December 07, 2011

If-- by Rudyard Kipling (1895)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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If you feel like it.

Seeking the Ideal from this Modern World

The ideal nation has been an object of perfection for the past several centuries from Robert Owen's ideal village to the grand visions of Le Courbsier's modern day city (Le Courbsier). All of which deal with the aspects of modifying the shape of the city to modify the behavior of the people. Or the garden cities of the mid 19th century that sought to centralize living spaces, to create a sense of place that encouraged healthy outdoor living, happiness in separation from work and the ideal environments, far away from the smokey city centers (Benevolo 46). But I intend to create a perfect society, one that picks up where these all failed in their execution (Jacobs). By taking elements of each, I intend to create a society, where equality and the reigning qualities of life rule primary.

The failure of the ideal cities of the past can stem back to their lack of intent to change, a result of only marginally challenging the structure of life and more ended up being a compliment to the then current practice of life. Their unwillingness to make a complete change to the social infrastructure of behavior, interaction and policy would result in their eventual failure (Hayden).

In this new modern society, which I shall call Perefessinia from here on out, will deal with the social structure, the cultural system, political systems and the economic systems. These four things easily can define the ideal structure of a city, the ideal shape of a city, the ideal society, the ideal body politic, and the ideal structure economic.

The Rules of the Game

Likewise with our current society, there are norms that we must accept and carry over. It is understood that our actions are a direct result of the lives of many people, activities that would cause harm to others are strictly prohibited except in recreation zones. Recreation zones shall be two hundred fifty miles square, fifty miles by fifty miles and placed at the center of every 500 mile by 500 mile grid that the country will be blocked into. Here, people are allowed free reign to do anything they want, shoot, blow things up and crash automobiles. Entry into recreation zones require a minimum age of 16, two previous psychiatric evaluations and application of a pass. People entering these zones of lawlessness are prohibited from a stay of more than 10 days and as such, electronic tracking tags will reveal where these people are hiding allowing for state police to force them out. Passes may only be purchased or in special cases grandfathered in with special permission from the state.

These zones shall allow people to enjoy themselves, unwind and relieve the stresses of modern life (Huxley). This place shall act as a sanity chamber, allowing the people to avoid the rigors of life momentarily.

Thought will be allowed free reign and shall not be inhibited in any way, psychologically or chemically. People choosing the preference of art as a career shall be state funded and allowed depiction of anything of their choosing. Should anyone be offended by the images portrayed by the artist, both the artist and the afflicted party shall meet with a state evaluator to discuss and help both parties understand the reason for the image's creation and reception. In so doing, the burden of meeting with state officials would cause people to consider making art of an offensive nature or criticizing any piece of artwork. Any images found offensive by the state cannot be confiscated without the artist first undergoing a public trial by a jury of his peers, critics, experts and the ordinary to justify why the image was created in the first place (Ball & Dagger 167).

Written text, publications for print, comics, fictional literature and any other works falling under this category shall not be inhibited in any way. Free enterprise press shall be encouraged and the use of government presses shall not be restricted except in cases where presses are restricted for government use only in the case of producing fiat currency, official document blanks and documents concerning income tax, immigration and legal status.

Punishment of persons committing any crime deemed immoral and offensive to the state and its people will be allowed either exile or evaluation in trial by the state (Kelling). In the case of exile, work camps and reeducation centers in the hinterlands will hope to modify the behavior of offender. Should the person choose evaluation, he will be examined by a jury of public peers, and the case brought for and against the person. But the people of Perefessinia should be happy enough that the idea of committing a crime is unnecessary and only then in the most heinous of cases shall the public become the jury to determine and measure against their standard of life what action to take (Brem).

The government structure of life

The government or the state of Perefessinia is not in the business of controlling every single aspect of people's lives. It shall function primarily as the watchdog of the people, the legal channel that everyone should and shall pass through for most of the primary functions of their lives (Ball & Dagger 112). The nation is divided into districts, each of which are self governing, and further on in the metropolitan area, they are in turn self governing as well, but are restricted by the laws of the district and the districts under the Government Principia. All servants of the civil sector shall be publicly elected as officials and hired or appointed as appropriate in the various departments of the state. The state itself shall consist of the following departments to manage all aspects of life not controlled by the self or in the self interest of the state.

      1. The Ministry – shall deal with the heads of each of the following departments. It will be under the control of the first minister who also shall appoint a second minister to serve as his deputy.

      2. The Ministry of the State – shall deal with the ruling districts and the hinterlands. It shall also deal with foreign relations with various other nations

      3. The Ministry of the Interior – shall deal with all lands property of the state, public buildings, natural preserves and Recreational Zones of Lawlessness.

      4. The Ministry of Industry & Commerce – shall deal with all properties under state and private ownership engaged in the commerce, trades or production of durable goods, intellectual goods, and digital goods.

      5. The Ministry of Education – shall deal with all state run schools, primary through higher education. Under this ministry, the bureau of censorship shall exist as a department for the evaluation of the censorship of artworks and intellectual creations.

      6. The Ministry of Defense – shall deal with all things pertaining to national security both at home and abroad. There shall be four heads in this department: The Chief of Perefessinia, The First Sea Laird, The First Land Commander and the First Air Warden. Their defensive territories shall be as in this order: State run police, Sea, Land & Air.

      7. The Ministry of Health – shall deal with all items and topics related to drugs, health regulations and shall be the governing body for any and/or all medical procedures.

