Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Attack of the Living Shadow



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Letter to an American President On the Eve of Destruction

I sent the following email to President Barack Obama. Does it matter? I don't know.

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President Barack Obama,

How I wish there were words that I could write that would sing to you like trumpets played in Heaven--words that could fill your heart and mind with reason and compassion enough to say "No more" to the bloody madness of fomenting war in Afghanistan. Words to reveal the inanity of a policy that insists we can somehow control and steer the various peoples of Afghanistan through state-sponsored violence.

You have inherited much as our President, but you have done so willingly. In a sense I don't ask that you listen to the better angels of your character, but that you take a larger, bolder step and embody the better angel of our nation's soul.

I wish the words of peace and justice would sing to you, and that you would hear the song above all the calls for war, the so-called "serious and sober" cries for the exportation of despair to a fractured nation whose injuries have never healed, and may never heal.

If you have already decided upon your course, so be it. The temptation to use the largest military in the world to maintain hegemony must be a strong one, but you can resist the devil's bargain: turn the spigot of blood off! It really is you who can do this: the moment is here.

Have you ever doubted that the hand that stays the sword is more powerful than the one that would wield it needlessly? Be the strong hand that stays the sword! Be our Daniel at the lions' den! Hear these words I have written--hear them as soundings from an eternal trumpet!

I guess this note I send along is a bit like a prayer, but I am not praying: I am hoping.

Good luck, and peace be to you and to all you would lead and protect, and to all who would learn from your wisdom!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "It's morning in America" has died from complications due to the time now being late afternoon--the days grow shorter and shorter until light itself is but a fleeting visitor. The banks have the citizenry by the balls, the military industrial complex is in full career, health insurance companies buy and sell politicians for fun and profit while human beings are denied health care primarily because they need health care. If this is the afterglow of Morning in America I daresay it must have been one hell of a bomb.

In lieu of flowers the family of the deceased Opinion asks that the general public provide ever increasing amounts of money and power, to be handed over to them in all due haste (and without protest) and please keep the goodies coming if you know what's good for you, lest something truly awful comes along and beats you down into a hole so deep you won't be able to crawl out of it, which can be arranged, capiche? Nobody wants that, because that would mean we're Mourning in America...and it could make the children cry. And we don't want to make the young ones cry, do we? I thought so.

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The Opinuary Column appears each and every Friday at Jesus' General.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

A View to a Bridge



about to turn right on Naito
looking to my right:
such beauty

I fumble for my camera
turn it on
take the pic
drive off

winter is one month away

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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "The heart and soul of a country are under the dominion of its most cynical, manipulative power brokers" has died, having been struck by the smallest beam of illumination, the cleansing light of self-reflection. True, the "heart and soul" of the abstraction known as "Real America" is often up for grabs among the hucksters, demagogues and snake oil salesmen who exploit it for all its worth, but for the time being the grab is too weak, too desperate, too unhinged. The FOX may be in the hen house, but seeing as how he is dangerously exposed it is possible he will be pecked to death. At the very least his gnads could be gored.

The Opinion was born and raised in the land of unfettered rapaciousness, where it lived as it pleased and took whatever it wanted. It built the dream and stained the bed, and did it cheaply with slave labor, before and after the War Between the States. It proclaimed the exceptionalism of America, editing out the parts it didn't cotton to, until a time came when ignoring the demon only put more fire in the belly, fire that nearly destroyed the entire nation. What was sold as freedom was bought in caskets and misery, and many a family wept itself to sleep.

In our time, the Opinion has been bought and paid for by those who live as royalty, who wave the flag and their checkbooks in unison, a blur of patriotism and profit. Take heart: there are still those who feel the nation has a purpose beyond gaining mere capital and power, a purpose as an experiment in justice and democratic rule so powerful that the possibilities and potential of all could be vouchsafed, if only as the faintest of hopes in our common dream of democracy. It was in this myth that the greatest power of America lay, for though the advance was slow it was dedicated, though it was outspent it was not denied, though it was shouted down it would not stay silent. The greatest myth of all, the one beginning with We hold these truths to be self evident, survived regardless of the thorough malevolence of its adversaries, and endures as a wise reminder, the brassiet brass ring of all. It is always there, waiting.

