Thursday, September 29, 2011

Work and Love Problem Solved at Once

Part-time Cashier for Adult Retail Store (Portsmouth)

Date: 2011-09-27, 9:01PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

We are looking for a part time cashier. We only have 2 four hour shifts available at this time so will only consider employed individuals. Reliable transportation a must.
Apply in person only to The Fifth Wheel Adult Super Store, 851 US Rte 1 Bypass.

Would You Let This Man Enter Your Country?

Mama didn't pick me out the best "border crossing" clothes for today. And I guess I had gotten so used to wearing the mushroom cloud t-shirt that I didn't think to change it. The guard mostly cast suspicion on the 239 PU + 238 U equating a mushroom cloud. I didn't get into a debate on this topic but casual research reveals it to be basically true. At least for a T-shirt.
"Most modern nuclear weapons utilize 238U as a "tamper" material (see nuclear weapon design). A tamper which surrounds a fissile core works to reflect neutrons and to add inertia to the compression of the Pu-239 charge. "

But, you know, fuck it. If America stands for anything it is wearing a mushroom cloud on your chest and red, white, and blue suspenders and you got Abe Lincoln in your pocket (like every politician) and I'm not going to be like every other toady who tries to clean up so he doesn't offend the guards. No matter what I wear they're going to go through all my shit. So what is the point? I could wear my Bin Laden headband or a "Reagan for President" Pin and it doesn't matter. I've got LIVE FREE OR DIE on my van, for god's sake. I'm not harmless but I'm not a threat least not in any way that Nathaniel Hale or Paul Revere would disapprove of. Hell, the USA is home of the asshole with a gold-plated opinion and I'm no exception.
After hearing my opinion of Apple Corp. the border guard asked if I thought Steve Jobs was the Anti-christ I said, "No, but Hannah Montana is...and let me tell you why."
I think that was part of the reason Canada denied me entry last year. I went through the same crossing where that pretty Canadian officer was working who tossed me out of the country but she wasn't working this afternoon. Should I wait to say hello and give her roses? hahahaha

The jury is still out on the present condition of America. Since I'm back on American soil I've got
to be extra careful not to get injured because health care is still unresolved.
"What do you do for a living, Mr Bleacher?"
"I'm looking for work in the mushroom cloud industry."
"You've come to the right place. Welcome to America."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Here's an idea for Donny Landry's playhouse structures. A mail coach. Maybe that's already in his menu.


"If you could see me now.
The one who said that he would rather roam
the one who said he'd rather be alone
if you could only see me now."

I always get myself on stage with a guitar in hand and the faces of the audience dimly lit and my mind goes completely blank. What key is that song in? How do I form a D chord? It's not stage fright as much as lack of practice. When you go 15 months between performances, there isn't much chance to get used to being thrust from a freezing van in a strange town, dirty clothes, looming transmission problems, no job, no money, starving, onto a stage of Dick's Jamboree with Leroy and the Boys as a backup band and lots of white haired Canadian heads in front of you. Baffled expressions. They've never seen a man with this much hair wearing a cowboy hat.

"Good evening," I say. "My name is Oggy."
polite applause
"Thank you."
deadly silence.

I want the experience and yet I am surprised every time the applause stops and everyone expects me to perform. They have no idea and nor do they care that my very presence on the stage has been an insane performance. No, they want an encore and that's when my mind goes blank. I know songs? What are the lyrics? The chords? Christ, why am on this stage with a guitar? Do these people know I live in a 1969 van with a woodstove? Do they care I'm trying to save the arctic wolf?

That's when Merle Haggard comes to the rescue. All you need to know to get off an running is one chord. D. And one line: "We don't smoke Marijuana in Muskogee..."
That's my do or die "emergency song". And by the end of that line the audience was mine and I remembered what the hell I was doing. After the set I was signing autographs. "I absolutely loved your voice." which wasn't hard to believe after listening to the performers I followed who had Loretta Lynn and Charley Pride turning over in their graves.

I again cursed the lack of film crew that would enable me to really put on the Oggy show with bellbottoms and wolf slide show. I even wrote an alternate version of "Bangladesh" by George Harrison that would be perfect as a spoof song for these jamborees.
"Arctic wolf. arctic wolf
the climate is changing and his world will go poof
we're killing him for no reason our crime is a sin
don't let apple and hannah montana win!"

But no, I have to stick with real songs and have everyone shake my hand. The point is to get thrown out of the jamboree. That's what makes good drama but none of if would be on camera since I've asked a person politely to hold the camera for me and it's the first thing that would get dropped when I call everyone a wolf killer.
It's hopeless and I'm going to work at Jiffy Lube.
"How may I help you? Oil change? We've got a special on transmission flushes this week...synthetic oil? No problem."
I'll post those videos and watch my readership drop to zero. We get what we deserve.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wolf Cry

Due to CIA sabotage, I just lost the text to a long essay I wrote to sum up this wolf howl but I'll attempt to reconstruct it.

First, I opened with a question: does it do any good to donate money toWildlife defenders and other non-profit groups who basically use money to enable them to live and operate while lobbying Congress to enforce wolf-friendly laws. This seems futile to me. Firstly, because the wolves are last on the food chain of this money and their extinction from North America is about as likely to be reversed as everyone putting recyclables in the right bucket.

I compared this to the lobster relocation program in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, where lobsters are being moved out of the path of a harbour dredger...and relocated to safe spots...where native lobster fishermen are picking them right back out of the water. Canada has a long history of relocating people, communities, houses, moose, caribou, salmon, Indians, Eskimos, and now lobsters. If it sounds crazy it is because it is crazy and sounds good on paper alone.
"The lobsters are in the way of the harbour dredge."
"Let's move the lobsters."

This led me to compare the futility of everything to the fossil cliffs which are 300 million years old. Joggins fossil cliffs is on the Bay of Fundy and the 50 ft. tide almost swallowed me up as I fled through the tidal marsh. It was also humbling because 300 million equals 25 trillion high tides...all of which made the stratigraphy you see here. This isn't that rare but in 1800 when Charles Lyell went hunting for exposed rock there were no railroads and no highway throughcuts and no industrial machinery so it had to be natural. Each tiny 2 cm layer of sandstone being the work of many thousands of years as the weight of multiple glacial epochs compacts the sand eroded from huge mountains. Add some plate shifting and buckling of the terrane and some microsaurs who died cowering inside tree trunks and you have a UNESCO site where fossil hounds go to see old lizard legs.
Somewhere in there I casually said that the ocean was slowly becoming too polluted to support life, and it would eventually shift to a deadly level of acidity and then the condoms and discarded balloons and detergent containers that drift in huge areas would become encased in volcanic ash as the temperature turns furnace-hot and only cold-blooded animals could survive by hibernating in mud.

