To Wendy the Good Witch & Becky The Bookcharmer

Posted in poetry on July 20, 2015 by furious buddha

Wendy the Good Witch:

i burned the candle
you brought back from the greek monks
aromatic balm

i miss you comrade
and hope the struggle goes well
ours is a long trench

i want to show you
my library assembled
the bookstrong warlock

Becky the Bookcharmer:

never enough time
every time i see you
is a life event

i love you so much
and you barely saw the art
in the garage

what joy to have seen
my hypatia seen by you
life leaves me longing

Conservative Voters Gave Donald Trump a Standing Ovation for Slandering a Vet

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, politics on July 20, 2015 by furious buddha

Donald Trump, noted draft-dodging chickenhawk and all-around terrible person, mocked the service of Senator John McCain, who was tortured in captivity for five and a half years as a Vietnamese POW in places like the Hanoi Hilton. This is already well-known. There is nothing surprising about Donald Trump saying something thoughtlessly provocative; he has made a career of shooting his mouth off. There is no point in him apologizing any more than a monkey should make mea culpas for flinging his poop.

The people who should apologize are the conservative voters who gave him a standing ovation.

Applauding that bullshit makes you responsible for it. It’s not a matter of being polite, and it certainly wouldn’t be the first time conservatives tripped over themselves to congratulate someone for slandering a wounded vet for cheap political points. I must admit, however, that I was slightly taken aback to see that even Sarah Palin can’t help but keep cheering for Trump despite her sons’ service and the political debt she owes to John McCain for launching her to the national stage; perhaps her reality tv soul just has too much in common with the gilded moron with the terrible hair to not feel empathy for him.

While conservatives and Republicans tend to be militaristic morons whose aggressive posturing masks their insecure masculinity and desperate need to impress other pretend tough guys, I must admit that I don’t understand how they often can be so shameless in regards to veterans while professing their own patriotism so fervently. In any case, while I don’t hold the audience responsible for what a speaker says, if they applaud and keep coming back they are absolutely culpable.

This is a story of what happened when I really disagreed with a speaker.

In November of 2001 I was attending classes at NIU on Chicago’s North Side. The school was hosting an interfaith conference with a number of different speakers. I attended the panel on Islam. The first speaker seemed nervous but warmed after a bit and was quite informative. Then another man got up and began by talking about the Egyptian Brotherhood and the Palestine Liberation Movement and then how the US military had been disrespecting Islam by placing military bases in Saudi Arabia. Throughout the evening I had taken a few notes but at this point I found myself trying to catch entire sentences verbatim because I intended to write a response to the lecture. It was only a few months after 9/11 and I was as intellectually engaged in the moment as anyone. I had been familiar with the Taliban because of their destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas that spring and I had put myself through a crash course in radical Islam during the previous two months; I was posting daily content for my website then (yeah, I know it’s been a while. I just moved and am still unpacking on top of everything else. But I haven’t forgotten you, Constant Reader, nor loved you one whit less.) and had been intending to write about the evening anyway.

It was because I had been taking notes that I can be absolutely certain today in this month of Julius in the Year of Our Lord that the last thing I heard the man say was, “Osama bin Laden is a victim of American economic…” because that was the point when I stopped transcribing, stood up and rumbled in my basso profondo, “that’s it! I don’t have to listen to this and neither do you!” and I stormed out and left the campus without even looking behind me. I found out later that a great deal of my classmates followed me.

My motto in those days was, ‘The truth is rude, lies are polite’. I would modify that now to say that generally the truth is rude, lies are polite, but ignorant narcissists can be more unbearable than all of the annoying truth tellers and smug liars put together.

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2015 by furious buddha

This is freedom, right here.

If the principle of punctuated equilibrium could be applied to social development this past week would be a prime example of it.

That was the sentence I wrote Friday morning shortly after the announcement of the Supreme Court verdict regarding marriage. Then I had to run out to finish packing up the old place; this move has been a mix of dreadful and joyful. I love everything about my new place so much but have had to pay considerable penance in trade; still, it’s worth it. Tonight I stretched across the lawn with the boy across my belly watching the sunset waiting for Mama to come home from work. Bliss.

