Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Monday, January 29, 2007

More Fun With The Green Balloon Man



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Sunday, January 28, 2007

A River Runs By It



Friday, January 26, 2007

The Cat in the Box


Kyle, Atop the Kingdom of Water

Two neighbors of ours, on an animal rescue mission back in September of 2006, found a cat in a box outside of the Pasadena Humane Society. The cat, perhaps a year or so in age, was soaked to the bones though it had not rained in the preceeding days. Not ones to turn away from a drenched puss-puss in a box, they gathered up the cat and brought him back to our 'hood. One of the neighbors, a 76 year-old man who moved to Los Angeles from Canada back in the 60's ("too cold") decided to take the cat in and that was that. He named him Kyle.

Kyle became a friend to our neighbor's other three cats, and proved to be a playful addition to the gang. All the cats, once acclimated to the house, are given full privileges, including going in and out as it pleases them to do. Our neighbor, who lost his wife to Alzheimer's Disease over a decade ago, found he both loved and was delighted by his cats, and would call out to them at sundown, making sure all were safely in for the night (our neighborhood sports the odd coyote now and again, as well as an occasional feral dog or two roaming about).

A couple of days ago Kyle did not come in for the night, causing concern among those of us who worry about such things. With my wife's help, signs were made and hung--the next afternoon two calls came in stating they had seen a cat (matching the picture and description on the flyer) as it was struck by a car on a nearby boulevard. The cat appeared to have died instantly, and one of those who called collected up Kyle's broken body and took him to a Vet clinic to at least be housed for a time, giving the owner a chance to collect his remains.

Last night our neighbor, a good and decent man, shed tears and shook his head gently. We love life, we hurt when it goes too fast, or too hard, or too coldly. I write this thinking of how good and kind people are in the particular, and how hard we can be in the faceless ways we condemn strangers, or fire at enemies unknown, or order others to do so. When you love something your heart is everywhere at once.

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For Kyle

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Green Balloon Man



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Monday, January 22, 2007

Sky Sandwich


Griffith Park, January, 2007

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Methinks We Don't Protest Enough



Naomi C at Correntewire wondered where the Protest Songs were for the Iraq War--or maybe why our Corporate Radio Bosses don't play them when they come along. Anyway, I wrote something and here it is...

Dance Party, Shake Your Thing

I was drivin’ ‘cross town
Too many cars brought me down
I turned on the radio, lookin’ for a sound
All I heard was some clown
Just another clown

I changed the station to feed my head
All the singers brought me dread
Played so many times, like a hooker left for dead
All my thoughts were shed
Took my money and fled

(chorus)
Dance party, shake your thing
Get on the dance floor with your bling
Dance party everywhere
What’s going on, why do you care?
Dance party everywhere

Remember when all the parents freaked
Kids were protesting in the streets
Do your own thing, all the freedom you seek
Is now a movie of the week
Just a movie of the week

Bottom line mentality
Dead soldiers spell finality
Cast a net without neutrality
Welcome to totality
Just never you mind totality

(chorus)
Dance party, shake your thing
Get on the dance floor with your bling
Dance party everywhere
What’s going on, why do you care?
Dance party everywhere

I was drivin’ ‘cross town
Too many cars brought me down
I turned on the radio, lookin’ for a sound
All I heard was some clown
Just another clown

I changed the station to feed my head
All the singers brought me dread
Played so many times, like a hooker left for dead
All my thoughts were shed
Took my money and fled

(chorus)
Dance party, shake your thing
Get on the dance floor with your bling
Dance party everywhere
What’s going on, why do you care?
Dance party everywhere

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Picture For A Saturday Night


Gene Autry Museum, January 20, 2007

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

We Will Never Leave


Goat boy knows how to please The Old Man

I dedicate the following lyrics to everyone who said no to this developmentally disabled war. It's strange how so many who supported it are still belching out their gas unabated, how they still get fat checks from their bosses for their blood-drenched wrong-headedness. It's as if there is an upper class of corporate beasties and plutocrats who have unimpeded control over the media...oh, wait. Just remove the "as if" and it all makes sense.