Ah, I had not reached my concluding statement, which, if the CIA will not delete my post, is this:
Ethics is like air in a balloon; it is obvious that it is there until you pop the balloon to make sure. Then the balloon is empty and you feel cheated. Was there any there to begin with?
Why are we obligated to accommodate the wolf and cousins of the wolf? It makes no sense. The wolf would not accommodate us if he were to dominate the land. Coming upon the wasted Oggy corpse, a wolf would not take the skull and put it on a wooden stake and announce "This land is sacred. We need to introduce other Oggy-like creatures." No, the wolf has no codependent inclinations. But the wolf does not hunt arctic hares and mice into extinction. There is a balance and I think the balance comes from the absence of Apple and Disney marketing campaigns. See, the propaganda tactics used since 1900 to deceive and control the masses are currently at their most effective summit.
It's a two-front war of ideological control: 1. Confuse and Amuse . People should be entertained by dancing fat people. Their gadgets should be a source on non-stop grief.
2. Values should be taught by fake people on screens. When in doubt, simply tell people what they should think.

So, I don't necessarily blame anyone for believing the lies. We're like the Lollipop kids
They were born into captivity and didn't know what to believe. Someone told them the Wizard was powerful and the witch was evil. I don't think any of that was true but when you are born in captivity then you don't have much to go on.
Maybe that is it. We are all born into captivity, like the wolves in the zoo. They think the train is a tone deaf cousin of theirs and they are trying to teach him to howl correctly. Years of this futile effort has not stopped them from trying.

It relates to how we raise kids. Mostly, I watch parents try to teach their kids not to waste, to eat their food, not to hit, to ask nicely, to be polite. And all this basically ends up being subverted by Apple and Disney. Marketing executives have whole seminars on "How to get children to whine more effectively." And these are smart people and they'll have your kids undivided attention for much longer than you they win. They tell your kid they are born into captivity and the witch is evil and the wizard is powerful. None of this is true, but they will win by sheer perseverance and effective campaigning. McDonalds and Tim Horton sell food that is absolutely disgusting but people flock to them. Cigarettes cause cancer but people smoke. Does the best President always get elected?
So, I think western culture is, in its nature, one of Lollipop Kids and flash frozen chicken flavored wheat patties stuffed in a pretty package. I resent it. I don't want to be a Lollipop Kid.
And what hope is there for the wolf in that environment? None. Like trying to ride your bicycle in a car dominated city. It's pointless.
The wolf has been a device these past few years to explore and deconstruct the Lollipop Kid paradigm because to discuss the arctic wolf is not in the Lollipop Kid's vocabulary. And once you learn to discuss the arctic wolf then you are no longer a Lollipop Kid. That's my theory, at least. For the most part everyone has failed. The gravity of Disney and Reality television and Walmart is stronger than the gravity of the arctic wolf and Oggy's quest to find him. And that's a statement about pop culture's grip on the intellect of America. Obviously, we would not support a criminally imperialist government if we were a peace loving folk. These are lies we tell ourselves so we can rest before the anti-depressant wears off and the sleeping pill kicks in. Or, more accurately, those are the lies Apple whispers to us in our sleep, to tell ourselves later on...

I try to rectify the abuse of resources and think, "It's all for the advancement of human comfort..." but then I see the supermarkets placed so far out of reach and the trucking of frivolous dog toys and disposable automobiles. Where does that fit in? Nowhere. It's pure marketing for profit. Short term goal. Buy low, sell high. But if that's true then only a tiny fraction of the resources are being used to further the effort to find alternative energy sources. And since it's a race against time then the critical energy sources we are wasting now, the lizard lips and Jurassic cactus coal, will be needed later...and won't be there...which means none of this has any grand plan at all. And that leads me back to the Lollipop Kids.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Sexy Chicken Manifesto

Here is a prime time version of the legendary Sexy Chicken Manifesto.
You can view it in full screen by hunting and pecking that arrow icon on the lower right corner of the screen.

The subsequent versions of this will probably appear on current tv, a web site devoted to frivolous videos. It's a minor miracle that the footage I captured on St. Patrick's Day was enough to edit anything coherent. In fact, this video is the only coherent thing produced by that day. Everything else is a dizzy blur. The lame thing about this is the resolution is bad. There's nothing I can do about that.
Fortunately, Ken's and my instincts were enough to get by and a few hours slicing off my camera goofs and bloopers (there might be a blooper reel if I'm motivated) was enough to mine the two hours worth of footage for 9 minutes of meaningful discourse on chickens.
If it weren't for the cool-headed chicken farmer and his audible and enunciated narrative this would not have worked. My own natural voice is incoherent except when I perform little skits. It took a lot of tiny slicing on the audio to remove most traces of my voice.
Experience is the best way to get experience. You can't talk about making movies or dream about it. You have to find a way to make it. I felt this project had value, that the resulting video would be "Great" but when I was filming it I had serious doubts deadened by vodka and orange juice. Not only would the video not be great it wouldn't even get finished. Then the tape sat in the camera for two weeks because I had no way to put it on my computer. When I finally got the right firewire card my computer was too slow to edit the footage. But persistence paid off.
I remember seeing pictures of Ken's chickens last year and thinking I'd like to make some kind of visual tribute to those chickens. Partly to give myself a goal and partly because I think the chicken holds the key to reconnecting with our natural habitat. Give me Toyota's marketing budget and I would put a chicken coop in every backyard.
here's the video again from the blogger upload. there's no full screen option so I've demoted it down here.

Now for the daily rant:

Morals don't shift but cultural bullies are running an aggressive smear campaign against sustainable living. Reliance on technology is not imperative, unless your wealth is tied to a majority share of Microsoft stock. If it is then you must convince consumers of their relative worthlessness when lacking the latest tech product. If you don't succeed in translating luxuries into necessities then your wealth will wither. Advertising can be recognized by infants as soon as they can focus and become the #1 stimuli in a human's life right down to the logo on the blood thinner you're taking in your death bed. That's no accident. The smartest, most driven people in the world understand that in order for wealth to be controlled people's images of themselves must be controlled and what you see on television is an attack on self determination. Now that tech products have actually become necessities the leash is getting shorter. If you are like me then you are surrounded by copper wires that snake through your life in black and white tangled nests. Who invited them here?
It's not the government's job to censor the tsunami of information. The Puritans had a new continent to escape to. We don't have that luxury so our defenses will have to be within our own minds.
I believe individual people are intuitively smart and economical. But cultures can easily run amok like ours has done. The only way to turn it around is to think for yourself. Long live the chicken!

Sexy Chicken Manifesto

I've attempted this before, a manifesto to organize my theory on human interaction. I have several manifestos in journals that should be sealed until I die. But my latest video project I've considered calling "Chickens are Sexy" has me seeing things more clearly, my role as a counterculture revolutionary. You can either go along or you can resist. But if you resist with a half-baked idea of what you are doing then you might as well get a job a Starbucks. But since survival is so difficult no one has a clear idea of what it means to seriously revolt against board room manufactured culture. There is no time to break it all down. But I took the time and I think I'm ready to publish my manifesto on this topic.

It came to me as I told Claire for the third time that "Chickens are not the subject of my documentary. They are the stars. The topic is Native Culture Sublimation."
I kept trying to explain myself because every time I mentioned it I sounded, as Claire said, "Insane."
Am I insane? I don't think so. But my sexy chicken documentary is central to my goal and I decided that I need a manual to follow. But there is no manual so I will need to write a manual: The Sexy Chicken Manifesto/Manual. It's a mouthful, I know.

