Sunday, January 31, 2016

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Old news, and probably already challenged in court, I know, but I have to wonder:  If you're in Michigan and need to call first responders, how do they know if you're gay in order to decide whether or not to help you?  I guess maybe if you flame out in the ambulance, or if you're a tweaker -- straight dudes do gay shit on meth, so maybe...And the EMTs (except for the stoner driver) always know if you're a tweaker, and it matters to them...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Of Course, Some Tigers Can Change Their Stripes...

If you're going to pull a stunt like this, I suppose you might be ingenious enough to think up the helpful trick of making the subject believe it was his choice to ingest what he ingested, and that he's to blame for what happens to him.  That is to say, if you're fucking delusional...

The Janus Project/The Tweaker Project (Or Whatever the Hell It Was Called...)

A candle doesn't lose its flame by lighting another candle.  Aw, isn't that heartwarming and inspiring?  It really does speak to the indomitable beauty of the human spirit, to its innate nobility and dignity.  Really, if one could ignore all the death, emotional trauma, ugly (and sometimes criminal) behavior, and sci-fi/fantasy weirdness the experiment engendered among so many over the years, one could see thrown into sharp relief all that is good and worthy about humanity.  It is at first blush an epic waste of everyone's time that I, and not just I, turned into something useful, educational and edifying.  Thank you to whoever had the bright idea of squishing together the noggins of a not-terribly-apt sociopath and a batshit insane fag on meth who has a high IQ and a great deal of empathy.  I'd like to think when this whole production finally wraps up, we'll all be better for it.

(While I have yet to be actually, concretely dealt with in reality -- "reality" being program's synonym for meatspace -- and should therefore worry about my own hide, I can't help but feel pity for Frank H.  If what I suspect is true, his is going to be a sad denouement.  My heart goes out to him.  I hope he finds a good place where he's cared for and loved as best as the principals in the situation can demonstrate love.  Maybe you could "Area 51 his ass."  All he needs is food, water, and protection from anything with which he might accidentally injure himself.  And last I heard, he loves to play Cocaine and Dollhouses.)

P.S.  Was that program really a refinement of and capitalization on those early MKUltra experiments that were such a scandal back in the day?  I'm literally dying to know.  (God, my intellectual curiosity will be the death of me...)

Friday, January 29, 2016

How Dare You

My dad was a sailor, who served on the Kitty Hawk and in Vietnam.  (He wanted me to go to Annapolis, but I balked, and joined the civilian world much to my detriment, but I digress...)  His best friend was a Marine, and I've known Marines my whole life.  I've always loved them, and they've always been good to me.  There are times I couldn't have survived had it not been for a well-intentioned, enterprising young lance corporal.  I love them, and I always will.  (No love for the Core, but I care about those boys -- and girls, 'cuz there are a few BAMs out there...)

How could you?  These boys are on the edge, tweaking and high on heroin and homeless, sometimes selling their bodies after several tours.  Then they have to see that?  Fuck you sonsabitches.  Fuck you.  Those boys are my friends and I swear to god, if you try even a fraction with them of what you tried with me, I will seek you out, find you, and fuck your shit up for good.  Don't you ever dare fuck with them.  They are good men in pain, and I won't let you hurt them.  I am for real.  Call the local judge in the 415 if you want, go ahead -- tell them I threatened you.  It doesn't matter.  Karma actually exists, and you will get what's coming to you for hurting those boys.  There's nowhere to run to escape the consequences of what you've done.  Despair, if you've got the fucking brains to think that far ahead...

From Great Moments In Cinema

Charlie Chaplin's speech at the end of the film, "The Great Dictator":

"I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

"Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

"The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

"To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

"Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

"In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: 'the Kingdom of God is within man' - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

"Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

"Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!"

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Latest (And If I Had My Say, the Last) Straw

But then, when have I ever had my say?

Oh, right.

Here we go again.  What a sad, terrifying (but is it still mystifying, in 2016?) story.

Of course, if it had happened in San Francisco, the article in the SFGate wouldn't have come out until it could cite a fig-leaf toxicology report from the City's creepy ME at General, cover for the cops, and downplay or neglect to mention the victim's poor grandmother, who also died in a hail of gunfire.

They're lucky I wasn't there, or I probably would have pulled another mean Dark Phoenix number (with of course the little leg up from my usual lovely, anonymous assistants -- always grateful for you guys out there), twisting their porky, hair-trigger asses all over the place.

Goddamn them.  He was just a kid.  And his grandmother!

I don't blame so many people for being afraid to ask for help...

On The Role of Fear

"Now, fear is not always an unskillful emotion. I've had many psychotherapists talk to me about this. They're curious about the fact that when the Buddha lists the roots of unskillful behavior, there's greed, aversion, delusion - or passion, aversion, and delusion. Where's the fear? For so many of them, fear is *the* unskillful emotion. Well, that’s not necessarily the case. Actually, there are some good things to be afraid of.

