SELF IDENTIFICATION BY A. CHEESE
It seems a simple subject to understand, self explanatory, obviously; the subject of self identification. The problem has been ignored and rudely dismissed forever and like all things socially and politically relevant, is now literally boiling over. The historically accurate and cliched portrayal of government employees punching a time clock and doing next to nothing but collecting a paycheck is made more intensely obvious by the ongoing plight of the gay.
The grand notion of the “NEW WORLD ORDER” has arrived and has received a lukewarm welcome. Homosexuals will now allow themselves to establish appropriate recognition in society. I said so. I am a proud person of choice. I don’t care what you say.
I don’t know how a government sponsored plastic, or laminated ID card states who you are, or why you need such a silly, trivial thing to establish your identity, which is your own true sense of self comprised of intelligence, consciousness and energy. When travelling via use of currency, not government sponsored paper monopoly money, or even pulled over by the police, what is the fucking point of it? Complete strangers don’t know you. Only you know you. When asked for my ID, I simply say “I’m wearing it.” That should be the end of that. If you fail to understand, that’s your problem.
ID Theft, Immigration, Spying, Illegal Surveillance and Acts of Espionage are federal crimes that have been conveniently swept under the carpet and the build and the reveal in regards to the results of decades of blatant neglect become more painfully obvious everyday. Why government is incompetent, inefficient and otherwise unethical and unprofessional is profound and pronounced. The hearts and minds of the people are read as easily as swiss cheese.
Government employees get off on the fact that the majority of the GP knows just how inept they are and do next to nothing about it. They enjoy taunting and flaunting criminality the way victims of arrested development enjoy bullying. I have beared the brunt of such incompetence heightened due to the fact that I identify as Transgender and society ain’t there yet.
It is slowly progressing, but nowhere near as quickly as it should be. I was placed under false arrest and charged with false impersonation, which is ironic beyond reason. The fact is I can change my name “legally,” whenever I want and cannot be made to adhere to a particular gender.
The government will not dictate who I can and cannot be. I am whomever I say I am. Lest I remind you, to challenge that is a federal offence and I will drag the attempted assailant through the system and have them explain their homophobia, sexism, misogyny and racism and attempts at perpetuating slavery in the modern age to death.
I am going to narrow the field so that I might discuss the basic essentials. Currency over money as a means of livelihood. “No Taxation Without Representation” is a personal philosophy all homosexuals should emphasise through education and further awareness. The primitive notion of generic “taxes” should be considered beyond antiquated and rethought out.
Immigration, spiritual laws, healthy mental, emotional and spiritual development and hygiene are not considered vital. Power trips, ego, and the willingness to oppress rather than the willingness to empower are the normal means of self expression.
Who votes legally nowadays? Bastards are shat out the foetid womb everyday without “real,” or legal names, why should I be hassled as a Trans-Gentleman due to society’s inability to keep up with and acknowledge evolution? We have a preponderance of evidence that states why society does not work and is divided as it supposedly stands.
The U.S. is especially divided and engages in everyday civil wars. You would think that intelligent persons would severely question a government that continually and consistently dodges the bullet. The generic population is not there yet and fails to see the importance of addressing these obvious issues that plague society.
Until a true revolution is waged, attempts at true evolution will fall short and the mainstream will forever remain the enemy in terms of achieving appropriate social and political progress.
GENDER REVEAL PARTIES... A. CHEESE
Did Kimye host a skin pigment reveal party? Get where I’m going with this? Why people of the modern age choose to perpetuate sexism, misogyny, homophobia, which are all known as racism and racial profiling, should be researched and examined. Can you reveal if a child is multicultural or, of which percentage of its DNA will be this, or that? Of course not!
The plague of racism, gender roles and stereotypes are still prevalent enough to prevent essential social and political change from happening. Younger generations should be wise to the system of slavery they themselves were born into and not want to pass it on to their children. The days of the pinks and the blues are gone. Red and blue never distinguished woman from man, or man from woman. The concept was ass backwards since the beginning of fe/male relations.
A man’s body temperature is naturally higher than a woman’s making him, if represented by mere colour alone, a “red.” The woman’s natural internal body temperature is cooler making her a “blue.” It is a sorrowful state to see the GP so far behind when it comes to simple categories such as vagina and penis.
The population is oblivious to the fact that they are upholding anti-feminist and homophobic views. I am of the attitude that people should think before they breed. Proper breeding conditions require a closer examination of the global scene before proceeding. You would think that with feminism, Stonewall, and the Civil Rights Act views of the GP would have changed considerably more than they have.
The modern population desperately needs to get over the “gender deficit” mentality and reject discriminatory attitudes and practices upon contact. Racism and racial profiling are not cool things to do. They never have been. Sexism, misogyny and homophobia aren’t cool either. Also, have never been popular attitudes to support. If you want to be cool, like me, you work against a racist system of governance that clearly does not work for, but against, the people.
You race horses and dogs for “sport,” not people. Slavery was abolished in the states in 1865. There was a small uprising, unfortunately known as The “Civil War” which came about as a result of truly heinous mistreatment of other human beings and a President finally willing to do something about it.
Over 600,000 lives were lost, or thereabouts. You might think how to introduce and educate your still justating offspring on the subject rather than styming it with an incredibly limited gender role as defined by a terribly primitive, farty and stale society.
I have personally dedicated a great deal of time and energy to the subject of gender and how it is perceived and previously defined, in society, by society. The revolution is here and evolution, no matter how slow, is in progress. The job of the individual, as I see it, is to be a part of the solution, not the problem. If you see discrimination in action, do something about it. We have surpassed the ”Golden Age” of racism and sexism and homophobia will not be tolerated.You will not tread on us.
"WHY AMERIKKKANS LUVS 2 EAT SHIT," OR R.I.P., GEO. CARLIN'S "DUMB AMERICANS," CONT., A RANT BY A. CHEESE
FEED VERSUS FOOD - A. CHEESE
Chronic eating disorders come about as a result of what, or how you think about food and how you were taught to eat. The attitude an earful of feed equals a mouthful of food could certainly stand some revising.
Cleaning up your so called ''dirty laundry'' or that of another, is not in anyway a healthy attitude to express through food. It should be agiven that stealing feed is a federal offence and the mentality is a disorder. Cleaning up feed, or improving means of communication, is the solution.
Sharing food, or meal times, has long been considered a social bonding ritual. Often times the common expression ''taking the food out of someone else's mouth'' leads to more sinister and cannibalistic connotations. Empty, or negative, feed leads to unhealthy eating habits and those unhealthy eating habits can gradually evolve into a prolonged death sentence.
AGEISM - A. ZEE
PEOPLE OF CHOICE - A. ZEE
INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER/MOTIVATOR, ROSITA W. BROOKS
www.rositawbrooks.com • @rositawbrooks
TRUMP & CO. & THE LGBTQ DEBACLE - A. CHEESE
Travesties of justice are not foreign to me, or my kind, by any stretch of the imagination. Trump should be impeached immediately for obnoxious, inflammatory statements and a clear misunderstanding in regards to basic, inalienable human rights issues. Trump is not a politician, he is a businessman. He is a real estate mogul and presenter of crap TV.
The (il)logic behind the Trump win was that the amerikkkan people wanted someone "more like them" in office. Hillary Clinton was and is too good for the amerikkkan public at this particular time in history. The ameri, pardon me, kkkunts who dragged their fat, lazy, deep fried twinkie, sister wife asses to the polls are represented most accurately by Kentucky's own Kim Davis.
A seemingly charming, clearly enlightened, hidden intellectual Davis now owes the state $225,000 in useless attorney fees because bitch tried to deny a healthy same sex couple the newly celebrated right to marry. She balked and was justly, for a change, sent to jail. Davis then was courted strictly for purposes of white trash PR by religious deviates and other forms of fungi and pond scum.
Davis represents what the amerikkkan people should absolutely detest, despise and otherwise find despicable. The amerikkkan PS 101 drop-outs, the knocked up teens, the welfare/SSD lifestyle support victims wallowing in self pity and various forms of despond. They remain oblivious to the fact that their developmental disabilities ranging from self loathing, deep seated insecurities, inferiority complexes, serious rejection issues, abandonment and a succession of otherwise generic and boring mental and emotional health problems are on full display.
Back to their boy Trump...for Donald Trump to ban LGBTQ from serving publicly in the U.S. military is yet another joke my community can manage, but shouldn't have to. Trump, given his current reputation, should simply ban vagina, people of colour and those of us who can con-sensually and responsibly choose how to express our own sexuality freely, from society.
Also, for the Department of Justice to be so incredibly unjust as to openly state that transgender people are not included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is like saying blacks are really not included either. The intention of breaking federal law on the part of those supposed to be officiating being most obvious, unacceptable and intolerable.
As a result of these grievous injustices, I have decided to ban dumb people from society. I intend to run for public office in some capacity and I shall go from there. I am fond of pursuing the idea of a dumb people holocaust. I'm done seeing innocent people harassed and abused by the slaves and cattle herds of the over population.
I'm through observing the ludicrous attempts at false power, and/or control, which speaks volumes in regards to how they, the known enemy, view themselves in relation to those they perceive to be truly and innately powerful.
Since he seems to revel in wreaking havoc on the justice system and "banning" basic human rights that were long denied my community, I strongly advise that the amerikkkans who have taken to dissing Trump as an occupation begin sincerely pursuing impeachment procedures.
I have to say that I am sick of the bitching and whining. Do something about it already! You have the right to elect and deseat a sitting president. Impeachment is not yet another law to push aside and say "oh, well" to. I think the majority of amerikkkans thoroughly enjoy the drama brought about regardless of how, or why, eventually voting in favour of the standard "it'll go away" attitude. Impeachment proceedings are just so darn tedious and messy!
I vowed a decade ago that amerikkka would come to a rude awakening. The time has come. What should be thought about is how to run a government that respects and supports the social and political doctrine it was founded on. You know, pieces of "shit paper" like the Constitution, Civil Rights Act, Miranda Rights and so forth. A civilised society is only as strong as the laws it is defined by. The people make it happen. The sheeple do not. You decide.
The Carolinas are proving to be antiquated and anti Amerikkkan, as they are trying to pass legislation that would hinder LGBTQ rights in their states. Rumour has it that there is an “Equality Bill” making its way into the mainstream.
It is tragic that many are still so terribly threatened and challenged by the right to choose sexuality and that marriage is seen as human bondage rather than a consensual commitment between intelligent persons. Since there isn’t any logic associated whatsoever with these backward thinking cavemen and women, I don’t see that they pose anything but unnecessary frustration regarding their deep seated need and desire to attempt to dictate what goes on in the privacy of the bedrooms of total strangers.
The much over do and much anticipated arrival of President Rodham-Clinton should assist our national and international communities in the endeavour we attempt to further equality and justice and initiate the indoctrination of educated, credible powerful women, homosexuals, people of colour and gentleman who support the aforementioned civil rights issues.
I personally am disgusted by the lack of positive change, progress and advancement that should have occurred in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. One hundred years later the Civil Rights Act should have been the gateway at which to walk through in terms of at last securing significant strides against racism and various forms of discrimination in society and politics.
I blame corrupt republicans and religious for these grievous injustices and ushering in welfare degenerations in a sick and sadistic attempt to keep the public under the thumb of corporate greed and further destruction of Amerikkkan pride.
Oppression is not an acceptable means of sustaining a healthy population. Educating the public on the subject of empowerment and encouraging them to seek out intelligent solutions to various social and political ills is the answer.
Here's to future understanding of the horrid indiscretions of the past and to future progress and understanding of basic human rights issues. Things can only get better. #HRC2016 #EndRacismNOW
SLAVE LOTTERIES & NUMBER GAMES IN AMERIKKKA, 2016 -
How such inhumanity is tolerated and allowed to take place in plain sight of the public is a tremendous travesty of justice and must be addressed by appropriate elected and media officials and branches of government.
Greed and jealousy are the essential motivating factors behind such egregious actions. I want the federal government to intervene especially in states such as Pennsylvania and the tri-state known for having reputations as most corrupt in the US.
I personally have been exploited in a variety of ways by unscrupulous, mentally defective trolls and fully expect to be recompensed for grievous inconvenience. Though legal assistance has been difficult to secure, I will make all the necessary moves in order to bring my case forward.
The miscreant trash responsible is guilty of gross and rampant abuse of children, adults and elderly adults, the disabled and even domestic pets. I am speaking about known crimes ranging from kidnapping of children and adults to premeditating and carrying out murders for welfare and insurance fraud purposes.
These crimes are unspeakable and unthinkable if you are of a sane and rational mind. I demand that the Obama Administration intervene and force Pennsylvania to secede from the union should it continue to refuse to comply with Constitutional, Civil and Miranda laws and rights.
I will seek justice no matter what the cost.
DESEGREGATE YOUR BRAIN: THE AFTERMATH OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY - A. CHEESE
Finally, after seemingly insurmountable amounts of grief, sacrifice, hardship, physical and mental pain and strain, the US Supreme Court ordered that the Civil Rights Act of 1965 become law, the country’s celebratory mood was short lived. People of colour are just beginning to achieve long sought after social and political justice.
LGBTQ’s, have endured the same discriminatory attitudes caused by racism. Homosexuals were never included, or acknowledged, in the Civil Rights Act; if anything, we were subtly implied.
Waiting patiently for the appropriate passing of the baton, in terms of human rights advances, has been a long time coming.
People of colour, feminists and homosexuals are all too familiar with the constant frustration caused by discriminatory and unacceptable attitudes when it comes to sensible want of just validation regarding basic human rights.
Now is just another leg of the marathon, just another series of hurdles for the LGBTQ community to overcome. It is important to weather the social climate appropriately. Activists, supporters and members of the community, know the hazards of getting too much too soon, or too late. Don’t let current standards bring you too far up, or down the ladder.
Take the time to desegregate your brain. There isn’t a formulaic way to think if you identify as male, female, black, or white. I will be in the coloured waiting room writing poetry until the rest of the world catches up. Mind control and various forms of modern slavery, or state and federal lotteries are unacceptable forms of obvious discrimination which must be done away with immediately.
History has shown that achieving even minimal progress takes a great deal of time. It will be another 50 years, or so, before we fully reap the benefits of Marriage Equality. Continue to ride the high and lows associated with small triumphs and great advances and don’t allow the Kim Davis’s out there to change your opinion of what you know to be true.
I am also beyond tired of egregious celebrities using the LGBTQ community for PR whoring and nothing else. The moment Miley’s 15 minutes are up, she’ll happily move on to the next cause to attach her leaching and otherwise parasitic hashtag to. The need for greed will always be there, but we can change the national agenda gradually by exposing more and more of the population to the positive aspects of the LGBTQ agenda.
