Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Palmyra

     Clear and Present Danger.
It's a tidy movie from the 90s.
Harrison Ford takes over as Jack Ryan from Alec Baldwin, who somehow decided he was too good for a franchise.
(Funny that.)
Willem Dafoe plays a black ops CIA commander and in one scene, buried in the Colombian jungle, he calls in an airstrike on the summit of a trio of Narco leaders. The major drug lords of South America, all in one place.
Dafoe has a soldier paint a truck with a laser signature, he makes a call to an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic which launches a single F-18, which as it flies sub radar, releases a single piece of stealth ordinance, and......The US of A blows the drug dealers to kingdom come.
It's a neo con's dream.
It's a little piece of fascist justice that makes even Democrats nod their heads and say, "Fuck yeah", under their breath.
It's Obama with a beer in his hand watching Bin Laden die.
I have several friends who carry concealed weapons every day.
Shopping at the local market, feeding their kids lunch, on the way to Zumba, they could drop to one knee and kill you and 7 of your threatening pals.
I have several friends who regularly go down into their basements, unlock their arms cabinets and withdraw assault rifles -which on full automatic could hold off a platoon from the front porch- and take them out for target practice.
I have several friends who given the chance would wall off Mexico.
Who would end all aid to Israel.
Who would welcome a Holy War in reverse.
I think quite frankly that some of my friends are mad.
I still love them, but...
This is maybe why...
Because if I was president of these United States, I would have in the air a squadron of jets and helicopters, and I would have on the ground the most secret special Ops team there was to make and keep the promise that any-single-damn-one, any person, calling themselves a freedom fighter, or a martyr, or ISIS, or a retiree from Isaly's, anyone who so much as disturbed a stone at the ancient site of Palmyra -much less blew the standing history of civilization to bits because of their asinine, anal, infantile, imbecilic take on Islam- I would have them vaporized on the spot.
With extreme prejudice.
No hesitation.
I think we as the "defenders of democracy" and the "beacon of freedom" should for once back that shit up and blow these bastards to atoms.
We should have done it when the Taliban blew up the Buddhist statues of Bamiyan. We didn't.
We should do it now.
Kill anyone who gets within the perimeter of the City of Palmyra. Just say it. For no strategic reason, for no rational gain, with no apologies for due process or sovereignty or cause, you enter here, you die.
Kill them all because sometimes the stuff of eternity is more important than human life. Sometimes men should die so that temples stand, so that a painting is preserved, so that a song remains. Human blood should flow so that human history survives.
No quarter.
Yeah. I'll own it. That's on me.
Part of me thinks this is worse than any hand gun my buddy's wife might be carrying to the Shop and Save.
Part of me wishes my finger was on the trigger and Willem Dafoe was saying, "Paint the target."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Burnt by the Sun