      8. The Ministry of Justice – shall deal with any corruption found within the system and by judicial appointment seek to root out this corruption.

      9. The Ministry of Revenue – shall deal with the collection and imposition of taxes to generate revenue for the state. All locations under state control including Recreation Zones are taxable locations.

      10. The Ministry of Transportation – shall deal with all aspects of travel by road, rail, air or water and shall be responsible for the regular upkeep of these systems with money gained through lawful means through the Ministry of Revenue.

      11. The Ministry of Civic Planning – shall deal with all aspects of city life, rural life and suburban life. The placement of buildings, the preservation of artistic, and experimental buildings and structures and the construction of any new buildings sponsored by the state or owned by the state.

These departments shall control all aspects and the heads of each are publicly elected officials who have served in the “People's Body” or the Duma. The Duma will consist of one member for every district of 8000 people. Members of the Duma must serve six years before election to the Politiburo which is conducted by Duma members alone. Politiburo members serve as the head of the 10 ministries and may deputize any Duma member to act as a second if any problems occur in absentia (Ball & Dagger 22).

The social structure of life

Where our societies of the past and present have relied heavily on spiritualism to find release of thought, there shall be no religion to distract people from the regularity of life. Things that occur as a so-called miracle will be examined by the Ministry of Education's department and bureau of science to explain. Morality, the guide rod of life shall be deemed as acceptable and unacceptable behavior by the state. The state may only reach these conclusions through public consensus through a ballot initiative. From there, morality is placed in the charge of the Duma to examine it, moved to the Politiburo for further scrutiny, examined by the justice ministry and then signed into the book of morality. Any preset morality clauses may be revoked through the same due processes of the law.

The idea of beauty, truth shall be not controlled by the state, but allowing of the people to discover on their own. However, when the idea of beauty or truth begins to interfere with a persons normal functions or duties or even reason to cause distress to another person or persons, the parties involved shall be required to meet with a government evaluator to straighten out all issues.

Considering the function of marriage and interaction, these shall be made possible under the bureau of licensing. The state shall have no interference in the union of any two persons. Polygamy shall not be allowed by the state and stipulated in the book of morals. This interference on the rights of those who do believe in poly-amorous relationships is justified by the unequal rights. Persons disputing this claim may marry multiple persons in the zones, but these marriages will not be recognized outside of that particular zone and upon departure from the zone, the contract of union shall be dissolved thirty days after the marriage unless the contract is signed a second time before the thirty day expiration date. There is no case reported where this has successfully occurred.

The commerce of life

Material goods and commercial goods for production are regulated under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. All workers shall receive an equal income and the tax rate shall be set at 60% nationwide. This high tax rate shall create a large revenue to allow people to still enjoy the niceties of life while still contribute to the vast majority of state run programs. Heads of private commerce shall be regulated at an 80% tax rate and heavily scrutinized under the government. The increase in tax should still allow for a comfortable life as well as to protect the workers rights in equality and payment. Competition amongst corporations shall be encouraged with state prizes to allow consumers the greatest freedom in choice of products (Ball & Dagger 62).

Corporations and companies (large, medium and small) shall start as an endeavor of the private citizen with monetary backing of the state. Once the capitalist is capable of buying the corporation or company from the state, he may do so and the taxation on the company drops from 90% to 70%.

The regulation of business and industry shall be conducted by the ministry of industry and commerce only to impede whether or not a business, corporation, company or industry have corrupted any members of government. Dual investigations from the Ministry of Justice will also concede whether or not any injustice was committed. Corruption shall not be tolerated lightly.

Conclusions

Compared to what we have discussed in Brem's classes and lectures, there are many social structures that could determine the shape of the world around us. Whether or not we choose to engage in all of these aspects, is determined by our behavior. Our world around us shapes our social understanding of society, how we want it to be, how it ought to be and how it should come to fruition. I realized in the creation of this nanny-esque state how quickly my personal vision suddenly became very authoritarian. The allowance of freedoms in select locations, the government interevening in every moment to eliminate any possibility of offensive behavior, art or literature and worst of all, exile for disputing views. Partially, this derived and sounded ideal in my head from reading Brave New World, Animal Farm and watching Equilibrium. These materials all conceptually deal with ideal societies, yet have their faults. In Animal Farm and Equilibrium, there was the oppressive nanny state, the drugging, lack of feeling, and someone profiteering. In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, there are places where religion is free to exist amonst the so called “barbarians” while in the clean, modern worlds, again there is the drugging, lack of free religions and texts of a disputive nature, that engaged its readers other than in the whimsical pleasures of life.

Personally, this paper has made me more aware of how much control there is in life, both on the personal scale and by the government as well. There is an extremely delicate balance that is constantly being tipped one direction or the other in our world. Too much government or too little government will cause the social structure of life to fall apart. Personally, I like the idea of zones of free will, not regulated by excessive government control. But I think we do have something like that, only it is called Nevada. California is a great example of a growing nanny state. I really do question our purpose here, is it entirely necessary to put into law what the definition of marriage is? Are we that stupid that we need to say that this is the definition, and the only definition? The slow process of law and the weird acceptance that if law is passed, it cannot go away made me personally add the clause in the book of morals that any of them can be changed through due process.

