Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wake up!

Awake or asleep in front of the TV,
I am glad to ignore the evening news.
What is the precise point that signifies
whether awake or asleep?

How can you sleep in front of the evening news?
It seems tenuous as a fiction,
signifying indifference between the nightmare
awake and the nightmare asleep.

I nod off. The world will go its way
without my opinions. After the sleep
the garden I tend needs my help.
But hard to get up.

My rocking chair is now my chief influence.
But I launch myself, stagger the first few steps.
The atmosphere shifts about my sloping forearms.
It is a bent over shuffle.

Careful not to break anything,
I walk, as if on glass,
the bent shouldered caution of age,
for the glass may crack.

And when it busts you tumbledown,
tumbledown the vast underground,
a grim and grimy game. Or is it a dream?
Wake up! The legs strengthen as they go.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Swat Culture


Cops-on-blacks has been in the underground for generations. I don’t know how anybody can possibly be surprised by it. Didn’t you know? How could you not know?

Being white I got away with a lot in the sixties and seventies. I mean a lot. No black kid would be still alive. Then, still alive, I got too busy to be an asshole. I almost forgot. Cops-on-blacks was there, I remembered, but nobody talked about it. When black friends and fellow workers talked about "not getting into trouble" they didn't mean with the other guys, although that was in the air too, righteous platoons or families on patrol, but I knew and everybody else knew that they were talking about the cops. I don't remember ever asking them how you get in trouble with the cops. I always thought about white gangs who "protected" certain neighborhoods. I had been lucky with them too, as I went around performing my various youthful errata. They seemed to insinuate that "getting in trouble" involved the cops more than anyone else. And further, it didn't take much. But I was trying to raise a family at that time, trying to make do, and that idea was too complicated for me to wrap my paltry brain around. I knew something must be happening. There were too many black dudes in jail. I had worked in the factories with black folks since I was old enough to work, and it seemed too strange. There were the drugs, but the black workers didn't seem any more interested in that than the white workers. They would seem all right, then they'd go away, disappear. I knew of white folks who went to jail too, but it had bothered me as being disproportionate to the number of blacks, out of kilter somehow. The black folks I knew at work seemed God fearing and too nice to get busted, and yet where did they go? All of this went underground; it was too complicated for anybody to talk about. Besides, who would want to anyway: they were taking jobs, and they were too willing to work, they liked getting paid in order to buy things, but they would not organize in a serious way.

So that's the story I knew from personal experience in my small world. I knew that I didn't want anybody in my family to get into trouble that way or put themselves in tight situations, and naturally, I'd persist in trying to explain that to them. I knew that I wouldn't want to be a black person in some of the neighborhoods I lived in. But I needed non-debatable proof. I needed more than my small world. Well here it is. It's on the Internet. Any reason anybody shouldn't believe a video taken from a cell phone?

There are numerous places you can go if you feel lacking in proof. My personal "favorite"; is here. I have spent hours thinking about that one and of course the shooter did eventually get charged with first degree murder. I am afraid to find out if the shooter is in jail. But there are others, one involving a man in a wheelchair armed with a knife who was shot to death by cop. That incident involved a white man. I don't see suicide by cop as being an excuse for anything unless cops have become involved in the suicide assistance business without my knowledge. Time is always on the side of authority. It is the bad guys who are pressed for time. The big rush astonishes me and I am nauseated to think about it.

It is important to remember that law enforcement is not the only occupation that is dangerous.

Now that the proof is out there, and obvious, where is the data? How many people, for instance, have got it this way? The fact of the matter is that nobody knows. I have seen various numbers for 2015 up to a thousand. Numerous cops have been killed, too, as we know very well. The numbers for 2015 seem less debatable—124. Lack of overall data on this subject is disturbing to me. You don't have to sit around very long to think of more subjects involving cops-on-blacks where data is scarce.

At any rate, whatever the final tally, that's a lot of dead people. If it had been a disease, it would have been a plague. Too many guns; too much secrecy. The Internet is making it harder and harder to avoid thinking about it. Eventually it has to become an issue people want to talk about every day. But then maybe not. Denial is a minor miracle. Even when denial is almost impossible without looking like a moron you can still do it. You just end up looking like everybody else. You'd never think that 28 dead children and school teachers could be cleaned up and shrouded as rapidly as they were. The attention span of the Internet is short. Soon this matter that happened in Dallas will get watered down like all the others, and the next one will happen, and maybe without the overwhelming evidence of somebody making a movie of it on their iPhone, although that debate point is running thin. After all, isn't it bad luck that there are people who have the cool to pull out their cell phones and take pictures of this bullshit while it is happening. How do they do it? It must be bad luck. There might not ever be another time. How many people are there like that in the world? What happens to them afterwards?

My fear is that the authorities will tighten up. Well, so we see the bomb toting robots and the armored troop carriers, the tanks, the NG. Maybe shut off the damned Internet that makes it so hard to sweep these situations under the rug. That would be useful. I am just cynical enough to think that this possibility is the most likely. Man, the toolmaker, has built most excellent robots and guns and bombs to solve these types of problems. Swat culture is bound to become more and more scientific. Swat culture is tough, in fact, it has become an institution. There is hardly any defense against it because it is pragmatic and there is always an excuse for the pragmatic. The Internet, on the other hand, is not an institution; its existence is a lot more delicate than most people think.

