Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Against Trump and Political Correctness. In other words "Get off my Cloud."

I have gotten so tired of all the political back and forth lately. I’ve read some on WW11 and there is a book called “In the Garden of Beasts” by Eric Larson that I highly recommend. This is the most recent book from that time that I've read. This author also has a really good one called “The Devil in the White City” about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair” But, “In the Garden of Beasts” really gives me pause these days with all the yelling of Nazi on both the left and the right. One of the reasons that I’m not in the Trump is a Nazi camp is that I recently read this book. On the other hand some other people who have read it absolutely think it has a correlation. Now, to be sure this book has absolutely nothing to do with the current administration. It was originally published around 7 years ago and so the author was certainly not concerned with 2018’s white house occupant.

The book does a really good job of showing the lukewarm American response and even the Anti Semite prejudiced view of officials in the good ole U.S.A. in the 1930’s and 40’s. Chilling really because the casual racism towards the Jews of that era also reminded me of the casual racism towards black people in the 50’s and 60’s. That it was coming from Washington and the halls of power made it more chilling. Just some insight on another reason that America and the world were slow to act while Hitler worked on his “Jewish Problem.”

But, it also is one reason I don’t see Trump as a Nazi. Now, would he have fit in? Yes. Would he love to be a dictator Nazi or otherwise? I believe so yes. But, he’s not and not likely to be. Also, it takes a very massive ego and a bit of narcissism to even rise to the level of the presidency. I don’t care if your name is Trump, Obama, Clinton or Bush. Maybe that was Jimmy Carter’s problem. He seems to be the only one of the bunch that didn’t do a good job of manifesting his “inner bastard.” 

Anyway, in Berlin they were not making fun of Nazi’s on late night TV. There were no mass protests against old white men and it wasn’t politically correct and you would get no pat on the head (maybe a bullet to the brain, but not a pat on the head) for being critical of leadership. They did caricature and lie about the Jewish people and that part reminds me of how the refugees are treated. But it also reminds me of (gasp) how certain groups treat white people. I know I'm not allowed to say  that these days. But, I just did. But, I digress. Did you know that Jews were stopped and denied entrance at the border while trying to flee the Nazi’s and if they made it to the U.S. or to other nations (yeah, that meant they had to be on a boat or a plane or have rich family in the states that would fund their flight) they were often denied entrance? Anyway, so yeah that part bothers me. So, what’s different? How am I defending Trump's polices then? Well, I’m not defending Trump. I think he’s indefensible. But, I am saying that Trump supporters are caricatured and spit on and denied service at establishments and that my friend's would not have worked in Nazi Germany. So, Trump supporters are no Nazi’s because they support Trump. Now a Nazi might support Trump but that doesn’t make your Trump supporting neighbor a Nazi. Just as a white hating black panther (and if someone  tells you the  black panthers were a peaceful civil rights group then they are lying through their teeth. Do some research) supporting Obama doesn’t make me or other Democrats a black panther just because we supported Obama.

So, back away from the cliff. Calling me a baby killer because I’m pro choice isn’t going to cause me not to vote Democrat the next election. I intend to vote straight ticket Democrat. But, calling a republican a baby kidnapper and a nazi isn’t going to stop them from voting straight GOP the next election. So, should we say nothing? Of course not. Vote, protest  and boycott to your little hearts content. But, stop cursing and yelling and trying to shame people into being left or right wing robots.

I’m left of center politically but I have absolutely no white guilt. I have no use for the woke movement and all lives matter to me. I’m not interested in debating it an playing semantics with 25 year olds who yell privileged at me when they would be curled up in the corner in the fetal position if they had to experience my youth from back in the day. So, grow up and treat each other with respect and we can change the world. But, keep calling each other names and trying to normalize radical Islam and hateful rhetoric towards anybody be they white, black or Hispanic and see where that gets you. Poor people have more in common than they do with rich people of their same skin pigmentation. But, poor whites are voting against their own self interest and it makes me sick. But, yelling racist at them doesn't appear to be working. So, maybe there is another way. Some of them will maybe learn the hard way. But, alienating them from the social justice table isn't working and it's hypocritical. Just like they are in my humble opinion.

