Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Brackish Estuary

Get your facts first, and then you can distort 'em as much as you please.
- Mark Twain

Needed Subtext

When hearing about New Orleans and Katrina, two words come to mind, Before and After.
Ned Sublette has written the definitive history of this magical place in America. With poignant personal reflection and meticulous historical detail, Sublette defines what it is to be of the Louisianan Bayou. Read it and weep with joy and pain.

Bridge to Elsewhere

Exert from The Year Before the Flood:

The next morning, the last leg of our drive was through 150 miles of thunderstorms. I drove most of it at eighty miles an hour. I had told myself I wouldn't drive that fast, but everyone else was going at autobahn speed, even in the rain. Like religion, politics, and music, driving in the United States has become more belligerent in recent years. Despite the increased probability of carnage if you crash at a higher speed, it's easier to flow with the traffic than to have Hummers and semis whipping around you constantly, hurling blinding sheets of water onto your windshield, while a suicide-jockey motorcyclist darts around between you. A small truck passes with FEAR THIS painted on its back, and a verse citation from Revelation. A giant chemical tank roars past with the cautionary MOLTEN SULFUR painted on its side. Isn't that the stuff that spews out of volcanoes?

Heck of Job Brownose

We have all but forgotten the days in the aftermath of Katrina. The man-made disaster that followed an otherwise typical hurricane became a sideshow of distractions from years of irresponsible policy and engineered missteps. With an eye on the depopulation of a people deemed a lecherous burden on the Homeland, Bush Brown and Skeletor worked overtime to spin the public relations blow-back. Today they are all out to pasture in the private sector collecting fat gov'ment pensions.

Deep Shit Horizon

Fast and furious is how BP rolls.
Who wants to forget the worst oil spill in history, the crude and lewd disregard for regulatory protections for the Mississippi Delta and its people. The lasting environmental disaster that continues to unfold untold and buried in an avalanche worthless news.

Harnessing Mother Nature

High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program

We are harassing the physical world, not so as to diminish her wrath but more so as an instrument of our endless war arsenal. We are now in the year after the beam weapons have gone online... and we are not the only nation with HAARP technology.

Jakarta Jack-in-the-Box

Can you name just a few of the glaring anomalies of recent times that are easy to explain once you accept the notion that Reagan's Space-Wars dream may have come true?
Possibilities abound when you tune your tin-foil head-gear to the sci-fi frequencies.


In spite of the lessons and concerted efforts of FEMA after Katrina there are some things we can never truly prepare for. In managing emergencies there is one thing to ask yourself.
When the beam hits the ionosphere, will you lead/follow, get out of the way or sell something?

Play It Again, Harry

From watching teevee coverage of the fifth anniversary of Katrina, it appears that Harry Connick Jr. is now the face of the new New Orleans music scene. Yes he is a genuine Cajun original, white on the outside and brimming with old soul and strong heart from the inside.
But he now lives in Connecticut.
The skin and bones of New Orleans have been plowed over and from its nutrients a powerful re-birth in at hand.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mosquito Repellent

"All things are subject to interpretation
whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth."

(Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)

Thread Bare Patriotism

When it comes to trivializing profoundity and sensationalizing trivia, no one does it better than Faux News and street vendors. When the Tea Partyers converged in DC for a show of force on the anniversary of MLK civil rights march and claimed it was a coincidence in time, i say bull-pucky. When the same misguided souls espouse sedition and embrace secession from the union, I have to wonder what's next? Surely not peaceful resolution. Perhaps the more we are distracted and divided from the heady issues such as the consolidation of propaganda, the disparity of wealth and our secret foreign policy agenda, the more we will be left behind with that feeling of empty concern.

Haters Welcome Mat

When it comes to tolerance and reconciliation, Glenn Beck is a styrofoam brick wall, impassable yet 99% air. Beck is the latest clued-in mouthpiece for the eliminationist crowd that Rush Limpbaum championed bombastic. These push-button sound-biters are not stupid, they just cater to the stupid in some of us. When those "some of us" tally in the millions, we others must be on the look-out for packs of sheeple in wolves garb brandishing bibles, billy-clubs and blind rage.

True Blue Byzantine Target

If the proposed mosque at ground zero is to look anything like this one in Afghanistan, then I'm all for it. What I stand firmly opposed to is another institution that blindly props up the official fable that 19 rag-heads from the saudi desert were able to fool the greatest known defenders of freedom in the blue planet on their own turf with no help from the insiders that benefit obscenely from such theater of disaster.

9/11 Omission Report

Until there is a considerable challenge by BigMedia to the official story of what happened on that fateful day in September 2001, we are all living a big fat lie. The status quo can only collapse under its own weight from within.
What is it going to take to re-investigate the crime of the century... space monkeys with telepathic hypnotical tweeters beaming the truth on cable teevee and on the back of cereal boxes?


