Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Believe That There Is a Place In This Universe Where Everything

That Everyone

Has Ever Done

Which They Did Out Of Love

Has Been Turned Into A Golden Monument

Of Their Beautiful Deed

And

I Believe

Though It Is A "Monument"

It, Itself, Lives And Breathes

(In Other Words,

I Believe That "Monument" Is A Living Breathing Being)


I Believe Heaven Is Going To Be A Place Which Is So Far Beyond Our Imagining

We

Will Be Shocked

By The Love And Forgiveness Of Our God!

Bone Chilling Brilliance


I love my friend Michael Travis. Thanks to him for sending this to me. It is the Byrds performing "Hey Mr. Tambourine Man" along with Bob Dylan (the writer of the song.) I think one of the important things to note here is that David Crosby is among the perfomers.

David Crosby is, himself capable of Bone Chilling Brilliance.

Here's the video.


Take Me To The River


When my friends and I were about 15-17 years old, we were a bunch of complete nerds. We all played rock n' roll music, but we were considered complete outcasts.

It was actually very funny to us.

We basically just sat around and laughed at how stupid everyone else was for not "getting us."

I know that sounds arrogant, but what the fuck.

Anyway, we had this one friend named Shane who was one of the most incredible guitar players I have ever heard in my life. Shane was a genius (which is a word it may sound like I throw around too casually, but whatever ... - I'm telling you the guy could play like Randy Rhoades meets Vinnie Campbell meets Robert Fripp meets Lightning Hopkins, when he was only fifteen years old).

So, here was perhaps the funniest thing about Shane. He was a desperate caffeine addict.

Because he was so young, he was an addict who had no access to a car. So here's what would happen. Shane would drink the largest Cokes he could find. And, he would drink them constantly, and anywhere he could find them.

He drank so much Coca Cola (it had to be Coca Cola, not Pepsi) that he we constantly had to stop whatever we were doing so he could take a piss.

He pissed like a River.

So, we decided that we were going to call large Cokes, "Rivers."

(I bet that when you read the title of this post you never had any idea that that was coming, did you?)

:)

Now, here's the thing. Shane was such a connoisseur of Coca Cola that he had determined which fast food outlets made "good" Coca Cola mixes, and which one's did not.

I know, I know, this story is too hard to be believed, isn't it?

Shane would call us up early in the morning (Imagine this, I'm sixteen with my piece of shit station wagon - that got like nine fucking miles a gallon - that I had bought because I had to hall around my band equipment - and I'm fucking insane tired because I played a gig the night before) and he would say to me, "Uhm, could you take me to get a "River"?)

So, here's a guy asking me to drive the five fucking miles over to his house, because he doesn't have a car, and it's 7:00 in the fucking morning, and he's in the throes of a sad and desperate caffeine addiction, and he needs me to take him to get a "River."

So, I would have mercy on him and do it.

Now, sometimes, I had other shit to do too. By "other shit", I mean stuff like, you know, go to school, go to work, go to the library to study, etc.

So, in other words, I wasn't just going to take Shane to his favorite fast food outlet to get his favorite Coca Cola mix ...

No!

I was going to take him to the fast food outlet that was on the way to wherever I had to go.

Now, Shane's least favorite fast food outlet for Coca Cola mix was Del Taco. I can't say I blamed him. Truthfully, back in the seventies, Del Taco's Coca Cola Mix tasted like someone had imbued it with strychnine or something. It would hurt my stomach.

However, if Del Taco was the only option, well then, it was the only option.

But, if I were to take Shane to Del Taco to get him his "River" then he would get very, very upset with me, and he would sit in the back seat of my car, sucking on his straw, and getting ever more pissed off with every swallow of that acrid liquid.

He would eventually start complaining and cursing at me for having subjected him to such a shitty Coca Cola fix.

Now, understand, I was not the only person he would do this to. As I said, Shane was a genius guitar player, so there were an awful lot of young guys like me who were willing to put up with his strange behavior and abuse.

However, one can only take such a level of absolutely ridiculous and stupid abuse for just so long.
We had to get back at him somehow. So, here's what we did:

We had another friend (another guy who was considered an incredible nerd), who was a computer programming guy. His name was Randy.

