of Anonymity

June 30, 2011

The Masons have a handshake and innocuous greeting, Program enlistee’s have the word “Anonymous” to be anything but. Undiscriminating Men have three quick foot taps from the adjoining stall to be co-joined, Deadheads, despisers of uniformity and The Man, have Tie-Dye and Birkenstock. Liberals have…the Bumper Sticker.

Not exclusively, of course. One might spy, if paying close attention, a sticker adorned to some large, gas guzzling SUV, suggesting one Right leaning candidate or another, even an occasional spirited rebuff, of a kind, directed at a prevailing Liberal policy.
Generally speaking, that would be the full intent. Not so for the Liberal.
For the Liberal, the Bumper Sticker is a  a membership card. A cry for other like minded Prius drivers to acknowledge them as fellow magnanimous, free thinking,

Peace Sister.

peace loving, erudite, progressive, intellectually endowed rescuers of Humanity. A phenomenon dubbed by a Friend of mine as the “wink wink” factor. Not nearly as concerned for Bake Sales or Co-existing as they are for you to permit or nod entry to that coveted and regaled spot, the doors and walls of the Bastille, so that they might fling them open!, knock them down!, allowing the prisoners of ignorance, so long chained and sheltered, to be free and warmed, nourished in the light, the illumination of their omniscient embrace!!!
I’ve actually argued the opposite is true. That were Liberals truly able to convert the masses, that they would flee the ranks in droves for less fed upon pastures. Disregarding the obvious,  to why the field might be absent or vanquished of herd.
That they might be common, unrecognizable in the throng, share a widely held belief or Faith, could never be acceptable to the sticky backed vinyl crowd.
Oh no.
For them it isn’t simply enough that they suggest, or propose. For them, it’s an insistence. That you be aware of their thoughts, attitudes and profane expressions. To advise you personally would never do. They need a vehicle to spread their intent. A billboard, on wheels. Hear me and give me due!! In the spirit of Bumper cars, ramming into your conscious or conscience,. for your own good, of course.

~wink wink~ C'mon in! We serve condescension, gluten free, of course.

of Choices

June 26, 2011


There is so much I don’t understand, things that are well beyond my scope and give me a headache to even ponder.
Some philosophical, much practical and sadly, more obvious.
No doubt I spend entirely too much time trying to grasp concepts that I can neither alter nor have much real affect on my life or those I care about, usually with very limited results.
When against a wall of confusion, reeling from an assault of my own failings…I am not too proud to ask for help.
Why am I paying so much more than you in taxes?? Why am I more responsible to provide new roads, indigent health care, and Drug and alcohol  rehab centers? Why must I support, with my taxes, bailing out banks that would, and have, shown me the door in the past?
~waving raised hand frantically~ ” Oooh ooooh pick me!! pick me!!”
Because I smoke.
Because you don’t.
It doesn’t matter that you make other questionable life choices that I don’t, myself, engage in. Or that I have private health insurance that would see to my short lived hospice care. That, I at least have the courtesy to decline rapidly and expire without need of extended or repeated in-patient care.
If gracious enough to offer explanation, let me please just interrupt for a moment more, to stem the inevitable tide of qualifying liberal, condescending bullshit that you would offer.
It wasn’t second hand smoke that killed my Aunt…it was a drunk driver. It wasn’t second hand smoke that killed my best Friend Jeremy either…it was his habit of injecting whatever heroin laced cocktail du jour into his veins. It sure wasn’t second hand smoke that had a wonderful Man in Patrick, wither away to nothing, leaving us all behind, wondering how…it was his addiction to the unprotected embrace of others.
Before you even begin your sanctimonious rant…fuck you.

Say please.

Miss me with the notion that my choice to smoke somehow infringes on your own need to breath. I love your paneled banners of “Second hand smoke kills!!” plastered to side of busses, spewing more carbon monoxide in five miles than I could in my very long career of smoking.
I don’t smoke around you. I would never think to light up in your car or house. I cringe at the sight of the drifting cigarette smoke of others into anyones path and would never allow it myself.
If you think I reek, my clothing, my breath, my hair…I’ll say the same of your own choice of drenching in Patchouli. The difference, of course, I’ll not burden you with tariffs for the privilege of my having to endure it.