Here’s hoping for a positive outcome at the next presidential election and like with the Obama administration being publicly known and seen everyday, attitudes towards women in power will finally begin to change for the better.
GAY MARRIAGE & POSITIVE SOCIAL & POLITICAL CHANGE - A. CHEESE
Why the hold up? Why did it take the supposed union nearly two and a half centuries to appoint a person of colour to the presidential office? Why haven't mature adult women, the majority of the population, haven't gained as much respect as their male counter parts are traditionally given?
I find it beyond ludicrous that the fiercely promoted United States of Amerikkka has been touting itself, like a cheap PR whore, as the world's most powerful nation, and considered, still considers, itself some type of human rights utopia when we all know the bitter sting of the obvious fucking joke on the public.
Racism has been the prevailing mindset of the people since the inception of the union. I am thrilled to see significant progress occur, but really, it's a sad, old story of too little, too late. In spite of some long overdue social, and political changes, state lotteries, or human slavery, and auctions still continue in plain sight of the federal government, and various local, and state law enforcement agencies without consequence.
Young children, specifically those considered female, the elderly, the disabled, even pets, are targeted, and sold into deeply inhumane "numbers games," in which unscrupulous participants break nearly every relevant Constitutional, and Civil Law in favour of greed, pettiness, and jealousy.
My contempt for such savagery, and barbarism leads inevitably to endless frustration as the concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are constantly ignored. Education is the key to ending social oppression. The population should be empowered through the system, and not disabled by it. Welfare bankrupted the US over 5 decades, and those unfortunates born into it were made into mindless, brain washed slaves instructed, and advised to follow a cowardly, and criminal rhythm.
It is a new beginning; however, we still have a long, long way to go in terms of achieving US PR goals. My best advice is to seek desired levels of education, educate, and continue to think for yourselves.
Remembering LOU REED by Brian Hugh Ramsay
'I always believed that I had something important to say and I said it.' - Lou Reed
"The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones. Shakespeare wrote those words a long time ago and yet as a final tribute they seem tailor made for describing Lou Reed.
Sure we know he fronted the Velvet Underground, maybe you can even hum 'Take a Walk on the Wild Side' and if your movie tastes are as eclectic as mine, you still play the soundtrack from Oliver Stones Doors movie which featured the song 'Heroin' prominently while showcasing Jim Morrisons downward spiral into self parody.
But Lou Reed eventually became more famous for what he wasn't then what he was. What he was not was polite. It's cliche to say a person doesn't suffer fools gladly. We usually say it about someone who is an asshole, but whose choice of targets for their asshole behaviour line up with our own opinions.
Lou Reed said for us that which we lacked the courage to say for ourselves and so we excuse his poor temperment and crusty behaviour.
We admire the luminaries of modern artists who bought a Velvet Undergournd album and then went out and conquered the world. Brian Eno famously said that the Underground's first album didn't sell very well but everyone who bought that album went out and started a band. You might scoff at such but dozens of artists hold the Undergrounds music in high reverence.
The nineties and especially grunge music was sung by men and women who all owned a copy of a Velvet Underground album and listened to it religiously.
My first intro to the artistry of Lou Reed was in the basement of my buddy Ian, the guy who would turn me onto punk and hard rock. Ian even talked about travelling to New York on pilgrimage, though I suspect it was more so he could hang out at Warhols Factory in the vague hope that hanging with the famous might lead to sex with the famous.
I perused the quotes by Lou Reed and the man had an impressive grasp of what it was to be an artist and enough self awareness to realize the narcissism that innate if you create anything for a living.
His life is also an example to all those frustrated artists toiling away in some soul crushing job while honoring their craft. Lou did that himself after the initial poor reception of Velvet Underground and Nico.
See the good that Lou Reed has done is as much measured by those left behind as it is by any song he himself ever wrote. His fans and admirers are the stars which illuminate the night that has fallen, or some such.
Honestly, Reed would have been the last person to care about gushing tributes, or flowery speeches. Reed let his art and music do the talking and what they say about him is here is a man who knew his worth and challenged others to see their own worth and live gloriously up to it. He dared us all to walk on the wild side and the world is better for it, I say.
Poet JOHN LAVAN on VINCENT
I first became fascinated with Vincent Van Gogh, like most people, because of his paintings; and by seeing many of his canvasses in the flesh in Amsterdam, Holland.As I started to look at his life, I found his energy inspirational. Not simply because of paintings as outcomes, but also his tight-jawed approach to a scarce life.
He took to painting with a passion mostly unsurpassed and largely without much hope; his intensity was amazing, his forbearance to keep going against the system, his unrelenting focus, his mutual love for his brother Theo, his disregard for most other people.
All this was lifelong input to art-as-process by drawing, painting, studies with huge intensity - every day - and why billions of people now know of him and something of his life through the outcome!
Here are a few of the things he said;
'made with a will, with feeling, with passion, with love'
'the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter''
'intensify your own health and strength, and life,
that's the best study'
I am an internet poet there are some watered-down parallels
because only very rarely can I get my intensity high enough to produce real,
It was only when I read this quote from Auden that I fell in
love with another aspect of Vincent.
"There is scarcely one letter by Van Gogh which I
do not find fascinating"
As I continue to
research the writings of Vincent, I find that he was also a brilliant penner of
prose. This aspect of his talent is much less well known than his visual art.
So I have
started to post extracts from Vincents letters on Twitter and build up a
following. I also write poetry (obviously) and here are a couple of pieces about
Vincent, are you pretty matey?
Vincent are you beautiful?
Passionate as any pirate,
How can throats not sadden
to think of how you showed
standing at an easel, dancing,
heart as pure as newly melting snow.
There was a young Dutchman called Vincent
who painted the postman and peasant
living in hovels,
loving the brothels,
relationships always unpleasant.
In Etton, his father, a preacher,
his mother, a climber, a reacher:
starry, his passion,
conflict, a mission,
intensity always his teacher.
In ten years of painting, he shows
how to catch natures heaven, god knows!
Fighting his battle,
til a death rattle
arched him away with the crows.
I feel pleased
with the second poem because it is ridiculous to write sensitively about such a
great man in a limerick style!
the seeds of time. Where is Vincent now: a modern day equivalent?!
http://poemsfromreality.blogspot.co.uk/ and has an e-book of poems (and a couple of videos) available here;
Follow-Up Interview with the Author of "August Farewell," Toronto's David Hallman
Author David G. Hallman lost his partner Bill to rapid onset pancreatic cancer in late August of 2009, a few days after their 33rd anniversary. Hallman has written a loving tribute to Bill entitled "August Farewell." I originally interviewed Hallman last year. You can find the interview posted here following the most recent. His latest literary offering is entitled "Searching for Gilead."
You have written a beautiful tribute to your partner Bill. I thank you for
publishing your story and sharing it with a global audience. Are you
considering selling the rights to a production company, or are you yourself
considering turning your story into a major motion picture, or made for
A: People have suggested that August Farewell
would make a beautiful and poignant movie or stage play. But no, I have not
taken any initiative to pursue that option. It feels awkward, even
disrespectful to Bills memory, to seek that kind of exposure.
Bill and David in 2006
"It took a great deal of pressure from my friends to convince me to publish the memoir in the first place. I had written it for myself with no expectation of anyone beyond a very close circle of family and friends reading it. But after a year of cajoling, I was finally persuaded that it could be of interest to a broader audience in terms of both of the storylines one being dealing with the dying of my lover and the other being my description of our long-term gay relationship. And now people all over the world are reading it and sending me the most heart-felt responses about how they relived their own experiences of loss as they read August Farewell.
"I suppose the same logic could apply to having it made into a movie. If someone approaches me with a proposal, Ill give it serious consideration but I dont feel right about trying to flog such a personal story to people in the film industry."
"My publisher did convince me to explore the movie option with my novel Searching for Gilead that I wrote immediately after August Farewell and which also deals with love and loss. So what is called a Hollywood Treatment and Coverage has been prepared for Searching for Gilead and that is being shopped around to possible production companies. But, Im not holding my breath that anything will come of that. Many Hollywood Treatments adapted from books get written every year and never get onto the big or little screen."
David and Bill in 1996
Q: Bill passed in August of 2009. How are you doing almost three years later?
A: I wish I were doing better than I am. I had expected to be further along in the process, having moved on whatever that means. I still find myself crying on a regular basis. There are so many triggers that remind me Bill. And I talk to him all the time, though not in the presence of others - I dont want to get institutionalized quite yet.
"People encourage me to concentrate on the good memories of which I certainly have a rich store and to be thankful that I had such a passionate long-term loving relationship. But those strategies seem to have the reverse effect. The memories dont comfort me as much as remind me of how much I have lost. But Im not going to abandon the memories just because of the pain. Theyre hugely precious to me."
"I do have lots of supportive friends but I dont
want to burden them with my grief. So I spend a great deal of my time alone, in
solitude, listening to music, reading, and writing."
Q: Im sure your objective in sharing your story with the public was to bring comfort and closure not only to yourself, but to others experiencing similar trials and tribulations. How has writing the book helped you in your grieving process?
A: The writing process itself was therapeutic. About six weeks after Bill died, I started to feel panicky that I would begin forgetting the details of those incredible sixteen days. So I began writing and wrote almost non-stop for about six weeks until it was finished. I felt tremendously relieved afterwards that I now had this record that I could go back to in years to come, very much like paging through a precious photo album.
"Then when I was persuaded to publish it, another dynamic emerged. People started sending me their reactions, very moving personal descriptions of their own experiences of loss and how much they appreciated reading August Farewell. (Ive posted a selection of these readers comments with their permission on my website at http://bit.ly/iUsybE). The conversations and relationships that have developed through these author/reader dialogues have profoundly enriched my life."
Bill and David, Egypt
Q: Did you have any unspoken reservations when the book actually hit the shelves? Did you feel a bit naked?
A: Very much so. I am by nature a very private person so I feel very exposed and self-conscious about so many people, including complete strangers, reading such a personal memoir. But paradoxically, Ive continued down that path. Ive now been doing quite a bit of blogging (http://authordhallman.posterous.com) where I talk about the mourning process, sometimes in relation to my experience of a movie or concert, sometimes in relation to a special date such as Bills birthday or Christmas or our anniversary. It feels to me sometimes like Im becoming an emotional exhibitionist. But Im able to do it because the writing of those posts, as with August Farewell, occurred while I was alone within the privacy of my own home. Its as if Ive just been writing in a private journal. But taking the step to press the publish button for the blogs or to see August Farewell on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites jars me into acknowledging that I am indeed sharing these reflections with the world. I dont really understand how I can explain that paradox to myself except for the one aspect of the wonderfully touching feedback that I get.
"But it always startles me when I go to tell someone a story and they finish it for me saying, Oh yeah, I read that in August Farewell or on your blog. Duh. Thats right. I did send it out into the world. Its definitely a weird sensation."
Q: You were employed by the United Church of Canada for decades and championed many relevant social, political and environmental causes. Being Canadian, how do you view the standard American attitude on gay rights and gay marriage?
A: On Twitter, I follow and am followed by many Americans so I hear a lot about gay rights and equal marriage struggles in the U.S. Plus, I watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The conservative trashing of LGBT issues is nauseating especially as weve seen through the GOP primary race. But Ive read some analysts and had many friends tell me that, though those reactionary voices are loud, they represent an increasingly smaller proportion of American public opinion. The passage of equal marriage rights in more states is also a sign of progress.
"Same-sex marriages have been legal in Canada since 2005 and many such marriages have been performed by ministers in my denomination, the United Church of Canada, which has a long history of being supportive of social justice causes. Certainly, we still have LGBT issues here in Canada but we dont seem to have the same degree of polarization that I see in the U.S."
"I strongly believe that all of us, whether in the
U.S. or Canada or wherever, who are fighting for equality are on the right side
Q: I want to start HOMO OCCUPY in this country picking up numbers as we gradually make our way across the country stopping in big and small cities protesting and camping out until we, the LGBTQs, can marry in all 50 states. Did you participate in the OCCUPY rallies held in and around Toronto?
A: I certainly was supportive of the Occupy rallies here in Canada but was not involved in the organizing. Theyve done a great deal to raise and legitimize issues of economic and social inequity in our societies.
Bill and David, Venice
Q: Canada and so many other countries around the world are so much more advanced in their thinking than Americans when it comes to basic human rights issues. Do you encounter much opposition to the American agenda when you travel abroad?
A: I have worked a lot in UN circles on human rights and environmental issues and while the U.S. position has been problematic, Canada is not a great deal better. Through much of my career I was involved in issues related to environmental ethics, particularly climate change. On that issue, Canadas backsliding over the past number of years has been a major embarrassment when I travel internationally not to mention a great disappointment to the many colleagues that I have around the world working on climate change from a justice perspective (i.e. climate change is being cause primarily by the rich but it is poor peoples who will suffer the most from the impacts.)
"Hilary Clintons recent speech about gay rights are
human rights has been a major step forward in the global advocacy around LGBT
issues and is something that you American activists can be very proud of."
Q: Palliative care is basically what we refer to as hospice in America. There is another case where the Canadian health care system trumps our own. Have you considered going on the lecture circuit in the US and speaking of your experiences regarding patients rights, health coverage, insurance companies, a partners rights, etc.?
A: Often when I talk about August Farewell, the discussion includes issues of quality end-of-life care. Ive become good friends through Twitter with palliative care doctors, hospice workers, grief counselors who have found August Farewell to be a helpful resource. I am part of a weekly Tweetchat with these folks where we talk about the challenges in trying to create greater access for palliative care services and hospice care in all our countries. Its an up-hill battle but were making progress.
Q: Have you toured promoting the book? If so, what are some of the things you have learned, or taken from your fans and/or detractors?
A: Ive done some guest speaking about August Farewell in various locations in the U.S. and Canada (and many interviews) but have not been on what I would label as a book tour.
"Two things that I have learned: firstly, people
appreciate what they describe as my honesty and courage to talk about the
process and pain of losing the love of ones life and to describe in an
unvarnished way the joys and challenges of a long-term gay love affair.
Secondly, I have had occasions where people have expressed their regret that
they have not had the kind of relationship that Bill and I had or that they
were not able to say their goodbyes to a loved one as they were dying. This can
make for a very painful discussion. I certainly dont want August Farewell to
make people feel badly about missed opportunities in their lives. I dont know
how to resolve that dilemma."
Q: What is the one thing, or several things, that you hope to accomplish before you shuffle off to Buffalo, sort of speak?
A: I guess youre asking me whats on my personal
bucket list? Three things occur to me.
"Firstly, Id like to do more writing and indeed I am. Ive started work on a new project a collection of inter-related short stories."
"Secondly, Id like to learn how to cook. I have absolutely no culinary aptitude. Bill did most of the cooking. Now, I make myself the same meal seven nights a week a broiled chicken breast, micro-waved potato, and steamed broccoli. Pretty pathetic, eh?"