So, we called up Randy and we told him we wanted to design a video game about Shane called "Take Me To The River."

The object of the game was to get enough money for gas, so you could go pick up Shane in your car, and take him to get a "River."

However, that was not the end of it.

Once, you got the money for gas, you then had to drive over to Shane's house, pick him up, get him into the car (while in the throes of his caffeine addiction and resultant crankiness - with him in the back going, "Uhm, god damn it, I hate this ... I hate that ...), and take him to buy a "River."

In the game we designed, one would win points for whether they were able to accomplish the feat of pleasing Shane by taking him to a fast food outlet which he considered to produce a decent Coca Cola mix.

The highest number of points you could get were for if you were able to find a 7-11. The second highest number of points would be rewarded for McDonald's.

However, and this was the death blow of the video game, if you happened to only be able to find a Del Taco, and if that is where you took Shane for his desperately needed "River", then you would, likely, have to pull the car over to the side of the road several minutes later for him to throw up in the gutter.

If that happened, you were dead.

Game Over!

The New CUANAS:
What The Hell Happened?
There Must Have Been Some Sort Of Split


A friend, who has been on the road, and therefore without internet access much of the time, wrote to me this morning and said:


I can't wait till I get the chance to read your new & improved CUANAS posts now. Your childhood is becoming like a puzzle. Because look how you always paint your later childhood as troubled, but really, here's a clue that your early childhood was great - your family was willing to indulge your coin collecting hobby and actually create a whole trip around you.

(He's referring to something I told him personally which was that, when I was eight, I was able to persuade my parents to drive from California to Colorado to go visit the Denver Mint, because I had a fascination with the minting of coins.)

Maybe it's like a tragedy - so much promise, but then there was a fall/split.


My reply is:

Yeah actually, that's a very well-defined way to explain it. My parents loved me very much, and they were told from a very early age that I was a "extremely gifted" and that they ought to try to help me along with that. And they tried, and tried.

They knew, for instance that my coin collecting hobby had more to do with history than the coins themselves, because I used to go on and on about Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson and the various guys on the coins.

But, I was also fascinated about the way the coins were minted. (I was also fascinated by the beauty in the design of the coins, and the flaws in them.)

By the way, the whole trip wasn't planned around me. We didn't drive to Colorado to go to the Denver Mint.

Instead, what happened is, we were driving to Pennsylvania to see family. Ordinarily, back in those days, a family would have gone on Route 66 which, as I remember it (cuz we did it before) takes you through Arizona, and a bunch of other deserty places.

So, because I insisted, my parents chose the Colorado Route, and we went to the Denver Mint.

You are right that my parents loved me very much, and that there was a breakdown, at a certain point, in my family, and my childhood went from being happy, to being very sad, and hard to deal with.

I don't want to feel sorry for myself (too much) ...

:)

but I do believe that what happened in my family, in terms of the breakdown, mirrored much of society in the 70's.

I remember watching the news and TV shows and seeing things that were happening in the real world, and being portrayed in fictional movies, and sitcoms like All In The Family, and thinking to myself, "Look, that's us, there's my family."

It's a hard thing to explain in one post.

It's a whole story.

But yes, I'm going to try to explain it.

It's more like a book in progress.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

You Do What You Must


My wife is a great woman, and an incredible support to me. Not only that, but her family supports me, and believes in what I am doing because they have had direct personal experience with the problem of Islamofascism when they lived in the Phillipines.

You would not believe the extent to which the men of my wife's family support me! I am not going to go into it specifically.

However, I will attempt to tell you what my relationship with my wife is like.

Here are some lyrics from a Bob Dylan song called Buckets of Rain. These words are the kinds (of kind) of words my beautiful wife whispers to me when we are alone:


Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin' out of my ears.
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand,
I got all the love, honey baby,
You can stand.

I been meek
And hard like an oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke.
Friends will arrive, friends will disappear,
If you want me, honey baby,
I'll be here.

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must.
You do what you must do and ya do it well,
I'll do it for you, honey baby,
Can't you tell?



I am a blessed man!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Congratulations, Barry Bonds!
I Love You!
You Are The Greatest Player Ever To Play The Game Of Baseball!



