Monday, January 31, 2005

Teachers and Students Deserve Better

First year teachers and tenured veterans alike leave the public school system in droves every year. The conditions these professionals have to endure have deteriorated enough to make them leave their chosen career path in search of greener grass. Even more sad than those who leave are the downtrodden in mind and spirit that linger on, going through the motions. Void of enthusiasm they are unable to inspire.
A good teacher makes such an incredibly positive mark on the growing mind that one may find logic in a procedure to well reward these heroes with attractive salaries, public commendations, tuition reimbursement, reduced tax status, 0% mortgage opportunities and auto loans and the like. Instead we have teachers that can barely scrape by on their earnings. We have teachers spending their own hard-earned cash on basic supplies. This happens so often we should be ashamed and angry, considering the amount of tax dollars that are culled from our own wages to pay for education.
The time span that saw the American household change from a one to two incomes as traditional family structure crumbled brought additional demands upon the education system with each passing year. Parents too tired, unable or lazy to give their children a good basic ground of structure to grow upon voiced opinion that ‘it should be taught in school’. A little here and a little there, year after year, and we have teachers so over burdened they barely have time to teach. What use to learned at home is pushed off to be learned at school, or not learned at all. Teachers are in classrooms to teach a curriculum outlined by the local board of education. Teachers are not baby-sitters for sick children. Teachers are not social workers trained to look for signs of child abuse or problems in the home. Teachers are not police who have to beware of criminal activity, gang activity and weapons. Nor are our instructors psychiatrists, sex counselors, etcetera. Not if you expect them to teach.
It will take time to remedy the present situation. We have to let teachers get back to doing what they are supposed to do. Class structure needs to be changed to face the realities of life. Can you imagine keeping 30 to 40 children in line and interested in their lessons? Scary thought. Classes should be limited to 20 students. Classes should be composed of children according to their merit and proven ability. Allowing the best and brightest students to be held back by slow dim witted seat warmers is not only detrimental to the student body, it affects our country in a long term view. Testing and observation allows us to separate the wheat from the chaff. Grouping students according to similar strengths or weaknesses allows for fair mutual progress. Those lacking social skills or having discipline problems require special attention away from better adjusted students. If misfits need to be returned to their parents for basic training, so be it. If the parents themselves are unfit let the student be placed into the children’s state welfare program where they will get the love and attention they need and deserve. The so-called parents should have corrective action applied (see Spay and Neuter).
While we cull the herd in elementary school we need to make high school more than 4 years of review. Based on elementary testing results students should be pared off toward the most suitable continued education. Not every student is a scholar headed toward college. Those who show ability, interest and leaning toward vocations should be encouraged to follow that path. The country cannot run without trades-people, and the more schooled they are in their skills the better.
A phrase often heard is: “The problem with common sense is, it’s not so common”. This speaks volumes. Common sense, intuitive thought, deductive logic, rational behavior - these are things society should expect from students being released unto the world. These are traits we need to instill and further in our children.
In my opinion the many lessons to be learned that comes with membership in Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts should be integrated into the school system. Scouting opens a world of healthy living to the growing mind, providing lessons in virtue, morals, independence, survival and more. Scouts enjoy comfort in solidarity and pride in accomplishment. A child grows into a well-rounded and well-grounded young adult through their affiliation with Scouting.
Sports in schools is supposed to teach hand-eye coordination, motor skills, good sportsmanship and team play. How miserably it fails! Gifted children quickly rise to the top, the adequate remain adequate, and the less-gifted often become victims. There is so much pain, physical and mental, afflicted on the student body, that it is a black mark on society as a whole.
Gym Class is another opportunity to find the students skill level and class them accordingly. Gifted or promising athletes should have their skills honed, with coaching toward both strengths and overcoming weaknesses. Adequate athletes, or what I feel would be the bulk of the student body, needs supervision and learning in team play, good sportsmanship, and an understanding of the anatomy. Less gifted students may require additional effort to bring them to adequate levels. Yoga, Ballet, T’ai-Chi and other courses should be incorporated to assist in bringing the uncoordinated up to par.
Outstanding athletes bound for extra-curricular activities should not be doted upon or given special treatment that may detract from their education or growth as a person. We are all aware of the ridiculous level of importance Athletic Coordinators and parents place on winning sports matches. The rising frequency of assaults among adults at these events is proof positive that past methodology has left a strong negative scarring effect. This trend should be looked upon in horror. Steps need be taken to save current students from such future behavior. Until permanent school class grades are more important than sports performance statistics and game scores, education in America will continue to lag behind other countries of the world.
Obviously I don’t have all the answers but I sure have a lot of suggestions. What do you think?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Spay or Neuter

