Silly Grins

Friday, March 23, 2012

Seasons: Last Fall

Last Fall

Before late summer leaves turned red
A trip was taken
Family in tow
To see, for the last time, one of the line
Perhaps several lifetimes ago
Eyes that had not met for ages

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ewwww... yuk.

Maybe it's that time again.

Something's telling me that it just might be a good idea to abstain from blogging n' stuff (or at least try to) for the next week. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't be commenting. 

Exorcizing Our Eroticizing

Another post that isn't a book review. Not yet...

Another nod to Loco, benevolent rumors, and by the grace of an eternal love that has permitted me to exist… consequently that which I do not endeavor to face within myself, for that time has yet to come. 

In other words, here’s a shout out from a Californicated mind, born and bred near where a 'half-Jamacian, half-Chinese' heart-breaker, Lance, could have, once-upon-a-time, caused a few heads to explode (or at least short-circuit) from mental overload. 


Detour: Turning Japanese

“It’s stuck.”


“It’s stuck… in the birth canal of thought.”

(Oh… puhleeze) “You mean, you’re having a hard time.”

“Sort of… sort of like everyone else.”

“And, like everyone else,” sigh, “you think that you’re different.”

“Yeah, it appears so.” (That’s how the *surveys were read)

“Well, let’s get down to business then, shall we?” (This shit better be worth my time or at least coherent)

“Okay. Here it is. The detour.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fodder for Thought: A Few Days Before Yesterday’s Headlines

A few days ago, I found myself looking at two titles on the screen, side by side.(The titles, not the pictures. They came later.)


Craftsman makes two violins from pine tree debris in disaster area 


One question: Will someone be playing one of those in Tokyo when the big one hits? 



Can’t decide which heading this gets filed under:

Politely Losing One’s Mind
Politely Loosening One’s Mind 

Pine... like the violins.

Note to self:
Some say the only difference between a fiddle and a violin is how they are played. Perhaps it all comes down to social milieu.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Night: Guess that makes it all right...

Wife and kids had a hard day hunting for dinner in the tide-pools while Father was away at work. This kind of explains why the crew is KO’d early this evening.

Not even half-past nine on a Saturday night, and everyone’s already snug and fast asleep in bed. Everyone ‘cept for me.

(Okay, here’s the good part)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Issue #26

*Note to self: Never Fucking Underestimate Anything
Or for that matter, anyone.

Look, I don’t do manga. I just don’t. But I like art. So that makes me a hypocrite in some ways, I guess. 

Part I

Year: 2001

Publication: Giant Robot, Issue # 26 Cultural Evolution

Article Title: Japanese Devils

Author: Martin Wong

Illustrator: *D4v1d Ch03 (overlooked at first, then Wiki-blitzed… and then the asterisk was need to look him up - hang on- we'll get there)

Point of this post: It started out, in part, as a response to a sister city’s leader in denial. By chance, a friend had given me Issue # 26. That was one of the last times we’d spoken in person. The copy had been picked up at a secondhand store. "It's for you," he'd said. I only happened to pick the magazine up two days ago and noticed...

An oddity. An overlooked. A discard.

The article, Japanese Devils, is also the translated title of Minoru Matsui’s self-financed documentary that is kept simple. According to Matsui, he just wanted “to let the 14 interviewees speak for themselves” while staying away from adding “opinions or judgments.”(GR 55)

Main point of this post is to highlight what is perhaps the most important part of the article because of how it can be understood to relate to Nagoya, which is, in Matsui's words:

"After making this film, I feel that human beings are very weak. Everybody has a dark side. Anyone put in an extreme situation like war might act like the people I interviewed. It's part of the human condition that we need to face. We need to know about our weaknesses. Some people just talk about being kind, but we need to face the darkness, too."

Now, Part II

D4v1d Ch03. The artist. Or the man who happens to be an artist. See the asterisk above and bounce back here.

Now, in the midst of the Wiki-blitz, chasing down the illustrator, this comes up:

Okay, maybe what’s in Part II isn’t news to a more hip or tuned in crowd. But now, it’s out there. Along with everything else, waiting to get turned over, questioned, scrutinized, doubted, ridiculed, praised or whatever.

Now back to Part I

Of the film, what it shows, this link appears to be all that’s still available online (or all I can grab easily at this time) of what was in the movie.  

About that film, looks like it starts here:


There's probably a time for everything. Facing darkness is hard. It also helps us appreciate the light. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

57th Page

Years had passed since last reading Kesey’s novel. And there it was again. Some guy from the big city in the West was on a trip in a big city in the East. He was asking questions, on a truth-quest... or something.


