» Folks who celebrated the New Year one century ago had no idea that their world was about to wane nasty beyond anything they could possibly imagine. Now there's probably a valuable lesson hidden in there, somewhere.
On a more recent note .. if a sharp-dressed man walked up to me and said ..
When all of a sudden, a girl, who is one of the 300 people following him, runs up and says ..
» "You're freaking out? Oh my God. That's so profound. Cuz I'm freaking out, too. I can so RELATE to your freaking out."
He gives me a perplexed look, then turns to the 300. There is a pause .. before they all erupt in laughter.
» Feet to the Fire
As the raucous dies down he turns back, looking thoroughly amused, and says, "Sorry. I havent laughed like that in ages."
Wiping a tear from the corner of his eye, he explains » "You obviously dont understand. Does the phrase » 'feet-to-the-fire' mean anything to you?"
Now, you might *think* that you'd fancy yourself the voice of your generation .. and say with eager anticipation, "Look no further, dawg. I'm your boy."
Just a hunch.
Does being the 'voice-of-your-generation imply prophetic qualities?
Necessarily? Like you cant have one without the other? ]
How can your voice be authentic? How can it resonate with the confidence that says » "Let me tell you what I mean." ? Without intimately understanding their world. Without walking a mile in their shoes?
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You reckon they might know?
That's right .. number one.
Lyrics. "Once upon a time you dressed so fine .. threw the bums a dime in your prime, didnt you?"
.. that is the #1 thing wherein I resonate ..
» The Willowy Educated Cultured Welsh Fashion Girl From York
While I was living in Lancaster. (I shit you not.)
I did not know about the War of the Roses then.
Unlike the cities in England, we never fought. Tho I did not like that she smoked.
Rad note » This section about the Welsh girl from York has been moved to its own separate page, where it belongs.
At the end of that page you will find a link that returns the reader back here, to this exact section.
Or perhaps I should put it this way .. that this is where » it is easiest for me to resonate. (The way he expresses his disappointment with women in his life.) Most naturally. Effortlessly.
"I feel ya, dawg. Could NOT have said it better myself." (And dont think I didnt try.)
Summer of '65. "How does it feel?"
They *do* seem right-at-home singing that song .. like it belongs to them.
The song itself comes with a history. Before Dylan's song, there was a 4-minute limit imposed by the entire music industry.
Dylan came along and said » "Fuck your stupid limit(s)." .. and the shit was on. In a big way. Culturally.
Sure, others had tried to transcend the limit .. but they were ignored. But they couldnt ignore Dylan.
And ever since, musicians and other artists have been trying to transcend the limitations of their art .. including those imposed upon them by the culture .. with varying degrees of success.
In other words .. Like a Rolling Stone » is not just a set of well-crafted lyrics that resonated strongly with the youth of a generation.
There is much symbolism wrapped up in that song. Cultural symbolism. I am sure that this is one of the main reasons that the magazine selected it as their #1 .. amid so many other super-outstanding songs.
Back when I was living in San Clemente, I went thru a phase where I would wake early on a Saturday morning and put of some Tangled Up in Blue and lay in bed and let the 6-minute song take me away .. before beginning my weekend.
» Where have you been?
Where have you been?
What did you see?
What did hear?
Who did you meet?
What will you do now?
All of which ties in nicely, dont you think? .. with my notion of the burden that I asked the Sharp-dressed man about.
Tho I admit that I did not plan it that way. Sometimes shit just works out for you in unexpectedly fortuitous ways. ]
"Thank-you, Mr. Sharp-dressed man," I say, "but no thanks. And I must say .. dude, you *do* look sharp. It's so true what everybody says about you."
"You dont want it?" asks the sharp-dressed man, looking stunned. "But what will you do?"
Turning Matter into » Energy
Now Ya See It .. Now You Dont
[ After splitting many atoms and turning a respectable amount of matter into energy, I have learned that » matter doesnt matter. At least not as much as you might think it does. You will see what I mean .. sooner or later. ]
» Aaron Swartz
» Dear Prosecutors
And to you prosecutors ..