Burning As Bright As The Sun

The hangmen all stood on the platform
And sent the dictator to his death
They shouted and thundered their glory
Oh, to separate a man from his breath
Oh, to separate a man from his breath

These things never go like the movies
They're broken and clumsy and sad
An execution served on the table
And the taste that it leaves is so bad

Our President lives by the finger
That he points at a line in the sand
We will drag out the fate of a nation
We will drag it all out to the last man

(chorus)
Oh, we will never leave
No, we will never leave
We will stay until the job is done
And to all who hurt and die
You will not wonder why
Your lives are burning bright as the sun
They are burning as bright as the sun

Where did the nation surrender?
Did we lose on a bloodless plain?
Mercy and justice are rendered
Both wear the mark of Cain
Both wear the mark of Cain

(chorus)
Oh, we will never leave
No, we will never leave
We will stay until the job is done
And to all who hurt and die
You will not wonder why
Your lives are burning bright as the sun
They are burning as bright as the sun

Morning comes into the picture
We rise, we go on our way
The preachers said that there was a Master
Who would bury the world some day

We stood at the dawn of a nightmare
From which we fought to awake
But the Sandman kept pulling us downward
He does whatever it takes
We are dreaming for dreaming's sake

Where did the nation surrender?
Did we lose on a bloodless plain?
Mercy and justice are rendered
Both wear the mark of Cain
Both wear the mark of Cain

(chorus)
Oh, we will never leave
No, we will never leave
We will stay until the job is done
And to all who hurt and die
You will not wonder why
Your lives are burning bright as the sun
They are burning as bright as the sun

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Image by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld from here.
Some great wood cut images at this site!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Send in the Spam



Lambert at Correntewire takes a look at the latest in the KSFO Hate Radio controversy. He then added an additional remark about an anonymous comment that has been astroturfed around a number of blogs which are addressing this story. Something clicked somewhere in me brainage (probably a synapse closing shop) and I wrote the following:

Send in the Spam
(thank you Stephen Sondheim)

Is it a glitch?
Is it unfair?
Spocko keeps track of the hate
Broadcast on air
Send in the Spam

Just astroturf?
Don't you smell bull?
Memes propagated in force
And yet so dull
Where is the Spam?
Send in the Spam

Just when I'd stopped trolling for whores
Finally knowing that wingnuts were largely just bores
Smiling and posting again with nary a care
Sure of my thoughts
No comments there

My words you'll parse
My words you'll smear
I thought that you'd toast what I post
Guess not, it's clear
But where is the Spam?
Quick, turf it with Spam
Hit enter, come here

Is it a glitch?
My words are jeered?
Losing my readers and yet
No payment is near?
Where is the Spam?
There ought to be Spam
And generic beer

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Things Could Get Really Nasty Scenarioathon


President Bush might one day make a robot version of himself, and then install that version as Resident Pharoah of the United States

Joshua Marshall of Talking Points Memo watched the CBS 60 Minutes interview of George Bush, televised Sunday, January 14, 2007, in which the President uttered the following:
"Our administration took care of a source of instability in Iraq. Envision a world in which Saddam Hussein was rushing for a nuclear weapon to compete against Iran."

Hmmm...this is odd thinking, and it made an impression on Marshall here. Joshua posts an additional piece on this theme here, where Marshall quotes TPM reader BS's comment vis a vis Bush's reasoning:
That the President is being less than forthcoming on an issue of national security is hardly anything new. What worries me is setting out a doctrine that pre-emptive strikes are not only justified by an actual gathering threat but by hypothetical futuristic scenarios which have no bearing in the present reality. You can’t invade a country without a nuclear program to stop them from maybe one day changing their mind about it any more than you can shoot an unarmed man because he might one day buy a gun. Didn’t Bush ever read that Bible he likes to invoke so much? Remember Exodus, where mean old Pharoah starts killing all Hebrew newborn males to decimate the population? To quote:

“Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us. Let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they may not increase; otherwise in the event of war, they may join our enemies in fighting against us and rise from the ground.” (Exodus 1:8)

By Bush’s new logic, Pharoah would have been completely justified in his genocide - yeah the Hebrews weren’t rising up but “imagine a world” in which they did. In fact, by this logic a nation can justify invading ANY country at ANY time and even commit widespread atrocities against civilians. Saddam could have invaded Kuwait because they might one day get nuclear weapons. Russia could have invaded Afghanistan because they might one day get nuclear weapons. Hell, Hitler could have invaded Poland because pigs might fly and Polish scientists invent some kind of super duper laser beam that makes them an armed superpower. Or he could have just killed all the Jews using the same rationale for pre-emptive action that Pharoah (and our President) endorsed.

Ah, it all makes sense: Bush is Pharoah. Or, to follow his logic, he could one day decide to become Pharoah. Perhaps we should embalm him now, as someday he might decide to become a mummy.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Would You Trust This Man With 20,000 More Lives?



