I had a wonderful day yesterday, June 28, at my sister-in-law’s matriarchal family reunion in Kramer, Georgia, where the gnats, or fruit flies, flew in aggressive but innocuously indifferent annoying persistence. We were at the Baptist church wherein Pat and Jim, my sister-in-law’s parent’s, exchanged matriarchal vows of terrestrial love for each other back, I believe he told me, in ‘62.
Yesterday really wo’e out my fat ass. It was a long, enjoyable day, but when I got home, I was dead tired. Although, it took a while for me to un-tense the stress that was in my neck and shoulders—from sitting in my wheelchair all day in an aggressively warm south Georgian sun... in June—so I asked my music source to play songs randomly. Soon Joni Mitchell was singing “Come Love,” an interpretation that I don’t recall my ever hearing before, and it was sultry… really nice. I found out that it is from Joni Mitchell’s album “Both Sides Now.”
Miss Joni’s album “Both Sides Now” won the 2001 Vocal Jazz Album of the Year from Juno Awards that, according to wikipedia, is
presented annually to Canadian musical artists and bands to acknowledge their musical and technical achievements in all aspects of music.
Again, when I went to bed last night the song “Comes Love,” as interpreted by Joni Mitchell, was playing, and it blew me away with her swinging emphasis on the second and forth downbeat and her very appealing sense of timing that she so effectively yet subtly employs by singing just behind the beat until she rushes the song’s catchphrase at the end of a melodic musical waterfall that she sings in a rapid descending vocal riff that reinforces the listener’s realization that there is a remedy for many of Life’s trials and tribulations, but when it comes to Love, “nothing can be done.”
I decided just this morning that I was going to write today, which, I know, is about as surprising as Trump’s deciding to add—to his diurnal schedule—enough time, in between his golfing trysts, to include Executive Play Time: a big boy’s reward that decrees his concupiscently [sic] leering—for, at least one half of an hour—at opportune pubescent pudendal possibilities, but I decided that I would write while listening to Joni Mitchell’s 2000 album Both Sides Now, on repeat, which has given me an opportunity to have in the background an auricular reminder of Miss Joni’s positive energy, and this may be something that I may further explore.
My life has allowed me, inexplicably, to meet and socially interact with some of the Southeast’s most accomplished and auricularly [sic] thaumaturgic jazz musicians, which is really neither hear nor there [pun intended], but one of them is Nashville’s own Miss Annie Sellick, who, not too terribly long ago, asked me to review one of her albums, a task for which, musical speaking, I am woefully unqualified (i.e. with academic accuracy and precision of musical theory that evades me); however…
I now realize... while Joni emotes in the background with the musical lyricism of a songbird’s magic... that this was exactly what Annie didn’t want: an academically precise and accurate review of her dynamic and emotionally elative music, so I may discuss this with her in the future… if I remember… there’s so much shit going on: the immigrants on the border, children, are being treated like caged animals... in abattoirs; Trump just made an ass of himself in the Korean Demilitarization Zone
; Trump is planning a gaudy Fourth of July fiasco; and he’s campaigning [(has he ever stopped?)] to treat all immigrants as chattel, but I digress…
I speak and write of Jazz, glowingly, simply because I love it’s complexity. More appropriately, I really dig the very many jazz musicians that I have met… I dig how they improvise… how they solo… how they spontaneously compose really creative and complex alternative melodies (and, for multi-noted instrumentalists, like the pianist and the guitarist, who spontaneously composes alternative, and oft surprising, chordal arrangements) over an already complex chordal structure... it’s this incredible art of soloing that makes Jazz my personal passion. It is why I also dig the blues, rock, classical, bluegrass... really any kind of music that highlights the musicians’ individual skills of improvisation… of their making music that that particular moment in time dictated/dictates... the synergetic positive energy, the confabulation between each musician in the ensemble (vocal and instrumental), the venue itself, and all this in relation to the cosmos. I dig soloing musicians, regardless of ilk, who compose extemporaneous alternative melodies that are both creative and musically accepted by even the most modest musical admire... like when my friend La’Roy Bodiford plays his tenor sax (his emotive style inspires even the most modest neophyte to the jazzonian experience), making music a more communal event than just simply an exercise in the individual’s niggardly egocentricity of using music exclusively for self-fulfillment.