See, I've studied the methods of the prevailing culture. I see the brainwashing that has to start early...almost at birth. Tyson Food, Disney, Toyota...THEY CAN NOT AFFORD TO LET YOU THINK FOR YOURSELF. THEY WILL GET INTO YOUR BRAIN. They also have billions of dollars to do it. But their methods are what I've studied and it's basic propaganda, a manipulation of priorities until their priorities appear to BE YOUR ONLY CHOICE. So you choose between a Camry and a Corrolla. It's liberating! Toyota-thon (like a pledge drive for cancer research) A Hannah Montana doll has a choice of outfits. Awesome! I get to choose between fish sticks and chicken sticks? Which do I want tonight??

Really, the board room giants are children with drug habits and call girls on speed dial and acne on their ass and pit stains on their blouses. But do I need to attack them? No. That's the easy path. Their biggest fear is that someone will come along who is better at every facet of their brainwashing methods and will beat them at their own game. Hackers and open shareware software programmers do this all the time. Look up the history of Apache server. Written by guys in their spare time it blew away everything to the point it is the #1 HTTP server and the internet owes a great debt to the developers. I love the story of a Windows exec trying to figure out what his programmers were using and it all came down to,
"It's just a free server."
"But did you buy it?"
"No. You just download it."
"Who wrote it?"
"Anyone can write it or improve it. It's open source."
The guy looked around at his gigantic office of overpaid programmers and must've felt like an ant under a microscope. I think that anecdote was in a book called The Earth is Flat. Fact-checkers get to work!

Anyway, my goal with the Sexy Chicken Manifesto/Manual is to supplant dominant cultural dialogue with my own. That's the only way to stick it to The Man. You can not fight The Man, you just have to outsell The Man. Can I outsell The Man? I think so. My product is not counterculture, it is sexy chickens. Are chickens sexy? Yes. Very sexy. Will I employ sex to market chickens? Yes, I will. Not chickens having sex or people having sex with chickens but definitely sexual images, a tender breast, a long red fleshy waddle, talons clipped just so from digging for worms. And those wings~! So fucking delicious and erotic!
I mention this because what I will be asking people to do for a few days is to be filmed saying, "Chickens are Sexy." This mantra (people are so easily influenced) will become a battle cry of the next revolution. Did anyone catch that Starbucks marketing campaign where the entire world could sing All You Need Is Love? This is a very good campaign. The marketing strategists at Starbucks are earning their money.

The Manifesto/Manual may take some time to publish but the chapters I have under development are as follows:

Hannah Montana: The Whore of Disneyland
We Were All Eggs Once. (Except Steve Jobs...He Was Protoplasm)
LIVE Is EVIL Spelled Backwards
Charlie Manson Baked Good Organic Bread
Repeat After Me: Chickens Are Sexy
How To Play Harmonica

There will be a disclaimer at the start of the manual that says, "For entertainment purposes only." which is funny because if I do it right then it will slowly erode all previous definitions of acceptable culture.


That's no hoax. That's an Arctic Wolf I found at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park (zoo). I was trying to figure out how to climb the fence to get in there when in the distance a train whistled. This caused the gray wolves in the next pen to howl The chain reaction caused the Arctic Wolf to whine a little and then howl too in response to the train. They were born and raised in captivity yet retain this elemental assembly call. Somewhere out there, they suspect, are others of their kind living different lives and their howl summed up their mournfulness. Or maybe that is me projecting my own wishes onto them.
The few visitors stopped to listen, holding their breath. The howl means something to everyone and its echo is in danger of being lost or at most it will merely answer the call of the log train rolling into Halifax.
Then a loud child came along wearing a Toy Story t-shirt and dirty baseball cap. He pointed.
"Wook at the fox, mommy! Wook at the white fox!"
"It's a wolf," I said under my breath, a tear for the future rolling down my hollow cheeks. "It's an Arctic Wolf."

Not A Pretty Sight

After I saw this picture I broke open the "Emergency" can of beef soup. And I didn't only eat half of it like I usually do. I ate the whole can. And in an attempt to put some flank on that ham I made up some noodles and ate those too.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cider House Rules

I was really holding out hope to complete the film reenactment trifecta of "Shawshank Redemption" "Into The Wild" and finally "Cider House Rules.

I thought it was going to happen when the guitarist from the Ceilidh told me that a farm down the road was hiring bean pickers. Yes! I would get to work with Jamaicans and learn the hard facts of life...just like Tobey Mcguire's character in Cider House Rules. What a triumph that would be.

To recap: I spent a winter in a decrepit boarding house in New England where the remains of cement workers and junkies and depressed ex-cons go to die. Oh, what fun I had feeling sorry for myself. I look back on those days with real nostalgia, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and playing penny poker of a three card variety. Getting drunk and falling up the stairs, going to the local bar and dancing with the divorced sheet metal workers and medical product assemblers. I didn't go so far as tie a rope around an exposed rafter only because there were no exposed rafters. My room looked out over the frozen river. I had become Brooks minus the long years in jail.

The lessons from that experience are still percolating in my brewery as the black goat of my demise climbs the crooked staircase to the narrow precipice of self-loathing. Raise your hand if you ever lived with a terminally diabetic balloon magician.

I escaped the Laconia boarding house and cream always rises to the top, so they say, and I found some work in the semiconductor field, which was boring as hell and taught me nothing.

As for the Into The Wild story, I have been cursed by not only a physical likeness to a Christopher McCandless (wiry, bearded, athletic) and a temperamental, reclusive, anti-social, misanthropic, resentful side that he had around some people (family) and an effervescent, spontaneous, devil-may-care, come-what-may, life is an adventure attitude around other people (indifferent strangers) BUT I also went to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1989 with the official goal to take classes at the university but really I wanted to homestead and pan gold. I failed in this goal that year because of circumstances that will be investigated upon my death, but returned in the late summer of 1992* after convincing myself (during a transcontinental bicycle trip) that I had ghosts or "demons" to vanquish by completing a pilgrimage to Fairbanks. That happened to be the same year that McCandless had decided to hitchhike to Alaska to live off the land in Denali National Park. On the trip to Fairbanks (I hitchhiked too) I was involved in adventures too numerous to name, the two major ones being (in abridged form) picked up by a drunk Innu Indian and his beaten English wife as we swerved through British Colombia to an Indian reservation where we went to a cowboy bar and subsequently insulted (or were insulted) to the point that we left, the Indian broke into a house as I drunkenly allowed him to stand on my shoulders crashing through a broken window into the kitchen to steal various effects that he said "Belonged to him" and then racing away with me driving with one eye closed and all his belongings in a trailer that bounced and clunked down the dusty Alaskan Highway into the dim light of the Northern Night. Then followed a showdown between he and I as his verbal abuse of his wife had become intolerable. He wielded a stolen double bladed axe and stared at me.

"Get in the car and drive!" he yelled.

My hands were shaking. I was torn up in ways that still cripple me today, my groin tendons were torn, my collarbones were separated, my shoulders were separated. I couldn't stand up straight. I had already paid him gas money and now I couldn't continue to drive. The stars shone their indifference as coyotes and bears wandered the thick woods and mosquitoes buzzed in the air so thick that sometimes you could only see outlines of another person. That evening I could see his hateful native eyes as perfectly as a sepia toned photograph of Geronimo. I can especially recall the grease around his mouth from the moose jerky he had been stuffing in his face for an hour.

