mercy, mercy, mercy

I picked up a G harp yesterday
it felt like bumping into an old
girlfriend recalling countless
nights of naked music colored
my lips white how are you
I looked at my feet and
shrugged a bit worse for the
wear We didn’t break  up I
just stopped calling in a
gesture more akin to kissing
a friend I pursed my lips to
the cold mouthpiece too soon
for tongue blocking or split
octaves Shyly pulling on the
two draw the home base for
the blues I played a D7th scale
and then the pentatonic a note
reminded me of Cannonball
Aderly’s version of “Mercy,
Mercy, Mercy” he says ”
sometime we don’t know just
what to do when adversity
takes over” he says “and I
have advice for all of you
I got it from my pianist Joe
Zawinul who wrote this tune
and it sounds like what you’re
supposed to do when you have
that kind of problem it’s called
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” How can
five notes suspended in time
so completely express that feeling
you get when you reach the bottom
when it takes so long to get there
and longer still to climb out?
mercy mercy mercy

An Exhibit at the Bronx Zoo

“Integrity is telling myself the truth.
And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
-Spencer Johnson

I remember seeing an exhibit
at the Bronx Zoo when I was little.
It promised the world’s most dangerous animal.

My young body tingled with
wonder to know the creature
kept in that cage.

What will you see
when you peer
in the cage?

Look in if you dare.
The answer lies in the mirror
with the painted bars.

Perhaps a few healthy cells
yet live in your black heart
with which to scratch out

a few sour notes on
a tone deaf conscience.
Probably not.

What do you call it
when you lie to yourself
and everyone else?

Sleepless nights
haunted by the shades
of your victims.

They never go away
because, being ghosts, they
can not hear your lies.

am i happy yet?

paperclips pens keys and coke
scissors thumbdrive tzio lamp
aeron chair, bluetooth
apple industrial complex
ipad, iphone, computer
original art on the walls
and a picture of my own star
facebook, twitter, and blogs icams
two hundred something friends
privacy through exhibitionism
two acres and four bedrooms
two kids and a wife
am i happy yet?

This mess is all Obama’s and the freeloading 48%ers’ fault

This mess is all Obama’s and the freeloading 48%ers’ fault. He’s a socialist who bought the election with government giveaways. Yup that’s right. Only that’s not true. It’s all your fault. We WERE a country of citizens and doers. Now we consume government and sit on our asses and complain.

If you’re looking to blame people for your bleak situation look in the mirror. Then swivel your head. Look left, look right, look up, look down, look behind you.

What do you see? We the people.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Sound familiar?

Regardless, consider yourself either informed or reminded.  That Constitution with which you drub Obama and his supporters states clearly our elected officials serve at the pleasure of the citizens and govern by our consent.

It doesn’t say We the White people, or We the male people, or We the rich people, or we the freeloading people. It says “We the people.”

Don’t like what’s happening? Get involved. Run for office. Provide material support to a candidate in whom you believe. Put your back into it. Work tirelessly day and night to make the changes you want.

Hint. Change won’t happen overnight. Grow up. Above all, quit your bellyaching and do SOMETHING.

The same is true of the economy. Yes we are at a crossroads of sort. It’s time for reinvention. Improvise, adapt, overcome. Don’t have a job? Start a business. If the business fails, start another one. Take menial jobs to survive while you’re building your business. Put your wife and kids to work to save money. When the business finally starts making money, reinvest instead of taking “much needed vacations” or buying fancy cars.

Sure many businesses fail but many succeed. Those that do, will provide jobs for those that don’t.

Get moving. Quit being so picky. Has it ever occured to you that the fussier you are, the fewer opportunities you have to be happy?

As Mick Jagger once sang, “You can’t always get what you want/ but if you try sometime, you get what you need.”

There I feel better.

Obama’s evil plot starts with gun control

Obama’s evil plot to turn us into a socialist and/or communist country starts with gun control. Now everyone is arming against the government and against all those imaginary violent criminals plaguing our neighborhoods.  So guys, do you think . . . maybe . . . you could take a short break from defending your Second Amendment rights and your doomsday preparations to spare a little bit of your time to help defend some of our other rights like privacy or maybe help us solve our other (real) problems like . . . governmental gridlock, the national debt, the bad economy, the predatory banking industry, Wall St. cheats, and voter apathy.

Don’t go crazy or anything. Just pick one. Considering the success of the gun lobby and boundless energy you have for defending your right to create an arsenal, your participation will go a long way to insuring we solve those problems in short order.

