Archive for the ‘Genderblock’ Category

Latest New Dance Craze: It's Called The Bunny Hop!


26 Mar

meaningoflife

The Meaning of Life? Ask a scientist?

It was a bright day until someone asked the meaning of life, not in the form of a question, but in the form of a meme. Seems my good friend Mike Twigger, as is his way, reposted a rather humorous image with its own text superimposed. In other words, that image to the left of this paragraph. What follows next is a matter of interpretation of what seemed a fairly straight forward riff on scientists, what they know, and how they play it. Then out came the bunny rabbits one by one, doing the bunny hop.

I say, "Good One!"

Laura Waldron then pipes in, "So it's right to force unwanted pregnancies on women?"

Never one to succumb to tired old fiddlesticks, I retort, "Is it right to force unwanted hangovers on young males? Stretching an argument into something else is easy..."

Laura then has the audacity to relieve me of my sensitivities, "Yeah, what does a guy's hangover have to do with a woman's body? Stay on subject."

Now this was just plain vulgarity to my ears. Stay on subject? After she'd jumped from that image to forcing unwanted pregnancies on women?

But Twigger takes her bait. I mean, how long can one argue Laura's point? Argue it into the ground? It's already in the ground. Dead and buried. I have my view. You have yours. Nuff said. But Twigger weighed in. "I agree as a Christian [that] life starts at conception... therefore the baby should have as much right as the mother... although if it affects the mothers health then yes abortion should be available and safe. I believe there should also be surrogate mothers who could carry the baby to term if the real mom didn't want the child."

Well, that last point was interesting. Taking fetus from one oven to another. But that argument about saving the mother's life in a crisis over the life of the fetus has always left me a bit cold and unconvinced. However, Laura responds to Mike before I have the chance to build anything on that small piece of well-treaded ground, "Surrogate mothers expect to get paid. Unwanted pregnancies leads to the birthing of unwanted children which leads to said children being neglected and abused. Speaking from experience here."

Damn interesting comeback. I suppose she now prefers that she'd had been aborted. Now, that's a revolutionary statement, if truly believed by its speaker, which I strongly doubt. But I leave that alone for now. Instead I stay on my original course and her first point once removed, that is staying on topic, or at least the topic she wanted to rehash, "Hahahaha. Laura. I knew you would say that. You took my bait. So to recap. What does determining a living cell found in the womb of a pregnant woman to be life have to do with forcing unwanted pregnancies on women? You, Ms. Waldron, jumped the shark, first."

Her reply was simple. She was catching up. "Because of what the meme implies. Duh. And its so obvious that its a pro lifer meme."

Well, it was time to wrap all this together in a neat package before I could return to her most recent jewel. Is life more important than a wretched childhood, or is it not? That is the pro-lfe meme, my dear, and perhaps one day you will realize it. Oops, I'm getting ahead of myself. Here is what I said next, "I call that a bunny hop. Memes can lead anywhere. Like, uh, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar can lead some of us to think well, duh, sometimes, life is just life. End of story. Nothing about abortions or a right to choose or baby names or rapists or regret or sex with your daddy. Besides Laura. If you drink too much, just expect a hangover. Complaining about it or slicing and dicing about how you got that drunk doesn't change anything. You're stuck with the hangover. How you deal with it is the almighty gift of initiative. But then, sometimes bunny hops just get a bit off the beaten path, don't you think? THAT was my point to you at the top of this thread. The question wasn't guess a meme, it was about the nature of life versus the hypocrisy of scientists and media who should know better. That's a meme that begins and ends with the information as it was given. We now see where taking unauthorized bunny hops can lead.

Then Miss Liberty and all her tired, her poor, her huddled masses came a knocking with a link that is supposed to prove something to me, again having nothing to do with the original laugh track at scientists and the media. "Oldest, largest, and only statewide Pro-Life organization in Texas. I don't think I came to any false conclusions or BUNNY HOPS. I think you—however—are trying to be contrarian with me and it won't work as I'm the biggest contrarian I know. You may want to make the meme about the nature of life versus the hypocrisy of scientists and media and make it this deep thing but it was intended to be an attack on Women's CHOICE, on the rights to our bodies, and if women don't fight this attack on us, then what's next? Making rape legal? See you can say its an orange all you want but the truth is, it's an apple."