I do find it idiotic that if I say right wing Christians are nuts (and many of them are in my opinion) I get a pat on the head. But, if I point out the anti female and homosexual hate of Islam then I’m called a racist. So, no Christians you are not under assault in the U.S. it’s just that it’s okay in this nation to question religion. But, what’s not okay is to have one religion (Islam) off limits to questioning. Also, people of color is not a race folks. The black experience in the U.S. is not the same as the Asian experience or the Mexican experience.  May be some similarities but they are not the same. One  group (guess which one?) was brought over mostly in chains. The other’s came here for the same reason my Irish ancestors did. They were looking for a better life. Now their mileage varies on the results. But, individuals deserve respect along the journey and acting like all white people are rich and racist and all people of color are noble and victims is not really going  to bring about the arch of justice that Martin Luther King Jr. talked about.  

So, honestly I don’t care who you vote for or what your religion is. You have absolutely no authority over me because you quote ancient laws from thousands of years ago from your Bible or your Koran. We are not now and I hope we never are a theocracy. But, I will defend your right to express your own views as long as you are not oppressing mine. I will also talk civilly to you about race, religion and politics as long as you are civil to me. But, if you call me a libtard or a snowflake or a racist homophobe right wing inbred then I will tell you to fuck off. Fair enough?


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Red Rooster!

The Red Rooster written in large red letters with a caricature of a gamecock with red and some yellow feathers on a square wooden sign about 10 feet up mounted on a pole was the first thing Marlon Hayes saw as he pulled his Harley Soft Tail Cruiser into the dusty parking lot on the outskirts of Bumfuck Eygpt, Alabama. Of course that wasn’t  the small community’s real name but Marlon didn’t care. It was a running joke that Scott used to keep going back in the day. Any town out in rural America became Bumfuck Something. Right now all Marlon wanted was a cold beer and warm woman to share it with. He slowly dismounted his 6’6 300 pound frame off the bike and walked into the dark southern bar.  It was a dirty square brick building and he noticed as he walked in there was a large mirror behind a straight bar with five stools cemented to the floor. The final two had been installed so close together that a left handed person on the far stool would constantly be bumping arms with a righty. But, at 11:00 AM midmorning there were no other customers in the bar. The cool damp darkness in the bar contrasted with the hot July sun outside. The humidity outside felt like a solid sheet of hot water hanging over your head. But, in here it was as cool as a tomb  thought Marlon. Now, that was an odd thought or at least wording to come to mind. But, it fit he thought.

The rest of the bar consisted of five little round tables with two chairs each. They looked old fashioned to him. Kind of like the old drug store in the small North Alabama town to which he was born and grew up in the early sixties.  As you came in the door there were two booths. One on the left and one on the right.  Both black leather booths framed red tables.  Scott would have called this a roadhouse in his yankee accent. Marlon still heard Scott in his mind from time to time. They had met in Cali outside Bartstow at a biker bar. Must have been 5 or 6 years ago.  Marlon with his long dirty blonde hair and Scott with his constant smile and all American looks were a contrast. Marlon was tall and big and had blue eyes that at times seemed ice grey when he was intensely angry. Marlon didn’t talk much. Scott on the other hand was a chick magnet. Around 5’10 and with a smile that lit up a room when he walked in. Nothing scary about Scott. Not at all. You would never know until he pulled you into the van and had his way with you. You would never know as he finished and dumped what was left in a canyon or dirt road and started a fire with your remains. Scott was a great guy alright. He kept Marlon straight.

He saw her then. Tending the bar. Long dark hair. Hell it was long black hair and skin like ivory. Full red lips and Hazel Green eyes.  She was about 5’7 and built (as his old daddy would have said) like a brick shithouse. Marlon didn’t know what a brick shithouse would look like but dear old dad used to say it when he saw a particularly big boobed and long full hipped full legged woman. This one fit the bill. Nice curves. What can I get you hon? Her voice was full and throaty with just the right amount of whiskey soaked growl in it. She sounded like a G.R.I.T. though. (Girl Raised In The South) Marlon had thought as he crossed into Louisiana and drove across the southern part of Mississippi and into Bama that he was heading home. Now he almost felt like he was home. He actually could now head Northeast and he would be back in his old North Alabama stomping grounds in about 4 or 5 hours. Been a long  time.