So what do I see appealing about the world around me? I see elements that both scare and fascinate me. Things that seem like they would work on multiple levels and some things that wouldn't work at all in an entire nation. I see the bits and pieces that if the right combination presented itself at long last would become a very good combination and should we choose not to utilize this, there is a good chance that a state may fail in this or that way. What do I long to see in this world now? Does my ideal country sound appealing? Not really. But if I had absolutely no choice as to my gender, social standing, rank and race, would I live there? I would not mind.

Works Cited

Ball, Terrence & Richard Dagger. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal 8th Ed. New York, NY: Longman, 2011. Print.

Benevolo, Leonardo. The Origins of Modern Town Planning. Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press, 1971. Print.

Brem, Robert [Professor of Political Theory at Cal State East Bay & College of Alameda]. Lecture. Alameda, CA. 26 Oct. 2011.

Brem, Robert. Speaking Reality into Existence: Political Philosophy and Democracy 9.3rd Ed. Alameda, CA: Department of Politics, College of Alameda, 2010. Print.

Le Courbsier. Plan Voisign. Paris, France. Dover Press, 1991. Print.

Hayden, Dolores. Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2004. Print.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York, NY: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2010. Print.

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York, NY: Modern Library, 1961. Print.

Kelling, George & Catherine Coles. Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime In our Communities. New York, NY: Free Press, 1998. Print


November 01, 2011

Social Change for the Better

More and more each day, this country slips into a different direction, one day in one direction, another in some other direction. We are approaching the straining point, the critical mass that the country needs to achieve. Today, many people are sitting idly by as they face forclosure, piling debt, bankruptcy and so much more. Yet, there unwavering in the distance is something that everyone is clinging to, that thing everyone is so intent on holding on to. Their political ideologies.

But why? Why are these ideologies holding the attention of the majority of our public so well? Why are they shaping every single decision of a person without any prior knowledge? Why are they just existing in general? It gives citizens the sort of comfort of knowing how the world should be, that it ought to be more than just that. It plays no real role, other than a platform to yell from, and in this country, whoever can yell the loudest wins.

So what is it about an ideology that captivates our attention so well? If we look at some of the past events in news history, we can see why. The whole 99% movement that originated on Wall Street, it allowed the common classical liberal to stand up for himself, to stand and be heard by the governments. More and more each day, government institutions are found to be generally less and less connected to its public constituents, and no longer are the people in office a genuine Representative of the concerns of the people but for one of the two parties in power. That's another problem with our two party system, it does not allow for anyone else to gain power, and you end up with extremists on either side with no common ground to stand on. In foreign countries such as Norway and Sweden, their parliaments consist of representative democracies, allowing for the leading party to hold the control of the votes, while the other parties hold a percentage of seats relative to the percentage of the population.

Our Electoral College is not the best system period. The popular vote can only go so far during an election, merely showing "how" a country will vote for the next president, but in reality, the Electoral College controls the genuine voting power of our next leaders. But why does it prevail? How is it ineffective? Consider a large state like California. California has a number of Electoral College votes and during a presidential election, 51% votes Republican and 49% vote Democrat. Are those votes evenly portioned out? Not in the least, but in fact, 100% would go to the republican party. Now, as a member of the GOP for 4 years before re-registering as a democrat, I now am yet again considering switching to independent. Neither party works, and the system is fracked up enough as it is.

Now lets look at how an Ideology shapes a person's thoughts. When you thinking about doing something, you are basing it off of a personal experience. Every single thing you do is a resultant action from your upbringing and rearing. Shaped by your Belief Systems that were put in place by parents, friends, pastor, teachers and so on. Now, the ideology enjoys preying on people with the smallest belief systems (lets call it BS for short). People who limit themselves in the world with a tiny BS end up not understanding as much. I still find it difficult for some reason, when I meet people who have never heard of this or that, things that I thought were common in the world, but that is my BS, that there are these things in the world that need to be studied. Ok, back to our topic. Now, someone with a closed mind has a dangerous mind, they will prey, they will anger, they will do stupid things. Take the Tea Party for instance, or the Westboro Baptist Church, they refuse to open up the structure that is made up of their beliefs. That God is great, that there is one truth and that is it. Nothing else beyond that. Bring the nation back to its "great" days as a religious nation. I hate to disappoint, this country was never a religious nation.

Look at the intentions of the Bill of Rights, it was written to adapt to modern times, it is intended as this nation's chief laws that we have no right to control people the way we were. That here there is a freedom of religion, of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to a fair trial with a jury of your peers, not to be put into double jeopardy. These 10 basic laws are starting to disappear, pushed aside by the black baton of the policeman, defending the military republic of the individual states. Can we really expect the right to own a weapon? Yeah. Can we really expect our speech to go uninhibited? Yeah. Can we expect a free life, to pursue liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Yes. We should, and next time the lawmakers are on the books, they need to look at the first rules written, the amendments that protect the people, not govern the people.

Look at the spectacular failure of the 18th amendment, to what purpose did it run? It merely was the lovechild of the temperance movement and Wayne Wheeler who drafted the amendment. What this amendment did was ignore the rights of the people to drink. Ignored everything about liberty. Ignored everything about freedom. It slammed its fist into every home, every saloon, every club, every bar, and every restaurant saying No, you cannot drink because we said so. Where did the 18th amendment take the United States? Organized Crime. Running whisky from Canada, Rum from Cuba & the Caribbean, and numerous stills and illegal operations springing up in backyards and basements.