   I'd never seen a tarantula in the wild.
   Well, not a lone one.
   I had seen tens of thousands of them, waves of them, migrating to high ground in the annual spider "race" in Pinnacles California. 
  During the rainy season / the flash flood times, in the steep hills between the Central Valley and the Salinas, grandstands are set up in a state park where crowds gather to watch a tidal horde of arachnids move to escape the coming waters. 
   It's more you can imagine. 
   It's worse than you think. 
   It's truly stupendous. You get to see more spiders than anyone ever sees in a lifetime and you get to watch grown men scream. 
   But I'd never seen just one tarantula, on his or her own, in the California dust. 
   There's a park in south East County San Diego. Near Rancho something or other. It's a lot of desert acres sitting at the foot of a mountain the military uses for some purpose or another. Evidence that the only way to stop suburban development in California is with guns. 
   There's a willowed stream that runs aslant a gully, some riverine cliffs, some rare birds, a lot of coyotes, and an iron bridge that was built in Bethlehem PA and shipped to Southern California in the 20s. An early symbol of progress in this godforsaken land. 
   You can still see "Bethlehem Steel" embossed on the cross beams, arch rival of every Pittsburgh iron company. To reach the park from the nearby mega mall you pass right by them.
   I went for a walk at sunset. 
   Some would call it a hike. I think something called a hike should have the potential to kill you. 
    The drive from El Cajon to the park one could call a hike.
     This was a stroll. 
     I heard some birds. I avoided some beetles. I saw two uncut Pit Bulls and an asinine owner warding them away, I walked right up to the nose of a wild born Mustang, 15 plus years old on a late day walk with its kind equestrienne keeper. Sweet breath, soft eyes, along the trail he barely left a footprint.  
   Later, when the dark was falling as it does so quickly after a California sunset, I heard coyotes call to each other across the fields. Three different packs in the safety of the hills owned by the army, triangulating and wondering, I wondered, could they get to me before I recrossed that bridge and was I worth it, the meat vs the run and the fight?  
   Midway through the journey I came across a wasp the size of a hummingbird.
   A black fast attack demon of an insect, with bright orange wings. 
   An Apache helicopter of an arthropod. 
   A murderous exoskeleton with teeth and antennae and intent. 
   Dragging a dead tarantula three times its size across a cow path. 
   My first impulse was to run. My second was to stare. My third was, if that tarantula even twitches a limb, if it's got any life left at all, I'm gonna stomp that evil wasp and save me a spider. 
   But it was dead. And that wasp tugged it a full 15 feet. That wasp had to stop and regroup. It had to take a breather. Find purchase. 
   That's the fucking life force, I thought. 
   That's what things do to survive out here. Down here, in desert Alta California, in water free, Carl's Jr full San Diego. 
   I'm gonna remember that bug for a long freaking time. 
   And partly because it made me ask, What is it that drives people out into the desert? 
   Bugs, birds, tarantulas, even Coyotes, they don't have a choice. But why do we go? And more importantly, why do we stay? 
   In a place where we are guaranteed to die, if the AC, or the coolant, or the water runs out. 
   "Because it's clean." Said Lawrence of Arabia. 
    And I have to agree. 
    It's clean of us. 
    On the one hand, it's a place that denies kinship with our species. It tells us here is where you will fall. Here is where in a hundred years, they'll find your dried up carcass.
   And weirdly enough I think that's why a certain breed of people flock to it. It helps them vacuum pack their suburban dream- the home as an extension of the ego. The autonomous self made manifest by a three car garage, game room, studio and den, with a his and her master bathroom the size of a junior college. 
  All of it sealed and shut against a dangerous world. 
  For if that world is an actual desert, with no water, 110 degree days and killer avian bugs then how much more potent the home owner and his pioneer brood. 
   The home as the unabstract self. The brain and the soul and the human computer, in analog. Where one can sort and rearrange, sketch and legislate, doodle and dither for ever. 
   Where one can deny kinship with one's own species. 
   So it seemed when I was drunk. 
   On 112 degree sunlight. 
   I'd gone for a hike in the Mojave.
   And then it all switched over, and the denial of me, of "you", became a gift. 
   The heat shocks you into motionlessness, it encases you and you can feel the metal in the ground warming to receive your body, and somehow it's comforting. It's deliverance.
  The desert makes people glow. 
  Standing in a valley 10 miles across, flat as a seabed, with less foliate protein in its entire expanse than a back yard in Pittsburgh, you begin to entertain your own preciousness.
  You're a bag of fluid. A shining scarecrow in an oven made by the Gods. In all this dumb stone, dust, and wind, you speak. You sing. You sweat.
   It's humbling yes but at the same time, it elevates you. 
   I flex my hand in the sun and I want to cheer, My Christ will you look at that. What is this quintessence of dust? 
  The four major religions were born from the desert. Judaism. Hinduism. Islam. Christianity. All of them rose up out of the heat. 
  I wonder. Did we go out into those vast and beautiful wastes to find a God? Or get there and pretend we were one? 
  And if there is a God, or Godliness, maybe it exists only in the heat where our feet meet the sand, along that thin tissue between our selves and the glories of oblivion- air sun water-  right there all along as simpler people have known, in the dust itself among the lizards and the birds and the dogs and the bugs, all of whom sing and fight and sweat in their own ways, who all thrive where we can barely function. 
  In that hot and peaceable theater, can we still hear the faint rhythm of things as they should be? 
  Maybe that's why people go out to the desert, to the Mojave or the Sonora or the Chihuahua, to sit and listen, and wait. 
   
