Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pricks and Praxis

In the flood of good advice emanating in horrifying 3D waves from the hologram of leftish politics (there is no “left” any more), about the only thing I agree with is that we should all get off our butts and contribute what we can to the collective future. One way or another, there WILL BE a future. If we would like it to swing our way for a fricking change, we should do something about it. If you think it is already too late, that there is no chance to push the pendulum, you should remember that history moves in cycles, and someday what has recently been wrought will be unwrought. Do you have grandkids?

I thought to look up the Gray Panthers, to see what they might be up to these latter days. They have a website and a list of issues, and the local group is located just south of Comic City. Single payer health care is a decent issue - might be a place to start. But there is no mention of Armageddon. I think I am Armageddon-motivated.

In that vein, there are lots of groups to support: Black Lives Matter is as serious as it gets, citizens confronting the Brotherhood of Institutional Racism. Standing Rock with both its outrageous war on indigenous rights and its vicious pursuit of profit over people through disastrous extraction practices needs all the help it can find. And taking over freeways and blocking businesses to protest political groups that openly wear swastikas and give straight-arm salutes to the President-elect are certainly worth a few late nights.

But what I see in all of this, as the crowds grow bigger and the Pinkertons grow increasingly violent and out of control, is that the youth of America are finally getting it. They are learning what disillusionment really means as one big lie after another falls amid the cries of “timber!” and they scramble to get out of the way. Some don’t and are crushed, and another lie dies as those who watch are further politicized and the crowd swells yet again. And again, and again.

The energy and outrage required for effective protest belong to the young. They can sleep in tents for months, yell at the top of their voices all night, sleep standing up chained to a fence. I can’t do that any more.

But what they don’t have yet is the cunning that comes from experience. Sentimentality and outrage will not win this war, and it is here that we have a place to contribute. A whole generation of baby boomers watched our efforts to end the war in SE Asia, which by and large worked, trivialized and forgotten through the public memes of the even more evil and greed-stoked backlash that has finally brought us to the election of a mean media cartoon as our Public Face. Hell and damnation!

Join up and put your old gray head to work. The young have showed us they have the strength – the least we can do is try to help.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday Morning Coming Down

Do you have on your black armband? Sigh oh sigh again, how can this be??? We were even close here in Minnesota and the final results are still not in, although Hil maintained a three point lead all night. My thoughts have turned to survival. Who is laughing at my generator now?  We went to watch the returns with family last night and Silver Fox made up cosmos and took them with to shake up with ice as needed - there was not enough.

I have said since the beginning, although not loudly, that I did not necessarily think he was the most evil of the two. This is revolution, the result of the insatiable greed that has powered the last 35 years of neocon agenda, one which refused to include the populace even just a little bit, rejoiced in taking the widows and orphans for all they could, cynically ripped away union and pensions protections while mocking the stupidity of the people they hoodwinked to participate in their own destruction. If President Der Donald were not personally such pond scum I would have voted for him myself. Now the agenda the ruling class has left behind has risen up to bite them in the ass, and no one knows where it will lead.

Already I saw the Fed blaming this election for them NOT raising interest rates next month “as was rumored.” And what bullshit that is, because they were never planning to act, that is just their song and dance, because the way it works now is putting free money directly into the banks. What a crock.

Already the Taliban have written to Der Donald to withdraw all our troops from Afghanistan. Obama has been trying to do this for years without success - this is the military’s call, and in this arena I don’t think our new Pres has even Obama’s standing, although we will have to wait and see. If he has his way toward peace with Putin, Syria will be over - I can buy that and like it. But the best Obama has been able to do is keep a foot on the brakes. There’s oil in them there Golon Heights hills, you know, and the likes of Cheney and Bush have a little company with the oil concession. I have bought a front seat ticket for this one.

At home, we can probably kiss health care reform goodbye, but Obamacare is falling apart anyway. My daughter said last night their new premiums are pushing $2K a month and that is with a $4K deductible that must be spread across at least two of them.

The Repugnicans have been banging the Social Security drum forever and they are now sure to get concessions, although probably not to affect us too much. My guess is our kids will have to work a couple more years, and perhaps we will ante up more taxes on what we get. I may try to keep working, maybe don’t want to quit until I fall over. Certainly the returns we are getting on investments have nearly halved already and there is no reason that the bond market is likely to recover. Maybe pesos are a good idea:)

Immigration will change. This will be very painful for lots and lots of people, but as a dyed-in-the-wool Amurkins with blue eyes and history, not so much for us. If they would just cut off new immigration and leave people alone who are already here, I could get behind that myself. Didn’t this vote just tell us that there is already not enough to go around? What they mean is there are not enough scraps from the ruling class table to go around, but somehow Der Donald, billionaire asshole that he is, does not count, like he alone deserves all the diamonds or something. What???

