The Brothers Karamazov

"Actually, people sometimes talk about man's 'bestial' cruelty, but that is being terribly unjust and offensive to the beasts..."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Crow Jim" is Alive and Well/

and Busily Rewriting History

Among the sundry American 'expats' thronging to Paris after WWI were a great many artists and musicians. The doughboys had returned to the States full of praise and in awe of Europe and especially France. America was an unhappy place for blacks in the twenties with the rise of the KKK and the overall reaction to the returning black soldiers who represented a new kind of black man, who had seen the world and was demanding more equality at home. The draconian attempt to keep blacks under white domination was known as the 'Jim Crow Laws.'

In the twenties the French were mad for 'Le Jazz Hot!' as they called the new American music. The clubs in Paris booked all the jazz musicians they could find but were color conscious to a fault. The ones selected as authentic were invariably black. No whites need apply. It was, as white clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow complained in his novel, Really the Blues, a kind of reverse discrimination he called 'Crow Jim'. So while Buck Clayton, Peanuts Holland and Lionel Hampton found work and acclaim, talented white jazzmen often were met with rejection because of their race.

It's one thing to have had this kind of discrimination in 1920's France; quite another in twenty-first century America. But it's here and it is an affront to all the excellent white jazzmen who have contributed so much to the art form. I can recall as far back as the early 1950s among some intellectuals, jazz aficionados and hangers-on in the jazz scene, and, woefully, that included a few black musicians, the snide insinuation that white jazzmen were not as good; "they didn't have soul."

The most egregious example of 'Crow Jim' is found in what will likely become the archetypical standard reference of twentieth century jazz history; the documentary miniseries by Ken Burns, Jazz. The ten part series aired in 2000. Criticisms of this effort at documenting the history of jazz were legion and were most scathingly addressed by Jeffrey St Clair:
"The series is narrated by a troika of neo-cons: Wynton Marsalis, the favorite trumpeter of the Lincoln Center patrons; writer Albert Murray, who chastised the militant elements of the civil rights and anti-war movements with his pal Ralph Ellison; and Stanley Crouch, the Ward Connerly of music critics."

It is both correct and proper to credit black jazz musicians as sole custodians and creators of jazz at its earliest beginnings. However, from the nineteen twenties until the present, to ignore the strong contributions of countless white jazzmen, is reprehensible. I doubt that was Burns intention. I suspect he assigned Messrs Marsalis, Murray and Crouch the selection of the principals for the narrative thread and tragically, this 'Crow Jim' hagiography has, for the past decade, become the visual history of jazz. .

I would like to challenge Messrs M. M. and C. to listen again to J.J. Johnson (black), on trombone and Kai Winding (white) , trombone, on The Great Kai & J.J. (Impulse) album and tell the world which trombone playing is the more authentic and which lacks 'soul'. This is a good test for us all, to lay to rest a patronizing, discriminatory and racist appraisal of musicianship by color rather than merit.

The same attitude that prompted the French, and more recently, these chromatographers when rewriting,the history of jazz, is specious. The 'Crow Jim' syndrome can also be found at times attacking both race...and gender. A case in point is the high-handed treatment offered one of the early black writers who in addition to being deemed politically incorrect for the times, was female. Our old avian trickster friend 'Jim' stooped down on Zora Neale Hurston like a bird of prey.

Hurston, a member in good? standing in the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s, a graduate of Barnard, an anthropologist of some renown, and a published author, was a Republican. She was an opponent of the New Deal which was supported by the majority of her colleagues including Langston Hughes. Additionally she was skeptical of organized religion and had a penchant for feminine individualism.

”She was scathing about those who sought "freedoms" for those abroad, but denied it to people in their home countries: Roosevelt "can call names across an ocean" for his Four Freedoms, but he did not have “the courage to speak even softly at home.” Wikipedia

None of this went over well with the idealogues of the Harlem Renaissance although her gifts and renown equalled or surpassed most of the others. Her first novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine published in 1934, was cited by Carl Sandburg as, "A bold and beautiful book, many a page priceless and unforgettable." "Though attacked by (Richard) Wright and virtually ignored by his literary heirs, Hurstons's ideas about language and craft undergird many of the most successful contributions to Afro-American literature that followed." Henry Lewis Gates, Jr

Lacking any support from her mostly male peers, Hurston, despite having published seven books, an autobiography and fifty shorter works, drifted into obscurity. But she continued to write and at one point worked as a maid to gather authentic material, anticipating by decades the novel, 'Help', by Kathryn Stockett, currently enjoying so much popular success.

