual friend of ours I'll just call Paul, declaring on the same night he announced he was considering a run on the Green ticket for Governor of New York state as we were all sweating over dinner at the 14th Street Busboy's & Poets in the summer of '08, that destroying the Democratic Party was at hand, and favorable. What a tangled web...and what strong, large memories some of us have. While yes, some just have large mammaries. And others, not that it matters on the golf course have neither."

Funny, as a ballplayer, I was often diagnosed as an over-achiever, capable of great moments, and of carrying a lackluster team far beyond its means only to crash at the last moment. Second place, not third, or last, or in the middle but second place was the recurring theme of my competitive life. Second most econonomic cab driver after just a few weeks on the job. Second most productive and accurate surveyor after being given my shot at party chief with my own crew. Race through dominating the regular season only to lose in the playoff finals to a team we'd slammed by large margins several times already. This was my luck, my meme, my path to the stars. Never quite the top dog, always stuck in the doghouse at number two, and I don't like the way that sounds.

Glynn Academy, 1970
Glynn Academy, 1970
However, after turning in a blank sheet of paper in response to twelve analytical questions, no multiple choice here, sitting in the same desk in the same classroom where I had achieved a rare A only to get a B in effort, you could have knocked me over with a feather when a few days after that school year had ended, and the final report cards were mailed, and I opened that envelope with great trepidation, I discovered to my amusement that Miss Harris had capitulated to my commanding spirit,and had given me straight A's across the board, including the course final. Deportment, Effort, Scholarship. All A's.

If Mrs. Mayhem's intuition had presaged the Miss Harris teacher-student debacle, the Miss Harris scourge would presage the coming generations, although let's face it, student punks were a dime a dozen at least since the times of the Greeks. Did I mention I later ran for Senior Class President at another school from which I in two years would graduate, on the platform to bring a junk food canteen to campus? An idea that has become the contemporary norm but is now frowned upon just like it was back then at the front of the caloric revolution, an idea of freedom of choice, of brief respite, of the mouth-watering zest that sometimes is just a little bit more satisfying and attention-grabbing than the traditional wares of zealotry, an idea I also picked up at Glynn Academy, an historical school founded in 1788, had sported the first "rest area" I had ever seen (although I'm sure large urban highschools in other warped regions of the country were even back then in the very first year of forced integration in the south), an entirely different breed of failure and excess freedom running rampart apart from my own small town observations, aptitude, and media-crunching misapplications. But as I learned somewhere in the finer thills of Huckleberry Finn via the aristocratic airs of the cinematic flair that a tuberculosis sickened Doc Holliday, who hailed from Valdosta GA we should not forget, one should first write about what one knows as long as you include lots of links because the following generations will know nothing about any history that preceded them until it affects them more than a poorly formed sentence from the gangrened mouth of their hanging judge.

The world is a very strange place. Not unlike the movie Tombstone.

The Quartermaster Controversy

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The Quartermaster
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So my pal Joey Higgins invites me to stay at his house in Boynton Beach, FL. We do a demolition-construction job for this guy who has no permits. We get our first check before I've opened a bank account. So I sign it over to Joey.

He takes off for the weekend...goes shooting on the other coast. I watch the house. Feed the dogs. Feed the fish. Brush the pool. When he returns, he doesn't give me my money from my check. Next week no money. Then he wants me out. I say okay, give me my money so I can pay for my greyhound reservation back to DC. He says he paid the bills. All $262.12 of my money to run his house. My laptop and two external hard drives are not sucking that much electricity. Plus there was no discussion of expenses. At least give me the opportunity to offer. Don't just steal my money. Plus what about the food I bought that he ate... saying that doesn't help out the house... so he doesn't want to give me my money from my check. I start earning money for 3d art done for Tom Howell's steam punk comic. So Joey lends me the car keys to go get beer. Then reports the car stolen. i spend a weekend in jail. Then have to walk the streets of Boynton Beach till my reservation date with Greyhound comes up. Money comes in from Tom Howell and Ashby and Seamus to answer my distress call. I spend last weekend in Miami. A $5.00 tri-rail to Miami, $12.99 a night at the Miami Beach hostel. a bed, jaccuzzi, bar, and bath. Refreshed I get to the Greyhound Station in Fort Lauderdale and arrive in DC. Quite an adventure. All in all. But Joey Higgins in no rasta mustafa. All of those at Dupont [Circle] back in the day who warned me of this wannabe were right. just another wannabe. Thanks all for your friendship.

"You DO seem to have quartermaster issues, Roland..." I wrote three or four entries below this description of one Roland Currie, a six foot six giant of a man and virtual reality graphics expert with whom I have been acquainted for about twenty years, although our relationship was nearly entirely accidental or second hand, a byproduct of a mutual friend, Tom Howell, or Howellnymns as I like to refer to him in print.

However, I also got an "F" in Deportment that quarter, and upon my wish was sent to the principal's office on the last day on school that year since I thought it might be fun. It was, and a bit painful, also, but fun just the same. An experience, a gas, a gag, a goof. You see, I was a straight A student, and I learned to rebel early against feckless authority...
Robin Slusher, a pretty girl from the North Country I presumed, poked me gently, "Gabriel Thy—what are quartermaster issues?"

"In Roland's case, roommate and landlord struggles...go figure, I use a single world to replace several, and then have to explain the stretched single-word metaphor to the public thus defeating my original intent," I obediently supply.

"Hahaha-go figure! I retired from the Navy and we use that word often but never in that particular way—I was just curious. Just googled it; you used it in an "Army" way. Navy uses it differently. I was institutionalized; sorry.

"No problem, but as you well know, words are authentically extended from their original usage quite frequently..." I responded, with a sigh of relief that this wordslinging tete a tete was over, adding one more round for good measure, "Roland's been on both sides of this enterprise. He knows what I'm talking about even if some of the rest of you do not. And that is not a slam on any of you. You may just not be aware of the entire scenario as I framed it. But I too, am saddened that Roland is having troubles. I was hoping good things for him in Florida."

But no. Somebody else was pricked by the word I had used to describe a condition I knew Roland was now facing again as some kind of karmic swarm.

His best friend DC "Max" Hughes rushed into the area where words only have subtlety it appears if they are perceived and experienced that way by the "official" lexiconographers. He copies and pastes the following:

Quartermaster

Quartermaster is one of two different military occupations.

In land armies, especially US units, a quartermaster is either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior unit, post or base supply officer is customarily referred to as "the quartermaster". Often the quartermaster serves as the S-4 in US Army, US Marine Corps units and NATO units.