"And thirdly, (here comes confession time again), I hope for the blessing of having another love in my life. Thats hugely problematic for me because I have a self-imposed block about being unfaithful to Bill even though he would want me to be open to the possibility and indeed told me so explicitly on his deathbed. But also, I dont think that someone in mourning like me makes for a very attractive potential partner. So well see."
David G. Hallman
Q: Completing such a personal story had to be exhausting. Feel free to shamelessly plug your new literary effort entitled, Searching for Gilead. As a work of fiction was Searching for Gilead a welcome distraction after Farewell?
A: Thanks. Actually, Im quite proud of Searching
for Gilead. It is a book about love and loss as was August Farewell, but a
great deal of the story comes from my imagination though there are some parts
that have a touch of autobiographical inspiration. The story involves not only
inter-relationship issues between the two main gay characters and their
families but also macro issues e.g. global conflict such as the civil war in
Sudan; the role of art and philosophy in our lives; conflicts over religion.
These are all issues that are important to me. Ive been told that Searching
for Gilead is a challenging read and at 375 pages it is a much longer book
than is August Farewell. But people who have read it have responded very
enthusiastically for which Im grateful.
T.A.P.: August Farewell is clearly a message of hope and love from you and Bill. Thank you again for sharing your relationship with the public and offering comfort in times of distress. Best of luck to you always.
welcome. Im very appreciative of your interest and support. Warm best wishes.
Interview with Author David Hallman
Q. The grieving process is different for everyone. The fact that you have compiled your memories of the life you shared together is an admirable effort. How do you cope with your loss on a daily basis?
A. Someone asked me the other day, "Are you okay, now?" I answer truthfully, "NO." Almost every day, I find myself close to tears or actually weeping. I miss Bill so very much. I have a wonderful network of friends who support me, but I don't want to burden them with my grief. They are dealing with their own mourning over the loss of Bill as a good friend. I spend quite a bit of time alone. In solitude, I find solace and in that solitude I continue to write. Since completing the memoir, "August Farewell," I have now written a novel which will be out later this year. Writing is both a creative outlet and a form of therapy for me.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who has also experienced the loss of a loved one?
A. That's a difficult question to answer. Some people find they cope better by plunging into activity as a distraction. Others are quite immobilized. For me, I was determined to address the searing reality of my loss full in the face whereby I neither avoided the despair, nor let it disempower me. My strategy does mean, I suspect, that my mourning will be more intense and protracted than if I had pursued another path. Hopefully, though, it will eventually allow me to incorporate this new reality into my life in a way that is healthy. But I have no illusions. It is not an easy path.
Q. Favorite memories?
A. Bill and I did a lot of travelling, spending some wonderful times in Cairo, Marrakech, Paris, St. Petersburg and Buenos Aires.We also were the primary caregivers for both sets of parents as they aged and had many wonderful dinners with them at our table. Amongst my fondest memories have to do with music. Bill singing in his lovely tenor voice while I accompanied him on our piano.
Q. What do you think of the New Civil Rights Movement?
A. Bill and I were both active over many years in the struggle for equal rights here in Canada including same-sex marriage. Getting married was not an option that we chose for ourselves, but we believed adamantly that it should be available for our brothers and sisters who wanted it. Bill and I saw many advances in LGBT rights over the years in Canada and were proud to have played our part in that history. The struggle in Canada continues. We watch with great interest the developments in the USA, some of which are very encouraging, some of which less so.
NATIONWIDE STONEWALL - The TENACIOUS ART PIMP
Friends, enemies, miscreant assholes, lend me your raging drag queens, your bi-sexuals, your skater bois, your bull dykes and flaming fags! I am calling for a NATIONWIDE STONEWALL!!! A NEW GAY REVOLUTION!!!
If you are straight and reading this and do not know what the hell 'STONEWALL' is, you are an idiot. Google it, for God's sake! If you are a member of the LGBTQ community and do not know what the hell 'STONEWALL' is you should be stoned against a nearby wall.
The 1969 uprising at this aforementioned gay club fostered the gay rights movement of the 1970's. D'uh! Given the fact that so many, especially smalltown hicks, are still strugglin' with their sexual identities and are terribly fearful and ignorant of those of us who are confident in our sexuality, I would like to encourage smalltown gays to flaunt your shit in a big way.
Of course, if you are a cool ass gay, I don't know why the hell you would be hanging around Shitsville, USA unless you are waiting for justice to be served regarding a break in at your home, surveillance devices installed and the footage distributed randomly to every complete mentally defective piece of trailer park trash in the community. (Jus' sayin'). FUCK YOU, UNION CITY, PEE-YAY!! FUCK YOU AND THE WELFARE TRAIN YOU RODE IN ON!
LGBTQ needs to be as loud and proud as humanly possible. Personally, though my nature is usually rather reserved, I would like to be as high profile as possible regarding my homosexuality. This type of behavior serves to piss off all the right people and I can't get enough of that at this particular point in time.
I find it hard to accept that my people are still denied the right to marry, but millions of ass wipes and goobers everywhere take full advantage four, five, six times, no problem. I might be just a tad heterophobic.
This is serious business. I want riots in the streets. Can anyone say Watts? We will never achieve full equality unless we take it for ourselves. Nationwide Stonewall. Think about it. Seriously.
WELFARE REFORM - The TENACIOUS ART PIMP
Now that we have the Republicans back in office let's take full on advantage. We must push for welfare reform and be much more strict when it comes to filing for SSI disabilty benefits in this country.
I lived in an absolutely hideous smalltown environment where the majority of the population was comprised of uneducated, inexperienced welfare trash and SSI victims. These parasites are bankrupting our country and not just financially. I refuse to pay taxes to support, or encourage an entire family of ignorant, obese scum, high school drop-outs and pregnant teenagers.
I am disgusted by these types of degenerate beings and am damn well determined to wipe them of the surface of the planet. Welfare should be a temporary solution not a lifestyle choice. In short, it is our duty to force these lazy pieces of subhuman slime to comply with certain standards if they collect, such as making it mandatory that all recipients either get counseling, an education, work, or all of the above, if necessary.
If you fail to uphold the requirements, we the people will cut off your food source. I despise anyone who chooses to remain ignorant. Granted from what I observed in Erie County, Pee-Yay alot of people are just born that way. I will not be kind. I will not be gentle. I will not be politically correct. I will not be silenced!
Why would I choose to keep total and complete losers that I disrespect 100%, alive? I am not responsible for the upkeep of adult people who are capable of working, but choose not to do so. You will earn what you get, or you will not get it and we will settle for nothing else. Period. The end.
BULLYING MEDIA 101 - The TENACIOUS ART PIMP, or M. MILLER
I am glad to see the attention the media has recently placed on bullying; however, when members of the media themselves enagage in this type of actvity by focusing unwanted attention on one individual, who shall remain nameless, I find their reporting to be hypocritcal, irresponsible, childish and well, just plain pointless and dumb.
Given my recent troubles and the level of corruption I have witnessed and the harassment that I have received, I would think that distinguished members of the media would choose to either run a story regarding this very public and obvious abuse of the person's civil and constitutional rights, or report separarte incidents of the same to draw attention to a very important cause.
Bullying is a part of life. A person must develop the social skills necessary to overcome verbal, or physical assaults. When a collective group of adults get together and attempt to undermine the will of one individual operating in society that is cowardly, unethical and absolutely unaccepatble. It sets quite an example for the youth of America to see how adults really handle things in society.
It is fine to report on the subject of bullying without engaging in it yourself. If provoked a person has the basic right to defend themselves against the perpetrator. In my case, I became the subject of much controversy due to the fact that I am an openly gay, outspoken writer and artist who chose and forever will choose, to speak out against the horrors I witnessed as a child due to an erroneous placement in foster care in Erie County, Pennsylvania.
Obviously, the kooks and kids in the community saw me as one hell of a threat, a fact I have worked for and am immensely proud of. They have, in the past three years, attempted to shut me down in some truly heinous ways. These scumbags actually attempted to interfere with my thought processes so that I might be deterred from speaking out. Unfortunately for them, this behavior has an adverse effect.
I am now more adamant than ever about getting my story out there and holding those responsible accountable, yet again, for grievous acts committed. I personally despise Erie County, PA and intend to humiliate local, state and federal government publicly.
I will run wild through the streets of my own mind and shout expletives from the tree tops and electrical wires, as often and as loudly as I like. I do not give a flying crap about how anyone responds. I am a fiercely independent American adult and the right to express myself freely is part of the parcel. You don't agree with me, you don't deserve to live here.
The media has proven itself to be untrustworthy and I would hope that watch dog groups are paying attention to this gross abuse of airtime and intends to implement strict guidelines when it comes to broadcast television, radio, etc. Free thought is always in. There are no restrictions on your account. Do not allow anyone to even suggest that there are.
Do I really have to make a point of breaking down the difference between, dreams, imagination, actual thought and free speech? We are at a very dangerous point in our society and I am living proof of the various abuses unscrupulous perons have dished out without punishment. No worries. I will always fight back. Maybe the next person won't.
I do not care to have blood on my hands. I care to go out with a clear conscience. If you care to do the same you will stand up and speak out when you see such gross and blatant attempts made to ignore justice and basic human rights violations. We are not a nation of pussified wimps. It might be good if we did the right thing for the people, by the people, for once.
GAY SUICIDES ON THE RISE
I am alarmed by the recent rise in gay suicides. I am a proud homosexual and first came out at the age of 13. I was living in a hideous small town at the time and was placed in a group home as a result of my announcement. I then had one of the group home leaders state that homosexuals were responsible for all the evil in the world. Obviously, these grievous acts were never forgotten, nor will they be forgiven.
My life has been anything but easy. Recent troubles over the last three years added to previous experiences, have had a significant impact on my overall attitude in reference to American society and human kind in general. My point is there has to be more of us than them operating in society. STOP DYING, ITS NOT WORTH IT!
If being gay is your only issue, get a real problem! Every openly gay person has to go through countless encounters, like those I mentioned, in the course of a lifetime. To be gay in 2010 is to be the new Jew, or black. Its cool. We are the chosen people. Do not allow anyone to dictate what is, or what is not, right for you. Only you know the true contents of your mind, heart and soul.
We need a nationwide Stonewall, or a new gay rights movement. Gay communities across America should empower themselves by staging protests and rallies every time a hate crime is reported and confirmed.
The pig ignorance of people is astounding. Homosexuals are literally the last group that is considered socially acceptable to discriminate against. Dont take the shit. The idiotic notion that homosexuality is some type of aberration is easily dismissed in modern society; however, dumb asses are always going to exist.
Learn how to fight mentally, verbally and physically, in order to defend yourselves against the enemy. Do not give in to soulless automatons, or social pressure. Finally, be happy with who you are and do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise. Empower yourselves and empower others in the process. STAY STRONG.
IRONY DEFICIENCY - M. "BUTCH" MILCZANOWSKI
I am addicted to irony. I have a profoundly ironic sense of humor and consequently, most people fail to get my little jokes. Some find me dark, brooding, sometimes even disturbed to the point of perversion and, yes, occasionally drunken. The fact that I have been the subject of a hate crime that has gained international attention over the past two years, doesnt sweeten my tea. I, quite frankly, am bitter. As a matter of fact, I am bitter as bitter can be.
I am so bitter that I am content to curl up for the weekend in an empty bathtub with a bottle of gin, my laptop and a good book by my side, bemoaning my existence and cursing God for throwing me into the gnarled, mangled mess that some naïve, virginal sprites commonly refer to as humanity.
I might not bathe, or shave, refuse calls and refuse to take my vitamins. The lime wedge in my G & T will be enough to prevent the onset of scurvy. I will become another Howard Hughes and grow my finger and toe nails to the point where they are as sharp and as dangerous as machetes. I will shun the light of day and avoid human interaction at all costs.
Anyway, my point for writing this article was to bitch about the fact that America is basically a PR myth. I am well aware that we do have this thing called a constitution which is supposedly the golden document our nation was founded on; however, in my case, constitutional law has yet to be enforced. I am in a personal quandary over what it means to be uniquely American in this day and age.
GREAT WORDS SPEAK LOUDER THAN LAME, DUMB ACTIONS
Union City, Pennsylvania is nothing more than a braindead, welfare trash hovel located in Eerie County. The local population is intent on proving me right regarding every derogatory comment I have made about the area past and present. Complete morons have gone out of their way to trigger a PTSD episode, proving their guilt and just plain and simple mental retardation. The community is literally a cess pit, as everyone knows, teaming with some of the most unfortunate creatures on earth. Overall, Union City is a total joke, as is Eerie County. Those who choose to live here are isolated and alienated from the real world and possess no knowledge of how it works. It is true that great words speak louder than lame, dumb actions. AGAIN, thanks for proving me right, Union City!!! I know I am smarter than you, like that's difficult. You are cowardly and idiotic. Children, children, children! Your shenanigans are best left on a grade school playground. You receive no points whatsoever for creativity and originality (SHOCKER). You, however, win hands down when it comes to pathetic and just plain stupid white trash antics. Continue as is. I would suggest that you go after those much coveted G.E.D.'s and find a job that requires little to no skills whatsoever, work as a bus driver for Union City High School for example. Good ole' U.C. High School! Still 21 out of 20 in the district. I will always triumph over gutter trash like you. I REMAIN UNAPOLOGETIC. YOU ARE JUST PLAIN PATHETIC.
DREARY EERIE COUNTY, PEE-YAY...THE ASSHOLE OF THE WORLD
The most backwards place on earth will feel my wrath. Thanks again for proving me right regarding your absolute stupidity, Erie! KISSES!!!
PEOPLE ARE DUMB
JOHN CLEESE IS AN ASSHOLE
Cleese is responsible for orchestrating a number of events that I have made reference to repeatedly in previous entries. He is an arrogant ass wallowing in self importance. In his absolute ignorance he has cause much stress and trauma in my personal and professional life. I intend to sue the bitch whether or not he chooses to apologize. If you see him in public, please make a point of kicking him in the balls for me. I thank you in advance.
YET ANOTHER CRIME TO REPORT
GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGNS, BERKELEY
Recently, I 'interviewed' for a position with Grassroots Campaigns, Berkeley. Unfortunately, I was greeted by three bouncy, bubbly, bubble headed girls, all I believe to be in their late teens, or early twenties, although it seemed they were in that awkward tween stage.
I sat down with a group of about five people and listened to the chirpy little bird sing the praises of her organization. The powers that be thought it a nice touch to add a cover of the great John Lennon's 'Working Class Hero' and 'Power to the People,' into the mix, as we were filling out our applications. I tried not to wretch and couldn't help but think that John Lennon would spit in her eye.
