Sunday, October 4, 2009

Main Street Spirituality


There is an interesting article about Beliefs in America in Parade Magazine. The basis of the article is gathered from a poll. You can always frame questions in a certain way to affirm or negate any intellectual concept in a poll. Below are some of the stats from the poll/article.

How Spiritual are we?
What Americans are doing today is separating spirituality from religion, with many people disavowing organized practice altogether while privately maintaining some form of worship. The old terms—“atheist” and “agnostic”—are no longer catch-alls for everyone outside traditional belief. In fact, 24% of respondents put themselves into a whole new category: “spiritual but not religious.”…

Our nation was built on a foundation of strong faith, and in some respects, that hasn’t changed. In fact, 69% of Americans believe in God, 77% pray outside of religious services, and 75% believe it’s a parent’s responsibility to give children a religious upbringing. But even though 45% of respondents called themselves religious, 50% said they rarely or never attend worship services.
In a way saying that people are “spiritual” – “spiritual but not religious” - or that people say that about themselves is to say that some sort of label(s) about people is, are, in some sort of transition away from the old religion(s) and their rigid belief systems.

I am not certain what I feel comfortable with in terms of a label. I do not introduce myself to anybody as “spiritual” though the topic comes up a few sentences into any friendly conversation.

The MSM magazine article I think has to do with applying possible labels and or clich├ęs that in the past have been used to entrap humanity more so than free the human spirit from the darkness of the past.

Every age is a new age and every age has an old religion. Before we apply any closing, restrictive labels, maybe we need to do a lot more searching.

Humans frame their beliefs according to priorities and preferences. There hasn’t been too much choice in the west for close to half the last two thousand years. I can’t speak for the other directions of the wind rose on that point. I claim no expertise there.

I am searching for the bottom of the curve. Not all church doors of organized religion are going to close. In this tough economy, many churches, schools and the like have bit the dust. I am searching for a bottom to determine from where we discard the past informally and have a recognizable starting point for the path to the future regarding personal belief systems and how they interface with society in general.

Maybe as America realizes that it is no longer is a superpower, a bit of a parallel to the collapse of ancient Rome, maybe we will begin to see the birth of local and merged beliefs with or “without label”.

For people over forty, maybe they remember the old order of things. Maybe people under thirty don’t have a clue what I am talking about. In terms of the young, my memory is no longer valid of the recent past and the end days of the American empire or the dead ideas of Constantine.

We have less social pressure to believe what our parents believe. What is the bond with our children or the legacy of belief we pass on to them if any?

The energy, the flow of perhaps the Internet – is a signpost – but is it a pathway to the new global mindset of all humanity about humanity and not just about nations, religions, economics etc.?

More questions than answers. Parade Magazine that is a likely Sunday insert in the Sunday Newspapers left in America is an indication that the ideas of this new age of self awareness and individual beliefs have arrived on Main Street USA.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Sacred and Secular Feminine


What if the so called Sacred Feminine revealed itself ?

I ran into two perhaps unrelated forms of art yesterday. I will not go into detail but I felt something - to what might be called the so called Sacred Feminine. In fact that in the last forty odd years I have lived through and seen an unveiling of the spirit of the universe through the liberation of women in the western culture.

The sacred blends into the secular in some cases.

Yesterday, the artist in me was awakened by a movie and a song.

The Movie “Across the Universe” is in some ways one long Beatles Music Video. But I am aware how the young today learn history. It is not through books but by movies. This panorama of the late sixties inspired and showed me reflections of the late sixties counterculture that I was aware of but never fully participated in.

Julie Taymor, the director, has put together a beautiful display of all sorts of human energy and reflections. I stood back as in front a grand Picasso and had to say that wow this is a great work of art both visually and in sounds. I am not a great Beatles fan but somehow reframing the music against a storyline and with others singing the songs – parts of it just blew my mind.

Across the Universe

One of the characters in the film reminded me of the late great and now almost forgotten Janis Joplin. Speaking of coincidences, the thirty ninth anniversary of her death is October 4. Anyway I tried to find a You Tube video to capture the essence of Janis Joplin, Princess of Port Arthur Texas.

As with the film mentioned above I did find something appropriate in sound and flavor of Janis and one of her big hits. Pink, the artist, is just grand in the video below.

The energy of the sacred, divine feminine flows over into the present secular feminine that is pushing back the tired age of religion and the once sacred, but being discarded, masculine.

The future of art is a grand blend of all things.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Janitor John Boehner - US Congress - Multitasker?


Nattering Nabob of Negativism – Congressman John Boehner R-Ohio – has criticized President Barack Obama for taking eighteen hours out of his full schedule to help in Chicago’s Bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

GOP Head Michael Steele doesn’t understand why Obama is worrying about jobs in 2016 – DUH! – like selling peanuts in the Olympic stadium is the only employment he can see Americans doing – DUH,DUH! – Like dude you got to build the stadium – like mix the concrete – hire an architect etc. and whatever – Michael Steele – a true visionary – he belongs in a job of CEO in one of the American Fortune 500 Dinosaur corporations.

Getting back to ne’er-do-well congressman Boner who is opposed to Obama multitasking – doing two jobs as President – having to do his own task and having to do over eight years of no work – no show – George Bush’s excuse for labor.

May I suggest to John Boehner who has nothing to do, mainly criticize Obama 24/7/52 – that he use the eighteen hours freed up from stalking and criticizing the President – that he multitask and do something useful to earn his Rep.'s bountiful paycheck with BENEFITS (Healthcare and Pension) and start carrying a feather duster around and clean the occasional cobweb in the House facilities. Pushing a mop would be even better.

Multi-tasking – an American bullshit invention to burden American workers, cutting back, before outsourcing an American job to Bengaladesh.

Before we outsource Congress’ functions overseas, John baby move your lazy ass!

Speaking of my general theme about the unbridled current global culture not forming into any perceivable form, if I were to compare Boehner and his crowd it would be to compare the GOP and Murdock Sound Machine to the young toughs hanging around the old fashioned American Town Square, waiting for useful employment, odd jobs and then helping in the harvest and pitching in the town's seasonal baseball team – until getting married etc.

That this GOP 24/7/52 non-stop criticism of anything Obama is hitting a fever pitch with the GOP ne’er-do-wells hanging around Congress – waiting for useful employment – maybe they should just pull out their feather dusters and just shut up.

