How Police With Grenade Launchers Makes Us a Better America

well protected protector

As tax-paying property owners who love America primarily for its ability to deliver security to the landed gentry, we were reassured in the aftermath of Ferguson to see that law and order would be maintained properly, with military-grade weaponry. Because when citizens congregate in large (and potentially unruly groups) to shout and wave signs they often resemble invading armies and should be treated with commensurate shows of force.

Recently released audit reports suggest that hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in used Defense Department equipment were donated to local police forces in every region of our vast democracy. After keeping America safe from terrorists in Yemen, the sophisticated gear is now keeping us safe(r) at home.

Our city’s school district, the LAUSD, received three grenade launchers through the federal program. Whether or not this addition to the teaching arsenal will raise test scores remains to be seen. But it’s a terrific first step in keeping . . . → Read More: How Police With Grenade Launchers Makes Us a Better America

We Didn’t Know

the good life

If, like us, you don’t watch much television and, therefore, effectively shield yourself from the indignities of all the marketing/messaging/propaganda used to sell products and “lifestyles,” when you come face-to-face with the fire-breathing beast, your ignorance of Basic Ideas might take your breath away.

It did ours. We were forced from our hermetically sealed cave not long ago in search of a small piece of hardware for an art project. While wandering through the Avenues of Commerce, we “watched” a little TV during a short wait for expert assistance. Seldom have we felt so stupid.

Like, we didn’t know that the surest way to earn a woman’s adoration, devotion, and abiding love – the kind of love that can be communicated with one radiant smile – is to present her with a sparkly pebble.

We didn’t know that the most comprehensive health crisis – pandemic levels, it seems — facing . . . → Read More: We Didn’t Know

The Healing Power of Carbon Neutrality

carbonNeutralLogos

Terrific news! We’ve discovered a handgun company, Gang Green Firearms, whose entire product line is certifiably carbon neutral. They have certificates that say so.

Their pistols and automatics do what all other guns do – shoot bullets that kill living creatures – but, even so, you’ve got to admit that a carbon neutral gun has less negative impact on the environment and society than one that contributes greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. You could say that by being carbon neutral, the “bad” product has become “good,” and if not good then at least “acceptable.”

It’s miraculous and wonderful is what it is.

Those who would dismiss this marvelous achievement in handgun carbon neutrality as mere marketing propaganda are missing the more important point: Sure, it’s marketing, but at least it’s true!

We can all agree that any corporate product that is harmful to society, any corporate product that diminishes social . . . → Read More: The Healing Power of Carbon Neutrality

The Nuclear Option

expression our our large penises

Now’s the perfect time to assess our nuclear option. (We would have said “re-assess,” but for most of us a critical assessment hasn’t ever happened.) Now’s the time to make a big change. A series of scandals involving our nuclear weapons force has spurred leading war-makers, like Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel, to call for an overhaul, one that will cost, for now, an estimated $12 billion. The Strangelovian details of the scandals — a maintenance wrench required for fastening warheads to missiles was FedExed between three bases, because there was only one wrench — the absurd folly of how we handle the most dangerous items on Earth served as catalytic alarm, apparently, because now it’s been decided we’re going handle our nuclear arms the right way. We’re going to polish them up and guard them with the best watchers money can buy.

And then they’re going to do what . . . → Read More: The Nuclear Option

Revolutionary Words

Rev2_jpg

“Revolutionary Words.” Sounds intriguing, and possibly…violent?

Not that kind of revolution. We’re talking about the bloodless kind, the mind revolution, each individual looking deep and changing the one and only person he/she/we are able: ourselves, one at a time. “Revolutionary Words” are those that dare to speak the truth out loud. “Revolutionary Words” are those that refuse to accept the status quo just because that’s the way it’s always been. “Revolutionary Words” are those that question the basic assumptions our society and our lives are built upon.

Practically speaking, “Revolutionary Words” is a new Social Justice Open Mic that I’m curating under my stage persona, MK Punky. We’re looking for poets and prophets to join us in a kind and nurturing space, Elderberries Community Justice Café, where some sensational spoken word artists seen often at Da Poetry Lounge will demonstrate that the Consciousness Revolution is well underway.