I said nothing but grabbed my backpack and my treasured walking stick and turned like some kind of minor character in a Sergio Leone movie and did not walk up or down the highway but walked directly into the woods. Only later did I realize I had left the last crumb of food I owned in the back seat of his rotten station wagon, a bag of chocolate chip cookies that had been given to me hundreds of kilometers earlier by a huge man riding a motorcycle who arrived as in a dream while I slept in the breakdown lane and handed me an apple, water and the cookies (which I'd saved for when I really needed them.)

I believe the very next ride I got was with a man who subsequently drove off a T intersection (as I and a British hitchhiker screamed for him to stop) into a ditch, hopelessly injuring my back and getting the truck totally stuck. The driver robbed several houses and then stole a car with the keys he'd found in a house. The British guy (a busker who played in front of liquor stores for change) went for help while I tried to wave down cars (to escape). A posse was formed, the driver was hunted down after he drove the car into a swamp and captured and locked in a bathroom. He escaped through a window and broke his ankle and was hunted down again. I fled before the law arrived.

So, when I arrived in Fairbanks in July 1992, I could not walk up a flight of stairs or tie my shoes let alone go to the wild like McCandless. I did meet a kid who had claimed to have canoed down the Yukon river killing small game (and eating his dog) and was working at a Sizzler to make money for his next adventure. Together we would sneak into the tallest office building in Fairbanks and take the elevator to the top floor and then sneak through the emergency exit to the roof where we could look south where, even though it was several hundred miles away, Mt. McKinley rose above the tundra. We both wanted to go and live off the land but, as I limped back to the rescue mission, I knew it is easier said than done. The demon's amplified laughter howled in my ears.

I found work as a retail inventory clerk around the time McCandless was starving to death.

Ever since that time the number one comment I get, no matter where in the world I am, is "Have you read that book about that guy who died in a bus in Alaska? What was his name?"

So I have had more opportunities than usual to ponder the similarities.

There is no award for reenacting parts from all these movies but there is a quiet satisfaction in delving deeper into the stories than your casual fan. For instance, I don't think anyone I've talked to about McCandless knows what his deal was. Everyone wants to have an opinion because everyone is assholes but no one has done any of the dirty research and experimentation that would crack the mystery. Missing from the movie and from the book is what was obviously a desire to "start over" to wipe the slate clean. To start from scratch. Start what from scratch, you ask. Start everything from scratch. Why would he want to start everything over from scratch? Because it is all hopelessly fucked up. That rationalization and that alone will land a college graduate in the middle of nowhere with a bag of rice, a rifle and some clothes as he purposefully covers his tracks. The new world will begin HERE and that's where he camps.

Anyway, that's the kind of analysis you have when you actually hitchhike to Alaska opposed to when you read about someone hithhiking to Alaska.

Which brings us to Cider House Rules, the last movie in the trifecta. So, what would picking apples teach me? I don't know, but I wanted to find out and the way to find out is not to watch Cider House Rules or read the book. The way to find out is to go to Nova Scotia, find a farm where Jamaican men pick beans and trim cabbage, get a job where you feed bunnies and give chickens clean shavings and give the alpaca a bit of carrot, work from sunrise to sunset with the Jamaicans, smoke their weed, listen to their jokes, offend them and apologize and embrace the farm life whether it kills you or doesn't. Then you will have your own analysis of Cider House Rules.

But thus far I have been denied. This perfect hat trick of film roles may not be my destiny to fulfill.

I would like to feed the guinea pigs and goats but they do not need me to pick beans. Furthermore, the big operations can not pay cash because they only operate through the bank and the small operations already have enough cash workers.

This farm in Nova Scotia was beautiful, fresh air, clean water, rich vegetables. There is a place that is not hopelessly fucked up and this is it. I don't have to start everything over but it does take work to find a place where Disney's poison has not penetrated and mice are vermin and ducks DON'T SMOKE CIGARS!

*My memory was off by 1 year. I bicycled and then hitchhiked to Alaska in 1993, right around the time the McCandless story was becoming known. In 1992 I was a Merchant Marine.


This was the cultural summit of my trip, a sit down with 10 fiddlers and one pianist and one bodhran player and another guitarist to bash some Scottish Strathsprays and Reels and Marches to death. By that I mean they play them until it becomes a kind of trance that you can't get out of. It has many similarities to drum circles but not as much to bluegrass or western swing where every instrumentalist gets a chance to solo/improvise. No, there's no improvisation in the Ceilidh because it's hard enough keeping pace with the group. It's like playing the first violin part of a 40 minute symphony in 90 seconds. This explains why I never did get any video of the foot stomping reels because I was trying to ignore the pain in my strumming arm as I struggled to keep up. This also explains why I put the camera on the ground trying to capture the essence of the rhythm as folks tapped their feet and succeeded in capturing nothing by shadows and audio.

The chords of the guitar parts are easy enough if I can see them on paper but this wasn't an option as memorization is key to the folk culture. So, a song begins. I establish the key and then try to harmonize the chord to the melody. It's almost always some variation of I,IV,V with a minor ii thrown in. Or else there is a mixolydian progression of V, VI, V, VI, I, V.

The guitarist praised my ear but I am almost tone deaf when it comes to harmonic and melodic dictation. These were my worst subjects in music school. I can analyze things to death but the natural recognition of notes that go up or down always mystifies me. I convince myself that it's e minor when it is simply G major.

This performance was at Rollies bar west of the ferry terminal along the shore in North Sydney. The musicians, by the looks of them (flip flops, tattered shirts), were amatuers...until they started to play. The music store owner who directed me to the bar was correct in saying this is the "Night Out" for the local pros. If I ever sit down with more talented fiddlers in my life it will be a miracle. When they all started trading CDs with some visiting fiddlers from Denmark I knew I was in the right place.

Fortunately, the guitarist and pianist graciously shouted out chords to keep me in the ballpark. "C...G...CGC...D....G....aminor.....CGC! Now the b section. G....G....GDG...."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Long Way From Home

That's what most Canadians say when they walk around my van while I am laying down reading about Geology or playing the guitar.
"Where's it from?"
"Plate says New Hampshire."
"Long way from home."
"I'll say."
"What's that up top?"
"Some kind of exhaust?"
"Must be."
"Not a smoke stack."
"Stove pipe?"
"Looks like it."

Sometimes, if my back muscles are not throbbing in pain, I get up and introduce myself, give them a tour with my rehearsed, "Excuse the mess, I had to fire the maid." line followed by the story of the wood stove. Maybe they are too polite to argue but everyone has been blown away by it. They see it with their own eyes.
"You don't burn wood in there, do you?"
"Naw, it runs on coal."
After the laughter dies I point to a box of cut driftwood.

"Yep, I sort of wanted to see if it could be done and also I really needed a primitive way to heat the van. So this solved both."

"Marge, come look at this. B'ye here installed a wood stove in he van."
"You don't say. Ooooh. Look at that. We'll lard, Jesus."

It happens at least twice a day.

"Where ya from, b'ye?"
"Well, the van is registered in New Hampshire, so that's where I say I'm from. Truth be told, I have no home."