The U.S. public school system students performance results are consistently left lagging in the ranks when compared to other countries around the world. We’ve got them balls to the wall when it comes to institutions of higher learning but we’re screwed for elementary and high school achievement. The gap between achievers and slackers increases very year. There seems to be no end in sight as the traditional family structure has decayed to ruins. The amount of children having babies and fatherless households rounds out the bad balance of unplanned births in wedded households. Most of these children will go lacking through circumstance for the rest of their lives.
Children born of irresponsible parentage will have to compete with the pet humans spawned by over-achievers put through years of high-priced specialized toys, tools and courses designed to assist in the learning experience. On the farthest end of the spectrum are the rich and powerful parents who send their monkeys to private schools on their way to becoming rich and powerful parents.
We also have the destruction of religion in America as the loud voices of the few seem to rise above the murmur of the many. If the concerned minority has its way we won’t have a single reminder of God outside a house of worship within a few years. The Catholic church itself continues to make terrible history on its own, but you know all about that.
That’s the state of the States and conditions will decay even further as long as idiots are allowed to run through life without restraint. Prisons are filled to over-flow and we are building more. There are waiting lists to get into drug and alcohol treatment centers. People have to wait for hours in city hospital emergency rooms while the hallways are littered with shooting victims. Is this the type of country you want to live in?
Since our government is run by incredibly wealthy families that have the power of money and military to do as they please, which is let the country slide into the hell-hole that it’s become, we know we can’t look to them for help.
It’s time for the people who give a damn to get together and demand responsibility and civility. The long journey begins with the first step. Since our children are the future let’s make sure we have good children. If you want a champion show dog you go to a professional breeder who works with canines of the best lineage. We need to do the same with people so our children so have a better, brighter America in which to live. It’s time to selectively spay and neuter the population for its own good.
Before you get your knickers in a twitch with a ‘who died and made you boss’ attitude just back off and think for a minute. I’m not up for promoting any single group of people, either for or against. I’m up for selectivity based on merit. It’s not who you are, it’s what you do. Do you think murderers, rapists, the criminally insane, junkies and fall-down dead drunks should bring children into the world? Do you think it’s wise for people with a family history of serious physical or mental defects to reproduce? Have you ever seen classrooms filled with neglected, impaired children that are the result of long-term in-breeding by a colony of inter-mixed relatives? Do you have any idea how much pain a baby that comes from a hard core drug or alcohol abusing mother suffers? Think about these things and see what others think. Let me know.

Friday, January 28, 2005

What Makes You Perfect?