Given the fact that it is well know that I have been the subject of a national hate crime for the past four years and I have been fighting it ever since, I did not have much patience regarding baby girl's naive take on human rights. I am living, breathing proof that these gross injustices do take place in plain site in America. Needless to say, the presentation was terribly unprofessional and otherwise piss poor. I would like to see the three stooges I met with, and at least one of my fellow applicants, live my exact experience. It was clear to me that they would not have the ability to do so.
I was left to wonder what Grassroots Campaigns actually does. I think it a fraudulent organization similar to the ACLUFU. These organizations are all too eager to share their idealistic views with you; however, when it comes down to it, they do nothing.
My constitutional and civil rights have been ignored and I have been harassed and stalked simply for reporting the crimes committed. I think it wise that Grassroots employ those who might actually have some understanding of the various campaigns they are promoting. It would help the organization to have credible representatives at the helm rather than inexperienced teenage girls attempting to make a mockery of my experience. An experience they themselves could not live.
NORTHWEST PEE-YAY HAS SECEEDED FROM THE UNION
Erie County, PA is nothing more than a dogpile. Your games are crimes. Jealousy and insecurity are reserved for children. Grow up, assholes! Of course, I never gave you credit for being smart in the first place. Thanks for proving me right. I could not have asked for anything more.
USA SPONSORS TERRORIST ACTS
SORRY, KIDS! EVERYTHING'S STILL COOL
I am still on top of my game despite the countless attempts by complete failures and morons to knock me off course. Let the games continue. I will never surrender. I will continue to fight you until death. My detractors are nothing but jealous morons. I remain the only headliner of my show.
AN END TO ECLECTICINK.ORG
For the past five years I have sincerely tried to promote other artists and educate the public on the importance of artists in our society. Since mentally deranged idiots have gone out of their way to cause nearly irreparable damage to my personal and professional life and actually harm my family members as well, I could care less about the website, or what they do. Incredibly lame dumbasses are responsible for stealing my original domain name, EclecticInk.com and complete content. The FBI has failed to assist in the prosecution of those they know have committed this crime. Ignorant celebrities, including John Cleese, have orchestrated events that I will forever see as unacceptable. I will walk away from this website, but be sure to let the public know why I am doing so. I will never cooperate with the conspiracy that surrounds. I will never befriend criminal trash who belong in prison, nor will I consent to meet with them. In short, bite me. I could care less.
EERIE COUNTY, PA...FOREVA MY BITCH
Pound for pound, Erie County, Pee-Yay is one of the most corrupt counties in the country. They boast a fine selection of miscreant asshole judges, cops, attorneys, so on and so forth. Due to the fact lightening has struck twice for me in Erie County in terms of gross injustice, proves just how plain dumb law enforcement and the judicial system is in this dark and extremely bi-polar part of the world. The fact is I AM THE BIGGEST THING ERIE COUNTY HAS EVER SEEN AND EVER WILL SEE.
Is it in the water? Lake Erie was once the most polluted of the great lakes. I wonder if what plays a large part in making Erie-ites Erie-ites has something to do with the water. Are they drinking right out of the tap? I REMAIN 100% UNAPOLOGETIC in reference to my hard ass/smart ass attitude when applied to Erie County and surrounding areas for obvious reasons. You are limited, backward, criminal, dumb, humorless and evil. After my most recent experience with Erie County corruption I suggest that PA secede from the union. You have played right into my hands and proven me right, not once, but twice. Erie County, PA is forever my bitch.
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT USES TERRORIST TACTICS ON INNOCENT AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!
The US government and law enforcement support the following: PRE-MEDITATED CRIME, BREAKING AN ENTRY, WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE, BLACKMAIL USING AUDIO AND VIDEO TAKEN WITHOUT MY CONSENT, STALKING, HARASSMENT, EAVESDROPPING, MEDDLING IN PERSONAL AFFAIRS, SLANDER, BAITING, ENTRAPMENT, USE OF THE MEDIA AND LAW ENFORCEMENT TO INTENTIONALLY HARASS INNOCENT AMERICAN CITIZENS, ATTEMPTING TO ENGAGE IN PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE, AND DISPLAYING A BLATANT DISREGARD FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AND CIVIL LAW.
I have been subject to the aforementioned crimes for NO REASON!!! I was videotaped without my consent in a rental property on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY. Those responsible followed me to my family home in an isolated town in northwest Pennsylvania, broke in and installed additional surveillance devices. I alerted local and state police repeatedly, over a two year period, as well as every relevant elected official across the country, including BARACK OBAMA and HILARY CLINTON, to no avail. THIS IS NOT A PRANK! I am a transgender writer and artist living in the United States of America. I have not committed any crimes whatsoever and do not have a criminal record of any kind.
Rise up!Our government was constructed for the people by the people. Clearly, our government is not doing its job in protecting the CONSTITUTIONAL and CIVIL rights of its citizens. Write and/or call your elected officials and express your outrage! I DEMAND that justice be served! DO NOT REMAIN SILENT! No one has the right to decide how you should live your life! EMPOWER yourselves and others!
It is ludicrous to think that I was purposely set up for no apparent reason other than the sadistic pleasure of a degenerate and misguided government. Obviously for the US government to allow such a travesty of justice to occur in plain sight is unacceptable. I DEMAND a formal, PUBLIC APOLOGY!!! I am experiencing a brutal assault on my rights as an individual. Do nothing and youll be next. Tell our elected officials that it is past time for them to WAKE-UP. DO NOT DONATE FUNDS TO YOUR LOCAL POLICE, OR FIRE DEPARTMENTS, as they are participating in harassment and illegal activities. Contact me for further Information: [email protected]
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?
LYING WHITE TRASH POPULACE
Stay away from me, ignorant, criminal trash! You have no place in my world. I can die knowing that I spoke the truth. You can die in a gutter knowing that you are a piece of garbage. Criminal acts will not be dismissed. You are the lowest forms of life on the planet. You are children of a corrupt and hypocritical system and lack the intelligence to rally against it. You LIE. You CHEAT. You STEAL. You have made your world, live in it. I won't be joining you. Eat it.
UNION CITY, PA IS THE ASSHOLE OF THE WORLD
Which part of the world boasts that they are home to the most corrupt pieces of trash in the country? UNION CITY, PENNSYLVANIA. Yes indeed the aforementioned asshole of the world boasts more inbred retards than anyplace else in the world! Home to obese shut-ins with a host of psychiatric problems, paralytic psycho whores and various miscreants and trailer trash, Union City is indeed the asshole of the world. Whatcha gonna do about it? Union City police are complete and utter morons who participate in crimes and encourage other to engage in criminal activity rather than enforcing the law.
Keep talking, fat tards. As usual, you have nothing to say. Your lives are a waste and you should be shot on sight. I have no use for you, or anyone like you. I find you tragic, cowardly and just plain dumb. You are inferior in all ways and remind me of my family's former neighbor, who is the notorious piece of welfare trash I mentioned earlier. You have nothing. You are nothing. You will achieve nothing and I will always lord over you. Sorry, kids! You just can't win with me.
GAYS HAVE RIGHTS!!! DON'T TELL ME WE DON'T!!!
Harvey Milk has been dead for 31 years. Who in the gay community has taken up after him in a very real way? Not to toot my own horn, or anything, but TOOT! TOOT! Now what are you going to do? The LGBTQ community has to ban together in order to accomplish equality for all of us, not just those who identify with their particular "clique." Gay men have a tendency to go with gay men, lesbians with other lesbians and most gays and lesbians tend to be annoyed with bi and transgender people. Perhaps this is why my community has not achieved all that it is capable of in society. Knocking on doors is not enough. We need to break doors down. The fact that we still cannot legally marry in all 49 states is a travesty of justice. Come out, come out wherever you are members of the LGBTQ community!!! If you do not it's on your shoulders.
INJUSTICE! HOW EXQUISITE!
I will not be subjected to harassment in my own house, hotel room, automobile, or any public place due to the abosolute ignorance of others. I have experienced more idiocy in 34 years than most will in a lifetime. From having my family home broken into and surveillance devices installed, to being blackmailed with the video and audio, to having law enforcement, elected officials, and government agencies participate in the crime, rather than persecuting and prosecuting those responsible. American society is in desperate need of help. The moment we stop enforcing constitutional and civil law is the moment we stop being a free country. We are a hypocritical and corrupt nation, peopled by complete morons. I am sickened to the point of wretching when I think of the what has taken place, yet find it incredibly hilarious that a crime of such enormity would be allowed to take place in plain sight. In short, you are a bunch of sheep. Rot in hell. You will pay a severe price for the injustice I have experienced. I know what you have done.
RAMPANT CORRUPTION HYPOCRISY AND SOCIAL INSANITY...
Yes, sir! Rampant corruption, hypocrisy and social insanity...just another day in the life. I am officialy back at work. After a brief sabbatical, witnessing some of the most degenerate behavior ever exhibited by human kind, I am back on the job and have returned to the west coast. It is extraordinary to think that such idiocy is so prevalent in the good ole' US of A.
I vow to make everyone and their doggie aware of the crimes in progress. I am forever opposed to the ongoing social insanity that surrounds. Continue with your juvenile antics, kids! It's about how I choose to handle it that is key. Regardless, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Your behavior is lame, weak and boring. Oh, and don't forget just plain dumb. How unfortunate it is to see children masquerading as adults. Take accountability for your own behavior and encourage others to do the same. I have copyright on my own thoughts and imagination. D'UH! Think about it!
UNION CITY, PA's FINEST
COMMIT THE CRIME(S), DO THE TIME - The TENACIOUS ART PIMP
The fact that all of the aforementioned loons have failed to assist is an outrage! You simply cannot get away with a crime such as this in plain sight and expect to get away with it. Oh, my Mother and I have also experienced harassment, stalking, baiting, entrapment and have had our constitutional and civil rights violated in truly spectacular ways. Are the American people that stupid to think that the very same things cannot happen to them?
Our government is completely out of control. GET ANGRY, AMERICA. GET VERY ANGRY. It is far passed time for there to be another bloody revolution in the streets. Society and politics are an absolute joke. I am outraged by what I have seen and I intend to strike back in ways the minds of my would be oppressors cannot even begin to fathom. It is terribly unfortunate that such powerless neanderthals attempted to gather together around the campfire, in effect, to concoct some completely asinine scheme in which two innocent people, speaking out against corruption, would be used to point just how moronic the brain trust behind this series of crimes are. Irony. I love it so. You committed the crime, now do the time. I DEMAND THAT MY GOVERNMENT DOES SOMETHING TO STOP THIS HATE CRIME IN PROGRESS! Simply do your jobs, so that I might not have to. Isn't that what we pay you for?
Visit the small, isolated shit burgh of Union City, Pennsylvania and witness small town idiocy at its finest! Let's see, in a two year period, I have had my family home broken into and possessions stolen and discovered that surveillance devices were installed in my residence. I was blackmailed with videotaped footage, originally taken at the 'world renown' Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, touted as a center for the arts and a place to experience spiritual renewal, without my consent and broadcast freely at various residences in this shit wit town.
Other tapes have surfaced featuring footage taken in my home. I have also been slandered, stalked, threatened, harassed, placed under false arrest, but never formally booked and had bogus charges written up against me by the dipshit bozo police department in Union City for simply standing up for myself when various morons in this town chose to harass me.
I have also reported all of the aforementioned crimes to both local and state police in Union City and Corry, PA, the DA's office in Erie, PA, the public defender, also in Erie, PA, a few local broadcasters and reporters, also in Eerie, PA, FBI, Pittsburgh, the ACLU, Senators Specter, Casey and English, state representatives Mary Joe White, and Jane Earl, Attorney General Tom Corbett, Governor Ed Rendell, to no avail. I was in the process of completing a controversial memoir detailing rampant corruption in Erie County, PA when I discovered that I was living under warrantless surveillance. Obviously northwest Pennsylvania is everything I said it was and more and that is a backward thinking, incredibly corrupt trash heap!
You would think that after having reported a break in and surveillance devices in your home, oh and the fact that various viewings have been staged at two residences in Union City, would catch the attention of the police; however, again, this is Shitsville and a different set of rules apply.
I am deeply disappointed in the behavior of law enforcement and various politicians, as they have, without question, clearly violated my civil and constitutional rights and countless federal, state and local laws. I am damn bound and determined to make the assholes responsible pay for their gross misdeeds. Unfortunately, for them, I have a voice and I know how to use it.
These crimes cannot be allowed to go on in plain sight without the perpetrators being held accountable for their actions. Northwest Pennsylvania has once again set a stunning example for young and old alike. Law enforcement has given the green light to criminals everywhere, essentially stating that breaking the law in truly heinous ways is somehow socially acceptable. Congratulations of a job well done! You deal with the aftermath.
I managed to chase some of the most degenerate scum out of my old neighborhood and into nearby trailer parks where they belong. Actually, they belong in the state pen, but anyway, same difference.
I have to say the chain of foolish celebrities who have chosen to present themselves in Union City have only made a mockery of themselves and are guilty of further complicating the matter rather than clearing things up.
Total morons who have no business involving themselves in my business must back off, or pay a severe price. Your absolute cowardice and ignorance is astounding, but deeply amusing as well. You are an absolute joke and I wish to God that you had thought better about the situation before getting involved.
You are guilty of participating in the same crime and fail to realize the extent of the damage you have caused. I despise you and wish you dead. It is too late to apologize and attempt to make it right. Petition on my behalf, or leave the situation as is.
I am asking that members of the media run my story, as it is obviously my intention to inform the world of what has happened here so that it will not be allowed to happen again to anyone in the future. It is your job to alert the public to gross injustice and rampant corruption. Do your job!
To Union Shitites, I would like you to know that you are literally some of the dumbest cretins to disgrace the face of God's earth. Oh and thanks for the extra material!!! My much celebrated and controversial memoir will definitely be an international bestseller now. Great job!
Take my new neighbors for example. Ignorant white trash just fails to impress. In a short period of time they have proven themselves to be idiotic backward thinking welfare recipients with absolutely no sense of right and wrong and what is and what is not socially appropriate behavior. Goober, Daisy and their unfortunate offspring will never be intellectually capable of understanding my powers. It is terribly sad to think that such shit exists in modern society, but then Union City is far from modern. The locals do not display signs of intelligence, but rather signs of inbreeding.
They fail to realize that it is people such as themselves that have formed my opinion of the community. My experiments have proven successful and I know that intelligent people understand what I do and why I do it. Scum will never penetrate my inner sanctum. I will fight until my last breath for what I know to be right and just.
Others who choose to stand on the sidelines participating in criminal activity will not be rewarded in any way that is considered significant in the eyes of God. In short you can take the trailer trash out of the trailer park, but you cannot take the trailer park out of the trailer trash. You can bestow a wealth of material goods upon them for participating in deeply immoral and unethical conduct, but in the end, it doesn't mean a goddamn thing.
