Tag Archives: hype

I Don’t Do Slam

Now when I say I don’t do slam
it doesn’t mean
that I don’t dig
the meth-euphoric drenal high
that comes when words escape at Mach
and you roll like the Candy Man with those
sweet treats to clear the sleeping ears
of all those deadbeat debutantes
who crowd like mike like it was manna
say they’re gonna, makes you wanna
holler damn the poet man
street preacher speaking tongues in rhyme
but that ain’t slam, sam.

When I say I don’t do slam
it doesn’t mean that I can’t jellyroll
mainline strings of silken soothings
talk loud without saying nothing
run below the feedback radar
at the edge
of sound distortion
keep it real compared to something
shut down shambles mumble rumbling.

When I say I don’t do slam
it ain’t because I’m old and gray
and rhymes don’t flow don’t grow
testosterone and angst OD
some chosen chump to channel
all the crap you couldn’t stand to shout
I’m not the one to rock your pulpit
spin your world yourself
my axis
doesn’t equate power with volume
strokes its own ego quite nicely
whispers sermons to a choir
that knows just why
I don’t do slam.

16 MAY 2005

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Wrongful Thinking Department 101

Quote from a currently running commercial for Cox Digital Telephone:
“If a million people are doing it, it must be a good thing, right?”

So, if a million people are jumping off of cliffs, to use a metaphor from my mother’s playbook when I was a kid, you should be doing it too?

Or to paint with a much broader brush … if a million people are racist, sexist, bigoted, uptight, boorish cads, then that’s the direction you want to head in? If a million people support a fascist dictator with an agenda that includes decimation of people not like him (or them), that makes it a worthy cause?

Wow. Marketing never ceases to amaze me.

To paraphrase Ibsen, since when has the majority ever managed to do anything but ostracize (and that’s the mild end of the reactive spectrum — the other end would include thumbscrews and quartering or crucifying) its innovators?

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Don’t Believe the Hype

The world is suffering and pain
or so the Buddhists say
but with control of mind and flesh
for some, it goes away

Not for the tree, or rock or mouse
does this travail desist;
nay, ’tis for man, and man alone,
the top dog on the list

For man deserves a better fate
than to compete, and die;
and thus, all man’s misguided myths
are built upon a lie.

The lie is whispered in our cribs:
that this world is our toy,
and that each field of grass is less
than one grand girl or boy

And so we use, abuse and waste
our time upon this earth.
Instead of finding balance,
giving back, we make it worse.

How did we get here? And what for?
These questions, our tales say,
end in the right of human might
that does not see the play

of life and death in which we’re cast
where we believe our press
and act in spite of natural law
that teaches, more or less

That every thing that lives requires
the death of other things,
and in the end will make an end
of pawns, as well as kings

This suffering we dwell upon
disturbs us each, because
we think ourselves, mankind, exempt
from nature’s violent flaws.

And so, we ponder future states
where all is just and fair
instead of realizing that
we are already there.

This world was not conceived for man
to do with as he please;
his grand appearance made less ripple
than a passing breeze.

To think your kind has rights to more
than any other type
is just misguided myth, not fact.
Please, don’t believe the hype.

04 AUG 2004

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Bonzo’s Bedtime

I don’t want to say anything about Ronald Reagan. I have kept my mouth shut for two days now on the subject. But amidst the feeding frenzy on both the left and right that still is going on (the left to destroy the mythos by rediscovering history, and the right to destroy history by rediscovering the mythos), I feel it necessary to interject a little something.

First: Ronald Reagan was a man I appreciated as an actor only slightly more cardboard than Rock Hudson, whose prediliction for sentimentalism turned my stomach. As an actor, he lacked the physical charm of Burt Lancaster, the inner struggle of Gary Cooper, the sense of irony of Gregory Peck, the intelligence of Cary Grant, and the heroic flaws of John Wayne. And yet, he tried to emulate each one of their personas at one time or another.

Second: The Reagan I knew as a politician was an old man. Older than my father. And as a result, a man of a different time. The great tragedy of the Reagan years, in my opinion, is that we as a nation in the 1980s felt it necessary to rely upon someone who was so obviously out-of-step and out-of-touch with the realities of life in the 1980s. For some sad, crazy reason, our national nostalgia wanted to forget the seventies (and by extension, the sixties) and return to Ozzie and Harriet land. Well, this was the man to get us there, McCarthy witchhunts and all. We (well, actually my parents generation) asked for it, and he delivered. The fact that what we asked for wasn’t really what we as a country needed was not necessarily Reagan’s fault — he was simply reading the script that the majority of the audience he could see beyond the footlights wanted him to read. That’s unfortunately how democracy works … as George Carlin once pointed out, the sad fact is that our elected leaders and representatives really are the best that we can do. They embody what is both best and worst in each of us. And in the “greed is good” generation of the 1980s, that worst turned out to be pretty bad, while the good seemed sentimental and trite. That describes the 80s, doesn’t it?

Third: Anyone who says that Ronald Reagan, regardless of what he may have done as “leader” of our democracy, deserved a 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s, is an asshole. Fuck you for even thinking that. And my deepest condolences go out to Nancy and the kids, both for having to live through the twilight hell and having to live through the circus now, and for the great hole in their lives once filled by a large, charismatic, sometimes humorous and often opinionated individual who is now gone, regardless of how you think he played his roles.

Fourth: On a personal note, the affect Reagan had on my life in the 1980s is observable by two simple facts. That during his Presidency, I was required to register with Selective Service. It was my impression at the time that he was responsible for that; and that I would likely be required to participate militarily at some near term juncture in the jungles of south and/or central America fighting to maintain some fascist-friendly ally of the American industrialists to whom the Republican party owed allegiance. And second, my first opportunity to participate in the government of this county, through the process of voting once I turned 18, was an opportunity to cast a vote against Reagan. I did so.

Fifth: Ronald Reagan was just a man. Nothing more, nothing less. Not a great villain, not a saint. If you’re sitting around either reading endless blog stories about him, or writing them, you survived both his time in power (which was, actually, pretty brief and more than a decade ago) and are likely to survive his legacy. Not so for Bonzo the Chimp, who died first.

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