A nation's creation mythology is important for a time, but like all myths must eventually be discarded and replaced by something that smacks of reality, of objective accounting, and ultimately of reckoning. Here in America, where the center cannot hold any more than anywhere else in the Universe, the violence that haunts us will still play out, the passion of fear-based belief will still pitch its fits to deny our common humanity, but the ground of what is in the collective gut and heart has been planted with a new crop, a new seed, a new dawn. That seed is you, dear Reader, every single day of your life. Every day that you, a free citizen, consult with your own core, the very essence of your being, and discover anew what is radiantly clear: that Glenn Beck is a malignant, meretricious nutjob and Sarah Palin is a human whoopie cushion--every day that you renew those truths to yourself is a very good day indeed.

In lieu of flowers the family of the deceased Opinion will continue to spend millions and millions of dollars upon lobbyists and media to thwart, befuddle and bludgeon you and yours into a permanently submissive state, except when it suits their purposes for you to march and kill and that sort of thing. I suggest that you be wild instead. Be difficult. Be alive.

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The Opinuary Column (now in the morning slot) appears every Friday at Jesus' General for what better way to start your day than to do it reading about death?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

MJS LEGS SPREAD

I found the following "comment" at a website that states it is the "Ministry of Communications: Republic of Ghana". Poetry or prose, it goes and goes and goes...

Hi! the giver book waterbeds the giver book waterbeds fast cheetah run fast cheetah run barracuda fish pictures pants barracuda fish pictures pants clear plan ovulation monitor beats clear plan ovulation monitor beats 1/4 mile time for hemi daytona glasses 1/4 mile time for hemi daytona glasses home depot french sliding doors home depot french sliding doors great depression kind woman great depression kind woman brandy talore tied up brandy talore tied up characterizing incomplete penetration welds stephanie characterizing incomplete penetration welds stephanie snowflake other lands correntewire mjs legs spread snowflake other lands correntewire mjs legs spread Bye!
It does have a kind of jazzy beat to it. Sign me up!

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Iron Cat and Shadow Cat


Iron Cat


Shadow Cat

This concludes the posting entitled "Iron Cat and Shadow Cat."

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Friday, November 13, 2009

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice –- in this world, and the next." has died as a result of a self-inflicted impossibility, for there is no way "to know" about a "next life" for which there is no evidence. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is ZERO evidence of some other realm in the intimated after-world. None. Zilch. Nada. To state "we know" and to follow that with "the killer will be met with justice--in this world, and the next one" is a gargantuan pile of oratorical horse puckey. True, it may be helpful to remember that this particular intonation of unprovable hogwash has been delivered by our President at a time when our nation needs to be reassured that the facilities where our soldiers are trained to kill brown people are doing just fine, thank you. And if the hanging judge doesn't get you in this life, you still might have your neck snapped in the next! Hip hip hooray!

The Opinion is joined in death by the thousands of veterans and active duty soldiers who kill themselves every year for a variety of reasons--following the President's logic, one reason why our troops are killing themselves with such alacrity could be to gain the opportunity to kill themselves in the next life, you know, to get to the head of the line. Also joining the Opinion in death are the thousands of veterans who perish every year as a result of having no medical insurance. It is widely believed that these veterans will be denied medical care in the next life as well. Just ask Joe Lieberman.

The Opinion is also joined by over a million Iraqis who will be given the chance to greet our newly dead as liberators in the next life, but have been cautioned to drive slowly up to the St. Peter White Zone Check Points and to follow all instructions very, very closely, after which they will be fired upon anyway. It is hoped they will receive justice in the 3rd Incarnation (the next, next life) but only the very religious can say (and you know they will!).

In lieu of flowers, in this life or the next or any other life to follow, friends and family of the late Opinion ask that you wear proudly the chains of spiritual bondage, that you nod your head with great sobriety whenever a national leader invokes Bronze Age dogma, and that you do the hokey pokey and you shake it all about. That, in this life and the next, is what it's all about.