If material things impress you that much, your soul is in need of repair. Jealousy is a deadly sin because it can lead to desperate acts committed by desperate people. Unfortunately, that has proven true in regards to my experience. You have sold your souls, not that you ever acknowledged you had souls to begin with. They baited you, you took the bait. It apparently does not take much to entice a certain type of person and by a certain type of person I mean complete mental dwarves and emotional cripples to engage in gross criminal acts.Your sluggish, and I am being extremely kind, intellects are painfully obvious. You are some of the most disgusting and degenerate examples of human kind I have ever witnessed. You will never be liberated, or understand fully what it is like to live your lives freely, independently and unafraid.
In short, there are natural born winners and natural born losers. It is clear you are on the losing team.
BOYCOTT THE CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION!
BLOG ENTRIES THAT AMERICA IS TRYING To PREVENT ME FROM PUBLISHING
CENSORSHIP IN THE USA
Morons are going out of their way to shut me up, as I have discovered and outed rampant corruption taking place as we speak. The United States government approves of terrorist tacics used by countless dumb and cowardly lay people--otherwise known as American citizens, against innocent citizens of the world! I want the world to be made aware of my experience! The criminals, including law enforcement have attempted to wear me down by using pathetic and just plain stupid tactics to prevent me from speaking out. For instance, I reported the fact that I had been videotaped, without my consent, at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY. Videotapes were distributed in Union City, PA in a tragic attempt to stop me from speaking out against injustice eveywhere. The police and others want to make me feel dirty, as if I have done something wrong to avoid punishment for their gross misdeeds. It is the same technique used by scumbag attorneys against rape victims in defense of the rapists. GO FUCK YOURSELVES, YOU GODDAMN LOWLIFE, BRAINDEAD PIGS! You will never shut me up. Your behavior is appauling and you should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. I will not stop until you get what you deserve!
AMERICA IS OFFICIALLY OVER
Read this blog entry: America is out of business. The failure of the United States government to honor my constitutional and civil rights will spark a fiery revolution in this country and abroad. Allow me to give you a bit of background...My family home was broken into and surveillance devices were installed. Videotaped footage taken without my consent at the 'world reknown' Chautauqua Institution and in Union City, PA, a rural, isolated farm community located in Northwest Pennsylvania was used in an attempt to blackmail me. Viewings were staged around the aforementioned and terribly unfortunate community so that I might see them being broadcast at private residences around town when driving past, or simply closing my blinds and glancing up to discover a tape of myself going about my daily routine on my neighbor's televsion set. Though these crimes were reported repeatedly over a two year period to every relevant law enforcement agency in the land, nothing was done to reprimand the guilty parties. Rather, law enforcement in Union City and Corry, PA participated in the crime and encouraged others to do the same so that I might drop the matter all together, which I will never do. I will publish my memoir detailing the rampant corruption I witnessed and experienced 20 years earlier in Erie County, PA at the hands of a scumbag judge, Fred Anthony and his unscrupulous flunky, Cynthia Bolden. I will never forgive, or forget your ignorance. The miscreants and assholes responsible will be persecuted and prosecuted for even attempting to fuck with me, or my beloved family. You will pay a severe price.
AMERICANS ARE AFRAID OF FREEDOM
I have spent the past 23 months of my life living outside the laws of the United States of America. Though I live in the United States, the media and the government working in accordance have tried desperately to take my rights as a citizen from me for no apparent reason. IT IS NOT A PRANK. I have constitutional and civil rights and will not allow those rights to be ignored. What has occurred is a travesty of justice. Nothing more, nothing less. It is past time that America took a long sobering look at itself in the mirror. YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU APPEAR TO BE. A nation that boasts that it is the land of the free and the home of the brave does not resort to using terrorist tactics against its citizens. It's time for a reality check, America.
The United States is nothing more than a slanderous, hypocritical nation populated by some of the most painfully ignorant creatures imaginable. Turn your eyes inward, as I have done, and examine the contents of the collective subconscious. Acknowledge that there are maggots at the core and do something to change it. I will not go your way and there isn't a goddamn thing you can do about it! I am a 34 year old transgender male living in the United States of America. I will not have my rights trampled on by ignorant cowardly parasites intent on destroying the constitution and everything I valued as an American.
The ignorance I continue to witness on a daily basis is astounding. This nation is deeply disturbed and must re-evaluate itself before it is too late. Intelligent people must rise up and fight against the cowardly little dogs in the street who exist without a voice of their own. America has become a land of cowards and it is time that all the right people stood up and staged a coup of epic proportions. I will not allow complete morons to take away what I value most. My personal freedom is not in jeopardy as I see it, as you are only as free as you choose to be in your own mind; however it is the intention that is so deeply damaging.
I am beyond disgusted with the anonymous, cowardly half-wits that attempt to shamelessly throw themselves at me like mentally challenged, emotionally disturbed children vying for my attention. You are weak. You are limited. You are painfully ignorant and you continue to prove me right. Thanks so much for being so stupid. You are being experimented on by a mad social scientist. You appear too dumb to realize it. Subliminal messages do not work when the person you are trying to corrupt is fully conscious of what you are doing. You clearly do not have a clue when it comes to human psychology. I see you as uncivilized beasts. You should have your citizenship taken from you. You are not fit to share the planet with me. I mean this from the bottom of my heart, kiss my ass!!!
ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEW 'STONEWALL?'
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when gays and lesbians fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.
Apparently, the gay revolution in NYC in 1969 was not enough. We need a new and improved STONEWALL!!! Come to me members of the LGBTQ community, I AM YOUR LEADER!!!
Since August of 2007, I have been subject to breaking an entry, warrantless surveillance, wiretap, stalking, slander, harassment, baiting and entrapment, and senseless expolitation because I am an OPENLY GAY, writer, artist and online publisher. What I have experienced is a hate crime.
I was set-up by hillbilly stupid neighbors who have videotaped me going about my business in my own home hoping to get footage of my bedroom activities. Local and state law enforcement in Union City and Corry, PA have done nothing to investigate though they have police reports on file dating back to 2005 documenting my experiences with the aformentioned neighbors.
The hillbilly trash living next door are nothing but ignorant hate mongers responsible for verbal threats, trespassing and vandalism in the past. I WILL FOREVER DEMAND that my rights as an AMERICAN citizen be honored and not ignored! All the more reason for a second and much more revolutionary GAY UPRISING!!!
Our new president, Barack Obama, is aware of what is happening and has been aware since I first brought it to his attention over a year and a half ago. Apparently, it was not a 'popular' issue to tackle at the time, as he was trying to win as many votes as possible to win the office.
I do not care to be deputized human rights advocate (narrowly defined by the mass majority); however, we must act now! If such heinous crimes can be committed in plain sight against an innocent citizen simply minding her own business what is to stop you, or someone you love, or care about, from experiencing the same?
SPEAK OUT AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES!!! I'm thinking of starting an organization called 'FIST FULL OF FIVES.' It seems, GLAAD, LAMBDA Legal, the Transgender Law Center, ACLU, etc. are not there when you really need them, so what the hell is the point? Why are they in existence? YOu have not protected one of your own from blatant abuse, discrimination and exploitation.
Again, it is painfully obvious why the LGBTQ community has not excelled further. I am sorry to say that my community lacks the balls to progress. It is time for a worldwide STONEWALL!!! A new gay revolution!!!
President Obama - The TENACIOUS ART PIMP
By the end of the evening we will have our first African American president in 232 years. Though, under normal circumstances, I would celebrate this as a victory for all of humanity; however, what complicates things is the fact that our new president supports warrantless surveillance, wiretapping, harassment, cruel and inhumane testing on American citizens and senseless exploitation.
I am eager to see what President Obama will do to right the wrongs of the past eight years. It is going to be quite a job, as the country is in terrible shape. The economy is bad, Dubya's war continues in
Heres hoping that President Obama can assist in prosecuting those responsible for abusing and exploiting me over a fourteen month period rather than continuing to participate in the crime. After experiencing one gross injustice after another, I expect immediate assistance from our new administration, as I reported this series of crimes several times several months ago to our new President and First Lady.
It seems silly that there is all this talk of revolution when I sit in my family home, not bothering anyone who does not bother me, all too aware of the fact that my rights have been ignored and that elected officials and law enforcement has done nothing to assist in stopping this obvious gross intrusion on my private life. I will continue to hold down the fort and stand my ground no matter what may come, knowing that I have done the right thing.
I refuse to be manipulated by a cruel, unthinking and unfeeling public. I do not find abuse and exploitation funny. I dont believe that President Obama does either; however, his inaction speaks louder than words.
I asked that a formal investigation be launched regarding this matter when I first discovered that my phone was tapped and that I was living under warrantless surveillance in September of 2007. Local and state police in
It is not within your power, Mr. President, to launch a federal investigation into this matter immediately and see to it that I also receive a public apology? I will provide you with the facts, as if you didnt know, and assist you in bringing the perpetrators to justice and seeing that they receive the appropriate sentence.
Due to the fact that the law has not honored itself, I will assemble my own crew of rugged individualists to see that this obvious violation of my constitutional and civil rights does not go unpunished.
We will push for a federal investigation and I will see to it that another is not subject to this type of sick, sadistic, immoral and unethical treatment in the future. I will not have my life experience exploited and cheapened by cowardly scumbags. Will you join me, Mr. President? I am not a criminal, a pedophile, a murderer, or a rapist. Getting assistance in resolving this matter should not be a problem.
I did not break into anyones home and install illegal surveillance devices, nor did I participate in the exploitation of innocent citizens, or subject them to constant abuse. Nor did I allow innocent citizens to be subjected to deeply immoral and highly unethical test experiments.
It seems that you to have broken the law and you havent even been inaugurated yet. Its time to start focusing on the real issues and not trying to blame the victim of the crime for displaying justified outrage and concern. Live up to your revolutionary reputation, Mr. President, and help me to end this ongoing crime.
R.I.P. GEORGE CARLIN - M. Miller
George Carlin, kick-ass comic, and defender of free speech died last night of a heart attack. BUMMER. I had tremendous respect for Carlin as a comic and benefited greatly from his assortment of beautifully crafted routines. The man was a true genius. One of a kind. Take into account the current lame state of comedy...who will step up and try to fill his giant footsteps? Who is as articulate, as bold, as knowledgable as Carlin? The answer right now, unfortunately, is nobody. Given the current state of the world when we need articulate, outspoken voices more than ever, it seems we have hit a wall. The talent isn't there. So isn't it up to each individual to speak up and speak out and use their wit and wisdom to push society forward with the use of pointed words and well written routines pertaining to our present reality and the world at large and all things lacking therein? I suppose that is what I have been doing, but I am sickened and saddened by the blatant disregard for all things intelligent. If you have been keeping tabs on my blog both here and at My Space (the TENACIOUS ART PIMP), you know that I have been subject to much hell on earth over the last ten months. Though I have contacted the fucking retards in government supposedly in charge of seeing that innocent people are not victimized by criminal assholes from outer space, I have not received assistance. I continue to be harassed and abused due to the fact that I refuse to participate in a lame little experiment, known as 'OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD.' The title stems from the fact that I have been very outspoken when addressing certain injustices in our society and I have been even more outspoken when it comes to dismissing certain miscreant fuck wits who should have been shot out of a cannon and into a brave new world long ago. I will continue to push forward for as long as I care to and I will see to it that those responsible are held accountable for their actions/inactions when it comes to seeing that justice is served and Constitutional law is upheld. Everytime I am seized by a moment of utmost seriousness, I am taken aback and nearly dissolve into hysterical fits of laughter when I think of the absolute fucking retards responsible for this! Afterall, I am dealing with a polygamist, white trash, tax evading, deadbeat dad and petty con man who dropped out of high school and cannot form an articulate sentence to save his life, a 3,000 pound shut-in and welfare recipient from a shitty little town back east, a turd on the map in northwest PA, a southern fried cunt, a paranoid loser terrified of the Geneology Society in Beaver County, PA, who cannot board a street bus, or hold a job, but fudges numbers so that she can collect government funds and a fucking idiot who's biggest thrill in life is passing gas at the dinner table. Oh, and there's the Witchita Lineman, a person who has lived in the same community all of his life and kept the exact same job because he was simply afraid, or terribly unimaginative and afraid to try anything different, (or maybe he's just simple). Then there's his shallow, superficial, petty wife Betty who hasn't done much of anything really, aside from using tired old stereotypes and generalizations in order to form inaccurate opinions about others, especially artists. The stupid bitch simply isn't intelligent enough to grasp the creative imagination. TOO BAD, SO SAD!!! I will continue to pursue this matter legally and see that the retards responsible are punished severely for daring to interfere with my life. In their ignorance they have caused tremendous stress and I will not stop until I see them behind bars. What the hell does this have to do with George Carlin? Well, he was outrageous and outspoken, as am I, and I hope to continue to carry the torch for good old George. Rest in peace and I hope that you continue to kick ass on the other side. - M.M.
GOD REST YOU, GEORGE CARLIN!!!
The Class Clown Has Graduated
BRIAN HUGH RAMSAY
I was way too young to be listening to George Carlin the first time I
heard his Class Clown routine. I was not the class clown. I was too
quiet and timid to be class clown. I was however the guy the class
clowns could come to when they were tired of performing. See, class
clowns are smart and they notice things. They read and so when days
were long and boring, the best place to be in my school was the
library. They were all there, one, or two have actually gone on to achieve
comedy stardom. In the library we would sit and I would listen to them
riffing off each other, testing material that would later drive
teachers to distraction and in one notable case get someone suspended.
That was way back when you tested your boundaries in school and in
class because you knew way deep down where it counts that the
consequences of blowing it in in class were less stringent then
blowing it in the real world.
Maybe that was why I liked George Carlin. He was like me. Okay maybe not like me.
Carlin was like the kids I had known and grew up with. The ones who
made life easier to bare, class a little shorter, authority figures a
little less scary.
He made sense of the minutia of my life while he made light of that
minutia. Icebox Man, I answer the call when there is a need at the Ice
box. I swear whenever I open a bag of bread and start to leaf past the
first slice, or two I hear Carlin making light of the search for 'THE
GOOD BREAD.' Even now when my nieces visit both my brother and I, will
tolerate them standing in front of the fridge looking at it contents
before a Carlin-ism will pop out. "You're letting out all the coldness
I saved up overnight!" I'll scream. "Here's five bucks, my brother
will snap, "Go away to the corner store and get what you want."
Carlin was not a fan of soft vague language or speech. Some of my
customer service success stems from my unwillingness to soft sell
statements and finesse egos. I remember channeling my inner
Carlin the night I told someone the mark of a true customer service
professional is someone who can tell you to fuck off with a such a
beatific smile upon their face that and in such a nice way that the
customer makes a point of thanking you.
