Sunday, June 24, 2007

More crap from the land of plenty

Today I got one of those smug quasi patriotic totally Christian backed "don't dare break the prayer chain" emails FWD to me. Of course I broke the chain and I really wanted to lambast the person who sent it. Trouble is he is a very sweet man of nearly 90 years and he has only the best intentions. The intentions of the folk behind the note are something else. Since I am fairly certain you have seen this kind of bullshit your self, I'll just touch on a couple of things. First they tell us the average US soldier is a 19 year old tight muscled kid who has never been on unemployment. Sorry but the age is 26.6 years and the average age of the soldiers killed is 30. Unemployment? I'm thinking they mean "welfare" it's not the same thing at all. Actually, the 19 y/o tight body boy sounds like your average mail prostitute. The pictures included would have us infer that the troops are all white and the photos show the guys shooting their guns and wearing gas masks, while the final shot has two soldier girls napping in each other's arms. I'll post it. Then I will ask, WTF is with that? I'll tell you if they had soldier girls with guns and all when I was in the army, there would have been some serious boy on girl action going down. Stress related situations bring that stuff to a boil. A funeral wake is great place to hook up too. Well, I'm not here to share my texino pick-up secrets, it' the cavalier use of the young folk who are putting it all on the line for WHAT that has me racked. Here is the deal, you get slammed with this patriotic shit because well meaning old folks are passing on memories more than anything. They remember their wars. That's well and good gramps because you knew who to kill. Kids these days got to do lot of guess work; kind of like we did in Vietnam. Worse in a way since some portion of every faction wants you dead. I would say the only way to cut terrorism is to become more terrible. You know, screw this suicide bomb shit; just go downtown and randomly blast the crap out a market. Each time an IED goes off, kill a hundred civilians and so on. I saw the Koreans have big luck with this tactic in Vietnam. No secret. The ROK (Korean Army) would move in to a strategic position and let it be known that any interference would be dealt with no B.S. I'll admit to some extreme reactions, but they lost very few men in combat and that's the point. The US? Well, we're losing good boys and girls and also expanding the ranks of the disabled to new levels. USA! USA! USA? only echos in the mostly empty ball parks  God help us into oblivion, I doubt we can be saved.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A guy what thinks

Pretty hard to write this without a picture-they are worth many words, you know-but the pictulotar device is not working, so I will persevere. Popeye The Sailor. Now there was a man with a unique view of the world and a way of explaining his thoughts that was every bit as singular. In my time, I have only met one man who was able to speak in that rambling parenthetical manner one associates with the feisty blue jacket and he was crazy as in keep away crazy.

This post is really not about Popeye or sailing for that matter. It springs from a nearly forgotten Popeye-ism where the sailor is strolling about the poorer quarters of some port city talking to himself while committing random acts of kindness or punishment on a case by case basis. In other words, nothing worthy of spinach, Looking back, it is quite amazing how the sailor man puts things right; he might help a mama cat get her kittens safely across a busy street and then with the wisdom of Solomon and strength of Goliath divide half a ton of scrap mental over which two junkmen were going to war. All pretty common popeye fare, these mini advents would soon lead to some intolerable situation where after some posturing and pipe spinning he would announce he had all he could stand ("cause I can't stands no more") and out would come the outsize can of spinach and down would go the villain. All these Thimble Theatrics have put me in mind of a single moment where, on one of his walks, Popeye allows "Here comes a guy what thinks he's a fighter" and sure enough down the path comes a man wearing boxing trunks and boxing shoes plus, he is shadow boxing, snorting, bobbing and weaving and in short he looks like a fighter. Without any fuss at all, Popeye knocks the guy cold and goes on his way. Odd that may seem, yet I have since taken that bit of animated metaphor to mean we should not try to present ourselves in past light. For instance, were I to be seen at play through the telescope of a planet 30 light years distant that vision would show solid entertainment to anyone who cared for the style, yet were I to beat the clock of ages and step on that stage tomorrow well, I would might get some spinach and some rotten tomatoes as well. I still have something to give, but it is far removed from what went before.