The function of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps is to provide the following support to the Army:
—general supply (except for ammunition and medical supplies)
—Mortuary Affairs (formerly graves registration)
—subsistence (food service)
—petroleum & water
—field services
—aerial delivery (parachute packing, air item maintenance, heavy and light equipment parachute drop, rigging and sling loading.)
—shower, laundry, fabric/light textile repair
—material and distribution management

"Well, thanks, that was very thorough. In the Navy, a quartermaster deals with navigation—that's why it confused me," offers Slusher.

I have no choice but to respond to this jolt of authoritarianism, "What's your point, Hughes? Rock & Roll hardly translates to fucking, but there it is, fucking you, fucking me, fucking Elvis...muster your thoughts if you have a point to make. I certainly am capable of defining quartermaster as stated in the military protocols (or Wiki), but I used the word as a metaphor for this material fiasco that Roland seems to find himself struggling against from the opposite side now, not so long after a fiasco involving another in which he held the controls. Uh, the simple notion of managing one's quarters, supplies, and provisions is one of man's most basic transactions.

"Got a stick? Poke me. I'm done."

But true to his nature Max wasn't done, "Quartermasters, counterintuitively, do not handle quarters; lodging/housing."

To get to the point the customer service rep said, “The invoice says returns are SUBJECT to restocking fees. ‘Subject to’ means you WILL get restocking fees”. I said no it means I “MAY” get restocking fees and that she didn’t get to decide the meaning of words; that the meaning of “subject to” had already been defined. So….I didn’t have to pay.
Are you kidding me, I thought. So, true to my own nature, I continued to beat the dead horse just to see how much snot would spray across this language cop boondoggle he seemed genuinely certain I needed in order to improve my writing and not appear to be the fool, "Is Roland Currie not complaining about lost provisions? Shower, laundry? Do puns not exist in your splendid mind? As I wrote earlier, in Roland's case, his roommate and landlord struggles cover a lot of ground...go figure, I use a single world to replace several, and then have to explain the stretched single-word metaphor to the public thus defeating my original intent. Last time I was a scout quartermaster, I was in control of issuing Army issue cots and sleeping bags, cooking pots & utensils, et cetera to my fellow scouts. Max, you just don't get it, do you man? This discussion reminds me of when I was in the eighth grade. English class. We had to write a short story. I wrote a sports story, a baseball story. I used the word carom, as in the high fly ball caromed off the left field wall. Teacher marked my usage wrong, saying it was not a word, a made up word. I told her it was most certainly a word. I had heard it all my sports-conscious life. In baseball, in basketball, even in golf. She wanted proof. I pulled the dictionary, found the word, showed her, and the entire class, and she still denied me the word because the example the text gave was "as in the game of billiards." She was very young, and a very pretty slender red-head who, as I learned later from my mother who worked for the US Navy, dated a lieutenant stationed there at Glynco Naval Air Station. But she was stubborn, and so was I. Needless to say, I rebelled, and soon owned one fifth of that class as a five or six of my friends and I sat in the back of the class and played a game I'd invented in the 4th grade, the rest of the year, goofing off and making each our "A" in English despite her best efforts to restrain or punish us. However, I also got an "F" in Deportment that quarter, and upon my wish was sent to the principal's office on the last day on school that year since I thought it might be fun. It was, and a bit painful, also, but fun just the same. An experience, a gas, a gag, a goof. You see, I was a straight A student, and I learned to rebel early against feckless authority, and you sir, seem to have completely lost your good sense in arguing this point with me. Guess, I can add this exchange to my memory banks. Oops, banks hold money, and an exchange is where Obama plans to send me to purchase overpriced insurance. I fear this analysis in writing from one's own nostrils will never end."

Robin was beginning to feel the weight of the argument upon her own quarters, "I'm sorry I mentioned it. It was a genuine question—not intended to start a fuss. Hey—Dave Howard got fired because people didn't understand the meaning of the word 'niggardly'...that's even worse than an "F" in Deportment!"

"Robin, just because you might have refrained from mentioning it doesn't mean Max would have taken the same tact..."

Tom Howell was always a deft and absolute genius conversationalist, but was never much of a writer. Not that I didn't think he couldn't write a fine sentence when the muse shed her grace. Quite the contrary. He held his own on the page, but he seemed reluctant to go large, and he might have known that he did tend to write commonly at certain times when the task required a more spectacular presentation. I always sense he must have had some history to overcome before he could become a competent and confidant writer.
Roland was not amused apparently by the way his thread had dissipated into another topic, as he still continued to argue with his old friend who have done him wrong. So he wrote a humorous line of clarification he think I needed. "Roland did not have a landlord. Roland was invited to crash at a "friend's" house."

"And now you are going to start up another ruckus, Roland? Those words were used loosely to describe what is generally speaking a housing situation. Okay, I am indeed done. This is stupid." My words again.

"Ok, since we've totally hijacked this post anyway.....your Wittgensein quote reminded me of when I had to return some wood flooring to Lumber Liquidators. I was unsure of the square footage of my house and the salesperson said just order a lot and return any extra. So, I did and they try to charge me $100s in restocking fees. To get to the point the customer service rep said, "The invoice says returns are SUBJECT to restocking fees. 'Subject to' means you WILL get restocking fees". I said no it means I "MAY" get restocking fees and that she didn't get to decide the meaning of words; that the meaning of "subject to" had already been defined. So....I didn't have to pay." Slusher was finished.

But Tom was just knocking the dirt off his brown shoe act, and injected, "I was invited to crash at Gabriel Thy's house and stayed on for what seemed like years. I gave him the benefit of my wisdom during many a Black Label fest, proving in a double-blind test that Black Label was NOT a premium beer and "Life was NOT a submarine." Gabriel will be forever in my debt."

"LOL. Based only on the unassailable notion that life is a bowl of cherries. But what about iLife?" ask I, feeling the pull of nostalgia, as Tom was the only person in this discussion with whom I had actually spent any amount of sweat, sanctimony, and satisfaction. Or put another way, spent time shackled to the same ditch with half a notion of what it meant to be chasing and still defining that spectacular pursuit of happiness we learned about as kids and young scouts, he in mostly rural SW Virginia, and I, in mostly rural SE Georgia..."

But Tom and I had only recently become reconnected after a fifteen year exile during which we only heard from each other once or twice. I had turned my back on that early DC crowd for the most part, turning inside, to a nearly agoraphobic state, as my social life went from zero to nothing.
"Gabriel has a penchant for coining his own words, someday I hope he'll be able to bank on it," remarks Tom.

"There has been so such coining here today. iLife is a Mac term," I respond, thinking he may have imagined I just did it again.

"Life is a sandwich, the more bread...no, no, wait Submarine is a sandwich! I prefer 2nd Life anyway," he pretends he's extending the game. But I've had enough. Tom came late to the party, again. Wait a minute, he's usually early. An entire day early...