Seems to me that many potential music lovers are turned away from the art form, regardless of ilk, because of an elitist’s insistence to delve insidiously fastidiously into the cerebral analyzing of a piece of music instead of enjoying its emotional relevance, with the intent to dissect the more objective academic precision of, say, a Charlie Parker solo over the song “Confirmation,” without understanding the passion of his actually manipulating the notes to
what his soul is screaming. This may have been what Miss Annie Sellick wanted from me.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
—Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio
[Joni Mitchell’s interpretation of At Last (the same song for which Etta James’ interpretation is, effectively, arguably, its most iconic interpretation) is currently playing in the background as the sun bakes the wooded acreage that somehow ameliorates relentless solar aggression with lush and verdant arboreal foliage that massages my soul with velveteen gentility, and Joni’s interpretation is inspiring.]
I just hit my Pipe of Inspiration, and everything has slowed down. Now I am typing each key instead of typing words. This slowing down coincides with Joni Mitchell’s song Both Sides Now, and she is importunately reminding me to live within each moment. Again, this is reinforcing what I now believe Annie Sellick had in mind. I need to remind myself that I need to slow the fuck down and look at the trees again… at the land again… like I did yesterday at the family reunion… and this is as good a time as any to remind you, dear readerdear reader], to take a deep breath. In fact, take a few… breaths, and take your time.
I am thinking... even as I am typing this… that my decision to listen to Joni Mitchell’s album, on repeat, with you, well… it seems like all y’all readers are with me on this journey wherein I muse, with my Muse’s encouragement, about my final few years of life after thirty-three years of paralysis… and whether or not the wonderful life I’ve lived has been worthy of my family’s and friend’s selfless assistance. (As an aside... my family members are the primary irrefutable heroes in my life’s saga, without which I would have long ago died… even the kin against whom I’ve harbored un-praiseworthy conflict… without my family, I would be a memory as beloved as both my grandmothers who are experiencing the post-terrestrial reality that is fatally, yet longingly, destined to us all… Come to think of it, you might want to pause right now, pick up the phone, and tell someone that you love her.)
Again, I thank you, dear reader, for your participation in my capriciously disseminated newsletter. I know that your life is currently challenging, and you are working very hard listening to, and trying to interpret, your respective muse, while the most embarrassing symbol of our nation’s ideal tweets his ignorant and bigoted message of militantly aggressive patriarchal authority to an international audience of people who are so desperate for attention that they proudly yelp whatever their lackluster leader verbally vomits into the sycophant’s sequaciously yapping, eagerly accepting maw, impetuously, to please his master to endearment but as ignorantly as a flocculent lamb’s innocent juvenile jerky dancing in a meadow that is effusively flowing with the positive energy of springtime flora that joyously joins the woolen dancer, waving smiling blossoms back at the ovine acrobat before a foreboding abattoir.
Keep in mind, please, that the Trump supporters around whom I hung at the family reunion are I [sic], as I imagine most are, but there are Trump supporters who are the dregs of society that cannot be ignored, and they are scary… especially to a “red-neck hippie who cain’t even walk.”
The noble Bald Eagle that once stood heroically for “Democracy for ALL” has grotesquely morphed into the comic caricature of a bumbling slapstick turkey... and you, dear reader, are trying to keep the burning embers of your respective passions from extinguishing. I can only guess, unworthily, that one reason you even read my rhetorical meanderings is because my style of writing encourages you to slow down, like my listening, repeatedly, to Joni Mitchell’s album Both Sides Now. (Currently, “Sometimes I’m Happy” is playing, a swinging big band interpretation that has me typing in triplets...).