I grew up in Los Angeles. I am a Dodger fan, but I am no dummy. I am not a myopic Dodger fan.

We Dodger fans are supposed to hate the Giants.

Barry Bonds is a San Francisco Giant.

But, I have watched him with admiration for years. There, in my opinion, has never been anyone like him in any sport.

My biggest sports hero of all-time is Wilt Chamberlain. But, I believe Bonds exceeds even the great Wilt Chamberlain.

It makes me very angry that he is the object of scorn.

It is all a bunch of bullshit. I'm not saying the man did not take steroids. I have no idea if he did. My inclination is he did.

However, I have never seen a baseball player as dedicated, and dialed in, and intense, as he is.

Greatness is a thing to revered, not reviled. Our generation ought to be ashamed of itself for the way it has treated Barry Bonds.

I believe history will bear me out on this.

Check back in thrity years.











Now, let's watch him up close. In other words, the next is not a fan video, but is instead a real video. No one could get a pitch by this guy when he was at his peak!





Do you see that?

The man knows what he is doing. He sees a baseball like no one has ever seen a baseball before.

When I was eleven years old, I forced my parents to sit down and watch Henry Aaron break Babe Ruth's record. I told them they had to do so because it was a "historic moment" as I put it.

You must understand, my parents were not, at all, big fans of black people. They did not want to participate in their young son's silliness.

I remember that moment so clearly.

I took out my Kodak Instamatic camera, and took a picture of the Television screen as Aaron hit the homerun. I did not understand that the flashbulb would darken out the screen, so when I got the photos developed, I was incredibly disappointed.

However, of course, the memory will forever be with me.

Congrats, Barry.

You da' man.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The New CUANAS:
Here Is a Work of "Fiction"
By Me -
It Is Called
"This Beauty Is Written Within Me
"


I've always considered myself to be a "spiritual" person. What exactly I mean by that, I am not sure. I guess I mean, it seems to me I have a "spirit" and I am aware of it. But, I never really entertained the idea that my spirit connected to anything, except nature, and the odd woman.

I mean there were times earlier in my life, when I would meet a woman and it was as if a door opened in my soul. Kind of like those dreams you have where you're walking through your house, and you find rooms you didn't know were there. That's what it would be like. I'd meet a woman and I would find other rooms, more ornately adorned and frangrant places inside myself.

And when I would make love to a woman who opened these new rooms, I would feel as if she reached in to them and helped to decorate them with herself. I wasn't clear about it, though. It seemed as if, maybe, these new rooms in my soul were her rooms. Maybe they weren't rooms in my soul at all. Maybe they were the private, but infinite, amphitheatres of her heart.

Certainly, some women inspired in me a feeling of openess, within myself, which was larger than the spaces I had previously known myself to encompass. I feel as if I, Screaming Memes, live in a small room with a window to an infinite view, a study, within which, one can read many books which look out into the sky. So, I have an infinite feeling within me, but I feel confined personally, if that makes sense.

When I say "infinite amphitheatre" for instance, I remember, literally, with one woman, of whom I was particularly fond, I felt as if I had enlarged exponentially. One time I was with her and it felt like I was dancing with her on the peak of a hill with a valley below, a 360 view of valleys and green hills and mountains.

Now, it could have just been the marijuana, but that was the image I got. Truth is, we were just talking, alone in a room, and I was holding her close.

I'm trying to be honest with myself here. I remember a time, when I was younger, when I felt these moments of profound peace. I called them "spiritual" experiences then, but I didn't give any thought to where they came from. These experiences I have had here in Maui the past few days have inspired a calmness and a contemplation which I find difficult to achieve in the frenetic environment of the city, as I'm sure you can tell.

I haven't felt like this for a long time. I really don't know what to think.

But, I feel as if I'm coming to some sort of clearing, like stepping out of a thick forest into, well, I don't know.

I can say this. There was a feeling of destiny, or foreordination, about the experiences I have had. But, here's the really strange thing. There was also a feeling of deja vu, like I had experienced all of this before. No, not even just experienced, but that I had participated in creation in some way. I don't know how to explain this.