Somewhere is some dingy office there is a whistle-blower with his/her finger in the dam.
How long before they need to scratch their conscience or some other itch...

Until then, Have a Nietzsche Day


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yearning for a Learning

A,B,C and vegetable goop
What will I find in my alphabet soup?

With one last go-round of hop-scotch the end of summer vacations turn our sights towards textbooks and information.
Our First Lady went to Prinston AND Harvard.


But can she replace Larry 'king of talk" King who went to the SoBe School of Journalism.
Perhaps, but she is overqualified.

Lone Dissenter

Little Dennis Kucinich went to school and got a degree in speech and communication.
Today he speaks truth to power in the u.s. congress.

Trophy Lady

He also caught the fancy of a looker, Elizabeth who wrote "Conflict Resolution in World Politics".

Best in Class

Alex Sink went to the private Wake Forest University and she is now poised to be our next Governor. This week she got the ear of the POTUS while in Miami.

Kendrick Meek settled for Clinton at the Gusman downtown.

Growth is Not an Option Anymore

Build in my backyard and they will come.
The Fontainebleau Hotel was all up in the news this week when Obama blowed into town for a meet-and-greet with supporters.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — President Barack Obama's brief visit to Miami Beach brought cheers and protests Wednesday, drawing $700,000 in donations for Democrats... secret service detail, travel and bagels 3,000,000.

a corned beef sandwich for the commander-in-chief

After all those miles and mingling smiles, Obama would not be well advised if he was not steered towards a big meal from the local delicatessen where Kendrick ordered cold borscht, knishes, corned beef sandwich and a ruben on rye for the first lady. The girls seemed to like the pumpernickel buns, coleslaw n pickled green tomatoes but their favorite was banana cream pie.

Gastronomic Rainbow

A poll on Lincoln Road showed that one out of five Americans think the president is
50% Kosher.
I will not argue with that.

Enough Eating, Do Some Learning

So it is Back to School for million of kids across the nation. For those fortunate enough to go to public schools where diminished fund and guttural morals are pervasive, pack some tatter-tots and best of luck. Above all, try to think for yourselves and ask "are the inmates are running the asylum".

Bound to Literacy

Some kids are drawn to books like locust to corn, way many others i fear are not. For them there is a culture of orality which can serve just as well, given the proper script of reason and argument.

Class of 2011

The quest for knowledge is an odyssey.
The accumulation of information is a burden.

Obama came to me in a dream and said,
"swampthing, make jobs."
I said ok, but the only jobs available are top secret.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

summer of 1784

Talcum Dreams

Travel is allot easier when you rely on GPS to find your way around unfamiliar places. Places like Boston where most of the streets have names. Streets that were once paths for cows, now paved, delineate an urban hub for some of the best art schools in the nation. The School Museum of Fine Art SMFA is molding tomorrows artists with a distinct curricula of personal exploration and dream interpretation. To get where you wish to go just follow the highlighted line... and recalculate when veering of the path.

Picnic Treasures

Attending Summer pre-college arts programs is a dream come true for the few fortunate kids with wild dreams and willing parents keen on the value of an arts education that goes way beyond crayons and paper-mache. The seed of self-empowerment is planted there. Like the mighty trees and tender blossoms found in Bostons Arnold Arboretum tomorrows promise and progressives are cultivated with an appreciation for art.

River for a Revolution

The mighty Hudson River cuts wide and clear. It is the principal waterway that defines the American Revolution. It is where George Washington saw the greatness of this land and the promise of tomorrow. It is a place where the swamp meets our history. Like the ebb and flow of tides, it is where our journey begins and ends.

God's House Party

The town of Hudson in upstate New York has a rich history for party and tons of old empty churches. The faithful may be long gone but for a reasonable price a new ministry can be ushered in. This silent and solid old place is now the home of Daniel Arsham's Artists Residency Retreat. It is indicative of the periodic resurgence of rural attractions, of a return to the roots of a revolution for the betterment of artistic expression. Prayerful best to all the dancers, performer, musicians, painter and sculptors that will grace this sacred shelter. Be sure to bring a sleeping bag and bug spray.

Older Than Dirt

Just outside of Hudson is the house that Henry Vanderlyn built in 1784. Constructed on bricks cast on site, it has withstood the 226 years of the development the "soul super-power" in the world. America was a young country when Henry would go to bed promptly at 9 PM with the aid of three glassed of Madeira wine; one for god, one for country and one for George Washington. Lights out. Today you will not find it using GPS as it has managed to remain without an address, thank the Lawd and pass the Madeira.