   
   

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A New Yorker

  My last apartment in NYC, in Brooklyn, had 10 radiators.
  My bedroom walls were lined with cast iron. I slept with a 2 foot gap between me and the metal. Between me and burn marks. Dating me had its risks.
  I did a lot of cycling. Almost no rental units have washers and dryers.
  I thought, "hmm, perfect way to dry stuff." 
   My landlord didn't agree. "Put nothing on top of the radiators. Nothing touches them." 
   So in a rare effort toward manliness I built shelves. Counter tops framed above and around the heaters. 
  Went down to the hardware store run by the Guyanans, conferred with David the son of the elder owners who'd occasionally give me slices of a jam filled cake on holidays I didn't recognize, dragged home the wood he assured me wouldn't buckle in the heat (it didn't) and built me some tan shelves around the black metal monsters in my temporary home. 
   And as soon as I finished them, I remembered that my parents had done the same thing. 
   Pittsburgh. 317 Chestnut St. The radiator in the dining room behind dad's chair, between him and the windows had a wooden "top" where mom packed her plants in rows to catch the southern light. 
  The rear radiator, a spectacular thing, ran the width of the living room with a 2x6 bent across it. A tribute to wooden suspension. And on top of that my parents piled their magazines. Scores of them. Hundreds. Starting on the right with the Nat Geos, the Smithsonian's, Dad's National Defense Quarterlies, Jane's Ships, left over LL Beans leaning into Consumer Reports, merging with mom's knitting instructionals and the odd radical tomes my brothers brought back from college and piled within all that sliding and sorting, like decks of cards in an abandoned casino were the New Yorkers. Years of them. Decades. 
   When I was young I sat by that radiator with my cats who liked the view and the heat. I sat there with them and pretended to have a desk. I'd slide my feet under the radiator, a little sting earned where the keel of the iron met my skin and I'd read my parents' leftovers. Magazines printed before I was born. Articles about countries that didn't exist anymore. I wondered, if I mailed a check to LL Bean for the price of a pair of boots in 1968 would they send them back?
    I couldn't believe people had been writing all this stuff, printing all this material, year after year after year. They hired people and sent them out. They paid people to tell other people about their vacations. You could get a job doing this. And there it all was for me to page through. To learn about the world from a hilly street corner in a collapsing steel town in Western Pennsylvania where almost no one was getting paid to do anything they used to do.
     The New Yorkers came to me late. They didn't have photographs. They reeked of adulthood. Little print. Black and white cartoons. For a child what could be worse?
   And then one day it happened, what could be better? 
    I often say to my friends I never want to be a child again. I don't long for childhood. I don't miss it. I don't want to run around in a smock and play with dolls and little toys, setting up campaigns and conquests or drawings car engines and guns or costumes and kittens, unconcerned with what adults care about because what adults care the most about, deep down, is love. The problem, or the promise, is that that love, adult love,  comes coupled with sex. 
  And suddenly love isn't easy. It's dangerous. It's epic. And often of course a tragedy.
   We love children and how easy it is for them to "love", how clear their emotions are but it's kind of like how "good" child actors are. They're not acting, they're just charming. They're playing tennis with the net down. They don't have the stakes that matter, that we're all gonna die for.
   One day, I was re-enacting Battlestar Gallatica episodes with my 12 year old buddies up in the attic or debating whether or not Vida Blue was a better pitcher than John Candelaria and then the next day I walked outside it was all just over and done with. I didn't want to play with Legos or build an empire of guns and tools and dirt and name it Narnia or whatever fantasy I was being fed lately, I didn't want to act out war movies scene by scene, or argue which Pittsburgh Steeler had the best head fake or the best arm. 
    I wanted to watch Laurie Murphy walk down the street. 
    I wanted to sit with her and see the finial hairs on the back of her neck catch the sun. 
    I wanted to watch her blink. I wanted to watch her breathe. Run. Flex. Bend. Be.
    Nothing else.
    Everything else was just wrapping, just foam flying off the sea. 