And memory of a passage came back. A passage that was hard to find. It had been a while. So, once again, from the beginning—no shortcuts. There was something important that needed to be remembered, something that fit in too well. Along the way, there were also a few pleasant surprises. From the beginning to the 57th page.

Urban lives…

39th “The frenzied pattern, the faces hypnotized by routine…”

41st “…you can never tell when just that certain someone might come in who’s free enough to foul things up right and left, really make a hell of a mess and constitute a threat to the whole smoothness of the outfit.”


48th “I’ve hear the theory of the Therapeutic Community enough times to repeat it forwards and backwards—how a guy has to learn how to get along in a group before he’ll be able to function in a normal society; how the group can help the guy by showing him where he’s out of place, how society decides what is sane and what isn’t, so you got to measure up.”

Those who try…

53rd “He had come to life for maybe a minute to try to tell us something, something none of us cared to listen to or tried to understand, and the efforts had drained him dry.”


57th “I’ve seen a thousand of ‘em, old and young, men and women. Seen ‘em all over the country and in the homes—people who try to make you weak so they can get you to tow the line, to follow their rules, to live like they want you to. And the best way to do this, to get you to knuckle under, is to weaken you by gettin’ you where it hurts to worst. You ever been kneed in the nuts in a brawl, buddy? Stops you cold, don’t it? There’s nothing worse. It makes you sick, it saps every bit of strength you got. If you’re up against a guy who wants to win by making you weaker instead of making himself stronger, then watch for his knee, he’s gonna go for your vitals.

The last bit, on the 57th… for me, it’s about two kinds of competition. One kind involves setting goals, improving yourself through practice, running the course and coming away stronger, becoming a better person having gone through the process. Another kind involves a zero-sum mentality where obliteration of ‘the other side', as well as the competition itself, becomes the goal.

What’s confusing is when entering a land that advertises itself as the first type when it might actually be the second. 



(All quotes come from the paperback 4th edition of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next by the late Ken Kesey, published in 1962...before my time)

Unskilled Labor as Humiliation

Thought: Despite good intentions, people can be incredibly bright in some ways, while horribly naïve in others. 

You'd think bright folks were already aware of the myth of unskilled labor.

Anyone who has put in a hard day’s work for an extended period of time truly understands that there is no such thing as unskilled labor. Those who’ve never tried might think that it is so. The kind of quote above makes a person wonder where this dismissive attitude toward labor comes from.

Now, people may define ‘unskilled’ as something that takes no formal training to do. Or at least, a number of people may imagine that some kinds of labor require no training.

Patience, pace, and perseverance are only a few of the qualities a person has to be prepared to internalize. 

(I really enjoyed reading the comments)
Some folks may have never tried pushing a broom for days on end, eight to ten hours a stretch (or longer), to the point where they’ve got callouses. Or, if you think you’re up for it, grab a shovel and start digging. Are you sure you could do it without tearing yourself apart? People who think that there is some kind of labor that does not take any skill, may be mistaken; I know I have been.

Personally, if there were any time that I felt humiliation, it would be paying five to ten times the amount for a job I can clearly do myself. Either that or failing to understand what it takes to simply get it done.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Memory: Where Demons Live

Demons live in memory. Or at least, that’s where some of them subsist.  Waiting beneath the surface. Waiting for just the right moment. That’s what they do; that’s what they are for.

For instance, the time Wifey almost left their sleeping two-month old child alone, maybe because the weight of motherhood was heavier than expected, a hormonal imbalance, or whatever sympathetic excuse was close at hand, within the reflexive grasp of denial’s practiced reach.  What the mother didn’t know was the name of one of Father’s demons, something akin to Abandoned. 

Abandoned sucks the life out of idle cars left abake in front of pastinko parlors. Suavely smiling Abandoned whispers seductive ideas of convenience, “It’ll be all right, just for minute… or two… good… that wasn’t so bad now, was it? Anytime…”

Abandoned is one clever son-of-a-bitch with it’s control of reason.   

“Who? Me?” says the one who is oh so very quick to point a gnarled finger, feigning righteousness as it says that Paranoia is the real one who ought to be blamed.”

Shifting in tone.

“Just relax. It will be okay,” the voice says through the comforting language of trust.

Just this morning, the demon  said to him,  in response to hearing about the second incident:
“I thought we had this conversation once before, just after he was born? Now she's leaving her for quick trips to the coin laundry!” 

The kindred soul of Abandoned, that clever bastard, appeared to have had Father so angry that he’d forgotten to say, “Wifey... what if something happened to you while you were away? Who would know that she’s at home, alone? What if someone were to knock on the door? You don’t leave a young kid alone, not ever!”