"How are you old man? Doing great things I presume..."

"I'm in a Writers Group here and learning to make eBooks with InDesign 6. Future plans are for enhanced eBooks," he replies, ending the mystery as to why he recently wanted to bury the political hatchet he and I had been swinging the past few months on rare occasions. Scorned for my politics by nearly all the old crowd of woeful leftists from the old days, most had just ignored me altogether. But Tom and I had only recently become reconnected after a fifteen year exile during which we only heard from each other once or twice. I had turned my back on that early DC crowd for the most part, turning inside, to a nearly agoraphobic state, as my social life went from zero to nothing.

The Internet, and later, my splash into the not so fine art painting mud pit changed things for the better. I began to venture out again, but that social season only lasted for another three years until the 2008 financial collapse and subsequent election of Barack Obama to the US presidency changed my path again. Only recently had Tom finally come aboard this network. And after a few battles with each our unmovable arguments, aren't they all, he was tired of stultifying politics and wanted to talk writing which I thought was a strange move for him, not the political rot, but his interest in discussing this craft you are now reading. Makes sense now. Tom Howell was always a deft and near genius conversationalist, but was never much of a writer. Not that I didn't think he couldn't write a fine sentence when the muse shed her grace. Quite the contrary. He held his own on the page, but he seemed reluctant to go large, and he might have known that he did tend to write commonly at certain times when the task required a more spectacular presentation. I always sense he must have had some history to overcome before he could become a competent and confidant writer. I understand that Tom, too, has renegotiated his survival strategies, moving his psychic investigation and motion picture experiments back to the Smokey Mountain railroad town of his beginnings, Roanoke, VA. We salute you, Thomas Jefferson Howell, as you pace along the hardy roads of old picturesque Virginia in becoming a man of letters in some small gratitude to your namesake, perhaps of note only to a few tar & feathered friends, but in the end, as you once echoed the trope from a Dollhouse easy chair—Gabriel, when we die we die alone.

My nephew Dylan and his wife Jennifer named their firstborn son Jefferson, who is a precocious sunny blonde lad now about four, and to this day he answers to Jefferson, when he answers at all.

The Steaming Liquidity & Uber Legend of Shifty Bruce Almighty!

man
The Man Without A Plan
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Son, did I ever tell you about the time I felt presence of God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, as we zipped along the busy highway of twisted pairs and optical glass where stranded men roam, and there, the codes and standards and bromides of silvery asps greeted the punishing ace of diamonds whose face was instantly melted by the exploding heat of WORD, did I? Scholars will say it happened on July 14, 2013. Politicians will say it never happened that way at all.

But Facebook, the galloping ghost of the last few reckoning things still measurable by those in charge, was taking notes. In our cautionary appropriateness, we had long learned that if one's particular secrets could kill, they probably would. At least, we learned they should. Men and women and children alike challenged each other for the power to take down another with a few words or less. Beneath the global surface stability fostering form, the human brick, the muscle and the stick, cosmic wallpaper was peeling into colorful ribbons of functionary excellence with each utterance. Women had become like spikes, crooked in their own justifying eyes, resilient to the past death, as raw orange skies hurrying away to whom no one knows, began to buckle and crack. I saw brimstone rocks hurled, piling up against powerless flesh also peeling away, as screams of the unborn torn from the crucifix suddenly were silenced against loud witnessing flashes, confusion the only pie still remaining, invisible signs of Asche zu Asche we knew had made us strong now lay broken into pieces. Here we recall the "straining at gnats" remains of that big rock record:

Bruce to Mike. "Man you love some stupid media! You're one of the very few I know who wants this punkass narc aquitted. I won't waste time asking why? Did you [watch] NBC Nightly News Wednesday night? West VA life expectancy for men is the same as in Gambia. 64 years only. X VA gets 17 more years Mikie! You got no mortgage—you can leave. Then you slowly start to hate minorities a little less each year! An environment of love with a new diet can change a lot for you. Maybe you were never at peace? I recall a much more happier Mikie that wasn't very politically concerned. That Mikie couldn't be fooled into not enjoying life everyday! Was it all only foolish youth? Are you now the joyless sensible man you were always waiting to be or is this a life turn best backed out of? Slightly curious as to the real answer?"

Bruce was on a roll, and he expected to sop up.

"The gene pool around here needs a little chlorine. For some of us, the brains we had went to our head, for others, getting ahead would be the first to go..." thought Gabriel.
"You're wrong about me on so many levels that it's pathetic, Bruce. Did you know NBC edited the audio of the Zimmerman calls to make him sound racist? That's documented. I have many black friends here Bruce. Bet you didnt know that did u? I love people of all races..and I hate people of all races. I mow a ladies yard that's black...did you know Booker T. Washington grew up not 5 miles from me? You judge me cause I come at FB with another point of view that lamestream and liberals will never hear because of propaganda and controlled conflict talking point media...I enjoy life every day to the fullest..I am very much alive...just because I choose to look deeper into the truths behind the stories and see the bigger picture and connect the sordid dots and refuse to hide my head in the sand...I guess that in your eyes [all that] makes me foolish? Joyless? Hahaha, good luck. I am at peace knowing God is firmly in control and allows things to happen for a reason...Obama and co. are using this case to divide and conquer thru race and also to promote his anti-gun measures. Because I choose to be awake is a problem for you I guess. Well as Alice Cooper so poignantly says in an early song...you can always turn me off! Hahahaha..."

obey
The Counterfeiters
But Mike was having none of it. "PS, there aren't many natural food options here but I try as best i can to get organic etc...another eugenicist great idea to have country folks especially eat their GMOs so they can be overweight and sterilized (check into that goodie via GMO)...fluoridate the water, spray the skies with lovely chemtrails and keep us sedated with their slow flicker rate media and video games. Also, all the Fukushima radiation spreading thru the USA food supply...Haha you believe ANYTHING NBC says?..its all approved by your Bilderberg group talking points ...why shouldnt you? So yes, West Virginians along with all the USA have a low life expectancy...it's YOU that needs to wake the fuck up my friend..even with all the bad shit I am AWARE of, I stay positive and fight for liberty for all races...what if all the people that get divided by race woke up and saw the real enemy of the people..that's my mission..to create a critical mass of people of all races that are awake to the NWO's plans..."

If he ever was, and the Eighties are long gone, Mike Twigger is nobody's wilting violet, as Bruce's insulting characterization seemed to imply, as the counterfeiter will often do. To pine for the days of old when Bruce was still the reigning local rockstar in our favorite local band several decades ago and we were all punk standarounds vying for our own dreams of beauty and truth and breakaway elegance slushed in alcohol for public consumption and perishable solitude in private, was a stretch none of us could muscle into place, no matter how the knotted strands of time loosened with the frailties of memory. For some of us the brains we had went to our head, for others, getting ahead would be the first to go...