So, Friday…

While I worked I listened to President Obama give his eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney; I was moved, and when he sang ‘Amazing Grace’ I wept.

It’s been such a great week for liberals what with the Confederate Flag suddenly out of style and the rainbow flag in. And Obamacare being reaffirmed once again. Fabulous.

Except for why President Obama had to give the best speech of his public life.
And for the black churches that have been burning.

There is a lot of heated rhetoric and paranoia to be found all around and I do not want to add to it. I’m just calling it the way I see it. White nationalists are waging a terrorist war against America from within. They’re organized while remaining loosely confederated; they are training and learning patience.

I have much more to say on the subject but it’s late and I want to post this now.

Not Wanting To Think About Terrorist White Supremacists Is Sympathizing With Them.

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, god, guns, politics, race, religion on June 20, 2015 by furious buddha

I know that Stormfront has a link to at least one of my posts and that white supremacists visit this site. I also know that everyone, even the most ardent white supremacists can change their minds and find their souls. That’s why I take the time to write to them. I also know that there are some readers who are very conservative people who are not overt white supremacists but because they embrace the status quo thinking of modern conservatives they are unwittingly embracing some very white supremacist ideas. I write to them as well. I know many ‘soft’ racists who lazily embrace cultural stereotypes and think that because they watch television they understand the world; they aren’t reading, let alone this..

The Confederate Battle Standard flew at full staff over Charleston, S.C. even as Old Glory was lowered to half staff; the reasons for it are asinine. The symbolism is not subtle, but South Carolina is not a subtle place; they are flying the battle standard for white supremacy high. The murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church perpetrated by the terrorist Dylann Storm Roof are only the latest atrocity perpetrated in the name of white supremacy. There is nothing new about white supremacists attacking churches and murdering innocents; these are not creative people. Judging by the patches on his jacket Dylann Storm Roof seems to have drunk deeply from the sewer of white supremacist ideology; wearing the flags of the Rhodesian and Apartheid-era Afrikaner regimes indicates that there was nothing incidental about the race of his victims. His statements at the scene of the crime make his motives clear; Dylann Storm Roof is a jihadist for white supremacy.

What strikes me as so extraordinary is how conservatives refuse to see Dylann Storm Roof as a terrorist for the white supremacist cause; it’s as if they cannot admit that a person was racially motivated.when they said, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” to black parishioners he then gunned down in the coldest possible blood. Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina, said, ‘we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another’. Yes, we do, very clearly in this case; the poisonous hatred of the white supremacy movement. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina thinks that 21 year old Dylann Storm Roof “is just one of these whacked out kids. I don’t think it’s anything broader than that.” If you follow that link you’ll see what Senator Graham thought about 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2013. It’s an interesting contrast. Dylann Storm Roof clearly is cognizant of the white supremacist movement, its symbols, and its ideology; he is operating as a lone wolf terrorist cell in the same way that ISIS and Al Qaida encouraged Muslims to do the same. If if the dopey kid brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should have been treated as an ‘enemy combatant’ to be interrogated by intelligence agents as Lindsey Graham demanded, then how can someone who has worn the flags of foreign nations and murdered a state senator among the eight other African Americans who were targeted for their race in their church just be a whacked out kid? Some of the other responses from those on the right are myopically insane in ways that reflect the obsessions of the theorists. Regardless, they all agree it’s not about white supremacy.

It does not require a Godlike perspective or the fresh insight of an alien species observing us through telescopes to see how crazy the neurosis of white Americans about race really is. To be clear, the 223,000,000 white people in the United States are not being ‘taken over’ by the 41,000,000 black citizens; that’s a 77% to 13% ratio, or approximately 6 white people for every black person. The treatment of African Americans by authorities is well documented and undeniable. The racial anxiety in the United States has always buzzed at a pretty high frequency but confronting the fear of a black president is giving our collective unconsciousness a nervous breakdown. For many, their coping mechanism is denial.