  And right about then the New Yorkers became very interesting. 
  They didn't come out every month like the Geographic. They weren't quarterly like dad's military magazines. The weren't even simply weekly. They had a day printed in the cover , " March 23, 1983" a specific day they'd been made back there in NYC and shipped to you to receive. 
   They talked about the previous week just passed in NYC , city politics, parties attended, artists interviewed, odd balls asked opinions of, all of it brought to us out there in the Appalachians and I couldn't quite wrap my head around why we were allowed to read it. I mean, we weren't NYers, how come we got a subscription? 
    Years later when I asked my Eisenhower republican father why he read such a lefty publication he answered , "so i can see what the enemy is thinking." 
  Like the guy afraid to cry during Charlotte's Web my dad privately loved the thing-  he read it cover to cover soon as it arrived. I can see him smiling to himself, wagging his feet back and forth - as clear a sign dad was content as your dog kicking when you scratched him- and I cursed myself that he and I now truly had something in common. 
  The painted covers, the waxed silky stock, the company typeface changing font mid page, the narrow columns, the two or three poems which appeared among the fiction and the non, and those ridiculous ads in the rear, tiny things from stores and schools too small you'd think to afford the rent. but there they were, the end. On my tombstone I wouldn't be upset if, "And he finished his New Yorkers" was carved across the top.
   They gave me diction and an education. They rescued me from countless hours trapped in airports, auditions, subways and bus stations. They've pulled me out of the depression and doldrums that tv only deepens. 
   And they taught me what was love. What printed love was. What passion could come up out of the page. The same passion that walked down the street, that hummed off the skin, came out of a sentence. A voice. Astonishing.
  I drove to Reading PA once because I wanted to see the house where John Updike had spent his childhood. He was from Shillington, a small town just north of Reading and it was still there, a tiny white framed workmen's home on a inconspicuous street. A team of architects used it as an office then but they let me wander around for an hour or so which now that I think of it makes me laugh. They didn't mind. Even when they found me sitting under the dining room table Updike hid beneath to watch the colors from his stained glass door move across the carpet. They didn't mind.
  All this to say it was this fellow Pennsylvanian, Updike who first made me blush or thrill to hear what it was to want a woman, to adore her, to try and describe what this other but same thing was, this femaleness that surrounds us all, all of a sudden transmuting from the maternal to the erotic and back again, and it was in the New Yorker that I first heard him speak and try to say it.
  I remember it like I remember breaking a bone, or running from a fight, or being caught out in a lie. When the truth gets tapped into your heart for better or worse, you never forget.
   Just a poem. Just a short story from let's say  December 14th, 1981, just for imagination's sake, a magazine mailed from a printing press in New York to Western PA and I held it in my hands leaning over the radiator as the cats purred and fogged the window and the metal burned my skin and I read Updike's story where a man lays gold Kuggerands across the soft mound between his wife's legs and they laugh, that finally they are rich, they are safe. This is what it was all for.
   