But, instead of saying anything, there is just silence, and remembering…

A long time ago, a little boy who’d grown accustomed to sitting in cars, alone, for hours at a time, was eventually left off a day early at the rendezvous point.

“They still haven’t answered… light is fading and I don’t want to fly at night. Hey, I’ve got to go before it gets dark. They’ve probably just stepped out for a minute.”

He checks the fuel, calculates for weight and checks the distance again. He wants to get back in one piece.

With conditioning to think this nothing unusual, the boy waves goodbye to the departing guardian, then heads back to the pay-phone and tries the number again. A fading drone turns to silence. The sun slides down behind the foothills as dusk begins the nocturnal transition, inviting the the shadows.

Maybe there’s an overhead light outside or something, because the memory of the boy can still clearly see the payphone that seems okay even without the yellow pages to keep it company. 

A few cars are in the distance, but none in the tiny parking lot at the municipal field. Instead of trying again to dial the number that has become an eternal ring, he checks for any spare change in his pocket and thinks…

“I’ll call them.”

The number he can never forget, the one he knows better than his own.  He dials… and waits. Waits for the familiar voices of parenthood who gave him permission to grow up in their household, even if it’s usually just every summer afternoon and the occasional sleepover. Like a son with the brothers and sister, sorrows, joys, bumps and scrapes. There is hope… 

"Inkya binkya,
bottle a’ stinka,
the horse ran out

No answer there either.

The air is starting to cool. In the distance, a windowless blue van looks like it might be decidedly slowing down, getting ready to turn.

In his head, “What was the other number? The one I hardly ever call? The one across the street?” He tries hard to remember. The first five digits are not a problem, it’s those last two.

On the second ring, someone picks up. It’s a mother’s voice, the Mother of Seven (maybe soon to be eight). Apologizing for the inconvenience, worried in his kid-head that she’ll scold him, he starts trying to explain where he is, what is going on.

Mother of Seven from the Family of Nine is there within twenty, in their blue van with all the windows, the blue van that seats maybe eleven. He gets to ride up front on this rare occasion. There are only the two of them.

Later the next day, when he walks across the street to meet the other set of guardians who had no idea what was going on, excited and confused arms embrace him. 

“We had agreed to pick you up this afternoon…” followed by a laser-angry question concentrated into a monotone beam, “Tell me…what happened?”

But this isn’t about the boy, way back when. And this isn’t about Father either. This isn’t even about being Abandoned, this is about demons and where they live.

In us. They live in us. In our memories. And often times, we don’t even know it. We all got ‘em. And if we’re not careful, the can really raise hell when we’re least expecting it. Maybe that's why some people can turn on a dime

When that out-of-nowhere white squall of fury hits, the boom can be deadly. Gotta remember to put your head down for that one-hundred-eighty-degrees of unpredictable mood swing. Yeah, of course there’s disorientation! And it might even make you sick. So what.

Takes a strong stomach to be able to keep those demons in check, keep ‘em busy working for us. While it would be nice to get those pests to carry all our mental baggage around, that takes some skill... if we’re paying attention. Gotta pay attention 'cause they might even open up some of that luggage, reach in real deep, and then start throwing some of our own shit at us, maybe even try on some of our old clothes, start dancing around, singing… anything to piss you off and get you to really cut loose and lose it.

Father stands there in silence…

Abandoned’s kin whispers, “She’s done it…” up close now, hot breath into his ear, ah-gain.

Fully aware, in that split second of familiar eternity, he doesn’t move…  

(somewhere along the line, he's figured out that he doesn’t have to)

The demon stands back now, reaching into that old blue suitcase, picking up an old pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and sweat-stained baseball cap that a six-year-old boy once wore. 

Then, it starts to scream You call yourself a husband! You cunt of a man! Go on, YOU FUCKING COWARD, LET HER HAVE IT!  

He starts to smile, and gives a soft answer, but only to himself, only one that he can hear, “Yeah, I am a husband. And also a father. And that’s why I am still here. Not about to leave… not anytime soon. Not if we can help it.”

At this point… a person may wonder where this is all going… what keeps Father in check… at least most of the time.

Father’s strain of Abandoned is a yattering.

One important rule that he tries hard to remember is that we’ve all got demons. We’ve all got demons of various shapes and sizes, but mostly in our memories. When someone unknowingly recites some incantation through the use of a key phrase under uncanny circumstances… when anyone does this, you’d better have a very clean memory, emotional and otherwise, in order to be able to deal what is about to be unlocked.

