Monday, July 30, 2018

It Become Real Only When You See It

I went to a convention. I had a little time so I walked around the neighborhood of the hotel. 

This is what I saw:

Old school newsstands were wooden and filled with magazines and newspapers. Maybe some chewing gum to help you break a dollar for the bus. 

If you wanted to know who got whacked or the story of the day you either went to a grocer, a box or a newstand. 

And this is what it is now, one or two copies of the Daily News and Inquirer.

I felt bad. 

Like a ghost passing through time.

But where do I get my news?

Where I live there are no newstands. Almost all of the news boxes are gone. There are some retail places that sell the Sunday papers. Places I rarely shop or visit.

I subscribe to one newspaper online but have to remember that I do have a subscription. It is my friends and relations that alert me to new stories that I check out.

Yet, something indeed has been lost. The solitude of reading at your own pace and reflecting on a story. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

She Was Tweaked But She Was Not There

I have often said that if you are a writer you need to ride public transit.  You will never lack for ideas.

Daisy got on the bus. She had no purse. She had no wallet and very few coins.

She was clean but kept holding on to herself and rubbing her skin as if ants were on it.

"I'm trying to get to downtown."

Metro buses pass through a number of cities with downtown areas.

"Where do you want to go?" the drive asked.

"The Valley."

The Valley is not downtown.
She fake fumbles for looking for change as she puts one or two coins in the box.

The driver, seeing this type of behavior before has to make some quick decisions.

He could throw her off the bus.
He could let her beg for a fare donation.
He could tell her to sit down.

He tells her to sit down.

Daisy goes to sit down but she doesn't stay down for long.

Three stops later, asked the driver how to get to 6th and Broadway.

The driver says he doesn't know.
Cuz, there are more than one.
It is that city thing.

Daisy gets upset with him.

"How do you not know? You are a bus driver. Why don't you know all of the routes of Metro?"

For those of you that drive, do you know each and every street in Los Angeles County?
What is on each street? How many Broadways there are in which city?

The driver asked again, "Where do you want to go?"

"6th and Broadway but I don't see why you don't know how to get there! That is ridiculous."

He opens the doors and she exits the bus to a city street that is not near 6th and Broadway or the Valley.

Still holding herself.
Still scratching.
Still lost.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sometime Reaching Across Lines Is Filled with Peril

I was on the bus, minding my own business deep in my shallow thoughts. Woman interrupts me asking me do I know the woman hugging up on P45.

I'm civil but I respond, "No I don't."

I turn away from her.

She asked again about another photo.

I then recognize her being the aunt of ML King.

She then proceeds to show photos of members of the King family who are with P45 during an MLK celebration at the White House.

"They are are rich and prosperous."

I'm really trying to reconnect with the Plexiglas window.

Then she wants we to look at a blog with a famous African American historian who explains that MLK was and would have remained Republican.

Then she commented "This has nothing to do with slavery. Do know about slavery? "I just wanted to educate you and other people about how MLK was a Republican."

That about ripped my last nerve.

"That may or may not be the truth, there is a spectrum of political participation in the African American community; some liberal, some conservative and some centrist.

I will not take the word of some woman on a blog about it. I am not conservative and I am not interested."

She then got on the phone and told somebody to paint the washing machine and that a prospective tenant was angry because the two bedroom apartment wasn't.

I immediately went to the store and bought a box of Orange Creamsicles.
I didn't fall of the wagon. I ran into the store and bought them. I can't do this sober any more.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Trailer for Baa Baa Land

It has been awhile since I've posted anything. It is rough. Not the reality I want but it is the one that I have.

One thing about reading about history. Whole nother thing experiencing it as it happens.

Still working on the Anxiety Road Podcast. Not where I want it to be but slogging on, slogging on.
So if you are feeling tight and need some dull action, try the trailer for Baa Baa Land.

It can't hurt. Cuz it is just slow moving sheep.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

All I Know for Sure Is In Real Life

There is a commercial for a drug that make it easier for cancer patients to endure chemotherapy.

It is a beautiful house. There is a loving husband. I think there is a loving dog too. And the woman is able to center herself and be. Just be.

And let me say that if there is a drug that make it easier for people to deal with chemo or radiation therapy I'm all for it. Probably couldn't afford it if I needed it but I begrudge no one that needs or has access to the medication.

Like I said, what little I know for sure is grounded in real life.

There is a woman. She has cancer (not me). She is going through chemo. She is also going to work.
There isn't a choice for her. There is no insurance. There is some support from the public health system but it is catch as catch can.

There is a husband. And a child.  And in the best of times she and the family are  scraping by day by day. There is a small chance she might beat it.

But I see her. Willing herself to work because she doesn't want to worry her husband.

Wants to take care of her child. I watch her going to work.

I say a prayer ever time I think of her.

I knew a man. He was a professor. Stone academic kinda fellow.
He got sick. Lost his home. Lost his job. Everything.

If you asked him he would go into detail about what is wrong with healthcare and this was back in the 80s. There was nothing academic about his feelings.

