JULY 11, 2017

Lascivious

Nancy needed to see some trees yesterday so we threw back a cup and drove to Mount Charleston, kicking around up there until we'd heard enough confused Mandarin and raw dog Hendertucky for one day. Then we slid back down the mountain, tucked into Joe's Crab Shack on E. Sunset, and cracked some shell while shootin' the shit with a guy from New York who never told us his name but seemed to be in charge of the place. The whole conversation had an East Coast feel to it that left us both longing for those authentic people you tend to meet almost every day in the tri-state area.

For some reason it brought to mind Rick Aviles. You'll remember him as the bad guy who kills Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost. I worked with him a few times in New York and New Jersey, picking him up at The Improv on the way to what was usually a rough bar that really shouldn't have been hosting a comedy show. But Rick was always positive about the whole thing, grateful for the gig and fun to be with in the car. He was also no stranger to the party and would wait for the ride home to say, in that almost alien-sounding voice of his, "Got that herb gonna make you swerve."

He was funny as hell. And he could work ANYWHERE. I was walking through Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and found him standing on a box doing street comedy. He was mesmerizing. It's hard enough to get New Yorkers to notice anything on the street, but Rick was able make everybody walking by stop for a few minutes and listen to him work the crowd. I've never seen anyone do it better. He was absolutely hilarious, using whatever and whoever came within his perimeter, just standing on that box, riffing at the top of his lungs.

I haven't met too many people in my life who were as real as Rick Aviles. My wife is real in that way, and there are a few others I could mention but it seems like a rare bird these days. Frankie Bastille was another one. He was a comic with some deep passions and menacing demons, a walking carnival of spirit and energy. I only worked with him once but I never forgot him, and I guess he never forgot me because a few years after we worked together he did something really really nice for me, something I shouldn't go into because it would embarrass him if he were still with us and heard me talking about it. But he was one of those extraordinary people you run into through the course of a few decades in Stand-up Comedy that make you look back and think, "Jesus, I'm so lucky I got to meet that guy."

It's hard to explain to millennials how "present" we all were before cell phones, how genuine we could be, and how much life we could be full of. But I don't blame millennials for their lack of personality and indolent behavior. If I had been raised with 24 hour access to porn on a little TV set in my pocket, I'd be completely fucking useless too.

A friend of ours recently wrapped a rope around her neck and hung herself in the garage of her house. None of us saw it coming. How does that happen? How do you not see signs in a friend's actions that indicate she's about to kill herself? We all get moody and pull away from people from time to time but it usually doesn't end with a body hanging from a rafter. Years ago, my wife announced that she was getting rid of her juicer and one of her friends panicked, thinking she was about to off herself, somehow concluding that once a person lets go of the juicer, the end is near.

The whole thing is so bizarre and jarring.

I talked to my brother about it, rhetorically asking how much pain a person has to be in to do that. He's a Marine who's seen some serious combat and close contact death. He said to me that it's not about pain.

It's about hope.

And he's right. We can all deal with pain, usually much more than we think we can, but when we lose hope we're left in a very dark place. The snowballing suicide rates and skyrocketing amount of opioid overdoses across the country would seem to imply that people are finding fewer and fewer reasons to be hopeful. I just made a mental list of about 20 social, economic and political reasons for this nagging, sinking feeling that has become a national disease but I'm sure you can guess what they are.

I really think it's all about empathy. America has spent too many years watching the Right use corporate capitalism to dismantle the middle class and loot the wealth of this country through debt financing and overseas slave labor, as Clintonian Centrists have taken words like empathy and compassion and gutted their meanings and used them as vote-gathering buzz words while selling out the working class in favor of campaign contributions from the same corporate capitalists that finance the Right.

There is no Left left.

The United States of America is an oligarchy run by kleptocrats and the truth of that is finally trickling down to the general population, leaving people with a dank, inky feeling in their stomachs.

But there's a pushback emerging. One of the more prominent examples is the movement by people of color against an inherently racist, intolerant and militarized neo-police force. The appointed czars of the current executive branch appear determined to destroy anything that creates and maintains a middle class (a nuanced method of generating a race war) but their authoritarian approach is instead unifying ALL Americans against an increasingly intrusive and fascist state.

It is empathy that will set us all free. Seeing yourself in everybody else and seeing everybody else in yourself. When each of us take time every day to think about efforts for the common good, creating space for a spiritual connection to that larger thing we are all a part of..

..when that happens, we begin to become the change we wish to see.

Copyright © 2017 John Bizarre

"Do you like Fetty Wap?"

"Is that like dim sum?"

"No, it's like some dude."

"Chinese?"

"Lemmee look. Hmmm...not unless he's from the south side of China."

"What's he do?"

"Rap."

"Rap?"

"Popular musical style of African American origin in which words are recited rapidly and rhythmically over a prerecorded, typically electronic instrumental beat track."

"Sounds enchanting."

"Well, you like poetry, right? Eliot, Frost, Keats?"

"So?"

"Well, these guys are the poets of the 21st century."

"OK, lemmee hear some."

"Alright, allow me to serve you up a heapin' helpin' of Fetty Wap…ahhh, here we go..
'I be smoking dope and you know Backwoods what I roll
Remy Boy, Fetty eatin' shit up that's fasho
I'll run in ya house, then I'll fuck your hoe
'cause Remy Boyz or nothing, Re-Re-Remy Boyz or nothing'"

"My, that IS delightful."

