I’ve got to jet out to a rehearsal. In the meantime, in honor of Halloween approaching, here is the Ramones video for Pet Cemetery. I learned how to play guitar by playing along to Ramones records. This movie used to also scare the bejesus out of me as a kid. Alas, now I would gladly dance with the awoken dead of Pet Cemetery if it came between that and seeing Ted Cruz’s face one more time.
Headed out to Fort Worth for a gig tonight. Playing the Capital Bar at 9pm. Posting will probably be slow today.
About an hour or so south of Fort Worth. The landscape is flat and brown. As close to fall and October as anything I have seen this year so far in Texas.
I watched a couple episodes of The Walking Dead while doing taxes last night as I mentioned. My favorite episodes are the character driven ones. The writers do a great job of creating fully realized characters and ratcheting up the tension between those characters as their aims and beliefs differ. I finished season two before bed.
The show is great at keeping you invested as it is super entertaining. I wouldn’t say it is scary though. As an adult there is much worse things to be scared of. While I was watching it, I compiled a mental list of things I find scarier than zombies (In no apparent order):
1. Doing my taxes
2. Monday morning at a day job
3. The fact that people voted for Ted Cruz
4. The fact there is now two naked reality shows
5. The music on the top of the pop charts
6. The fact that people watch Fox News
7. The fact that more than half of Americans believe in gaurdian angels
8. A Supreme Court that treats corporations as people
9. The fact that people are basically jacking off to their guns now
10. Rush hour traffic
If something could be done with the things on that list, for starters, I would gladly romp with the dead.
“Is there an asshole convention in town?” – Richard Pryor in Moving
“I could sense the hate from the Lone Star state.” – Morrissey
Morrissey wasn’t singing about same-sex marriage and Richard Pryor wasn’t talking about Texas, but they might as well have been. Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott, our senator and one of our candidates for governor, are trying to prevent same-sex marriage from spreading. There are two paths up ahead. There is one that is a long, slow, hard, climb to a world where everyone is treated equally and just under the law, where kindness and decency are the norm. There is another that is a slow decline backwards into a world of ignorance and destruction.
You see same-sex marriage isn’t just about the right of gay couples to get married and live in happiness like the rest of us have the right to. It’s about treating our fellow human beings as people worthy of respect. They are people with hopes and dreams just like everyone else. Protecting your tribe leads to destruction. Realizing that human kind all has common shared interests is the only chance we have of making this thing called civilization work in the long run. Realizing that your gay neighbor down the street or a farmer in Africa are worthy of living a life of dignity is a step to making a world, that will reach a population of around 9.6 billion people with dwindling resources by 2050, worth living in. We can either come together or bleed out slowly in our tribal huts with hate and fear of the “other”.
I just read a troubling article that puts the chances of Republicans winning the Senate at 60%. The Democrats, for whatever problems you might have with them, are still a party interested in actually governing. The current GOP is not your grandfather’s Republican party, or even your father’s. They are a bunch of extremists whose only principle seems to be use the US government as a trough for corporations. Anything that doesn’t benefit corporations such environmental regulations, higher wages for workers, a safety net for the unfortunate, and on and on, is to be dismantled. It is an unholy alliance of big money and the fundamentalist right. Even those Republicans that dare compromise are often challenged and disavowed by a large amount of their own party.
You’ve probably heard this rant a million times by now, but that makes it no less true. I’ve talked about this before, but those of you that are conservative from a religious standpoint should watch the movie There Will Be Blood. In the movie the main character, played by Daniel Day Lewis, who represents big business, makes an uncomfortable alliance with a preacher. However, once he has everything he needs he beats the preacher to death with a bowling pin. Once big business has everything it needs, once it has used up all of our resources, has people working for as little as possible, and no longer needs religion as a Trojan horse for its agenda, it will beat it to death and be done with it too.
The Supreme Court just decided that there should be no limits on campaign contributions. That to do so would be to limit free speech. If you think you dislike politicians now, wait till you see what might be coming down the road! The era of the middle manager is upon us. We will be overwhelmed with dull minds that don’t question things as long as the money keeps rolling in.
If you care at all about this country and where we are headed, then contribute in some way. You should give money, even if it is a little, volunteer, talk to your friends, write or create something that points to what is going on, etc.
And to all of you that think all politicians are the same: You are fucking crazy! Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz are light years apart. Sure the system can at times occasionally grind even the best politicians down to mere shadows of themselves, but there is a difference. If you don’t vote you are just accepting defeat. This is no time for apathy. I am no fan of Obama’s drone policy, but if McCain had won we would probably be knee deep in at least a couple of other wars by now!
There is still reason to hope though. Look at the advances that have been made in the last few years with how we treat gay people. Although the battle is not over many people have woken up to the fact that they are people too and deserve to be treated with dignity. Bringing about positive change can be a long hard climb, but once you reach the summit it is amazing how quickly the whole world can look different.
The above video is a long speech by author and activist Rebecca Solnit on the topic of hope. It’s easy in this day and age to want to throw your hands up in defeat. With climate change, reality TV, endless war, the military industrial complex, overpopulation, banal music on the radio, the increasing gap between rich and poor, people in power like Ted Cruz and Rick Perry, or any number of other things, it can be hard to wake up each day with a can do attitude. On this blog I often point to a lot that is wrong in this world. The reason for that is simply that a lot is wrong. However, if I didn’t think things could be better I would simply quit writing, go buy a ton of drugs, and enter my own private fantasy land. I always loved Flannery O’Connor’s quote that if a writer writes about dirt it is because the writer despises dirt, not because they love it. (Paraphrased) Hope doesn’t mean looking at the world through rose tinted glasses. It just means realizing that the potential for positive change is there if it is worked towards. Even someone like Hunter Thompson, famous for writing things like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, believed in fighting the good fight for a better future. There is nothing more noble in human beings, in the face of an ever growing storm, than small acts of defiance like hope.
A Texas friend of mine said the following after seeing Ted Cruz’s picture on the cover of Texas Monthly: “Even if Ted Cruz was awesome and believed in all the right things, wouldn’t just the site of him make you want to beat the piss out of him?” Alas, I agree. He just looks smarmy, like he just climbed out of the primordial ooze with the intent of stealing your grandmother’s pension.
When I read the article above in my head a long fuuuuuccckkk was uttered. Kind of like Goofy’s “yahoo”, but a swear word. (You can hear Goofy’s sound at: http://www.hark.com/clips/kmfzpwvtjk-goofy) And then the image of a mushroom cloud crossed my mind.
Add that to an article I read yesterday where Ted Cruz praised The American Legislative Exchange council and I completely understand the Smith’s line, “It takes strength to be gentle and kind.”
Who is still following these people? Who nods their head in agreement when such ignorance is let loose? Are the people that speak this nonsense cynics playing to the peanut gallery or true believers of the most senseless kind? Are they just saying these things to kill someone like me off with an aneurism?
Yesterday I was hanging out with a friend when the new version of Let’s Make a Deal came on. A soul singing Wayne Brady serenaded an older woman while she went down on a cupcake like it was somebody’s dong. I am convinced people will believe or do anything. Anything!!!
I try to be hopeful. I really do. But then the world intercedes.
Hat tip to my brother for sending the Santorum article my way.