Daily long distance running makes no sense. What are these people running from? Yet most of society accepts this behavior because it is seen as healthy constructive exercise. How ridiculous. A few slaps upside the head and Ms. Run For Life could be Ms. Alcoholic, Ms. Depressed or whatever.
Drunks, drug abusers and depressed folks are supposedly unhealthy and unfit due to the effects of their destructive behavior patterns. The hard core and easy to spot members of society that fall outside accepted supposedly normal levels are most likely to receive abuse, neglect and treatment.
Still there is an large amount of deeply disturbed people that dwell among us. Most are well-hidden from the view of the common working girl who lives in a decent neighborhood and works at a nice place. She is too busy with work, chores and life to see who lives in the other houses and apartments on her block.
Where the common working girl lives there are babies born with permanent mental health afflictions. There are senior citizens slipping into the foggy haze of a new day, their best years behind them as their minds deteriorate. There are a wide range of disturbances and many of these people are undiagnosed. The diagnosed are on medication and/or treatment but are not cured. And there is a large population of sick sad people that pass as normal, and they scare the hell out of me.
It’s easy to assess ‘The Normal‘. They are so rare, so very hard to find, that their definition has become diluted and extended. This dilution serves to appease the masses, themselves mostly unfit, into believing they are okay. It would be funny if it were not so sad and true. So who are The Normal?
The Normal are not classified in the walls of psychiatric books. Those in the books, and there is millions of them, all neatly categorized, are Not Normal.
The Normal are not self-destructive. Wave good-bye to Drinkers, Smokers, Overweight, Drug Abusers, Fanatics, and People Who Do Not Eat Only Whole Unprocessed Food. Drink soda? Screw you! Surround yourself with religious based input constantly? Screw you! Lift weights until your muscles are visibly distorted? Screw you! Obsess on a sport, hobby or other interest to the point where your life is not in balance and harmony with regards to overspending/debt, relationships with others, ignoring responsibilities, endangering your health or the well-being of others, etcetera? Screw you!
See what I’m trying to get across? The bulk of society is mentally ill in more ways than one. They are unhealthy in body and/or mind, and no one is fixing them. Most of them don’t even know they are broken. And a terribly large amount of them are incorrectly accepted as Normal.
I know one person who appears to fall in the classification of The Normal. This gentleman was well-raised by highly educated professional parents, sent to excellent schools from a young age, and became a Physician who practices what he preaches. I know this fellow on a client-doctor basis only, and have received the benefit of his wisdom and knowledge for years. This Doctor is sober of mind, healthy of body and sound as the pound. Of the thousands of people I have met in my life, the good Doctor is the only person I feel fits into the unadulterated real classification of The Normal.

