Thursday, September 29, 2011

Di Rosa

When I say that there is something just underneath the surface of this place that is disturbing... I don't mean that everybody here owns guns, or writes bad poetry, just because we got shot at while we were escaping the full harvest moon, or had a poet stalk us out to our car... these are trivial matters, all things considered, or not considered at all....  I have been half-joking-about the surreality of the place because that is what many of my European friends want to believe about all of America, that there are no paradisiacal places here, and the entire thing is wrong, evil, and cannot be redeemed.  They hate my Fredo Corleone.

Jesus, even my christchun friends feel that way, and them most of all.... they pray for a thing called "the rapture" where the really fat christians lose so much weight they ascend to the upper atmosphere where we are led to believe that they die happily from oxygen depravity. 

But I must err on the side of the truth.  There are some deeply problematic things occurring out here in Cali, though many disturbances are occurring with paint brushes, or in multi-media, not just focused guns from the woods, firing warning shots... some of these shots are not just warnings, some are pure thorazine.

(For the many readers of my OPERA research article:
"But I must err ion the side of the truth." - Sean Cusick, part-time-icicle physicist)

This time I will let you decide, watt is truth. and what mere ohms.

I love living here. It is an exciting place to worry about, in a way that New York could never be.  It is the final terra-frontier, not the docking port of the new world, but the landing strip of the final world, and you get that feeling from every hippie witness, waitress, and other...  Whether it failed or triumphed is yet undecided, even by those here, perhaps them most of all.  But it was the last edge of land of that genuine frontier, and many say soon to be sliding even Further along.  

If actual change was going to happen, if it was ever possible abroad, then it just might have happened here.  One gets the feeling of the immense pressure here, it is the desperate kernel of seasonal hope. Perhaps not everybody who migrated here understood all of the implications of the Enlightenment, but they were here to change the world, or to be near when it was supposed to happen... a time that swirls across the sky most nights with the moon, each day with the sun.  

Never before have I been so clearly reminded of the sun's daily arc, the sun's direction.  How disappointing to those who must have felt otherwise concerning the sun's rising and setting.

Even the bums in SF seem disappointed, and particularly confused. 

If this is what happens when man is given an earth, then what does it all mean?  

Either that, or:  Gimme a dollar for a samwhich, honkey...

Totally, bro. 
I gotcha, brother brother brother, of mine.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I am at the beginning of a few days off from work.  I am excited but also feeling a little bit sick. For the first time since being here my sinuses have caused me some problems, oddly the night after I mentioned having no problems, just a couple of days ago.  I awoke in the middle of the night and my throat and nose were dry and I could feel trouble emerging.  The job is stressful, moving is stressful, now I must also suffer stress about whether or not I will be able to enjoy my time away from the job.  Is there no end?

This weekend I hope to go to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.  We have made plans with friends. From what I have heard it is a big free festival in Golden Gate Park.  300,000 people or more, I'm told.  I am going to eat a bunch of mushrooms (a suggestion made in yesterday's comments section), get naked, try to evade the cops, laugh a lot,  avoid other cops, try not to shit myself, etc.

We'll see how that goes. I doubt anybody in SF would even blink at a man gone completely around the bend in a dash of high speed nudity, an inspirational freedom sprint. Yes, mushrooms are quite natural, I'm certain the police will be relieved to discover the outburst's origins were ordained by nature.

No, I will probably be there worrying a little bit about my wife.  She is starting to lose her balance. She nearly fell when standing up to get out of bed this morning.  I have put on a layer of "courtesy fat" so that all things will feel normal and relative in proportion to her.  We can no longer hug directly from the front, we perform a sort of side hug that allows us to make contact with each other's lips without pulling a muscle in either of our necks.  I'll spare you the description of us having sex, but I do miss looking into her eyes.

Jesus, I just got up and ate a banana then sat back down, I pulled a muscle in my neck.  What next?  We're going to have breakfast soon, I hope I don't have a seizure.

Last night we went to a guy's house to look at a lamp he was selling.  It looked as if it came from the set of "The War of the Worlds."  It was spider-like in its scope.  I called it the nightmare-generator as an antithesis to the dream-catcher.  Instead of being a spider-web to snare malevolent spirits it's just a massive hulking spider that stalks the ceiling of whatever room it's in, weaving night terror webs.

I wish to the spider-gods that I would have taken a picture of the thing.  Without even really asking I took pictures of some other curios he had placed around the house.

Here they are:

His name was Sam and he was a poet.  He followed us out to the car to recite some of his poetry to us, promised us a free book of the stuff if we came back and bought the lamp.  The verse neatly rhymed and left us with a nervous sense of ponder.  Earlier, when we were getting out of the car to go in and speak with him I joked with my wife that there was no need to lock the car, this was the last time that we would see each other alive, and that I've always loved her.  It was strange and fun.  He was quite an animated fellow and he and I hit it off right away.  He was a retired mailman, an irony that did not escape me.

In the end we came home and decided on a lamp from CB2. We picked it from a catalog.  Or, I should admit that my wife held the page up and I agreed.  Though I might still go back over to the poet's house to hear some more stories, there were some good ones.  I have considered trying to meet people here in the area and take pictures of them in their living rooms or out in their yards. There are many stories to tell here.