He's a fucking addict, remember? His solutions are always to increase the amount of whatever it is that isn't working: booze, coke, oil, sex, god, soldiers--increase the number of whatever he was into and somehow what had failed to bring him to climax before would now make a drug party the whole family could love. Think of Bush as our very first truly post-post-modern junkie President.

He cannot see "the bottom" because he resides in it, endlessly yelling up at the clouds while Bill Kristol tells him how smart he is, or Chris Matthews contemplates his man-crush and stares blankly past him. A very few people with a lot of money are playing Ned Beatty to Bush's reactionary anti-Howard Beale bully/user. He's not the first President to be handled with Kid Gloves, but he is the first one to be handled with latex ones used to ward off communicable diseases. Diseased, used, crazy, hungry, in a perpetual withdrawl state, he represents The Revolution without Love or Peace: just singed receptors in the privileged class, the smell of sulphur at the edge of nowhere.

With no one able to kick Bush to the curb, with his powerful millionaire and billionaire supporters propping him up like a Weekend at Bernie's Corpse, he blinks stupidly into the Eye of the Needle and waits for a feeling he can't get any more, the rush of dope, the numb-hum of cocaine, the Skull & Bones twitters when he bullies some poor slob into a corner. Bush is all about the high, and zero about the why. We are witnessing not the War on Terror but the War on Drugs, the War on Maintaining a Feeling that eludes the Junkie more and more until finally he just shoves everything in the baggy into his arm and doubles over passed out or dead, one result more or less like the other.

There is no redemption for a man who has burned out the remaining receptors he once had, no glorious moment of recognition or sapient epiphany, just more injections, more smoke, more disease. Bush may have quit his druggy ways, but his druggy ways never quit him: just give him 20,000 more and that's it! C'mon, man, don't be a loser. Just 20,000 more: I can feel it, man. I'm so close to being a winner.

The difference between Bush and a street drug user is a matter of entitlement, the random nature of chance and fate and family. Sociopath or not, he has already carved out his own sarcophagous, which is the living death of his life.

Look at him the next time you have to stop at the end of an offramp only to be confronted with a homeless person seeking cash: He holds out his hands just like he has for years; scolding you at times, yelling at you, yet even then manages a forced smirk as he stumbles in his later, darker days. And make no mistake, these are his later, darker days.

So our junkie President wants 20,000 more of something to inject into his veins, 20,000 more to save his high, his dream, his party. I say we don't give it to him, but it probably won't matter. His wealthy friends will more than likely sneak contraband to him in the bathroom and help him to straighten his tie and tamp down his hair, but he's just another fucking junkie with fake friends who are using him to keep their wallets fat. Poor Bush: all of his friends feel sorry for him. They will try to cheer him up with 20,000 more toys to play with, but he'll burn those up in time. Like any good junkie, he eventually burns everyone he touches.

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Originally posted at Correntewire. Look for the MJS tag.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coastal Elites Drink Chardonnay In Blame America First Afterlife*


East Coast
West Coast
Lives lost?
The most...


Any questions?

John Amato at Crooks & Liars has some context and details. Niggling little nuggets, those pesky details, what with all that death and dismemberment.

Just a thoughtsy-wotsy: Who believes anything Bush says, and why are he and The Rifleman allowed to walk the streets of America as free men?

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*Provocative headline merely a ruse to grab Dear Reader's attention and is not intended to arouse the hopes of those who seek vino in a Marin County-style heaven or somesuch enclave of the dead. As for the Hamptons? Don't even get me started...

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Top Ten Signs Your President Is A Chew Toy


President Bush just moments before being taken outside and buried in the White House lawn

THE TOP TEN

#10.Visiting dignitary notices a high-pitched whistling sound when Bush exhales.

#9. The back of his head has deep puncture marks.

#8. Deep puncture marks to back of head make him look more distinguished.

#7. Conservative War Bloggers get all pissy when this subject is brought up.

#6. According to our contact in the White House Lab, much of the saliva on President's chin is "of unknown origin."

#5. Six years into his Holy Reign of Terror he remains very easy to clean.

#4. Price tag clearly visible behind left ear (which is laying on back porch).

#3. He can be carried just about anywhere in a small bag.

#2. A real human being wouldn't continue to send young men and women off to die in some bullshit war based on swamp gas and moonshine, so logically he must be a chew toy.

#1. His dog looks really sorry when he pukes him up.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Heh-heh


Lilo & Stitch ring a bell?