Meeting the Second Shift

Years ago I was working in Wayne, New Jersey and part of my duties was to update and keep stocked product manuals that were used in the USA marketplace when the good Lord sent me a present in the form of a sales executive for a printing company located in Paterson. Russ Spitzer is a tall thin man with black curly hair, beard and glasses. Russ would drop by from time to time and see if any one needed print work done. As my employer already had a relationship with Russ it was a natural move to get together when work came up. Russ and I would take a business lunch and get things covered then move on to the small talk of getting to know each other.
Russ and I had several things in common that gave us common ground to build a friendship on: music, cars and God. I love electric guitar and it turned out Russ played lead in a band. Russ and his band-mates practiced on a fairly regular schedule on Friday nights. The fellows had been doing so for a long time, and they looked at it as their version of a Friday night poker game. Blow off some steam after a week’s work and enjoy each other’s company.
Russ invited me to come to a practice session several times. I finally got a free evening and because I was not familiar with where I was bound I took a ridiculously long route to get there but as Burger King used to say, “It was worth the trip”. I met the other members of Second Shift in their northern New Jersey based practice studio. Having grown up with an older brother that gigged as a professional musician I was use to seeing stacks of quality equipment, but this was a whole new realm. These boys also took their music seriously, and the far end of the studio was a looming wall of speakers from floor to ceiling. I couldn’t wait. This was like Christmas.
Russ introduced me to Graham Maclean, the rhythm guitarist and alternating lead / back-up singer of Second Shift. Graham is shorter than Russ and carries a few more pounds. With dark well-groomed hair and beard Graham also wears spectacles. Russ extended his hand and welcomed me like a long-lost cousin at a family picnic, and we had some small talk about how Russ and I knew each other. Our conversation was cut short as Mark Jeker, bass player and lead singer of the group came in carrying his instrument.
Mark reminds one of a younger, blonder John Lennon, with similar glasses and talent. Mark too was very friendly, and I was lulled into feeling I may be in for a night of mellow music courtesy of these laid-back musicians. I couldn’t have been further from wrong.
Graham strapped on a Taylor acoustic 6 string, cracked open a trademark bottle of Poland Spring water and focused on tuning the shiny flat-top. Mark took to setting up Stanley, the artificial drum machine that required much patience and timing to produce desired results, then went in search of sheet music and a pick. Both Graham and Russ had top of the line multi-pedal effects processors on the floor. Russ opened his hard-side travel case and produced a sweet black Fender Stratocaster just like Eric Clapton plays. I sat at the far end of the room opposite the wall of speakers and became invisible as the boys set-up and tuned as they had done hundreds of times before. Mics were checked, a little speaker feed-back made certain everyone was awake, and Stanley the drum machine went through a few test starts before the boys were ready to play.
I don’t remember what the song was. I don’t remember if I was drinking Coke or Pepsi. I do remember being fully blown away as the beat was given a count-off and the guys started to play. It was like hearing a really well-made record that you loved. It was loud and it was good. Really good. The Second Shift played a variety of numbers that night, covering hits from the 50’s to the present, mixing it up with rock, blues, popular radio hits, country western and original material.
Seeing Russ transform from mild mannered businessman to executor of screaming lead solos via the Strat took a little getting use to. Russ’s background in jazz gives his style a speed, flexibility and delivery unlike any other guitarist I’d ever seen. Some call it goose-bumps, some call it chicken flesh, all I know is the skin of my arms was electric and the hair on the back of my neck was standing up.
Graham alternated between 6 and 12 string guitars as needed throughout the evening. From looking at the man one wouldn’t expect such a big voice to come forth as it does. From rock n roll growls to sweet light textured harmonies, Graham’s vocal capabilities are professional quality. On guitar, Graham supplies a machine-like precision of rhythm with the type of fretboard work one earns after many years of hard play. I’d give up my comic book collection and half my music collection to be able to play half as good as Graham. And I’d never have to work a straight job again.
All this time Mark was keeping the heart-beat of the band going, working the drum machine via a floor pedal while playing the bass and singing lead or harmony. It doesn’t take too long to catch on that Mark is a multi-gifted talent as he straps on a harmonica for a few songs or plays piano during other tunes. In the days to follow I’d learn to appreciate Mark even more for the man that he is and the talent that he has. There is one word that sums up Mr. Jeker succinctly: incredible.
Something that cracked me up about the members of Second Shift was the banter in between songs. I couldn’t have been more pleased with hearing this band play, but they noticed any little thing that may have occurred during a song. Typical perfectionists that were familiar with their craft and each other, it took me a long time to understand how well trained these musicians ears are.
The fellows took a break for fresh air during the evening and spoke excitedly about practice, upcoming gigs and tracks they were laying down for their first album. It felt great to be around players again, something I missed sorely since my brother David had moved far away many years ago. My only regret that evening was that my brother wasn’t around to sit in on a jam with these guys. Dave would fit right in.
Russ, Graham and Mark kept break time short to make the most of the time they had together. The boys wrapped it up around midnight, as Russ drives a considerable distance into New York state to get home.
That was my introduction to Second Shift, and that was a long time ago. The band has grown and progressed since then. I’m proud and pleased to know these guys, and I’ll write more about them in the future.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Some Favorite Sites