So what can we learn from this? Well for one thing, look at the instances of Proposition 8, the initiative that had hoped to make Homosexual marriage legal in the State of California. It did not win and through due process of the law, it was appealed to the state supreme court, now it is in the district supreme court (as far as I know). I still think Lewis Black the comedian best put it that when we are visited by Aliens from a far off time period and they uncover our civilization, they will say: look how stupid these guys were, they had to define marriage as between a man and a woman. They HAD TO FUCKING DEFINE MARRIAGE. There is too much controversy over what is legally right and what is ideologically right. We are beginning to see the unfortunate image of the ideologies beginning to hold precedent over what is legally right. *cough*Hermann Caine *cough*.

Ideologies are ideas, they are not laws, they are not a way of life. They are theories of the way things ought to be. Which is good, but it clouds the judgement of those we put in office. Are they fighting for the rights of Californians in district 13? Or are they fighting to make this legal or that legal? When people put too much emphasis on an ideology, they start to forget what the law looked like, what equality looked like, what tolerance looked like. They started to see everything in a white bread picture, suitable for all audiences and conforming to THEIR way of life. There is no you in an ideology, there is just becoming one of us.

So what can we learn from this? What can we do to prevent this from happening? Well, we need to stand for our rights, to make sure that we receive our equal share in society and that we return our equal share back to society. We are not the stupid minds that places the vast power into the hands of the few, we are the people who have the rights of every other man in our town, our county, our state, our nation, and when we are beaten down, it only helps increase the meaning of the cause, the cause of the people.

September 25, 2011

Thaïs Deep


The fall season is a pretty wonderful time of the year, the skies start to cloud over, the winds pick up but at the same time, people start to put away the summer clothes, and the fall clothes come out. That's one of the parts I like the best, seeing people getting all togged up in heavier coats, and the girls sport big, wild scarves and the fellas start to wear their hats. Mind you, the smart ones sport fedoras and flat caps. The wild ones with baseball caps and beanies, and the weird ones with derbys and skull caps. The absolute strange ones are still wearing straw right now. But the best part about the fall, is that it just keeps getting better and better. From just a light coat or jacket, suddenly, the great double breasted coats emerge again from the closet or storage, like a magnificent ship slowly pulling out of a slip for the first time.

As you go one, the air begins to bite at your face, laden with scarves hats and high wing collars and you begin to see your breath in the air again. I just love that feeling, to see your breath emerge from your mouth, like the fiery smoke from a dragon's nostrils. No longer do you sport the flip flops, the sandals or the crocs (thank god) and then the shoes come out, the Ferragamos, the Oxfords, the wingtips, the clarks, the Martens, the Timberlands, the Uggs, the Sneakers and so much more. As the sun begins to go down, the mud rooms and the solariums are packed with muddy boots, the wicker furniture is covered in vinyl. Inside the kitchens, the scrubbed maple counters are agog with fresh picked apples, dug up mushrooms and canter glasses filled with steaming lemon tea with a stick of cinnamon suspended in the sacred fluid.

It's the time of year, you notice there seems to be more people over, the furniture is scooted around to let the fireplace become the master of the room, no longer does the television set hold the precedent of all inside. Carefully cleaned and resting pipes sit on the racks with the humidifier, the hall clock on the mantle still keeps good time, even though once in a while it does like to go off whenever it feels like. Low squatty couches no longer sit barren, now adorned with overstuffed pillows, warm fleece blankets and sheepskin slippers at the foot of each couch on a worn hearth rug. No longer are dinners lit through the blazing summer sunlight but instead the darkness of the sky is fought off only by several red bees wax tapers, and the smiles of the people you sit around and eat with.

Drinks no longer have ice in them, scotch on the rocks has gone simply to scotch neat. No longer does a mint julep sound as inviting as a hot toddy when you come home. There are noticeable signs of the impending seasons, as a ham sits curing on the counter and suddenly the cider press is pulled out of the garage. Come the Fall cold, cometh the Fall rains. The turning leaves leave crispy trails to punch out as you walk, and the slosh of rain is compounded with shlack of leaves as they are kicked aside. Further into fall, the convertible car retreats into the car house, and out rolls the heavy Buick or Ford. Classic cars for the win in this season, they seem to blend seamlessly into the classic time of the fall. Driving in the cold seems like a much more pleasurable activity, as you have a friend riding shotgun and your partner in the center of the bench, nothing could be better.

But the best part is the part when the lights go out, and the fire is nothing more than embers. You and that special someone have brushed your teeth, kicked aside the laundry around on the floor and pull the covers over. That doesn't sound any different from the usual business right? Wrong! The bed has become a plush pleasure palace of heavy blankets, down comforters, colorful duvets, and the pillows! Pillows as far as the eye can see, quilted, beaded, plain, plush. It's an impenetrable fortress of snuggles against the cold wind.

But the only thing about fall, is you get to look forward to the wintertime.

July 22, 2011

Misty Morning on the L Train

It's the ticking of the clock when you wake up alone at seven AM
It's the thought of getting used to something so right and then just throw it away

It's a major minor detail
On a misty morning L train

And the fear of having to go back

W
alking slowly and carefully on the wet sidewalk, you sort of pull your overcoat a little closer to yourself, adjusting the strap of your leather side bag, feeling it for its precious contents, the large rectangular shape of the laptop sitting snugly in its case, the empty travel mug of stale coffee and a dog eared paperback. You begin to ascend the stairs up to the L train platform and as you walk, your gloved hands runs over the painted cast iron railing. Stems of your breath waft before you, rising slowly like dragon's smoke. Several other passengers already are waiting, some engrossed in newspapers or smart phones, others lost in a trance of some sort of techno trance or dubstep guessing from their choice of clothing. In the mist, you manage to pick out the El's bright yellow fog lights, cutting through the mist. It still has a ways to get here, but you know from experience, it's at Wabash. You sort of ready yourself for the train. You dont know why, but you just do.