Always outspoken she, years later when Truman dropped the A-bombs on Japan, Hurston called him "the Butcher of Asia." In 1960, Zora Neale Hurston died penniless in Florida and was buried in an unmarked grave perhaps with the local buzzards and crows for company.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Maui Cargo Cult

Stories About The Future - A submission for ADR

The Maui Cargo Cult
by Robert Magill

They gather at dawn on Koki Beach for the sunrise. As it peeks above the horizon solemn chanting begins. "Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati...", is repeatedly intoned until the orb is fully risen.

The ritual, begun as a lark at parties in the Hamptons, has now become a credo since the Big X, as the exodus to the island is called. It has been over ten years that these fortunate unfortunates have been in residence. Leaving the mainland on whatever vessels could be commandeered, they at least had survived. Many others would have given all they had to trade places. Still, safety in itself cannot guarantee satisfaction or thankfulness as this wretched longing for the old ways demonstrates.

The phenomenon being experienced here is closest to the delusions of remote Islanders in another time who were convinced that the Americans who had provided them with so much in the past would return to re-provision them again. Any time now. Maybe today. Tomorrow, certainly. They waited anxiously at the water's edge and were known as a Cargo Cult. So now these once Masters of the Universe are slightly unhinged and are waiting for it all to return to them. They are the Maui Cargo Cult.

Among their number T.R. Straub is a standout character. Not content with a seven figure Wall Street largesse he had conspired to establish dodgy accounts in the Caymans and Canada until it all went down. The loss had more seriously affected him than the others.

If we listen to their mutterings and snatches of conversation a large dollop of self pity and more than a little delusion is evident. Ralph T., former hedge fund magnate, "The next time will be different."
His nearest companion who may or may not have been privy to his assurance, mutters, "This time it won't be lost."

T.R.'s voice rose to full volume to begin another chanting. This one, regarded by the others as a lapse into tongues, "CD' CMO'HBO'IBO'CDO'...' LBO' HMO," he repeated endlessly, chanting until near foaming. It was sad to behold; he was not joined by anyone. On the beaches and at the spas along the coast, from Kapalua to Kipahula, these Maui tribes gather each dawn. It is much the same on the other islands except for Molokai where an entirely different class of survivors is ensconced.

On the West coast of Maui, near Kapalua, another bunch is repeating the performance but instead of awaiting succor from the East and North America they cast their hopes Westward to China. The litany is near to being identical. Brokers and bankers, big men in their time imploring the fates, thusly," We were sold out. That's it. Those tribes on the other coast knew it was happening and never warned us. Unfair! Sold us out."

A well regarded financier from Boston, "It's true there was excess. Excess caused by everything happening too fast and by bad information and bad timing. Yes, the timing. When to plunge ahead and when to hold back. How much to bet but...nothing was said about risk!"

"Who knew? We were innocents. School was no help; not there to learn anyway. The MBA was for the networking, always the networking. Wonderful bunch there at school, we thought alike!", bleated a former Detroit captain of industry who guided the destiny and fortunes of many and now is wallowing in self-pity.

Still another, "Yes, mistakes were made. But by others. Our people were innocent... mostly. That other bunch, they were so clever. Made billions didn't they, with all their high tech gadgets and puffed up real estate. They knew it was coming. The the smart ones pulled out years ago. Took the money and split, didn't they?"

One voice, more senior than the others, was filled with disdain, "Of course, we all thought that the old familiar devices we had in place would see us through; last a lot longer at the very least. Really seemed promising; two or three wars going...not biggies, but profitable. Always worked before. But the boys, and they were boys you know, bunch of jackass MBA's got playing around with serious money. Those kids, a lot of them from good families, old families too, turned out to be a frat-rats and nerdy jocks, and yet we let them handle the big dough. Jesus, they screwed it up, royally. Couldn't be fixed. So we had to shut it down. Whole damn country. Pity, way of life gone for good. Ah, me."

The Bostonian," If only we had been as successful as the Russians were when the USSR went belly up. Maybe know it's difficult to determine if naivete or hubris had contributed most in rendering us nearly uneducable in a contemporary sense. Maybe it was bizarre form of social deprivation as the result of living in a...a Golden Ghetto, with a miniscule gene-pool, in a informational cull-de-sac, lost among our peers. Maybe..."