And she really thinks she's clever, parroting these threadbare statements. After all, apples and oranges in her arguments would be the same because they are both fruits, or to her point, designed to keep women away from the authority over their own bodies. But I press on, "You want to know what's next? Simple. You framed it yourself, in so many words. The question stated: is your own wretched childhood more important than the non-existence from which you were spared, or is it not? That is the pro-lfe meme, dear contrarian," adding, "I refuse to fall for retread handbook. You stretch a simple question about the origins of life into a parade of boogie men without once mentioning the predominant track of using abortion on demand as a high dollar, high risk prophylactic."

"I also refuse to accept you binary proposition. Death is all around us. I can do little about any of it. I take no religious or political position on abortion except to dig further for the truth wherever I find it. But I do find its current practice vulgar and self-serving. If you, Laura Waldron, are so wise as to assign policy binaries on every swirling detail you are fortunate to be able to observe, I dare suggest that you are indeed better off having been born even though you may have experienced a shoddy childhood, rather than to have been neutralized as a thriving embryo. Frankly, this is a tiresome and well-documented argument you make. I found freshness in precisely the point that the image and caption Mike posted made clear, and nothing else, since as I say, if I want an abortion debate there are infinite other places to find one that an ironic Facebook post. The fact that you ran in to make it something else on the basis of a tired meme was your prerogative I suppose, but it certainly isn't the only meme attached to the meaning of life that makes stellar commentary useful and exhonerating. In other words, I write for my own reasons, and you and your transitional memes have nothing to do with it. Lastly, I trust my sarc has not exceeded but merely equaled yours towards me, tat for tit, apple for orange, squeezed or simple peeled, for I would never want to make you feel stupid."

To be continued, if Laura Waldron has more to add. With kind regards to its awesome powers of community, nevertheless King Facebook is not my home. There are reasons for that, also, but I'm sure the usual meme would not suffice, but for sake of shortness of breath, let's just agree that it does (whatever that might be).

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


11 Nov

art-science

Art and Science

samplex

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.

Pickles Love Cucumbers


18 Aug

I love you too...
my baby's so sweet she's rots my teeth,
the fig of creation, I find love to be such an awkward word,
but am only comfortable in pronouncing it,

in my case childless,

to this beguiled wife with whom I execute it
not unlike the notion of sugar water. Towards others,
those feelings and outreach is a reflex, but the word

LOVE itself poses quite a stumbling block to the poet long
preferring the word RESPECT, but hello, as signifier
knowing too how the American gangster culture
pretty much bloodied that word for me to boot,
so one if by wink, two if by blink...
and if it brings you happiness, sue me.

[ 2013, Lovettsville, VA ]

Ballad of The Big Ass Skinhead, The Engineer, and The Artists Nearby


01 Apr

structural-engineer

Structural Engineer

samplex

Alex Roehner romps around the room in her best crayon pajamas, "Use small words and carry a big ass skinhead," she smiles, a service mile of track sunk into the old skinhead she now wants to extend a quiet allegiance. "Hello, my friends," she writes as if she remembers the words of a song she never thought she knew, then quickly types out, "I meant friend in the singular, unless your voices are with you..."

"Allo! Admiring your boots. You caught me looking..." Virtuality, off the record I find myself thinking, is a keen instinct among particular early tribes of hunt and peck typists and rogue artists found in various regions of North America, but according to the latest statistics as compiled by a few former employees of Standard & Poor's—virtuality is not a new phenomenon, but has its roots in the early religious rites of ancient peoples whose archaeological traces can be found worldwide, although much disputed among professionals who chalk it all up as garbage character—lost and found, survival of the fittest, not the fattest, not the thinnest, but the fittest—and not worth the investment of digging for clues as to why this rumor persists while bonding together many populations otherwise stuck on it like barnacles on a favorite whale. That former associates of Standard & Poor's are or might be involved in this study is still a mystery. Then I think again of Alex in her victorious boots. I saw pictures. I think I can smell them heel to toe all the way up the calf in all their splendor from here on this page, despite odors of wet cellar wafting up from the stink below. What can one expect from a place built in the 1740s with beautiful 12" wide planks but no sub-flooring...

"Busted."

"Ha! And I was just writing about things that go kick in the night earlier in the day," say I.

"I will write to you tomorrow," she promises. "My brain is coasting on beer at the moment and I can't lift my unabridged dictionary to aide me in a witty and verbose reply to your wonderfully worded correspondence. I love that you make me think without a drop of arrogance!"