I swore, “fat fucking chance” , that I would EVER pay so much as 75 cents for a pack of cigarettes. I recently paid $11.
Fine. My choice. I could try to quit, I suppose. That’s what you’re driving at right? A campaign to have me quit by fiscal impracticality? Because…you care??
Fuck you.
I should quit. I should quit just to expose you for the fraud you really are.
Consider if I did. Who would pave your roads, who would see your children rehabilitated? Who would provide Emergency Room care for your landscaper when he loses a toe in a weeding accident (Those weeders are gnarly!!) Hmmm? Would you turn to whatever other life choice is out of fashion?
You don’t want me to quit. At least have the balls to look me in the eye as you bend me over.
I have to wonder…when you’re done with me, will you light up afterwards?
Might as well.

of Cowardice

June 26, 2011

I don’t despise Liberals for their positions. Not on Choice, immigration, taxes, unions, or religion. I am not overly affected by their need to protest, preach, mandate and enforce their determined magnanimity. I’m not very bothered by an obvious lack of Family values or even a moral compass with no magnet.
What absolutely drives me nuts, jacks my jaws, has me seethe and froth at the mouth, want to do them violence, is that they cannot say the same. The hypocrisy. To a man, the intellectual cowardice.
Such as…
I know that many Conservatives disagree but I would happily stay out of your uterus if you would leave my foreskin be. You can’t though, can you? My foreskin represents sooo much more than just choice, to you. My foreskin is not just a matter of convenience or the result of “choice”. My foreskin, to you, suggests religion.
The intellectual cowardice is your suggesting otherwise. That it is, instead, your concern for all those poor children of misguided parents that would have them mutilated in some antediluvian ritual soaked in ignorance.
Of course your “choice” is yours to make. Your body, your uterus…your fetus? No ritualistic mutilation there. No exploitation of those in your care or choosing for those who cannot. No way, not you.
No sweat. Your base will stand by. The Latin community is firmly in your camp. Why wouldn’t they be? You have their back. They get it…alot of it. Hooked and dependent. Perhaps they won’t even notice or care when you get around to disallowing ear piercing on their beautiful three week old baby girls, huh?
You won’t though. Anymore than you would demand other culturally defined rituals cease and desist, especially those of the disenfranchised…as long as they aren’t steeped in religion, of course.
Will you continue to decry globalization, all the while singing  Bob Marley’s “One World? Will you, still recoil in horror at the premise of natural selection, but insist only evolution be taught in your schools? Will you, demand the evil rich be taxed at a much higher rate so to keep the Latin community in your camp, while you move your remonstrating Irish band to the Netherlands because royalties are tax free?
Of course you will.
A hypocrite and coward, you.

of Blood and Treasure

June 23, 2011


"me me me me me me meeeee"

The exclamation, in an email from my Brother, accompanied a photo of our Father that left us both slack jawed.
An image that portrayed him unawares, in company and preoccupied. Recognizable in a ill fitting T-shirt on his thin frame, an iconic Rebel cap and, most astonishing, the guitar held seemingly with familiarity, in his broad hands.
Russell Lee Harrell was many things, not the least of which was a great lover of music, but I, or my Brother by our mutual incredulity, never knew him to make any.
I don’t even recall hearing him hum, much less spontaneously belt out a tune.
Curious enough to warrant a call to his younger Brother for an explanation.
“I have no idea, Gene. I would’t think your Dad knew which end of a guitar, was which” Uncle Mike told me. After a few minutes of supposing and in the end suggesting an impromptu scenario, Uncle Mike was reminded of another story about my Father…and so it goes…
~”I finally got got a date with her and YOUR Dad and his hooligan 
buddies, all much older than me, took her out on the day we were supposed to go to the movies. Russ told me after, “she’s too old for you Mike” 
“but she’s my age!!” “no, Mike…trust me…she’s too OLD for you”~
  Of late, for whatever reason, I’ve been more than preoccupied in reflection. Not with any sense of urgency but of piqued interest in where I come from and if I belong anywhere or to, anyone.
Culminating in the gathering of pictures and what stories I can wrench from reluctant, but then conspiratorial, bards…
~…So I’ve got a new baseball glove, right?, brand new, and you Dad comes up to me and says “Mike, c’mere, I wanna show you sumpthin I’ll trade you for that new glove. “No Russ, I don’t wanna trade you for my glove…whatchu got?” 
So Russ shows me an…apple core..that’s right, whats left of an apple after you eat it, the core.
and you know…your Dad made that apple core sound like the most wonderful thing in the world, that he’d be doing me a huge favor by letting me trade my brand new glove for it!!…My older Brother!! the kind you’re supposed to trust, right??…so I traded him.
Not for long though…Mom went BA-LIS-TIC~
… My Brother, one.
Older by a few years, he not only retains incredible recall, if skewed at times, but has the unique perspective of our beginnings from our beginnings. A recent connection with him has left me  more determined than ever to gather what I may, in the realm of our shared origins.
The idea of an evening or two of fireside chats with my Uncles and Brother, sharing stories and anecdotes, is a very becoming one, if unlikely.
It also raises, for me, the question of…who will tell mine.?
Legacy or the want of it, as it turns out, can be a very compelling.
Without Children and a season-less Family tree, I am left to my own devices as to determining a lasting imprint.
I had hoped, as a consequence, that a book, of my hand, would serve. That perhaps if even with a single printing, my name on it’s binding, in some remote corner of some dusty collection,   might entice an unwitting hunter to wonder at my words, it’s author, and my own stories, untold.