So Twigger continues his snap, "I actually would love to gtfo of the USSA entirely, but the globalist bankster cartel is everywhere....except Iceland, Switzerland, and a couple others, oh yeah, the two they haven't installed Rothschild banks in yet—Syria and North Korea...my advice is to start with The Obama Deception; the 2nd one is coming out soon and take off the weed colored glasses when u watch it. And by the way, what's your definition of stupid media?

"Speaking of joy, Bruce, I trust you enjoyed patronizing me, as much as I enjoyed defending myself from your slander and innuendo, since I know how much you love to blast anything that displeases you, and from my own observations that is quite a pay load over the years..."

Then I was pulled into this mess in the name of old friendships and wounded foes, cracked wills and compound woes...

…peace out rocker, life is greater and more terrible than all of us rolled together into a clump of Indiana clay glued together with donkey piss and ripe for distribution to the masses. It just is, and none of us are.”
"Of course, since I'm just a punk ass cracka in Northern Virginia I barely know a grasshopper from a bullfrog, but if I had a son, he would look just like Trayvon because I just love me some [fill in appropriate genetic material here] woman, and Obama had no business sticking his nose into this case and remaining silent about all the murders in Chicago, AND all the nationally unreported attacks on whitey by black youths that HAVE ALREADY been going on around this country marauding in the NAME OF TRAYVON." There are no permanent enemies in this world and few permanent friends, I added quietly to myself.

"Thanks Gabriel!...I know Bruce is comfortable with his own limited vision of the world! LOL."

But Bruce was not finished. Not this Bruce. Not now. Not ever. Not until his own last breath on this happy but doomed planet his own songs depict. I saw no limits on Bruce Hellington's vision.

"Maybe but I am not as miserable as either of you are by a longshot. That in of itself regardless of the means is worth a great deal more to me than any political awarenesses you guys seem so happy about having."

"Mister Hellington, you sling words like happiness and misery around as if they are personal weapons and we don't know who you are, as if any of that has anything to do with the topics I or Mike or you choose to discuss on Facebook, with our respective families, or merely amongst two or three gathered. Guess you found that "real" Jesus you were looking for..."

After all, in the packed heat of a few minutes he had called us miserable, then happy, without a measure of service to his own creative and political skin on bone the band 9353 had exhibited for so many years, and we, among its biggest fans. Without missing a beat, marching to my own undaunted beat, I write, "And Bruce, if I'm so damned miserable, then I certainly don't need you adding to it...peace out rocker, life is greater and more terrible than all of us rolled together into a clump of Indiana clay and donkey piss ripe for distribution to the masses. It just is, and none of us are."

But Mike wasn't finished. He was filled with the spirit and drew forth his sword of sarcasm, and had another go at the reign of a fallen king whose own art is the spilling of misery, "Yes, I can see clearly now. I am soooo miserable! Wow, if it wasnt for your clear unclouded insight Bruce i might have been lost...thank goodness for your preconceptions. Now i must renounce all these political posts and come back into the fold of ignorant bliss. Ahhh, I feel so much better already!"

"Either way I am still very grateful to be nothing like the two of you are stuck being today. Because you're obviously enviable in your joy of life. I wonder how long it will be and which one of you goes first? I won't read what you have to say but you can still feel good I hope for typing it. Peace to the miserable," offers the satisfied prince probably breaking out a move to Barbra Streisand's Doing The Reactionary.

"It's about informing the public for a critical mass against the evil fucks that are behind it...so there is a purpose to it...or did you miss that whole thing...and i guess you disregard the other 40% of my posts that have nothing at all to do with politics..."

keyboardThere was not a lot of fun in having to sustain this conversation long enough to bang out some semblance of closure, so I engaged the throttle with the hope that the arch antagonist would find something to bleed, and we could end this sparring non-sense. "No sir, I have never demanded or even defended the notion that people emulate me, foster me, or be enviable of me, but it seems you have quite a talent for projection, he who himself prides a honed skill for vile outrage...and is proving it once again by hijacking this thread with a string of ad hominems aimed at two adjuncts who don't fit the preferred profile of his own historied, and esoteric genius. Having turned toxic towards me a while back now, the Wrath of Bruce is not my burden. As for which of us three will "go first' I am quite sure it is me since I'm nearly 60 years old, thus having a number of good times already under my belt on both of you, and as you are obviously so keen to announce, carry more weight than the two of you put together the last time I calculated. Is that REALLY where you are standing these days, Mister? I have no doubt that you enjoy every moment of your life, and that you are going to live forever, or at least a day, a day, and a half day longer than I will, so rejoice, man rejoice, you have inspired the heavens. And hey, Bully Boy, that's right, don't read what I write, but who among us can't imagine I will know once you do. Go write one of your "miserable" songs, I mean "joie de livre" songs for the population, as you lead us to believe that you possess or exhibit the "joy of life" more than either Mike Twigger or Gabriel Thy do, and for holier than thou reasons to boot. Fact is you don't know what drives us, and how much and to whom we give back and for what duration and at what personal cost to ourselves. Some of us give and are not photographed with every bundle of giving. To be seen by men...but I applaud YOUR street work nevertheless. It is good-hearted. And I know you are honest with the buck. So why don't you just mind the Father's business without stepping into a situation of which you know so little and slinging crap as if you know it so well..."

Given that the Trayvon Martin case had nothing to do with stand your ground, as a legal premise, despite the Left's dubious intentions to make it that in challenging the Florida law. It was a self-defense versus manslaughter case from the very beginning." I wrote, responding to another comment on the thread that had lingered without clarifying resistance. Then I attached a video with Thin Lizzy or actually Phil Lynott's solo release of Ode To A Black Man.