"It's a trick I learned years ago when I created a Zen koan in the form of a question which goes like this: what's the difference between arrogant humility and humble arrogance?"

"One you can hear," she states.

"Your response flew right on past me. Come again..." I am genuinely stumped. But Alex Roehner is no stone in the horse's shoe.

"Arrogant humility must be verbally identified whereas humble arrogance is silent and deadly," she explains in a way I had never considered but made sense at this time of night, and as I write this, so I give her sway.

"Wait a minute. If you're buzzing on beer moving west at forty miles an hour and another bloke is buzzed on atomic fireballs traveling in the opposite direction at fifty miles an hour, which detail do you find most arresting? Nevermind. A joke gone astray. Back to the original koan. I think it is simpler than what you have suggested. Think about it." Here I am trying to get her to land on my square, the one I had picked out for her, but she had been too clever for that.

"Did I tell you about that the other day? My answer is for them to call each other a coordinate." Word games can get silly awfully quick.

"Arrogant humility is like a TV evangelist on uppers and downers and a few dancing girls on the side. Humble arrogance is like the lion with a thorn in his paw." I made my point, but I am intrigued by hers, because it does actually fit the model I had prepared, which leads us to the question, are all squares alike? "Tell me what the other day?" Now, she's lost me in the crayons again. "Not that I recall, and while I recall reams, I might be overlooking something. Please clarify."

"About the Jimmy leaving the station going east at 10 mph with 16 apples and Janey leaving the salon going north with a sack of potatoes. You will get my Alan Aldaish humor in a bit." This girl hangs low. I just love that about her. I wonder if she knows.

"No, just another one of those eerie synchronicities we seem to have going right now," I tell her, remembering something about how she was going to jump off until tomorrow tired and bleary, but we were, lighting fox tails strung to long sticks, and running through the naked woods with only words to keep us armed against the bouncing brown bears and their hunters stoked with large guns, and a license to kill. "That is to say, no, you didn't mention that tale."

"I was going on about it the other day. I am forced to take math so my buildings don't topple and I can calculate bending moments. The problem with math is there is only one answer. In English hell, I can make Jimmy juggle those apples while driving with his knees going in the opposite direction of traffic..."

"LOL! Well, Heisenberg might disagree with you, but for building, stiff calculus will suffice under most conditions. My rebuttal signals a slight twinge of satisfaction. But even on that spot, she ups the cost of doing business with a girl strapped to the gurney forced to inhale the forces that exist in a non-literal world taught to call itself literal.

"So will calling a structural engineer. Aha!"

"You've heard that science now suggests that observing an experiment can change the course of that experiment, right Alex? But don't scientists observe ALL experiments? I guess the key, and I forget this insidious detail, whether observation of an experiment will change the course of that experiment in a PREDICTABLE or UNPREDICTABLE way."

"Sounds like every word that leaves your mouth is history."

"Or history repeating itself, ha! Besides none of these words are leaving my mouth. I am typing." I pop her a good lickin' with that hit, I think. She's a slammer, alright.

"You're a funny man," she counters.

"Not only that," I type. "I paint pictures few can decipher, or even try. So I guess perfection is not as funny as math."

"But just as confusing."

"Just to be clear, said Confucius, before boarding the train, I have no seeds..."

"Where ever you go, that is where you will be, young grasshopper"

"Oh, that one's old, must be history repeating itself." We are both wearing thin, obviously, nervously fingering our crayons and our last few consonants in the stack we kept near the water tea glass, and Vitamin D pills I took because I never left the terminal long enough to get any sun.

"Or I haven't gotten there yet, wink wink." Another stinker, we're falling out of love with the words that brought us this far, now mere alphabet slaves to routine and obligation. I wonder if there will be a resurgence of energy, of creativity, of probing, thrusting, bouncing unfettered words strung out on string, made for you, played for me. I wonder.

"Oh, you're there alright." You're a buttercup solo in a runaway dandelion field, I murmur to myself, now, as I consider that night when we were living at the Farm. Those were good days. Too bad the old man had no vision. Being an old stuffy government lawyer got the best of him, so I add the next lines to deflect. "And that's me in the corner, losing my virginity. But only because I'm a Libra. And there is no way a Libra can be a free spirit. Am often called one, but they just don't understand the conflicted soul the way us Librans do."