Here is a few Web Sites I feel are worthy of recommendation. I enjoy them and I hope you will too.
http://www.cockeyed.com/ Cockeyed.com is one of the most fun places to visit I’ve found to date. Rob Cockerham and friends share experiments, travel and hijinx. And they do so quite well. The first shenanigans I read about on Rob’s site was about his placing plaques and signs where there was already pre-mounted hardware which enabled him to make a quick plan of attack and execution of delivery. There is a lot of funny stories on Cockeyed.com and plenty of photo-images accompany the text. Rob exemplifies the creative genius that makes America a wonderful country.
http://www.disturbingauctions.com/daily/ is a slightly risqué site intended for mature viewing. Participants scan eBay for disturbing, unusual and amusing Auctions which are then posted with a link. You use the link to observe an Auction and enjoy the ripping commentary placed by members of DisturbingAuctions.com . The good natured lampooning runs a wide gamut and is often very witty, sharp and shrewd. Those who post a link to their own auctions are promptly ripped to shreds, as this is against site rules. If you’re an eBay junkie with a taste for things different, disturbing, sometimes macabre and most often laugh out loud funny, DisturbingAuctions is manna from heaven. But beware, this site is thoroughly addictive.
http://marylaine.com/neatnew.html takes you to Neat New Stuff I Found On The Net This Week as chosen by your “librarian without walls” Marylaine Block. Thanks to Ms. Block you can find new links each Monday to a wide variety of great web sites. With an emphasis on Library related sites Ms. Block manages to consistently come up with some of the most worth your while picks this side of a hot racing form. Site picks are archived if you feel like perusing the titles. You’ll be adding to your Favorites list in no time.
http://www.blackviper.com/ is one of the most well written Geek sites I’ve found online. The Black Viper loves his computers and operating systems and he breaks things down so regular folks can understand and help themselves. When I first found this site I was up for nearly three days straight taking in the content. If you have a computer, you need a friend like The Black Viper.
This is the first time I’ve attempted to post to the blog with links so please bear with me if technical difficulties ensue.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A Good Blog Is Hard To Find

Perusing the link list of recently updated blogs on blogspot.com I’ve found a good blog is hard to find. There is time lost on blogs so new they do not yet have content. I’ve found blogs with titles in English with their content in other languages(?). There is slow loading blogs bogged down with too many photo-images. Kiddie blogs written in street slang are an atrocity that I can’t get away from quick enough. Sadly, it seems many of these ’kiddies’ are in their twenties or thirties. That people can be living in 2005 with a desk full of technology and write on the Internet using street slang is mad, yo and not worthy of props.
Vanity blogs are totally offensive and a waste of bandwidth. There is a lot of young ladies who want the world to know what they are doing and I’m not sure why, as they’ve not much to say and they don’t invite feedback. Since I took the 2 minutes to read that some little twit is doing well with this or that but still feeling the heat from mom because of a $160 phone bill, is on her way to get a special brace fit to the leg she messed up skiing and has still lost her cel phone privileges but nonetheless is going to Switzerland next month…oh man, will someone out there tell this kid what a spoiled brat she is?
There is also a never-ending supply of poetry, which is always of interest to me as The Greatest Writer Of All Time. I think one must be a little brave to share their personal thoughts, feelings and reflections with others. Poetry is difficult to write, almost as tough as Technical Writing, which requires a concise dry how-to approach that gives a writer newfound discipline.
It’s a fun pass-time to surf the blogs in search of a jewel in the rough. I found an excellent web log written by a fellow who moved to Las Vegas. He is using his blog to chronicle his progress in finding employment, share what he sees, etcetera. His writing is concise and focused. By publishing a blog his friends and family are able to stay in touch. And Vegas is a cool and exciting subject matter.
I stumbled upon a Mom blog that is hilarious. Written by a Texas woman knee-deep in dieting and Girl Scout Cookies (yikes!), I found myself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement with this ladies views on world situations and the silliness of someone tagging Spongebob Squarepants as gay.
There is a lot of blogs that focus on Investing, whether it is stocks, bonds or what have you. I feel sorry for these people. Here we have the world at our finger tips, and they can’t see past the coin purse. Years ago I too chased the coin, before I woke up and found that the people I loved and those who loved me made me the richest man in the world. My measure of success in my forties is not what it was in my twenties, thank God. I’ve got a wife who loves me and we have a nice little house to shelter us from the rain, and I’m eternally thankful for both.
As my blogging know-how increases and I get a handle on what I’m doing I’ll seek out permission to put in Links to some of the blogs I’ve found. Meanwhile I’ll continue to surf around Blogspot to see what I can find.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Movies I Like