Thank God the White House does not publish the schedule of the President’s visits to the Men’s Room – a favorite GOP hideout from work – can you imagine the criticisms of how he does you know what. I can just see Glenn Beck doing a skit about ….

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Poison Tree


Her grandfather, who had raised her, was exclaiming something loud in the back garden as we toured all the structures that now were built on the once empty patch of land.

The old man had been allotted this fairly large plot of land by the state. It had been sold to him very cheaply. I estimated the original lot to be about three quarters of an acre.

On that lush tropical landscape had once been many more trees than were now present and situated in between structures. Even so, the existing species of large trees grew avocados, mangos and bananas. These had helped feed a large family on a state road worker's salary.

The main house was plain. Large dormitory like rooms were where the boys and girls had sleep. There was a common room or living room and a small kitchen. This structure had been built wall by wall, room by room, over the years. Extra savings went into concrete blocks on a regular basis.

The back of the property had once housed a large pig sty. Pork had been the cash crop that supplemented tropical fruits and the staple rice and beans diet. Pork had helped purchase the blocks. Piglets had been temporary play companions to poor children.

In fact, she had told me that as a child, the only dolls she played with were homemade things made of corn husks, the corn of which had fed the pigs. Corn silks adorned the corn husk dolls as hair.

The old man was quite animated.

The land now held five houses where at one time stood one.

As the nearby town grew outward, modest houses started to dot the countryside. Streets were paved. Second generations built a second story onto parents' houses.

Zoning laws changed in the expanded town. No pigs could be raised within the new city limits. Now only a few old hens pecked at the ground and made the occasional stew.

I asked for a translation. What was the old man shouting about?

Her cousin had inherited a one room house on the back of the property. He had recently married and his new bride had planted some shrubs to decorate this desolate corner of the original lot.

The literal translation of the bride's plantings came to words translated as "poison tree".

"It is a poison tree!" was what he repeated over and over again in Spanish.

The old man was upset. Everything on his property in terms of plants had been always been edible. Now, a stranger, the wife of a grandson was planting a decorative plant and not an edible one.

The old man's bubble had burst. The world outside his front porch could have changed in some measurable way over the years but it somehow had not touched a chord.

His sons had gone to college. One daughter was a registered nurse. The ones who had emigrated to the mainland had their own measure of material success in the post World War II boom in America.

He had at least thirty grandchildren and umpteen great grandchildren. All the changes over the last half a century registered in some proportion that matched the land that he stood on and owned.

Now, on this day, paradise seemed corrupted and lost. The people now on the land did not understand his vision for the land. The land must feed his family. A tree from the outside world had invaded.

The seeds of the destruction were planted. His vision, his temporary footprint in the scheme of things, was disappearing before his eyes. So he shouted in his own way.

His time had passed. Now he knew and recognized that fact.

This he expressed with great passion.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five Recommended Ingredients for Living


(my father was an ex-army cook, WWII, and when he cooked there were no small pots used in the kitchen)

This is something competely from my secular side.

This is a work in progress. Tastes change. Memories change. Recipes are always being revised.

I could not but help draw parallels between the flow of life and the use of metaphors to explain some things. No big book philosophy here. Just trial and error flavors, some empirical mixed in, along with spices derived from life's ebb and flow.

Doing some genealogical studies a few years back, I looked and looked on the Internet for a recipe for "chili sauce" that my great aunt Rose had assembled in her Nicetown kitchen (Phila.) Some fifty odd years ago during a long summer break in grade school.

My father had a vacation and little money. He also wanted Aunt Rose to share a recipe that his mother had used to make. Aunt Rose was getting along in years. We went to a farmer in the country, bought fresh veggies and assembled something like an Irish-American version of salsa. Then there was the "canning" of such into mason jars.

I lost Aunt Rose's recipe that my father had written down. The "chili sauce" that she had made resided in my stored memory until I found something close to the original in composition and after I made it - in taste. In retrospect the Quest or the end of the search was probably as satisfying as the food.

I found a recipe in the 1923 Fanny Farmer cookbook under the label "Celery and Tomato" relish on the Internet that fit my memory and visuals of those two long dead relatives, my father and great aunt Rose, on that day in the kitchen five odd decades ago. The Internet does in many small ways serve humanity or at least this human from time to time.

Now having had consciousness in this realm of mortal existence for close to half a century, may I share my own recipe and mention of ingredients for adding the (?) right measure of spice into a perhaps balanced life experience?


Five Recommended Ingredients :

Quest (seek). Respect. Management. Generosity. Joy (rejoice).

Interested in the Recipe ? Read on.

-

Seek the Universe (quest):

Seek, question, study, learn, and interact with all things and everyone.

Find your comfort in the scheme of things.

-

Respect Life:

Try to communicate with all living things (yourself included).

Recognize and respect that which is a living stem of the Tree of Life.

-

Manage your Resources:

Micro and Macro - These to include small and big things including personal finances and intellectual concepts among others.

Do not let the world control you. You should control your world.

-

Give:

And if not give, try to share. Be generous of yourself to others.

What you have is temporary; give back to society and to individuals real and abstract goods.

-

Rejoice (joy):

Enjoy Life. Do not delay or postpone that enjoyment under any circumstances. Do that which gives you satisfaction provided it does no harm to others or to yourself.

Project proudly and freely the talents learned individually and those talents that are gifts of the Universe.

-

(and of course the "chili sauce" recipe)

Tomato and Celery Relish

1 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large bunch celery, chopped
2 allspice berries
2-1/2 cups canned whole or fresh tomatoes
2/3 cup vinegar

Mix ingredients, heat gradually to the boiling-point, and cook slowly one and one-half hours. Cayenne or dry mustard may be added if liked more highly seasoned.

Five Recommended Ingredients for Living

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fringe Reality - MSM


It is a season of folly. We seem to be ruled by a Confederacy of Dunces as Jonathan Swift once categorized the ruling elites of his day. Little wonder that religious cleric made up Gulliver’s Travels as a satiric reaction to the madness of his day over two hundred and fifty years ago. The more things change the more they stay the same.

That in this between times era when journalism or the faded cohesion of small town newspapers dissolves into the known of today and the unknown of tomorrow flowing through the recently born entity (living) called Internet – many distractions occur.

The public discourse, real, imagined, is a bit totally misunderstood or incapable of being cataloged runs through this line of folly.

I watch Keith Olbermann because he is articulate and entertaining. He is a football announcer adapted to the new entertainment news media thingy that is not journalism by any classical definition. Keith doesn’t claim to be any more than what he is – an intelligent wordsmith or the public reader of such thereof.