"Thats funny most people say I'm not there, or home, either."

"Silly wabbits. Home is there."

"In a Westinghouse."

"Such an illustrious past, the Westinghouse name." And brand. Surely Alex is too young to remember that tagline from the days of black & white television. She's an inspiration, quick and rich in symbolic references that have specific meaning to me, even this reference to Westinghouse. I give her that. But of what long term use is she to me, or I to her? But I don't have the opportunity to follow up the Westinghouse gem, as she is flagged as offline. Ah, she's back.

"Sorry to flee momentarily but Ive been on this silly FB for a bit too long for one day. I have some serious thinking to do if I am to reply to my friend Gabe and discover Suess' dark side. Dream Grand."

"Okay, thanks for chirping in..."

"Chat tomorrow?"

"Most likely. Bye, and hang tough..."

"Which is safer than Hang 10."

"Especially when you've only got eight."

"Just know I'm smiling."

"Skipping all the way to the building that never falls down...somewhere...and it ain't over some ephemeral rainbow. Just so you know."

"The vision of you skipping with "Skip to the Loo" (haha) is well, well, worthy of some angry art. You are such an inspiration."

"Guess my work is done, he smirks." And I meant it. That was a playful exchange. It's getting late, but not too late to keep the lights on for the honey pot to catch the next fly...

"Meanwhile back at the homestead..."

Are you still here?

"No. Gone home. Clocked out and gone home." I presume Alex Roehner, the girl with the most curious hair I know (with nod to D.F.W.) is working from home. A minute has passed...

"Can't pull yourself away from the little screen?" I tease.

"Busted again," she types. But actually I was the busted one the first time these words were used tonight, or so I'd originally thought, busted for peeping her in her hip boots. But I carry on.

"Home is where my laptop is, tiny dancer..."

"Like a candle in the wind" To have both tapped Elton John was a subtle move, but I realize that in saying that I have be giving people the wrong impression. I can live with that. But, I was just a big fan for a string of four or so albums.

"Caught between the bull and his Picasso. The taxi girl and the sneaker in the rye. Forty secrets the Dali Lama failed to mention on his way down the mountain. Anyways. I'm gone. You take it away. We'll meet up again tomorrow." That's should up the ante. Can't wait to see her next move.

"I have a suspicious feeling this banter could be documented."

"Copy and paste into a text doc. Only way I've found."

"Naw, that's falling in the misconceived trap that genius is gone for good. DONT DO IT!" she cajoles. Surely she doesn't think I'm going to pay attention to that big fat lie. Documentation no way belittles genius. Nor suffers it lightly. Nor uses up all its eggs. As you see, I kicked against Roehner's grave wishes, for better or worse, and I trust she will be happy to bounce through this moment of time. Hell, that's what writers and painters do. They document. Enter the readers.

"Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word has a dilemma for you. On that topic, have you checked out Goodreads yet? No? Chagrin."

"Not yet. Tiny magnetizing screen remember? Oh, and Structural engineering class and new NY Sunday times x word puzzles. Trés busy á demain."

"Goodreads is simply a space where you post your own favorite literary experiences. You rate them. You critique them, et cetera, yada yada, dada. It's similar to Facebook and the two services actually interact but Goodreads is ALL about books, your books, and other people's lists. Take it or leave it. Wish it were around about fifteen years ago when I was trying to catalogue my personal library, and had few tools worth fussing over. Well, she's off the clock now. Time to turn the lights out, methinks. Bye dark angel..."

Time Of The Season (A Family Reunion)


15 Feb

family

Family Spark

samplex

Hey sweet cakes, when did I EVER love you? Beheld you with a certain ill-prepared fondness perhaps, but love? That's an overused and far too frequently misappropriated word. And besides, aren't you Our Lady of Perpetual Crisis? Just ragging. But you can be a lady sometimes, I know, I just know it.

Wassup? On our end of things, we've relocated the studio out to a large historic horse farm on ten acres in a stretch of the good life I call the throbbing nipple of Sweet Virginia. Five miles to Maryland. Ten to West Virginia. Some 60 miles outside the spin of DC. Awesome place, this farm. Will post pictures at some point. Still trying to sell or rent the city condo. Will sign with an agent this week I think. Suzy Blue brought out the papers this weekend, but we have yet to discuss the finer details.