One can hear them echoing through the valley, like gunshots.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


There have been rumors, some from Amsterdam, some from even further East, that I might not win the Nobel Prize. Some have suggested that either have I ingested too much acid, or too little, that my ideas are fantastical, but not in the fun way, just the deranged ramblings of a functional madman.  

I suppose some of these claims might have merit.  I have eaten a lot of acid, though not in a few years. New York never seemed the right place for such a thing.  I suppose I could tighten up my theories a bit.  It could be a reaction to the weak nuclear principle that causes the apparent shift in anti-neutrinos towards the neutrino event, rather than gravitational forces.  But I felt so certain when I was making it all up, now I feel confused...  

But let's be honest... this CERN project has asked Fermilab to verify their findings.  When has Europe ever asked America for help? Or to validate their findings?  This single aspect of the project alone makes me suspicious.  I know I went on a bit of a rant about Canadians once, but everybody must feel that way from time to time, right?  It was just last night, on my other blog, the one that mentions the wines I drink, but I stand behind my prejudices, if sometimes only for protection... 

No, I'm kidding.  I suppose I was just trying to get a rise out of a few of my readers.  In retrospect perhaps eating a handful of acid is a very good idea.  

Who knows.... It's always worked for me in the past.  Perhaps it is just what will give me that insightful breakthrough into the world of high-level particle physics.

Ha! Let's see who's laughing then....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Driving home in the dark

Everybody told me that I would miss New York.  I worried about it, perhaps too much.  It might have kept me there longer, the worrying.  I suppose it is like many other places. You miss small things about it but it is not like a person. You do not miss the totality of it.  At least that has not happened to me yet.  NYC is most certainly a totality, the very thing that so many people seem to love about it.  I do not long for the city yet, though I am really starting to miss some of the people there.  

I haven't had any sinus problems since I've been in Sonoma.  

There are little things that I have been trying to catalogue about this valley, to describe its beauty.  It is difficult. There is so much to see, so much to remember.  The mind wanders freely with the hum of the road, it is difficult to find the path back to the thing seen, the experience felt.  

Driving home just after dusk from Marin County yesterday the sky was overcast, a first.  Three times during the drive I questioned whether I was still on the right road. The clouds making it all seem so much less familiar, so ominous and foreign.  The hills seemed unusual and mysterious. The foreignness coming from an inability to judge exactly where the hill stopped and where the sky started, an almost unconscious knowledge lending familiarity.  

When I looked carefully I could tell, but the easy sense of place had disappeared.  

I wonder what it will be like to return to New York.  I wonder when.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

but i seek only music

“i am with the roots 
of flowers 
entwined, entombed 
sending up my passionate blossoms 
as a flight of rockets 
and argument; 
wine churls my throat, 
above me 
feet walk upon my brain, 

monkies fall from the sky
clutching photographs
of the planets,
but i seek only music
and the leisure
of my pain” 

-Charles Bukowski


Friday, September 23, 2011


(Rachel, pregnant wife of a Nobel Prize Winner)

The discovery made as part of the OPERA experiments are exciting.

The lay articles that I have read have wrongfully reported that it is the first indication that Einsteinian physics may need an overhaul.  Experiments done with the "spin" of split atoms and their sub-atomic counterparts indicate that the separated atoms still had an effect on one another, no matter how much distance they were separated by. The scientists had no idea what could be causing the effect.  The measurable effect was as close to instantaneous as they were able to determine, and as such, faster than the speed of light.  So, for several years now physicists have been aware that there might be a gap in the assertion that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

This recorded phenomenon in particle physics "spin" has raised serious questions about light being the fastest activity in the universe.  That light is assumed to have a constant invariant velocity of "c" in a vacuum is, and always has been, untestable.   We live in a vacuumless universe.

This new experiment differs in that they knew what it was they were testing for, a critical difference. What seems so strange about these new findings is that they are not accompanied by any opposing theoretical model.  The information seems to bluntly disagree with the standard model but I haven't read anything that suggests why, or how, only that it has been reported that the phenomenon has been recorded. Neutrinos have been studied for many decades now, though only with great difficulty. They are electrically neutral with a non-zero mass, meaning they can move through dense objects easily, with great speed.

It is my contention that it will be discovered that the interactions that are occurring between neutrinos and the atoms of lead that they have measured the interactions with will be found to have shown an effect before the arrival of the neutrino and not that the neutrino is actually traveling faster than the speed of light.

Here's how:

If this is found to be the source of the perceived phenomenon then remember that you read it here first....  

The effect might be proven to be an interaction with the sub-atomic spin of an anti-neutrino, rather than the arrival of the neutrino itself.  That when the neutrinos change from being muon to tau the anti-neutrinos that are heading towards it unseen are affected gravitationally and that is the actual phenomenon being recorded, not the arrival of the neutrino, seeming to happen slightly ahead of time, much in the same way that the spin of split atoms is tethered over distances by an unknown factor, anti-neutrinos traveling in the opposite direction are what is creating the appearance of the neutrinos arriving slightly before light would in a vacuum.

Well, I am half-kidding.  All of what I have written above is a vague reflection of things that I've read in the past few years. The idea that the phenomenon being recorded is actually an interaction with anti-neutrinos traveling in the opposite direction is purely mine, and could be tested by performing statistical analysis on the slightly increased or decreased frequency of the phenomenon in relation to the sun's position, which should change slightly based on the laboratory being on the near or far side of its orbital mass, as well as in the perpendicular position, which should be shown to be the most stable position.