They pace for hours searching the horizon, as if waiting... hoping. It's their common lore, their very DNA calls out to them that the phantom ships will come back, laden, oh so heavily, and it all will be as it had once been. A time of plenty. Masters once more of the Universe. Wealth and power such as these scions once knew was their due. But time weighs heavily each day as they roam the shores, searching, dreaming.

At times the loss seems overwhelming but each lives with beautiful memories...of plenty. And the dreams, oh the dreams--
Back in the Market, again. Another chance. One more big killing, just one. Sure to be different. Way different. Any way to game it? Hope so. Can't lose hope. Can't. Someday...'Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati...--

On Molokai, once the site of a despised Leper Colony, and ignored by the Cargo Cultists as a warren of hippies and new-agers, life is radically different. Loss of the old way of life, while mourned, is not paramount with them. Time is regularly set aside to contemplate the loss and to examine what it means to each individual. The core of their collective lives is in the music and art they create.

The clan too, had a ritual but of a different order than the Maui Cult. At gatherings, sometimes at dawn, they would intone this Mantra: Being not Becoming, Being not Becoming, Being not Becoming...Om! ...and Again.
This was their way of focusing on moment-place-being and rejecting dreaming of future in lieu of the present. A rejection of the modern shibboleth that proscribes the reality of here and now as never sufficient unto itself. Always the future; seldom the present, never ever,right now.

Most of the clan formerly lived in the Pacific Northwest and had long lived without the need of every modern convenience. Happy in rough cabin or yurt, they had neither the means nor the inclination to transport tons of food stored in cans and pails, and charged with nitrogen for long life, as did the Cultists. Nor did they bring kilos of precious metals, gemstones and numerous weapons, as those Maui people had done. What they did bring, however, were survival skills and a sense of purpose and direction to their lives.

They did manage to bring copious amounts of paints and brushes and were adequately supplied with yards and yards of canvas in excellent condition from the classic sailing vessel that carried them to Molokai. Stretching and framing this bounty gave ample surfaces on which to create Visionary Art, the foundation of their spiritual lives and ethos.

Summer Dawn, a favorite among the artists, formerly lived at the Northern terminus of the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Living in close proximity to the Sliammon Band of First Nation peoples, she knew much of their ways. So it was this dynamic individual who, more often than not, was consulted for directions and guidance on a range of subjects.

"Summer," cried Zen Wren, " This fish is still raw!"
Summer cleaned her brush and left her canvas. "Sweet heart. You have the circle just right but the smoke is all over the place. Put up another screen to the windward. Remember? Wind is no friend to the smoke."
"I forgot. Sorry I interrupted you." she apologized.

An important staple was fish smoked the ancient way by racking each split carcass flesh side to the smoke source. Each was supported on a wooden rack spaced in a circle around a fire pit. In this fashion the surplus catch was preserved. They learned to do the same when a feral pig or Axis deer had provided them with a surplus of meat in need of preservation. Diet was balanced with macadamia, coconuts and for a treat, coffee and sugar.

Summer had no sooner picked up a brush than Thanta Rose, dusted over with flour, shoved a pot towards her. "I can't get this bloody mess to stick. Look at it," she cried. Summer peered at the contents. "How many eggs did you use?" "Oh God!", Thanta Rose was mortified.
"Bannock won't stick without," weighing the contents, "for this lot, at least three." Summer decided.They were using macadamia nuts as the flour, shredded coconut for substance, eggs of course, and bacon grease with what ever berries they could find, in the bush bread.
"Wait 'til the fish smoking is finished then heat up the fire for the bread," she said. "Back in the day the tribes just wrapped the dough around a stick and put it near the fire to bake."

"No way," said Thanta. "Way," said Summer.

The bread dough was pressed flat inside fry pans and the pans tilted against the hot coals. With enough sugar and salt in the mix it was quite tasty. Summer winced when she thought of what her teachers on the reservation would have made of this concoction. But bread was bread for all of that.

The clan had chosen to settle on the North Shore at Kalaupapa the site of the former leper Colony. They called the settlement Damien Village honoring the Belgian priest who had long tended the sick in the past. The clan had been well aware of the possibility of needing to leave North America before it all went critical. They, as had countless others, watched sadly as the disasters began piling one upon another.

The Gulf fishery loss from the oil gusher; the precipitous dropping of the Ogallala Aquifer level supporting dry land grain harvest in the American West were duly noticed but the failure of Salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest in particular, struck home for the locals. Chesapeake Bay and North Atlantic dwindling seafood harvest added to this but what proved to be the real crisis maker was the complete failure of the food delivery system. Unfortunately, Piggly Wiggly, Safeway or Gristides' fully stocked grocery shelves were treated as a given and the collapse was hidden from the public until it was too late. Local suppliers, long neglected, could not begin to fill the need. There was hunger.