His memory or at least, his faithfulness to it are tragically failing him, but as soon as this thread was over, he was on the phone with another mutual friend telling him how he, Bruce, had drilled me, Gabriel, a new one, or something to that effect, and he wanted this friend to join him in badmouthing me.
Bruce fancies himself a man who speaks truth to power, and I'm not here to doubt it because his next parlay could only make me grin as he fiercely foraged his stockade for even more predictable clichés to hurl. "The wrath of Bruce? Like such things exist or you could care? At least we don't have to hear a bunch of whining from you two haters today! I know you're both very pleased with it. Very Nice. You should have been a more serious artist Gabriel just like Mikie should have been a real guitarist. Art can do many things for your life if you do not come on board with the clock running and a list of demands from the community that must be met or else. You could have meant it instead. You could have given us something other than sour nonstop poly rhetoric in the last chapter of your life. I fully understand why there is probably no way you can't hate me no matter how hard you'll never try not to. The thing about it is I am still the same Bruce now as I always was despite your Jesus assumptions. It is the two of you who had the political personality shift, not me. Very nice Gabriel after one visit in my home ever in your entire life and you are now an authority on me. I remember why you came there now. You knew a piece of the puzzle was waiting to be explained as common knowledge when you asked me "why does DC hate me so much"? I had no problem answering you. The answer was known city wide for years. It's because you pulled out your dick on the stairway at the Boogins party at 12th and P st in 1983 and proceeded to piss on Bess Powell's legs forcing Rene Farkass to beat you up and throw you out. Oddly you called him the next day acting like the two of you were still good friends or something. That's just one factor as to why DC never liked you very much. Whether you regard yourself as an artist or a real estate man or just a pervert with a video camera trying to get people "Sued", I sense your largest anger comes from a sense of entitlement unfulfilled given your original assumed potential as some southern colonial coulda man. Now you should take it easy old bully put that inner Curly in check. You ain't got long to live and I really don't want to get personal here with you but I am about to and you won't like it fat boy not one bit when I get warmed up here. Mikie consider the life Gabriel has and consider it fair warning. Forgive me Mikie if you've been raped by a black man recently. I had no idea? It all now makes perfect sense."

Bruce apparently was pulling out all the stops even though each of the three of us already were quite comfortable squabbling among the stops, so Mike lays it all out for onlookers to gawk, if that was their game, emotionalites to emote as they so pleased, info gatherers to gather and info planters to plant, declaring that life was good, and he was fine once more despite the details of past flash in the pan soreness, "Molested by a black YMCA counselor years ago..lol but I have worked thru that pretty much fine and have forgiven him and myself to the point of where if I saw him i wouldnt even let it interfere with saying hi....and has no bearing whatsoever on things i feel/post sociopolitically. and my "shift" has taken place gradually as I learn about the NWO (hidden dynasties) and learn Gods plan in the Word. And uh..I still am a "real" guitarist...I play every day...but it's cathartic to let it out what u feel Bruce..better out than in...the more honest we are with each other the more we can build a solid foundation on which to fight the real enemies of the people...they want us divided...but really I think that's its petty to try and make character assassinations via experiences to make up for being bested by facts and knowledge of all sides concerning the original topic... I know it seems you are inadequate to discuss these things without knowing the whole story..but don't be defensive about it and lash out in a personal way...again..it's petty...better to inform yourself at the very least to get on equal debate footing on the issues...instead of your already formed "opinions" not necessarily based on facts and historical documentations..."

"PS. Thin Lizzy rules!" thunders Mike the Twigger.

"I love you guys!" transitions Bruce Hellington the Almighty.

"Wait a damn minute. You stole my line," bark I, the Gabriel Thy, adding "There are facts, Bruce. And then there are the William S. Burroughs cut-ups. Your last assessment of that smattering of GT trivia most definitely falls into the latter camp. I won't be callous enough to sort it all out for you since you seem just as capable of mustering a set of facts as anyone belonging to your "political persuasion". Interesting reading, though. Feel free to talk smack all day long against my name. That's what it's there for (by popular demand)..."


Tuesday, September 3...

death-cult
Death Cult by Gabriel Thy
"Thanks Mike for the thread. I'd tried to find it a while back and gave up during a bout with scroll fatigue. Fact is, Bruce is not unaware of what's going on in the world. Why he suddenly has shifted from the ultra paranoid rantings about what a mutual friend whom we shall call Shelley had told him concerning top secret government facilities and missile silos and EMPs, et cetera, amply fertilizing his own keen suspicious mind of all things outside himself is puzzling, but I suspect it's just a manifestation of his role as self-annointed HIGH PRIEST in the scene defending his turf, dumping on us probably things he's been told himself. Who knows, or cares, anymore. 9353 songs are not exactly Pat Boone sings the classics...so this display of psychological muscle is just as dour as anything we publish (although I hear this latest CD is something altogether different, go figure). Since he's off playing rock star again, something's he earned, and we are not dropping everything to jump in his honor, he must attack. His memory or at least, his faithfulness to it are tragically failing him, but as soon as this thread was over, he was on the phone with another mutual friend telling him how he, Bruce, had drilled me, Gabriel, a new one, or something to that effect, and he wanted this friend to join him in badmouthing me. Andy said he just couldn't do that. So, I'm not impressed with Bruce Almighty's grip on all that much anymore. Who's the hater in this sandbox? His type of spirit rules the Left now, but the really ugly thing is that Bruce was pushing similar if not the same cautions about Big Brother on me back in the Bush years. Now he's calling the two of us haters. What a stinking hypocrite, or maybe he's just, uh, progressive!"

The Critique

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Experience
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THAT'S A KEEN INSIGHT into the poetics of good metaphor, Paige, by insisting the "tree" is neither happy" or "unhappy", but rather merely exists within the framework of its own inanimate kind.

However, as if I were Ezra Pound dancing with a pronoun and you were Thomas Sterns Eliot sipping a cup of Earl Grey, might I suggest, without airs but in an uncompetitive spirit of respect, changing the rather inactive choice of "Withstanding" which is repetitive of the earlier uses of "standing" to the deeper, richer word "weathering the elements" if the poet's style insists upon a common vernacular. And in that sense, one might also write:

              Yet there it still stands
              Rain or shine, sheet or snow,
              an ornament to the elements.

Or better yet, a rebuke to the elements:

              Yet there it still stands
              Rain or shine, sheet, or snow
              a rebuke to the elements.

Thus avoiding a third usage of "stand" in so few syllables. And adds a function to the existence of the tree.

But it's a wonderful poem, Paige. Just take my comments as a persnickety old poet who himself is constantly seeking a more compelling poetics from which to put matters that strike a chord in himself, or better yet, in others, as well.

The tree, a noun, of course, is a living thing, unlike a firelog, so a better choice of words than "inanimate" would have served the argument better, but sense the difference between using an adjective like "happy" or "unhappy" and the device of the active verb "rebuke" to better reflect the context of the "thing" in its apparently subdued and hampered existence.

Gabriel

Everyone Needs To Think, So Why Snip Off

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Body of Workers
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On 27 May 2010, at 09:33, Billy Asperger wrote:

I follow you regarding the craps hinted in the previous message. It's true that "you can lead todays lefties around by their dreadlock hair-extensions with the smallest tug". But at the same time we easily can admit that most of the people (doesn't matter whether they are lefties or whatever) really don't give a damn about the revolution a bunch of US had been theorizing (here or there).