"Be afraid that you're going to do things unskillfully, be afraid you’re going to act in harmful ways. Be afraid of wasting your time –- the time that could be devoted to developing the mind. Those kinds of fears come under what the Buddha calls ottappa -- compunction or fear of wrong-doing. There's also the fear that comes with heedfulness: realizing that there are dangers out there and dangers in your own mind, and you've got to do something about them.

"So fear isn't always unskillful. It's when the fear gets mixed up with the greed or aversion or delusion: that's when you got a problem." - Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Nurturing Your Inner Adult"

To paraphrase Pema Chodron, to feel fear means you are approaching the truth.  (Not always true, but usually.)

She's also said that "Everything you want is on the other side of fear."  I think that was her -- I don't feel like looking it up.  But again, often true.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab

That boy is so fine, he can blow me up with his babies.

(What?  I love America.  It's just that I'm ruled by courage, not by fear...)

Old Beach Haven Ain't My Home

The old bolsheviks admonished us to kill all the landlords, but in my opinion (one echoing the experiences of Woodie Guthrie), low-income housing profiteers are the worst.  It's ugliest in the middle echelons. #TNDC.

What The Yamabushi Told Ippen At Kumano

"Hijiri spreading the nembutsu of interpenetration, why do you go about it mistakenly? It is not through your

propagation that sentient beings come to attain birth. In Amida Buddha's perfect enlightenment ten kalpas 

ago the birth of all sentient beings was decisively settled in Namu-amida-butsu. Distribute your fuda 

regardless of whether people have faith or not, and without discriminating between the pure and the impure." 

NO ABODE, translated by Dennis Hirota, page xxxv

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Classified Ultra!

It's heartbreaking and disappointing to find out that the CIA operatives in charge of your case have been assigned to the Narnia division, and are therefore accessible only through a wardrobe...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Reno Screamer

I can't be the only one who's fed up with stories of cops shooting naked, unarmed, fucked-up people in public.  It's 2016 and this shit is still going on!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mi Fuego

Mi fuego es muy sabroso y muy picante y muy precioso.  Ay, papi, china mi culo!

(Shout out to all mis amigos on Landers.  Keep pushing those shards, vato!)

A Reflection On What May Still Be Going On

God, that program sucked.  It really fucked up a lot of good crazy people (and not a few normal, employed, and well-adjusted people) in the Tenderloin.  I haven't been in it for over a year now, but it's still fresh in my memory.  We were all fighting for ourselves, but of course, we're human -- we were also doing our best to fight for each other.  A woman speeding by on her Hoveround in the other direction yelled at them to get off me.  Some nice schizophrenic yelled angrily on my behalf at the people on me.  And I for my part devastated with an untraceable twist of the knife those assholes that so many women on the street cry about and accuse of mind-rape. (Glad, by the way, that I could do my part.)  Really, how could it have happened?  Yet it did.

Personally, I think the worst for me was the temporarily successful assault on mirth itself.  That really killed something in me for a moment there.  But it seemed like most people were pissed off about the attacks on natural sexuality.  "Don't mess with the deed!" some brave ex-convict yelled on Eddy Street, and I was with him.  I mean, hosing down poor people who are coupling?  That's pretty fucking ugly, and somebody needs to pay hard for that.

(An aside:  I know a lot of people thought I was the most put-upon, worst hurt by that shitty situation, but I assure you all that I'm tough, and if anyone can take the hits, I can.  Anyway, I survived -- there a those who didn't.  It was deadly in some cases.)

I've got to say, the anti-sexual components of that evil program had a real-world effect that violated everything good and right in a person.  I remember going to Steamworks in Berkeley, getting messed with, and trying to watch those "Active Duty" videos on the computer.  The porn made me overwhelmingly sad and depressed, and I blame that weird, sociopath-administrated (though I don't blame Frankie -- he wouldn't have done it on his own), wasteful, and poorly thought-out psychic torture.

The pornography is inherently fun.  This dude who goes by "Dink" invites good-looking Marines and soldiers over to drink beer, smoke some meth, and fuck each other on camera (while he does rather unfortunate but ignorable monotone voice-overs and direction.)  Those videos are very popular in the gay world.

But that night, I looked at the fine-ass grunts and watched their dorky, hot antics, and all I could feel was this crippling sense of grief.  Boy, that program is fucked up.

(Sorry if I outed any of you retarded jarheads.  I fucking love you guys, but in recent years you're always pulling that shit where you flirt and don't follow through -- I owe you one lol.)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

I don't know -- let's call the Nazis.

Seriously, though:  there are many times over the last six or so years I realized I was *the* problem.  That really sucked, because I've always opted for conciliation over confrontation, and I've never been the one to cause a scene.  I loathe drama, and would never want to be the center of it.  But then, it's never been about me, has it?  That was made abundantly clear by folks in the 'hood where I live, when I asked.  It's about the people causing a scene.  Now, a lot of that noise came from well-intentioned, paranoid tweakers who kept saying, "Yes!  I knew it!"  But still...

The fact remains that for some, I was a problem.

I know who you are because it was I who was the problem, and I know myself quite intimately.