One of my very good friends, I’ll call him Andy, although many call him Drew, which, incidentally, I eschew because it’s in the past tense… and Andy is one of my chums who best lives in the moment. It’s nothing personal, but this dude fain reminds me of the man I love and will always lovingly call Andy. Anyway, Andy once told me that whenever he received one of the generic letters I used to mail... slow mail… he set it aside so that he could mentally prepare to better experience it, which, of course, sent me to the moon. I mean... I was, like, “my very good friend Andy has to mentally prepare” to read my writing! Y’all hear that? My high school buddy digs my writing… I am a real hippie... sans the lack of sexual promiscuity, but I digress…
I reckon y’all, hopefully, see another QuadTalk email salutation’s silently screaming from your computer’s inbox, and you immediately schedule a bit of your time to read it, quietly calculating the amount it takes you to sift through my nebulous rhetoric to find a tiny kernel or two of something that I’ve observed that is exclusively one that only my life’s journey could provide… As Joni now reminds me, again... “something’s lost when something’s gained.”
I am kind o’ proud that my little stories might give you a chance to slow down for a little break from the insanity that is currently as ubiquitous as a swarm of gnats on the south Georgian piedmont; put on a set of headphones and listen to some music; cop a buzz with your preferred anodyne, holistically or chemically inspired; turn off all forms of communication; take a deep breath, and delve into my Muse’s word-puzzles… well, that’s what I hope happens. And, hopefully, my stories will inspire your passion. Together, our nurturing positive energy will metastasize into a tsunami of diverse equality among all the planet’s species regardless of hierarchy on the food chain, which, like patriarchy, can be represented as an inverted triangle.
Back to the family reunion.
As previously delineated, the gnats were annoying but, for the most part, they were innocuous, just merely… well, they really were
; although, they are a very effective metaphor for today’s social division that is currently bellowing throughout the universe and that has brought Trump’s meteoric rise to the apex of our nation’s political ideology from his avid supporters despite the man’s lack of perspicacity, which hovers just above that of a sentient toad’s... with apologies to the flaccid and overtly dumpy amphibians’ apathy for the human race, we, the terrestrial citizens catalyzing our own extinction, are the Bubonic Plague, metastasizing and ravishing the planet, the disease of collective exploitation… we are hu[wo]manity, but the amphibian doesn’t care; humanity is an indifference to the dumpy toad’s life’s ambition which seems to exist exclusively as a lackluster justification to wallow in a comfortable bog, swallow flies, and make as many tadpoles as it can without any commitment to the biological results of its incessant soi disant
(or, more appropriately, its non-cerebral instinctual urges to instantly satisfy its id’s insatiable importunity) to procreate… to put it more vulgarly, to
spread its amphibious seed
First, however, I must confess that the main reason that I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s family reunion was that no one discussed politics; I did not feel any urgency to point out that the obvious ineptitude of Trump’s being the representative of anything positive is morally reprehensible, even his feigned business acumen within the economy in its current state of agitated excitement. Quite honestly, when my emotions overwhelm my more placid nature, and I allow myself to respond from the fiery bowels of my discontent, I find it
that Trump, in some folks’ minds, IS the paragon of humanity’s more noble and mind-expanding qualities. Then I find my center, and I begin to reestablish control of my terrestrial volition, and I realize that everything is as it should be… when I consider my personal reality from a macrocosmic point of view that massages my understanding of the ultimate conflict… Universal Dichotomy, but I digress…
The point is… or was supposed to be… that no one at the family reunion discussed politics
, so I got to watch the Trump supporter in her natural environment, when she was not threatened by what she’s convinced herself as the “liberal bias” of the “lame-stream media.” The Trump supporters were strictly indifferent to anything that did not directly affect their lives and the inability to understand the annoying realization that I may be the most dangerous person they could imagine... a progressive voice with a decent vocabulary and a powerful metaphoric, sword-destroying pen. In this gnat-infested milieu of watermelon exploitation, I was/am a metaphor... so I was/am an invisible man [subtle homage to Ralph Ellison].
I am currently going through yet another UTI, but I’m really sure that we caught this one in time. I just took my first antibiotic pill Friday, the day before the family reunion, and I take one a day for the next seven days or so. [I really do not want to confirm my dosage... too tired] I just took my third pill just now, so, hopefully, tomorrow we’ll see noticeable improvements. Anyway, I am sweating profusely, and I’m hoping that the catalyst is the UTI, but I have a small, irritated spot on my derriere, which is healing nicely, so I’m hoping that it isn’t the cause of my incessant sweating.