So tell me, how's YOUR wretched deal going? Haven't heard anything new about you and the kids since Clyde swooped in and snagged the old man. Did you guys patch it all up? Was it all just a bad dream? Is this memorex or a badly scratched 78 RPM, thick and unbreakable? Is the Black Hand of Injustice really black, or is that just the shadow of doubt I read about in the tea leaves of the nightly news?

After a rough patch or so near the beginning, things are going okay for "The Chaz" up here. He just got his motorcycle bolted together again yesterday. Allan & family have been up here a couple times with Paige now being observed and penetrated at the National Institute of Health. That's a sad case of mistaken identity. But for the grace of God...

All in all, it's been family reunion tour of sorts for us. Not a bad thing, given the circumstances, the timing, and the hare.

Unfortunately, the grace of transitional power is not the only sensation that's left the building of late, as we are still strung out, and will be hobbled until the condo situation is rectified, and we shift our primary household out here in the fastest growing and richest per capita county in the nation. Despite all that, this definitely feels like the right move at the right time. The two loved ones seem to cherish it here even more than I do, but once I am together again with my books to surround and protect me (nods to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel), I shall embrace the Blue Ridge winds with equal force.

Well, stick it to me, dear. It's the way this game is played. It's true, I never tell you ALL my business. But again, I'm sure you've held out on me as well...

Just thinking about the plural of gravitas...

GT

Twenty-Five Random Things About Me


31 Jan

spikedpunch

Punk Ain't Dead in 1985

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Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I used to hang with Ru Paul in Atlanta back when HE played in a band called Wee Wee Pole, mostly at the 688 Club and the Bistro, both now defunct.

2. I was a brilliant child (one of the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging myself through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix…), then I bumped into the lads of 9353, and learned something else about myself.

3. Bob Dylan, Thomas Paine, and Henry Miller, in that order fascinate me to the ends of the intellectual spool, are my heroes, and oddly enough, both the Right and the Left claim them (well, Miller might not make the cut on the Right), and yet all are despised by both the Right and the Left when it suits them.

4. I hitchhiked from Atlanta to NYC to meet Allen Ginsberg with seven cents in my pocket because I had lost my whole $250 paycheck earned working a roofing tar kettle the night before dancing and boozing with a hole in my pocket I had sworn to avoid, all in celebration of my departure. I also met my future wife on that trip. It's a long story.

5. I was a literary poet when I came to DC. I then became a drunk, quit writing poetry in deference to my rocker friends and enemies like Bruce, Boyd, Vance, Gene, Jamie, Rene, Lloyd, Frank, Henry, Andy, Jack and so many more of that squiggle of spit-possessed renegades.

6. I grew up poor among the poor. My five siblings and I often slept in sleeping bags curled up around the only kerosene heater in the house built in 1865, later burned to the ground by an arsonist in 1972, along with many of my childhood treasures. My father collected junk Cadillac & Pontiac hearses and DUIs as if nothing else existed for him.

7. I once told Jesse Jackson I don't stomp the pavement for any cause. And yes, I shook Ronald Reagan's hand as he was leaving the Jacksonville Convention Center in 1972, as a Nixon delegate in the first highschool mock convention of its kind. My particular Florida highschool represented the state of Tennessee. Shirley Chisolm was also there.

8. I recall the Kennedy assassination in full black and white. I was in the third grade. I watched the aftermath at Darwin Gale's house while he was outside playing in the dirt with toy soldiers, our usual connivance.

9. I was married to a Jehovah's Witness twice my age, mother of three, when I was eighteen, four weeks after she smothered my virginity. What a dweeb I was! It lasted three horrific years.

10. With a nod to Yeats, I slouched in the dirty and dangerous coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel on Lake Michigan back when America was strong, though the steel industry was just then beginning to feel the coming shrinkage.

11. My grandfather regularly played chess with King Faisal Ibn Abdul of Saudi Arabia when he was a construction superintendent there in 1966. This king was later assassinated by his own nephew. Spud Woodward, my grandfather, left after six months of his two year tour seriously needing an adult beverage, of course banned over there.