I wanted to update the Movies section of My Profile to show film titles instead of the genres that I listed and found there is a 600 character limit imposed there. Here is some films that I enjoy:
Taxi Driver, Chinatown, Midnight Cowboy, Rain Man, A Clockwork Orange, Kalifornia,
The Boys From Brazil, Fargo, Easy Rider, Mad Max, Pulp Fiction, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Producers, The Big Chill, Jacob’s Ladder, The Shining, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Natural Born Killers, Barfly, Sling Blade, Twelve Monkeys, Dogma, Angel Heart, This Is Spinal Tap, Wild At Heart, Trainspotting, Arsenic And Old Lace, The Last Picture Show, Blade Runner, Repo Man, To Live And Die In L.A., A Face In The Crowd, The Red Violin, The Spanish Ladies, The Blues Brothers, Woodstock, Videodrome, Young Frankenstein, Barton Fink, Dead Ringers, The King Of Comedy, Bonnie And Clyde, Burial Of The Rats, Jason And The Argonauts, The Mad Magician, Lust In The Dust, The Devil’s Rain, Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Polyester, Pecker, Hair Spray, Cry Baby, Serial Mom, Cecil B. Demented.
I'm a Peter Sellers fan. And I like movies by The Marx Brothers and The Three Stooges.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Face In The Crowd

I’m writing away on the fancy typewriter that connects me to the world when a familiar tune is heard being whistled on the television in the background. I turn my head just in time to catch the title of one of the most incredible pieces of America on film I’ve ever seen is displayed on the screen in glorious black & white. A FACE IN THE CROWD begins with a small town jail visit from Miss Marsha Jeffries (Patricia O’Neal) of radio station KGRK, the voice of north-east Arkansas looking to exploit the hidden talents of whomever the sheriff may have tossed in the tank. Jeffries is directed to a sleeping figure who is serving a week for drunk and disorderly. Sleeping off his hang-over on the floor, draped over a guitar case is Mr. Rhodes, the original rolling stone who is promptly nicknamed Lonesome as Jeffries cajoles him for a song or a story to be recorded on her portable reel-to-reel. Lonesome is a good ol’ boy but nobody’s fool and quickly trades his talent for a week in the clink being reduced to a quick one day stay. Work and reward. Give them what they want. Jeffries secrets her microphone in a basket as Lonesome works his magic, singing and storytelling in the same way he’s done for many a day and late long night. But this time Lonesome is to be broadcast to the local citizenry en masse and they respond to his knowing their plight of hard work for little appreciation. Letters flood the radio station along with home-baked pies to reward Lonesome for his charm. Andy Griffith is playing the role of a lifetime as slick talking, loud laughing, hard drinking love ‘em and leave ‘em footloose vagabond Lonesome Rhodes, who lives the best of both worlds as an adoring audience propels him to local fame. Lonesome never misses an opportunity to use the microphone to his advantage, as exemplified by a prank pulled on a fellow running for mayor who engaged Lonesome in a one on one bar brawl after the political hopeful feels he was slighted by Miss Jeffries for a date. Lonesome waxes poetic on the air about his fictious home town Riddle, where the local dim-wit was put on relief but given the job of dog catcher as a public service. Lonesome puts out the challenge on the airwaves to the locals to see if the mayoral candidate can prove himself worthy with the task of handling strays and unwanted dogs. The public responds with a yard full of mongrels and mutts that infuriates the would-be mayor while delighting Lonesome and Jeffries. Lonesome sees first hand what power his voice can wield, but as quickly as his self-awareness grows so too does the interest of those who want to exploit him on an ever-increasing rise to stardom. Lonesome quickly finds himself in the big city and in front of the camera. As the exposure grows so does the response, and the stakes grow as hangers-on and handlers maneuver for a slice of the Lonesome pie. A FACE IN THE CROWD depicts many things ugly and American, and does it so well. This film is a rare gem appropriate for viewing in a Film Appreciation course as well as a Sociology class, Psychology, Humanities, Broadcasting & Media or Intro to Politics. A.F.I.T.C. is a well crafted timeless tale as fresh today as when it was released. The rise and fall of a power is tough to watch at times, especially when viewed through the eyes of those that actually cared for the character of Lonesome, or at least tried to. I think of A FACE IN THE CROWD as a how-to for those wanting to learn the art of high quality entertainment. View it if you get the opportunity, and tape it if you’re a movie lover.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Poem from Dec.16-17, 2004