"Looks cozy enough, eh?"

"It's adequate."

And they nod in amazement and walk away. I return to my book or guitar. Speaking of which, I've got some music to play tonight. I'm in Cape Breton Island music country!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Church Recital

Someone sent this to me from my Battle Harbour days. I can't hear what I'm saying because I have no headphones. Can someone explain to me what I'm doing preaching in an Anglican Church on an island in the Labrador sea?

Ah, now I's Kipling's epigraph to Dillon Wallace's "Lure of the Labrador Wild"

Here is a clip from the 10 minute saga "Bound Down For Newfoundland." The reason people don't sing these songs in their entirety is because they take forever. The iphone battery probably drained while I was singing.

Disco Fever

The boogie-down diva in St. Louis bought an old record playing/8 track tape console so I'm on the look out for some Nina Simone records but really, the essential music of the LP era is Disco. Nothing says "1976" like polyester and that funky hustle beat that makes you wanna jump on your girl's rainbow striped tank top and do the freaky deaky until the Colombia gold cocaine runs out. My friend likes to dance and Disco can make anyone a dance hero. And about half the $1 records in any thrift store will be Disco related.

Here, I took a chance on a two volume set of original artists (autographed by Sonny) and a set of Disco covers by Canadian Bands of rock songs from 1977. Those will probably be a mistake. And I threw in a songbook of "Far-Out Flute Solos" because it had some Bacharach songs in easy arrangements. Hidden under there is a piano arrangement of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita because I'm super gay.

Amazingly, while sorting through the old $1 records, I stumbled upon the final piece of my Eighties nostalgia puzzle with a mint condition Xanadu album. (Unplayed, I wonder why?) As you may not know, Xanadu and the thematic concept of a paradise both imaginable yet unreachable, is the underlying force of my novel Memorabilia. Xanadu is featured in a poem by Sam Coleridge.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

Is it just because I'm lonely or does everyone get turned on by the line "But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!"

There's only one thing I think of when I read "deep romantic chasm" or "Pleasure dome"

I would go to right now and satisfy myself but I'm in the library in North Sydney, Nova Scotia. Sigh.

Anyway, my apologies to Coleridge. His intentions were probably never so prurient. So, Xanadu is the brass ring that Oggy tries to reach for in his quest to go back in time to change the outcome of the 1986 World Series. The whole Kubla Khan and magical setting are recreated metaphorically in the Bone Harbour I create with the park by the river when gay men get handjobs and the old stone church where Oggy and Kurt steal money earmarked for an Indian charity and the white fields of winter that cover the green baseball park. Basically, it's an updated version of the poem. I can hear you say, "Oggy, why did you write such a thing? Why did you spend 15 years pondering this puzzle out and inventing a metaphor that no one will ever decipher?" Well, when you are young and full of life you do crazy things... such as write a 700,000 word novel to capture the 1980s decade in the crazed obsessions of one Oggy Bleacher. Needless to say, the book was ahead of its time but can be read here in its unabridged glory.

My point is that Xanadu, the 1980 movie with Olivia Newton John and Gene Kelly's unfortunate last appearance has some pretty catchy tunes and those songs become a kind of unreachable bygone Eden for young Oggy and serve as an inside joke to the whole story. All he wants to do is hear "Xanadu" because that represents his lost youth, the innocence he had before Game 6 of the 1986 World Series taught him the true meaning of heartbreak. And today I stumbled on what has to be one of the few remaining LP records of the soundtrack to that movie in Canada. It's like the wave of 1980 broke and the record washed to the very tip of Nova Scotia but the Cabot Strait was too wide for it to cross and so this is as far as it got. Maybe that's the subject of another novel.

Here is some proper disco songs to make you resent the trashy beats of today. Sometimes good music needs good drugs and early deaths and not skinny chicks like Ke$ha who are packaged like they are druggies but are actually macrobiotic yoga fanatics. Where else but here can you get exposed to Coleridge and Tavares?

P.S. I'm sure the line "When you came, my cup runneth over." refers to wine or something like that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boat Head revisited

No video or pictures of the boat crossing as the curse of Ahab returned with high seas and the 4 dimensional shuffle inside my stomach. I sweated it out in the bathroom watching my breakfast of eggs and oatmeal flushed into the Cabot Strait. I didn't think a huge ferry could roll and tumble thusly but the waves were unrelenting. Over and over I sang, "Does any man know where the love of god goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?" I wasn't alone this time as passengers were stuffing their breakfasts into the vomit bags all over the boat. The heads were full of green faces and glasses were breaking in the kitchen. I was more sick on the trip from Quirpoon to St. Anthony but since that was the sickest I've ever been or even witnessed (the sailboat captain said he'd never seen anyone as sick in his life. I wondered if there was an award. He said no.) But I got my lesson in crocheting to set me on the path toward folk crafting joys.
Ugh, I still feel the water swaying left, right, forward and down. I need a nap. Enough about me. Raise your hand if you are bored?

Look at this job opportunity in Halifax...

Program Admin Officer I-II (Climate Change) Halifax He/she is also expected to be well informed about international developments on climate change, including climate change agreements Canada has negotiated (Copenhagan Accord) or is proposing to negotiate that will have a bearing on provincial interests. Experience related to the creation, analysis and implementation of business plans will also be considered an asset.
Classification Level: PR 6-10

Salary Range: $40,651 - $58,295

And this is my country...
Americans are like a cult of fat, Flat-Earth nutters to the rest of the world.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bon Voyage

The vacuum modulator saga will have to wait for a conclusion. I'm not surprised Canadian Tire failed to get the part to me because I suspect the part never existed in the first place in their warehouse in Montreal or Toronto and some order picker like me wandered out there and started to daydream and skipped that particular box or looked and didn't see it so checked it off his list and pretended he had put it in. Thanks, buddy. Even a week in Corner Brook didn't slow me down long enough to see fall colors. Everything is basically green still with the chill air arriving earlier every day and staying longer every night.

42 years every owner had managed to put the oil filler cap on after adding oil but I broke the chain and I guess it is my destiny to leave a cap of some type in every province. The oil cap bounced through the engine compartment and got kicked around by the fan until I watched it roll away under the van at 40mph, bounce across the highway and get run over by a few trucks (probably full of vacuum modulators). Could it roll to the sand? no. Could it roll to the median? No. Right in the middle of the road where dozens of cars mashed it into a lump. I was so frustrated and resentful, cursing Canadian Tire for causing all my problems that I spent three hours with all my hand tools trying to reshape the oil cap. It was made from good metal and when good metal is mashed then it is hard to reshape it without running it over with a truck, which is what happened. So, I found another use for the copper flashing the chicken farmer gave me.

I've used that stuff for everything from fixing the neutral safety switch to filling holes to patching sides, to making a rim around the speakers and as a brace for my broken ipod, and now as the new oil cap until I can find a junk yard. Yeah, I can hear the sarcastic applause from here.

So, I'm totally spent now of cash and reaching the Ronald Reagan economic solution which is to spend money you don't have. Why not?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hot Water

The mouth of the Humber River on a genuinely nice fall day.