July 06, 2011

Late for Work from r/military

Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time.

Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies.

One day the boss called him into the office for a talk.

"Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often is quite bothersome."

"Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."

"Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear.

Yes sir, I understand your concern and Ill try harder.

Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, It's odd though your coming in late. I know you're retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning so late and so often?"

The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled.

He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin, "They usually saluted and said, Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, sir?”

June 05, 2011

Students of Higher Education vs. Parked Cars & Electronics

There's a saying: the Irish need not apply

Times union article



Just felt like redoing it. AGAIN

1. Put your iTunes (or any other media player you may have) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
It's all nice on Ice

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
'Taint no Sin

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
I wouldn't change you for the world

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
All my Loving

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Right or Wrong

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Monster

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Goose Pimples

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
You will be Waiting

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Before Departure

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Hurt Feelings

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Lovin' You

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Call Me

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Sweet Darlin'

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Opening Doors

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
A Kiss A Week

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Dinah

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
A Call to Apathy

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Hold On

WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
I Have a Dream

HOW WILL YOU DIE?
Take Ecstacy with Me

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Roll Jordan Roll

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Love or Confusion

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
International Travel

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
Red Haired Woman

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
One Evenin'

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Dont Cry

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
I'm Walkin'

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Josie

San Francisco? Initiative to ban what now?

From the Huffington Post

It's Ok to be Takei

Apparently...



The accusation is that people of the Islamic faith are shorting themselves of the intellectual capacity potential by "inbreeding" with first cousins. Now, if memory serves me right, most of the royal families of the world are all related. From all the sekxsy times with victoria and albert. As Blackadder put it, the bedchambers of buckingham must be copiously supplied with blindfolds for all the children she potters out. Here even in america, those who listen to this, chances are, they may have skipped the first cousin bit. Yeah, went straight for the sister.

Now... in the bible, in genesis in particular, there's no mention of a sister or any other female born with Cain and Able, so that means, either, they would have done it with a bastard sibiling unmentioned in the bible or with their mother. Now, that sounds far worse than first cousins. Especially all the men begatted from their line. Now, explain to me, all the men who are begat from Adam and Eve, and no women to birth them? Eve must have a pretty tired and stretched out vagina by the time you finish reading the bible.

May 31, 2011

Les décisions de faire


A little smoke curled from a cigarette sitting on a shallow coffee saucer. It burned slowly, recieving no attention from the smoker himself as he sat before the table. His gaunt frame, clothed only in a pair of striped boxers and ragged undershirt seemed to just press into the worn chair. Bare, hairy legs wrapped around the legs of the chair and his arms lay before him on the table top with his palms upwards. The brass clock on the mantle in the room chimed a short song before resuming a monotonous ticking. His body expanded as he took a deep breath into his lungs, nearly swelling to twice his size. It happened suddenly as he sat meditating, dirty tools strewn around on the table, when the windows rattled suddenly. His attention momentarily shaken, his eyes darted towards the french windows. His blue eyes shaking nervously around showing the effects of caffeine. He stood and walked towards the windows, his feet padding and making a dull "thud" sound as he walked. Peering behind the faded damask curtain, he spotted the cause of the trouble, a small rubber ball with a note tied to it. He examined it through the window, before opening it and stepping out onto the small balcony.
The tile floor of the porch was warm, baking in the sun. He grabbed the black twisted metal railing, picked at a rust spot where the paint peeled before turning his full attention to the ball. It was a cracked old ball, split down the seam with a string run through it and a note tied to the half still in good condition. He picked it up tearing the note from it and tossing the ball off into the street below. He watched as it bounced off the hood of a car below before reentering his apartment. He read the note, looked at the clock and reread the note again. Seemingly satisfied, with it, he crumbled it into a ball and pitched it into the fireplace. He strode over to the bookcase on the other side of the room. It was piled with loose papers, tight bundles of documents held together with dirty string. He pulled down a pile it crashed onto the floor before him. Behind it was a small hole in the case, exposing a small knob and dial. He spun it quickly, a calculated careful mind reciting the numbers by heart before hearing it click and he opened it. A couple bundles of cash lay behind the door, a small album and a thin banking envelope. He grabbed the last item and shut the safe.
The envelope lay on the table surrounded by the tools. He paced back and forth on the worn hearth rug eying the envelope like some sort of bomb. He finally sat down and picked up the envelope and tore open the flap. The single leaf of paper was folded into quarters and as he unfolded it, smells of mold and mildew floated upwards. His eyes scanned the words quickly and once he finished the letter, he took it and lit it on fire. Placing it delicately onto the small hearth, he watched it burn and smolder. Once it finished, he poked it with the tip of his oxford scattering the remains across the tile. He pulled from the attache case on the chair an unfiltered cigarette, and lit it.