In Search of Solitude

The Hudson Terrace is home to the Catskill Mountains. Time has carved this magical place into what is affectionately know by many names; the Irish Alps, the Jewish Alps, the Cuban Alps and more. It is home to Rip Van Winkle and West Point. It is also the watershed where countless cottages and near-forgotten towns keep account of our great nation's beginnings. It is where streams and springs swell with the waters of perpetual sustenance and eternal freshness.
A swim in Platte Clove, Blue Hole or other similar waters is the baptismal equivalent of rebooting your hard-drive.

Blue Lips Shrink Swamp's Thing

The magic of the Blue Hole is only outdone by the rigidness of its waters. Mysterious springs feed this aquamarine pool with water so clean, so pure as to warm the spirit to a boil yet zap the tropical family jewels into ice cubes. What matters most is the communion with nature, with summers of solitude and the essence of our make-up. We are after all 95% water. Next stop, Katterskil Falls.

Where the Wild Thing Are

I read in Utne that in the world of wildlife photography there is a disturbing trend. Captive animals are being used as actors to economize and paint a glorified picture of life in the wild. From NatGeo to screen-savers, an image of wild animals in their wild environment is all to often a fake photo. This one of the two young siblings is not, and neither are the deer tick, poison ivy and mosquitoes the size of humming birds. Suit up and enjoy the savagery of summer.

Mothers Milk

Being a third generation ranchero (first with no heard), a date with the local dairy farm was probably the highlight of my vacation. To visit the ladies of Kingston's pastures, to purchase their unprocessed ambrosia and to feed day old calf twins was maternal to the max. The folk that run this loving place are also third generation ranchers who exude the scent of nurture and embrace the gentleness that are happy cows. But they also express a grave concern for the decline of farmings and the perils faced in raising of livestock in the rural region of upstate NY. From Saugerties to Woodstock the viability of community supported agriculture is threatened by corporate food interests. Look, I chow on processed food as much as the next guy but what newfoods offers in price and convenience falls way short of the nutritious and delicious satisfaction of organic homegrown foods, the stuff that our ancestors ate.

George Washington Copulated Here

Next stop on our sentimental summer tour were several points of interest in Harlem USA. If you are a history nut then the oldest house in NY state is no mystery. But for those not familiar with the Morris Jumel Mansion, here are the cliff notes. Morris the loyalist builds a summer house on high ground where the East River meets the Hudson. The place is forfeited to the new government after Georgy Boy clobbers the British. Washington sets up shop in Kingston and the house in New Amsterdam becomes a tavern as the spoils of war belong to the victors. The place is trashed until a French wine merchant Steven Jumel makes it a home for his sexy bride Elisa the temptress. It is possible that our manuar father GW did indeed sleep with Madame Jumel on a sultry mid-summer night. Conjecture is the stuff of campfires.

Jewel of the Hudson

Madame Jumel may have been a temptress. Her Steven shipped wine from Bourdeux and returned with sugar, tobacco and coffee from his spread in Jamaica. They were palsy walsy with diminutive Napoleon. The whole affair was fabulous until Jumel crashed his carriage leaving dear Madame a widow. Eliza returned to Paris only to be accused of being a Harlot and expelled from France, never to return. Whereupon she married, albeit short-lived ex-VP Burr, perhaps the father of the TEA Party for wanting to secede from the USA when the country was just 30 years old. I guess the nations notables were all restless and indiscriminate.

Modified Lady

Our nations first nude was painted by John Vanderlyn. It hangs at the Senate House Museum in Kingston NY. Modified with sheer veils that cover her flesh, she was made respectable in the eyes of the less sophisticated appreciators of fine art in the new world. Vanderlyn was a masterful artist trained in France, he is the creator of several national treasures including a depiction of Columbus arriving in the new world, a portrait of Washington and the fabulous gigantic mural of the gardens of Versailles currently on display at the MET.

Summer of Disconnect

On my visit to the Senate House Museum I sifted through several folders containing letters written by Vanderlyn to officials of the new government. Vanderlyn had a rough time in his effort to get paid for artworks completed. It would appear that back then the USA had about 500 people. Today we are about 50 million strong. Yet with all the radical changes some things never change as 200 years later artists today still have a very hard time collecting money owed for their hard work.

For Sale - This Old House

People are quick to forget that history is with us forever. The Jumel Mansion stands alone; the letters, paintings and relics sit silent in repositories with diminished funding. All passive reminders of our rebellious roots and our uncanny ability to create newish identities, to reinvent ourselves in the likeness of no other. But for millions of Americans the history of their Nation, of our founders is of seeming irrelevance. This old house is really not so old yet it is crumbling from its own weight and the embrace of a weird Darwinian shortsightedness that is counter to our collective wellbeing. The swim holes of the Catskills are still there though, crisp clear and icy blue as the watershed of a great nation now in the winter of its discontent.