He made me love language and appreciate truth. He even made a
memorable family occasion even more so when I quoted him verbatim when
a highly religious member of my family asked me why I had such issue
with the church. "Religion asks you to believe that there is an
invisible man in the sky who sees everything that you do and who
has a list of ten things that he doesn't want you to do and if you do
any of the ten things, you will go to place of fire and torment and
burning and fear...but he loves you, he loves you and he needs money.
He is according to his people very bad with money." That got me out of
a few family get togethers. In fact to this day there are still members
of the family who will not come near me and who cite the reason for
this as that incident, which was almost ten years ago now.
He is my point of light guiding me through the world of comedy. As I
hone my craft and increase my skills, he is the example I go by in my
mind part of the hold triumvirate.
Lenny Bruce who made them laugh until the crowds realized that the
America, the world, Lenny was talking about was the America they lived
Richard Pryor who taught a generation of blacks that they didn't have
to pull it back or play it white just to get laughs and bookings and
Carlin, who withstood the passing of an age. America tried to
crush him. Silence him. Make him something smaller then he was. Instead
he blasted the walls of authority. They called him un-American, but he
was a patriot. See Carlin believed in the dream of what America could
have been to its people and to the world at large and it pissed him
off how little interest those whose job it was to guide the country in
that direction seemed uninterested in doing so.
An educated electorate is of no use to a government that rules by fear
and entitlement, so let's spend money meant for education and learning
on upper management. You know, the guys who don't do anything have
nothing to do with the kids whose duture they gut every time they
finish their Jettas.
An empowered and vital people could threaten the status of power and
privilege, so let's not house the homeless, feed the starving, or help
the unlucky and disenfranchised. Let's bomb brown people and when we
are done bombing them set up a government that will do to them what
our governments have been doing to us for years.
My women's studies teacher started getting through to me when we
bonded over Carlin, or as she said to me once, "The reason women need
to be empowered is because George Carlin isn't running the world."
And yes, Carlin made me love those seven words. The seven words that
you can not say on radio or television. He made me ask why you
couldn't and made me one of those who fights tirelessly to make sure
that one day that won't be true. Carlin taught me to suspect anyone who
does things for my own good, for the family, or for the children he
taught me that people who do things without your permission and then
say it is for your own good are really doing it for themselves and
they couldn't give a crap about you, or what you want.
I a smarter person because of George Carlin. Carlin made me think and
made me appreciate more and more every day. I remember buying a button at a
head shop when I purchased a Carlin comedy album that I still own and
'I think, Therefore I Am Dangerous!'
When you make the world a darker place, when you try and bullshit
your way into the hearts and minds of the innocent and uninformed, we
will be there ready and able to fight you using a verbal arsenal that is Carlin inspired.
Don't thin of Carlin as gone don't. His bastard children are a legion and we will be
watching when you screwdeliver the verbal smack down that Carlin would
deliver if he were still with us.
Thank you for everything you did for me George! It's my turn now. I
promise you I will do you proud.
BRIAN HUGH on The Murder of SEAN BELL
Sean and his friends were out for a bachelor party and stopped at a strip club and partied the night away. Unbeknownst to them, the club was filled with what the police like to call "persons-of-interest." The men left the club late. I have no doubt that they had a few and were still feeling that post-party high that comes from being out with friends and doing what friends do best. The cops came out of the darkness and demanded their surrender and compliance. Whatever happened after that is a source of confusion .
The cops at first claimed that the men had drawn weapons on them and tried to flee. Later forensic testimony would show that the men in the car had no weapons of any kind. The police opened fire and fifty rounds later, Sean Bell was dead. Yet another glorious chapter in American civilian police relationships had been written. You know this one, don't you folks? That grand book filled with those many moments when a country founded on the principles of liberty and justice for all failed spectacularly to provide any justice for anyone and denied liberty to someone based on nothing more then the fact that he was not establishment approved.
BRIAN HUGH RAMSAY on Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School
Canada, to her credit, has inspired many an ingenious artist, my favourite being Emily Carr. Carr was a woman whose love of the Canadian wilderness, and the footprints left upon it by aboriginal peoples', made her both a legend in the art world and an icon to lovers of landscape aesthetic.
She would view the sprawling exhibit at the New York Historical Society as a chance to reconnect with the real America, not the beleaguered country spreadeagled across three columns and the six o'clock news. I am referring to the vast land of ideas and possibilities that countless millions saw as they moved across it in search of dreams, some haunted by nightmares.
Maybe that is why the exhibit kicks off with the massive Thomas Cole landscape series. A series of paintings showing the rise and fall of a civilization starting with its peoples' first hesitant steps at hunting and gathering and ending with the decayed and desolate remains of an empire undermined perhaps by the very forces that created it.
Other highlights include works by Asher B. Durand, John F. Kensett, Jasper F. Cropsey and Albert Bierstadt whose huge and luminescent canvasses seem at last perfectly placed in this homage to the beauty of a land he and his like minded contemporaries seemed to love so much.
I'm sure that someone could argue that exhibitions like this remind you of what America fights to preserve and protect as it wages a hundred wars on a hundred fronts, cultural, spiritual and otherwise. I will only remind you that all things pass and nothing is permanent. The greatest of civilizations were eventually torn asunder and laid to waste. All that we have of them now is that which, in their vanity, they preserved as a lasting tribute to things they saw as permanent and unchanging. My advice, and I'm just a Canadian internet geek with an axe to grind, is that you take the time to contemplate how modern civilization will be thought of hundreds of years from now, when paintings and artifacts are all that remain to prove our existence.
Malice in Blunderland: Barack vs. Hilary by Canadian Correspondent Brian Hugh Ramsay
One might be forgiven these days for thinking that the U.S. Democratic primaries are starting to resemble a drug fueled fantasy, or a cynics worst nightmare come true. The most prominent frontrunners are persons for whom the dream of being president has always been just that, a dream. Not to jam it down the throat of the supernaturally optimistic, but seeing as hell has yet to freeze over, and cows & pigs steadfastly refuse to grow wings and fly, the average person might be forgiven for wondering what the hell makes anyone think that either Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama have a prayer of sitting in the oval office. One might just as easily posit the chances for a Paris Hilton / Nicole Richie ticket in 2008. Paris clearly feels she has nothing to hide, even things she might want to try hiding, and as for Nicole...unlike a certain gargoyle like veepee, I doubt anyone will accuse Nicole of growing fat off the gullible American voter. Yet the talk persists.
With Democrats seriously gauging the two front runners for their foibles and possible evidence of unlikability that could come back to haunt them at the polling station when America once again holds its nose whilst trying to determine its next step on the road to manifest destiny. As a wise man once said "In a casino, your choices are simple...knowing that you are ultimately going to get screwed and lose most, if not all your money, which of the bandits will allow you the most amount of fun while your getting the business." It's actually interesting to see black Democrats, and black Republicans taking shots at each other over who is more ignorant. Democrats for wanting to believe in the dream of their guy, or Republicans clearly still bitter about seeing their hopes for the future die with Colin Powell's disgrace on the world stage.
As for Hilary Clinton, some might say that a good chunk of Bill Clinton's post presidential career has been a long and extended advertisement for his wife's presidential run. He has used that old seductive charm that made him the terror of the White House Intern Corps to plant firmly in the eyes and hearts of many Americans that the time has come for a woman president, and that Hilary is the best choice for that post. Hilary supporters are quick to remind anyone who will listen that she has the edge on Obama by virtue of her many years as first lady to a multi term governor, and then to a two term President. They will point to the many projects she worked on both on Bill's behalf and on her own volition. Ah, the heady scent of those thrilling days of yesteryear! Clinton's detractors are also quick to remind us of the good old days when influence peddling, and patronage were the currency of Bill Clinton's Camelot.
The smart money seems to point to a merger of sorts. Obama takes the veepee slot under Hilary, biding his time and forging the alliances that make or break great leaders. There are a lot of old school thinkers out there, and if Clinton doesn't want to make them so nervous they go another way, she might want the backing of someone who could forge alliances she never can -- John McCain.
Eights years and a fiasco, or two later, many are acknowledging that McCain might have been the better man to helm the good ship America during these dark days. Ironically though, the fact that he was so publicly frozen out by the republican establishment grants him a perverse credibility that could spell electoral votes come the day of choice.
It is ironic your country seems determined to take a step to the left while mine is making the opposite choice. Stephen Harper seems poised to form a majority government which will grant him the power to do more and say more with absolute impunity. Perhaps we are all starting to realize a hard cold truth. Dreams remain dreams so long as we are afraid to breath life into them. The worrisome part being, dreams once they are living and breathing become the reality that you must learn to live with, and in some cases, live down.
Brian Hugh Ramsay Reviews ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Death and Disasters, 1962 1964 at the Art Gallery of Ontario
"Everything is sort of artificial I dont know
where the artificial stops and the real starts.
Andrew Warhola started his career as a graphic designer creating images for magazine ads and mass market merchandising. During the sixties, Warhol discovered the silkscreen method; taking photographs and images of pop culture icons and churning them out in a mechanical and grid like fashion.
Warhol seeks to erase the artist from the equation and in so doing creates a revolutionary artistic movement: POP ART.
Andy based much of his art on found sources: pictures, publicity stills, movie images, news clippings Andy scavenged them all, transferring said imagery into artwork. Eventually, he extended that mentality into film.
Andys method of directing was basically point and shoot. He would find a target, turn the camera on and leave it running until the life and oddity that followed him around played itself out in front of the camera.
There were people eating, sleeping, making love, or just looking into the camera as the camera looked at them. He later uses these recordings as a kind of wall art; leaving a film projector running; playing and replaying the same images over and over in the same repetitious manner that marks his art.
The filmed images have also become works of art; documentaries capturing the surreal atmosphere of 'The Factory.' Montages of sometimes psychotic characters that will themselves become a kind of artistic statement. Their lives and identities recorded, captured, sifted and processed by Warhol into something new and fascinating; life as art, art as life.
Andy at The Factory
For me personally, to look at Andys work becomes an exercise in what if. What if he had witnessed the horrors of 9/11? What about the O.J. fiasco? The trials of Scott Peterson and Robert Blake? The murder of Jon Benet? What would he have made of the Grunge Movement, or the pop explosion that brought us Britney and her clones? What about our recent obsession with brand naming celebrity relationships; the Bennifers, the Brangelinas and TomKats?
We sit in our homes watching life, death; tragedy and ecstasy unfold and repeated endlessly on television. We gorge on dehumanized imagery until the image becomes more important than the facts involved that produce them.
As I moved through the SUPERNOVA exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, a moment of surrealism overtook me. In the corner is a Mapplethorpe portrait, Andy looking at the crowd. His body language reads as a man in relaxed repose, but the eyesthey are searching. Who will be the next Warhol Superstar? What about the next screen test and the next person on the couch? Who will be the next work of art?
The portrait of Andy staring out at us from the great beyond is haunting. The artist is still watching and waiting. Mapplethorpe captured Andy for all of eternity doing the thing that made him happiest--observing humanity from a distance.
*SUPERNOVA runs through October 22nd at the Art Gallery of Ontario in
Brian Hugh on the Murder of John Lennon
The Boss recently asked for a few words on the anniversary of John Lennon's death; tall order really, since even after all these years it still seems like a surreal nightmare. Even today I find myself asking, did I really wake up to hear DJ's of every radio genre united in a sense of disbelief?
Stoic anchormen who'd delivered news of tragedies and conflict the world over seemed shaken. Stations that played music light years away from what you would consider to be rock were playing anything and everything Beatles that day. Imagine was on every station everywhere. I don't remember so much attention given to the death of any public figure, at any other time.
Lennon's music was on all day, all the time; his image appeared everywhere. His words and lyrics now rendered prophetic by the harsh reality of his death. His songs, always a tad angst ridden before such things were popular, became eerie in their aural prescience. Did he know on some level what was going to happen to him? Songs like Instant Karma and Watching The Wheels, seem to be a cry from a man fully aware that his fame had a dark side that might some day do him in.
In the days that followed Paul McCartney, caught off guard by a reporter, would refer to Lennon's death as a drag. A superficial response that apparently was miles short of the real pain that Paul felt and still feels to this day. Twisted not just by John's death but by the fact that he was taken just as they were starting to talk again, be friends again and learn to forgive each other for the death of the Beatles.
The years since have been one long what if (?) scenario. Live Aid was good, but what would it have been like if the Beatles had reunited on that Wembley Stadium stage. How many classics would John and Paul have churned out during the nineties
SO many unanswered questions, but then we do have the music. We have the Anthology, so we can see a young man at the height of his game still able to laugh and joke about creating music that would become classic. We can listen to Real Love and Free As A Bird and Imagine what it would have been like to hear them done live.
We can listen to song after song, classic after classic, and remember the good times. The Bed-Ins, the activism, that damned cheeky arrogance that was unique to Lennon and that history has shown, had its place. We can also weep, for I see little chance that anyone will ever come along again who can fill that void--be that larger than life working class hero.
BRIAN HUGH RAMSAY on the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Well, since everyone else with an uneducated and biased opinion has weighed in on the flooding of New Orleans, why not your humble chronicler? After digging out of Canadian winters that can create snowdrifts taller then my 6'2 frame, I can appreciate both the shock and awe you feel at nature's fury and the mystification at how civil order could collapse so quickly.
According to reports trickling out of what's left of the Big Easy, their infrastructure was sadly unprepared for the extremes of Hurricane Katrina's wrath or the depths of human depravity that would show themselves
The usual suspects start finger pointing and blame laying. Indeed FEMA head Michel Brown was shunted aside while publicly everyone continues to praise his efforts. The general drift seems to be, anyone who admits on national TV that he has no idea of the gravity of a situation being reported on by every major media outlet should not be the government's face during that situation. This hurricane and the resultant flooding have escalated from a category five storm to a category ten public relations nightmare.
Then there are the people who live in the city. You hear about disasters and on the very next page you can read about the "stories of personal heroism and triumph." You know, those funny stories about block parties during blackouts, carpooling, and sheltering to get people out of harms way and to protect them once they are safe. So, it is dispiriting to hear stories of armed thugs controlling the streets, firing on rescue workers hoarding
resources and fighting attempts at evacuation One particularly doting example reportage about the disaster and the civil chaos that followed was a piece by Robert Tracinski:
In it Tracinski blames the welfare state. Low income earners who have spent so long suckling at the social teat that the idea of having to fend for themselves, even temporarily, drives them to acts of violence and depravity.