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The Opinuary Column appears (in multiple incarnations) Friday afternoons at Jesus' General.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday Prayer

mjs is guest blogging until the General returns from his Weekend Intensive with that nice man from Seattle. It must be pretty intense indeed because the General's nurse never usually calls on a Sunday, but that is not our concern. Here follows our prayer for the coming week:



Lord, who is God of all that is oilesque
And tar-like, and greasy, and flammable
Dear Lord, may it please you to know
Our wimpy concerns about the environment have abated
Our vision to Vietnamize Afghanistan is proceeding
Our commitment to burn the Black Gold is solid
We burn it in your name, Dear God Man Guy Lord

Oh Yahweh, who doesn't like to be called That
We sing your praises, for You seek our praise
Which is your thing, don't get us wrong, but...
Perhaps you wouldn't kill so many of us if you, well, you know
Took some responsibility...
Forgive us, Lord, for we are made in your likeness
And are therefore full of thine Piss & Vinegar



Forgive us, dear Lord, for just about everything that ticks you off
For the crime of not finding your Cloud Cave
For the crime of not tweaking your Beard
For the crime of not singing popular songs outside your bedroom window
Forgive us, dear Lord
But we don't get around much anymore
Amen-ish



Please excuse our retardification, dear Lord
We know your Math is Supreme
And that which profits our corporations profits Thee
At least that's what we're counting on
For somebody is making money Hand over Proverbial Fist
Surely, Thou dost know this
Truly, You would have done something about this by now
Verily, your silence indicates your interest
For by Your silence You make a Great Noise which none can hear
(pause)
Forgive us our intemperance, but why not just come out and say
Whatever the fuck it is that you want?
Amen



Dear Lord, the Middle Eastern One
The Monotheistic Construct
Not that other one
With all the heads and that massive boner
Just want to be very clear which Lord we're talking to here
Dear Lord
We thank Thee for our cars and our trucks
Our trains and our skateboards
And for sex--without sex Life would suck even harder
Than it does, which is kind of ironic--the sucking part
Well, you get the gist of that

Dear Lord, thank you for our metal and our plastic
Our monofilaments and various and sundry textiles
That take longer to break down than it did for You
To create this vast Amusement Park we call Earth

Just one question: dinosaurs became birds?
Really? WTF dear Lord?

Please give us the strength to get through another week
Of hype and misinformation and managed histrionics
Please embolden us to not just lay down and eat
All of the corporate shit that is routinely fed us
Amen

Dear God:
We hope you don't catch the H1N1 virus
And if you have gonads, please keep them away from a vise
Seriously, we're not joking here
Keep your gonads far, far away from a vise
It would hurt you so much, to have your balls
Crushed in a vise--so much, it is not even funny
Amen


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images taken by mjs near Long Beach, Washington.

Originally posted at Jesus' General.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "Freedom isn't free" has died after a brief illness, owing in large part to its inability to pay for badly needed medical treatment. Having spent its early years being invoked to shut up dirty fucking hippies, its later years degraded into increasingly violent confrontations with health insurance companies and their motto "Health Care Isn't Free, It Isn't Even Health Care." With no more Free Time on its hands, it joined the ranks of the approximately 45,000 Americans who die every year because, well, you already know why.

Born during the era of The Vietnam War Isn't Free it was viewed as a comforting remonstration against anyone who ever pussifyingly questioned the rightness of our nation's bloody habit of killing brown people in far away lands. After returning to civilian life it suffered from a variety of ailments, many believed to be a result of traumatic head injuries suffered in bombastic verbal combat. Never exactly sure why Freedom wasn't Free, nor able to say just how much would have been a fair, going-rate price for Freedom, it mostly shook its fist at traffic and listened to Agitated Merakin (AM) Radio.

Having married its childhood sweetheart (Sex Isn't Free) only to discover its mate wanted to keep its night job, it sought a divorce (that wasn't Free) and lived out the rest of its years as a Free Spirit. Not. It fought its addiction to Crystal Meth (Cheaper Than Coke But Still Not Free) and Tobacco (the first carton for soldiers was Free, but after that, not so much) with grit and determination, which it had in buckets (buckets that were Free but had to be returned when it was done with them).