Denying the existence of the terrorism of racists empowers the criminals. Obfuscating the existence of racism or downplaying its magnitude gives cover to the terrorists. Ignoring a crime against another is to participate in the crime as an ally of the perpetrator.
But hate won’t win.
God bless everyone.
No more hurting people. Peace.

Wendy in New York

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2015 by furious buddha

New York look at you
as I dig into the burbs
going domestic

look at you Wendy
imagine yourself once again
i believe in you

i will clap my hands
you will wake up in your dream
and save tinkerbell

In the name of family values we must ask ‘whose family’? @GovMikeHuckabee @duggarfam @FOX @oreillyfactor @homeschooling

Posted in current events, days in the life, god, politics, pop culture, religion on May 30, 2015 by furious buddha

When I was young, I was often compared unfavorably to my cousin. He dressed neatly and kept his room and possessions clean and organized. He was an Eagle Scout, an honors student, played first chair trumpet and was a nationally ranked golfer. I smoked cigarettes, cut classes, and chased fast girls; I dressed like I was trying to piss people off, listened to rude music, and was generally an obnoxious jerk. I have spent the past thirty years growing up. He’s spent them in and out of prison. Their family had some serious problems that they worked very hard to keep out of sight. Our family had problems that we worked very hard to fix. Admittedly, their problems have always been far more severe in terms of the scope of how much greater the intertwined demons of mental illness and substance abuse afflicted them, but we faced them as well and we were spared because aside from dumb luck my parents had a better attitude. Everyone faces storms of adversity and the key to navigating past them is to head on straight through, facing reality squarely; at least this is what my parents did and I have tried to incorporate their Way into my own approach to life.

Julia and I are moving in together with Little Dude into a new house; that’s its whole own story but it has me thinking about family in a way I never could have even five years ago. My love for him has transformed me into a parent and brought me to consider things I never thought I would, like worrying about how to expose him to religion. I have very complicated feelings on the matter. My parents have been going to a nice Catholic Church near their home; their faith is quiet but growing in strength as they age. I see how much it enriches their lives and it makes me happy; they are practicing a progressive Christianity that is bringing them both Grace and Enlightenment. They are growing in love rather than finding people to hate. But that doesn’t change the fact that there’s no way I’m going to tell my kid that someplace that institutionally has nurtured unspeakable child abuse for generations has any kind of moral authority over him. Which brings me to the unspeakable crimes of Josh Duggar, his parents, and the TLC executives who gave their cult a platform to spew their toxic propaganda into our collective consciousness.    .

There is no gloating schadenfreude here; there is horror, disgust, and a rare sort of righteous fury that demands expression. The girls in this situation have suffered in an isolated authoritarian hell run by a demented patriarchy run amok for their entire lives which have been broadcast to a gaping world they are forbidden to even know about. They have been violated, exposed, and silenced by the people who should have been protecting them. They were born to parents who are under the sway of an evil fundamentalist theology that has wrought tremendous misery upon them and so many others who are chained to the dark altar of its founder. The details of the case have a particularly sour reek of evil, like the Arkansas state trooper who Jim Bob brought Josh to for a stern lecture before he helped cover up the crime; he was a child predator who listed ‘preschool’ and ‘puberty’ as his ‘interests’ on a Yahoo! profile. I literally had a physical wave of nausea pass through me as I typed those words. People who are determined to foist their morality upon the rest of us are always hypocrites of tremendous magnitude (think of Bill O’Reilly lecturing Black America on their terrible family values) but this is grotesque in its enormity.  .

