Monday, December 30, 2013

Too Twisted To Ignore

To date, what should be the most infamous death in San Francisco (certainly, the circumstances surrounding it are the most godawful) is that of the late, lamented Lynne Spalding.  How does a good, blooming, hearty Englishwoman die so shabbily at the hands of those to whom we all of us as a matter of course entrust our lives?  Two weeks in a godforsaken stairwell, unfrequented even by quotidian rounds of security guards I had expected our tax dollars hired.  I hope her family musters all the umbrage blood loyalty and national chauvinism will allow, and that they sue the pants off of the attending physician, nurses, and the county hospital's (in this case) arm's-length benefactors.  She was slandered in the Chronicle article, for crying out loud!  That article  gratuitously mentioned that she sought treatment for a urinary tract infection (shit-talking if I've ever heard it.)  My mother recently pointed out also that issue had been made of the good woman's tippling (a forgivable and culturally specific indulgence -- and by the way, do we not inhabit a three-sheets-to-the-wind city?)

Something dreadful and, not to her but to us, shameful is at work in this case.  Offensive enough is San Francisco's miserable track record at solving homicides.  This case, though, is an especial affront -- tragedy plus insult.  My heart weeps for Ms. Spalding and her I hope soon-to-be-avenged family.  Here's a prayer that her bereaved survivors come here from jolly old England with lawyers in tow and packing enough inconvenient questions to make my sordid little hometown pop like a full tick.  Godspeed, Spaldings, godspeed.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

HYA (Because It's My Bully Pulpit)

Subject:  Stop the closing of Homeless Youth Alliance (HYA)


I signed a petition to London Breed, Supervisor Haight area is District 5, David Campos, Supervisor, and 6 others which says:

"Homeless Youth Alliance (HYA) will close our Drop-In Centers doors at the end of Christmas Day. Stop the closing of HYA, and the reduction of essential services to keep homeless youth in San Francisco safe. "

Will you sign this petition? Click here:


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Alpha, Omega

These rooms are our enemy:  killing walls on all four sides, these boxes are rife with death and pain, history and plans.  So much in them belongs to those who preceded us, who left it all behind.  What an inheritance!  We are preached at to be compassionate and forgiving to those who deserve ten times the harm and suffering they visit upon the likes of us.  Carmelite nuns admonish us that we especially are called upon to be Christ-like.  Bitches.  It's no wonder minds seem lost here, characters warped, the future -- when we can risk hoping for one -- the future is bleak.  We should really lock ourselves out more often.  Also, we forget to forgive ourselves for our imperfections.  We have many shoulds on our respective plates; those by the way are our individual responsibilities.

Oh, love?  Love is every song you've ever heard and then some.  It's the best stuff in life.  Of course, love is a murderous sonofabitch and a tyrant.  Don't get caught on the wrong side of love -- you're liable to be diced to bits.

And life, you ask, what is it about?  A very personal pursuit, purpose and meaning in life.  In my case, I liked the food, the sex, music, getting fucked up, and my loved ones.  Oh, later on, I did learn something profound:  one should try to live life so well it inspires others to jealous homicide.  That's like an A+ or a gold star.  Right, I also loved mountains and dogs.  Oh, and water:  swimming or bathing, ocean or tub, snow or monsoon -- water's been heavenly.  Have I told you how unbelievably good it tastes coming out of the tap?

Surviving Up And Down The Scales

Consider, if you will, a nation's military:  do its soldiers see past their own armor?  Do they comprehend that a world exists beyond the tips of their own spears?  If so, the reputation of the character of the nation is vouchsafed.  Anything can be accomplished, and no war is unwinnable.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

That Tickles

I never could understand how we justified the expenditure and moral cost of torturing detainees.  Torture is as old as written history, and we've always known its only purpose ever is simply to gratify the torturers on very base levels.  People torture just to torture, there's nothing deeper than that, and we haven't learned anything new that's temporally actionable or profound about human nature by indulging this facet of our society.  In this modern era of satellite and drone surveillance, data-mining and wiretapping, and all that rigamarole, it seems to me that if you have the intel you need to capture your intended torture subject, you have access to all the intel torturing him or her could net you -- if not reams more.  It makes no sense that we do shit like stress-positions, water boarding, electrocution, rape, et cetera.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Buddy Cole Rides Again...

"Oh, Jeffery Dahmer.  What a stud!  What a Lothario!  What a Casanova!  You know, he really was the talk of the scene.  Until that little scandal, anyway.  It was just in such poor taste on his part, getting caught.  'Honestly, Jeffery,' we'd say, 'another one?  I guess the old adage is true:  30 minutes later and you're hungry again.'  Turns out, he literally was.  Put them away like a bear at a cronut factory.  I swear.  Oh, well.  There but for the grace of God..."

"Hey, Michael Alig.  Do you have any idea who's holding...  Your dealer's body parts?  Ha ha, made you flinch.  No, really, it's fine.  You just did what most of us were thinking anyway..."

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Transporter Room Four"

[Transporter technician emery-boards his nails at the console.  Sitting down, legs crossed.]

[Second man in circuitry cabinet on wall, to Technician's right.]

Technician:  Jenkins, I told you to stop fiddling with that.  Nothing in here works right.  You're just going to make it worse.

Jenkins:  Do you know how many times I've had to share the turbolift with Lieutenant Del Toro?  I can't even look him in the eye.  THE MAN LOST HIS ARMS.  I just stand there, looking at everything but him.  And he won't stop clearing his throat the whole time.

Technician:  Well, even if you fixed every glitch in this room, including the coordinate resolver terminal, it wouldn't bring his arms back.  Besides, he can get prosthetics, make himself the arm-wrestling champ of every shore leave.  He would win every bar fight.

[Phone rings.  Technician lifts receiver to ear.]

Technician:  Transporter room four here.  [Pause as someone else is talking.]  No, I really don't think that's a good idea [Pause.]  Oh, a red shirt?  Really?  What department?  [Pause.]  Engineering?  Well has everyone else got their digs in?  Yeah, cos this is pretty final.  Yeah.  [Pause.]  Let me guess, he thinks Scotty's his best friend...  [Pause]  Ha, what a sucker.  Yeah, send him down.  I don't know, that's your job.  It's not going to be an intra-ship transport, that's for sure.  Could you imagine if he materialized in the galley?  No one would eat for a week.  [Pause]  Well come up with something, and I'll hack a fudge for the transport log.  [Pause]  15 minutes?  Sounds good.  Just one more thing...  He isn't cute, is he?  {Pause]  Well, that's a shame.  God, I hope he's wearing clean underwear...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"Do You Ever Notice" (In My Best Andy Rooney...)

...Whenever the government wishes to extra-legally detain, torture, or unethically and in contravention to accepted morality experiment upon people, the subjects are almost invariably people we could do with more of in civilian life?  The subjects are never people we almost all of us profess to want gone, and they're never openly unpopular types.  Subjects are always politically inconvenient, or interesting, or really awesome as people...

On a tangent, it occurs to me to ask, how many Gitmo detainees have dossiers that in fact identify them as reformist, non-radical, secular, Western-sympathizing, and/or liberal?  More than I can count on my as yet complete set of ten fingers, I'll warrant...