Ennui Warning… The following is a reminder of my tenuously temporal terrestreality [sic]: Skin sores… or decubitus ulcers... or bedsores... are a major health risk for me that is insidiously fatal and something my family, all of ‘em, is proud to have vigilantly avoided. That is all.
As previously delineated, I am sweating, so I get chilled easily, which is really annoying for my mother ‘cause it’s about a million degrees Fahrenheit and I sometimes use a tiny personal heater when I am really chilled; I’m shivering like an Inuit without her parka while my mother is smothered with oppressive heat-weary dizziness, but I digress…
I have recently taken my muscle relaxer and pain pill, but until they kick in, I decide to go outside and wait under an overhang in front of the actual chapel... by myself… and it is warm, but I’m diggin’ it ‘cause, again, I am chilled, and it is June 29
in the middle of the south Georgian piedmont, the humidity is just north of 101 percent, but throughout my little trip of about two hundred feet up a narrow concrete sidewalk that is partly obscured by an overgrown bush that makes me travel partway through the adjoining grass, I hear the comforting orchestral drone of insects’ celebrating the pastoral scene as a former yellow school bus passes by, its roof and seats removed so that it looks like a child’s outrageously playful attempt out of making a pickup truck out of school bus that is carrying watermelons to the farmers’ market… or wherever watermelons go in the process of making the fruit accessible to the public.
Wouldn’t it be cool if one of my jazz buddies wrote a be-bop song using some of my Muse
rhetoric... it’s jazz, man.
Unfortunately, in the hodgepodge mass of cars parked willy-nilly in the sporadically grassed parking lot, there’s a huge industrial pickup with a diesel engine that’s obnoxiously droning. I realize that this is an affront on my emotional and physiological salubrity, so I try to make the mind-altering adjustments to counter this negative auricular energy, and I focus on the pastoral scene before me. One of my sister-in-law’s kin steps out of the gymnasium to smoke. He notices the truck, what else? and he walks toward it admiringly.
Now, I don’t know how to describe how one admiringly walks, but this dude walked in such a way as to connote that he really, really liked that truck. Hell, he was smiling brighter than a kid when she receives an oversized lollipop and a huge purple bear [nod to Bill Evans] that is shrill-squealingly [sic] fluffy. Then he saw me and casually walked over.
“I’d sure like to own that truck.”
We begin the casual chitchat. He’s a nice dude. The typical father, just under 40, wearing tennis shorts and a comfortable polo-looking shirt, you know the cotton shirt with a collar, about three or four buttons down the middle of the chest but only two are buttoned, and an in-stitched logo on the shirt pocket—and did I mention that it is hot? He’s vaping something that he exhales in dense, billowing clouds. He went to Georgia Tech, got his degree in something engineery [sic], is successful in some organization that does something with something; he’s a God-fearing Christian man, successful, married, two-and-a-half kids, two cars, a mortgage, and a life of squashed dreams that has him wishing he could own a truck he can easily afford. But he’s a bit of an outsider. An in-law himself, but, for better or worst, he’s a Georgia Tech fan, one of about three in a group of about sixty-five. Clearly an outsider. Incidentally, my sister-in-law’s father Jim is a former coach who has been inducted in Georgia Tech’s Sports Hall of Fame. He initiated Georgia Tech’s Women’s Basketball Team. He’s also an in-law and, thereby, twice ostracized. I really enjoy listening to Jim’s stories, so, again, I am associating with an in-law and a Georgia Tech man; I am completely invisible to most of these people and can innocuously watch them in their natural surroundings.
Georgia Tech dude leaves, and I am, once again, alone. The owner of the belching pickup gets in his vehicle and leaves the scene. I can actually feel the oppression of his aural vehicular’s auricular aggression actually leave my personal space as his truck trucks away. Ah. The pastoral peace is palpable. Sentient. Primordial. The gnats are still buzzing, but they aren’t anywhere near as annoying. They are no longer aggressively vying for territory; they are just everywhere. It reminds me of when I was younger. The gnats were omnipresent, but they were so innocuous that I only recall their nuisance now because I am re-experiencing them at the moment. The gnats are really just here… doing nothing but seemingly having fun and totally unaware that I even exist.