With all this free time on my hands I forced myself to swap out the Mexican thermostat. Was it laziness that made me leave it in there or was it the fact that the van would run and touching anything often leads to more trouble? Well, I knew it wasn't the right thermostat since I was in 115 degree temps when I bought it and today was frosty. Most folks in Mexico leave the thermostat out completely. So, all winter in 2009 Laconia and my failed attempt to cross the border in 2010 were with a thermostat rated for 160 when the correct thermostat is 195. I'd been using a flap of sail tarp to keep it warm but the artificiality of that irked my traditional sentimentality. Amazingly, the van ran but there was no heat and warming it up probably cost me $5 in gas. But, no more. I had the thermostat and the gasket and now I have the time and I kept hearing my buddy Dave say in his Maine accent, "Jesus christ, Paco, I could change the fucking thing in my sleep. Take you five minutes. Now get the fuck out of my garage and keep your dickbeaters off my truck."
He also begged me to install a kitchen. It didn't take five minutes as I ended up finishing with a headlamp and this sunset.

I have no other news to report except that I feel my efforts will soon be rewarded with an arctic wolf encounter.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wonderful Weather

"15 November 1940 Yesterday: Weather here wonderful, awful in England. So only minor air activity over London, by day or night."

"17 March 1941 Yesterday: Roosevelt has made a blustering, shameless speech attacking us. A lacky of the Jews! I have him attacked unmercifully by the press and radio. There is no point in holding back any longer. It only makes the Americans more insolent."

These are excerpts from The Goebbels Diaries, written by Dr. Paul Josef Goebbels, the "Minister for Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment" of Hitler's Germany.*

Why do I share these with you other than to demonstrate that I wander the library here in Corner Brook abusing myself with literature. I think it was the weather comment that gave me pause because it relates in some telescopic way to my theory of the conditioning of the human mind.

The weather here in Corner Brook has been unpleasant for those of us living in vans. The temp dipped to 4 degrees C. The wood stove kept me warm but with no damper it also burned much of my precious wood. The vacuum modulator that was supposed to arrive on Sept 6th is still not here. Casually he says, "Check back Monday." not understanding what that means to me. Why would he? I live in my world and he lives in his. Goebbels lived in his.

My world is Rainy, cold, no air raids, Belgrade is relatively peaceful. The earth has been warming for approximately 18,000 years. Yes, there has been a steep climb in c02 recently and temperatures are climbing but is it possible that would happen with or without V8 vans driving around and coal furnaces burning day and night in China? The glaciers that carved Gros Morne didn't need any help melting for 17,000 years before the coal and petroleum boom started 200 years ago.* I can see how the climate change deniers can think humans are unrelated to planetary climates. We all build our theories and few "follow the evidence" but manipulate the evidence to fit our theory. Goebbels had his own theories and I have my own. I don't mean to justify the holocaust or the "enlightenment" of the German people through the extermination of millions of people but I feel these are all related.

Maybe the answer is inside this yellow greeting card envelope I found stuffed inside the Goebbels diaries as a bookmark. It is unopened and I have a few choices. I can leave it in this book. I can open it and keep it or I can find 17 Edinburgh St and see if the resident is still home or I can drop it in a mail box. It looks to have been stamped on the 8th of december in 2009. (canadian and european dates are day/month/year) and it is a hallmark envelope so it could be a christmas card with hopes of health and prosperity for Stella L. of Corner Brook.

I'll be dropping it unopened into a mailbox. Strangers from America arriving at your door with 3 year old cards from the Ukraine might be too weird and I am, should I remind you, living in my van at a used car parking lot and attention is not what I need right now.

If I were to make a wild stab at a connection between all of these unrelated details I would say that the world is an unpredictable place and that in our effort to make sense of it we will believe in Santa Claus, commit atrocities, enjoy the weather, curse the weather, and place all our hopes and dreams of safe travel in a vacuum modulator that may or may not exist in a crate in a freighter that was rerouted to Lybia. Did I leave anything out?

* This is a dangerously sinister rationalization because it presupposes the inherent value of the earth but then cops out by saying "I'm not doing anything bad so it doesn't matter." But how are poisons in a polar bear's diet justified? Those are definitely our fault and if the above rationalization was made to tentatively admit we would make changes to our lifestyle if, in fact, we were doing harm then look, there is actual harm being done. Maybe not to the planet but to arctic wolves and shrews and harp seals, so what now? I think you can either say "I don't care at all because my immediate happiness and convenience and goals is more important than everything else on the planet." which would put you in the company of Dr. G, or you can say, "What changes can I make to better accommodate the other inhabitants of earth?" I'm not sure there is a gray area on this.

*tasteless trivia: when I posted this a google instant ad came up advertising a better and more efficient furnace.

Old Wounds

Part of my final days at Battle Harbour was spent making frames for wildflowers out of scrap wood and window pane glass. IT was an idea that came to me and I experimented and it came out nice so I gave one to a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at Battle Harbour. Then I gave one to a couple who had been returning to the island for 20 years. Then I gave one to a couple who stayed for two weeks every year. These were VIPs. I made one for the store and I kept one for myself to see what it would look like. I can't seem to find the picture I took of it so here's a drawing. The idea was to rip out a bit of the frame so the two panes of glass would fit in the groove. Then glue the pieces together using pipe clamp. It took a few broken panes of glass to figure out the procedure.
Here's the actual final product before it grew mold spores...

Everything was going good (Step 1-2) until the final frame when my inexperience with table saws caught up with me.

The push stick jammed the blade (step 3-4) and shot back into my hand (Step 5-6), carving out a nice deep gouge that was bad enough but then the piece of wood I was ripping was no longer being pushed so it shot into my stomach (steps 6-8) as fast as a rifle bullet. The aftermath is represented in Step 8.1-9) It all happened in about 1/3 of a second or a blink of an eye or in the perspective of the earth 1280 years.

I had a few things going for me such as my use of the push sticks.

Luck was with me also because the piece I was ripping hit me directly in the middle of my thick leather belt and now I know why vikings and Scottish used leather armor because that was like a heat seaking missile but it barely dented the belt. It knocked the wind out of me and left me bent over (the diagram is a slight exagerration) but no permanent damage. My right hand had to be bandaged for a few days and coupled with my eye inflection and the throbbing tri-toned tinnitus in both my ears and headache and halitosis I was sort of a mess.

I can look back and laugh now because I'm mostly healed. The Tinnitus is worse than ever and if I'm not deaf by 45 it'll be because I'm dead. But I can see and my palm only bears a small scar.

Lesson is to wear gloves and a belt when ripping pieces of wood.