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Theater Dreams

  I was in a shoe box last week. A theater the size of a shoe box. On Melrose Ave -the busier, noisier, trendier section of Melrose. 
   And by trendy I mean utterly behind the times. It's something you notice as you get older - big cities create these eddies that gather old trends and sustain them or ....eddies of nostalgia form in big cities because there's so much capital - human as well as corporate- and the human tide of it never stops. Never stops wanting to buy an old dream they heard started here. 
   The Ramones, or Guns and Roses, or NWA, or Patti Smith... The Cure... There are enough people walking the streets of New York or LA or London to convince you it's the year the week the day you first heard them and fell in love. 
   And every year enough kids come from the hinterlands to maintain the fire. 
    I missed all this because thank God, I was in a black box. 
   One of those lovely, tiny theaters you can't believe grown men and women use to perform in. Four steps to cross from the back wall and trod the feet of your audience. How in God's name could this place be used for Shakepeare or Ibsen or anyone else? 
   I've seen people stand up to give a toast in dining rooms bigger than this. More suited to the epic. 
   My local bar has better acoustics. 
   Last year I watched the High School students of Saltsburg PA, population 896, perform Bye Bye Birdie in a theater that held ....well 896. 
  When I was in college my black box was twice the size of this LA equity space, had better lighting and had wings to hide in and move things through rather than the exit door this place had to get you to the parking lot. 
   What a change is this. 
   You're a teenager, you're 20, and you're performing in a space the likes of which no one but the luckiest, finest Broadway or West End actors will ever see. 
   And then you become a professional. You work in this mad business, for what's called a living, and you ply your trade in a room you could rent from Guardian Storage. 
   Which is not room enough and continent to hide the slain ( ambitions of your adolescence). 
   It's an acting class. We meet once a week. We perform a scene our teacher's assigned us and then listen to his advice. 4 hours. Next pair, next pair after that. Every Monday. 
   12 of us in the space, a third of which is roped off to protect the props of the show running the other 6 nights of the week. 
   A soft glow on the raked floor. Everyone looks better on a stage well lit. Our teacher's an old pro, started with Steppenwolf in Chicago and made his way to LA where he's made a life half what he was raised to be, half what the business makes you. 
   I noticed as he spoke that the walls of the theater were cinder block. About the worst thing you can hope for soundwise. They were painted black and the ceiling was maybe 9 feet. 
  The chairs of the theater were recycled movie seats from the old days, with that red brushy plush penned into a metal frame, so fun to play with when you're five. Or 45. 
 Running above the last row of seats along all 3 walls - it's a 3/4s stage- the black paint seemed to have been worn down, almost to a silver. Above each seat. Little pale halos. 
   And I realized, that's the audience leaning back. Where they'd lain their heads listening to Hamlet, or Trigorin, or Miss Julie or some mad kid's latest rant. The very oil of them resting on the walls. Still there. 
   And every cliche I've ever been told still seemed true - that it doesn't matter how big the theater is or how much you get paid, the only magic to the thing is how you get thru to those people. Thru the cloud of language and feeling and drive you gather amongst yourselves any given night. 
   Like I said - big cities let these eddies gather. Mine's just a little less marketable. 
   
   
   
   

