King of Prussia, Paoli, Berwyn, Chesterbrook. Valley Forge Suites.
“300” on IMAX.
“This American Life”
“The Hot Kid”
My road trip to King of Prussia to see “300” on IMAX was fun. I like exploring. It’s in my bones. There are things that I have predilections for and I have no idea why: knives and swords and maps. They fascinate me. So when I found out it was available for my phone I got the Telenav system on my way up to Pennsylvania. No knives, though, even though there was a guy selling swords at the Greenbelt Shopping Plaza. Not necessary for King of Prussia.
Anyway, good times. Would have been cool to have some company but I also like flying solo. Boundless freedom. the room I had at Valley Forge Suites had a bedroom and a living room area with a sofa bed and another TV. What a waste of space to not have a guest. I will say this about my travels. Next time I go on a road trip I’m going to dress differently. I’m going to dress up a little bit. Wearing a sweatshirt — even an OBX sweatshirt — gets a lone black man much suspicion from pretty much everybody.
It’s hard to meet people in that context. Or … not even meet people but interact freely. Superhero T-shirts are a good conversation starter. And pins of musical instruments. So the next I go roaming around, which will be more often because I have to get some use out of the GPS subscription, I’m going to be in a socially assertive/approachable mode.
Ben Harper’s “Both Sides of the Gun”, especially “Picture in a Frame”, were the soundtrack to my Outer Banks vacation last September. The 300 road trip, “This American Life” and Elmore Leonard’s “The Hot Kid” are signatures.
OFF THE TRACKS
Here’s the part where I try to remember anything that bridges the synovial gaps in my brain matter.
We should be growing hemp. Why the heck aren’t we growing hemp? It’s so stupid. I am by no means anti-religion despite the way religions are misused and abused by their so-called practitioners. I am anti-recreational drug, though. And although I am mistrustful of corporations and think they have too much power, I realize their value. I think I heard somewhere that hemp was rebuffed along with marijuana because hemp was a threat to the cotton industry at some point. And of course there’s America’s pseudo-Puritanical hypocritical bulls— morays. I mean, c’mon. Alcohol is legal, tobacco is legal (even subsidized by the government despite the fact that it will kill you), marijuana is illegal. Wha?
I’m mixing things up, though. Weed has as much to do with commercial hemp as heroin has to do with poppy seeds on your bagel. Absurd.
Hemp is to textiles, food, biomass and materials what rats are to rodents. Wait. That’s not a very good analogy. Not at all. Man. I’m slippin’. Point is, it’s extremely versatile, strong, durable, healthy, etc.
Let’s get with it, America. We could be a major exporter of hemp products and goods.
Rich pundits on TV keep talking about how good the economy is. They can’t figure out why Americans don’t seem to realize this. I heard a lot about sub-prime lending recently. Had to look it up on the ol’ interweb. The way I see it, the economy seems strong because it’s being supported on the backs of the middle class and lower classes. Our debt — and I have my share — is propping up the economy. Meanwhile the US is borrowing money from China and other countries. The country is a few billion or trillion (who knows) dollars in debt and yet we say the economy is doing well. We’re going to be in trouble in a few decades. Social security is going to crumble like an abandoned auto assembly factory and the politicians are saying that we’ll just give the people their money — sounds good on the surface — to invest in mutual funds and the stock market.
Remember what happened to the stock market about two weeks ago? China has a bad day and markets around the world dip drastically. Yikes. Remember the bursting tech bubble back around 2001-2002? This is what we’re supposed to rely on for our retirement years? I’m not sure retirement will be a familiar concept by the time I’m in my late 50’s or early 60’s. I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I’m in trouble. I wonder how this is all going to pan out. Can you say “soylent green”?
From “Saul of the Mole Men”:
“Saul, wait! This thing with Johnny, it’s just …. It’s just incredibly passionate, transcendent sex and the deepest kind of romantic love. So, please. I cherish you as a friend… a totally sexless friend.”
DEATH AND ERODING SANITY (You may want to skip this part)
I was going to write another blog about this and make it private, but I’m all soporific right now and pondering another Woodchuck Draft Cider so I don’t really care. I mean, I don’t want to weird anybody out or be morbid or depressing. Still, I embrace my insanity. Join me, won’t you?
Every once in a while I start thinking about death. You ever just think about dying? What it means to be dead? Someone asked me once if Christians and others believe in an afterlife, shouldn’t they be unafraid of dying? In theory, yes. But I was scared after I graduated from high school and entering college. And graduating from college, moving out to California. And I mean significantly stressed. And these are the things that many, many people have already done. So it’s valid to be afraid of dying, I think, regardless of your beliefs. It’s the great unknown. Yet it’s universal. It’s the way of things. In our four dimensional reality, every thing that is, will eventually not be.
To put it another way, life is a terminal condition.