He and his MSNBC confederates are light entertainment on the left. They are there as a reaction to slanted “news” to the right from the Aussie media Prince Rupert Murdock. They are also an arsenal, loaded and ready to react to the “Willy Horton” fear mongering type thing that can bring down elections and change the fabric of democracy with distorted half-truth.

I have never watched O’Reilly. O’Reilly reminds me of a priest in high school, the disciplinarian and detention hall montior. He does however serve as a comfort zone for people in the middle, right and most importantly the past as a meager means of measuring sanity – not unlike checking off each day on a calendar.

With that said, now there is this Beck person, the class clown who refuses to be ignored. He’s getting the ratings. Entertainment and elements of a Jim Jones type delivery of facts and subtle mind bathing techniques seem to occur to me in the few times I have endured ten minutes of GB-ADHD airtime.

A passing phase perhaps. An interesting article – an op/ed – an opinion about how the GOP in quest for TV ratings may be doing serious damage to itself in passively standing on the sidelines and hoping that visual paranoia of a TV form can be created in imitation of the audible type found with the Limbaugh guy on radio.

Rod Dreher: Glenn Beck's world order endangers the right
The pudgy, sweet-natured Beck offers a more palatable form of this paranoia – but all his fruit and sugar can't hide the Skousenite firewater. How ironic that conservative Christians who unjustly dunned conventional Mitt Romney because of his LDS faith are uncritically backing the squirrelly Beck, who looks like he's casting himself as hero of a prophetic Mormon melodrama.

There are conservatives who know perfectly well that Beck is an unhinged buffoon who traffics in crude, ridiculous ideas. But unlike the hapless GOP, he's popular and effective in the political war against Obama. So these conservative cynics adopt a "no enemies to the right" approach to Beck, even though he's mainstreaming the ooga-booga worldview of a crank prophet who believed, with the John Birch Society, that Eisenhower was a closet commie.
In many ways the present public discourse is not unlike the 1840s when newspapers represented very strong, fanatical slanted points of public politics. Out of that very hot age of the written word came a prophet called Joseph Smith. Without going into Mormon beliefs, the little I know of Smith is of his last days in some dispute with his neighbors wearing a general’s uniform strutting around on a horse and declaring himself a candidate for President of the United States.

Such drama. Such showmanship. Such GlennBeckery (rehashed Joseph Smithery?). Nothing is new under the sun Glenn. Give it a good run.

And lets hope that violence comes to nobody in the current cultural war of words in the so called MSM.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emergence of the Human Spirit


Just when I thought I had said all I want to say on this part time hobby of a blog about cultural Christianity, I run into new thoughts and ideas. Apparently outside the MSM there is a current movement of faith looking or searching for something beyond tenured academics and pension seeking clerics. The establishment seems to want to have a safe haven in life but don’t really want to answer your questions about the Bible or the real meaning of the teachings of Jesus or the here and now meaning of humanity living in this modern slipstream of cultural energy.

Everybody is looking for a label for some non-mainstream faith. I don’t have many labels. I am not a scholar but have said on more than one occasion how I got turned off by most religions because the people comfortable with the keys to the church just don’t want to deal with your questions about faith, God and our places in the universe.

First You Tube clip is regarding a book by an author I have not read but the title and author’s name got passed around to me. The book is The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle. In the first You Tube snippet she is defining some terminology and setting some parameters about which her book is about.



Next clip may be totally unrelated except for similar titles. Fascinating stuff though.

Over and above that is what might be a growing phenomenon of many people who want more than what MCT Mainstream Christian Theology states in its boilerplate rhetoric to the diminishing crowds in their local places of worship.

Don’t know what to make of it all. Don’t have numbers or statistics. The You Tube clip from a PBS show Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is quite informing. Am passing it along. I am probably still in the whip and buggy age about all this. So what! Live and learn.

Monday, September 21, 2009

God the Creator Liberator and Sustainer of Life


Just got my little care package from Father Peter Kennedy’s true faith church on the Internet. I thought maybe they forgot me and were not sending out anymore care packages into the big ugly world anymore. I thought that this Christian church had failed in the face of opposition and pressure from the big organized RC Institution. Actually, the message ended up in my spam queue and I had not checked there lately.

If this was the early Christian Church and I was someone who could read and write I would be standing on my doorstep reading parts of a letter, a letter from Father Kennedy. Later I just might be giving a synopsis of the letter as a story with the letter itself and with the accumulated stories in general of true Apostles of Jesus such as Fathers Kennedy and Fitzpatrick preaching the Good News in Brisbane, Oz.

Sorry I can’t You Tube a few minutes of the Father Kennedy’s sermon. The text of the sermons are usually a few weeks behind in transcription. Father Kennedy was talking about the Theology of Anxiety as described by some author. The gist of the message was that the Big Organized Church is an Institution of Compromise – one where the fear of the devil exceeds the Love of God. This conforms with my minimalist view that fundamentalism and the big ritual institutions – love the Book – Love the Rule Book – more than they love God or God’s creation man and woman.

St Mary's Catholic Community in EXILE

I invite you if you have ten to fifteen minutes to listen and watch a video of his sermon on their site. Have to confess that I don’t always watch every minute of the service. I am not a member in good standing of that far away community. ((sorry, video no longer available - 24 nov 2011))

Father Kennedy’s sermon led into a baptism of a little girl Jesse conducted by Father Terry. I was most impressed with the casualness and the informality of it all as evidenced by lay participation. I was impressed that the child had three godmothers ( one can never have enough godmothers ) and a godfather who managed to miss the service.

The words of baptism are the Politically Incorrect Words that got Father Kennedy and his parish in trouble. The child of God Jesse Thomas was baptized in the name of God the Creator, Liberator, and Sustainer of Life (for centuries referred to as Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

Along with many healthy shoots taking root in the soil of life everywhere redefining the original and blessed message of Jesus, Saint Mary’s in Exile is still alive, well and thriving six months into a journey full of grace.

A Perception of Things


I am a big person on perceptions. I also analyze a lot. Too much in fact.

If a young girl in some old fashioned setting is walking home with a small market basket of freshly picked apples, what happens next? Everyone who might see the scene and related to the apples assume they will eaten when they arrive at their destination. But how will they be eaten? As fresh fruit, as a pie, as apple sauce or as apple butter etc.? The possibilities are not endless but varied.