He lived it. Scraped by on Social Security.

There is another side. The people that yell that they do not want single payer. The ones that feel that each one take care of his own and responsibility stops at their front door and no further.

If you die too bad so sad, not their problem.

The ones that say it is a state's rights issue and then you go look at that states health system. There is bare bones emergency care if you can find it.

There are people called objectivists. The definition of objectivism is:

Objectivism is the philosophy of rational individualism founded by Ayn Rand (1905-1982). In novels such as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged , Rand dramatized her ideal man, the producer who lives by his own effort and does not give or receive the undeserved, who honors achievement and rejects envy.
And there are a whole bunch of them in Congress right now.

There is philosophy.

There is reality.

There reality is that real people are being injured for and unsustainable philosophic wet dream. But there are people jerking off in anticipation of making it a reality.

Some dreams should stay on the other side. The French Revolution happened for complicated reasons like taxation, lack of food, the powerful oppressing the weak,

Once the fuse it lit it is mighty hard to snuff out.

Be careful who and what you light up.

It might be a grown-up that remembers what his mom went through.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Being Dragged to Pleasantville Against My Will

Trying to make sense of a different reality. Sometimes you have to look back to see a forward path. Or maybe I'm grasping at anything to help me understand why this has happened.

Once upon a time there was a 1998 movie called Pleasantville. A modern young man is fixated on a television show from the 1950's called Pleasantville.

This is the trailer for the movie.

It is a good movie and even though the trailer telegraphs the movie I still recommend it being seen.

But back to why I think it is relevant.

I kept hearing during the election that people want  to take their country back. What if they meant back to Pleasantville?

A time where you did not have to consider the other. There was no other?

No African Americans
No Latinix
No Asians
No other places, no other countries, nothing but themselves and each other.

You would have a class system.
You would have strictly defined culture roles
You would have permanent employment.

And all would be right with your world.
Because it would be a simple place.
A simple time.

So I heard people saying take American back, make it great again.

Back when? Who is included?

In Pleasantville, not me.

Not ever me.

But you say that is just a movie. I'm making too much of this. I have no proof of 21 century people wanting to return back to the 1950's.

Well, I kinda sorta do.

I can post a photos of people showing up at a veteran' parade in Petaluma, CA with the Confederate flag. I won't post it here.

I could point to the KKK parade planned for December 4, 2016 in North Carolina to celebrate the election of P45 not to mention the resurgence of their participation in mainstream society. Or I could point you to the one in Anaheim, CA.

I could ask a friend or two that moderate comment message boards how much hate speech has increased since the election. A lot. A whole freaking lot.

I could post news articles about the increase in racial profiling and attacks on elementary, high school and college campuses.

But facts and empirical proof doesn't mean anything anymore.

As I have been recently told,  I am promoting hate rhetoric.  My feelings are not important. Get over it.

So yeah. I am being dragged to Pleasantville where there is no place for me.

By y'all say wait. Give it time. "It won't be as bad as you think it will be."

L7 babe. The square root of nothingness.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Black Folks Should See Moonlight - They Probably Won't

The only reason I know about this movie is that there was a trailer before the Obama date movie while I was munching on an overpriced hot dog.

From the trailer it was real oblique about what the movie was about. Then I sat with it abit and then I understood.

"Oh, wow. Huh? Oh."

Below is a clip from a British Film Institute presentation about the movie Moonlight.

It looks beautifully mounted. I would like to be proven wrong.

There are a lot of reasons why folks may not show for the film.

They don't know about it.  The have seen more about the Madea Halloween movie than this one.

Their faith based house of worship tells them that homosexuality is a sin.

It seems to be ok for the pastor to have relations with multiple members of the choir.

It seems to be ok to proudly proclaim that women have no place in the pulpit or in church leadership.

It even is tolerable to use shame and bigotry to enhance your political alliances but we don't want to talk about our gay sons and daughters.

Unless we cuss them back to the cave.
Unless they are doing our hair, our food or our comedy.

Then they are acceptable so long as they are out of sight when the door closes for the night.

By the way,  this is just my opinion about the attendance of the movie. 

Don't come drive by rolling up to tell me your house of faith is different or that scripture says.......

I don't care. I have seen and smelt the shit that passes for faith.

Some of y'all would let a person die of hunger before you step a foot forward to help but run ragged to put a coin in a rich man's pocket.

I care about real people.

Even Jesus, who I have a on-going non-aggression agreement with (I don't blame him for the dumb ass shit that humans do in his name and he loves me or not but accept me for the human I am) would be shaking his head about the implementation of his statements.

What else? Inadequate sexual education. Biology. The true diversity of human beings that has been hidden and suppressed.

Toxic forms of masculinity.
Toxic forms of survival as rights of passage.

Distinction between sexual exploration and exploitation.

I think folks should pay attention to this movie. Could be good. Could be flawed. But is is one of the first mainstream American movies to deal with a coming of age story of a young boy that grows into a gay man.

The movie will come and go. Maybe folks will watch it on Netflix or Amazon.