In 2004 I wrote on a near daily basis. One project contained Bad Poemtry, named in homage to the classic SNL skit "Bad Masterpiece Theatre". Many years ago I figured if I couldn't be a good poet I could at least be a really bad one. Horrific, in fact. That took a lot of self-induced pressure off my mind and gave license to using any form I saw fit, even if I had to make up my own words. As writing is the discipline of placing one's ass firmly on a seat, which I am infinitely qualified to do, I found over a period of time tha if you write enough it is inevitable you will write something that pleases you. You may even hold someone else's interest. I wrote and wrote and came up with truely grand pieces of Bad Poemtry. I even wrote a few pieces that are so good that my #1 fan bestowed upon me the title "The Finest Writer Of All Time", which elevated me from a toiling manufacturer of Bad Poemtry to heights of great expectations. Thankfully I've learned not to expect too much in life - that way I'm not disappointed. And my writing speaks for itself, which is a good thing. From time to time I'll share a piece with you. All my work is under copyright. The following piece was written on December 16 and 17, 2004. Remember to have no expectations and you'll never be disappointed. Here goes:
You say vote and I say what for
I’m a handle you are the door
Hinges too rusted to open or swing
A citizen doesn’t mean a thing
I can change things only when you let me
Your big voice saying you represent me
More like you’re reaping presents for yourself
A perverted Santa with some twisted Elves
Itch away itch away at the stone
Itch away itch away at the stone
Wearing down the granite in the shape of a throne
Grab yourself a steak and toss the dog a bone. -
That's it. Easy enough to read and get the jist of. Meanwhile, today I'm down in the basement rotating laundry between washer and dryer while tossing some sweats on a pile and I hear this voice: "hey! are we stopping soon? I'm hungry!" and some other silly phrases. Damn near jumped out of my skin, as it's just me in the house. Turns out when my wife had cleaned out a closet upstairs some 2 months ago she wound up with a bunch of stuffed plush toys that were in the way. The critters were tossed in a green garbage can liner bag and placed in the basement. One of the damn toys was a motion activated Bubba character that you would have clinging to the inside of your car window, and little Bubba would start yakking prerecorded phrases as you jostled down the road of life. Guess what's going on eBay next time I'm listing auctions.