"Isn't it? How 'bout some classic, old school Snoop Dogg?"

"Yes, please."

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door..."

"Wow, that one actually refers to rapping in the rap."

"Yeah."

"Are you sure that was Snoop?"

"I don't know, I have a lot of windows open here.."

"I like this rap stuff."

"How about Slob On My Knob by Three 6 Mafia?"

"Slob On My Knob?"

"Slob on my knob like corn on the cob, check in with me and do your job."

"Are we ever let in on the definition of 'knob'?"

"Mmmm..nope. I think it's kind of left up to us. Oh here, I just found an old Lil' Kim song called Suck My Dick."

"Well, that's clear enough. Let's hear it."

"OK, but one of these words is a noun that I don't allow to pass my lips, a derogatory noun referring to North American Men Of Color Who Have Traditionally Been Disenfranchised And Otherwise Excluded From Equal Opportunities For Advancement In What Is Supposed To Be A Constitutional Republic With A Charter That Would Seem To Forbid That Sort Of Thing. But since that's kind of wordy, I'm just gonna say black dudes."

"Rather lazy of you but, OK."

"Black dudes love a hard bitch, One that get up in a black dude's ass quicker than an enema,
Make a cat bleed then sprinkle it with vinegar,
Kidnap the senator.
Make him call his wife and say he never comin' home,
Kim got 'em in a zone beaten' they dicks,
even got some straight chicks rubbin' they tits."

"She seems to have trouble with her possessive adjectives."

"Yes, I noticed that."

"You sure that wasn't Robert Frost?"

"Suck My Dick? I'd have to check. Lil' Kim may have done it as a remake."

"I feel like I'm getting an excellent dose of culture today."

"Oh, here's a fun one - Best Friend by Young Thug. 51 million views on YouTube so far, so it MUST be good."

"Let's hear some."

"It starts off with 'Thugger! YSL for life, bitch, Yeah, fuck you, your momma and everything else, Free the goat!'"

"Cryptic, but assertive. I like it. Keep going."

"Let's see, there's a lot of that derogatory North American Men of Color stuff...then 'I'm a eat that booty just like groceries, Eat on that cootie, lay that bitch down like let's do it, no tiger bitch, eat that wood, eat that wood.'"

"Am I the only one getting hungry around here?"

"Yes, some of these do leave one yearning for victuals."

"Ok, hit me one more time."

"You got it. Let's wrap this up with Travis Scott's Antidote."

"Distribute the disquisition, if you please."

"One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace, Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express, How pure, how dear their dwelling-place."

"Shit, that motherfucker can write!"

Copyright © 2016 John Bizarre
-------------------

..and one from late last year, just for the hell of it..

July 24, 2017

Installing the Mark of the Beast

Jowan Osterlund
Biohax International
25225 Helsingborg
Sweden
+46 (0)733-263 736

Dear Jowan,

I had this letter hand delivered to avoid any possible hacking to our link.
My friend, you were right about greasing the rails with the Associated Press concerning the tone of the release.

It's pretty amazing when you think about it. We proudly announce that we'll be implanting our employees with an RFID microchip and the news lands with barely a murmur. Announcing it proudly was smart. If we're proud and loud about it, it comes across like we have no fear of reprisal, everything is safe and "approved", and the whole thing seems like just another step toward an inevitable future - first we put them in your pets for "safety", then we put them in yourselves for "convenience", then we put them in your children for both. Brilliant.

Like clamping a red metal tag on a cow's ear.

Had a great talk with Mesterson over at Epicenter. That guy is the Svengali of soft selling these things. They actually have parties, recruiting new members into the microchip "family" with bonuses and a fat load of peer approval. Oh my god, that guy. I took his advice and brought the idea to our employees with promises of instant access to any door in the building, unlocking phones and copy machines, access to any employee computer, additional medical benefits, and quick swiping of the embedded company credit card at all the office micro stores.

Once they get all giddy about it, we send them over to you and have it shoved under their skin, locking them in. Beautiful.

Mesterson said some pretty jarring things once the Associated Press left the room. He really makes no bones about what's going on here. We know the end game is to have everybody on the planet chipped by 2030. If we don't do it somebody else will and we will be left holding our cranks when the BIG switch goes live.

He made the point that, just as with television, computers and cellphones, you first make it a novelty, then it turns into an addiction, then it becomes a necessity in order to live in the society. One great thing in our favor is the fact that most people are lazy and dim. People willingly give their DNA to ancestry.com without reading the fine print of the contract. They even PAY for the privilege of giving up the rights to their own DNA. In our case we have people begging us to turn them into service robots for the corporate state, actually giving over their autonomy, their human right to individuality, all for the convenience of being able to buy a Zagnut bar a little more quickly at the gift shop.

I found it amazing that not one news organization covering this story even once questioned the undisclosed software, backdoor entries and neurobiological programming that come included with every device. Behavior "enhancement" is the next big sell for us to pull off. It's really about creating an environment where being human is seen not only as a disadvantage in a modern industrial society, but dirty and backward and primitive. Apelike, if you will. Then the choice is, be a monkey or be a useful cog in the machine.

Yeah! One zero zero one zero zero one, you fucking idiots. Ha!

OK, enough for now. Tom Kennedy over at Raytheon has a great idea for an untraceable "host termination element" within your device that I think you should hear about. He'll be contacting you in a week or so.

onward and upward,
Tom

Todd Westby
Three Square Market
2801 Harvey St.
Hudson, Wisconsin 54016