The gymnasium door opens and out herds a group of kids ranging from about eight to fourteen. Single file. And they march to the chapel, which is unlocked. Inside, one of ‘em plays the organ while the rest sing. It is really very heartening to see such loving camaraderie between young folk. It makes me smile about the future.
My sister-in-law comes out to check on me, and soon I meet Connie. OK. I admit it; she’s a relative... in some ancestoral way, but I can’t recall what specific branch she occupies on the family’s genealogical tree. A short woman, about 5’1’’, short cropped grey hair that was chestnut brown in her youth, green eyes, and sassy. She once grew oranges, and tells me what a
is: and I may get this wrong, but, in retrospect, what I think I heard her say was that it is a storage vehicle used in delivering oranges from the field to a larger delivery truck that takes the larger grouping of oranges wherever they go in the orange product producing procedure.
The pills are taking their effects, so we go back inside… I glide in on a flocculent carpet-cloud of chemically compounded pharmaceutical comfort and sit with Jim, my sister-in-law’s father, who is recovering from a series of surgeries and other medical procedures. This dude is a character, a hardened retired coach who will turn 78 later this fall; he is crass and curt, sometimes caustic but genial until provoked. Unless you titillate one of his irrational passions, his reactions to your stimulus is innocuous.
Jim’s wife is Pat, née Lassitor… this function is the Lassitor Family Reunion 2019. [Yeah!] Pat is a typical South Georgia woman of her generation; perky, delightful, slopping over with positive energy, but she can be stubborn and obstinate when things don’t go her way. She is the object of Jim’s eyes, and she knows it.
I meet Roger, an air-conditioning man. Popular. He might be big in the church… he did the speaking for the group and attended to the administrative functions of the social family gathering: confirming plans for future family events, the amount of money to give to charities, that sort of thing. I met the woman whose 80
birthday is being conjointly celebrated. She is worried that her cake won’t be eaten, and she is eager to find anyone grateful enough to take it from her.
I meet Jack, although, I don’t recall what he does, but he is a pleasant man, a sexagenarian, pleasantly plump, wearing tennis shorts and a polo-like cotton shirt that might have fit less snuggly when it was originally purchased; he dapperly dons an expensive-looking watch; his symmetrically geometric hair is white and meticulously combed as a possible homage to former Miami Dolphin’s coach Jimmy Johnson. He just seems to be happy to be noticed. All-in-all, this is a very fun event, and I am happy to have been included.
As folks begin cleaning the venue, and the event is winding down, it starts to rain. One of those 15-minute gully washers that are ubiquitous in Georgia during the summer, a deluge that sizzles on the venue’s tin roof, not rusted, and sounds like bacon’s frying yet, thankfully, without the addictive smell that sends folks like me into a an uncontrollable fury until the comfort of masticating bacon effectively assuages the irrational passion it catalyzes, but I digress…
After the antediluvian dumping of wave after wave of water-curtained dizziness drizzles away into evanescent buggery wherein the heat rapes you of your dignity, the sun always reemerges with aggressive Spartan militancy, and the humidity then becomes palpable… with the suffocating atmospheric density of flavorless tofu that thaumaturgically [sic] quantifies and qualifies the flavor of airplane glue. It’s like being enveloped in an invisible quilted comforter that is steaming… and moist… and heavy… and the heat encroaches upon everything, including your generally genial disposition and makes you irrational and angry at stuff that should never affect you negatively. Why does my foot look like
My brother Ricky had to go out and close up the van… we had left the wheelchair lift out thinking that it would discourage anybody else’s parking too close to our car in the non-demarcated crush-‘n’-run churchyard parking lot spotted with a single majestic oak that stands sentry to the clapboard church… I repeat: we left the van open, a mistake that turned out to be not such a brilliant idea. Leaving the car open thusly allowed a swarm of fruit-flying gnats to crash the party with adolescent unruliness, but we’ll get into that a bit later.