Oh, look. Bill has generously volunteered to help. Thank-you, Bill.
You prosecutors are so fortunate to have someone experienced as Bill Keller offering to help. And such a handsome man, too.
And you cannot really talk about writers at the LA Times without mentioning Doyle McManus.'Nuf said.
"Like a boy," he said .. implying that he breaks boys in half.
"I'll throw you off this fucking balcony," sounds like a death threat, no?
Dude, if you're gonna say stupid shit like that, at least have the sense not to say it ON CAMERA ..
.. to a guy holding a microphone. It's like » you can't believe what you are hearing.
"How dare you ask a Macho Demigod Like Me a question about something that I dont want to talk about .. you insignificant little piece of shit."
I mean, if somebody came out and said that the whole balcony-tossing threat was photoshopped .. I would say » "I *knew* nobody could be that stupid. Certainly no politician."
» Help Available for Balcony-Tossing Politicians
Best Grammy performance ever? When that first explosion comes .. and they all break into that forward-bending grove (in unison) ..
.. I was like » "Ooh, this is something I have never seen before. I like this groove. This is my groove. Welcome to my world."
"..not only provided the night's only surprise, they offered up the only stunt that didn't invite your approval and laud your taste. It wrestled your attention to the ground, then gave it a good noogie."
Especially that last part. How does the writer even know what a noogie is?
» Cannabis and Balconies
On the subject of cannabis, don't you find it a bit curious ..
.. that the two teams playing in this year's Superbowl both hail from ..
I was even more surprised by the Chili Peppers. Wow. High energy. Note the multiple references to Bob Marley in their lyrics.
The polished slick-ness of Bruno Mars (yin) meets the spicy raw-ness of the Chil Peppers (yang) .. with a Bob Marley link connecting them (embracing duality).
The finely-tuned, controlled precision of Bruno Mars blends with the random chaos of the Chili Peppers. Beautiful.
About an hour before the Superbowl started, I read an article online that said the Chili Peppers had promised the SuperBowl people that they would keep their shirts on.
So when they jumped out bare-chested, I imagined them saying » "Fooled ya!"
When I got to the check-out register, the girl grabbed the jar and said, "Oh, this is new. I've never seen this before."
I just got a jar of the original, but I see you also have a few other flavors. Maybe next time I will try the lemon-ginger.
I will tell you what I really use it for .. if you promise not to tell anybody. I put a piece of dark chocolate in my mouth and let it melt halfway. Then I add a half-spoon of coconut oil. Ooh, baby. Super yummy.
I call this » chocolate therapy. Repeat as necessary. Valrhona.
Tho I am interested in trying "NSA chocolate" .. if for nothing else than the cool name.
It is beyond the scope of today's entry, well beyond .. but you should get into the lip-balm market. If there is anything that a month at Yosemite taught me .. it's that your lip balm is your best friend.
You go thru many tubes of lip balm at Yosemite, so I tried many different brands. Nobody was near Burt for lip comfort in a rugged outdoor environment.
The Zig Stick .. in Jamaican colors. Zag some on your lips. Enhanced with natural hemp oils. I would buy a stick if it was the same price as Burts. But the bees wax is really what does it.
Speaking of lips .. I dated a black girl once. She told me, "You white boys got no lips. What am I supposed to kiss?" ]
What do you reckon would've happened if somebody had said to this politician » "Dude, I'm gonna throw your sorry ass off this balcony .. like Tom Hanks' character does in Cloud Atlas."
.. and that he would be wearing the shiny bracelets so quickly ..
.. that you would need a slow-motion instant replay to catch it.
I admit that, when I hear grown men talk about being macho by "breaking boys in half" .. this shit does not sit well. Not hardly. Feel me?
Bad as it might be to threaten someone with throwing his ass off a balcony .. that's not what offended me.
» I Admit I Was Wrong
Update - I heard that this man apologized to the reporter. Kudos for being big enough. And he is not from Florida. I apologize for the confusion. But surely you see the parallel.
I guess he is Italian. We have to cut him some genetic slack. Cuz everybody knows » that's how Italians are. They want to kick your ass and then 10 minutes later they're like » "Let's go have a beer."