Protected: of Irony

June 20, 2011

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of Conservation

June 15, 2011


We're making voters in in case they try and pass a helmet law

I ask you, Why…am I having to flush three times if the icebergs are melting?
If…I need stay in the shower twice as long just to rinse off the soap, where is the savings? Were I to use three times the see-through toilet paper to get the job done, how many trees need be felled?
I’m no economist and struggle with the simplest of calculations but this hardly seems like work for a mathematician.
I’ll not argue the realities or myth of global warming with you, or if without the intrusive embrace of conservationists and their dictates, we are doomed. I will only relay that a little more than one hundred years ago, there were just over a billion souls on the planet. Today, we fast approach seven. That…is exponential. Bordering parasitical and as do parasites, we stand to exhaust our host. This notion that we might ration the inevitable, a finite resource, while still, with expediency, grow in number, is ludicrous.
Consequence. I’d rather you quit breeding than I have to pay $200 dollars a day for a shower that rivals the penitentiary.
That’s not to suggest we need be wasteful. Awareness can only help, simple acts of habitual reserve might help stem the tide but will not, cannot, do more than postpone.
In the increasing climate of superfluous mandate, if this be our lot, why pause at flow restricters in shower heads? Why not consider and enforce crowd control?
I absolutely detest the idea but am a realist.
If I must convince you I’ve the capacity to cut and style hair, frame a home, or drive a car. If I need license to trade stocks, teach children or produce food…why on earth wouldn’t I need to show cause and benefit to produce offspring?
I hear you, an abominable scenario, yet… We are there.
I no more care for the notion of a bureaucrat determining my worth or promise as a parent than you but that I allow them as much influence in every other facet of my life, suggests it’s a small step to take at this point and possibly one with the greatest of results.
“Mrs Smith, your application to procreate has been denied. Feel free to appeal. That you, yourself, don’t work or pay taxes, nor your spouse or any of your dozen children, should leave you at ease to pursue our lengthy appeals process…Next!!!”

of Conscience

June 12, 2011


I'm here all week. Tip your waitresses.

I have leisure, I have the means to enjoy it. I’ve purpose and direction without need of pressing.
I am blessed. I have gifts richly bestowed, not the least of which is curiosity. I am in much better health than my behavior would dictate or I deserve.
I enjoy the attentions of a very beautiful and intelligent Woman without relying on them.
I command all the conveniences of technology and design that my circumstances allow and look forward to future developments with relish.
The few Friends I have are very dear and ask pitifully little of me.
I do not, though, I noticed recently with some concern…sing aloud anymore.
There was a time, not too distant I recall, but cannot pinpoint, mine was the only voice I heard. Either in accompaniment or spontaneity. While driving, in company or alone, showering (certainly alone), cleaning or in general putz, recital was my constant companion.
Those days, when I sang, the tune was one of singular introspection.
No concern for you or yours, was my chorus and “Someone’s comin up short cuz I’m getting mine”, the refrain. One of many Melody’s, if I even bothered asking, perhaps her name.

Whether related or no, was the noticeable absence of conscience.

Those were days of reckless abandon. Of uncertainty and sans souci. I had little notion of my next meal but even less of who’s feet I might trample to get it. I sang aloud with my mouth full.
As goes the adage of blissful ignorance, one might also associate that of concern. It was that time of song that I was most at ease, hardly burdened with any troubles of my own, much less those of others.
I’ve no particular voice to speak of, none that would draw any crowd. Perhaps that, the key. That I only sang for myself and without the critique of others, could not know I was flat.
I seem to still know all the words but keep them to a barely audible humm.

of Decades

June 2, 2011