So too the human race in general might see apples and all agree that apples are present. But of late most people want to think that their assumption about consumption of the apples is the one and only answer. Why do we sometimes shut ourselves off into only one answer to a thought, problem or way to travel down life’s roads?

Everybody may see things the same way on the surface of the situation. Few really know what is going on beneath or around the surface of the matter.

September 22 is Autumn Equinox. At a certain time of the day, light is equal in night and day along the equator. Ancient cultures recognized the shadows of the sun, measured them and they always came back to zero so to speak and twice a year. From ancient culture’s observation of the sun came calendars. I rather think the Julian calendar with exact markings on a paper was a breakaway point from nature. Although phases of the moon used to be important to some, when Caesar said “march” on a certain date on his calendar, the army marched. Over time the west except for some lunar calculations for Easter has set itself along a certain perception of time in terms of days on a calendar alone.

If it wasn’t for the news casts telling me it was the first day of Autumn I probably would not notice. We no longer to any great extent follow nature or farming cycles anymore.

The Chinese have their calendar, the Muslims theirs etc.

Some crazies say that the world will end in 2012 according to the Mayan calendar. Of course, nobody has really looked to find the place to replace the batteries on the Mayan Calendar so to speak. The Mayans and their defunct time schemes have nothing to do with us.

There are many ways to look at and perceive time. There are almost as many ways to look at time as there are people. Go figure it.

Getting back to an example of perception, I pick a famous visual – a work of art.

Without going too deeply into anything in particular I often put myself in somebody’s shoes or try to see what they might see. One thing I find surprising is how in this visually orientated world how everybody accepts too easily what they see as real or do not question the narration on a news cast that goes along with the pictures.

The image above is of course the famous head of Christ from the DaVinci mural The Last Supper. Funny thing is that I have reversed the image of the traditional snap shot angle.

I have done so to see if you have noticed. Are you really in good memory of a iconic world class image that is five hundred years old?

Leonardo was supposed to be dyslexic, meaning he saw most things backwards for lack of a better way of describing it. So which leads me to one final observation. Which is the better pose for the art – the way the world sees something for five hundred years – or is what the artist saw five hundred years ago just as important?

Each of us perceive and follow through on many things everyday. Do we all see and perceive the same things below the surface image of things? Food for thought.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pas de Label - Pos.la.bell?

Did you ever use the Google Translate “Web and Text” function on the Internet.

I’ve done it a few times trying to translate my blog and see what it would look like in another language. I don’t think that the gaps and flow in meaning translated but it is a start to break out of our American prison so to speak.

I am not trying to be unpatriotic but didn’t America used to lead the world in innovation and new ideas? When did we become afraid of the world? I think we became afraid when we did not feel right with ourselves and we were afraid to interface with Europeans who can speak three or four languages out of necessity to get around Europe and when they are sick they go to a doctor or a hospital and don’t get a bill.

Those nasty “socialist” countries that we seem to be socially afraid of lost the last war in terms of destruction or having to rethink and rebuild the whole of Europe and prevent anymore stupid European wars. Except for Bosnia, the main part of old Europe is still standing and looks like a great place to visit.

I am provincial and I like the United States. Somethings do scare me here. One is Health Care. The other thing is the way politicians and CEOs want to hang onto their jobs like they were the pope – lifetime employment and don’t criticize from the ranks. There was a time when men and women in factories made things, improved things, invented things.

Why are we waiting for people in Japan or India to invent electric cars? Hell, if Henry Ford were alive, they would be on the streets already. Tenure I think of incompetent, unimaginative and greedy politicians and CEOs is holding this country back from the greatness it has enjoyed in the past and the greatness our leadership should continue to nurture and expect. Time for changes in America.

I know that change can be a scary thing for some. Many of us have gone through change, multitasking, downsizing, outsourcing and reduced to ashes lifestyles. I am waiting for the punchline or the prize behind door number three. In a big way!

Speaking of tenure and dull bureaucrats in charge everywhere – the MSM and the talking heads, they inherit their jobs and go on and on and on like the Everready Bunny until they retire or are forced to retire. They are no Walter Cronkite who did retire at 65 which was I think good for him personally. To see the same face for thirty years on TV in so important a job as news delivery – I think the laxative and Pharma commercials on the nighty national news broadcasts are more exiting and more informative than the drival the talking heads get millions of dollars a year to deliver.

They say they have to cut back on news and newspapers. One talking head’s salary or one CEOs salary could fund dozens of young talented bodies in the news rooms of America. They might create something like another Golden Age of Television like in the 1950s – one never knows. Possibilities are endless.

By the way, I ran into one person, I have run into many people who are searching and there is no label for what I am, what they are in terms of beliefs and where they currently are on the road of life in their present lives. We are in our various degrees of search along the road of life, for spirituality in my case, as well as whatever is appropriate in other people’s lives.

As such, I think back to Thomas Jefferson living in the wilderness with all his “servants” and his ideas and their sweat needed to build a magnificent structure like Monticello. Jefferson or Washington or Franklin would have sought French as a language to find a new label or name for things.

As such I put the term “no label” in the Google Translator – English to French – and got “Pas de Label”. Since I ain’t sure on the frencie accent on the words, let me put on a little urban street spin to pronunciation.
Hey. What is that Cultural Christian dude all about?

I don’t know man. I think he is Pos-la-bell. (without label)

The next time somebody asks what I am in terms of my beliefs as in religion, spirituality etc. – I am “Pos-La-Bell” (Pas Label) – without label.

Have a great day. And a future great positive life too.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Face of Fear - Fear of Diversity


The Iron Lady of the House Nancy Pelosi got a little misty eyed yesterday recalling how hate rhetoric in the late seventies brought violence to her home town of San Francisco.

The violence was the murder in cold blood of Mayor George Moscone and Member Supervisor Harvey Milk who was America’s first openly gay politician.

The guy who murdered them did so in a fit of rage – was a fellow member of the Board of Supervisors – and did so with a gun in one hand and a bible in the other so to speak.

Opinions can harden into hate. In a diverse society we must recognize and respect the strengths and weaknesses of all members of the community. The community in America is supposed to be open to all.

The High Priest of American Hate Rush Limbaugh will be tried for incitement if his current cesspool rhetoric results directly into violence. The same goes for Harlequin Beck.

Joe Wilson could not stand the fact that Strom Thurmond recognized a black daughter born out of wedlock. Joe Wilson’s greatest fear is that somebody will look very closely at his family tree and discover that great grandmom or the like was really half black not unlike Thomas Jefferson’s second wife, his dead first wife’s half sister.