The Clown Rebellion

Circus and carnival entertainment is a tradition with roots dating far back into early Europe. The mirth-makers and merry men of yesteryear are a far cry from their descendants of today, and Americans as a whole would be wise to ban all traveling circuses, carnivals, freak shows and the like. Or at least extradite them to Canada, regardless of their nation of birth or citizenship.
A happy childhood memory to be relived with youngsters is actually a ticking time bomb of the most serious nature. Sure, there are those who will argue that small-time entertainers provide welcome fun to the smaller towns where people may otherwise not get to indulge in games of chance, consumption of novelty foods and a few minutes on a carousel. And that’s exactly what these purveyors of perversion want people to think.
The roots of traveling entertainers in America is a mix of proud hard working families. Hailing from Russia, Greece, Italy and other countries, as well as the nomadic gypsy wandering clans who combine acrobatic skills with fortune-telling and petty theft to make a living. These people are no strangers to hunger and hard times, and these circumstances made them clever and cunning. Sharp minds, well-toned exercised bodies, able to sustain themselves on next to nothing. Like the perfect soldier.
These people may be suffering a loss in their family or dire straits financially but they will don grease-paint and costume to delight an audience as if the world was their oyster. They may arrive in the dead of night tired, cold, hungry and wet, but they will get right to work setting up their tents and booths for the sunshine of a new day. These people, while low on the caste totem pole of American society, work harder and longer than most any other group of people, yet somehow project an idyllic and romantic care-free lifestyle. This falsehood is due to how they are misrepresented on the silver screen.
The mobile circuses and carnivals are tied to representation by a known group in the towns they visit. It’s always a Lodge, Club or Secret Handshake Society that schedules their annual visits to local fields, farms and ball-park parking lots. The hand-bills are consistently red, white and blue in color and they depict happy-faced clowns with a fistful of balloons in front of a elephant while a merry-go-round is off in the distance. The reader quickly knows the sponsor, the show and the dates. It’s the perfect illusion.
We attend dutifully, whether as a child with family, teen with friends, boyfriend & girlfriend. There are rides, side shows, games of chance, food and drink all affordably priced. If you’re a people-watcher, well, like the commercial says - it’s priceless. As long as there is good weather this scene is repeated in a thousand American towns every night during the summer months. Everyone goes home happy, and the lucky winners have clean bright stuffed animals or other bootie in tow.

Enjoy it while you can, folks, because the day is coming when these traveling travesties are going to pull a 180 degree turn-around and we are going to come face to face with The Clown Rebellion. These evil s.o.b.’s have been stock-piling arms and supplies underground in fields for years. These very same sick sadistic maniacs have been sending children and girlfriends home with cheap stuffed animals containing ultra-sensitive observation devices for decades. They know who were are, what we do, and were we go. They think we’ve had it too good for too long, and that it’s their turn to ride the recliners and mute the big-screens during commercial interruptions. Beware.
Coast-to-coast carnivals, circuses, side shows, gypsy families, mime troupes and door-to-door magazine subscription sales teams will strike at a pre-appointed time. They’ll unearth their weaponry under the guise of tents and stages, put on clown costumes and seize local police departments first, then use those vehicles to commandeer other emergency services vehicles which they will then use to overtake working crews of road services, power & light and water utilities. This will give the hooligans access to a wide range of over-size trucks which, when used in conjunction with school buses, will be used to effectively block escape routes leading into and out of towns.
This will give sufficient time to plunder cash and valuables into the millions, which they will send ahead to compounds in Florida. This bootie will be segmented by category to either further serve the Clown Brigade or to be sold off to the highest bidder on eBay. The money will be rolling in for years, and they will put this extra cash to work in the lucrative fast-food market, therefore establishing permanent strongholds in the very towns they plummeted across America. It’s a vicious, tyrannical self-serving cycle with no end in sight. Beware The Clown Rebellion. Stop them now, before it’s too late.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Possiblities

I'm just now learning how not to involve myself in other peoples misery and trouble. You'd think that after being on planet Earth over 40 years that this would be a given, but we all learn at our own speed. Trying to be a friend can be a real pain in the butt - hardly worth the effort. Friends, those worth having, are far too rare a precious commodity. Most 'friends' are acquaintances that inevitably come loaded with wants and needs. They want something from you, and they have a need to destroy you if you let them. I'm learning not to let them. We all have our times and troubles and they are best kept to ourselves. I read a good analogy not too long ago, which described people as Batteries. The Batteries that have Negative Flow, you want to avoid and get rid of. Surround yourself with Positive Flow Batteries, the kind that have good words to say, the people that encourage you in your endeavors and share in your successes as well as your failures, and you'll be much better off.