The bustling market below the apartment had hardly a hint of what was going on, as a thin wisp of smoke curled from the cracked terra-cotta chimney pots. Below, Marie was buying vegetables. Her thin face, accented by large designer sunglasses and dark hair tied up into a bun hidden from view in a sun hat still showed her youthful beauty. As she picked up an Algerian marrow, she looked up perplexed by the smell of smoke. It had a distinctive smell, compared to the charcoal braziers which market stall owners were cooking various food stuffs, or the heavy coke rich smell of the glaziers down the street working on pottery and glass. She looked up towards the apartment seeing the smoke and a man leaning on the balcony railing above with a cigarette sandwiched between his fingers.
She quickly paid for her purchases, and entered the building. The lobby was dirty, a rusting bicycle leaned against a wall opposite a row of broken post boxes. She stepped into the cage elevator pulling each door shut. When she stepped out, she didn't need to get her keys ready as the door opened before her. The man with the cigarette jerked his head back telling her to come in and she followed willingly. She looked around the small garotte, noting the smoke curling out of the fireplace and the papers scattered around the floor. She placed her shopping on the counter in the kitchen and came back into the room. The man had returned to the balcony for a second cigarette and muttered and pointed to a case in the center of the table. She opened the dusty case and inside revealed a enigma teleprinter. He began to mutter a bunch of codes and numbers, connectors and wheels. As she set them into order, he asked her about her day. She only remarked on the heat and the price of vegetables. She uttered "prêt!"
He slowly and clearly spoke, his voice trailing quietly through the air. The market below still provided an ambient background noise as he spoke. He reentered the room and walked past her, through the arch and into the bedroom. He continued to dictate clearly as he dressed into a pair of slacks and a button shirt. He pulled a drawer in the wardrobe and a flurry of multicolored ties flew out onto the bed. He turned to pick one out and began to tie it. He picked a light colored jacket and returned to the room where she remained at the device. He remarked that he finished and she entered the final codes. Looking at the thin ribbon of type that stuck out of the teleprinter, she ripped the ribbon off and rolled it into a film canister. "
Il sera pris en charge, ce soir au consulat." He patted her on the shoulder and from the wall safe, this time he pulled out a second envelope. This time, padded thicker than the first. She tore the flap open revealing about 10,000 francs.
Marie picked up her groceries and tossed the film into the shopping bag with eggs and butter pats. She nodded to him expecting some sort of gesture of approval, but he merely picked up another cigarette from the box on the mantle and lit it. Back on the street, she replaced her hat and sunglasses on her head and continued down the narrow corridor with mopeds and market men shouting at passerbys. She reached the entrance of her own building and entering the front doors, she checked her mail and as she walked up, her land lady popped her head out of her door. "
Louer! Vous me devez louer!" She stopped for a moment, pulled the envelope out of her purse and placed 150 francs on the bony hand. "Non non non, vous me devez trois mois." She forked over another hundred franc bill. Seemingly satisfied, the landlady retreated her head back into the door and it shut with a click.
Her apartment was decorated comfortably, a small sitting area with a cabinet and black and white television set sat on top. Low slung armchairs with saggy seats faced the little machine. A small scrubbed painted table sat near the windows overlooking a courtyard. The kitchenette was small with a tiny antique paraffin stove to one side and an ancient looking ice box underneath the window. She placed the vegetables on hooks and hangers and placed the meat and eggs into the box. Glancing into the courtyard, she looked down at the the palm fronds and the broken fountain below. She watched as a bicycle messenger screeched to a halt at the entrance and dismounted and entered her building. She continued putting groceries away and a moment later, a soft rapping came at the door. She opened the door poking her face into the crack. Before her, a smartly dressed, but obviously sweaty messenger stood before her. His brown uniform and askew tie hinted that he didn't care much for his job, but did it for the pay. She placed a 50 centime piece in his hand and he handed her the envelope. She opened it as she closed the door behind her, pulling out the papers.
The message was clear, it was printed on official consulate papers. France was giving up Algeria. Her position at the consulate would remain in place if she moved back to France. She placed the letter on the stove and continued to pull out groceries, lost in a haze. As she pulled out a small marrow, the film canister dropped out. She remembered her transaction with the man with the cigarette. It was a code to resistance members in the country to establish a coup to keep France as the parent country. The pieds-noirs would start a revolution to quell the liberation front. Torn between countries, Marie stared at the sinister little canister. Picking up the letter, it also mentioned a comfortable position and promotion in Nice. She looked at the canister, thinking of her country, growing up in Algiers during the war, living in a villa with her mother and father before they had passed away. She thought of the country the was a part of and loved. Her mind then turned to France. Back to Algeria, then back to France again. Frustrated, she set the two things down on the counter, and flopped onto her bed. She could not betray France, not like her older brother who was 10 years her senior. Hugo had joined the Vichy french and was later shot for being a traitor. She remembered him being dragged out of the house in 1946 when she was only 11, her mother and father on their knees begging for mercy from the French officer. She rose from the bed, looking at the walls down in the courtyard. She saw the bullet holes against the wall of the garage next door where her brother was shot. His last words were "Vive Pétain!" before he slumped over onto the ground. Tears began to form in her eyes, thinking of foolishly going against her country as Hugo had.
She set the canister onto the stove and lit it. As it burned, she watched it intently, imagining the difficulty getting forces together to fight. Algeria was no longer her country. She had to leave it, the people she loved and start new. When it finished burning, she tossed the melted lump into the rubbish heap in the courtyard below watching it fall satisfyingly fall into the garbage. She looked around her, grabbing photographs and packing them into a suitcase with several clothes. Everything else, she didn't need. In another suitcase, she packed her parent's wedding blanket and several other articles. She tossed a jewelry box into it, opening its carved wooden lid and removing 3000 francs from inside. She looked around her one last time before locking the door and leaving the key with the land lady.