So Ricky comes back into the venue, which is a concrete-floored basketball gymnasium/gatherin’ room, and he slips to the ground… but with grace. It takes about thirteen minutes for the whole thing to unfold, and you’ve got to remember that my brother is a big man... not the biggest, mind you, but big enough so that true behemoth women and men look at him and think... “that’s a biggun’.” After which, Rick’s father-in-law Jim makes the following observations:
- First, I told you to be careful with those wet shoes.
- Second, you’re cane saved you. (Rick had his second total-knee replacement surgery just four weeks ago.)
- And third, that was the most graceful fall I have ever witnessed.
When we get into the van to come home, it is swarming with illimitable infinitesimal gnats… about a million of ‘em in an overexcited dance, a frenetic frenzy of myriad miniature dots silently screaming their raging anger, a troupe of graceless dancers whose exclusive mandate is to be as collectively annoying as possible, a chaotic dervish of pesky pests’ incessantly impressing no other discernable message other than to remind anyone who cares to take notice of their ever-present presence and that they are never going away. Even though the gnats are innocuous and are innocent of any malice against humanity, I feel, intensely, that the aggravating insects are here merely to vex my personal pursuits of happiness.
My sister-in-law, brother, and I are the last one’s remaining... there is no one else in that pastoral church yard scene... you see, it takes us a while to load me into the van and secure the wheelchair, and we were among the last to leave the party, so there was literally [not metaphorically] no one near us for miles. The church is on a state highway and really isolated... it’s a typical small town church... and it’s hotter ‘n hell, and... those goddamned gnats! Holy shit! And they were fuckin’ angry… at everything... and did I mention that it’s hot? Tanya starts the car. (Remember Ricky had his second total knee replacement four weeks ago.) And she turns on the air-conditioner, but it’s gonna take a while for the car to cool down, and we’re heat weary, draining away into torpid lassitude, waiting for the motivation to think about moving. Then the air starts to cool. Not much mind you; it is still warm enough to melt toothpaste, but the slight difference in temperature must be drastic for the gnats ‘cause every damned one of ‘em shoots like miniature BBs toward the nearest window. In a fulgurant flash, the bugs are gone. It is so unexpectedly instantaneous, and the sultry, sun-sated silence somehow suddenly seems even more silent.
We pull onto the dirt road that leads away from the church toward the aforementioned state road and are on our way home as the gnats shudder collectively but a with singularly respective solitary tacit electrical frenzy, shivering right up against the windows; they are no longer annoying; in fact, they are completely invisible.
I feel like a war correspondent… It is Monday, July 1, 2019, day two of my initiatingt the writing of this essay and I am in bed… I am laboredly [sic] typing while in bed. The UTI… or bedsores… or dying kidneys... or something physiological... has me sweating like a Jewish African American homosexual at a KKKlan rally, and I’ve been watching FreeSpeechTV since 9 this morning when Stephanie Miller came on… Thom Hartman’s program was poignantly riveting... and I have been revising the essay... in bed, which is a physical challenge… imagine a Raggedy Anne doll that can only manipulate the muscles in her neck and above, reclined, prone in a bed that has its head and feet raised, using a mouth-stick to depress the hard-to-get-to keys of my computer [not depress them, mind you, but to press down upon them], so I am struggling a bit; that is the reason why I my writing style has been more cryptic. I need to rest. This will turn into a three-day event, but what else have I got to do, right? Hopefully I will get in my chair tomorrow. I am tired, and I have re-resumed sweating; hopefully my “glowing” is due to my upcoming scheduled bowel program. I can hope, cain’t I? Regardless the number of significant digits in your IQ, shit happens, right? Just because something’s unpleasant, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
I had spent the day with a group of people wherein the majority were Trump supporters, and these were fine people. I’ve known them all my life. Not this specific group of people, mind you, but people just like ‘em… and I’ve got kin who are like ‘em. The people with whom I spent the day are very decent folks, some of ‘em as sharp as tacks, some about as dull as grey clay, just like in every group. They aren’t exclusively hateful against minorities; in fact, minorities are mostly ignored essentials in their collective lives, like the gnats that are ever-present. For the most part, these wonderful agrarian people simply don’t think about them. It’s not that they’re raging with anger against them, until their emotions are negatively affected. I honestly believe that when these unabashed God-fearing people finally understand what is so assiduously detailed in the Mueller Report, their sense of Christian love will overwhelm their collective indifference and result in their not voting for Trump, or, to save face, to not vote at all. The most abrasive aspect of this particular attitude, for me, is that these folks are not empathetic with minorities, but this is only when my negative emotions start to overwhelm my sensibilities. When I finally control them, I remember that life is merely doing what it’s supposed to do, but in the end, as Joni just now reminds me, “I really don’t know life at all.”