"Dude, I thought you wanted to kick my ass?"
"I did, you knucklehead. But I'm over it. And now I'm thirsty. Come on, drinks on me. I know this place where they have Peroni on tap and the best puttanesca you've ever had."
In other words » they don't hold a grudge. (Which is healthy.) </update> ]]
Update July 17, 2015 » This guy, this politician, Michael Grimm .. was sentenced to 8 months in jail.
So I guess it was serious what the reporter was asking about. Perhaps this explains the level of his passion when the reporter asked about it.
< end update July 17, 2015 Grimm sentenced >
The Trial (of Josef K) by Franz Kafka » Written 100 Years Ago
Written in German » Der Process.
Penned 100 years ago, this summer (.. so you still have time). Tho it was not published until the year after his death (in 1925 ..
.. same year that Fitzgerald published » the Great Gatsby).
On his deathbed, Kafka made his friend, Max Brod, promise that he would burn all his works.
But Max had a change of heart after Franz died.
Good company, no?
Here is one for manly men,
Dostoevsky died (1881) two years before Kafka was born. This helps me to place Kafka in historical, chronological perspective.
He was 27 when Tolstoy died (in 1910).
Kafka died the year (1924) before Fitzgerald published Gatsby (1925).
So he seems to be the closest comtemporary to Kafka (along with Joyce) in years lived.
I do not want to get much into it, but Kafka's job was remarkably similar to the Dog's job.
I have talked to him about it and he acknowledges the similarity.
He says that, while there in Prague, he played the tourist one day and visited the place where Kafka was born, or lived, or wrote (or all three). Tho the Dog adds that it was little more than a bookstore selling Kafka novels.
So this is the perfect title to mention on this day when we remember our brother .. whose head the government fucked with. Prosecutors going after the lowest-hanging (most vulnerable) fruit they can find.
So notice how the first two books are both French. Then comes Kafka. (German language.)
Then come three more French dudes.
In 4th grade, we did The Pearl. Weighty stuff for a fourth grader. It definitely got the gears of thought turning.
The Wikipedia article says that it is a popular book to assign in high school.
In 4th grade I remember thinking, "This is definitely some shit I have never thought about. Adult-type shit."
In retrospect I feel it was good for me to be exposed to that type of material. Because everybody gets exposed to it .. sooner or later.
Tho yes, I definitely remember the disturbing element that came with illumination of the kind (very strong) that Steinbeck brings.
I thought about some of the things as I walked home. But then I quickly forgot about those things about which I could do nothing .. as a fourth grader, anyway.
His narrative lighting seems to cast a lasting image .. set in distinctly American hues.
It's a depressing story, for sure, but one that contains many patterns that (unfortunately) hold valid thru-out one's life ..
.. at least for some of it, maybe even most of it. Tho hopefully not for all of it. ]
My first point » 5 out of the top 6 titles are French .. as one might expect.
My second point » the French are hardcore when it comes to literature.
This also tells me that they are VERY impressed with Kafka. (Being the only non-French dude in the top six titles.)
"We accept you and place you up there with only our very finest authors of the entire century."
Tho most consider East of Eden (published 13 years later in '52) his best work.
» The Bug Rides a Sportster (Sorta)
Two years ago, there came to the playground a dad riding an electric motorcycle with his little daughter.
.. which I bought with money earned from a paper route, delivering the New Haven Register (seven days a week, for four years).
I told him to ask the man. I didnt think the guy would say okay, but he said, "If your dad says it's alright."
He didnt ride more than a few minutes, but that was enough to hook him. "I wanted one of these for TWO YEARS, dad," he told me. I am so happy for him.
He's a natural. Even two years ago, I told him, "This is how you make it go and this is how you make it stop." And he was gone.
"Try not to run into anybody," I shouted after him. I turned to the dad and said, "Kids."
He also got an iPad for Christmas. I said, "Dude, an electric motorcycle and an iPad .. those are good Christmas presents."
I had read the book to him. Or, at least parts .. cuz I knew what was gonna happen at certain parts (in the movie) ..