One might assume that the scientists involved have already considered this and their findings do not reflect this consideration as being relevant.  It is my belief that they will be found to be wrong.

One more idea....

The particle has not travelled faster than light, but its message perhaps has. Or, even more curious, the particle's message has not traveled faster, but that it was "expected" and anti-neutrinos moving towards it were affected and have been also recorded in the process, the effect will perhaps be shown to be gravitational.  

The creation of neutrinos might "tug" anti-netrinos towards the event in such a way as to cheat the atomic clocks out of about a 60 billionth of a second, give or take.... 

It might not be possible to test this theory from within our solar system.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The sleeping equinox

This is how I feel today.  I spent my entire weekend doing nothing, sort of.  I drank several bottles of wine, now I have to return to work.  I wrote a long, confused, rambling poem last night.  Upon morning inspection I am quite pleased with myself that I had not posted it.  Eventually I will, as I am a thrifty blogger and try to make use of everything.  We'll see....

Drinking robs me of energy. Or worse, it gives me the wrong kind of energy, mischievous bursts that get me in some sort of new and unexpected trouble. 

I guess I just feel a little bit useless right now.  I am just standing around waiting... watching my wife grow a new human inside of her.  She keeps assuring me that I can be of great use but it's all boring stuff: moving boxes, assembling things, moving boxes elsewhere, etc.  Not the most exciting activities, I assure you.  

I'd much rather argue with Selavy about the moon, or his continued mis-use of the word "viscous"... He thinks that I am just being a cruel tormenter.  But it was he who challenged me on the occurrence of the Harvest Moon, adding that I was an "astrologer" and a member of the Golden Dawn.  This was not the first time he's challenged me on the moonrise and lost, so now he's decided to denigrate my knowledge.  This belittlement, I suppose, he thinks will result in loving kindness and friendly support.  

Do not let him fool you... he does not like to be wrong about the moon.  Though considering his recent behavior, who knows, I could be quite wrong about that....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Darth Vader Decoder Ring

The day stretches out ahead of me and I wish that it wouldn't.  It's an implied expectation.  I wish it would just leave me alone. I want to just lie in bed and sleep, even more than I have so far. My wife is trying to get me to go to the beach. I probably should go but I am not feeling energetic. I know that I will get there, sit in the sand, look around and wonder why I would do such a foolish thing.

I read Selavy's post this morning when I woke up.  Don't let him fool you. He does not like to be wrong about the full moon.  He jokes about me being an "astrologer" but he prides himself in knowing the lunar cycles.  He has challenged me three times now on the occurrence of the full moon and three time he has been wrong.  He knows this.  It is well documented.  

This last time I even tried to help him, texting him a day in advance as to when the full Harvest Moon will actually rise, knowing that he would side with all those who will get it wrong. I didn't bother explaining beforehand why they would be wrong, just that they would be, trusting that he would look into it and discern the truth for himself.  He chose to use ABC news as his trusted source for science.  He got exactly what he paid for.

He attempted to make the lame assertion that he sides with the poets. As if it's not possible to be right and poetic. Wrongness about such a thing is deemed poetic only in minds softened by superstitions and pseudo-science. His poetics is the flimsiest assertion I've heard in some time, especially considering he made a point of noting that it was I that was actually wrong in his post.  This was not a poetic challenge he made, but one of actual fact, or so he thought.  Now he won't let it go because this is his idea of the "high road" that he assured me that he would take, and how foolish I would appear by him doing so.  

Yes, this high-road that includes many hermits, mountain goats and moon scholars.  Fuck, there might even be a few astrophysicists up there on his high road with him, or maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.  Who knows... maybe next time his Darth Vader decoder ring will inform him of the many rising moons of Tatooine. 

He's one short stumble away from senility so I try to go easy with him, but early onset Alzheimer's is no laughing matter. One day I might actually have to search the high roads to find him wandering there, chasing merlins and moonbeams.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Tragedy of the Leaves

Home again. I woke up today not feeling nearly as bad I had yesterday morning.  One must be careful of ingesting too much of any liquid that is flammable. There should be a warning on the bottle, there probably is.  It seems an obvious truth that nothing good will come of it, even if you follow it up with beer in the hopes of neutralizing its potential hazards, there is still much danger.  I'm no expert, but my anecdotal experience brings me this simple homespun wisdom. 

I have the day off today, then another one just like it tomorrow.  The two days stretch out in front of me like a cliff-less plateau. Today I will lie around the apartment reading (Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov), tomorrow perhaps the shores south of SF or Lake Berryessa, north of Sonoma. 

Today is a friend's birthday. She just unexpectedly sent me a gift, a cd of poetry, for the long rides to and from work.  As this is one of her favorite poems by that author I will leave it here for any who care.