Relations in the South can get quite confusing and tangled. Having done some genealogy studies of my own family I gave up because everyone and their brothers and cousins –dozens of them - were named Pat, Mike and or Frank in McAdoo Pennsylvania about a hundred years ago and they were all born in the same place. It was not impossible thing to do. I just did not have the time to waste.

So too, South Carolina with the worst infant survival rates and worst health care to the poor in the nation is what Joe Wilson should be concerned with as a politician. Don’t worry about anybody sniffing around your family tree. There is black blood in your veins whether you want it or not. That is one thing I did find in my own genealogy research – it is no big deal – it is the human race.

One of the blessings I think that God has bestowed on this nation at this time with our first African American President is that his black blood did not come directly from the disgrace of American Slavery. His children are the first generation of many generations to come that will recognize their history and move on without a great deal of pain and anger about their American past.

Obama is cool with who he is. He doe not have to carry “ole South” guilt baggage around with him. Joe Wilson should be cool too. Get rid of the baggage, and get on with a real, productive and giving life.

Joe Wilson! Do not fear diversity. It is what we all are as Americans. We are all real – and all members of the same human family.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Regressive Poor People's Tax on Soda


I see that our legislatures and even congress is debating a regressive tax on the poor for their consumption of “sugary” soda and soft drinks which presumably is the source of recent poor people diseases like diabetes etc.
A regressive tax is a tax imposed in such a manner that the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases. In simple terms, a regressive tax imposes a greater burden (relative to resources) on the poor than on the rich — there is an inverse relationship between the tax rate and the taxpayer's ability to pay as measured by assets, consumption, or income. --- Wikipedia

Proposed Tax on Sugary Beverages Debated
The group, which includes the New York City health commissioner, Thomas Farley, and Joseph W. Thompson, Arkansas surgeon general, estimates that a tax of a penny an ounce on sugary beverages would raise $14.9 billion in its first year, which could be spent on health care initiatives. The tax would apply to soft drinks, energy drinks, sports beverages and many juices and iced teas — but not sugar-free diet drinks.
I knew that a lot of hidden European Value Added Taxes (VAT) were likely to surface in the short term to pay the Ten Trillion National Debt. One long term tax that is likely will be a VAT on new cars or on big ticket items like refrigerators, stoves, washing machines etc.

This is how “socialist” Europe pays for social programs like National Health Care – and not paying over there for a Corporate generated national debt.

Leave it to the half-assed, socially backward Americans to try and tackle a problem from the end zone and not have had any real game plan from kickoff.

While in the short term, a VAT on soda pop may generate more cash for local governments, it will never make it into any research and development on Obesity, the national American disease at present.

The “sugar” in soda pop is HFCS – High Fructose Corn Syrup – some spin dried industrial version of a sweet with no officially released long term studies as to its long term effects on the population. Unless what we are now looking at is that long term effect – selling an addictive substance which some say it is – and taxing it too. The poor have not been this screwed since Jesus’ time with the Temple crowd and the Romans getting their fat cut of everything and the peasants getting the shaft.

The soda pop tax will not apply to “Diet” “Sugar Free” sodas. I don’t know what “aspartame” is but I know that it will be the next regressive tax target against the poor when its side effects become known with an increase in use among the population.

This whole imbalance in the national sugar question - this corporate generated national, foreign sugar policy - this maddness (import quotas, tariffs, subsidies) - started with Castro in 1959 and it has evolved to this industrial waste products in “sugary” sodas and “sugar free” sodas – that and bonuses for food industry CEOs. The American Domesitc/Foreign Sugar Policy is a dinosaur relic straight out of the Eisenhower/Nixon White House.

Good food impossible! Big Bonus = god!

I know that I do not agree with the specifics of the birthers and deathers. They are inarticulate and expressing anger and prejudice. I do not feel their prejudice but I feel their anger toward a government that cannot get around nickel and dime lobbyists and demand wholesome food to be produced and distributed to the American population like the so-called socialists in Europe.

Financial Rape - American Banks - Debtors Revolt


Have we really gotten to the point, almost science fiction and almost real, where some vague biblical reference to the “mark of the beast” – of the so-called antichrist – might be your all important “credit score” issued by the beasts of American Banks?

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17


“evil thieving bastards”… she, referring to Bank of America…

She is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. (below)



"Usury"
The First Council of Nicaea in 325, forbade clergy from engaging in usury (canon 17). At the time "usury" meant simply interest of any kind, and the canon merely forbade the clergy to lend money on interest above one per cent per month. Later ecumenical councils applied this regulation to the laity.

Lateran III decreed that persons who accepted interest on loans could receive neither the sacraments nor Christian burial. Pope Clement V made the belief in the right to usury a heresy in 1311, and abolished all secular legislation which allowed it. Pope Sixtus V condemned the practice of charging interest as "detestable to God and man, damned by the sacred canons and contrary to Christian charity." ---Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Age of Moral Subtraction

When I mention the old town square as a guide or an ideal with which to judge the present, I do so only as an example as in a touchstone. The old American Town Square was a bunch of crackers standing around the cracker barrel at the general store and gossiping about their neighbors looking for those who did not conform.

My parents did not grow up in a free country. They had to register as Republican under the old Philadelphia political machine in their youth for fear that your employer would check the voter registration files and fire you if you were a deviant, a Democrat. My father said that you registered Republican and then crossed your fingers that there were no hidden mirrors in the voting booth to see you mark “x” next to FDR on the ballot etc.

My recollection is that my parents in many social and political issues toed the line with the local Republican instrument of consensus and standard of conformity of that local Party Line – The Evening Bulletin - a defunct newspaper in Philly. That was in the old days before the Democratic machine replaced the GOP mechanism of social order.

I do not want to live in that past society of minor concessions to the rights of man. That indefinable essence of things past would seem to be the ideal that the ignorant are ranting and raving about in the present. “I want my America back!”

We all compromise in life, tell little white lies, say things to not offend and or say or do things that are downright stupid and do not many times get challenged in the process.

I do not want to go back to those old days of the American Ideal. It is when the GOP abandoned the morality of fiscal responsibility, when in power or as watchdog on the Dems, is when that party ceased to exist except in name only. In this modern global age the Dems seem to be nothing more than stooges for lobbyist money.