12. I became a painter after reading a book.

13. I believe America is in deep shit, and I also believe we haven't a pooper scooper to our name as a nation.

14. If it weren't for money, I'd be a rich man.

15. I lost a 900 page novel manuscript among other fine washables when I accidentally erased it off my computer.

16. As a former Episcopalean acolyte and Eagle scout, well not quite, my family moved to a remote barrier island owned by the Carnegie and Rockefeller families when I was fourteen, effectively ending my scouting career at Life, anyhow, what was my point?

17. My family were among the original band of Scottish Highlanders to found the State of Georgia. Names like Mackintosh, Spalding, Kenan, Woodward, Atwood lead straight to me. Big effing deal some might say; I say it's all in how you present the information. Did I mention one of my ancestors traced my heritage straight to William the Conqueror, the bastard lord of feudalism? Thirty-one generations. I did the math. Lots of people are my cousins.

18. I have never been to college. But I am still a tool of my enemy, and I cannot visualize an escape.

19. Guns. Now that's something William S. Burroughs knew something about.

20. I either secretly or outright despise Marxists because I am right of center and am more generous with my time and my treasure than any "ever so concerned" Marxist I have ever met.

21. I realize that the line is being drawn in the sand even as I write these words and parse these syllables. There is no time left to write poems or paint pretty pictures. Now is the time for all good men and women to rise to the challenges our spineless leaders have injected into our collective bloodstream.

22. Twenty-five years with the same woman. Haplessly married, but unbreachably united. A story for the ages. Check out Abelard and Heloise.

23. I am either supra-confident in public (usually a byproduct of alcohol, of which I rarely partake these days), or timid and tragically neurotic and full of self-doubt. Ask around.

24. In the spirit of jolly old Saint Nix (one of my former namesakes), I am always making a list and checking it twice, determined as hell to discover who is naughty and who is nice.

25. My greatest shame is that few people who call themselves my friends have ever bothered to listen to my Internet radio station, Radio Scenewash, or read, much less respond to any of my blogs in the several years I have operated them. Such is MY life in the fast lane among the self-satisfied and the splendid.

Juried Into Studio Gallery


23 Aug

family-values

Family Values by Gabriel Thy

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In July, I was juried into the Studio Gallery, DC's longest running, artist-owned gallery in the area. Twenty-nine years and running. Featuring contemporary work and located in the prestigious Embassy Row section of the Dupont Circle, thirty-one local, professional artists exhibit in solo and group shows in addition to invitationals or juried exhibitions.

Studio Gallery Website

Gallery Hours
Wednesday and Thursday, 1 - 7pm
Friday, 1 - 8pm
Saturday, 1 - 6pm

My own presence is not yet on the studio website due to a very busy schedule (see previous blog entry) since the jurying process, but I will be represented soon. I look forward to a long and compelling tenure with this very charming collective.

My special thanks to Adah Rose, Marina, Micheline, and Yvette, each for your terrific advocacy during the jury process.

Gabriel

P.S. Adah Rose Bitterbaum told me that I was juried in a unanimous vote, the first time she had seen that happen in her several years as Director there. A 9-7, 10-6 vote pattern was more the norm. I was flattered.Stunned, and suspicious. Why? Adah Rose immediately fled to Paris, which was a great disappointment to me. I wanted very much to work with her. Yvette bought two paintings from me. Marina became Director of the SG for a year until Adah Rose returned, a return which was short-lived, as she soon left to launch her own gallery. Micheline and Yvette remain at Studio Gallery as of this edit in November, 2013. My own membership was cut short in early 2009 for as the economy plunged in liberal chaos. I also left 52 O Street Studios, and landed in Loudoun County where I painted for two year, but have since 2011 taken time to bring other aspects of my artistic presentation and Project Scenewash into view.

Premise #1 From The Fitzgerald Files


26 Oct

damsel

A New Development

samplex

I know artists and writers those latter-day Lorenzos ought to be supporting—if they knew what's good for them, and for their posterity. But they mostly don't. So they whip out the checkbooks for Harvard, for Yale, for Princeton, for "peace studies" and for "art" that isn't art, and for teachers of literature who do not teach literature but rather about the ethnic, racial, and religious background of authors, and so on.

Usurpers.