.. even tho I didnt remember reading very much of the book to him.
About a third of the way into the movie, one of the characters IN the movie ..
.. utters the name of the movie » the Desolation of Smaug. (Smaug is the name of the ornery dragon who guards the treasure.)
But about 10 secs before they utter the name .. the Bug asks, "What does desolation mean?"
You dont fully appreciate however, what the subtitle is talking about .. until the very end.
» Special News Bulletin from Orange County
Oh, speaking of » desolation .. we interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast. To bring you this special news bulletin.
Well, maybe I should tell you this other thing first .. so you will be better able to understand me. Yes, I can see that I should.
Appearance vs Substance (aka » Maintaining the Illusion)
.. to see him. To spend the day with him. Or the weekend. Cuz there is so much more cool stuff to do and see up there.
I would usually ride up with the Film school girl, seeing that she had to drive up there for classes every day, anyway. The Dog would come pick me up at USC (.. which is where the Dog earned his Masters).
For one semester the Film school girl stayed at the Dog's place there in Hollywood .. one night a week ..
The Dog was glad to help out a fellow USC grad student. So she slept on his couch every Tuesday night.
The Dog said that they tore down his old bungalow and built a multi-million dollar, multi-level modern dealy-o. He had a nice view of LA, even then.
So, if you happen to be residing in relatively new place located just a few doors down from the house where Bela Lugosi used to live, then you are probably living on the same site where the Dog used to live ..
.. right there at the bend in that narrow, snakey road that turns to your right as you head up the hill. Not far from the place where Minnie Driver used to live. (Maybe she still does.)
But I digress. What I really want to tell you is ...
But sometimes (.. "drumroll, please") he would » come down. To Orange county. Particularly for the parties ..
.. where he got to be friends with this lawyer-girl I knew from Laguna Beach.
» The Laguna Beach Lawyer-ette
She liked him a lot. I thought them the perfect match. Their bookshelves closely mirrored one another.
So naturally, I fancied myself the perfect match-maker. The Dog however, wasnt feeling it. That's the Dog, for you.
But you cannot talk the Dog into shit that he is simply not into.
You will find that men and women both tend to migrate (naturally) toward » familiarity. In other words, they seem attracted to people who remind them of their opposite-sex parent.
That is why the first thing I say to a girl who I might be interested in is » "Tell me about your dad. What was he like?"
Because, even if she "hopes the bastard rots in hell," she will still (even against her own wishes and hopes) find that she FEELS MOST COMFORTABLE around a man that reminds her of her father.
Because » that is what she is used to. That is what she has become accustomed to.
Which makes for a dysfunctional relationship. Because she will try to dump on you the toxic feelings that she has for her father, whom she cannot confront (.. for a variety of reasons, all of which are completely understandable).
[ They do not emit their toxic dysfunction right away. No. Rather it starts to seep out once they become comfortable with you. In other words » they know how to hide it. For a while, anyway.
If a girl had an abusive father, she will try to provoke you into being abusive. Yes, I thought this idea somewhat bizarre, myself. But do your own research and you will find I'm correct.
She is not craving the abuse, no. Rather she is craving » familiarity. Yes, there are some who manage to reach escape velocity from the parental dysfunction they suffered during their formative years.
But that is the exception, not the rule. Because that takes a very strong person. And you are not going to do this without getting dirty. (Very.) And not without lots of courage. (Tons.) And not without plenty of emotional support. (Love and compassion.)
After rejecting the lawyer-girl, the Dog *did* find a girl with whom he resonated.
But it was ugly. She nearly killed him. [ Emotionally speaking. See this movie for insight. ]
Long story short » he eventually had to claim bankruptcy and it took a long-ass time for him to recover.
Because they cannot help themselves. When the pressures of life come, they revert back to what they know (i.e. » dysfunctional behavior). Because that's their comfort zone.
Meanwhile, others are left trying to deal with the effects of their dysfunction.
In keeping with the tenets of web site optimization, today's entry has been broken into FOUR PAGES. The next page is posted here » Exploring the Limits of Poetic License .. up to the Letter of the Law (and Beyond) - Part 2/4
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