I think what disconcerts me about the statement above is that it seems to take for granted a division between those who can "theorize" and the working class. If you are feeling a gap it isn't an intelligence gap it's a class gap; it's not about support for radical change it's over trust and sincerity in those who claim to know better what is good and bad and their good intentions to realize it. It's not because ordinary people do not or can not understand the workings and evils of the system it's because they know them much better: "intellectuals" more than often lack real knowledge of just what it is like to be born into trapped, exploited, cheated and abused neighbourhoods.

I'm working class and all the people I work with are working class (in fact at the moment every last one of them is black working class) and I can tell you a clear and certain fact—that I have heard more genuine insight, shrewdness and sincerity from the mouths of common people than from the pens of middle class and academic "vanguards of the working class", or from the white-people-with-dreadlocks brigade who are rooted nowhere and ultimately committed to nothing as a result.

But there is nothing wrong or pointless about "theorizing", though it's a word I do not find helpful. Discussion ought to take place to try and deepen understanding of how everything works. Those who can do it should do it—and take a clearer perception of conditions back to the communities in which they live and work. Everyone needs to think, so why snip off the activity of thinking, call it theorizing and divorce it ideologically and socially from its application in daily life?

I need to add though that not a lot of what takes place on lists like this, or seminars in colleges or in all the other supposedly intellectual theatres where this "theorization" is supposedly taking place...is anything of the kind. On the contrary it seems to be a battleground where people hone and refine the very things they claim to be against; find new excuses to obscure the truth and divert others from coalescing around it. It is class war over the spectacle. It would be nice to have genuine discussion once in a while but in the absence of true common roots or listserv mediation it isn't very common.

Asperger: "People are enchanted and mesmerized by "the apparent" of the spectacle and that fucking pseudo(?) "objectivity" is good and is enough from their point of view. They feel comfortable being trapped inside the great show of appealing-consuming-producing-exploiting and so on. The spectacular society is reassuring for their simple and mechanical minds."

I can't begin to tell you just how condescending and spectacular a cliché that is. Instead I'll say something potentially more interesting. Human existence is existential: there must be something to fill the void and to structure everyday life, and there must be an ideological framework, a worldview, only within which all words, phenomena, values and beliefs acquire a place and a meaning and a value. Worldview, and all the habits that stream forth from it, is as fundamental and material a necessity as food water and air. It's the way we are made.
Therefore ultimately there is no complete distinction possible between what is spectacle and what is situation; or what is recuperation and what is detournement and so on. There are only inherited models from which to construct models. Very little truth, if any, is ahistorical; all ideas, appearances, meanings and values must exist in a perpetual war over ideas, appearances, meanings and values.

What is eternal is the wisdom of good conduct—of seeing and revealing the truth in all its partiality, of understanding the common interest of fairness and distributing needs and opportunities with equity. What is eternal also seems to be that which I call "original sin" -- the tendency to imitate and repeat evils and errors, to reiterate imperfect worlds from imperfect worlds; bad habits of mind and behaviour that not having been perceived for what they are cannot be rooted out: "karma". Thus life is not really composed of true and false images nor even right and wrong values so much as right and wrong choices. From the existential point of view, to be free means to be condemned to choose between the good and the evil within alternative possible actions—endlessly. No wonder they fall back into the provided routines, spectacles and social clichés: it is so much easier to have something that tells you what to do than to have to face each and every moment in a cosmic abyss of uncertainty.

And these "theorizations" you're referring to are simultaneously an attempt to defend an Ideology of distorted self-serving de/perceptions at war with the attempt to add and revise it with new understandings of the truth. The fact is, the "Left" (whose name itself is as spectacular a piece of nonsense as you could ever hope for) has been struggling with the contradiction between its moral outrage for the world's underdogs and the fact that the underdogs will not meekly back them up in return ever since it robbed the working class of its politics, at about the same time it started robbing rastafarians of their hair-dos, the genuinely homeless of their squatters movements and so on. All the class rhetoric and fashionware and shrunken heads by which today's radicals identify themselves have been stolen from somebody else—as if by possessing their tattoos and music, hairstyles and footwear you could somehow take power over their souls and legitimize yourselves.

But white men can't sing the blues.

k

I Went To School With Bonnie Jones (Yellow)

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Bonnie's Dream
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From Bonnie Jones Davisson
September 27, 2009 at 10:58am

You are such an inspiration Gabriel! I will call you that because it suits you as you are. I am so sorry to hear about your mother's struggles. One thing my siblings and I did was to pamper my mother as she was - a true queen. In her latter months, we would go into the nursing home and just crawl inro bed with her, holding her close just to hear her heart beat. We are a very close family, and it was all because of her. She was our sun, and we were mearly planets made from her stardust.

Yes, David died in his sleep. His heart just stopped. He was a type A, head of the gyn. dept. in Thomasville GA. If I go, that's how I want to do it. I remember in one of my attempts at leaving ths Earth, I was guided by David for 3 days, as I spoke French the entire time. Strange what the mind will do. Mutt is simply that, a Mutt. I hear he also has heart troubles, but his boxing days were over a long time ago. He and I had an affair during his boxing days, but my true love was David. I sincerely think had Bobby not been around the two of us would have connected. Mutt has 2 boys—Hunter and Fisher—which speaks volumns as to Mutt's lack of sincerity and unimaginable ego. Were it not for his mousy wife, Robin, his sons would be wild and free, much like Luke's. Good grief! I have told you more buried secrets of my life than I have anyone else! Why do you have my trust so easily?

I have not been on Facebook much lately. I am preoccupied with my daughter's wedding. As a highly gifted child, she is rejecting all tradtitional ceremonies, and is insisting on wearing a pair of $400 knee boots under her dress - of which I thought looked cheap. Intervention meant going to Athens and visiting flower shops, which she finally conceded as beautiful, but is still stubbornly rejecting the cake, which I will do anyway. She will thank me when she's older.

I am also preoccupied with changing pain medication doctors and doing physical therapy. I am also studying with a Jehovah's Witness, of which I have 2 sisters who have practised the religion for over 40 years. Too much has come to pass that they have said would to ignore this religin as not being at least worthy of a second look. I also like the way they are always studying the Bible. Their worships on Sundays are not ranting and ravings, but actual talks by various elders who constantly refer to the Bible to support their subject of the day. I was amazed that in Genesis, it says that the Earth shangs in the heavens as if on a string. Why didn't the Pope KNOW that when the church banned Copernicus to house arrest?

Many exciting things happening right now. I will keep you posted.

Your friend and confidant,
Bonnie

Woman, oh, woman. Well, with every note, Bonnie, you come with both barrels loaded it seems. That's a good thing. Thanks for the update on the Daniel brothers. Tragic, in David's case. As stated earlier, I didn't actually know Mutt, and I had no idea that you bounced around with him at some point. I do appreciate your honesty. Very refreshing to find someone who finds redemption in detail, and craves loveliness despite the reckoning one's path in life often brings...