The man with the cigarette waited outside the consulate, looking for Marie. He began to sweat nervously as she didn't begin to show. He saw the gendarme at the gate shut and lock the front door. Then, he locked the yard gate. The gendarme in his slender blue uniform shooed him away. Marie saw all this happen as she passed in a taxi bound for the Algiers dockyards. She had a ticket ready and had already called to the foreign office accepting the position immediately. Her ticket was for the SS Flandre which was in port, ready to depart for Nice by seven that evening. As she boarded after passing through customs, she looked back at the towers and minarets along the skyline. She muttered "Vive France."

February 23, 2011

Waiting...

I stood nervously waiting on the empty platform, the snow building up by my business shoes. I could feel the cold coming in, it wasn't pleasant and I shook them free of their freezing prison for a moment. My gloved hand wandered into the pocket of the camel hair jacket that kept me from freezing to death. As my fingers wrapped around a familiar shape, I knew my business today. I had to avenge someone, someone who was betrayed too easily, like a crumpled piece of paper, wantonly tossed aside. As my thoughts became more and more intense, the less I realized how hard I was squeezing the object in my hand.

Suddenly, I saw it in the distance. It was more like it had seen me. I quickly walked over to the signal box and pulled a lever back. Above my head, a wig-wag signal began to slowly rock back and forth, monotonously blinking its yellow light, seemingly trying to call for help in the pitch black of the snowy night. The interurban blew its whistle, acknowledging a stop for me. As it hissed to a stop, I saw him, sitting there in the smoking section of the car. A frozen look washed over my face as I imagined the past, the conductor looked at me at the top of the steps. "Come aboard sir." Momentarily, I was caught unaware and I boarded. As the door closed behind me, the heat of the car, my glasses fogged up forcing me to pull them from my face. My vision returned.

I meagerly walked down the aisle of the non smoking compartment, A large mother with her two sleeping children bundled in snow clothes. Their mittens on a long cord still hung over their necks. A navy officer sat behind her, his pristine black uniform highlighted the gold buttons and medal bars on his chest. I came to the frosted glass door, with the word "Smoking" etched into the foggy glass. Pulling it back, the smell of a few camel cigarettes and a pipe lingered. I sat in front of the quarry, a cigarette squeezed between his fingers, a curling wisp rose to the ceiling and the ash hung for dear life. His gaze was fixed on an advertisement screwed into the wall. It was for a new suburban development in Levittown. I pulled the seat in front of him to reverse, and momentarily, he was surprised at the new addition. I sat in front of him, his face screwed up in anguish, accentuating his old features, hardened from years of hard work. He drew his hands up to his overcoat lapels, and pulled them in, making him look almost like a wrapped up pug. He knew why I had come, he knew what I was going to tell him, and he most certainly knew what I was going to do.

Before I said anything, my hand fumbled around in my pocket for the hard object that had been waiting for him. As my fingers wrapped around it, he winced, expecting the worst. I drew it out and slowly cradled it in my hands. It was a small wooden case, about the size of a pencil case, and as I pulled back the catch to open it, I saw him breath a sigh of relief. Or as close as he could get to relief. The little brass hinges squealed a little as the lid opened, and I pulled out a dog tag, a small rosary and a photograph. "Mr. Clemson, I grew up with your son Bill. I knew you, and you knew me. But before you say anything, let me finish first. You wern't around much for Bill growing up. I saw how you hurt Mrs. Clemson that day you disappeared, Bill wasn't any better for it either. But the war rolled around, and he and I served our country, but for him, he served it fully to the end. When I came home, your wife, she's not here anymore. She's gone Frank. So is Bill."

His furrowed brow gave way, that expression of relief had turned upside down, as he realized the gravity of what I had just said to him. He looked at me, almost gasping the word, no. A thin, dirty tear rolled down, following each crease and crack in his face. I handed him the picture, rosary and tag and he couldn't contain himself. His head bowed over the objects now in his hands, a low sob came over him, and his body began to shake as he held the last items of what once was his family. The gnarled hand that held the rosary clenched it tightly and began to thumb each bead, and the sound of prayer began to fill my head. A bell clattered in the other compartment signalling that the train had stopped at a station. I gathered up myself, shut the box and left the old man alone.

February 22, 2011

Print

Sam nervously looked at herself in the mirror, her silky white shirt hugged against her body around the waist and her eyes darted back down to her left hand where she adjusted her ring. She ran her hands over herself, edging over every single detail in her outfit. She looked around the loft seeing all the things that she and Rafe had put together. The stolen Barcelona chair that Rafe took out of the Yale architecture library for her, the rack of hockey sticks of stolen sticks that she took from various games they would go to when they would chase the Cornell Big Red. They always had to get one hockey stick from the opposing team and get the big red team to sign it. She carefully traced her hand delicately over the things on the dresser. She looked at them longingly and walked to the railing and looked down into the living room below. Rafe had a small little print shop in one corner and she had a small painting studio in the other. A couple of worn out brown leather couches arranged in a small sitting area with a flatscreen tv at the other end. Mugaboo, their wirehair terrier was snoozing on the sheepskin rug in the sunlight. She listened very carefully, she heard a record crackling on the turntable, the gentle breathing of the vacuum tubes as a slow voice slowly began to rise in a low crescendo over the gold wire speakers.