Peace Through Music
 It saddens me that humanity, all of us, even accept the fact that the phrase
exists at all. By the way, Kitaro’s “Earth Bound” is playing, which reminds me, once again, to slow down… I’m going to do another weight shift.
 Unless one considers the politics of college football in the south, which has been plausibly compared to a religion. If you’ve never experienced it, then you will not get it. Hell, we’re smack in the middle of SEC country. People are irrationally passionate about it; even folks who never attended the institutions of learning, uh… I mean minor football league... are irrationally passionate, which can be somewhat illustrated by a rabid Alabama fan’s poisoning the beloved oak trees in Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner... a disgruntled Alabama fan’s ill-decision, vehemently decried by both sides... but an example of what happens when cult-like behavior motivates irrational reactions in a misguided individual; be that as it may, the family reunion was a Georgia/Georgia Tech affair. SEC vs ACC.
I owe a lot of people an apology. As you know, dear readerdear, I’ve been paralyzed for thirty-three years. In the beginning, I believed rather sternly that Capitalism was the equitable way to allow everybody an opportunity to advance up the social ladder; you know, the “put your nose to the grind stone and one day your gold-laden ship will come in” mentality… offered to everybody... and the folks that don’t make it either didn’t work hard enough or were amoral in some way, so their penury had to have been divinely justified; the poor, downtrodden, lame, gay, the huddled masses of broken humanity deserve their suffering… I can’t imagine that anything Christ said condones that attitude... or Buddha, Zoroaster, Mohammad...
I worked hard, and, for sixteen years, I tried desperately to make it work… and, for a while, I made it work. I was a computer programmer, a data manipulator, but I learned Assembler language for an IBM mainframe, so I was allowed to understand data down to the bits. The work was interesting and challenging, and I met many wonderful people, the majority of which, I’m sure, voted for Trump, for whatever reason. Point is, I was a firm Capitalist.
Diana Krall’s “East of the Sun, (West of the Moon) (Live)” is playing; the acoustic bass solo is being bowed... Miss Diana’s solo is liltingly playful... swinging sweet.
Then I was fired… for myriad reasons. I will tell anyone who cares that the best day of my life was when I was fired; the second best day of my life was when I was hired...
(Obviously, I don’t have to lie that my favorite day was when I married... or when my child was born... or when my mother-in-law moved in… or out…)
My life changed… as instantaneously as the gnat’s collective dash to the windows of my van. [Read the entire essay.] I went from waking up at 5:30 in the morning and staying up ‘til late... mostly writing to not having a schedule... no more deadlines...
Keep in minde that when I started my life in corporate America, it was the incipience of personal computers… computers were unreliable, and the Internet hadn’t been invented yet... or it wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as it is now, so none of my early writings were never automatically saved in the Cloud; they are now gone forever.
My frenetic days were suddenly filled doing absolutely nothing. This is when I started hanging out more regularly at Judybug’s Book Store in downtown/uptown Columbus, Georgia, and I began watching people… and watching FreeSpeechTV… more specifically, The Stephanie Miller Show, which airs for three hours every weekday, and she has excellent and very interesting guests from major politicians, comedians, voice-actors, writers, and Malcolm Nance.