Molokai was a logical choice as many of their number had past association with all of the islands in the chain. Summer Dawn had done live performance painting at Alchemeyez on the Big Island many times as had several of the other artists. Thus when it came to a final decision the Hawaiian Islands was the chosen destination and Molokai the chosen home site.

We have two disparate groups from a culture that had contained elements of its own destruction, striving to survive. Despite similar origins, at least in potentiality and proximity, the totality of their lives could not have been more different. Their fates? Unknown to us as to themselves. Clan or Cult... your choice?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Opus Collocus
by Robert Magill

Look at yourself if you dare.
What strange combination of wild genes
Caused you to end up this way?
How in the world did an otherwise garden variety ape
Make fire, lose sexual restraint
And end up like you?
Naked, with anytime sex and pretty much
Unable to cope.

Now fire's a bit dicey to handle in a great furry overcoat
So not much happened with it
At first.
But one day some bundles of joy came along
Sans furry coats, they were starkers you see.
The game was on with the fire by then, but
All that bare skin!
My, my, what's to be?

If it had been only one or two that were weird
The hyenas would have gotten them sure.
Hairless most of the new bunch.
But babies are hard to come by, even strange ones
Really strange as ever could be. .
They were turned inside out more like rabbits or rats
No fur at all we could see.
What on Earth!

What to do? Can't feed the crop to the beasts.
Besides the mothers were frantic.
"It's so cute, in it's way! Don't harm it!" they say.
So the naked little babes grew into big
Naked adults.
We learned to handle fire by using an old gnu hide.
If you bought into the clothes for modesty fibs,
Nope: barbeque bibs.

And the hairless kids! They all became fire bugs.
You know how dangerous that stuff is!
Well, these devilish kids treat bonfire as a new game
Of child's play.
But then they need not worry of bursting into flame
Those fur-less little showoffs!
They don't go up in smoke if they get to close and roast
Like we do.

Those kids started eating all kinds of things that
They'd half burn up on sticks.
The very idea!
I will say many things are quite tasty done that way
But who knows where all this fire business
Will lead.
I for one like my food less done but that said, it's not really
That bad!

Those new kids gave us fits.
They had acres of lush, soft, silky epidermis and
Full time steamy amor.
No bothersome overcoats. Well just a token patch...
For auld lang syne.
Full time naked sex and the secret of fire would
Give any self respecting parent a
World of grief!

Both things together is a big, big pain.
And it doesn't get any easier. Slowly, very reluctantly
Began that
Which we long beards knew early on.
It's time to put on some cover-up to keep order
And peace in the cave.
One word of late does resonate, more often than not it is

So it began.
The business of the putting-on and the taking-off
Of surrogate overcoats.
Clothes, that is.
Big waste of time and energy
Weaving and skinning and sewing. The rules!
Oy vey. How much, how little, when, where
Ad nauseam.

My part in the story ends about now.
Only a few oldsters remain of the old kind and
That is the way it should be.
Our kid's, kid's, kids will follow the thread of time
'Til they too leave the stage.
But that's for them to tell of a proud history
If it is now in the main

Hello. I know something of my people to tell you.
We were great travelers and tellers' of stories
Of oceans and seas in our path and
Mountains at our back.
Rivers of sand lay below one path and terrible cold
At the other. I sewed. My hair was the color of rust and
My face of yak milk. I had three babes
Two lived.

Stories of a better place had us follow down the great river.
I grew old on the journey but my babes
Grew strong and long forgot
The old ways.
Others will tell the story of the people who lived long;
Long enough to see the time of the ice and
The good time and then the ice again
And still we lived.

Until. It happened first in the land near the sand.
A few at first. Then more. Still more all the time.
We were bewildered.
The new ones were like us but not of us.
We were fair, they were dark. We liked them.
They liked us.
The babes came in time and they were different.
We liked them.

When there were more of the new babes than us
Some grown ones moved away toward
The rising light.
At least so the ancient ones tell us.
Stories retold when important gatherings happen.
Not sad tales but still...we wonder
How they fare and should we go to the new light
As well.

After the last big ice went away a tale is told of
Another leaving of our people.
But now the path is toward the pale sun
That stays so long.
Fewer and fewer are the old type people seen now.
Higher we travel toward the lands
Where the ice once had been covering over
The grass.