The Tragedy of the Leaves 

I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead, 
the potted plants yellow as corn; 
my woman was gone 
and the empty bottles like bled corpses 
surrounded me with their uselessness; 
the sun was still good, though, 
and my landlady's note cracked in fine and 
undemanding yellowness; what was needed now 
was a good comedian, ancient style, a jester 
with jokes upon absurd pain; pain is absurd 
because it exists, nothing more; 
I shaved carefully with an old razor 
the man who had once been young and 
said to have genius; but 
that's the tragedy of the leaves, 
the dead ferns, the dead plants; 
and I walked into a dark hall 
where the landlady stood 
execrating and final, 
sending me to hell, 
waving her fat, sweaty arms 
and screaming 
screaming for rent 
because the world had failed us 

-Charles Bukowski 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Haight

This morning I awoke on a friend's couch about a block off of Upper Haight.  My cranial fluid had been removed and replaced with kerosene sometime during the night.  I was afraid to move. It was as if there was a bicycle pump attached to the pain center in my brain and there was a team of monkeys on the other end taking turns pumping my mind full of misery while screeching in delight.  

I have no memory of this but at some time during the night I took a can of tuna out of my friend's kitchen closet and put it in my shoe, supposing that I might be hungry when I woke up and perhaps wanting to remind myself of it in advance.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hunter's Moon

The night of the Harvest Moon my wife and I went up onto a hill to watch it rise over the valley.  Once we got off of the main road, which is already quite rural, we were on a dirt road heading up into the hills on the West side of Sonoma Valley.  There were just small houses and farms peppered along the way.  As we were driving further up the hill towards the summit we encountered a guy who appeared to be a farmer driving a 4-wheel ATV down the same small dirt road we were driving up. I pulled towards the right side and slowed to a stop. He could see that I had done so and he likewise slowed to a stop at the driver's side window.  I explained that we wanted to watch the full moon rise and where did he think would be a good spot. He pointed to a road that led to a gate perpendicular from where we were stopped.  This was sensible and we were happy to find a place to settle, the moon was nearing its rise.

We pulled down the road almost to the end, which was only about 150 feet or so and parked the car.  There was a vineyard to our right when we got out of the car, an equestrian pen in front of us and slightly to the right, an open cow field in front of us and somewhat to the left, a few rusted trucks in the open field, as well as a couple cows.

Here's a pretty good overview image, minus the cows, which were too far off to the left to be seen.

My wife had made some food for us and I opened a bottle of wine and we sat and enjoyed the vista with our dog Barkley sniffing the air suspiciously towards the unfamiliar cows. 

All was well and nice.

There was a lone house behind us and a row of tress leading back down the hill from the way we came with some houses obscured behind them.  I include the picture below to attempt to flesh out that part of our surroundings.  To the right of the picture, just of the edge of the frame is the road that we drove up on. and parallel with that road, behind the trees, are some other houses that we couldn't see very well.

As I had described earlier we had driven down a small dirt road to a gate so that as we were leaving it was necessary to make about a 6-point turn to turn all the way around.  As the field was relatively flat I decided, once I had put the car in reverse and was about to begin the process of turning around, that it was much easier to just drive slightly across the field to accomplish this meager task.  So I did.  It excited my wife in that Oh no, you shouldn't be doing this  kind of way, but there was no harm in any of it, just a little bit of innocuous excitement. 

We made it quickly to the end of the road we had been on and turned right to head back down the hill towards home. Just after we had made the turn I heard three gun shots in very rapid succession, probably from a small gauge rifle. In unison with the shots going off a massive black-ish bird in the tree next to us spread his wings and took immediate flight away from the car.  We could hear the sound of his immense wings flapping to achieve sudden flight.  Two of the bullets I heard hit the grass towards the front of the car.  I don't know very much about rifles but this didn't seem to have the boominess of a shotgun. It sounded more like a .20 gauge, or maybe even smaller.  The rapidness of the shots also made me suspect something other than a shotgun, as did the number of shots, 3. 

Again, I know very little about guns, but this was my assessment at the time.

The estimation that I made to my wife, 23 weeks pregnant, was altogether different.  

Lying, "I don't think those were gunshots, they sounded too thin. I think it was somebody just hitting a piece of metal with a hammer or something."

I didn't speed up noticeably nor did I twist my neck back out of the window to give him something better to shoot at, but I did glance over to the left to see if there was anything to see.  My head swirled with gun-toting visions of ignorance and evil and legal murder for trespassing. There was nothing there to be seen, the trees were blocking any view we might have had and the sun was all the way down. 

The pictures I've included above are misleading, they were shot as much as a half hour before this incident.  Here is a more telling image, shot only minutes before, with the flash on. That's a rusted out old truck in the foreground, only 20 feet away from me or so.

It wasn't quite that dark to the naked eye, but you get the idea.... The sun had set.

Later I relayed the story as I knew it to be to my wife and our friends.  They've lived here for 11 years and they claimed that nothing like that has ever happened to them.  If it had not been for me hearing the bullets hit the grass outside the driver's side window I would have rationalized away the experience as well, convincing myself of anything convenient to avoid coming to terms with what had actually happened. 

When I say that we are going through much transitional anxiety to live here, for once, I'm not overstating. 

This is the second time in my life that I've been shot at. The first was a much closer scrape with death. Perhaps one day I'll tell that story as I remember it.  It involves a handgun, 5 shots at close range, and then an arrest for attempted murder along with a few other charges.