Certainly, I know that the beach, and the mountains of Maui, are beyond my scope to imagine, let alone create. That is laughable. I am, absolutely, awed by their beauty, but I feel as if I have sat, somewhere, with someone, before, and had it all explained to me. That's what I mean by foreordination.

I feel as if this beauty is written in me.

Now, I know I'm not being specific about anything here. I'm talking about the essence of my experience. I'm being abstract.

Truthfully, emotonally, it's hard for me to say that, when I was out walking with my friend Ngude the other day, I was moved, almost to tears, just by looking at one large, veined, impossibly green leaf, which hung down from a tree, at a delicate and, somehow perfect angle, right in my path. It's hard to explain how it seemed so right to me. So excellent, and deserving of a loving, almost sexual adoration. But it's true. I looked at the web of it's veins. The liquid sheen of it, belying it's more sublte textures; it's fingerprint. A leaf I would have just thought to be in my way, on another day, if say, I were walking in Central Park

.Or, how do I say that the constant roar of a waterfall, we found hidden in a little cove, gave off a massive sense of stillness? How do I explain that I felt pinned, or rather struck immovable, by silence, while all raged furiously around me? And yet I was still fully under control of my will. I looked at the waterfall, and moved my hand up in front of my face, just to see if I could move. I could, but it was as if the stillness was a living being, born inside me, and once again, the deja vu.

These are very disjointed thoughts, perhaps. I'm sorry if I'm not making any sense to you. I'm trying to make these things make sense to me.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My Mom:
More On
The Disintegration


As I wrote yesterday, my family went through a period of approximately three years (when I was 11-13 year old, when we almost fell apart. Much of this was due to my mother and her severe dislike of my Grandmother.

Honestly, I could not figure out what it was that my Mom hated so much about my Grandma. She seemed like an innocuous old bitty to me. She mostly sat in her bedroom, read the Bible, and said Grandma-type stuff when she was walking around the house.

Now, the thing is, as I had to do in my post yesterday, in order to explain the history of the Disintegration that I witnessed when I was a child, and in order to put it into the context of the history of 1963-1977, I think I need to almost immediately tell you about my Mom's family.

This story is something else. You almost aren't going to believe me.

My Mom's family was among the wealthiest families, if not the most wealthy family, in the town she was raised in.

The town they were from was NAMED AFTER HER FAMILY.

Her father was the Mayor. He was also the Pharmacist, and a big landowner. I remember going back to visit when I was eight. The house was awesome. And, it was on a plot of land that I would estimate to have been at least five or six acres. And, this was long after they had sold off most of their property. It was quite a beautiful place.

But, all did not go well for my Mom's family. As was true for my Dad and his Father and his Uncle, my Mother's Father (my Grandfather) died when my Mom was very young. She was six. That would have been 1931.

In other words, both of my parent's fathers died right at the outset of the Depression.

Her family was large. There were seven children. Because the family was so large, my Mom's Dad dealt with his children by spending one night a week with each of them. Each night it was another one of the children's turn to sit on Dad's lap in his study with him.

My mother's Father died of a massive heart attack one evening, as he walked into the house. That was on the night it was my Mother's turn to spend the evening on her Dad's lap.

When my mother told me this story (I must have been seven), it was very clear to me that she had never gotten over that sad fact. She felt cheated. Not by her father, but by God. My Mom and her family were, actually, very religious people. They were Lutherans, and my Mom would never curse God for her destiny, but you can see the look on a person's face, and I think you all know what I mean here.

There is a sense in which my Mother has looked back at her history, and has turned, like Lot's wife, into a Pillar of Salt.

Weird thing is, then, I had to grow up watching the result of that.

I watched as my mother would repeatedly go off to the Emergency Room, and to Doctors with various perceived illnesses which the Doctors couldn't figure out.

My Mom was a kind of hypochondriac, but at the same time, she was always believed in a Holistic approach to medicine. Consequently, she would not take any of the Medication which was offered to her.

That's probably a good thing, because for the most part, her Doctors would recommend that 60's and 70's panacea; the "Tranquilizer."

If my Mom had listened to her Doctors, she would have probably become a drug addict like so many other Mom's were back in those days.