A point? Oh I am just reading and thinking about popular musicians of my day. The ones who should be long settled into a life of good times and good works, but suddenly pop up with projects of dubious value in an attempt to hold to something that often, at best, was but a wrinkle in the popular fabric of the day. I guess it falls on the old spike, "it's the singer, not the song" for a person who is trained in music and fills a billet as a musician can go on to the end of his or her forever, while the one who "cut the grass" for a season or two wants a return to that memorable meadow. (note to self: write "If horses were salmon...") I fear we have allowed the labels musician and entertainer to merge and, if we have, it is a pity because they seem to be heading this way and Popeye has vanished.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Fog? Well, no. We don't use it.

Hi, it's Texino. My home is surrounded by water. Well, if you were to peer outside, you would not see it and, if you did see some, you would be in dire straits. Still, I do live on an island with the Atlantic Ocean right up the street and the Matanzas River slightly further down the road. To the left and right there are passes to and from the sea, so reaching the water is a small matter.
Now with all this water, one would expect the occasional fog bank to drift in and make things shipshape. Well that seldom happens and, what's more, it is much more usual to come upon foggy situations over on the mainland which are caused by quirks of climatology and have naught to do with the nautical. Why would anyone want fog? Sea fog is a pleasant envelope and going about in it can be most satisfying so long as you are not afloat and trying to make port. Now I have seen the fog here but I would expect a toothy bite from a clucking hen before it might come to pass once more. In fact during the 25 odd years I have spent on this barrier island I can only recall 2 times when a fog of note came along. I even gave name to one of the occasions; The Reefer Fog. While the "Reefer" fog might suggest some goofy pleasure, none was gained.
I had dropped by the beach front home of a man whom I did not know too well on a personal level, but he seemed sharp in his profession and had invited me to come by "any time." Looking back, it seems he may have been short on pals due to slightly erratic behavior when he took drink and I guess his drink taking was to the point where it was a problem. At any rate I was in the area one fine sunny day and seeing the man cleaning his Jeep, I stopped by to chat him up to speed. Well nothing would do other than taking a tour of his whole and lovely home with a nice cold beer in hand. Afterwards Joe had an idea. Why not go outside, sit and watch the surf and smoke a marijuana cigarette? Why not indeed? Cold beer, the sun glinting off the ocean swell and a slight buzz in the brain, life could be worse, si? Well not much as it turned out, for not only was the pot ultra strong it was of a type that made me jittery and just a bit paranoid. Pretty unusual state for Old Texino, but the state just the same. It certainly did not help to suddenly realize my host was really drunk and in that state did not want me to leave. "Oh come on another drink?" "You just got here" That kind of rap. Well, I thought a beer might cut the welling fear that the extremely potent pot was stoking in my brain. Just as my host, who was by now in love with everyone and every thing, returned with the brew, I happened to glance seaward. "What's that?" I said, my voice sounding odd and hollow as I pointed to what looked to be a small puff of smoke on the horizon. "What's what?" "What do you mean?" his reply seemed a touch brittle like that of a person on the edge of control. "That, er cloud thing." I countered, noting to my self that the puff had expanded. Joe just stared and so did I, because the object had now become a rapidly approaching wall. A dark wall too, and it seemed to be spreading in the manner of arms or jaws; not unlike say, the end of the world. Onward the wall, silent those held in its sway. Silent, but not thoughtless, for my brain was ticking off a tally of the worst; poison gas? A freak tornado? Or was it just the end of the world set to occur on the lawn of a lonesome alcoholic who wanting to attract friends had gone so far as to decorate the entertainment area of his home in the colors of both of the state's arch rivals in college football; their battle flags looming large and limp on their staffs as destiny came at us full bore. In an instant, we were folded in- a blanket of sea fog. A real pea soup as they say in the foggy parts of the planet. And that was that. It came in, and the land killed it as sure as it sobered me right to my toes. Sea fog is very rare in these waters.