According to wikipedia: Malcolm Nance is
…an intelligence and foreign policy analyst who frequently discusses the history, personalities, and organization of jihadi radicalization and al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL); Southwest Asian and African terror groups; as well as counterinsurgency and asymmetric warfare. Schooled in Arabic, he is active in the field of national security policy particularly, in anti- and counter-terrorism intelligence, terrorist strategy and tactics, torture and counter-ideology in combating Islamic extremism. In 2016, he published the book, Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe, and published The Plot to Hack America the same year.
I read the latter that detailed how the U.S. Intelligence Network investigates… well, how they investigate anything. Malcolm writes, very clearly, that the Russians have been manipulating Trump since the mid- to late-80s. You know; when he was stooping Marla Maples while still married to that other woman. [Frankly, I have never even considered Trump about anything; he’s crass and boorish; I didn’t acknowledge his overly flashy existence until he became president.]
I learned from reading Malcolm’s book… and his subsequent book... that Trump is really ignorant and totally clueless, which doesn’t really matter; the president is only one third of our governing process, right? the second branch listed in our Constitution… after the House of Representatives...
Our government has always been for the people.
Admittedly, in 1776, the definition of the word
connoted the exclusive membership of land-owning gentry, which, in this instance, were nearly all white and highly educated, but what else could it be? Our founding fathers came from aristocracy; there’s no way a serf could make any rational decisions, right? It’s be like making Otis Campbell the mayor of Mayberry… but it was a start… and a work that’s still in progress.
I’ve realized for a while that Trump is an ass-hole, and he always has been; unfortunately, his father really was a money-making machine… nefariously, yes, but he pampered his son by giving him money, massive amounts, whenever his son’s business opportunities failed. Still, in Trump’s mind, he was successful simply because he never felt the slings and arrows of outrageous failure. That’s why he is so callous about the destruction his Fourth of July fiasco will wreak on DC's infrastructure; the planes are ours; the tanks are ours; everything is ours, so the parade is free, right? But I digress…
I felt that it was my duty to warn my family and friends against Trump’s now glaring ignorant amorality, and I was trying to use wit, but my more aggressive incendiary emotions stoked an almost-dying ember into a whirlwind of raging conflagration, and negativity took over; my rhetoric quickly became more caustic. I am truly sorry. However, I had an epiphany this past weekend, which I hope is noticed beginning with this essay. I have found my voice in writing and shall try to further develop it from this moment on [little wink to Diana Krall’s incredibly electric interpretation]. Still…
I am very sorry that I hurt some of the people I truly love; I was merely hoping to warn them because I literally [not metaphorically] have nothing else to do. But fear not; even if Trump’s reign of terror continues; his amoral ignorance will be disclosed... very soon... for the world to notice, and when it does, I’m hoping that the binds I have unintentionally severed can be repaired… and strengthened.
Going back to when I worked at TSYS. Y’all know that I am a jester… and I found myself within the sterility of corporate anxiety… or ennui... but I was able to add a little creativity to the hypoallergenic rigidity of programming in a Boolean language… of writing everything as a 1 or 0; however, the Assembler programs were monumentally extended... the code meandered, pages and pages long, and was, frankly, inefficient; however, it was a language that ran very fast, so even with the inefficient coding methodology, spaghetti code, the instructions written in Assembler are still much faster than the code written in any other third- or fourth-generation programming language... like COBOL… and time is money, right?
Keep in mind that I began working as a computer programmer in the early 90s; computer memory was limited (that’s why we were using the highly efficient and concise Assembler language that is very complicated); PCs were in their infancy and totally non-ergonomic for international businesses; MTV was about a decade old... object oriented programming hadn’t been discovered, so the programs were really eye-drainingly [sic] lengthy and more arduous to read than Mueller’s report, so programmers would insert programming notes to help other programmers in the future better decipher the code’s intentions…
I had an opportunity to develop my ornate writing style that only a very limited number of people will ever read. One of my more dear friends, I’ll call him Mark, once commented about my style... favorably but jocularly… which made me smile in turn.
Thus ends a few days in the life of a fool. [slight nod to the Beatles]
Peace Through Music