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fryman Canyon LA


    Los Angeles has a series of pocket parks that run along both sides of the Hollywood and Beverly Hills ridgeline. If you look at a map they seem to hang from Mulholland drive - flanking green patches scattered between the massif of Griffith Park and the immensity of the Santa Monica preserve west of the 405.
If all you did was drive by them, you'd never know they were there.
I didn't for years.
They're Godsends. Public space hidden within the tightly guarded real estate of West LA.
They're great because once you're inside them you can smell California and not California traffic.
California flora when it bakes in the sun for weeks and months has a kind of intoxicating tang. It's neither sweet nor acrid, it's a little of both. Some eucalyptus oil poured over cooked desert flowers and the rich bark of live oaks. The air warmed with this atomized duff.
  And because there's so little water, scent is reduced to what it actually is - an inhalant, particles of things, living and dead, coating the lining of your mouth and your nose. Which all seems a little creepy, but California's creepy. It's an absurdly beautiful and absurdly cruel landscape. It's attractive and dangerous. It's rich beyond measure and dumbfoundingly wasteful. And you read all this in a glance. As was said about a famous Hollywood magnate "he won't stab you in the back he'll stab you in the chest." So goes the Golden State.
   The same thing occurs when you first cross the Mojave, or see El Capitan, or crest the Tehachapi pass and there's the Central Valley, or stand beneath the surf at Half Moon Bay, or enter a room at Universal with 10 executives who control your fate and a network that spans the globe....the reaction is twofold... "my God what power". And ...."I'm gonna die here."
   But in a tiny twisting little park, hanging off the back of the Hollywood Hills, cut between estates and cul de sacs you can enjoy California lite and get a decent work out among shrubbery and trees that once in awhile obscure the fact you are dead center of a 7 million person metropolis.
  Which is something that always astounds me.
   I was on the return leg of my loop and, for 30 minutes, I saw and passed no one.
   Not a single person.
   I can't quite wrap my head around this fact; that you can still find yourself alone in LA, or New York, or San Fran or any of these mega cities, it just doesn't seem likely, but then there you are, following a trail, riding thru Central Park at 10 pm, crossing the Golden Gate in a decent wind, and somehow you are the only one there.
   It's a gift. A little grace parceled out to each city and I suppose if you seek enough your karma it sometimes finds you.
   At the far end of my loop I'd gone searching for a special spot, a sort of box canyon some friends had shown me years before. You had to climb past what supposedly was George Clooney's old house lined with security cameras, and then up a steep staircase, weave along a trail which ran below more mansions, one of which was the beauty built by Jennifer Aniston for Brad Pitt that ended up being the empty shell built to honor Angelina Jolie's beauty. But 3/4's of a mile on you'd find a place where water almost always ran, real water not sewage, coming off the escarpment of LA and creating a tiny tropical corner. Maybe half an acre but in there everything is green. The eucalyptus trees are 100 feet tall, the Oaks three people at the base couldn't get their arms around. The place seems just a little bit like home, back East, where parks should have trees and trees and trees not just scrub.
  It was still there, still green, or "greenish" as California's drought has turned all its dirt to a dust as fine as sand on the moon and its plant life into a kind of kindling, but the stream was running and the leaves on the ground were alive. I felt like I was in a borrowed version of Frick Park, the city park in Pittsburgh I most like to pretend I can still get lost in. So I lingered, I saw the remains of a rope swing my friends and I had used 10 years before, laughing that we still loved this shit at our age. I wanted to grab it now.
  And then George Clooney walked by.
 I looked up when I heard someone coming toward me. Saw an older man, pretty fit, knee braces, silver back hair, led by one of those fabulous dogs only the coolest people keep- half husky, half something with half an ear gone and one eye blue, one yellow. A dog that looks like it's always smiling. And a dog that looks like it could drag you out of a crevasse.
   Of course it wasn't Clooney it was that other guy who looks like Clooney but even more like an ex football player from the 70s, not quite big enough but bigger than you, the duller Clooney clone who didn't quite get the parts - you'd know him if you saw him.
   I said something like "Now that's a dog." and the guy half smiled and I thought, yeah I'm wearing my Steeler's shirt and either you get "GO PITTSBURGH!!!!"  or you get that quiet jealous smirk from all the losers who somehow decided to throw in with Oakland or Dallas or Denver and he was one of the latter. So big deal.
   And then I realized, No, he's not smiling because for a few minutes he'd been alone and blissful and then this dude showed up who looked like that actor from...."Well, you'd know him if you saw him", he probably told his wife when he got back.
 I realized, we'd found each other and cancelled ourselves out.
 I put my head down and made no sign I'd done the same thing everyone usually does to both of us.
  Just another day in Los Angeles.