The preceding words of Hugh Fitzgerald, as idealized by this writer, are worth at least a dozen warm meals in harsh times, a triumphant song on an Olympic-sized sound stage, a fully loaded Glock 23 in a plastic picnic knife fight, a grain of sugar in a dirty ocean of whale screams. Don't mock. Just ask anyone who's not invested nostrils first in cherry pits and dark chocolate. Understanding what makes us each different is not just understanding the past but understanding the future each of us will achieve because motivation is always measured in personal steps. Civilizational performances, like the water and blood of life itself, is a snapshot of biophysical strategies—molecules in action—and we, the seventy year set, ebb and flow with or without the consent of our forebears or our neighbors, except to the degree we consent, bow or scrape, a mere pellet melting and mixing into the ocean of time. So according to some, why bother?

My response. If these people claim to be your friends, they are imposters. Know them by the arc of their sucker punches.

Review: Amy Chua, World On Fire


13 Oct

mullahboy

Yet They Hang Homosexuals?

samplex

Read quickly this very compelling book a couple of years ago by author Amy ChuaWorld on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. The book documents just how pervasive are the aggressive forces of foreign ethnic division and economic disparity which survive, expand and prosper in the world, and how much each drive the cultural traumas in the news media today.

Chua, a naturalized American whose parents are Chinese, builds upon Thomas Sowell's concept of the middle-man minority—the often-persecuted immigrant ethnic group with a talent for retailing and banking, such as Jews, Armenians, Chinese, Gujarati Indians, Lebanese Christians, etc. She broadens that idea to include other relatively well-heeled groups, such as un-entrepreneurial hereditary landowners, like the Tutsis of Rwanda and the Iberian-descended whites of much of Latin America. She extrapolates in bringing them all together under the useful term "market-dominant minorities."

The author begs off explaining why economic inequality exists between hereditary groups; she just acknowledges it. So let me offer a general explanation. Creating wealth is difficult. The wealthy, even those in highly progressive tax jurisdictions, tend to pass down their property, their genes, and their techniques for preserving and multiplying wealth to their descendents, rather than to strangers.

Blacks were forbidden to vote until 1870; women until 1920; poll-tax debtors until 1964; illiterates until 1965, young people until 1971. And how the U.S. treats its minorities today, as compared to 200 years ago, is like night and day. One remarkable fact remains: where there is a failure of democracy, there is usually a lack of democracy.
In countries without a reliable system of equal justice under the law, clannishness is particularly rational. Businessmen must depend upon their extended families for protection and enforcement of contracts. So they are particularly loathe to do serious business with people to whom they have no ties of blood or marriage and who would thus be more likely to stiff them on a deal.

"Globalization," or economic liberalization, tends to make the poor majorities slightly richer and the "market dominant minorities" vastly richer. Sometimes the masses find this an acceptable tradeoff. But, sometimes it drives them into a fury.

Often, the minority's post-globalization riches are honestly earned, but not always. American-backed privatization schemes in Russia and Mexico put huge government enterprises into the hands of the most economically nimble and politically well-connected operators at give-away prices. Chua suggests that American foreign-policy, with its democratic ideal, is setting many nations up for failure by creating democratically elected dicatators from a dominant ethic group to rule over the weaker groups, often resulting in the ethnic cleansing activities we see across the world.

Let's take an older example. Can democracy be blamed for Hitler's rise? No. Other democratic nations around the world were also devastated by the Great Depression, but none converted to dictatorships as a result. Germany was the oddball among these nations, and an examination of its republic reveals its democratic and constitutional weaknesses clearly enough.

History reminds us that there is actually a spectrum of democracies, with strong democracies on one end, and weak democracies on the other. To the extent that democracies fail, it is because the will of the people is not being carried out. The U.S. offers this lesson itself. Blacks were forbidden to vote until 1870; women until 1920; poll-tax debtors until 1964; illiterates until 1965, young people until 1971. And how the U.S. treats its minorities today, as compared to 200 years ago, is like night and day. One remarkable fact remains: where there is a failure of democracy, there is usually a lack of democracy. The Muslim approach comes to mind.

GT

Remember When Bussius Blew Us Off, Plumb Missing Our Gesture


29 Aug

Bussius Beach

Bussius Beach

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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 10:52:13
Point of Origin: Washington, DC

Sorry I haven't got back to you, didn't stop by because my wife decided to invite her friends and they followed in another car. Make a long story short, they were not to interested. Well I have spent a week at the beach. Only company really was my son, wife (after we already got to the beach) invited another friend of hers. Came back the next Sunday, Monday truck broke down, dropped 200 bucks to fix, tried to replace my serpentine belt, broke that cost 75 bucks, this Monday finally fixed truck completely, living with the in-laws has almost become truly unbearable. Looking, possibly for a new job (pays more) so I haven't been feeling too spunky about anything lately. It was good hearing from Yall!! Yeah Haw! Haven't been doing much of anything except the last month or so trying to get back in shape, getting up at 4:30 am go to work and go running for 4-5 miles, work, go home, lift a little weights, go to bed, repeat.