Life is short.  At this rate I'll probably get shot at once more before it's all over.  Somewhere out there is a gun and (probably) a man that will point the gun towards me and pull the trigger.  My only hope is that the thought of doing so has not already crossed his mind. I'd prefer if it was something thought up on the spot as the last two were, though with even feebler intent and marksmanship.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Breaking news, breaking hearts and laws....

(Recovered work of art by L. Murray)

Breaking News from AP : "A stolen piece of artwork by Sonoma artist L. Murray was recovered by a lone agent, operating independently, from a San Francisco home late last night. The alleged suspects are being beaten in place of traditional questioning."

That was all that came across the wire.   There would be more, there always was. This case had been opened for 5 years or more. There had been no new leads in years.  The file had grown cold.

It began in Sonoma, approx. 2006.  Famed and beloved New York resident, wine and art lover, Q6, was visiting on business.  At a dinner party the piece in question was given to him as a gift by the artist, L. Murray, for his suggested and imaginary philanthropic works.  He returned to San Francisco the next day, leaving the piece at Ms. J.K.'s house.  She was a trusted though troubled friend. He emphasized that the well-being of the piece was paramount.  He made plans to retrieve the piece upon his return where it could be transported more safely.

Months went by. He had believed for there to be no reason for him to check on the piece, so he didn't. He went on imagining other charitable causes he might one day speak of, or mention casually in conversation, hoping that the idea might snowball into something of substance.

When he finally did return to San Francisco several months later he made all the necessary preparations to retrieve the work.  It was nowhere to be found.  J.K. played traditionally dumb, but this time suspiciously well.  She had him search the entire apartment in vain desperation. It took him nearly a day to inspect each and every closet, crevice and crawl space in the apartment.  It was gone, vanished without a trace.

After much consternation, worry and verbal pressuring it was finally revealed by J that she believed that maybe I. Meron, a mutual friend, had "borrowed" the piece.

Now here is where the story begins to get suspicious.... Q asked J over and over again how she could possibly know of, and have allowed, such a thing to happen when her responsibility was to watch over the piece and keep it safe?  She hemmed-and-hawed and looked nervously away but provided no real answers or clues as to what might have actually happened.  Again, she played even more witless than before, though the cracks in her performance were beginning to show.

Q asked I. Meron what had become of the piece. He also acted in a likewise manner, silent and nervous, claiming that he did not have it and he was not quite sure what had become of it. Though he did seem to express some vague knowledge of the work's whereabouts, but without any of the necessary information to retrieve the piece. He had already begun to weave his web of accusation, deceit and denial.

The petty art-thieves, I. Meron, and an area SF Cop who had been assigned to patrol the many faltering bathhouses of the SF area, working under-many-covers but mainly as a free-spirited towel boy, moved in together and began decorating their place without raising any suspicions or alarm.

The case was nearly forgotten for many years.  During that time Q had a wedding ceremony in Sonoma with the woman he had previously eloped with, R.C.  The artist, L. Murray and I. Meron. were both in attendance... what irony.  At this time the case had been shelved and suspicions ran relatively low, at least as far as stolen art was concerned, which was very lucky for Meron, an unknown art-thief and international lover of both meat and style.

Two more years passed.  R.C. and Q visited SF/Sonoma the following year to celebrate the artist's 40th birthday in Sonoma and to play the part of two New Yorker's on a night out in SF for a Halloween boat party the following night in San Francisco Bay.  They visited the home of Meron and The Cop, hurrying to get ready to go out for the evening, sitting in the kitchen chatting over a bottle of wine, even.

The case was so cold as to practically be closed.

The victim, Q, and his wife, eventually moved to Sonoma in late summer of 2011.  On an overnight trip into SF he came by Meron and the bathhouse Cop's domicile of art iniquities.  These two will hereafter be referred to as either the mutual perpetrators and/or co-conspirators. While sitting in their kitchen Q glances up at the yellow wall and voila', case closed. There was the stolen piece hanging in full view, where it had apparently been for several years.

He immediately called the FBI and they came by with a couple goons to arrest the two "alleged" thieves and take them to a sealed basement off of Mission St. where they took turns negotiating the terms of a confession out of them.  There were no witnesses outside of law enforcement to hear the confessions made from hospital beds later that same day.  It was a tragic turn in a case with few clues, and even fewer truths, as to what might have happened.

They of course turned on each other like two water rats deserting a sinking ship.  They started giving state's evidence on one another like bickering rodents stuck in a whirling cesspool of public shame and sexual humiliation, though no strangers to those feelings, they eventually cracked.

When confronted by Q neither of them showed the slightest sign of remorse or regret... at first.  In their confused, beaten and drug-addled condition they actually tried to assert that J.K. had "given" them the piece, each unable to understand that it was not hers to give, so it could not have possibly made any genuine transfer of ownership.

Criminals never seem to understand that what they have stolen never really becomes theirs.  It is a very sad thing to witness.  Don't do the crime if you can't deep-throat a lime... someone once said

Charges are still pending against J.K. : obstruction of justice, bad hair days, perverting the course of art, blonde-ness, etc.

The work was returned to the home of its rightful owner and his wife where it is now protected by what many consider to be the most ferocious guard dog ever naturally bred.  This inhuman beast stalks the perimeter of the compound searching only to kill and then devour any suspiciously acting strangers that happen to end up in the grip of its jaw of terror.