Picture the scene as it plays out in Robert's mind. Some social cockroach in a wife beater and sweat pants hauls himself from the carcass of his government housing project to survey the chaos around him. He immediately decides that the right thing to do at this point is to arm himself, grab some malt liquor and a woman, and go loot the local Safe-Way. Rob can I postulate that the blame for people starving to death in the Super Dome isn't the indulgent welfare state? The real culprit might be the rather piss poor social planning that dismissed the minor reality that the city was built BELOW FREAKING SEA LEVEL!!!
And check out Kayne West. Apparently taking time away from turning mediocre pop tunes into mediocre pop tunes with rhythm, Kayne decided that a nationally televised appeal for help and resources was the perfect forum to belch forth his so-called well thought political opinions. Well Kayne, can I venture the thought that stealing a 27 inch plasma screen from the local Best Buy mightn't be the proper solution for the unequal
disposition of wealth in our society?
Look guys the city is toast, maybe we should concentrate on helping the living, burying the dead and rebuilding the lives of everyone affected by this disaster. IF, after all that, pundits still want to fight about the social political culprits for the breakdown of civil order after a unprecedented catastrophe, then of course feel free. May I suggest a Cajun rules cage match with the proceeds going to strengthen the damn levees?
Until next time, true believers...
Here's to you, BIG DADDY: B.H.R. Remembers HUNTER S. THOMPSON
Like any good tale of the Doctor's this is mostly, but not entirely true. It was G.T.R. (Great Teacher Ryan) who turned me onto the Doc. It was one of those cold ass nights in Canada that you read stories about. G.T.R. had been working for a dime store video set up that would go bankrupt shortly there after. I was in one of my moods, life had been depressing of late, and I was starting to question the direction in which things were headed. I ferried up to the farm and sought comfort and rest from the horrible conditions outside, the relentless howling cries of failure ringing in my ears and heart.
G.T.R. loads up his VCR assuring us that this Bill Murray film was funny, damn funny. He was in the midst of his bad movie fetish, so I relaxed and prepared for yet another incoherent mess passed off as a scripted film. I remember watching the film and thinking at first that Murray was doing a take on his Caddyshack character, I was pleasantly surprised. Hunter Stockton Thompson was a character all unto himself, a guy who faked his way into the writers game to avoid doing any "real work" during his stint in the military. As it turned out, he was so damn talented at writing that he could come up with blistering critiques of his own work and have it look as though dramatically different people with wildly diverse views were ripping into each other.
Over the next several years, I explored this savage strange world. I read Thompson prose and found it good. Thompson wasn't trying to invent anything when he became the father of GONZO journalism, he was just writing from a whacked out perspective. He wanted the world to see the madness that was so very much apart of the so called sanity of our daily lives. His focus was on the way we abused our minds and our bodies and most importantly the way we abuse those who we call upon to lead us, love us, and give us hope for the future.
Hunter wrote about America. He saw the country though some of the most tragic and glorious changes and watched the idealism of the sixties become the disillusionment of the seventies, the cynicism of the eighties and eventually the depressive whining and angst of the nineties. His prose saw me through my own dark period. I saw his wisdom and his willingness to flay open the sick carcass of the world and jab at the wound, cauterizing it with truth and vitriol. I tried, and maybe in some ways I have succeeded, in finding truth within my own work.
I so very much want his death to be a hoax; an amusing joke played on the public so that The Good Doctor can find out what might be said about him when he's gone, but that is not going to happen. He is gone, and he's not comin' back, but I'll always have his work: 'Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail '72,' 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' 'The Great Shark Hunt,' 'The Generation of Swine,' better than sex. The letters, articles, and most importantly that savage strange way of looking at the world that inspired, titillated, and opened minds even as it clouded them.
I have the knowledge that anyone that has read the work and understood it is good people. I have the sweet memories of watching 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' for the first time, and thinking that Johnny Depp was one fearless mofo for taking his portrayal of the real Gonzo so very over the top. I am a better writer now because of that snowy night. I am a better person now because I discovered that there was a man called Hunter S Thompson out there. Tomorrow, I will wake up and the world will still be there; it will still need to be reminded, not just of how great it is, but how great it could be if it would just try harder, or at least develop a sense of humor about itself.
Thank You, Doctor. The man that I am and the man that I may become, owes a profound debt to you. I am thankful that you decided to answer that ad and faked your way into a job you thought you were ill suited for. A writer writes, they write of their own truths and the truth there in. With that profundity in mind, I will rise from this evil machine, go out into the world, and have a look. It may be a darker world for his being gone, but it is brighter for his having taught me how to search in the shadows for the glowing embers of hope and proof that betrays that a great civilization was here and may yet rise again.
Good journey my friend, see you on the other side. I tarry here but a little longer for there is still much to be done and fewer hands now to do the work. R.I.P. Hunter S. Thompson.
Your fan and faithful friend,
The Wil Rogers of the Last Half of the 20th Century - BRIAN HUGH RAMSAY
Urban Legend time, folks. In 1991, hundreds of reporters descended on Burbank, California for the annual meet and greet that allows network executives to crow about their bright and shiny new stars for the upcoming season. NBC was riding high. The peacock network had been getting good numbers, and they were still the ones to beat. Johnny Carson walked out on stage to big applause. The undisputed King of Late Night, he had beaten all comers; humbling some and grinding the rest out of existence by virtue of his grace under fire talent.
Carson was doing his thing and working the room with quick, witty banter. The press conference was like watching one of his monologues. The executives were feeling confident that he would re-new. Carson reached the end of his prepared speech and then announced quietly that he would be retiring in May of '92.
Silence fell over the room. Executives who had been confident about their place in the ratings game and their own individual roles only seconds before, were now bewildered. Had Johnny Carson just announced his retirement in front of every single influential journalist in America? Indeed he had. Was this some pressure tactic to get more money? Apparently not, because he really didn't need the extra cash.
Carson was serious. He was out. Gone. Finished. He left that stage and began planning the last week of shows that would go down in history for the high quality talent that gave back to Johnny in tributes and praise he had earned over a celebrated career that spanned decades. That was Johnny's way, quietly reading the audience for signs that it was time to move on, not wanting to linger too long, or overstay his welcome. He also had the bizarre ability to completely turn it on and turn it off.
Public and private Carson were two very different people. In all the praise, tributes and gushing in the wake of his death at 79 from Emphysema, you step back and realize you didn't really know that much about Johnny Carson. What you do know involves the icon and the myth, as opposed to the man. Well, you know as much about Carson as he wanted you to know. You had him for an hour a night and he gave you everything he had. He gave you his best and he never phoned it in and at the end of every show when the camera went off, so did his public persona.
Carson did not even cash in on his "Where Are They Now" fame. Johnny did what a retiree is supposed to do, live quietly and enjoy the things that work had not left him time to do previously. He did not make a spectacle of himself. He knew that the public needs to believe that you are what you seem to be.
In the end, he remained the larger than life, bigger then big, King Of Late Night; the innovator and the originator. He gave us what we wanted most, the image of a celebrity in quiet repose who after doing what made them famous allowed us our memories and did not rob them of significance by staging an attempt at late in life re-invention.
He did not make his health problems public in so much as they were made public for him. Kings of Late Night do not get sick, that is for mere mortals and we need Johnny Carson to go on being immortal.
The Johnny we know is the one he wanted us to see and know about. He gave us what he thought we wanted and you know something? He did it his way and he was right.
Thanks for the memories, Johnny. We'll miss ya!
RAMSAY Reflects on the Year that Was (2004)
Well, time to look back and say what you think about the passing year. Ugly, tempered bastard that I am, I thought I would take a shot at being positive for once and write about the things I'm thankful for. Here goes...
1. I'm thankful for the blogging community.
This year as we struggled to separate fact from fiction and real news from press release sound bytes, the bloggers were often way ahead of the curve. BLOG's are usually the home of much teen angst and bad poetry. Thanks, however, to regular bloggers (some of them obsessive news junkies, some of them industry pro's writing under aliases), not only did we get more of the story this year than ever, but we also saw how much of the story we don't get and why.
2. I'm thankful that Fahrenheit 9/11 and Passion of the Christ came out in the same year.
Released within weeks of each other, Michael Moore's documentary and the Mel Gibson's cinematic passion play both gave us a stark picture of the world. The criticism and the praise, the laurels and vitriol sounded the same, but different, depending on what ideological camp you belonged to. This may seem simplistic, but think about it. People treated these films as if they were going to change the world. As if the viewing of them would send crazed thugs out in the streets to run amuck, duped into believing lies and half-truths. It is dishearting to realize just how stupid some people believe the average person to be. (Not quite as disturbing as how stupid the Average Joe really is, but that's a rant for another day).
3. I'm thankful for Janet's Jackson's breast. No, seriously, I am.
The secret battle to control the mind and heart of the public came out of the shadows and onto the world stage. We saw men of dubious character elevated to posts of power, manipulating good-hearted people by promising to "clean up the airwaves." We watched as a nation of good people had their good intentions turned into fodder for hate and divisiveness. Those of us who have been trying to educate the public can point to this year as being the year that at last, people got the message. Control what people can see, hear and say and you control their way of thinking and in 90% of the groups out there, mind control is what they are all about.
3. I'm thankful for bi-partisan rancor.
Nothing is more fun then watching people you respect argue opposing viewpoints. Except when those views are so stratified that people act as if they are gospel and any other point of view is madness personified and a conspiracy against the good and decent of the world. Why would I be thankful for something like this? Well, because the solution to this problem is easier then most. If we rediscover the LOST ART of LISTENING we might discover that we agree more then we disagree, we just haven't been paying attention.
4. I'm thankful for the I-pod.
Mp3 players have become THE gift item this year. Technology has advanced to the point where we can fill our players with gigs worth of music. Of course, now that that option exists, we are starting to notice that the music industry is ill equipped to handle that demand. P2P services continue to be the best place to find rare to air music. The beautiful thing is Itunes and the many legit services that sprung up are making money hand over fist. They just need the content. How has the industry decided to deal with that issue? Well, they gave us Ashlee Simpson. (!!!) They responded by sitting on artist releases by solid talents justifying it by saying that there was no "Hit Potential." Meanwhile a lightweight like Ashlee gets cradle to grave exposure on MTV and commercial hit radio.
Speaking of which, I'm thankful for NATRADIO and the semi daily broadcast(s) that I do from Toronto to the world, via the internet. Whole volumes could be written about what I'm discovering, as I pour over the letters, requests and comments. I am learning things about net culture that amaze me and I live half of my life online already! Sure I play commercial crap, but I also play stuff you aren't going to hear on Itunes & Poptracks. Increasingly it is people like me, who spread the word about music that doesn't suck. (Depending on what your definition of non-sucking music happens to be).
5. And in a blatant act of sucking up, I'm thankful for both you, (our audience) and Marla (Editor-In-Chief, EI.com).
Over the last year I have had the chance to rant rave and more importantly really look at the world around me and how it works and why it works and share my discoveries with you via Eclectic Ink. Marla has patiently winnowed out the dross, leaving you with some razor sharp and accurate takes on the world that we all share. (Trust me, there are some real clunkers on her hard drive with my name on them). Her ability to make me look good in print is astounding and her commitment to all of you inspires me to do what I can to stay the course and keep hacking away at it.
This is a beautiful world and I will not surrender it to the weasels' without a fight! It's the least that an ugly, tempered bastard can do for the ones he cares about. Happy New Year my friends! All the best in '05!
Until next month,
The Beginning of "The New Mean" BRIAN HUGH RAMSAY
One of the things about being a politics junkie is that you develop a level of foresight that can be almost frightening at times. Thus, during the Democratic National Convention I looked into the eyes of John Kerry and saw nothing; none of the spark or gleaming twinkle of scheming charisma that made Clinton so much fun to watch. This was not the man to halt America's head long Irish jig to the right. Nevertheless, you hope and you pray that you are wrong. The long and short of it is that I may be one of the few Kerry Supporters who would have been more surprised if he won then lost.
So, the dust is settling...
Now that an overwhelming majority of Americans have carved the next chapter in the character assassination of a nation, it's time to admit the truth about how things are in this sad, strange part of the world.
Hate and intolerance have replaced reason and patience as the currency of social change and demonizing the other guy has become the strategem of choice. (Okay, that sort of thing isn't new, but damn if it isn't getting more of a workout lately than is comfortable).
Blood was being shed out there over questions of which votes were going for and against. To hear the religious right tell the tale, they fear reprisals in the wake of their choice to safeguard America's social and moral fiber. Such self serving dogma only serves to divide and derange rather then to unite and sooth a populace that lately seems to believe that it is their way or the highway--"America; love it or get the **** out!"
What's worse is that with blatant evidence that some truly dark agendas were being serviced at the expense of personal liberty and national security, such people continue to let little things determine their view of the world. Let me challenge you with this idea: IF social freedom and choice are truly sacred, why was Ralph Nader getting legally stonewalled for running an election campaign? If Washington and Lincoln both rose from the dead on prime time TV and ran an election platform that you disagreed with, would you have voted for them? Of course not! So why would the bleating of an obvious fringe candidate bother you? If Nader wants to run, let him run! That is his choice just as it is your choice to vote, or not to vote for him.
On the other hand, how morally justifiable is the war in Iraq when the man responsible for the terrorist attack that prompted said war is still at large and still free to plan further attacks. Apparently still making statements to the effect that a vote for Kerry was a vote for peace with terrorists (not my words check the news reports for yourself).
Misinformation, blatant defaming and character assassination--these are the trademarks of your new enlightened politically aware society. You are with us, or you are against us and if you are against your words and ideas are evil and dangerous and must be strangled in the birth canal of thought; never shared or debated upon, never culled over for the relevance that might reveal golden nuggets of truth. I call it the New Age of Mean, the age when being stridently certain of a point of view is more important then being right. The age when you can LIE, EXAGGERATE, CONCEAL and BASTARDIZE and you will still be rewarded with the gold seal of public approval. Ah, that's democracy for you!
Until next month,
The Toronto International Film Festival 2004 - BRIAN HUGH RAMSAY
As your humble chronicler of the northern climes, I had the pleasure to be front and centre for this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Films are a wonderful thing. They tell stories about who we are and who we would like to be and every so often they tell us about things that we would just as soon not know about.
This year's crop of films was obtained in a wide net cast by organizers and the themes are many and varied. Films run from the dark and depraved, to the surreal and sublime.
My personal bent is genre films, thus the North American premiere of 'Ghost in the Shell 2; Innocence' was right up my alley. This year's midnight madness was a high point for my fanboy loving soul. 'GITS' tells the tale of a society drowning in its technological dependence. Takashi Miike, who has in past years shocked and appalled audiences with powerful and disturbing pieces like 'Audition' and 'Ichi the Killer', takes aim at the superhero culture with Zebraman. (Imagine taking many drugs and then watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers).
Points for most shocking film go to Saw (a tense American thriller starring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover & Monica Potter), in which a demented maniac imprisons victims forcing them into kill, or be killed situations.