In the weeks before its death, the Opinion was often observed meditating on a litany of uncomfortable realizations: it had discovered that its apartment wasn't Free, its bar tab wasn't Free, its groceries weren't Free and, having failed to appear in court on misdemeanor charges, it suffered the additonal ignominy of facing the fact that indeed, not even its DUI was Free ($250.00 just to post bail!). Its only words to the judge were these: "In the bastardized yet immortal phrasings of Kris Kristofferson: Freedom's just another word for something that isn't free..."

Family of the deceased Opinion are asking that, in lieu of flowers (which aren't free) that each and every one of us do our part to dismantle the Military Industrial Complex until all that's left is a small, fossilized pile of Dick Cheney's draft deferments, which will be placed in a museum where tickets will be sold if you want to get in. War isn't Free, ya' know!

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The Opinuary Column usually appears (for free!) Friday afternoons at Jesus' General--this pre-Friday noon posting is the exception that proves the rule. Heh.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

David Brooks is Delbert Grady



David Brooks has written a piece of shit opinion piece that calls Obama's balls into question, vis a vis his willingness to order the killing of more brown people far, far away, and to sacrifice lives to do it. Brooks is a war-monger, and since his having been breathtakingly wrong about Iraq was not enough to have his soap box taken away, he continues to inject his sickly venom onto the pages of the New York Times. Shame on them, shame on him. Seriously, this crap is indefensible.

Here follows is a copy of the letter I wrote the NY Times in response to his "you ain't got the balls" opinion piece. Yeah, nobody fucking cares what I think or write, but that's not the point, is it? All that has to happen is that you fucking care. Do you?

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Subject: Re David Brooks "The Tenacity Question"

Editors,

David Brooks writes that he contacted "...the smartest military experts" he knows, and finds they all are concerned about President Obama's "determination" vis a vis his being a war president. Brooks writes: "But they do not know if he possesses the trait that is more important than intellectual sophistication and, in fact, stands in tension with it. They do not know if he possesses tenacity, the ability to fixate on a simple conviction and grip it, viscerally and unflinchingly, through complexity and confusion. They do not know if he possesses the obstinacy that guided Lincoln and Churchill, and which must guide all war presidents to some degree." The words employed by Brooks are taut, masculine, intense: Obama must "grip" a "simple conviction" and do so "viscerally" and "unflinchingly." Brooks seems to be pining for George W. Bush's unwavering allegiance to state-sponsored murder, at the same time he's not above hauling in Lincoln and Churchill to provide cover for his bloody fantasy.

What Brooks' writing brought to my mind was a brief encounter depicted in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film version of the Stephen King novel "The Shining." In the lip-curling scene in question, the former caretaker (played by Philip Stone) of the Overlook Hotel suggests to Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) that he'd better get on with the task of "correcting" his family. From the film:

Grady: I see you can hardly have taken care of the business we discussed.
Jack: No need to rub it in, Mr. Grady. I'll deal with that situation as soon as I get out of here.
Grady: Will you indeed, Mr. Torrance? I wonder. I have my doubts. I and others have come to believe that your heart is not in this, that you haven't the belly for it.
Jack: Just give me one more chance to prove it, Mr. Grady. It's all I ask.
Grady: Your wife appears to be stronger than we imagined, Mr. Torrance, somewhat more resourceful. She seems to have got the better of you.
Jack: For the moment, Mr. Grady, only for the moment.
Grady: I fear you will have to deal with this matter in the harshest possible way, Mr. Torrance. I fear that is the only thing to do.

What kind of morbid question is Brooks really asking here? Does Obama "have the belly" for the slaughter that will occur as a result of continuing and possibly expanding the war in Afghanistan? To what purpose, this macho posturing? To what purpose should our youth be sent off to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, driven mad even as they rain despair down on the people of that war-torn region? The mountains of Afghanistan are strewn with the bones of British and Soviet troops whose commanders "had the belly" for sending their young off to die, but shouldn't we all be asking, in the "here and now" as to what purpose do we sacrifice more of our nation's youth? Lincoln preserved the Union, Churchill kept the flame of liberty in Europe burning, but to what purpose should our President "fixate on a simple conviction" and stain the living world with yet more blood and tears?

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Author's note: If David Brooks could feel shame I would bring him over a million servings of it, delivered in caskets, accompanied by a soundtrack that howled from the bitterest depths of hell.

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