Archive for December, 2011

Joe: Not much to say this year…

December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011

“Merry Christmas!” still needs to be said of course. I still haven’t done that yet…and it is that time of the year for Pete’s sake. And I do mean it – but maybe not with all the verve the occasion warrants.  The baby Jesus is 2011 years old for God’s sake.

Sort of like turning 69 was for me.  Woop-dee-doo.  11 years from 80.  Now that’s a fun thought, I’ll tell you.  Imagine turning 2011 years old. I’m sure the poor dear has burned up all his birthday wishes a long time ago.  Either that, or he can no longer blow out the candles on the cake…and is damned forever to having 3 million more babies each year, to take care of. That’s a hell of a lot of candles to blow out when you get right down to it.

So, let’s see.  Gratitude items this year:

My biggest gratitude item – and the one thing in this world that I’m most hopeful about — is the massive explosion of truth that has occurred this year.   People stepping up telling what they know to be true because they were there and were part of what went on — or dug in and down and ferreted out the facts that made the lies and liars irrelevant — and made the truth ring clear.  Speaking the truth out loud – pretty much shut down the Fox News spin-misters in mid spew (they just look and sound foolish now that everybody knows they’re full of shit)) — and the explosion of truth even slowed down those who bought and swallowed the lies whole and used them to stay rageful and incredibly stupid.  The truth tellers brought back the truth after 20 years of intimidation — and in doing so, filled in the all those years of blanks — created when the media abdicated their responsibility to ferret and honestly report — and to call out liars when they lied – no matter what.  The so called mainstream guys still aren’t doing their job.  They’ve been replaced by braver hearted ones.

The truth.  My personal “man of the year”.  Bravely spoken truth no matter what. 

Men and women who counted because they stood up when they were most needed.  The Occupy Wall Street movement and (everywhere else that needed to get occupied) never would have, or could have, happened without it.  Good job God.  It’s good to see tangible evidence of your existence.

And, in spite of the world being an even shittier place to be living in versus a year ago — people aren’t scared so much anymore.  Because now we know and can see exactly who created the disasters that were brought down on us over the past 20 years…and why…and who profited by it all — and who should be drawn and quartered.  And they will be if the truth continues to be told.

So.  Thank you Matt Tiabbi…thank you Robert Reich…thank you Wikileaks…thank you Paul Krugman and William Black…and Bill Moyers…and Robert Pitt and – and the Wilsons — and Howard Zinn who did more than his his share before departing – and Michael Moore – and Robert Scheer and Dennis Kucinich and Amy Goodman and all the brave and daring and talented authors named Naomi — and all the other, rapidily becoming household names — who were in a position to know, and to see, and to have access – who wrote the unvarnished truth wonderfully and incessantly.  And thanks to all the publications and blogs and message distributors and just plain folks like you and me — across the land, who publish and distribute the word and then pass it on and on and on until the truth fills the earth.  Thank you.  When it’s tolerable once again, we will look back and thank you for your truth that stopped the “stupid by intention” bastards from eating us completely.

Second, I am grateful for the Iowa Caucuses and the GOP Presidential Primary Process.  I’m grateful because after six solid months and 12 debates, and an endless stream of political press and PR coverage, I think we all feel that we genuinely know the Republican candidates who are running for President.  And that after it all, we collectively are astonished and somewhat horrified at what the Republican Party has selected for us to choose from. Sort of like the X Factor for sociopaths.  Michelle looks good me.  I can deal with Michelle.  She may well be wacky but she’s not a sociopath.  But honestly if the primaries were between her and Lindsay Lohan, I’d go with Lindsay. She’s wacky too…but has a certain slutty quality to her I find myself attracted to.

And most certainly, I’m grateful that the Great Bush Oedipal War has ended after 91/2 years.  I’m not at all sure we’ve left the playing field, or that it’s over – but at least the guys in regulation US uniforms who had their personal lives destroyed by nasty (evil) political leaders (ours) can come back and try to put pieces together again.  The ones who sell their violence as mercenaries with ever changing names are still there I think.  And I remember hearing a number like 200,000 highly trained nasty guys associated with them…so, I’m not at all sure I’m grateful that the war has ended – because I’m pretty sure it hasn’t.  And no one has told the truth about this one yet.

Same, pretty much, for Afghanistan.  Mostly I’m grateful nobody wants us there anymore. I find that encouraging.  I sure wouldn’t want us to be there, if I lived there.  Drones really would piss me off.  Life was bad enough before the Americans showed up and pushed all the dreaded and wicked evil Teletubbies into Pakistan. Now we’re leaving and I’m figuring they’ll be going home again. And that’s pretty scary.  I do have a dear friend who has been developing schools there – and I think she is close to a holy person…and I’m grateful for what she has done — but I worry for her safety.

So that’s kind of it.  Not real grateful for much else…there.  The truth is a good beginning.

On a more personal note…

I am grateful to have attended my daughter’s wedding this Fall to a genuinely nice guy who I can occasionally beat playing golf.  He’s a Golden State Warriors fan which is close to being toothless…but he’s a really good guy and he thinks Lisa is a princess.

That, and the continuing blossoming and growth of my six grandchildren who are indeed awesome – and even more amazing, fun to be with.  Which is also very cool.

Note:  the words awesome and amazing are California transmogrative words – which assume the meaning the speaker intends them to mean. In this usage instance the meanings intended are positive (like “amazing” in a “holy shit that’s a lot better than I thought it was going to be” sense — as opposed to weird or bizzare)…and “awesome” as in taking the word “amazing” up about 12 hyperbole notches to a level of “god like”. “Cool” on the other hand, conveys precisely the meaning ascribed in the dictionary.