P.S. The flowers all molded inside the picture frame and are probably infecting the receivers with deadly spores as we speak. Mine will have to be completely redone when I get a chance to fix it. The lesson there is to press/dry the flowers for a duration BEFORE putting them in the glass frame.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spinning my Wheels

The low clouds finally surrendered their payload on Corner Brook, choosing the hours of 2 and 3 am to unleash buckets of rain on Oggy's weathered van. I'm no climatologist but I think the dust storms from the drought in the west are the cause of what has been called the wettest summer in Newfoundland history. Rain is h2o collecting around dust more dust in the west equals more rain in the east. I've fought the leaks for months now and can't believe the water is sneaking past an entire cylinder of silicone epoxy. The windows leak and the windshield leaks and the dampness creeps into the bed. I'd had stomach trouble for a few days and this afternoon figured out why. The loaf of manager's special flax bread was as moldy as a witch's fruit salad. Why would I eat moldy bread? Because my evening snack time now arrives in darkness and I've been sticking my hand blindly into the bread bag to get 1/2 a slice to put 1 tbsp of unsweetened peanut butter on it. It tasted ok but ten minutes later my belly was belching like a Hank Williams song. Days went by of this and finally I wanted a half a sandwich during daylight hours. So I pull the chest out of the damp corner it resides in and open it up, resisting the urge to eat a marshmallow, which are rationed now at one per week, and get my bread and...what the hell? Maybe I can tear the mold, it's totally moldy. I've been eating it for days but whatever bacteria has been growing in the flax does not agree with the bacteria fighting for survival in my gut.

Now I'm reluctant to replace the bread. I think crackers will be the better choice. Or maybe eat the peanut butter off the knife and be done with it. DO I need starch?

The rain makes it impossible to play music on the street, which is my alternate plan to put some queen Elizabeth quarters in my pocket. The first plan is to stand near the Kent hardware store, basically a Lowes, and wave my work gloves at passing trucks, which is the universal sign for "Mexican for Hire: I Ask No Question"

I've been trolling the job market in New England and see a job repairing musical instruments and accessories in my future. I waffle on the idea of writing and researching for the World Watch Institute because I see them as basically fund raisers for their own causes but using the WWI moniker as a cloak of legitimacy. I know that any change in paradigm that happens must take place in ones own life first. There are no short cuts and no number of articles talking about cfl lightbulbs is going to change anything. The world will change, as it always has, at the last possible second...after a hurricane wipes the earth clean from Miami to Atlanta, after New York is hit with a Tsunami. Etc. We are a clever animal and the will to survive at all costs is evident.

Dennison said, "In our lifetime there will be millions and millions of people dying in global catastrophes. We will become numb to genocide."

And history would basically support that prediction. With more people alive today the catastrophes will naturally be bigger and our means of anesthetic relief are better today than ever. The 1918 flu epidemic didn't stop the Red Sox from winning the world series that year for the last time in 86 years.

I wonder where that leaves us in the light of the universe? When God is eclipsed by Mickey Mouse dancing to distract us from a police state then are we better off? I think we're getting to the bottom of the human relevance scale and conversely inflating our own importance. Before Copernicus and Galileo, humans and the earth were important. Now that we are scientifically proven to be universally insignificant it has become imperative that we survive. This makes no sense. The nihilist is supposed to be depressed and despondent and drink black coffee and not have kids but the urge to procreate increases in the face of ultimate despair. Are there proportionately as many doomsday prophets today as there were in 300 A.D.?

I think it goes back to the cat in the bag metaphor. Once the cat has escaped the bag, the baby is born, the song is written, the axe thrown, then there is no way to put it all back in place. The world will not wait for the eagle to learn to fly. The eagle must fly or die. It doesn't care that it is endangered. The wolf is extinct from New Foundland. The Great Auk is extinct from the earth. Men are as thick as fleas on a dog's ass. But the philosophical injustice this presents makes no difference because there is hidden in us all a genetic understanding that we're 3 degree F away from a climate so hellish it'll make last summer feel like a stroll through an air conditioned mall. So, we prepare, or in my case, we pontificate and procrastinate. My contributions to society are markedly unwanted and undesired. They aren't even very creative or original. I've been called a "waste of air space" and "vagrant" and I can't defend myself against those accusations. So, what is my motivation to lift myself from my damp makeshift mattress and prepare my van for travel under damp skies and hostile stares of morning commuters on their way to the pulp mill? I sit in a library with thousands of books (that are quickly becoming obsolete and dusty) but I think I can add one more to their ranks. Mutual funds for Canadians. Badges of Canadian Armed Forces. The Menopause Book. Coping with Macular Degeneration. War. Breaking Bad Habits. Where does mine fit in there? Does it matter except to my own delusion that I can complete the great Santa Cruz saga and see it pirated to Singapore?

I'm in a 6 mile holding pattern in Corner Brook from the defacto used car lot to the supermarket parking lot where I use the bathroom and check on my vacuum modulator at Canadian Tire, to the Sir Richard Squires building where the library offers some refuge and view of a single red leaf maple tree that has jumped the gun on its photosynthesis hiatus. Then back to the used car parking lot where the van sits with stove pipe sticking out into the rain like the ugly girl at a bar amid pretty Hondas and Fuel Efficient Toyotas. Maybe I should put a for sale sign on the windshield. Cloud cover is complete and puddles are forming in my wheel wells. I will wait a few more days because the weather has turned sour anyway. I have a bad neck from sitting and typing for too many hours but I've bought a manual on how to crochet and now realize some of the mistakes I've been making with my hats. It turns out that most hats are actually crocheted as flat scarves and then slip-stitched together at the seam and drawn in at the top. This was news to me since all I do is crochet in a spiral until the thing fits on my head. Why is that important? I think it is a matter of self-deception.

The Fast Carnival

"And we laugh like soft, mad children snug in the wooly cotton brains of infancy."

Jim Morrison*

*Ghost Song on The American Prayer album

When Jim Morrison wrote those words he may have been standing on the wooden Santa Cruz boardwalk overlooking the blond beach sands that masquerade as soft luxury to teenage ideals questing for realism behind the Hollywood prop curtain. That curtain fell and rose on Santa Cruz as it fell on Morrison's neon Los Angeles and The Grateful Dead's undulating San Francisco and Lou Reed's cockroach New York, but the Sainted Town of the Cross has more rain than sunshine, little neon and many dying addicts dreaming they are swimming in tropical seas while knee deep in the piss poisoned storm drain gutters. Winter brings fog that lays wet on the blankets of the flower children and falls as rain on the cheap wooden guitars brought to sing the traveler's ode, Me and Bobby McGee, bending the bridges and fingerboards away from weakened carpenter's glue. The weather washes over the stately redwoods and floods the hibiscus-scented, rape-friendly river levees (near where Oggy's drama unfolds) when storm clouds blow even wetter winds through the graying hair of portly street sages, the pot smoke filtering between ravaged and unflossed teeth, through lips that have sucked cock and eaten cunt and spoken profound poetry on both. Morrison's voice has more than a trace of irony at his own ideal of infancy and the tattered ruin that became his own LSD manufactured umbilical cord, employed too late and too often as a lifeline to the Gone Days, the Black and White Days, the 8mm Days before Zapruder and The Fab Four cast their strawberry colored shadow over Haight Ashbury's panhandlers and lesbian meter maids. Did Morrison know his words would find their way to an album, sans his permission, post-mortem, orchestrated by his musical step-brothers? Perhaps Morrison knew too well his own desires were grown up, not childish, but mad, indeed and the laughter was hard, not soft, and, furthermore, the gingham cotton of Patsy Cline had become pin-stripped polyester of Janis Joplin destined for the vintage clothes stores of Seattle and celebrity auctions of Hong Kong. Morrison's words are tinged with regret his tone is nostalgic at too young an age (25) forced, like he himself was, too early from the crib and cradle, too unprepared was he to play the "public man" role for teen gigilo, the mystery lover creeping into the bedrooms of virgin daughters and sticking his tongue down their throats at 33.5 revolutions per minute. He ravaged the mad children and then exposed himself to their parents, mocking their Eisenhower morals with his bourbon induced impotence. Then he sold our virginity back to us in song and left the parents of 1967-1973 to solve their own soap opera-diagnosed marital problems with self-help psychology and divorce. Impregnated through radio waves, the wooly cotton brains were alight with self-deception. The illegitimate children of the rock gods wove their tapestry in paisley and peppermint and cocaine. The youth movement briefly broke free of the corporate Disney-inspired technicolor suburbia Kerouac had failed to prevent and the picket fences were uprooted for magical fairy huts moments before being replaced with chain link while Morrison's own children remained unnamed and forsaken thus completing the infertile cycle. Those fairy huts remained undisturbed in the dark and rainy Santa Cruz forests, waiting for new residents to stumble upon them and take refuge from the snarling search dogs, residents such as the martyred Oggy and his loyal Magdalene, the beautiful Isabelle, both fated for biblical destinies described herein.