 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Art and Money

   Okay.  I don"t do this very often. In fact I've never done it.
But watch this link

 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hysm/have-you-seen-me-a-memorial-to-slavery

This is my buddy Lex.
He's a genius.
Not like when you say "Oh that's genius" when the guy at Best Buy tells you how to turn on your Direct TV or "What a genius!" when you see Rory McIlroy pitch out of the rough.
Nope. I mean GENIUS.
Like scary smart and skilled and driven and rare.
Way rare.
He builds, he paints, he sings, he draws, he writes, he throws, he prints, he plays, he can even dance pretty good.
He's the real deal.
And that's his latest project.
He's 1800 bucks away from his goal.
This is an easy one.
If you like art, if you give a shit about this country just about now trying to take its colonial, slave owner, indian killing past seriously, trying to fess up and own up and say, "Yes we're still a great nation but ....yeah we did this", then send my man some scratch. A little bit. The week's coffee allowance. Or share this with someone you think might dig it.
Or send a lot of money and get a bottle.
Take a gander, take a listen, pass it on.
Thanks

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tweet on twits

  Roger Rees died yesterday. A British actor most people know from his work on Cheers or The West Wing.
  When I was 13, he played the lead in Nicholas Nickleby, the 8 1/2 hour extravaganza that brought intelligent spectacle back to Broadway, saved the RSC, and convinced a generation of playwrights they didn't need to press delete. He made a teenager wonder what all the noise was about, this acting thing. This theater stuff.
  He was remarkable. He shone, and his voice was a thing you sat back and closed your eyes to.
  He won Tonys, he won Oliviers, he was a star of the stage.
  But this morning when I read about his death, a day losing Omar Sharif, the first thing I saw in the paper were all the tweets. You could check up on who sent a note memorializing his life. There, before the obits, before the summation of a 40 year career, were little links to the three sentences some other celebrity thought to tick off as they were walking to set.
   And I thought, What the fuck have we become?
  A guy dies. A giant in his particular art form. A campaigner for human rights and what's first thing on offer from one of the world's foremost publications? What do people go to?
   Three grammer free burps from the producer of Cats. Words to make the words "sound bite" seem like a meal.
   What do we want these days in America?
   What do we get?
   What we deserve.
   140 characters and a mule.
   Please let me show my deep concern, my love and praise, let the first thing that the family members of an old friend hear from me be found in.....a tweet. Let me advertise my appreciation. Let me show my followers (Glory be to God for that Guyanan slip up, for that Mormon, Scientologist phraseology finding its way to Twitterdom) let me show them that I care. Let me advertise empathy.
  Publicizing your business, your latest painting, what play you went to, what joint makes the best pulled pork, where you like to shit when you go to the airport, great, feel free, it's all sort of absurd and in its American accumulative madness sort of something Whitman might have enjoyed playing with but when it comes to people fucking dying, keeling over from disease as we're all going to do one day or drowning in Korean ferry disasters, burning in a hotel in Vietnam, wiped out in a train wreck etc etc etc what pieces of your soul are you crunching up in your hands like a dried leaf every time you tweet things like "Sure sorry to see him go. True gent. Luv to his family."
   The Sioux weren't far wrong every time they refused to be photographed. We should keep their  "primitive prejudice" in mind. Part of you goes with every choice you make giving yourself away. Handing over what matters when there's apparently no pain to the process, when it seems so simple, just the press of a button. Send. Fire. Boom.
   Oh it's not such a big deal. It's so minor. It's just fun. So silly to rail on about such silly stuff.
   Yeah. Fill your days, your waking minutes, hour after hour, date after date, next to your kids playing on their i pads, next to your lover who's reached to check a text, tap on with all the media errands you can find and tell me the next time you can write a decent sentence, carry a tune, find the time to write a letter telling someone who actually mattered to you that they mattered.
   Death by a Thousand Cuts is now Death By a Thousand Apps.
   Cause we can have

 "Alone with his longing
he lays down on his bed and sings a lament;
everything seems to large, the steadings and the fields."

and we can have

"Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man."

and we can have

"He was my North, my South, my East, my West
My working week and my Sunday best
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong"

or we can have


RIP #RogerRees - a lovely, generous &  kind man & an heroic & passionate actor. We all fell in love with him in #NicholasNickleby  so sad

so fucking # sad indeed.