We are mostly all the new people now.
Small bands remain of the old.
The large water is near and many leave
To live nearby.
Brave ones go out on the big water to follow the sun.
We see not one of the old type people
Just their empty caves. Alas. They lived here for
Most all of time.

What came next started after the last big ice time.
The hunters hunted and the gatherers
Gathered as always.
Then the gatherers became diggers and, eureka!
Agriculture. This was the real thing the future...
Full bellies and some leisure time courtesy
Of the women.

The women let their power slip away to those
Under-employed former hunters now goat
And camel wranglers.
Prophets and martyrs at every oasis hectoring
The unwary by day. Their hapless flocks by night.
Damning the unreachable. Stoning the backslider.
No longer under-employed now pious
Stewards of eternity.

Cobblers of many small truths
Into large lies.
Dazzlers of the easily moved, the
Desperate, the forsaken who yearn for larger truths
And only wee small lies.
Several of the biggest liars have recruited global hordes.
Meanwhile the Greeks learned
How to think.

Alas! They taught the Romans. Trust us said they and thence
A millenium of gore was born. Exit Samnites
Luisitani, too and Albans and Sabines
Can't forget the Argosians O no. Rue.
The Latins gone. Forgotten? Maybe, and the dear
Old Spartans brave but dead.
Still at end the Empire into history slid with
Scarcely a whimper.

Quiet now. That fitful scratching noise? Monks
On dry skins salvaging thought and deed. Blessed be those scribes
But rescuing those ancient desert ravings and small truths may
Not have been so wise.
Armed now with the Word they set abroad to
Recruit anew the holy army.
The desert message writ in gore and peace was never
Known again.

With the reign triumphant chattel was amassed unparalled. Firstly
All females, the sex into bondage. Infidels dutfully done in.
All treasure for taking.
All beasts into proclaimed stewardship cast
And for battle caught foe, alas
The chains.
Mere arrow, axe and mace blazon desert minions' zeal
For now.

Monastaries for the parochial few led in time
To University leaving the many to life's instruction
Also known as being
The franchise expanded reluctantly to include "useful idiots".
Scholars and Gentlemen.
Now the desert minions would have champions
By legion.

In the Middle Kingdom dragons grew fearful for
Such awful noise had come.
Fire in tubes that drove them away
Never to be seen again.
Salute! Salute! Begone demons.
Strangers came to the Kingdom welcomed
But warned against knowing the recipe for
The Dragon weapon.

Theft. Deception. On camel's back the secret left
The trusting Kingdom.
Plodding toward the sand people early
In it's journey. Later to lodge with the baptised where
Piety seethed and enemies grew like
Mushrooms after horses.
Cannonading madly those angelical stewards
Of eternity.

The takings began.
Rare a yard of the globe unnoticed by the pious
As conquest or conversion fodder.
Each pagan household upended despite worth
Exceeding the usurper's own.
No matter that.
Monkish scratching etched the Word for all time.
All persons. Amen.

Pray tell how a humble ministry
To village and desert wanderer led to
And Crystal Worship Palace? The least
Materialist soul of record
Spawned generations of rapacious zealots
Ransacking a planet for piety
And for gain.

Our progress, if such, is in the way of the inchworm
Which must need grasp with his front
Whilst dragging onward his
Rear parts. And again.
His vanguard end needs hind parts holding
For purchase only
Not to anchor the forward movement with
Sternest tradition.

Poor creature. Desert minions to the rear lag back

And myopia joins narrow wisdom
Going forward.
Perilous journey with parts joined nicely in tandem
But solo effort
Brings chaos and struggle. While destiny
Is revealed only by
The inch.

Vague as our fate remains, the desert minions
Doubt not the day of our birth.
Scouring monkish scribblings brings
The aha! moment.
With that instant writ firm, all later discovery brings scorn and threat.
Time, a bother and impediment, is throttled back
To fit the desert calendar exact, lest
Doubt emerge.

Machines employed and vile draughts brewed to
Stay new thought from ever tainting
The faithful.
Show the rack. Behold the fire and irons.
Enough? Why will they not convert nor
See our truth revealed and what glories await?
Imps and demons poison all
Who doubt!

Lure the peasant from his fold to kneel and
Labor all his days at parchment and wine press
And the bell ropes.
Equip with a tongue so old and forgotten that its drone
Would cower all rogue dissent.
Tell of lesser breeds who need succor
Or bondage and how the parchments
Command it.