Indeed, in the age of computers, why can’t we all vote on issues of national importance from the comfort of our bubbles and see how that works out. Perhaps it is time to outsource all the jerks in Congress! Save on the Health Care plan, pension plan etc. Somebody had to pay our national debt eventually.

Which brings me to the concept of the great Moral Subtraction of our age. It is an economic as well as social formula.

I am indirectly talking about Constantine when he bought the first bishops and they subtracted the “thou shall not kill” from the moral equation in favor of the military equation. Christians in order to be socially acceptable and part of a new state religion had to kill for the emperor god in the Army. The morality of war passed onto the judgment of the Church which usually agreed with the political thugs in charge. Somehow, one day Christians had an asterisk next to the “thou shall not kill” commandment. You subtract moral from the formula and substitute a consensus conforming opinion to offset the original divine message of the Jesus guy.

It is no different today than it was back then. The morals that once had some precedent in our government, religions and capitalist system got swept away, subtracted, somewhere along the recent timeline. Humanity got turned into a commodity to be sliced, diced, outsourced and made a profit from. Humanity was entitled to FDR type social programs but nobody bothered to tax for or balance a budget to pay for those human services. The same goes for the military pitbull.

The little guy in the little business is being asked to forgo healthcare for employees because somewhere along the timeline health care became a commodity for profit. And following the “new atheists” rule to respect one’s right to religion but to openly criticize the stupidity and superstition of some parts of religion, nobody has criticized the sacred cow, the religion of capitalism for a long time on this side of the Atlantic.

Religions can give money to political parties, Employers can outsource, Wall Street can cheat and charge large fees but nobody, least of all in Congress, dares to criticize the great moral subtraction that has taken root in all our lives in this fast paced secular age.

Don’t blame the secularists. They are more than likely the only humanists left in the decayed land of “everybody does it” (lies, steals, cheats). Maybe it is a good thing that the people work not for dignity and daily bread but solely for the bonuses of CEOs, bishops, and lobbyists’ funds for Congressmen to keep getting reelected and doing nothing useful for the present or future of the nation. It is a grand delusion. Is it not?

I am not here to preach. I merely observe. Some might want to put the golden rule into the center of a secular culture. That secular culture still needs moral backbone and fortitude from the population in general and of every known persuasion, race and ethnic mix.

I can still hear my eighth grade nun’s almost daily platitude which is part of my secular formula for living.
Right is right if nobody is right. Wrong is still wrong even if everybody is wrong.
Humanity needs to be put back into all religious, political and economic equations.

Without humanity being the center of the human race’s moral formula in dealing with all aspects of life on this planet, something is missing from the bottom line – Everything is missing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Death of Civility in America - MSM


The story goes that whenever then Vice President Cheney was traveling, the TV in his hotel suite was to already be tuned to Fox News.

The whole or a great part of the home school movement is to tune out modern 20th century influences and diversity from children in the name of an imperfect religion tuning out the real world for these children. In other words, it is channeling a false image of everyday reality to the young.

Little wonder “Joe” Wilson, Jim DeMint and Mark Sanford have abandoned old fashioned civility in order to score points with the mob. The South Carolina crowd with it Sons of the Confederacy and a few used white bed sheets have long wrapped themselves in a self deluding bubble.

Add the modern age, civil rights, and global real world pressures and the need to add layer upon layer to the bubble they enclose themselves in and you get the death of civility in America. If you only have to play to a similar home town, home state similarly bubble wrapped constituency, you can see where the friction begins when confronting a real other world than the world of their own fantasy making.

In a South Carolina world, or a Dick Cheney world, or a home schooling world, reinforcement from other than balanced sources of a MSM has to be a carefully crafted virtual version of the old fashioned American Town Square that does not exist anymore.

Indeed, the owner of Fox News – Rupert Murdock – has sculpted or authorized a white milky bubble wrap reality in the image of his own native Australia with its past trying to forget Aborigine genocide by the white race – in the Fox News image and likeness of RM (god) and a white man’s virtual partial town square to reinforce the present.

To understand America better from the beginning up until the present one has to look at a roll of bubble wrap used to send objects safely and unbroken through the mail or express mail services.

Everybody down to the individual is encased in a singular bubble of genes, culture, possibilities and probabilities.

America from the beginning has been a haven and a clean starting point free of religious intolerance or economic woes. America at one point in time had the space and resources to keep your neighbor in his bubble from getting too close to your new revamped dreams- your bubble – and the so-called pursuit of happiness.

The local town square and the town itself usually sprung up outside a church or a trading post built in a wilderness.

The old fashioned town square is obsolete in the modern virtual world of today. With so many things constantly happening in our secular world of change, that assurance of a real town square with a real hardcopy newspaper and real town people/neighbors sets off a wave of nostalgia for the past amidst the over 40 crowd.

Think about the old town square of the old west with Gary Cooper or John Wayne about to shoot it out with the bad guys on Main Street and you have the eternal image and myth of what many people carry around in their brain.

The modern age with a thousand streams of information coming at you does not match the old town square of desired image and memory. Your parents’ generation is almost dead, the local town paper is defunct, Walter Cronkite is gone, the local minister is a kid fresh out of school. Who or what do you turn to in the old MSM inventory to reinforce your present beliefs or questions regarding local and global events and new social trends?

Part of the reason for the death of civility in America is the fact that all of us in our singular or multi-wrapped bubble layers have not yet found common ground in a town square like place of common consensus and in an old fashioned, extinct, biased eastern liberal media type establishment. Communications are in flux.

As time goes on, and friction peaks and or is sought to be reduced, the new MSM whatever shape and scope it is to be will evolve and settle toward some common middle ground in the American culture.

Until then we will have to put up with rudeness from all sides until that middle ground consensus and marketing tool is achieved. Until then expect incoherent shouting from the mob, from the peanut gallery etc. along with little or no real truth from the official establishment.

As individual bubbles begin to pop, somewhere down the time line a new fabric of communication, hopefully a better user friendly for all form, will emerge on the American and Global landscape.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mobs by Design - Glenn Beck & Co.


I suppose the march on Washington of 9/12ers, birthers, deathers, shiters, pissers, moaners, groaners and what have you deserves some comment. Sixty to Seventy thousand marchers?, protestors? – is worth a comment?

It is a growing mob moment. It is a mob by design with corporate sponsorship. I suppose the GOP needs bodies with a good set of lungs to shout and remind the party that living breathing human beings still cling to the party of Lincoln.