The story of your mother, of course, is a warming example of what family life can be. Cling to the memories, dear woman. Life is fleeting, and we make of it what we dare within the circumstances we may wrestle and the choices we can muster. Unfortunately, my family never quite measured up to those many ideals we sought, rugged individualists to the core, each of us, beginning with a hardcore alcoholic father and a mother of seven who never REALLY wanted to mother, but chafed an entire life craving to exude ideas of exceptionalism while denying her often troubled, even troublesome yet striving children the same. But after all is said and done, I guess she did her best, as did we.

But here we are, 24 fat and lean years later, still tied in knots, madly in love with each other, best friends forever, and rarely seen in public without the other except during the weekday when she counts the beans in her big office while I chip away at the art world. Her already elderly parents were scandalized by all the brute stylings of the wedding we planned ourselves (mostly me), and for that small over-indulgence I am regretful, but it WAS indeed a unique event.
I hazard to make any remarks about your daughter's choice of wedding apparel because you may be right. The boots may indeed look cheap. Cheap is a fashion choice with its place, its own context and subtext, it still must fit and flow.

I too, am strongly opinionated about fashion, although I am somewhat of a slob myself except when I reclaim the magic. Then I can't fail to strike an erstwhile artistic pose with compliments swirling. In another life, as the saying goes, I might very well have aspired to a life of fashion design. You may remember from high school some rather odd choices I wore to class. Checkered pants, golfer's attire. White shoes, perhaps. From junior high forward, my bold clothes tended to set me apart from the general population, a trait I still maintain to some degree.

That said, my tastes range from traditional upscale lines to street punk debonair. Without embarrassment I have all but dressed my wife for 26 years. Admittedly she resisted early on, but grew to appreciate the benefits. She of course now solicits my eye, and recognizes that I love quality with flair. She sometimes admits the truth that she exudes no taste whatsoever, if anything, maybe classic Tom Robbins cowgirl blues couture. So, if daughter's boots are shiny vinyl high kickers, I say, yuck to cheap, kitsch hooker glam. No way. But if they are matte black thigh high combat boots, with luxurious white quilt-stitched silk gripping her, she'd have my vote, as long as she matches it with a black silk headscarf appointed with red rose to regale her hair in something other than a stale 1950s-1960s bouffant that is so popular with the wedding planner set for decades. Of course, I'm presuming she has long hair, but even if she doesn't, a similar treatment would probably be agreeable. This is all fanciful speculation, of course. Can't quite kill the punk rocker aesthetic I wholeheartedly embraced I suppose.

OK. That was me in Project Runway mode. Please pardon me, if I've insulted you, Bonnie. Perhaps I should share. At the Sue & Gabriel wedding in 1985, no holds barred punk rock motif all the way, my wife and I boasted a square black cake with a pirate's skull & crossbones on top in mockery of all the scripted storybook marriages that then and now fail at a 50% rate. She called all over the city of WASHINGTON, DC for black roses. None could be found. Florists thought she was crazy. We ended up spraying silk red roses black. Nowadays, authentic black roses are found everywhere, roses actually bred to be black. Yup, we were part of a trendsetter generation, for better or worse. But here we are, 24 fat and lean years later, still tied in knots, madly in love with each other, best friends forever, and rarely seen in public without the other except during the weekday when she counts the beans in her big office while I chip away at the art world. Her already elderly parents were scandalized by all the brute stylings of the wedding we planned ourselves (mostly me), and for that small over-indulgence I am regretful, but it WAS indeed a unique event.

As for the Jehovah's Witnesses, I too, have extreme experience with them. But I will delay that deposition until the next letter.

Your friend in letters,

Gabriel

I Went To School With Bonnie Jones (Azure)

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Thought About You Today
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From:Bonnie Jones Davisson
Date: September 24, 2009 at 11:35am

Is that you, the clown? My husband worked at a Holiday Inn when we first moved to Orlando, and I voted at a Holiday Inn Express during that fateful '00 election, but I still don't see the connection. This one you will be forced to slap me directly in the face with the answer.

Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie. Go back to my original post. I was making some kind of joke, and I parenthetically proposed that you read the line I had written metaphorically with the same spirit, voice, and cadence as the commercial. The rodeo clown is not me, and has nothing to do with me, nor does Holiday Inn have anything to do with me, but is only one of many commercials Holiday Inn Express has aired using this same "voice" that beams, "Yada yada yada, but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night" inferring that a good night's rest at Holiday Inn Express was of such magical power that a stay allowed you to perform extraordinary, almost magical feats in situations you are hardly trained to accomplish, the next day. If that explanation doesn't help, I mean really, let's drop it. It's no big deal, unless you suspect that magic is somehow in the making. I am quite the metaphysician's mystic myself, but have a strong objective side to me that discounts the hocus pocus of wordgames as just that, wordgames. Wittgenstein, Popper, and all those crazy but highly focussed philosophers who taught us that language is a conspiracy of two or three gathered. We simply create and agree upon understanding, thus realizing the etymological organism in its most basic organizational form. That stuff...

I am disturbed to hear of your health predicaments. You have a darling family and chances are they still want you and need you in their lives. And didn’t I read that you’re gifted with a loving husband soon to be restoring his Lady to the Theme Park sovereignty of her youth? Slow fun can be fun too.
Meanwhile, among other bombshells I expect to volley one at a time, you mentioned that David Daniel died. When and how, do you mind? I heard Mutt became a professional boxer, but don't know any more than that. Dr. Henry Rodeffer is still in Fernandina, I discovered. What about Suzy? What about Philip Daugherty? What's his story? Mark didn't reply. Not that I expected anything more.

As for you dear Lady, convivial Queen of Theme Parks everywhere, don't let the wretched Georgia school system claw at your soul. It's hardly a secret, but everyone with spark in the dark is hush hush and too politically correct to admit that America the Beautiful is crumbling from within and without. Unfortunately it's my perception that things are only headed for the worse. There appears to be no escape. If you must acquiesce, allow any enemy their folly, but never give into these bastards, whatever their stripe. Our only consolation—as unforgiving time renders its verdict—is even breakneck stupidity is fleeting.

I am disturbed to hear of your health predicaments. You have a darling family and chances are they still want you and need you in their lives. And didn't I read that you're gifted with a loving husband soon to be restoring his Lady to the Theme Park sovereignty of her youth? Slow fun can be fun too.