The co-conspirators returned home on bail briefly and posted this image, of the blank wall where their shame used to hang openly for all to see, as if by some magic turn of events they themselves had somehow become the victims rather than the petty art thieves and bathhouse towel boys that they actually are... Notice the skewed vision of the photograph, the tell-tale sign of a twisted criminal mind, unable to align its vision with the rest of the world's, forever doomed to exist on the periphery of good taste and simple American honesty and decency....

(where their shame once hung freely)

The city of Sonoma is rallying together behind the actual victims of this case to raise money to keep these two miscreants behind bars and to educate children on the many evils of art.

Q and R.C. are just happy to have the piece returned safely home. He has continued his work in charitable imaginings.

L. Murray is likewise relieved to have the piece return to its intended owner after so many years away. She has dedicated a weekly meditation class to recovering all stolen art everywhere.

J.K. is completely unaware of any new developments in the case. She is preparing her legal defense by watching CSI: Miami.

I. Meron has turned to god and swears to one day make restitution to the victims of his crime. In fact, he has promised to return double, possibly triple, the total value of the piece to them in hard-earned US Dollars, including interest and factoring in for inflation.  He is committed to a vow of celibacy for the remainder of his days, saying, "It's the least I can do."

The "Cop" has become a favorite prison plaything, being renamed "June" after only his first week served, a term of endearment he earned shortly after being de-loused in the prison's shower facilities.



Friday, September 16, 2011

Open apology for last post

This morning's post was horrific, just awful.  I went back and re-read it at work and was mortified.  It's terrible. I wrote most of it a few days ago, then kept adding a paragraph or three each day, without editing, then didn't want to feel like I had wasted my time, posted it in a rush before work... well, you know the rest.  I won't bore you with the details twice.  

I apologize for the whole stinky mess.  I couldn't even finish it when trying to read it at work and I am unnaturally smitten with my own posts, usually.  It must have been torture for any of you that finished it.

That's all.

Everything is replaceable

I wrote this a few days ago but didn't post it.  After Selavy posted that I had mentioned attacking his grammar, a joke, I thought that he would think today's post about him and further perpetuate his already shameful behavior.  Grammar just happened to be on my mind and I blurted it out, my mind fuzzy with wine, celebrating the third harvest moon in a row.

A friend recently pointed out that I am not actually from New York, that I am just a hillbilly from some place called Lumberton.  I checked into it, it turns out that it's not true.  He laughs at my struggles to acclimate to a more rural lifestyle. I suppose it is funny, to witness from a distance.  It's not as if it is that difficult to adjust.  It's mostly the people I'm forced to interact with now, not so much in Sonoma but in Corte Madera.  I mean "the others" from across the river and beyond the hills.

Today Rachel was working at a yoga studio and the guy who previously worked there, who is leaving for an 8 month program at circus school, arrived to help ease the transition, riding a unicycle.  After realizing that he wasn't really needed there he departed in similar fashion.  When I tell you that this place is surreal it's not because I'm smoking an unusual amount of pot.  It really and truly is a strange place.  

More on rural uni-wraiths later.

I have given some thought lately to grammar, what it means.  I'm divided on the subject.  I prefer my misuse of language to the misuse of others, predictably.  

The purpose of grammar is to assist in the conveyance of meaning, its intention is to help aid clarity by generating useful recommendations for composition.  There are some grammatical suggestions to help improve clarity but we can use language to suggest freely, as we wish to.  The English language has been exhausted neither of mistakes nor of beauty, nor purpose.  There is no such thing as a grammatical "rule," any more than the bumps on people's heads give us insight into what "race" they are.  Grammar is a failed pseudo-science.  Each person has their own set of grammatical choices, though there is a large collective set that people commonly draw from and mistakenly refer to as "rules," which they then confuse with natural laws, always as a way to correct someone else's usage.  It is prohibitive and corrective, its purpose is to constrict as much as it is to assist.  In pronunciation one need only consider the "Queen's English" to see this impulse in fully disastrous effect.

There are only "stylistic choices", some that work, some that do not, like putting the comma outside of the quotation marks in this sentence, or using commas to make an extended sentence that might otherwise be divided into several shorter sentences, like Jose Saramago, Nobel-laureate, from Portugal. To speak a language is to own it, part of that ownership includes the right to change the language.  If there were actual rules to language that must be adhered to, punishable, then there would be no poetry, no song, and very little literature worth reading.  Bob Dylan and William Shakespeare would have been taxed out of existence long ago.  Lie Lady Lie...

If we have an obligation to correct the use of language then certainly we must also have an obligation to correct literature, arguably the richest source of language. We should be impelled to rectify the past, to align it with our developed understanding, to update it to our advanced standards.  But very few argue for modifying literature to make it more appealing to a current audience, more palatable to the modern mind, advancing it in step with the times.  Ignore the efforts to "correct" Mark Twain's masterpiece.  It is a different category of mistake occurring there.

Conversely, if we are to respect the past by leaving it as it was, or is, we have no such alternate obligation towards the future. In fact, it becomes our responsibility to pro-actively affect language and make changes that reflect our time, its various needs and changing uses.  Somehow texting fails this task.