“See if you can get her to come around back Marl. Scott said in his head using the old nickname.” But, Scott wasn’t there. Scott was …”Well, are you  going to stare at my boobs or order a beer while ya look?” asked the dark haired beauty. “Oh, Sorry. Marlin said coming back to himself.”  He noticed she was wearing a red halter and he could only imagine how it looked in those short shorts from the front to see her legs. Her back was reflected in the mirror and it was a fine firm but soft looking back. “I’ll have Bud Light he said. Bud Light? Okay, I didn’t take you for a pussy she laughed.  Marvin didn’t like being laughed at and he felt his face redden.  “Uh, Oh I’ve insulted you haven’t I tall, dark and ugly. Wanna tell the management on me?” Funny, her voice had changed from good ole girl from the south to Chicago call girl. Then she laughed and resumed her former southern charm. “I’m sorry bud. You are tall but you ain’t dark and actually you ain't all that ugly.” Want to buy me a drink or do you want to drink alone? “You can pour yourself a drink can’t you asked Marlon. “ Sure I can but the management don’t like it.

Scott spoke up again…” You pussy whipped already big boy? Let’s have some fun…I’ll get the van ready.”  Marlin again shook his head and whispered “you ain’t really here Scott.” The bartender said “Who are you talking to hon?” “ Here’s your beer I’ll be back I have to speak to management.

Marlon nursed his beer and lost himself in thought. “Well, asswipe we need one big score and I know just where to get it...Scott again. Scott was always in his head  these days. But, Scott wasn’t, couldn’t be here. Scott bought the farm…Marlon giggled almost hysterically as he remembered.

Scott planned these things. He was the brains and Marlon was the brawn. It wasn’t that Marlon was dumb or even slow. He just didn’t have the smarts that Scott did. He also didn’t have the people skills. But, Scott messed up. He didn’t see the butcher knife until it was up to the hilt in his belly. He had just finished with her. He was just about to pick her up when her eyes opened. How was that even possible after  the beating he had given her in the van? Slut, shouldn’t have gotten in. Drunk, dirty slu…The little blonde pulled her hand up from behind her and the knife was in him before he could react. Marlin sitting on the ground just outside the van saw Scott fall with the girl on top of him. Marlon was on her in a moment. He pulled her up and slapped her hard. She fell and he went to Scott. There was blood everywhere and when Scott coughed he spit up blood. He looked with horrified eyes up at Marlon. “Messed up this time. Really fucked the pooch” Scott wimpered and then he was gone. Marlon looked over but the girl was still on the ground alive or dead he didn’t take time to check. He panicked. He ran behind the van and jumped on his bike and decided he had been in California long enough.

Hey buddy, how’s the beer? Marlon looked up and saw a short blonde haired dude. Blonde? His hair was bleached bright yellow and he had it in a spike short cut. He had a tattoo saying mother on his left hand and on his right arm plainly visible since he was wearing a black tank top was a symbol but Marlon didn’t know what it meant. It was on the top part of his arm. A yellow crescent moon over a black cross.  Who are you? Asked Marlon. “I’m Samael.” Replied the man. I’m management.

“Where’s the bartender? Marlon wondered out loud.”  Samael then put out his hand as if to shake but as Marlon reached up he felt a sting on his hand and then he felt nothing.

Marlon woke up in a dark room with a full moon shining in the window. “Where am I? he muttered.” He then realized that he was unable to get up off the mattress on the floor. Was he in the back room of the bar? The girl kept talking about management. When he got up he  would find the tall brick shithouse woman and the short spiked freak and break both of their heads. But, first he would make the blonde freak watch as he did the girl.