Hard to imagine is a "national discussion". The cops will complain that they are unsupported. They will complain how tough it is "out there". They will complain about Obama. About time they should be reminded that there are firemen and electric company workers out there risking their lives too. If the kitchen is too hot then get out. Much easier to imagine is that they will "suck it up" and send in the bots!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hillary, Teflon Don and Internet Pain


Now Hillary is getting lambasted again. She smells, has to be reminded to take a shower, she is a power maniac; she'll do anything to get power, lie, steal, murder and Billy is even worse. She has a malignant personality, she hates everyone, and her self hatred is even worse. The Trump people want to kill her, which is a true possibility, and I hope she makes it. I can't understand why they pound on her like they do. A server is nothing. I don't get it. Whitewater was nothing, nobody ever came up with anything definite. There has never been a smoking gun. Billy's peccadillos are funny. It makes you scratch your head. One of the first things I remember about Hillary was when she sat in front of the TV cameras one night over twenty years ago and tried to make sense of Whitewater. What can it mean? Is she the one that all the guys hate because she is smart? She and Bill make a good team, but they do get into errata. I think they are idealistic and enthusiastic and that is part of the reason. Both are infinitely photographable. Every photo has about it something interesting, Hillary's sunglasses and her Blackberry, for instance. They are attractive and mysterious and complicated. The intellectual part of me loves them because they are noir, existentially shady. It is the way she is, and Billy is the same. I guess you could see how an alpha personality could get into an uproar over them. Even their presence would be offensive. Besides you can't get rid of them. You can't scare them away. Usually you can convince those kinds of people to disappear without much effort. But the Clintons hang around; negative vibes even seem to inspire them.

Also what is important to remember about the Clintons is that they are just regular folks. They were not from rich families, they did not get the treatment. There is in them a great deal of spunk. Maybe they don't act exactly right at times. They carry on when you'd swear that maybe it would look better if they didn't, if maybe they'd just sort of twirl away into the sunset for a while. The worst of it is that they have been doing it for so long that they make everybody else look like beginners. That must really piss off quite a few peers who covet the spotlight too. A lot of it, I believe, is just plain jealousy.

Maybe that has something to do with it. I am trying to think of anything like it in my experience and I can't. Nobody understands that she was Secretary of State, a US Senator and a hard to ignore First Lady, and it is natural to think that classified messages, which seem to be at the center of the current hubbub, were apt to come her way without her knowing that they are "sensitive". (Incidentally, that is the most ridiculous epithet in the sordid history of epithets.) So happens she is back in hot water again.

Everyday I am at a loss how the American populace could possibly screw up so thoroughly. I have theorized about the decline in public education that has been going on for the last fifty years or so. How could they be such morons? Let me explain this one more time: there is no top secret on the Internet, there is no classified on the Internet. When something gets on the Internet it is fair game for everybody. This means you can't send cleavage photos to your boyfriend and not expect them to end up eventually somewhere you'd rather not have them be. If you are a famous person, you can't sit there with your iPhone and open your bank account or communicate with someone in a way that doesn't look good. I have carried on about this again and again. Nobody pays the least attention. Why?

(But on the other hand that may be to the good because nothing is secret any more! Isn't that wonderful. Nobody can get away with anything! The idea that there can be top secret information, information that one person or group of persons knows and nobody else knows, is a delusion. If the info is on the Cloud or touches the Cloud in any way, it is not secret or confidential any more.)

Now you are stuck with trust. If you don't trust, then you have to go back to the mail, you have to pay by cash. You have to put your Top Secret docs in the corner of your cheek or up your ass like the gumshoes used to. But there are ways around this; you can work hard and develop a home server—what is there about that phrase, home server, that gets people so hot-to-trot? I have theorized that it is Google terror.—, or if you are rich and famous, you can hire somebody to install a home server for you. Then you might be able to get by. There are OSes that are hard to get into—Microsoft Windows is not one of them. If you have hired a person who knows what she is doing, then the trust thing is not so much of an issue any more. UNIX style OSes are much more secure and hard to break into.

Who cares? People rich or poor are gonna do it no matter how many times you tell them not to because it is convenient and they really don't understand. Or want to understand. They'll just tell you in a huff, "I don't wanna do it any other way!" I believe there will be a period of adjustment before the human race finally comes to the conclusion that they can't secretly do anything they want to any more and get away with it. Why should Hillary Clinton be any different than the thousands of others who have run into this problem? She has admitted it at least a hundred times in the past year or so. But I bet she won't stop doing it. After all it was bad luck that anybody found out. She is too smart to miss that fact. Maybe it was once in a lifetime bad luck.

So far Teflon Don has got away with it. But he knows how to use paper and a safe with a lock on it. He also seems disinclined to take notes or keep records because it gets in the way of "speaking from the heart". Big business trickery is deeply ingrained in his days and works. He lets it fly. We'll soon find out how long that lasts. Not long I bet. He's not very bright, and without the Internet he knows he hasn't got a prayer. Who's gonna give him any money? Though fabulously wealthy, how much cash has he got, really? Soon he'll be suffering Internet pain like everybody else.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Just Different

When we can't understand our love,
how can we stand by it?
We are different!

Our apartment beside the bend in the river
leaves small room to expand.
We go to work.

We have heard the word "crazy".
At work won't they tell us?
Won't they warn us?

Won't the buzz at work warn us?
But our chats around the water cooler
yield nothing new.

Expectantly we cleave to the work.
Beauty is far away, long walks
in nature are a waste of time.

TV and Facebook make us nauseous.
How have we escaped expertise
in the latest starlet's love life?

In the dark under what rock do we live?
You do not know! YOU DO NOT KNOW!
Why have you not friended anybody?

How can we understand anything?
Why would God make us thus?
Our best friend is funky darkness.

Direction by starlight is lost.
We have ceased all treatment.
Look! We're still alive, still seek to touch.
What's it to you if we are different?