Pedants argue that misuse transmits unintended meanings. But that is perhaps only true to the pedant. To correct assumes that the pedant alone understands the intended meaning. "Correction is the vicious idol of snobbery." - Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence

The other examples I feel contrarily about.  If you're going to abbreviate or compress meaning then it should result in something "more" than it was otherwise.  If you sacrifice clarity for brevity without producing beauty, or something more suggestive, then you've detracted from the world rather than added.

For the sake of convenience many of the people that I know argue for an extreme version of mitigated literacy: text-speak. With the omission of vowels, or the use of vowels as a substitute for words, they communicate using the same set of letters but in a supposedly economical way.  "r u" substitutes for "Are you?"  It seems sensible when one considers the danger of texting while driving, or the inconvenience associated with any excess time spent typing out a message in text, or even an email, especially when done on a phone, in a car, at high speeds, drunk.  The sheer burden of language overwhelms the owner of one of these modern devices.

But letters are free, sort of.  If you get charged per individual text then one would think that the sender would include as much information as possible in each transmission, rather than cheating themselves out of entirely unused alphabets.

Also, much of what passes for language now is merely auto-correction.  It is acceptable to transmit errors because we all understand that it is the fault of the device and not the user.  Guns don't kill people, etc.  If you bother pointing out to somebody that their text was error-ridden and caused you some pause in trying to decipher its meaning they will actually get mad at you, as if it somehow reflects poorly on them to have had their device not convey only the highest standards of grammar at their unseen behest.  To make known an error in communication is to question the sender's ability to purchase devices that adequately reflect their education and sophistication. 

David Foster Wallace perhaps missed his true medium.

Some of it is cute, texting, I'll admit it.  I have gotten texts at just the right time, consisting only of letters that have melted my heart: "lv u"   Less is more, etc.  But it's as if this replacement language, even when confusing or misleading, is defended as pertinent by those who use it, as if the real language that it ostensibly reflects is too burdensome and unwieldy for actual use.  We are expected to have known the author's intentions based on their abbreviated misuse and in the context of which it was employed.   

Ah, I see... you were in a rush so you didn't have time to type something that I would understand, instead you thought that I would intuit your meaning based on the lack of information presented.  


I've long argued that rappers not only have the right to change the use of language, they have a responsibility to do so.  If language, as it is, does not adequately reflect them and their condition (as the claim goes) then it is up to them to change it as needed.  Many of the most clever, creative and informative verbal (mis) usages I've been exposed to have come from rap.  However, I work at a place, and with many young people, that only seem to know how to speak in rap terminology,  There are times when I can't understand a single meaning they are projecting, except by body language and reaction.

The burden of clarity falls more fairly on the speaker than the listener.  All of the words they use are within my vocabulary, but their intended meanings have been stylistically obscured beyond recognition.  They seem to be having fun, having no problem conversing in this way with people born in their decade, or the one before theirs.  It is trying to make that multi-decade leap that seems to cause the breakdown.  I try to understand, but can only accept so much responsibility for failure to do so.

Tupac Shakur was from Lumberton, I learned earlier today.  I wonder how much of Shakur's vernacular I've adopted without knowing it.  I often bait people with the effect of rap on our culture. Most people that I know cite its perceived damage to language, theirs.  Few have given it the consideration it deserves, or if they have they do so only placatingly so.  Teachers nearly universally hate it, fight its effect.

But has there been a great text-speak work yet? Is the Nobel committee adequately examining this new force of language?  Dunno.

I realize that the various assertions I've written above are incompatible and in some ways assert different sides of the same subject, presented conversely.  Sobeit.

All words are fiction, hazy suggestions, chimerical structures, buildings made of rivers, machines made of ghosts.

R'nt u 2?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Born In The U.S.A.

I recognize that each generation must have their prophets, bow to their gods, salute anthems, raise flags, revere their present, then their past presence... they curse their demons, then collect, coil, execrate, anathematize, and one day praise.

Each generation must moan, all too often on Mondays.

I was 14 years old when "Nebraska" came out, the acoustic album by Bruce Springsteen.
I didn't mean to suggest that the state of Nebraska "came-out" of the closet, they haven't, yet.  

The album spoke to me, in a way that only a few albums had, many of them just before my time.

The Clash's "London Calling" was a notable exception. These two albums genuinely constitute "my time."

The depth and width of Nebraska continues to speak to me today, as does London Calling.  Who would have ever guessed that the spiritual vacuity of London was somehow parallel and corollary to Nebraska in 1984....

Check it out, it's true.  Thatcher, Reagan, Crack, Nancy Falklands, etc.

I could be wrong, but the albums speak very similar messages.  One focuses on the inwardness of others, the other mediates the necessary  outwardness of the inner self.  Then they both alternately accomplish, and assume, the task and role of the other album, gracefully, to the end.

Both albums are works of genius and among my all-time favorites... full-moons be damned, fuck the facts.

Long live the A-B-C's

That might be an over-simplification, and it might only make sense to me, but I doubt it...  They are human albums, made for humans, by humans, within a stone's throwing towards sacred, towards me. 

My best-friend from the neighborhood in 1984 was Bobby Williams.  The release of Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A." was a nearly unspeakably shared triumph for us, the vindication of an artist we mutually loved, adored, imitated, worshipped, believed in.  We blasted these rock-and-psalms up and down the Wekiva River.  Glory Days, indeed.  