My father, grandfather, both of my brothers and myself have been and continue to be public sector union employees such as police officers, transit workers, teachers, paramedics and firemen. My little brother has brought people back from the dead who are trying to break his union.  I have voted Democratic tickets my entire life and anticipate voting for Bernie Sanders in the primary and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. I think the government should stay out of people’s private medical decisions and that contraception should be free and legal; Julia and I aren’t married yet but we have terrific mutually satisfying sex. I think that sex education should be honest, fact based, and presented without moral judgements.  Although I have been sober from alcohol for nearly fifteen years I still enjoy cannabis on appropriate occasions and believe it should be legal. I think that biological evolution as first articulated by Charles Darwin is by far the best explanation for how life came to be in it’s current form; I submit that all modern medicine and biological science is based on this as the evidence for my belief. I agree with the scientists who argue that the climate is being disrupted by human activity.  I think that ISIS is a result of the misconceived Iraq war and the subsequent actions of the Bush Administration. I drive a fourteen year old car that is missing a fender. Julia is my equal in our relationship; furthermore I have many relationships with both women and men that are warm, affectionate and emotionally intimate without being sexual. I have people who depend on me every day of my life. I am grateful and happy. I will never accept the demented views of fundamentalists as my own. For all these reasons and more I accept that FOX News and people who support the Duggars view people like me as lazy parasites and hellbound sinners while believing that Josh Duggar is being persecuted for his religious beliefs.

I went to a lot of different churches when I was a kid. I was curious and questioning and was asked to leave more than one Sunday School class for not accepting what was being spooned out. I had a long discussions about God and the Bible with my grandfather that pretty much lasted from when I was four until he died when I was thirty three. When he lay dying the hospital chaplain came into the room and walked up to the bed and asked us if we minded if he sang. We said of course. He had just arrived from Nigeria the week before to take the position as a chaplain and this was his first real shift on his own and he hoped to give us comfort; his francophone accent gave his English a music when he was simply speaking and when his voice became song it resonated within me. But what was most extraordinary was that this man from the other side of the world spontaneously chose my grandfathers favorite hymn,’How Great Thou Art’, which he frequently sang in his sweet baritone.I believe in a God who loves all of us with perfect compassion. I believe that heaven and hell are right here, right now, all around us, not something that happens later in some other place, and that it is incumbent upon those of us who are dwelling in our paradises to help free as many people from their cages as possible, not dangle our feet off our clouds while pointing and laughing at the suffering of others.

It’s funny, just writing this helped clear up what I thought was complicated. Little dude will go to our fine well funded local public school that is staffed by top notch unionized professionals who will give him an excellent academic education (that I will certainly supplement). For his religious training, however, he will be homeschooled. It would be irresponsible to do anything else, really. We will take field trips to all manner of temples, shrines, and churches and observe the many ways that our brothers and sisters try to bother God. He will hear soulful gospel music, Bach chorales, sacred ragas and Tuvan throat singing. I will teach him as many of the seven billion names of God that I can. I will tell him what Lou Reed told me; no kinds of love are better than others. And I will make sure that he understands the Bible in context; he will learn what is metaphor, what is history, and there will be particular focus on what Jesus taught such as this bit from Matthew 7:15-17:  15″Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16″You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17″So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.”

Rethink your beliefs.
When you practice doing this
You will be happy

And Eastasia was always at war with Eurasia

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2015 by furious buddha

I have conservative friends and a lot of the writing I used to do about politics was about trying to establish dialogue and common ground, or at least I like to remember it that way. I certainly trolled the hell out of people like Selwyn Duke among others, but I did that for the sake of my own education as well as in the service of Art; I loved reading those dialogues to audiences.

I don’t write much about politics now partly because I’m a huge fan of Obama and while I won’t apologize for or explain every possible policy of his administration I am generally satisfied with how the Obama Administration comports itself, and on occasions when I don’t, there are plenty of other voices to raise criticism. Conversely I often find myself so disgusted by the Confederacy of Dunces that oppose him that I don’t even know what to say that could possibly establish dialogue and I am certainly not eager to share any common ground with them. Writing about that stuff just angries up the blood and right now here in the USA we all need to be chilling our blood down. Again, it’s not like the world needs me to point out that Ted Nugent is a raving asshole; Wonkette does that better than anyone anyway.

I was going to say more but I got bored. Maybe it was something about how the GOP Republican hopefuls are not so much a ship of fools as a car of clowns, which brings me to; Tomorrow is Red Nose Day and I don’t care if it’s some corporate whatever I’m gonna wear one and carry around a coffee can and take donations for Comic Relief. And I’m gonna try not to cry once because I’m doing it for Robin.

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