What I've always said is this:  apportioning blame never solves a problem, but defining it often does.

So what kind of problem do I represent?  It's rather simple, and as my neighbors in the Tenderloin averred (granted, they were mostly ignant niggas -- but not all) my meth use was not the problem.  My thoughts were not really the problem.  Okay, so my words and deeds were a little more problematic, but they should have brought more ruin on me than those who chose to set themselves against me, but I digress...

This is the problem I represent, in a paragraph:  I'm a highly intelligent, articulate, good person (by all estimations) who is poor and disenfranchised.  That is very dangerous to some people, and whose to say those very people didn't discover me?  My grandmother was a COINTELPRO subject (who dealt with harassment from the FBI in a far more manly manner than I handled harassment -- I pretty much at my worst did the "hot bitch from the 70s" routine where I shrunk up against the wall, recoiling in my anticipation of "their" killing me.  My grandmother was much more steely against J. Edgar Hoover and the Unamerican Activities people), and I was scouted out by an agency -- soon to be named -- when I was a pre-pubescent high-IQ rebellious fag.  Good getting the drop on me, but where are we know with making me ridiculous or co-opting me?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dignified Responses

When I was subject to whatever that program was during the last few years since 2009, one of the explicitly spoken imperatives was to me, for me to "be a man about things."  My response?  "Does that mean to shirk, complain and whine?"  It took a while, but I stopped hearing that one...

I Blame Barack Obama...

...For everything that embarrasses me or mortifies me in my quest for attention.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Great resources from a great teacher -- food for thought (and of course, non-thought) on your path to enlightenment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Who Didn't See This Coming

I've said it before:  if you're on welfare, that's pretty damn rough, and I don't begrudge you any drugs you want to do.  Besides, nobody proposing the drug testing of welfare recipients has a fucking clue about behavioral healthcare, addiction, or the root causes of poverty.

Anyway, cocaine is a helluva drug...

The Enemy Within

The external enemy can be deadly, but the enemy within is even more dangerous.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Reversal of Fortune

I'll do what I can to effect this.  If we ignore the money, what I've left is a social life in which I've earned a lot of respect and love and kindness.  Earned, from people who are naturally respectful and loving and kind.
Anyway, I'm very happy with my lot, and it's enviable, if you don't mind going without...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tough Teachings To Ease The Mind

"You can’t go preventing pleasure and pain, you can’t keep the mind from labeling things and forming thoughts, but you can put these things to a new use. If the mind labels a pain, saying, “I hurt,” you have to examine the label carefully, contemplate it until you see that it’s wrong: the pain isn’t really yours. It’s simply a sensation that arises and passes away, that’s all." - Upasika Kee Nanayon

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Six Years-Long X-Files Episode

When considering the rather unsettling, sometimes bitterly funny and often tragic, apparently supernatural events that have been occurring over the last six years (particularly in the vicinity of San Francisco, California), I would remind people of that old Hanna Barbara cartoon from the 80s, SCOOBY DOO.  In it, the moral of the story was the same every episode:  no matter how scary and overwhelming the monster, ghost or demon seemed, it always turned out to be a human in the end -- a frail, flawed, understandable person who "would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids."

Who wants to be a meddling kid with me?  (Jinkies, I lost my glasses!)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Fighting Evil

Issue one:  I have a rather scathing and witty opinion of that element of program that uses the social stigma attached to HIV in order to induce those who are positive (and often good people) to commit suicide by stopping their treatment.  I know of two specific cases in which this happened, and it was attempted with me.  I prevailed, but others have not been as lucky -- maybe they weren't smart enough fast enough to think their way out of it (which is really all you need to beat it), but nobody deserves that treatment.  My only solution is remembering that old '80s phrase:  "Silence = Death."  Communication saves lives, so people should not fall for the suggestion that being quiet is necessary.  People can try to punish others for opening up and being honest, but we can't let intimidation work.

Issue two:  There is a subculture in the medical community that enjoys certain indulgences.  Their tastes in pleasure is vile and disgusting (you can usually tell who they are because they have certain inchoate opinions on "pleasure-seeking" and have other just as inchoate opinions on the medical usefulness of inducing or refusing to alleviate pain -- they have lessons to teach, and high-handedly set themselves above patients.)  There's still sort of a secret war going on among doctors and nurses:  those who subscribe to the aforementioned modes of thought and those who are not twisted.  I've done my best to observe, report, and fight, but this battle leaves me mostly on the sidelines.  It's nice to see that there's some progress being made, but it's an ongoing battle.

Issue three:  In my life I've had the displeasure of encountering that element in society which preys upon anyone who is socially isolated (usually drugs or alcohol are involved.)  That element has the nerve to attempt to get victims to blame themselves.  This element is composed of emotional vampires who often take advantage of the inebriated.  A (pyrrhic) victory occured in my case when I was targeted, though sober and socially well-connected.  I'm glad I got my licks in, and it was nice to see a really ugly side of humanity have to withdraw and lick its collective wounds.  Score one for the good guys.