Made the History Channel, summer of 2000 going through Ranger school, they had a t.v. crew out there filming. Finally got a copy last month (2 frickin years) come to find out, all the video they took you only see me close to the very end! Sux!! Oh well. Let me get back to pretending I'm working and not playing on the Internet. Later Gator,

—Sergeant Buss

Hey Sarge, we gotta see that video, man. Came across some pics just the other day you'd sent me from Hawaii of yourself snuggled up to God & Country & sweet teat familia gob-smacked in face mud and camouflage. Spunky goo, maaan, spunky...

Speaking of changes, I just took a part-time job myself down at the neighborhood Moto Photo. Plan to join Gold's Gym which is three blocks away, soon after I get my first paycheck. I begin right after Labor Day. Should be a halfway decent job, 20-24 hours a week, cop a few skills, and spot check the pushy Chevy Chase photo-processing public before the whole stinking industry goes flat out digital. And this weight problem I've been hiding under an enormous appetite for has GOT TO VANISH INTO THIN AIR.

Meanwhile, I dolly around the house working up my websites long in ill-repair after three highly decorated years of preparing to move, moving, and reorganizing into the new place, a MUCH smaller place. But I can't complain, despite a mess of health issues. I've just got to straighten myself out, Sarge, one day at a time (he laughs with a big-assed ho ho ho, as if he were some buck naked private singing in the desert rain for pennies on the dollar and a new identity from which to launch a David Foster Wallace attack on all those sinking souls he knew by the sound of their tongues crying out from the purest unalloyed Turkish copper, rich in history, freshly poured off process from the long queue of smelting pots containing only the perfected element.) Truth unalloyed.

GT

Time: 29 Aug 2002 16:20:11

Yeah it's gonna cost your whole paycheck to go to Gold's Gym. They ain't cheap.Yeah I packed on 20-30 lbs since I've been out and now I've been running just about 4-5 times a week 3-5 miles and the only thing I noticed is I'm getting better at running again and I think my body is just adjusting to keep the fat and be able to run. What a bitch!! Have to come up with some more strategies besides just running, need to lift more weights or more exercises like push ups and pull ups, sit ups (definitely). Well, I'll keep trotting around the trail every morning until this shit falls off. What are you up to this weekend? Maybe I can wiggle myself away from the looney bin and the Master-Where's-Your-Paycheck.

Mrs. Beaversnatch

Mrs. Beaversnatch

Any Hooo let me know and I'll probably have to email or go somewhere and call since the in-laws don't have long distance calling after my sister-in-law raised the bill to over 500 bucks with her homey friends. What a wasted human she is, worthless as cancerous tits! Well I'll get back to ya.

—Roberto the Boogaloo Dance Technician

Come on down, Corona Pooch...since we cancelled our plans to go visit my mother in Chicago, we have zero inertia. Might go looking at affordable outboards this weekend just for kicks, but that might be even more fun if you were along. Paycheck? Uh, I don't START working until after Labor Day, but I don't really need the check to sign up at Gold's. Just thought it would be nice to see money coming in instead of always going out. Moving out of the ghetto put us bug-eyed in debt, again.

But let's get together for real. I'm hardly drinking anymore these days, weight and blood pressure issues. I'm a fat old man fer sure. Though I look younger than my age (47 in September), I look fatter than I feel, but then again I surely feel like the 300 pound ghostbuster I am, so who am I kidding? Saturday? Sunday? You name it. Wassup dude?

Anyway speaking of automobile troubles, I've got to get outa here and head out to Wheaton on the Metro to pick up our car that's currently in the body shop. While visiting down in Charlotte, NC earlier this month, Sue's childhood friend's husband backed into the rear door panel with his SUV. $1200 worth of crush and paint. The body shop has had it since Monday. No problem though. Sue takes Metro to work, and I don't leave the house, so the car rarely goes anywhere these days except on weekends occasionally.

Later,

GT

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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