Zev Asher, a documentary filmmaker was making the rounds and avoiding the darts being tossed his way for his investigation of a local crime that had international repercussions. 'Casuistry; The Art of Killing a Cat', looks at the 2001 incident wherein three teens violated a stray cat before beheading it. One fest organizer received a death threat from parties unknown and even I was accosted in a elevator by someone angered at the presence of the film in the fest calendar. Right or wrong, the general feeling in the fest offices was that it was a documentary and thus must be judged on how well it tells a story. Since the film may get a limited release, I leave it to my readers to do just that.
Katsuhiro Otomo returns to the fest circuit with 'Steamboy'. Otomo-san is also the director of the classic Akira. STEAMBOY explores themes of scientific philosophy asking the question, should morality or necessity determine the pace of scientific development? In my opinion, the film is successful in telling a thrilling adventure story set in the semi-Victorian age.
Audiences thrilled to films like 'Silver City' and 'Going Upriver'. Films that if you can see them before the next election, may change your mind about which way you are voting come November. Silver City is a satirical piece much in the mold of 'Primary Colurs', showing the election drive of a candidate whose questionable leadership skills are covered up by a soulless political machine. 'Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry' is a documentary focusing on the young Kerry and particularly his anti-war activity after he got back from his heroic service in Vietnam. If you still have doubts about what Kerry stands for, you will at least know what he stands against.
The city of Toronto was insane! As a volunteer, I was running from venue to venue. I watched guests and attendees being herded like cattle from hotel to movie house and back. In many ways they are as much victims as we are in this parasitic process that has film goers rushing from screening to screening, sometimes with only moments to make choices that determine what goes in a multiplex.
By the time Sunday and the end of the festival rolled around I was a drooling zombie with only vague powers of recollection. I knew it was time to go home and rest when I found myself falling asleep on the subway that traverses Toronto---Too tired to get off at the festival office to return my volunteer badge.
Canadian photojournalist, ZAHRA KAZEMI, was killed while covering a protest in Iran last year--BRIAN HUGH RAMSAY shares the details.
Eclectic Ink is home to artists of all stripes including photographers. Photographers tell stories though pictures of what our world is like and like all art forms, it holds up a mirror to society and draws attention to our flaws. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian photojournalist, traveled to Iran to show and tell the world about life under a brutal regime. A regime which hides its evil under a cloak of religious hocus pocus.
While she was in the mid east, Kazemi took pictures of a student protest near Evin Prison, which was the scene of a brutal massacre of several thousand political prisioners in 1988. The government was clamping down on security; the photojournalist knew the risks, but did her job anyway. She was caught up in one of the security sweeps and arrested. Her E-letters back home made it clear that harrassment of reporters was regular and accepted in that benighted wasteland. It was something she was prepared for; she assumed that the worst she would endure would be some jail time. She was wrong.
The Iranian government imprisoned her, abused her, tortured her and after they killed her, they buried her body in a foreign land so that they might cover up this abominable crime. The Iranian government murdered her. Is that strong language? Live with it, as her son lives with it. Live with the knowledge that a group of shadowy men regard the world with such contempt. Those same men lie about the torture and abuse Kazemi endured; explain it away with the ridiculous claim that she fell down during a hunger strike. Those same men offer blood money to the family but deny them access to the body. Why? Because they know that a layman would come to the conclusion that Kazemi was brutalized before her death. The Iranian government ignores every convention of international justice and humanity that allows our species to maintain its arrogant claim of civilization and they openly flaunt their lack of fear in Canada's face.
Canada is not a country that does regime change. We talk, we discuss, we entreat, we grovel at the feet of murderers then we go home and try and tell ourselves that it will all mean something in the end. A life is snuffed out and because Canada lacks the means, we may never see justice for Zahra. A crime is commited and because there is no oil in the sand, the perpetrators behind that crime will continue to have their way with the world; an image of brutal honesty worthy of anything Zahra ever recorded with her camera.
R.I.P. Kurt Cobain - Brian Hugh Ramsay
"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" - Matthew 16:26
"Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us." - Unknown
Kurt Cobain is ten years dead as a doornail. Since then music and the Alt-Rock scene especially, have changed. Kurt's memory, the way that we see him, that has really changed. Kurt has morphed from a talented guitarist and vocalist and effective songwriter into a messiah figure--Grunge Rock's own beatified saint. Cobain has been carrying the torch for alot of us since then; however, was Cobain an artistic genius beset by grasping false friends and ungrateful bandmates, not to mention a sinister and greedy wife, or was he a damaged tortured soul, innately hardwired for self-destruction by our "Use and Abuse" way of living?
In the early 90's, I was feeling the typical teenage angst that would become cliched at the close of the century. As my life passed out of the euphoria of childhood and into the demented surrealism of High School, I wanted the music of the times to speak for me. The Hair Bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and others were getting laid and living high lives with fast girls. That was not my life. I was an outcast in the halls of my own school. Insulted, demeaned, made to feel small and unimportant because my clothes weren't right and my hair was unkempt and I read long books with big words. Then I found "The Friend," you know, "The One."
The person who had that record collection just a bit better then yours. The one who looked for new stuff that wasn' t popular. Being at his house was a litany of strange roars. They excited my senses, that thus far, had been long dulled by commercial hit radio. Playing strange music for me like The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Pixies and Sonic Youth. One day, he demanded I listen to a track off an album called Nevermind. "Just listen to this one track, it is killer," he crowed and set Cobain's screaming prose loose on my young mind.
For the next few years, I would explore a world of musical choices that have come to be known as the Alt-Rock scene. Bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and the Smashing Pumpkins sang the songs that became my anthems and my mantras. Although others would come along, I would always return to "Nevermind" and eventually "In Utero." When my elitist friends were calling it nothing but noise, Nirvana would make an MTV Unplugged appearance that silenced the harshest critics, for awhile.
The fact that Kurt was not happy was no shock. That he set a dark course for himself was just as obvious. Sad people produce great art, but sad people often try to banish the sadness and sometimes the creative process doesn't cut it. Drug and alcohol abuse seemed mystic and cool to my young mind, already learning that the cost of being a talented artist usually was to be a screw-up in all other aspects of life. The pantheon of musical God-hood reads like a roll call of the dysfunctional and damaged. The ones who knew them best always said that no matter how it came, the end was not as surprising as the reaction of those left behind asking how & why?
There are always signs, always hints; cries for help that get interpreted as poor lifestyle choices, self-indulgent lyrics, and publicity whoring from stars too immature to realize that life is not always about them and their make believe pain.
On the day that I heard the first reports that Kurt had been found dead--the gunshot wound apparently self-inflicted, my blood ran hot with rage. Two years earlier, in my loneliness and frustration, I had tried to take my own life. It was during my recovery, that the music of Nirvana and other Alt-Rockers, really took hold of me as I tried to answer for myself that burning question of WHY. Not why had I tried to kill myself, but why shouldn't I try again? The anger, the pain and loss they sung about was my anger, my pain, and my frustration. I felt cheapened by his act. The media called his suicide a cliché, which somehow made my own misadventure a cliché. In a single moment, every LIE I had told myself in those lonely hours as the life slipped out of me, became truth. If Kurt could not deal with LIFE, was I any better?
He had money, a wife, a kid & fame; all of the things that I had been taught that I should want. IF the 2.5 kids and the "Picket Fence Fantasy" held no joy for Kurt then surely I was destined to crash and burn. We ask, WHY KURT? You created beauty, you made the world better, why end it by ending yourself. It took me ten years to find the answers but I think I'm close to one now. The thing Music fans hate the most is the band that stays too long, the band that becomes a sad parody of its early years. Nirvana was a great band; they could have gone on forever except, what might they have sounded like? Releasing one album after another, each one compared to work produced when they were younger, hungrier and less polished. "In Utero" was unfavorably compared by some to "Nevermind." Grunge music aficionados sometimes slammed "Nevermind" itself as being overly commercial compared to "Bleach." Although the fans embraced the Unplugged release as Nirvana in its purist essence, most critics did not appreciate it until after Kurt's death. Their Garage band sound became an over-used studio trick. Nirvana and their Grunge Cousins, were slammed for being needlessly self-indulgent.
Would we have preferred the slow disintegration suffered by bands like Alice in Chains? Lead singer Layne Staley commited slow suicide. He proved unable to escape the lure of drugs, or believe the happy feel good pitch of the self-help gurus and their twelve-step industry. The Stone Temple Pilots flamed out the same way. I reluctantly await Scott Weiland's final descent into rock infamy; alone in some godforsaken room with nothing but his drugs and his pain as witness to the death of this otherwise talented guy. How about the Smashing Pumpkins? They self-destructed. Brought down from the inside by ego conflicts and from outside by The Music Business--A cannibalistic industry that fattens its stars even as it consumes them, leaving nothing but the desecrated carcasses we see on the Where Are They Now?/ Surreal Life specials.
Recent reports have disclosed that in the month before his death Kurt was thinking about dissolving Nirvana and making music with Hole. Most of the their first album was written by Cobain, so it's not such a stretch. The cynical have dismissed such stories by pointing out that Kurt was doing way too many drugs at that point. Many whisper that he talked about divorcing Courtney Love. No matter what the truth is, it is clear that Kurt needed some kind of a change.
Sinner or Saint, Kurt Cobain's life and death have taught us something. Many of us draw a line between our lives before April 5th 1994 and our lives now. Go out the week of April 5th and thank Kurt for letting you see how far you have come; the lessons you have learned, the loves you have had and lost, the good and bad times. Thank God that you can draw a breath today. Take his life as an example, you can have it all and still feel empty if you don't find Your own reasons to love who you are and what you do. Most important, go out and buy a copy of a Nirvana album for yourself or a friend. R.I.P. Kurt Cobain.
Our Beloved Canadian Correspondent, Brian Hugh Ramsay, Asks The Musical Question...A Constitutional Ban On Gay Marriage? What Could "DUBYA" Be Thinking?
George Bush, and by extension "The Republican Party," are waging war on America's "Queer Nation." The argument put forward by Dubya's handlers, is that by offering same sex couples the right to call any life long union marriage, "liberal law makers, and aggressive local officials" are threatening the underpinnings of domestic society. They maintain that if law makers want allow this type of union, then at least call it something else, anything else, just not MARRIAGE. Apparently, Republicans and church leaders feel that MARRIAGE is some kind of copyrighted term; the gay and lesbian use thereof, robs it of its social meaning and reverent status. (Cue pictures of Britney Spears, Liz Taylor, and anyone else famous whose sacred unions barely lasted longer then it took for the ink on the marriage license to dry).
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." - Shakespeare
However, as any Lenny Bruce fan can tell you, words have a power that transcends the language that birthed them; marriage is such a word. It denotes to some of us, a merging of lives and therefore, souls. Two people, who for whatever reason, have chosen to be together, supposedly for the rest of their lives. Take the "M" word away, and you remove the symbolism behind the action. You no longer have two people who want nothing more then to be with each other, forever; rather, you have two people shacking-up and shagging until boredom, or death sets in.
I can see where some of the heat initiates from. When some European countries were sanctioning gay marriage, bible-belt Americans could dismiss it as "Europeans dressing immorality as social sophistication." Then, your northern cousins, the Canadians, pulled a social 180º when two major provinces: Ontario and British Columbia, declared that withholding the right to marry based on sexual orientation was a human rights violation. The race for the chapel was on for hundreds of gays and lesbians, including some from America. Sure, they know that their wedded bliss, and more importantly the legal rights, and responsibilities that go with it, are recognized north of the border only. The symbolism drove them to make the trip across the border in order to stand in line, and to do the deed in front of a Justice of The Peace (Freedom of Religion guarantees that no church that forbids it, will ever be forced to hold or endorse a gay marriage). The liberal government has pledged to entrench the rights of gays and lesbians to marry into the Canadian constitution. (The cynic in me demands that I mention they have pledged to do this only after they win the next Federal election).
Let us not kid ourselves here. The real winners, should gay and lesbian marriage become the norm instead of the exception, are the divorce attorneys. Ambulance chasers across the country will be supporting their children's, children's children, with what they stand to make after the shine wears off, and the harsh reality of married life sets in. In addition, lets not drag out the tired saw of sexual sophistication within the community...gays and lesbians simply want the same rights that straight American citizens enjoy. When same sex couples are finally allowed to legally get hitched, they will quickly realize getting married and staying married are two very different beasts, and that taming the one does not automatically grant you mastery over the other.
Marriage does not need to be protected by George W. Bush. Marriage is a symbol. The word itself, and the message that it conveys, and the ideals contained there-in, cannot be damaged by all the Bennifers, Britney Spears, or Liz Taylor's out there. IT stands untouched by the serial polygamists who use, and abuse their partners. It still means something to those of us who dream of one day standing before witnesses, and swearing to love, honor and cherish, till death do us part. If those ideas are the ones that form the basis of a marriage union, then the "institution" will stand the test of time and foul political will, no matter who walks down the aisle, or who waits for them at the end of it.
Sensationalism and Tabloid Journalism in America - M. "BUTCH"
In case you haven't noticed journalistic integrity is a thing of the past. Junk food journalism has experienced such an enormous surge in popularity over the past ten years that it has virtually taken over and become our primary source of information in this nation. If this bit of truth does not cause you concern, it should. Big time.
The tabloid press has gone from being an easily discredited minority to becoming the dominant force in media today. We are spoon fed round the clock press coverage by 24 hour news service station's that continually fill us, to the point of regurgitation, with Jerry Springer headlines. What does this say about a society that supports such gross media bias?
If there were not some sort of psycho/social need for it then the powers that be would surely change their ways and stop producing news at this most basic level. After all, our society thrives on the laws of supply and demand.
Journalistic standards have sunk to such a juvenile and petty level because we the people eat it up. Does this imply further decline and degeneration on the part of our society, or is it simply cyclical?
It appears that our species cannot maintain a period of stable progression. We tend to regress within 10 year cycles; the natural process of evolution somehow arrested. And so we hang in perpetual limbo unable to make the intellectual commitment necessary in order to achieve progressive minded goals.
Our discontent, our indifference and jaded cynicism have all contributed to this current crisis and have led to the formation of the Disinformation Society.
The press will take a story and beat us over the head with the sensationalistic aspects of it until we are literally desensitized to the facts and distracted by all of the hype. Opinions are then formulated based on half-truth's while relying on unsubstantiated rumors as evidence and in some cases, reason enough to win a conviction in the court of public opinion.
Why not focus media attention on this desperate need for the negative, this hunger for raw meat that has proven to be insatiable on the part of our nation? It's time to reclaim ethical responsibility and time to stop catering to the lowest common denominator.
We have been overlooking the contribution's being made on a daily basis to the continual dumbing down of America for far too long. It's time to put this perverse process in reverse.