The Friends of California Libre...

13 July 2004

Hell in a Handbasket

Greetings, friends...
No, the title of this Screed does not refer to Robert's old car. It's my poor state, which I just drove down. I was inspired to write (and borrow) the following:
Supertramp on the 101 Between Santa Barbara and Ventura
(dedicated to "La Bala de Plata", my sixth car)

There is nothing lovelier
than catching a glimpse
of the sun setting into the Pacific

Three decades of driving
staring at the ocean
listening to Supertramp

"But there are times that you feel
you're part of the scenery
all the greenery
is comin' down, boy"

California, you are making me hard
and not in a nice way
cold and hard and mean
staring into the rearview
the high beams of the SUV I cut off
the orderly wineries replacing the golden hills
the cloud-colored houses replacing the wineries
a new freeway offramp black-ribboned between them
walls of gray above the gray sea and the gray sky

"When lonely days turn to lonely nights
you take a trip to the city lights
and take the long way home
take the long way home"

Crazy woman on the subway
screaming into the telephone
leaping over the table at McDonald's
clutching at my throat
speaking in tongues
pushing me aside
running me off the road
trucks everywhere
cars everywhere
people everywhere
panic attack
paralyzed next to the Ak-Mak
a shopping cart with nothing but Balance bars
and cat food
and he can't stop talking on his cell phone
about the war
and Michael Moore
three women in matching pantsuits
stopping for lunch at Nepenthe
getting drunk and running me off the road
into the Big Sur tidepools
my car didn't make it

Independence Day
getting drunk and running off the road
blowing it up
my car didn't want to make it

I walk up the hill
in the polluted dark
Norteno music
two blocks from my great-grandparents' house
now worth $800,000
record producer
movie star wife
Guatemalan gardener
can't see it through the five story section 8 poverty condos
across from my apartment
my car stayed in Monterey
connected to me by roads
and houses
and pollutions
and glares
and stares
and the undying hum

I was asleep in the woods
I woke to a sound outside the tent
a steel plate
the size of a football field
fell out of the sky and landed in the forest
ten miles away
all the animals went silent
that was the sound of California

"So, when the day comes to settle down,
who's to blame if you're not around?
You took the long way home
You took the long way home"*

*Lyrics to "Take the Long Way Home" by Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson copyright 1979

But enough self-indulgence. Here's some stuff I dug out of the "in box" when I came back from Santa Cruz. How many of you read this:
Tillman Killed by 'Friendly Fire'
By Josh White
The Washington Post
Probe Cites Error By Platoon Mates.
Pat Tillman, the former pro football player, was killed by other American troops in a "friendly fire" episode in Afghanistan last month and not by enemy bullets, according to a U.S. investigation of the incident.

A "poor bastard" article if I ever saw one. Talk about dying for your country...and how did this one slip by me:
Reich Resigns as Bush Administration Latin America Adviser
Otto Reich, the Bush administration's special adviser on Latin America, resigned, White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said in a written statement.

Some of us remember that evil wretch from his Contra days under Ronnie Reagan:
Reagan's Bloody Legacy
David Corn

In Central America, Reagan Remains A Polarizing Figure
By Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan
Washington Post

Not that our current idiot is any better:
Bush's 2004 Scandals for Dummies
By Bernard Weiner
The Crisis Papers

But the Bushies keep coming on strong, and they even have their own ketchup (thanks, Miles):

Their cleverness has a way of "ketching up" with them (thanks again, Miles; WARNING, you will need a broadband connection):
>The backstory is as follows: earlier this year, the
>web site for the Bush-Cheney campaign - the real one,
>paid for by MBNA America and Richard Scaife - featured
>a "create your own banner" tool, where you could enter
>your own slogan and print out your own poster, with
>the Bush-Cheney logo, and a note at the bottom "paid
>for by Bush-Cheney '04, Inc." Democrats, of course,
>couldn't get enough of this. The original sloganator
>accepted everything, then it started censoring
>profanity and words like "Hitler" "dictator," and
>Nevertheless, many clever folks exploited the
>sloganator to their own ends before its sad demise
>only a couple of weeks after its birth, and its
>mourners assembled some of the best for the slide

Well, there's good news for my future:
Liberals Keep Power in Close Election in Canada
By Clifford Krauss
New York Times

Anyway, I dug up this site just for Alicia, but any of you global friends may enjoy it; it'll tighten your wig:

Ethnomathematics Digital Library (EDL)
A collection of annotated links to Web sites related to ethnomathematics, which is "the study of the mathematical practices of specific cultural groups in the course of dealing with their environmental problems and activities." Searchable; browsable by subject (from abacus to zero), geographic area, cultural group, or language. From Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), a nonprofit education organization.

And if that doesn't tighten your wig, this one will:
** 'Birth cry' of the cosmos heard **
Astronomers have recorded the soundtrack to the Universe's first million years producing what they have called the "music" of the cosmos.
< >

Finally, words of wisdom (and a cartoon) from Aunt Nona and Dana:

Ain't It da Truth . .
A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"

I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I had any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!

Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Vive le Screed!

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