Of children (flower children, grown children, counting nickles and thrusting batons on leather lanyards) I have much to describe since the children of the street, the forest nymphs, the beach bunnies dwelling in their virtuous sand castles all play different and compelling roles in my story. It is my intention to detail the causes and effects of the street culture and carnage as I observed it in Santa Cruz circa 1994-1996. A natural history of this time period, a puzzling out of all the factors and features, is called for and it is what I will supply. Different cities or this city in a different time period are no doubt distinct with a myriad of similarities and differences. I make no attempt to compare or contrast different cities or time periods to the focus of my own investigations, thus a comprehensive conclusion may not be reached at this time. However, mad and soft as I am, snug in my own wooly innocence, allow me to haphazard my own conclusions so future astronauts bound for my own solar system of super nova sophomores may be primed accordingly. As it stands, my present work examines in detail the status and ramifications and alleged causation of the adjunct culture evolving and the defacto decay of street denizens then and now living in crack hotels and VW vans and behind the abandoned Ferris wheel amid debris from forgotten ages where you would ordinarily not even store used plastic buckets.

To the major movers who graciously and sometimes unwillingly provided me with interviews, primary source manuscripts, shelter and sustenance, I am grateful. Any errors should be regarded as my own oversight and any illuminating treasures should be regarded as a gift from these selfless feature players. It is my hope and expectation that this work will satisfy the conditions for my self-designed degree in Comparative Literature, Sociology and Social Reform. My lengthy research notes have been included along with various and sundry audio and videotapes when they could be retrieved from police evidence. Oggy's unabridged "Argument to Dismiss Charges on Grounds of Unconstitutional Vagueness and Moral Weakness" as well as his "Affirmation of Request to Dismiss on Grounds of Philosophical Unsustainability" have been included in their entirety as well as being referred to in the text itself. The accompanying supplement "Profiles in Homelessness: An Illustrated Guide to identifying the Homeless" was illustrated by my friend and colleague, Moses of Santa Cruz. Autopsy reports and Police case files have been included when permission to reprint was granted. Status of ongoing criminal cases and "at large" man hunts are listed in the final chapter.

Santa Cruz is a poem that is written in shifting sands by violent waters. The hypodermic needles washed into the Bay of Monterrey bear traces of blood but lack the voice to describe their Pacific Saga from beneath the stone bridges to the bathrooms and plastic port-o-potties of the parks and onward down the chain of abuse to the washed out steps of eroded beach access stairwells. My own opinions are not and can not be withheld from this manuscript. Journalism, non-fiction, cold reporting, are not in my carnival repertoire. I have attempted to be honest in my assessment of the facts as I observed them but I do not think my conclusions or bias will be shared by all who read this ghost song. Where actual interviews are transcribed I have set these in italics. Much is conjecture based on interviews and observation but all is a humble attempt to puzzle this moment in history to its 3 dimensional, chaotic, glory. Critics are welcome to respond.

"Back in those days," wrote Jim Morrison, "everything was simpler and more confused." To those days we now alight, like lonely stoned wolves descending to our immaculate granite den.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guzzle Guzzle

Currently, the American George Washington Dollar Bill is worth 42 cents in Canadian currency, so keep that in mind folks. The world has finally realized that America is a debtor's nation and we've been printing money since 1950 like it was toilet paper without any value to it. It's like buying a car on a credit card and then paying the monthly payments with another credit card. And when that CC is due then you get another credit card. Finally, some genius like the loathsome Lou Pai or Kenneth Lay thinks, "Hell, why don't we go into business making credit cards...that way we will always have credit." So, I feel we're all driving around in unowned (not preowned) vehicles that never get paid for and the debt is more than 100 generations could pay off and Obama and his men are all trying to figure out where the credit card business guys went (to jail) because the Chinese are licking their chops and buying drought land at fire sale prices. We've got mailmen in Los Angeles making $65,000/yr. Wonder why the post office is broke? Fucking inflated housing values in cities courtesy of crooked mortgage brokers and financial planners. Teamsters are right to raid the bank while the bank is still open. If you don't have your hand in the piggy jar then you are totally clueless how America is run. It's a land of Pharaohs and slaves. Oggy has been on a debt free economic system since day one. He might be the richest man in North America but don't worry, he won't break his arm patting himself on the back. God, I sound like a right wing talk radio asshole.

...this tank of go juice hurt big time. I'm going to end up pushing the van back to Maine. Or hooking up dogs to the front. I had already put in $20 a day earlier...

The slice of pizza was forgettable and too expensive and, as Woody Allen says, not big enough. "Donairs" is Canuck for "Gyros".

Corner Brook has a few more pizza places to sample and since the tropical storms may have sent the freighter with my vacuum modulator off course into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, I have to wait for its arrival. I don't know when it will get here and the Canadian Tire parts people are clueless 14 days is too long and still no part. I should not have ordered it to the island but should have called a Canadian Tire place in Nova Scotia, where the shipment might've gone over land and also because it would take me longer to get there. Now I am stuck here waiting arrival. Also, the right part might not even come. The parts guy might have ordered the wrong part. The part might be defective to begin with. And if it is the right part and not defective it still might not fix the problem I have with the shifting into higher gear. That's a lot of questions and I regret ordering it at all with inflated Canadian prices and many ways this could go wrong. But what is done is done and I'm tired of driving and I found a nice library here and the girls at the Grenfell College are all wearing skinny jeans and the campus swimming pool locker rooms have free showers and I found a parking lot where I can park at night in quiet anonymity and overlook the Humber River as I play scales and knit hats (I remembered my plan to knit hats to sell on the street!)

I guess I'll wait for a week or until the Royal Mounted Police tell me to get out of town. If I had not already been forced to pay for the part then I would simply leave. But I've paid for it and I need it and it might as well be over and done with here. It was very hard camping in Gros Morne as the locals all make their money selling $30 parking spaces so there was nowhere to park for the night. I understand their situation, but I didn't crimp 500000 pins onto a million wires so I could pay for a place to park and shit. That's what gas stations are for.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.