The other day I was on the verge of napping and then realized that I had to get on the road. I snapped out of that half-sleep reverie to an intense thought, a nearly tangible appreciation of the juxtaposition of being alive and the impending … not being alive. I don’t know how to explain this but I’m going to try because I often wonder if anyone else out there has ever had this experience. I would welcome not feeling alone in this.
It’s like all of the defenses, the barriers, the distractions that distance us from our mortality are stripped away and I’m bare. Like it’s underneath the surface but the surface is a layer of ice getting thinner all the time. Then I scramble for another thought, or something to do to build up the layers of diversion, to refreeze the baring patches of ice before the surface starts to splinter like fractured glass.
I watch TV and movies and people are killed left and right and it doesn’t mean anything. In revenge movies you feel good when the bad guy gets killed at the end. In real life someone is executed and some say, “Good riddance.”
The now-ness of being here, thinking, feeling, pontificating and … it ends. I’m here then I’m not. My God. Y’know. Like, imagine going to sleep. And then you wake up, right. But you don’t. To sleep for an eternity and never wake to recall a dream.
I’m not doing a very good job at explaining this. But I wonder if it means anything when I get these sensations. And it is a very palpable sensation. I wonder if it’s a premonition. Is it mental illness? Just anxiety? Is it my way of coping with the waning health of family members and pet? The fear of the occasional palpitating sensations in my own chest? Do other people experience this?
And I don’t want to be afraid of dying. I want to be ready when it’s my time. I once told a friend that I want to die with a sense of peace even if it’s a violent death. Feeling that I’ve lived. I want to have done something. Accomplished something. To connect. To really connect with people. And I want to live at least with the passion that’s a recognition of the miracle of existing in the first place. To pay homage to being here, to being alive. With all of you.
I’m out of words.
This has been in the news recently. Or on talk shows, at least. I’m rehashing things I’ve written before in this blog but I refine it a little each time so bear with me.
I don’t think it’s wrong for someone to think that homosexuality is immoral. General Pace shouldn’t have to resign for saying so. But he does deserve the heat for saying so. Free country and all that. You can say what you believe but you gotta deal with the repercussions when you do. Gay people should be in the military, I say. All of them. Well, the ones that want to be. There are plenty of healthy, patriotic gay people who make great translators and …what? It was in the news! The Farsi translators that were discharged because they’re gay even though there’s a shortage of translators at a critical time.
If that’s what General Pace believes based on his religion/philosophy that’s what he believes. You may be wondering, would I say the same thing about racists? Yes I would. There’s a guy across the street from one of my sisters who flies a big ass confederate flag. Then again, that is Dundalk so confederate flags aren’t such a rare sight. Whatev. Knock yourself out. I’ve had plenty of racist friends and co-workers. I’m making a distinction here, by the way, between beliefs and hate/violence. You can disapprove of someone’s actions and behaviors but still have love for them and care about them.
You don’t have to hate gay people to disapprove of homosexuality. And it can be a little threatening, especially if there’s a gay person with a point to make, an axe to grind, or a society to transform in your face. Me, I’ve got no problem with gay folk. Gay marriage — go for it. I’m curious to see what the divorce rate will be. Can you top the 55% divorce rate of evangelical Christians? Let’s see what you’re made of.
And when I say “no problem”, I’m not claiming that there’s not some resistance. I’m not going to b.s. you or myself. What I don’t like are walking talking stereotypes. What does a lisp have to do with being gay? Someone please explain this to me. That drives me nuts. Anyway, I believe that sexuality is more of a spectrum than a binary absolute — not a sexual 1 or 0. If it were an absolute then how come a guy can tell if another guy is attractive or not? Or can tell what guys are more attractive to the ladies? Why have that capacity at all, from an evolutionary bio-psychological perspective?
I remember hearing that Constitution Party guy who ran for president, Steve or Mike Peroutka, say with a tone of smug disdain: “Sure, we’re all sinners but not all of us are homosexual sodomizers.”
Asshole. And I say that because he’s willfully wrong/ignorant even by his own standards. Societal prejudice trumps Bible? That doesn’t seem right.
Still, you can’t claim that people should be tolerant of gayness and then turn around and be intolerant of people who disapprove of gayness. That’s a badly written sentence. Man, what’s wrong with my brain tonight. That’s like those people who go to Klan rallies saying, “Kill the Klan because they’re full of hate! Let’s beat the s— out of these hateful bastards!”
Y’know? Let’s be real. And by “be intolerant of” I mean to demonize or mentally dehumanize someone. In my defense, calling someone an asshole is merely insulting and labeling them but not dehumanizing them. At least for the sake of this blog entry. All definitions are subject to change depending on what supports my argument at the time.
Tivo’s done taping 24. I think I’ll watch it.
|Currently reading :
Indecision: A Novel
By Benjamin Kunkel
Release date: By 11 April, 2006
|S. Flick I