Of course Lincoln’s party was trying to prevent Civil War and not cause it. Whatever.

This 912 concept that Glenn Beck wants to visualize as a defining moment is the day after 911 when America and Americans came together in solidarity and communal love. That didn’t quite match the 80% of the placards of marchers showing President Obama in a negative light. Funny thing, I remember September 12, 2001 and Obama did not exist outside of Chicago and definitely did not own any of the solidarity and love thing except on his own personal level.

Beck also has a bunch of principals and commandments that only a jack rabbit Mormon would feel forced to make up as he goes along. This is where I see the 912 cover for tea bagging and some concern for the economy overshadowed by the many fringe groups participating yesterday in the national capital.

Rhetoric about wishful thinking for another terrorist attack, secession or a much hoped for coup adds to the nostalgia for Sept. 12, 2001 when the GOP in power could have had war, a balanced budget, ice cream and condoms too and still be in power with (white) people in charge if it had managed 911 in a totally professional manner. (Did I mention race? Sorry. The new racism does not mention race. It mentions everything else including the kitchen sink – wink, nod.)

Instead of wishing for the past –woulda, coulda shoulda, GOP nostalgia cannot be saved by Beck’s new rules and values from his little red book just like Newt Gingrich’s many failed fantasies about government mentioned in his Contract on America and are as irrelevant now in time with Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points, whatever they were.

This whole mob movement keeps changing its name every other week. It’s corporate backed strategy would seem to be to evolve into organized chaos especially around elections and mention a hundred different items under the umbrella of solidarity and communal love to confuse all debate on all issues. Are we to become a Shout-Down Nation? Beck is harmless until he seizes power, so to speak.

Aside from a government’s spending run amuck starting with the GOP in charge of lower taxes and spend, spend, spend 2001-2006, this mob movement might have some legitimacy if it were organized around debate and passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

As such, a day out with grandmom and granddad like Saturday is perhaps a good thing. Nobody over forty should be alone which is what I think the crowds were – 40+. Nobody should drink their wine from a box or clean their guns while alone.

As for a younger generation who will have to manage and pay for this GRAND BOOMER failure in American Government and American Capitalism, I think they were reaching for a new level yesterday and did not notice a thing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Memory - Tree of Life - WTC


I am still looking for the title and artist’s name of some lost artwork at the World Trade Center.

The eighth anniversary of 911 is upon us and I want to let go of some memories. A lingering thought of some lost artwork that touched the artist in my soul years ago lives on in my memory. As I have written here and elsewhere I did not directly lose a loved one on September 11, 2001.

Like a lot of us shell shocked New Yorkers from 911, whether we knew someone who died or not, there are memories that take a little longer than others to resurface to the forefront of our attention.

Before I try to put my pen down on this subject of 911, let me share something of the human spirit and expressed in art and lost on that fateful day eight years ago.

I remember walking up West Broadway from Vesey Street behind the Post Office there before 911. I walked there back in the eighties to swing past some large decorative artwork that adorned the east, street level, facade of the former 7 World Trade Center. This red granite facade or bas-relief was a cover for a downward driveway into the building from the rear on Barclay Street. (See above.)

For the longest time I would use the Internet and try to find an accurate listing of all lost artwork in connection with the destruction of the World Trade Center by terrorists. There are not many lists and they all seemed to be connected with some other tangent besides the WTC such as corporate ownership, or individual placement within the complex and so on.

I kept looking for the listing and name of the artwork noted above at 7 WTC. I could not remember if the decoration had a name and an artist.

What I had done was give the artwork a name in my head. Since it looked like a abstract Tree of Life, I gave it an exotic name that the tree of life is called by some primitive and possibly extinct tribe in Borneo – they called their Tree of Life by the name of “Aping”.

So into my brain went the reference to a dead work of art called “Aping”.

A tree of life, the WTC, a major artery of life in lower Manhattan got taken out, roots and all, that day eight years ago.

I find it ironic that there is not an easily accessed list of lost artwork at the old WTC. Whereas I am certain there are statistics down to the last square and cubic inch of the present real estate development thing going on now at the site of the old World Trade Center.

Art touches the soul of mankind. I hope some suitable artwork that touches upon the interdependence of all nations in this new global economy and global culture will be represented amid the profit plums and skyscrapers going up at the new WTC - to replace lost works of art from that infamous day.

- Hopefully this universal themed artwork, like the theme of the Tree of Life, will be near the planned memorial to the dead of 911.

The Tree of Life is at the base of legends and mythologies all over our planetary histories, cultures and geographies. The Tree of Life myth symbolizes fertility, growth, endurance and immortality.

The old WTC lives in my memory. Memory is the most important place for any living memorial to the dead and lost on that day eight years ago.

For more of my memories on 911 - Ghosts-of-911

“Joe” Wilson’s War on Illegals w/o Health Care – WWJD?


What struck me about John McCain in 2008 as standard bearer of the GOP was that he has never held a private sector job. Little wonder he panicked when Wall Street’s Ponzi tanked. Nothing wrong with a lifetime of government or military service. But what does one learn or know about of the other people, the people in the real world and about conditional employment and optional health care in the capitalist economy?

U.S. Representative Addison “Joe” Wilson of South Carolina as retired military did a great act of disrespect and insubordination with his outburst during President Obama’s speech during a Joint Session of Congress the other night.

In our republic, when you have the Chief Executive, the Supreme Court, members of the Cabinet and members of both Houses of Congress present – you have the whole of Government – the sacred - of the secular – and in this very solemn moment of Democracy, Colonel Wilson of the South Carolina National Guard has a GOP hissy fit.

His “You Lie!” outburst was about his concern that no illegal immigrants could get government paid health care under proposed health care reform legislation.

I know that Rep. Wilson’s sons are on the military dole with free healthcare like the retired colonel.

Joe Wilson's Dirty Health-Care Secret
Except that he's not─at least not when it comes to his, and his family's, government-run health care. As a retired Army National Guard colonel, Wilson gets a lot of benefits (one of which, apparently, was not a full appreciation of the customs, traditions, and courtesies that mandate respect for one's commander in chief). And with four sons in the armed services, the entire Wilson brood has enjoyed multiple generations of free military medical coverage, known as TRICARE.
What I don’t get is a man obsessed with illegal aliens getting any health care.