Suddenly, she was there. Pale skin shining in the moonlight. “Where’s your boss?” Management where is he?” barked Marlon. She laughed. A full throated head flung back belly laugh. Oh, you poor stupid asshole. I don’t have a boss. “Management works for me.” “I’ve never had a boss and if I did it wouldn’t be a he.” “I’ve never bowed to a he and never will.”

She began to smile…but he must be on drugs because her smile increased. Her mouth with those ruby red lips seemed to fill the world. Her “eye teeth” as his mother used to call the two on the top front that framed the rest became sharp. Fang like. Her eyes were not hazel or green now. Oh God, they were black. Completely black. He felt his very soul freeze and the pain in his neck as she rended his flesh was horrific. His whole being was paralyzed. He felt his soul being sucked into a black void. His head filled with her laughter and a voice as loud as a thousand waterfalls rang in his ears and filled his whole being with the sound. “Lilith! Bringer of death, desolation and Goddess of Nightmares.
Marlon was given one brief glimpse of a dark, desolate world. A dying world that couldn't die. He knew he was like that world. Then he knew no more. At least not in this world.

When the Devil was a woman,
When Lilith wound
Her ebony hair in heavy braids,
And framed
Her pale features all 'round..."The Diary of an Orange Tree" Hanns Heinz Ewers, Nachtmahr: Strange Tales. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Books, thoughts and the afterlife.

I’ve read ever since I can remember. From comic books which I absolutely devoured in my childhood to my Weekly Reader back in Walnut Park Elementary in Gadsden, Alabama. I have often said that I don’t  know how a person who doesn’t read ever forms a real worldview. Still, that doesn’t mean something is holy or right just because it gets published. These days the internet has made reading a much different experience than it was when I was a kid. I’ve actually found myself now that I’m older reading as if I’m from the internet age instead of the age of TV sitcoms and variety shows. 

These days I read more non fiction than fiction and my attention span seems to be easily captured by something other than what I’m doing. I read and listened to an old Robert  Mccammon novel called Swan Song recently. Amazon now allows you to listen to the audible book while reading an ebook. It even turns the page for you and honestly with my aging eyesight it’s a good thing. Still, I have just downloaded the latest Stephen King novel and I’m not  doing audible with it. I’m just going to read it.

In the late 70’s and through the 80’s I would get on the list to be among the first to borrow the newest Stephen King novel. The smell and the heft of a new book. The often dark blues and blacks of the cover with the title written in mid size letter’s such as THE STAND and then under that in huge letters the name STEPHEN KING.  It was kind of expected after a while that the name of this particular author was much more of a draw than the actual title of the book. But, I also read lot’s of other books back then and discovered a wealth of writers that would take me someplace else. I even started to read a lot in an altered state of consciousness in my youth. Get a book and a six pack and chill for awhile. Still, I don’t recommend that . Time goes by quickly and sooner or later you find you need to earn a living if you intend to keep reading or watching TV or sleeping under a roof.

Anyway, back then I also discovered authors who wrote about some far out stuff. Now, UFO’s were the stuff of movies that I sometimes watched and of course a good scary movie with a ghost or two was also fun. But, these people were writing in a serious vein about the paranormal. I ate it up. I discovered authors such as Ruth Montgomery and books about Edgar Cayce and even Shirley Mcclain went Out on a Limb J with her name to talk and write about reincarnation.

I then found Raymond Moody and his research into NDE”s which I found fascinating and hopeful at the same time. But, when I brought it up to church people it was deemed to be demonic and when asking in a scientific setting I was told it was woo woo. So, the church where I thought it would be good news because it spoke of the soul couldn’t accept it because it didn’t fit their fire and brimstone theology. Then certain gatekeepers of science couldn’t accept it because it challenged the everything is the brain world view.

The debate rages on today. There is the slowly but surely weakening of the fundamentalist hold on people and the slowly changing everything can be explained just by brain chemistry old guard in science.  It’s wonderful thing actually but it’s still a slow go to get to a place of spiritual hope and intellectual honesty.