Like a river that don't know where it's flowing....

With success comes sadness. With triumph comes loss.  All is loss, love most of all.  

Beauty, privacy, youth, death.  All.

It is gone in an unseen tender flash, like the receding of a great wave, then an unrelenting undertow, nothing else...

The following year, 1985, I met Selavy, as is recorded by the numerous county arrest records.

I spoke with Selavy tonight.  He assured me that he was going to take the "high" road about his deviated Septumber "harpy-moon" debacle.  We'll see.... I really want him to have that high road, he could use a little less oxygen, his handlers keep a gaseous eye trained on the neon noble dials.  He assures me that his endless humor about science is undaunted, untainted, soon-to-be-expunged, exorcised back to health.

Long ago he took the time to ask me about a book I was reading, in 1985.  Rimbaud,  A Season In Hell.

The high road.  Indeed.

I want it for each and every one of us. I want it when I don't know where else to turn, when I am weary and searching for an unfamiliar freeway or fjord that is meant to bring me homewards, inland, when it is dark, when I am already home, when I am also lost there, when I awake suddenly with questions that sinister sleep slips towards my susceptible senses... snakes and sinners and saints and saviors and soldiers and sinners and sailors and suckers and sinners, and spirits, or sponsored souls, along with allied associates, dead or living, freshly, newly, or never forgotten.  Ought'n that be the simplest situational solution, like the hissing of pissing answers...

It is all just a sad neither.

I want the lives of those around me to be as great as ever-returning youth.

But I won't wait for that, or truth, either.

Harvest Moon again tonight, or any night

Ok, I've tried to be reasonable about this moon issue, but Selavy has challenged me on it again. He was once my science teacher so it becomes increasingly frustrating to have him be so perpetually wrong about something, and even more so for him to site an internet article as defense for his mistake.  It's understandable how and why he and others often accept the evening that follows a full moon to be the night of a full moon. But in this case he, and ABC, and many other people worldwide, were wrong.

Here is how it works... The moon is full at an exact moment.  It is the moment that the moon is reflecting the maximum amount of light back towards the earth.  If you look on a calendar it will often show the date of a full moon. Naturally many people assume that the evening of that day the full moon will rise.  This is an easy mistake to understand.  But if the full moon occurred at 2:27am (PT) and 5:27 (EST), then it was no longer full by the time that it rose later that day as the sun was setting, it was already in its waning gibbous stage.   The previous night would be considered the night of the full moon and the moon-rise that could be witnessed on that night would more appropriately be the rising of the full moon. 

As for what night will be called and accepted to be the "harvest moon" I will leave it to the farmers to figure out.  Do not look to ABC, or any other news agency, for information about full moons. They admittedly used the farmer's almanac as a source of information.  The agency to rely upon for the Universal Time of moon phases would be NASA, the people who actually put men on the moon.  They are a more reliable source of information concerning our solar system and beyond.

For this last full moon it did occur at the times that I listed earlier. If you look at the NASA page that I linked it will seem to be off by an hour, that's because of daylight saving time. If you use the UT or UTC standard and the NASA list of full moon times it's easy to see that the night of the full moon was the night that spanned the 11th and the 12th of September, not the 12th and the 13th, though many would lead you to believe otherwise, and cite the general assumption of fallacy as proof.

Even though a full moon actually only occurs at a specific moment it is generally accepted to precede that moment by 12 hours and to continue for 12 hours afterwards, making up the "day" of the full moon.  Even by this general acceptance the moon that many witnessed rising on the evening of the 12th was not in fact a full moon, nor would it correctly be called the harvest moon, though the colloquial terms applied to the event don't really matter that much to me.  They are mainly for use by farmers, hippies, and bloggers.

I've linked a video of the harvest moon here, which documents the moon in all of its "fullness" on the night of Sept. 12, 2011.... Notice how full it looks in the beginning of the video...?  It's astonishing that the full moon, recorded on the night of Sept. 12th, would be missing a portion of its complete roundness on the right side, towards the bottom.  It might be because the moon was full the night before, a night that many people questioned me on, presumably because the calendar listed it as happening the following day, at 9:27am (UT), which used to be called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)....

Now, Neil Young wrote a lovely song called Harvest Moon. I don't know if he's ever been to the moon or not, or if he knows or cares about the phases of the moon.  But one thing I do know, that if he looked at the image of the moon at the beginning of his video he'd agree that that moon isn't full.

No, I kid... the video was shot long ago and doesn't actually show a harvest moon because it isn't full. I can only assume that Neil Young's producer made the same mistake that many people make. About half of all full moons are celebrated and witnessed on the wrong day, the day after a full moon. It's simple math, half of them occur in the early a.m. and by just glancing at a calendar people suppose the moon that rises that evening is the full moon.  I'm assuming that's what happened to Neil Young.  As for my science teacher... I have tried and tried to reason with him on this issue.  Some people you just can't reach...

If nothing else we'll have more to argue about later if he continues in his willful errant ways.  By my reckoning we'll disagree exactly half of the time.  But at least he won't be alone, he'll have ABC's team of journalists to back him up.  I'll be forced to rely on science as a meager crutch for understanding.

I expect him to publish a retraction and full apology tomorrow morning.  I accept his apology in advance.