If a Mexican is in a car accident and arrives at the Hospital ER room – what should the admitting doctors do when they a) find out he has no health care coverage and or b) that he has no birth certificate proving U.S. citizenship – should they dump the bleeding mangled Mexican on the sidewalk and walk away. Such a vision does not seem to occur within or bother the military mind of Rep. Addison “Joe” Wilson Sr.. (Just some more collateral damage perhaps? Hire a no bid contractor to clean IT up?)

Let’s just hope that the world stays unsafe and Rep. Wilson’s four sons in the military have lifetime employment, pension entitlement and free healthcare while the rest of the other people in the economy continue to struggle for their daily bread.

WWJD? Have the Wilson boys get real jobs or stop fake wars overseas?

I don’t have any answers to this dilemma.

I ask you all to examine your own hearts in these trying days of bitter partisanship and the lack of civility and respect in public life and service – in this so-called Christian nation.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rep. Joe Wilson - House Trash - South Carolina


Are there any sane people in South Carolina?

Representative Joe Wilson’s uncivil shouting of “You Lie!” outburst to President Barack Obama in his address to a joint session of Congress is without precedent.

Where was your “You Lie!” when George Bush lied about WMD and sent us into a war in Iraq?

Is Rep. Joe Wilson another one of these friendly fascist “prayer breakfast” Christians of the Doug Coe cult like Senator DeMint and Governor Sanford also of South Carolina.

It is easy to see why idiots with slippery trigger fingers in South Carolina started the Civil War that never seems to end.

The death of civility in America applies to all sides in this country, white and black, left and right alike. If the government pork for South Carolina is not enough, then kindly leave your bullshit parked at a Capital bar and grill or religiously sanctioned whore house. Don’t embarrass yourself and your constituency with your vulgar street rudeness!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drone Wars - Afganistan


In the Star Wars set of movies you see the fascist helmeted troops of the Emperor running around decks of floating space platforms or doing the grunt work of harassing the local planetary populations. In reality most of those working stiff soldiers should be androids from a Pentagon cost basis analysis.

Our eternal war in Afganistan goes on if only to protect the drug crops and support the local economy. This is how the last days of Rome perhaps were with sticking your nose in somebody else’s business and having them pay for your military hardware and troops. Where is the bloody oil money from Iraq to pay for that war?

We went into Afganistan to wipe out a bunch of thugs who masterminded the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Bin Laden guy has been living in luxury ever since and we “can’t find him”. What bullshit!.

The Russians could not conquer Afganistan and they were brutes. The Brits could not conquer Afganistan and they could be brutes. Hey, history tells us that Alexanger the Great made it to India. No. He stopped at Afganistan, his troops rebelled and he turned back to Greece.

The military heads at the Pentagon have these drone things to fly into, spy on, target and or blow up the “enemy” - its mix and match, old toy weapons or new in the evolving handbook of war.

Our NATO ally, the Germans, the other day got caught in a tight spot, did not want to do the dirty hand to hand combat thing, and pushed the “easy” button on one of the shiny new Pentagon toys, in that instance ordering a strike by jet, and dozens of the “enemy” mixed with innocent civilians got vaporized.

As technology takes us further and further away from the human factor, our military princes delude themselves that they are fighting a winnable war with “droids”.

Aside from it being impossible to fight a land war and win on foreign mountainous terrain, we have to prop up a corrupt dictator who can’t even steal a “democratic” election with finesse.

The real horror of all this is the questionable morality of using technology on the stone age. It is not much different than the Cowboy and Indian days of our far west in the nineteenth century. That was technology against a stone age culture. Technology won.

Now it is technology against a stone culture – a stone culture of mountains, and mountain valleys and caves and an eternal number of hiding places all over the map and overlapping with the geographic boundaries of Pakistan etc. The stone culture wins.

Nobody puts morality or value on the killing of civilians as collateral damage in the Pentagon spreadsheets. American wars used to be fought by American boys knowing why they were fighting. Now we wait for the press releases to give us the lastest on body counts of us and “them”. That’s what Vietnam turned into – a body count, real and imagined – a quarterly spreadsheet report. Now our wars are fought by contractors and drones. Which bodies do you count?

It goes way beyond a so called Christian nation against a so called Muslim nation. If it is a religious Crusade, we will lose. We lose all crusades in the end especially when we become only temporary occupiers of a foreign land far from home

In the end, Rome had to withdraw its soldiers from the far ends of its empire to defend the city of Rome itself. Washington is the modern day Rome – Roma Nova – and America desperately needs its resources back home.

Obama may be a popular, slick Harvard educated, corporate lawyer and savvy politician. But in the end, along with the gold wasted and body counts mounting, he ain’t no Alexander the Great.

Bring our boys and girls home!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Prayer to (for) Collateral Damage


In my strive to offset middle age aches and pains and a guilty conscience, I thought of a prayer I might say to thank the Afgan people for doing their bit for democracy, Wall Street and Jesus. For taking it on the chin in the collateral damage department thing – testing out our drone stuff and new technology – doing their part – ya know.

But as sometimes happens I dose off, thoughts and dreams merge, and I am stuck talking to these hippie/beatnik like losers on a street corner. They are painted blue, and turn out to be real honest to goodness Martians.

Why are you blue?

It’s cold up there dude!

And why are you here?

Tourists man, the dollar ain’t worth shit and the Martian Gubla is now being traded on a few exchanges, (Mongolia etc.).

Any attraction in particular you interested in here in New York.

Glenn Beck man – he is the Dude! Yeah he can see through stone man! He’s got our number.

Number?

Yeah. Like he wants to interview us and put us on his entertainment show. Talk about Obamo or somebody.

I thought he was a newscaster.

Dude. What ain’t you smoking dude? The man is like a real Martian man. We Martians want entertainment, stories, first class B.S. and Glenn is like the man!

The man?

Well we really came to see Tom Delay do his dance thing but we find out that they film that stuff out of New York. Bummer. We are like reading some old tourist stuff from the fifties. Jive! Ya dig?

Okay.

And we read minds sometimes too. That’s how we got tuned into Glenn baby. We like tuned in on the Tom dude and we get the vibe that he would like Glenn to dance in a competition with him – not one on one – but with couples. Dancing is very popular on Mars.

I see.

The scene fades and I remember something.

Well the thoughts and dreams change. I know I cannot muster a prayer fitting for the slaughter in Afganistan and take comfort in the fact that entertainment can do more for the human soul than news – and it goes the same at least for some Martians. So it goes. Just like on Tralfamadore. That’s in Ohio? Right?

Live and learn. Or just pretend.

Amen?