Understanding that everyone’s got ‘em comes first. The second, and perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind, is that you don’t want to get between anyone and theirs. Or there will be hell to pay. Just don't do it.

Wifey’s demons live in the laundry. She tries to wash them away, tormented by the weather, with no place to hang her stuff out to dry, she is lured by the hypnotic rhythm of that coin swallowing drier, the one that promises salvation by sevens, one hundred yen at a time. Round and round… anything to forget about the never-ending trail up Mt. Wash, one step at a time through the blindingly unforgiving fog of parenthood. Father can see her tormentors... and though we've got plenty of mirrors in the house, Wifey cannot.

Deomon’s must get a kick out of watching people fight. Gives them a chance to rest, grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show. 

Father thinks the worst thing a person can do is to deny that they have a dark side. People who profess that they don’t have one concern him the most. That’s why he does what he can to look in the mirror knowing that, although he might not like what he sees, he still needs to be able to see himself. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Machineries of Joy

"Mediocre must be, so most-excellent can bloom. So I shall be the best mediocre there is and fight all who say, Slide under, sink back, dust-wallow, let brambles scurry over your living grave. I shall protest the roving apeman tribes, the sheep-people munching the far fields prayed on by the feudal land-baron wolves who rarefy themselves in the few skyscraper summits and horde unremembered foods."
From The Chicago Abyss, by R. Bradbury

"The More you drive...the less----"

Time to rest...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Proceed with Caution

Do you ever think you're being watched? 
Some people would say that you are. 

Others might get angry at you for thinking such things. Either way, letters get opened. And then taped shut. It's all out in the open. 

Anything that you post on a blog, in a chat room, or in the comments section... it's kind of common knowledge that big money pays for back doors (or something like that).  

Or it could just be one of those electronic urban myths. 


Last paragraph. It's just too good to understand. 

Not like dots are being connected either, not like this.

Makes you wonder what model people might use and who will be contracted out for the work. Interesting. My guess is that a huge, expensive system isn't really needed, except that it's easier to ask for a bigger budget that way.

(From 1:20 - till whenever...)


Follies: Locking Down

1. blah-blah-blah-blah-something about architecture-blah-blahand then - to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind; useless, unwise, foolish

Okay, time waits for no one. So we got to keep moving and try not to panic. Loco, the author, had mentioned something about Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Not too many people have seen the movie recently and fewer have probably read the book. Damngoodread.

For people who are kind of fuzzy on who Kesey is (or was) he more or less lit it up with a bunch of fairly sharp minded folks, contributing to some tectonic social shifts. When people think of Kesey, they might be more prone to recall The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Although I found Wolfe's telling of the story fun, that's a book I never finished. Interesting enough, but that's not where this post is going. 

Nor are we going to talk about entheogenics, at least not yet. Not now. Not here on this post. Maybe later. (For your information, I'm clean. Don't dabble. Don't want to. And obviously, by the way these blog posts fly out, it's not necessary. Never has been.)

Where this is headed is toward the Titicut Follies. When there was more leisurely time to ponder the Internet without much in the way of direction, I came across a few clips from the movie that, quite frankly, blew me away. 

When I saw my first clip, I was like, "Wow, that is so much like Cuckoo's Nest." I'd even imagined that Kesey had written the book after seeing the move. Wrong. Screw google for now. If memory works, Kesey was inspired by what was going on on the west coast. He wrote his book in 1962.  Titicut was shot in 1967. Cuckoo's nest was probably in 1975. 

(If you've only got time to watch one clip, the second one is recommended)

First clip is about five (5) minutes. A bit surreal. I just remember him patting his feet the first time I saw the film and before it was pretty much taken down from the Net:

The second clip is another good one. There's more footage I couldn't find on Youtube that would show the good doctor having a conversation on the telephone just before (or maybe after) the following clip. Notice how people smoke:

If you ask me, the guy is okay. He makes perfect sense.  

The reason this sticks out, and recently, is because of a few thought-streams that cross. One is this. Also, there was an "Odds n' Ends" link at the bottom of a solid blog by Charisma Man's worst nightmare (link it later). The blog-link directed to a picture of Stewart Brand as a young man. There are a few other currents, but time is short at the moment. This may all start to make a little more sense in the not-so-distant future. 

Which is kind of what this is all about. The future is happening fast, all around us. I'm just starting to notice people 'saw' this happening. And it's not just me. 


(Timed out)

Update: 27 August 2013
Unfortunately, the video links no longer connect. Here's another one. Don't know how long it will be work. Enjoy your 'forced meds'.