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There is a dog adoption event held the first Sunday of every month here in Atwater Village, California. Here are some images from the January, 2007 gathering...


Such disdain!


Do not judge me!


No comment, pending further investigation


Seriously, you think I'm funny?


This is all just a bit distressing...

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Bush To Make Iraq The Happiest Place On Earth!



All we have to do is give Bush more troops!

C'mon, give in to the Bush Urge to Surge!

He's got Magic to do!

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Yes to no, no to yes

the year is said to be new:
it is cool and wet where I sit
and cannot be contained or located
or even touched
but many will die within its arms
many born too, many indeed

it seems really hard, this
task of saying yes to no
no to yes
life to death when graves
are given tenants so young

to the babies: we will say no to
you ten million times and it still
won't be enough, not to counter all the
times you--whatever you are--say yes
yes I will climb that table
yes I will smash that plant
yes I will scream holy terror
when you tell me no

we will send the poor ones away to kill people
but only some of the poor, not enough to make
god notice
we will send the beautiful ones to kiss and dance
and make summer love for money or just because
to make the poor ones glad

we will send you to camp and to school and to
mordor and to tomorrow and to those yawning graves
where the earth can eat you like it's supposed to
we will unearth you in time
and comment on your position at death
or the flood will unleash you and bear you somewhere
ultimate, like a fish or a berry or a bird
or a leaf

yes to no: you must put on the weight of our choices
you must wear the glorious mantle
and slaughter the hordes, the latest enemies
the chart busters--go, kill them
we love you
kill them
we love you
kill them

yes, yes, little soldier
rat-a-tat-tat

no, no, little goers
don't go dancing with the bones

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Flowers For a New Democratic Congress


Zion National Park, September, 2006

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

God Pardons Adam & Eve "To Heal the World"


Lord God points at a Craft Service table while backstage with Larry King before Holy interview

(Jivester News, Lmtd.) Patriarchal deity Lord God (the God formerly known as Yahweh) has made public His intention to retroactively pardon His first two human creations, Adam & Eve--thus pardoning their descendents, i.e. all of humanity as well--for the crime of being "snot-nosed, disobedient little shits" with the effect of putting to rest over 6,000 years of protracted legal maneuverings. Asserting that this act is intended to "help heal the world" His announcement has heightened anxiety among various Christian denominations as they carom off of each other in a mad scramble for theological cover.

Not sure what role Jesus would play if there is no Original Sin--and therefore nothing to atone for--Catholics have joined forces with Protestant denominations across the globe to petition God to rescind His "Forgiveness Doctrine" post-haste, if not sooner. Such religious inveigling may be falling on deft ears, however: "I got the idea from hearing all those wise men and women on television speaking about Gerald Ford's presidential pardon of The Five O'Clock Shadow," said Lord God in an interview with Larry King, set to air this Friday during the highly coveted Five O'Clock News Dump. "According to these pundits it was as though the entire country was going to devolve into chaos had Ford not pardoned Nixon, and I couldn't help but connect the dots all the way back to my actions vis a vis Adam & Eve...I just felt that these people were all speaking to me. Actually, I am a pantheist at heart, so in a sense they were all speaking to me...listen, everybody's off the hook and no hard feelings, comprende?" For his part in the interview Larry King was given fifty more years of life and a new set of lungs.

James Dobson, told that Original Sin had been removed by Executive Order and that the Man-God Jesus (formerly known as The Christ) has been reduced to more or less the role of Honorary Gnostic Ambassador, responded to this rather dramatic breaking news at a hastily arranged press conference by spitting and hissing and screeching and wailing and bellowing and sparking and screaming and writhing and steaming and smoking and thundering, after which he slithered off the stage and vanished amid a gaggle of fairly astonished journalists, all of whom were said to have been from the Washington Times.

Not one to be left out of the picture, Jesus issued His own statement today, essentially thanking His Dad for coming to His senses, even while asking with a hint of regret, "Who wants to be the last messiah to be crucified for a mistake?"

With Original Sin removed for all of mankind, thus essentially tabling the Rapture, Armaggedon and The War on Christmas, conservative Christians are hoping to come up with some new slogans to help them maintain their spirtual primacy in the unpredictable days to come. Early front-runners include "Jesus: He died for your not so original sins" "Blessed are the Unnecessary" and this writer's favorite "You're still gonna burn in Hell, asshole."

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Image of Lord God backstage with Larry King from here.

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Red Berries



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