Since we have had such a long run of do-nothing legislators, I am also signing up for front seats at that party when Der Donald tells them to just figure it out and get it done or he will fire them. I saw his long-time campaign manager last night actually say this, that the Big Man doesn’t have actual plans, just will toss each hot potato to the people who have been elected to resolve these things. In fact, I kind of like that. Serves ‘em right.

And so, while I am wearing my metaphorical black armband and feel hung over and depressed, I am not without curiosity and interest in the coming changes. My worst fears center around what might happen when his white, gun-toting, iconoclastic public realizes that he has pimped them too, that he will not feel the first shiver of allegiance for their vote because he is a narcissistic sociopath and won’t owe them a goddamn thing. My guess he went on the campaign trial either because some snooty elite club would not let him play golf there and he was going to show them, or he has an eye on some of those oil contracts himself. Either way, he isn’t there to improve their lives.

Or ours. Buy a generator.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dark Goddess Review: Dr. Strange

Everybody into the pool for this one! Dr. Strange, in addition to providing nearly two hours of blissful Cumberbatch watching, might be subtitled The Rehabilitation of Psychedelics. Get out those old beads and feathers, folks, and go to the movies:)

I have been immersed in the world of comic book heroes for several years, compliments of my avid superhero-worshipping grandson and his sister, who loves a good explosion. This has been okay with me (and with them, since I pay) considering my own Superman and Batman fascination, while it didn't last into puberty, took up a lot of my childhood energy. I surely wish my Grandma had not given all those 1950s comic books away! But I digress.

Going to the movies with Gabe and Emma has kept me abreast of the latest in computer graphics, reintroduced me to my updated old friends, and introduced me to a whole raft of new characters with powers undreamed of in my innocent youth. And if I can't remember which gang is which, or who belongs to what movie, Gabe is there to educate me. I have even found several to be stellar productions, and Dr. Strange, along with Guardians of the Galaxy and Antman, is among the best.

Gabe says that Strange is a new Marvel character, and rather than getting his powers from a lab accident or radiation or some other disaster, he learns them as a talented student of sorcery, kind of David Carradine with electricity. Cumberbatch is no stranger to the kind of arrogance a wunderkind like Strange needs to be believable, and this is the source of much humor sprinkled into the melodrama of his fall and recovery through the spirit arts. He is at first a reluctant and then a spectacular sorcerer and I look forward to his next performance.

But the real star of the show was the special effects folks - and I counted at least 18 companies listed in the credits, including post-production sound that hinted echoes of the 70s by Lucas's Skywalker Sound. The bending and folding of reality for much of the story was spectacular, all those companies combining their skills to create a multi-dimensional psychedelic battleground for action that included just a touch of steampunk - a nostalgic dip in time and space that will lift your spirits as it lights up your memories like a night game.

Don't miss this one:)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Bullet Train to Tinseltown

I had another train dream last night. Trains have been big in my life. My dad was a station master for the B&O railroad all the time I was growing up, as was his father before him. It meant we had passes to ride, and my grandmother took me to both coasts: to the monuments to history in D.C. and the monuments to childhood in Disneyland, more than enough to give me a taste for travel.

I find now that trains are one of my four big symbols: rivers, bridges, buildings, and trains. Rivers represent my own source and creative energies; bridges are transitions; buildings are scaffolds for structuring my life; and trains take me where I want to go.

I've had lots of train dreams. Usually they are transport in a quest of some kind - I am looking for something or someone. The trains are often city infrastructure, rather than distance trains, and I am usually running to get to one in time or anxiously waiting to get to my destination. Sometimes I am confused and get the wrong train, and sometimes I miss it all together. But they are all transportation to somewhere I want to go and carry a sense of excitement and fun, even when I am lost.

This dream was different. It was a small city train except old fashioned and more like a circus train with open cars and flatbeds, and it took me through what looked like a commercial center and then curved away toward more residential streets. It felt open like a trolly, and I didn’t care where it took me. I did not have a book and was thinking that since I didn’t know where this train would take me, probably I would have to ride all the way to the suburb end and then come back. I figured I could look up a map on my smart phone when I felt like it, but I was apathetic – not unhappy but unfocused and just riding for the ride.

I found the dream alarming, as I am hardly ever apathetic. Still, when I asked myself what it meant, I had to admit that the last few months I have been working from a playlist, just checking off finished tasks, not engaging in the stack of Things To Do that are usually my raison d'ĂȘtre. The truth is, there are so many tasks in that stack right now that it could just be that I am feeling overwhelmed. I've become a passive observer of my own trip and not a player, taking the ride and missing the significance. Tsk tsk!

I need a good thrashing. Aren't I the one who likes to be busy? Aren't I the person who loves to make things? Glories in the construction? Plunges immediately on finishing one thing into the sea of the next? From houses to books to histories, building requires many steps and a very big scrap pile. I need reminding that I am a process kind of girl and quit feeling sorry for myself that this time I made such a huge mess to sort. After all, I like sorting.

And I am going to get off that back-and-forth circus train and find me instead a bullet train straight to tinseltown:)