The shuffle of barefeet over wood and the sound of the old coffee boiler percolating in the kitchen area. Sam rested her elbows on the edge, counted under her breath, one... two... three... then from below her the shirtless form of Rafe walked out from the kitchen. A smile curled on her face as she watched his form walk over to the hot table and pick up a copper etching plate. As Rafe began to clean the plate, she carefully watched him dart from machine to machine finally running the plate through the itaglio press. Her hands clenched the rail nervously, anticipating the final result. Rafe pulled back the catch blanket, his face smiled as he pulled back the paper holding it against the light. She walked slowly down the stairs, her bare feet plodding down each step. Her hair, tied back in a little pony tail reflected against the large warehouse windows. She carefully walked down over to him, and she wrapped her arms around his torso and pressed her nose into his shoulder. Rafe dropped his arm and the print onto the table and grabbed her. He wheeled around, and looked at her.

You know, I gotta get these done for George.
I know babe, but I just want you.
Sush, you can help me if you want.
Well...

Sam leaned onto the press plate, she slid her bottom onto the platen, still kissing Rafe. His arms, wrapped around her. They kissed for awhile longer on the printing press. Before he stood back and realized what he had done.

Shit sweetie, look at your shirt.

Sam looked down at what once was her crisp, white satin blouse, now was pock marked with blotches of printing ink.

Rafe! I...

She blushed.

February 09, 2011

Ledsehwer

Senseless
the bitter cold, tumbling
over the rail, cascading
ever gently over.

Covering
the gentle warmth, Protecting
what last is important, wondering
if it was all a dream.

Syntax
in this case, contemplating
how it fits in, observing
that it doesn't.

Reading
silently, rolling
over silent words, adding
their own vibrancy.

Thinking
it could be true, equating
the possibilities, formulating
the answer.

It
is
not.
But
can
be.
To
all
see.

Narrating
an ongoing battle, writing
the story, printing
only the words.

February 02, 2011

Atheists are Wrong and Evil!

It's like Bobby Franklin wiped the law on his bottom

Bobby Franklin, wtf are you doing? So, just as a quick summary for each one of this house bills he's attempting to pass in the Georgia House. I dont think they get more ridiculous as you go along, but merely, each one is ridiculously weird in its own unique way.

Crimes and Offenses: Prenatal murder: to provide
HB1: abortions and contraceptives are illegal & will undermine authority of the Supreme Court. It is no longer the authority of the state, college heads, and local and city governments to provide safe contraceptives and abortions.

Georgia Right to Grow Act; enact
HB2: Right to grow chickens and goats in the city. Cause you know, the last thing you want to do is to remain subservient to the market providers. Lets just return to the feudal system, raise chickens and trade pigs for female companionship. Or the other way round.

Constitutional Tender Act; enact
HB3: Separation from US Legal tender and shift to using gold and silver as legal tender. The motive? The US dollar is weak and tied to china! China is communist, therefore evil, and to avoid something or other, blah blah blah, I JUST WANT TO PAY MY GROCERIES IN GOOOOLD.

Life Liberty and Property Restoration act; enact
HB4: Defines all our rights are given from god and not the civil government. There are several things that we are given. Life, Liberty, NOT the pursuit of happiness, but! Propertah! Dont own propertah? Go git some propertah!

Freedom of Choice and Security Act
HB5: Guns aren't evil, People are! Let them people have guns! It goes as far as to define: People are evil within. Not because of material objects. Well now. Good to know, that although guns dont cause evil, but people do, people should be given the right to own a material object that doesn't cause evil.

Emergency Defense of the Home Act
HB6: Yeeehaw! Let's drive around with explosives and alcohol, it'll be legal thanks to this little doozie.

Right to Travel Act
HB7: Drivers licenses aren't in the constitution, hell, let's shit all over the Georgia DMV system.
HELLS YES. Woot woot, that means 12 year olds and 14 year olds can drive, to quote him: "What's stopping them?"

Due Process Restoration Act
HB8: Ban Security cameras because their intention to curb crime is an infringement on the privacy of the people who just happen to walk by

Kathryn Johnston's Law
HB9: A right to security from forced entry of the government when conducting a search, sting or raid. So... you mean, I can still keep my basement full of weed?

Child Protection Act
HB10: Fences! Fences! That's what will keep our children safe! FENCES.

Freedom from Compulsory Pandemic Act
HB11: You know, it's really our decision whether or not we wish to be subjugated to a pandemic, and even then, people still object to having needles and godless science injected into them. Vaccinations for all! Against typhus (yay), the flu (hooray), malaria (uhh...), Hungarian Potato fly Innocular dystrophy syndrome (what? Is that even real?). And ALL THE TIME
SHALL YOU BE INJECTED!

Georgia Food Freedom Act
HB12: Your peanuts shall never be mislabeled thanks to this puppy.

If you'd like to read the whole thing in context next time you're on the toilet, bring some of these printed out, read the toilet paper, and wipe your bottom with these bills.

http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/Search.aspx (search for Franklin, in member name)

Just think of all the people standing up as sections of constitutional law, and the guy flying past is Bobby Franklin.