The freed serf and vassal and bondsmen too
Gladly aped hard Roman and thinking Greek as well
In yolking others to their will.
Centuries of men in chains leave evidence of
Grand spectacle for their driven effort.
No onset of humane regret manumit those held so
Long 'til better power than human muscle made
Them free.

Oil of whale and then of ancient ferns and such
Flowing from deep pit caused water to
Boil and spit.
Drove the engines of the newly freed serfs and made
Leisure to devise torments fresh
For sundry foes.
Onward the Juggernaut of devout
Desert minions.

Conquest and mayhem and decades of war
And more again as quick as the
Stink clears.
On and dreadful on 'til this very day and again surely
Religion the beastly side our nature. Need to pray and
Urge to slay
Dwell together.

Whilst Barons feudal did John the King coerce to
Magna Carta sire a lusty bairn was
When gray of beard that babe had met
Another ancient one.
Whose da was born the very year
English pluck routed brave Frenchmen at

Now that wee babe with long lived luck
In dotage knew another such who's own dear mother
Came alive the very day
Great Lear appeared upon the stage.
For just three mortal spans of years made
Creaking steps of times past appear
Less daunting. Six stout hearts carried us to
Elizabethan sphere.

Nearing now our present era aided by
These leaps in time to learn of a Bard's namesake
Babe who too grew eld.
And chanced to meet another crone of
Countless years who told
The singular precedent of one
Whose papa timely arrived when
Adams, John was President.

To be or not to be a King our
Republic's Princeling heir pondered, then agreed
To forsake the crown.
Majestically he searched in vain to find an American heart
Not depraved or corrupted. More darkness than light
Filled their souls and thus were unfit
For a Republic. Low born. Base.

It was a Nation, that much is true and
A new Republic, too. Though some saw murder, theft
And jingo seeping through.
But winners write the tale that longest lasts.
There was a wilderness to tame
And treasures greater than ever known before
Lay at every patriot's door.
For the taking.

Tom J. came along when we needed a friend.
Eight years had he but old Adams, J. scarce half that
To rule. Good friend Tom fiddled and took all
The House commanded and kept all his bought help
In field, kitchen and manse.
Tom was no friend to woman or hired man who
Dared wish a ballot to cast, if you please. Was Tom J. truly
A friend... indeed?

Polish an oaf and he cleans up so nicely.
Put his hands on a throttle with caboose
Far behind.
Varlet now literate reading solemn at law while
Steamboat Willie flickers about on
A wall.
Brave and new the world is our oyster

Republic gone. Lasted but scarce a half century! Egad.
Then on that slippery slope. Big chunk of neighbor Mexico.
Some idyllic pineapple isles
And next whatever Spain had worth the taking.
Hush! Be loath to utter aloud or even think
If loyal patriotic and discrete
That foulest of foul word that stink...

Our RNA, our very genes demand we must always grow.
Go West Young Man and Eminent Domain and Westward Ho!
But no Nation unless some hidden fugue propels will endlessly
Grow the whole world over.
No wisdom voice to mock us as we willfully grow, but never do
Grow up.
Unlimited growth is a perfect tell but only by a metastasizing
Cancer cell.

The game is up. Every day, in every way it slides away and
We have no clue as to how it ever got that way.
We are not unique, never were. We are not all good
And wise and noble.
Only motion and noise and none to say Stop! Pause!
Between the human and the truly humane we are but a link
And a messy bit of unfinished celestial business

I think.

Quoth the Raving



Julius Caesar

Veni,Vedi,Vici...Sidi ( I stuck around )

Uncle Sam


....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

All I know, all any of us know, is what we're told.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

If it walks like a depression, talks like a depression, and looks like a depression; it's a recovery.

...Zero Gravitas

Nice paint job

Nice paint job
Watch your step!

Quoth the Raving

Full scale War in Korea; we called it a Police Action
Police Action in Iraq; we call it a War.

...Zero Gravitas


Gene Pool?

Gene Pool?

Quoth the Raving

Ecology is an impending Black Swan quagmire therefore incorporation is anathema to Economists.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

An incoming US President who does not immediately resign his office after having received eyes-only briefings of what's really going on is hopelessly co-opted or delusional.
....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

We are now a nation of middlemen. What becomes of us if the center cannot hold?

....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving


Why not use some of the red ink to make things Green?

....Zero Gravitas

"Ashes to Ashes"

"Ashes to Ashes"