She had flown that night with less than five dollars in her pocket. So she had to leave the hostel and foot it to the Western Union Office however far away that was, and have somebody wire her the money. Her grant check as expected came in the mail at the hostel on Monday, less than 24 hours after she was found dead on Easter Sunday.
My mother also died, now about five years ago, struggling down that last stretch in seeking her doctorate at the Adler School of Psychology, starting school in her late-fifties at Oglethorpe U there in Atlanta, earning her BA in 1999, where she was a star, and main topic in the president's address at Graduation Day. All this after raising six kids, having triple bypass surgery, and beating cancerous melanoma and lymphoma. My mother, however was a psychological mess, very smart, but with a keen intelligence mismanaged with great care, as her entire life was spent seeking respect, when in reality it wasn't respect she wanted but a highly cultivated admiration. She suffered all manner of struggle just to be admired, but most of all she wanted to be recognized as an authority. But at 69, she crumpled to the bed in a Chicago youth hostel on Maudy Thursday of the '03 Easter weekend, after a long flight from Atlanta only to be told by the NEW night manager that she couldn't get into her room (of nearly three years) until she caught up with her rent. She had flown that night with less than five dollars in her pocket. So she had to leave the hostel and foot it to the Western Union Office however far away that was, and have somebody wire her the money. Her grant check as expected came in the mail at the hostel on Monday, less than 24 hours after she was found dead on Easter Sunday.

She was a true character, a product of her generation however, and while I am indeed MY MOTHER'S SON, the eldest of six, and closest in resemblence both physically and intellectually to her, we were fiercely at odds most of the time in a battle of wits I refused to concede simply because she was my mother.

There's more, lots more, Bonnie, but I'll end here for now. Forget the Holiday Inn Express bit. It's totally irrelevant to anything of consequence...

Stay strong, and seek internal beauty...

Gabriel

I Went To School With Bonnie Jones (White)

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Big Brother Is A Bully
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Always...but never, Bonnie.

Let's not be coy. I regret I have but one life to give for my country. As I now understand it, this statement, once attributed to patriot Nathan Hale who was hung by the British as a spy, has now been reclassified as apocryphal. Rubbish, I say, but ultimately it doesn't matter. Slogans are only wordsuck. Language itself is mere alphabet dirt, but from healthy soil we rise, and survey all that nature confers. But yes. These are perilous times. While I wish to remain strong, to steer my family through what I feel are dangerous and rough times ahead in a land of strangers, much like you described, I am not afraid to put it all on the line if the occasion calls, but until that hour I am just a writer, a poet, a painter, a husband, a farmer, and a friend to the friendless who seek just one.

Chin up Bonnie. I also hail from a family of shrimpers. I never knew that about you. I just observed you as a cute little blonde girl who was nice in class, and had all the right friends, some of the same ones I had. Seems I recall you hanging out with Colleen Kane a good bit, and the Anderson sisters. Your own daughters seem wonderful. Job well done. So indeed, let's continue to reach out. I am real. That much you can expect of me. Big Brother is a bully. I have faced many a bully blocking my path. Damn the stories upon which we as unique individuals are built...

Again, thanks for your kind words. My life gets very busy at times, but personal outreach is very important to my daily stamina, so have patience, be assured that I am never far away, but I will think of you often, and in turn, am always delighted to hear from you. If you have a solid email address, perhaps we can move our conversations off Facebook, for privacy and organizational concerns, if only a niche or two more secure.

Either way, I wish you the very best you can muster in your day to day. I have a few health concerns myself, so can empathize as a peer. Thank you for making me your friend. I still have to laugh that you thought I was homosexual, although I understand. I was quite flaming in high school, still am in many ways I suppose.

Also, have several siblings in the Stone Mountain area...

Truly,

Gabriel

A Taste Of Trench Madness

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Gabriel Thy's Sleepy Eye
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Thanks for keeping up the resistance, Morales. Just know that the busy silence of we who are marked to fall always proceeds the clashing of the cymbals, while those of us who warned the others (now laughing and mocking, hissing and despising our herald) will have witnessed the fullness of truth, not they—and by inertia or grace will be prepared to shield others from the amplified atrocities as they arrive. That's the extent of whatever hope I have remaining because I have learned that minds are not changed by the politeness of social stability but by the harsh tongues of upheaval and crisis. This country will probably awaken when Europe implodes, but I believe that America is also marked for crisis, a result of having become sadly corrupted and from our national potential far have we strayed.

Don't fear the Marxist-Islamofascism creep, however. Resist it wherever we can, but don't expect any sudden miracles quite yet. People still treasure their fool's gold, reflecting among the dueling mirrors of social consciousness that they've done the math, not quite realizing they've only been using imaginary numbers while letting the real digits slip away...

And allow me this opportunity to insist that I am not naive, no matter what I choose to paint or wrestle into inconsequential line. It's rather obvious by now that I frittered away that excuse six senses and a million miles ago in a taste of trench madness. I may be a fool, but I'm nobody's fool.

Bob Amerson and I become close friends that summer, but this was a small town, and this was what happened in small towns back in the 60s where few homes ever locked their doors, even when folks left town for a few days. Boyhood allegiances shifted quickly without warning, without rationale, without lasting impression in those days. Childhood innocence should be so easy for kids today without ending up in a grave.
I've been aware of this sleepy right eye since junior high when it first started popping up into school photos. I didn't start short career in sandlot boxing, until a bit later, but I did suffer a couple of black ones put there by Bob Amerson immediately after school while we were in the sixth grade. But I picked myself up and met the usual in-town lads—Davey Ryals, his brother Terry, Terry Simmons, Reggie Sawyer, Jimbo Caldwell, Louie "Mooches" Davis, Ronnie Wright, Jimmie Pitts, Tommy Hall, a fews others I'm sure, and Terry Kennedy, the one girl who lived just behind the field, while the rest of us just walked or rode our bicycles—at the ballfield for a pickup game just as was expected nearly every day. Bob did not. I was also surprised to see Donnie Findley there that afternoon, but none of my own brothers were there. If they were I don't recall. But I apparently had earned the applause of the whole squad of twelve to fifteen boys already slinging hash on the field. Sure, I suffered the usual bouts of self-consciousness at school over the next few days, but nobody ever ragged me. From the best I could tell—rolling around the ground (near the tree roundabout where kids who rode parked our bicycles) swinging punches, landing a few, ducking others, before getting pinched by the ears and led to Principal Huff's office by Mrs. Middleton who had taught us both two years earlier—the crowd of twenty-five to thirty, best I could reckon, was split fifty-fifty. But nobody ever ragged me. Bob showed at school the next day. He didn't seem any worse for wear, no shiners, no nothing. But nobody ever ragged me. Bob Amerson and I become close friends that summer, but this was a small town, and this was what happened in small towns back in the 60s where few homes ever locked their doors, even when folks left town for a few days. Boyhood allegiances shifted quickly without warning, without rationale, without lasting impression in those days. Childhood innocence should be so easy for kids today without ending up in a grave.