Two books have influenced me. One made into a movie that was a Brazilian novel based on a psychic who channeled knowledge called The Astral City and the other written by Richard Mathewson filmed as a movie starring Robin Williams called What Dreams May Come. The movie version of Astral City and the audio book version of What Dreams May Come (although, I liked the movie too.) had a ring of truth to them. Now, I don’t do guru’s and I’m not looking for a new religion. But, I did take away some stuff from both works that have stayed with me. In the Astral City (from what I can remember) the main character is eating, drinking and smoking and dies and go’s to a dark place where he is wounded and sleeping and dreaming dark dreams most of the time. But, he is part of a group soul and has gone to earth for a purpose and some souls from the city which is a city of light come out into the darkness to rescue lost souls and they rescue the main character. He’s taken to a hospital to heal up from his last lifetime and he slowly recovers and is able to join his group in a home where they live. It’s an interesting movie and I can’t remember much of it. But, the healing up after a life and the group soul is something that rings true to me. At the end of the movie there are dark clouds on the horizon as a world war is starting and the people know they will have a heavy influx of souls to rescue and bring into the city soon.  A female is about to leave the group to go back to life and it seems as if a male who is close to her decides to go back with her and he will be her son in this coming life.

What Dreams May Come was written by Richard Mathewson as according to him a way to relate truth in a readable fictional setting. The main character dies and tries to reach his wife to assure her he is okay. She can’t hear him and can’t bring herself to believe he could possibly be somewhere instead of in oblivion. She pretty much grieves herself to death and I think if I remember correctly she commits suicide and has to go to a darker version of her own home where she I s to be trapped for what would be to us a long, long time. The main character travels from a summerland or very bright environment and risks his own soul to pass through hellish levels of being to reach her. He isn’t able to bring her to the summer land area but he does reach her enough to free her from the house which is a darker replica of her house in life. In the end he is told that she will have to go through life again and have certain physical difficulties because she left live via suicide trying to escape her issues. The main character decides to be reincarnated in the same area so he can meet her and help her in this life’s journey. He’s told there are no guarantees and decides he will do it anyway although he could just wait in the spiritual home in the summer land until she arrives many years later. But, to him in spirit it would just be a short wait. Still he goes to be with her instead of waiting. Reincarnation is presented in this book as something that we do but not the main thing and not the only thing that constitutes an afterlife experience.

I also came upon another book called Journey to an Afterlife Time on my Kindle. In this one a man is much like the man in What Dreams May Come in that he journeys to see his loved ones even though he is in a comfortable place. The thing that struck me with this one is a road he was walking on in the afterlife. He would meet people he had known throughout his life on this road. Stores from his old neighborhood and people he had relationships with and people he barely knew in his past life. I have always been fascinated by long winding roads leading to who knows where so I liked that particular imagery.

So, what really happens when we die? Do we go to an eternal judgement with an angry deity? Do we reincarnate back to a life depending on how well we lived the one we just finished? Do we go to a level of heaven or hell of our own making? Do we simply cease to be?  I once saw a Star Trek episode of the Next Generation.  There was an entity in space who had the crew in his captivity for a little while. This entity was a god like creature. He asked Captain Picard how he could stand to be a creature with a very short life span? He asked what happened to humans or creatures such as the Star Trek crew when they died? The captain explained that some believed you started over and some believed you went to a place of bliss or torment. Some believed you just ceased to be. The entity asked the captain what he believed. From the best I can remember  the captain said he felt that whatever came next it was greater and more awesome than the true believers or the true non believers in an afterlife could ever know.

So, what do I believe? I believe very little these days. I rely more on my life experience at 61 than I ever have in my life so far. My experience tells me that God/Spirit is infinite. That love wins in the end and that my life indeed is important and it matters. Jesus said God is love and he also said love never fails. To lose a spirit to eternal torment or to oblivion in my opinion would be the ultimate failure of God or Love. So, I don’t know what happens. I think reincarnation is as real as physical evolution. But, I don’t know and I don’t “believe.” I just am. But, I’m also just really hopeful with what I think is good reason.


To die, to sleep- To sleep, perchance to Dream.