We hope one . . . → Read More: Revolutionary Words

Voter Guide for the Lazy and Disgusted

LA County Supervisors Buffet

If a candidate pledged to legalize drugs and prostitution, end imprisonment of all but the violent, rig the financial system to operate in reverse (making the rich get poorer and the poor get richer), slash military spending by at least 50% and then repatriate all the brave men and women currently stationed overseas protecting American business interests, quit the fossil fuel model, institute national healthcare, and guarantee a free and useful education to all citizens – then we might be able to get it up for voting on November 4.

Alas, only one Party seems to be fielding candidates in this week’s elections. The Money Party has already won. Again. It’s over. The game is finished, now and forever – or until we collectively decide that our elections ought to be about something other than the expression of monetary power (like, for instance, the will of the people).

Even ol’ . . . → Read More: Voter Guide for the Lazy and Disgusted

Poem: A Good Education

MJ Auditorium at Gardner

At the Middle School two driveways down the street,

Hollywood safari vans tote tipsy tourists and King of Pop-culture purists

to contemplate like jurists the Michael Jackson Auditorium, whose much-lauded eponym

was sleek and slim, and boyishly indiscreet.

At this school, Russian parents take parking spots and umbrage,

when their children start to bleat

about the Czech (or Slovak?) wreck teaching home ec with no respect for Moscow discotheques, who expects to check classwork bereft of facts about the colossal crime in Crimea carried out by the usual suspects.

To my American neighbors, it sounds like the indirect vivisection of Vladimir Putin’s next election. Dollars and cents, rubles and shekels.

Garbage cans moved. Emotions operatic. Blissful harmony, discordant static.

Who’s more entitled, the white men born between borders or the white men with connections to the Kremlin? No one’s starving. No one drives a Gremlin.

When the SUVs and minivans . . . → Read More: Poem: A Good Education

Deluded Warriors

whose propaganda is it anyway

Isn’t it hilarious how those crazy Islamic terrorists brainwash young recruits, transforming them from disillusioned urchins with no hope of bettering their miserable life into heartless suicide bombers doing “God’s work”? The boys are promised martyrdom and dozens of virgin lovers waiting for them in the hereafter. By killing as many of the enemy as possible when they explode, the pitifully bamboozled jihadis believe that they’re leaving this world better than they found it.

Ridiculous isn’t it?

Conversely, it’s not ridiculous at all to tell similar stories to our brave boys in uniform. The bad guys are dishonorable. Our good guys are honorable – and it’s an unmatched honor to serve your country, whether it costs a leg or a life. You can’t call it brainwashing or propaganda when what you’re feeding your youngsters is the unvarnished truth. That’s why most of us can say we “support the troops” with . . . → Read More: Deluded Warriors

Pavlov’s Dogs

lemur face

On a recent trip to Madagascar in search of wildlife in its natural habitat, we visited the magnificent Andasibe National Park, where a dozen species of lemur monkeys found nowhere else in the world make their home in the forest canopy. Viewing sifaka (“dancing lemurs”) normally seen only in captivity cavorting in the wild, leaping from branch to branch with an athleticism and grace touched by Terpsichore, moved us deeply. We felt reconnected to everything that modern life inexorably cleaves away. The best part was that our education and amusement didn’t come at the expense of another living creature’s freedom. We observed the lemurs — and the chameleons and birds and tree frogs — on their turf, on their terms. We were respectful guests.

One afternoon, however, we were mislead into visiting what had been billed as a conservatorship, a rehabilitation facility for lemurs. The place was called Lemur Island, . . . → Read More: Pavlov’s Dogs

Poem: What’s in There?

kid-with-cellphone2

You could say our addiction to convenience and comfort has been successfully repackaged as the highest end for our brilliant technological means.

Or, you could say that we’re in the grip of a nationwide plague. Of…A.D.D.

Or, you could say we’re simply a country of poorly developed adult minds with the collective attention span of squirrels during mating season.

Or, you could look up, my fellow fool – if you can tear yourself away from the sacred screen.

You’ll see discontented Americans waddling morosely to their cars, wondering why having more of everything hasn’t yet made them happier about anything.

No one smiles at me on the street, anymore. Yeah, that bond has been broken. We can’t look each other in the eye.

Because we’re all face-down in our palms, making marvelous use of the opposable thumbs God gave us and our fellow monkeys. They’re digging for grubs. We’re digging . . . → Read More: Poem: What’s in There?