Then you can return to stuffing Teflon tipped and hollow point rounds into the large capacity magazines for your assault rifles, uh, sorry, I mean military-style, semi-automatic, sporting guns that happen to shoot military strength projectiles as fast as you can pull the trigger.

Don’t get me wrong. I love guns. I grew up with them. Learned to shoot at 12. If I had extra money and time I’d be at the Bass Pro Shop or Cabella’s stuffing my shoTricked out AR 15pping cart with a Walther PPK and maybe a Smith and Wesson Model 29 and definitely an AR-15, which I’d trick out. Why those guns? The Walther and S&W–James Bond and Dirty Harry. The AR because it’s a bad-ass looking weapon.

I’m not kidding really. I view semi-automatic pistols and  assault-style carbines in the same way as owning a high performance car. They’re dangerous toys we boys love to show off.

Pulling up to the restaurant valet station in a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport guarantees moist panties for miles and can create warp fields of envy for the baldest, fattest schlub on the block.

Same with flashy firearms. Pull a tricked out AR-15 from your gun case and all the boys are going to want a look.

But be honest about it stop wrapping your fantasies with the Constitution. We buy guns and cars to fulfill our fantasies and as props for the stories we tell ourselves about our identities.

The speed limit’s 65. Get caught with a lead foot or cornering too fast on a public road, you’ll get a ticket for reckless driving, your insurance will cost you more–and, if you’re driving fast enough, you’ll lose your license.

There are only 15 states with stand-your-ground laws that entitle you to do a George Zimmerman. You remember him, right? The vigilante from Florida who disregarded the police’s order not to follow Trayvon Martin and who stalked the hapless kid, menaced him with his weapon and then shot him in (cough, cough) self-defense. In the other 35 states, if there’s a reasonable alternative to shooting and you pull the trigger, now you’re in trouble.

It’s bizarre to me that anyone would balk at rules designed to deprive the negligent or criminal of their Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, the Newtown school shooting upset me. That tragedy caused me to think hard about the role of guns in our lives and how we (try to) solve our big problems.  I’ve talked to numerous friends on both sides of the gun debate and after carefully considering their arguments I declare the Second Amendment debate a red herring.

It’s a fight dumped upon us by a real life Terrible Triviums. (The faceless beast from Norton Juster’s book, The Phantom Toll Booth.)  In the book, Juster’s Trivium distracts Milo, the Humbug, and the Watch Dog from finding Rhyme and Reason by cozening them into engaging in endlessly meaningless tasks like moving a pile of dirt from one place to another with a pair of tweezers.

Sound familiar? Real life Messrs Trivium, our politicians, religious leaders, liberal groups like the ACLU, wealthy conservatives like the Koch brothers, and the financial elite sketch ersatz fault lines in the sand, spew propaganda and patiently wait while we create self-organized lines of demarcation.

Once the sides have been declared, we build our arguments from the propaganda provided by people from our side of the fault. We start with our conclusions and back fill the data to suit. We bicker endlessly over nuances without distinctions like the Bushmaster AR 15 is not an assault rifle, it’s semi-automatic bullet shooting sports equipment and we make stupid and illogical arguments like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Thus immured in our respective echo bunkers we pretend the world will be a better place if only people can or can’t have guns, if only gays can or can’t get married, if only abortion were legal or illegal, if only the government supported or didn’t support the so called 48 percenters.

We collude with our leaders in maintaining a zero-sum politisphere in which we never have to take responsibility for our failures. We don’t have to hold ourselves accountable for electing ineffective and corrupt leaders. They don’t have to hold themselves accountable for their abject failures.

It’s a lot easier to argue about issues with no solutions. We know damned well that solving the real problems require honest self-reflection, hard work and self-sacrifice.

To Liberals and anti-gun people: As far as guns go, ownership is enshrined in the Constitution and supported by 200 plus years of case-law. There are approximately 80,000,000 gun owners who possess in the neighborhood of  300,000,000 guns. A robust economy has developed to support their needs. Eliminating guns or severely curtailing their sale is not going to happen. Nor should it. Build a bridge and get over it!

To Conservatives and Second Amendment zealots: we’ve got a gun violence problem. Stop pretending that the over abundant supply of guns and the lack of oversight of the weapons and their owners has nothing to do with the problem. Sorry, only an idiot or a partisan can look at the facts and say “We don’t have a gun problem, we have a people problem.” Yeah no fooling. But without the guns, we don’t have a gun violence.

Yup. That’s a lot of stating the obvious. Yet for all that we still can’t seem to see things as they are. Instead we see one when there are two and two when there is one.


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