So, I gotta admire the decisions my Mom made. At the same time, I recognized that, like my Dad, the problems that she was going through were not physical. I truly do believe that both my parents were victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In other words, their maladies, their stresses, their insecurities were the result of the mental damage caused by the lives they had been saddled with.

I remember my Mother sitting up in bed with me late at night, talking and talking, and telling me that sometimes she just had to back away from all the stress, and the only thing that she could do to make her feel better was to return to her roots; to go to Church and listen to the hymns. (Her mother had been the Church organist and a music teacher).

She said, often, she could not even comprehend the words of the Pastor, because her mind was in too much of a frazzle, but she could always find something which would give her solace.

My mother started talking to me like this when I was a very young boy. I would estimate that I eight or nine when my Mom started discussing such things with me.

I know now that that is unhealthy, but of course, as a young boy, I loved my Mother and I suffered for her. I truly felt bad for her.

Now I know, she believed she couldn't trust her husband. Truth is, I don't think she trusted men. I think something happened to her that caused her to begin to believe that men were mean.

As I got older, she exiled my Dad from his own family.

He eventually built a shack in the backyard, and sat out there smoking and watching TV, and avoiding the family.

At the time, I thought that was strange. Now that I am older, it seems even stranger, but I actually understand what was going on, and I forgive him for it.

I will talk more about this subject later. I want to stick to the subject of my Mother in this post.

Now, here's the thing, think about it, why would my Mom talk to me late at night about her personal feelings and insecurities?

Why?

The answer is, and this is why I say it was a sick relationship, because SHE MADE ME HER HUSBAND.

In other words, at the age of approximately eight or nine years old, I began to take on the emotional duties and responsibilites of being a husband to my own, mentally-troubled and sick mother.

And somehow, because I really was a rather brilliant little kid, I was up to it. I could talk to her, and I could settle her down, and I could make her feel better about herself, and her place in life, and that gave me gratification.

There is a sense in which I truly believe this experience has made me a stronger person, and even a better husband.

But, there is a sense in which I believe it truly caused me to gradually aquire many of the same problems my parents struggled with.

Anyway, at this point, you might be wondering, why is it that I think that my story actually has any relevance to our current political situation in Western Civilization?

Well, here's the reason my friends. I believe it is an example of the breakdown of authority; of respect for authority, which begins with the respect a child needs to have for his or her parents.

As I said yesterday in my post about my Dad, my Mother really tried to do the best job she could. However, she had problems, and those problems are visited upon the third and fourth generation. Sadly, and as much as I attempt for this not to be true, some of these problems are going to be inherited by my kids. Because I suffer from them myself.

Now, getting back to the breakdown of authority, my parents were WWII generation people. Their formative years were the Depression and WWII.

There is a reason why the men and women of that era ended up parenting the "Baby-Boomer/Hippie Generation, which has so destroyed our beautiful Western Civilization.

In my opinion, from having watched my parents go through what they went through, I believe they had been so overwhelmed by the reality of their formative years that their entire goal was simply to make my life easier on me, than it had been on me.

They were a combination of distant (unattainable/unvailable) and allowing. They tried to give me everything I wanted. They did not want me to be denied all the things which were so sadly denied to them. But, no one should get everything they want.

My parents basically allowed me to run amok from the time I was very young.

It did not help them that I was a kind of intellectual prodigy who could basically con them and outsmart them at every turn.

And then, of course, they fell apart, as I have been alluding to, in the years between 1974-1976.

Oh my god, what a fuckin' life I have had.

I'm sorry this is such a long story to unfold. You're gonna see what I mean, as the story does truly unfold.

I have not begun to tell you the half of it.

Joe Sees The Moon


This is from the movie Joe Vs. The Volcano. Joe is abandoned at sea on a raft, and he is facing death.

I am so glad that YouTube has this up, so that I get to share it with you all. This is one of the most beautiful scenes in the history of American-filmaking.

Notice that Joe says, "I forgot how Big ..." and then he never completes the sentence.

There is a very good reason that Tom Hanks, who started out his career as a goofy comedian, became an important actor.

He truly is a genius, and this scene, along with the filmaker's direction, is proves it.