I’m working…and for that, I grateful.  But I can’t retire because I don’t have enough to retire on.  I figure I need to die at around 75.  But I have my health right now, and that’s something to be grateful about…but I still feel like I’m obligated to drop dead of sudden onset adult crib death or something – which I just might do given a crappy and unpredictable heart.  But maybe not.  It’s in the hands of god I think…and I sure do hope that God is “still in the game” after 2011 years.  Let’s all hope there’s no “really ancient dementia” thing going on.  Though that certainly would explain a lot of things…

My kids are great — and are busting ass to keep it together and to make survival happen – and for the most part seem to be winning — today. And today, and for right this very minute, they’re pretty much OK.  And I’m grateful for that.  Not so confident longer term.  My kid’s kids seem to be happy, reasonably well dressed, with all the requisite toys – with not enough there for college.  No future without a Lottery ticket pay out.  So that’s not so good.  Mostly grateful for today and right now.  Ok right now but the future for them – and indeed all of us – seems completely surrounded by question marks.  You know? The whole world seems to be in precisely the exact same place.

Most everything else has a certain “suckiness” quality to it, it seems. Unless you’re into reality and struggle and fear and human frailty — and living on the edge, between not so great and really bad…which is where way too many of us collectively seem to be living these days.

And frankly there are way too many instances when the struggles and life events just ‘flat out’ don’t turn out so well…when people lose balance out there on the edge and fall the wrong way…and get really hurt.  That’s wearing me down quite frankly.

And it makes me angry that it seems like the safety nets that were once there to keep people from falling through the cracks and to keep little things from getting real big and out of control just aren’t there anymore.

My pal Maslow (of The Heirarchy of Human Needs fame) would be pulling his hair out over the assault on “Primary Needs” (physiological and safety needs, if you’ve forgotten) these past 15 years.  Everything has been kind of of screwed — and in play – for way too long now…which is the most toxic thing in our world right now.  Uncertainty.

Uncertainty about everything.

Jobs, homes as in a permanent place to stay, enough food for the kids, health care coverage for disasters and as importantly for lesser issues — baseline predictableness, security, safety.  Primary needs stuff.  Maslow thought that “predicableness” was a core human need – required to sustain the human condition.  I agree completely.  We are mired deeply in a world that is unpredictable.  And I’m not at all sure how to get it back…

I’m also not sure how much more destabilization and unpredictability this country can take before it explodes…and goes crazy.  As in “bat shit” nuts crazy.

The world, it seems, right this very second, is filled with 50% of people who are certifiably insane –sounding quite like really warped versions of  the principals in Alice in Wonderland – on acid.  Where does it go from here you ask? Well, and despite the evidence that the direction we have been going in for the past 12 years has been dead solid wrong — we do seem committed to accelerating stupidity. (“can a country be committed to dysfunction?”).  We’ve not learned a damned thing about much of anything this past 15 years it seems…bankers continue to hustle and flim flam us and in taking the same risks that almost killed us off 3 years ago. We still allow neocon crazy bastards — who have been dipped in the river Jordon — to drive our foreign policy and to start wars — when there is no reason or rationale to do so (Iran anyone), beyond paying off military lobbyist interests. And, we still haven’t learned a single god damn thing from the incredible adventures of big oil and big energy interests everywhere (let us not forget Japan) and big coal — and their willingness to risk life as we know it with disasterous results because we are letting the bastards force frac-ing and filthy tar sand oil extraction on us in return for a couple months tax extension for the failing middle class.  We also have not challenged the Supreme Court for allowing Citizens United and the Rovian terrorists to completely sabotague the American political system.  In fact, on everyone of these outrages…there is way too little outrage, beyond Occupy Wall Street.  And that’s not nearly enough.  But it too is a hopeful start.

One other…

Had to close my Prodigal House this summer.  And that really hurt.  It had been a alcohol and drug treatment center of last resort and last chance for 37 years.  We figured 17,000 men were treated there.  Mostly vets from Vietnam forward — and later men out of the criminal Justice system who found themselves back in the courts shortly after release for addiction related issues.  We lost our lease to the VA who wanted a place to house essentially the same guys we were working with – but wanted to treat them with many of the same drugs we were trying to get them off of.  Go figure.  A lot of those guys will stay there for a really long time.  Our guys are back under the bridge.  And that hurts me to the point of crying.

I pretty much stopped blogging this summer as well.  I was getting too angry…plus much of what I had been blogging about had come true.  And much of what I had expressed opinions about and thought was going on…was being revealed as being pretty much what was actually was going on — by the modern day truth speakers who had the facts — and creds to make them stick.  Time to leave for a while, I figured.  Plus when the last blog item I wrote was titled “Why I hate Republicans”  and was so excoriating even I thought it shouldn’t be published…I decided to pull back and re-center for a while.    Not sure that’s possible.  Going numb is about as close to re-centering as I can get right now.

So.  I’m looking for places to make a difference these days.  Grandiosity, never was a big deal, but what there was is flaming out.  But not righteous passion…or right reason.  And with so much to choose from, locking in on “just cause” is close to impossible.

So that’s it.  Pray for peace and compassion and world sanity — and commitment to act boldly when the time comes.


(Sorry for the long form of “not having much to say”.  It’s embarassing frankly)