19 November 2010


"Thrasher" by Neil Young

They were hiding behind hay bales,
They were planting in the full moon,
They had given all they had for something new.
But the light of day was on them,
They could see the thrashers coming,
And the water shone like diamonds in the dew.

And I was just getting up, hit the road before it's light
Trying to catch an hour on the sun.
When I saw those thrashers rolling by, looking more than two lanes wide
I was feelin' like my day had just begun.

Where the eagle glides ascending,
There's an ancient river bending,
Down the timeless gorge of changes where sleeplessness awaits.
I searched out my companions,
Who were lost in crystal canyons,
When the aimless blade of science slashed the pearly gates.

It was then I knew I'd had enough,
Burned my credit card for fuel,
Headed out to where the pavement turns to sand.
With a one-way ticket to the land of truth,
And my suitcase in my hand,
How I lost my friends I still don't understand.

They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection,
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find.
They were lost in rock formations,
Or became park bench mutations,
On the sidewalks and in the stations,
They were waiting, waiting.

So I got bored and left them there,
They were just dead weight to me,
Better down the road without that load.
Brings back the time when I was eight or nine,
I was watchin' my mama's T.V.,
It was that great Grand Canyon rescue episode.

Where the vulture glides descending,
On an asphalt highway bending,
Thru libraries and museums, galaxies and stars.
Down the windy halls of friendship,
To the rose clipped by the bullwhip,
The motel of lost companions waits with heated pool and bar.

But me I'm not stopping there,
Got my own row left to hoe.
Just another line in the field of time.
When the thrashers comes, I'll be stuck in the sun,
Like the dinosaurs in shrines.
But I'll know the time has come to give what's mine.

Is This The Best We Can Do?

--Senator Barack Obama, February 5, 2008

That day I cast my first vote for Barack Obama for President, in the Arizona Democratic primary.  I had actually lived in the 1st District of Illinois in 2000 when Obama made his first unsuccessful run for Congress, taking on former Black Panther and Chicago political institution Rep. Bobby Rush in the Democratic primary, but I didn't vote until the November general election, and like most of America had never even heard of the man until 2004 when he shot onto the political scene with a breathtaking speech at the Democratic National Convention.

I was not a believer right away, however.  Not that I was a doubter, I just wasn't a convert and a zealot.  In the fall of 2007, after much careful deliberation, I decided that I was going to support Chris Dodd for the Democratic nomination.  Of the many Democrats running for the nomination, Dodd was the one who was saying and doing the right things in Congress that first year that the Bush stranglehold had been lifted.  Hillary was a non-starter, Edwards said the right things but I just wasn't buying what he was selling, Biden had good days and bad.  Obama was always a second or third choice.

I'm not really going to get into what it was that changed my mind.  After Iowa, it was either Obama or Edwards, and no doubt I would have landed on Obama by default.  But in the end, like millions of others, there was a revelatory moment when Obama landed an arrow right in the center of my heart and then there was no question anymore.  Not only was he the best choice, he was the best PERSON.  This is a GREAT MAN, of the type I'd never known in all my years of following politics.  The type of man that I can imagine people perceived men like Roosevelt and Lincoln to have been.

After all that has happened in the nearly three years that have now passed, I am every bit as convinced of the greatness of this man, and this is why I am even more convinced that all hope is lost for a better world.  In flipping through the channels a few days ago, I came across Superman II, and the scene that was on was the one where General Zod and his crew are fighting Superman in downtown Metropolis and basically kicking his ass and breaking lots of shit.  At first the people watching believe that the bad guys have killed Superman, and then they are even more disappointed when it turns out that he's not dead, but he still flies away in defeat.

That's how I feel about Washington these days.  The best man, the greatest leader of men of his generation, and he gets to the position where he can do the maximum amount of good possible and ends up getting owned by the putrid swamp of Kryptonite on the Potomac.  Hoards of small, small men like Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and Mitch McConnell, teaming with the vast majority of elected officials and media personalities who are wholly owned by the plutocratic, obscenely moneyed elite to stop anything and everything that count as real and lasting change for the better.

2008 was kind of our last best chance at stopping the decline of the American civilization.  It was a slim chance, I admit, but we had all the tools we needed.  We had a great inspiring leader in the White House and massive majorities in both houses of Congress.  But it didn't happen.  Was Obama too green to navigate the minefield?  Too timid?  Too naive in his belief that the Republicans wanted anything other than to destroy him and that "bi-partisanship" always means liberal capitulation to conservatives?

So this is the best we can do, huh?  I'm afraid it is.  No wonder why Democrats didn't come out to vote this month.

17 November 2010

Why are we here?

I'm kind of a "veteran" of the internets now.  I've been participating in discussions on email listservs, message boards, and political blogs for over 10 years.  I was even a moderator on the largest unofficial pearl jam message board on the web for over four years.  And yet I've never really had a place to call my own until this place.

Why now?  Frankly, I've become tired of the conversation.  I don't want to listen anymore.  I don't care much about what other people think, feel, like, or do.  People aren't really "doing it for me" these days.  And yet I still miss having an outlet of sorts to express myself and what I think, feel, like, or do.

I know.  It's the height of self-centeredness to want to talk at people without hearing what they have to say in return.  Hey, at least I can recognize it in myself.  Unlike every other blog on the internet, self-involved wankery is the conscious point of this blog.  Take it or leave it.  I'm happy to share, but if no one is listening, that's OK too.  This is really about me and having to get the thoughts out there.

When I was a younger man, I wanted to know it all.  I am an Aquarian, after all.  But at the same time, like Prometheus, I felt that it was my duty to impart that which I had learned to as many other people as I could.  I mean, what's the point of knowing things if they remain locked up inside your own head, right?

Of course, I eventually learned that people don't want to have knowledge forced upon them.  Hell, most people don't even want to have knowledge pointed out to them, and a great many people attempt to actively hide from knowledge and convince themselves that certain facts do not exist or, in the extreme, that those facts are actually lies promulgated by shadowy forces to challenge their faith.  At this point in the history of the world, I feel that Americans are more likely to believe a lie than the truth, so I don't really think there's much point in engaging in meaningful conversation at all.

I have a beautiful, intelligent, witty and utterly honest wife.  I have three little boys whom I love tremendously and make life worth living everyday, just as they regularly drive me up a wall.  For the first time in years, I really like my job and the place where I live.  I also think that we are all fucking doomed.

Not my family.  YOU.  All of us. 

It's OK.  Not like we can really do anything about it, so there's no point in fretting about it.  Just do what you have to do every day, make your living, love the people in your life, and see what tomorrow brings.  Don't fool yourself into thinking tomorrow is going to be better than today though.

This blog will be an exposition of why I have come to this place.  I'll post some political stuff.  I'll post some music.  I'll post some comedy.  I'll post some essays about things I think I've figured out (to some extent).  Please join the blog and comment.  I may engage back, I may not.  I may delete your post.  You're welcome.

It can't be all that bad, right?  Let's do this.