Thursday, February 26, 2015

Good Night Little Girl Of My Dreams / Fading Like A Flower


I didn't intend to make a medley of these two songs but they are in the same key and they are on the piano at the same time.

Good Night, Little Girl Of My Dreams
1933
By Charles Tobias and Joe Burke
Key: F Major
Typical 1933 sexism. That's Jack Fulton leering at you from the inset.
Charles Tobias was born a year before the great Hoagy Carmichael. He had two brothers Harry and Henry, who were both songwriters in the Tin Pan Alley and Vaudeville tradition. This particular song is kind of Tin Pan Alley gone to seed because the subject matter is generic, can't-miss, I love you and you love me, drivel that still appeals to youth, and the melody is actually a rip off of Home on the Range. At least, I hear the similarities, but it's more urbanized and I can imagine street cars and gas lights and, this being the last year of Prohibition, speakeasy juke joints and rum runners prowling the streets in the shadows. The Prohibition  is a social example of how a virus adapts to a hostile environment. The innocence of 1919 is awesome: Congress really thought they would eliminate alcohol abuse if they prohibited the manufacturing of alcohol. I think the evidence suggests Prohibition was sincere. Well, it forced criminals to get organized or die. Until 1918 criminals were content with disorganization, every man for himself, small gangs robbing stage coaches and trains. But Prohibition required a higher level of organization to succeed. All the lawless gangs of 1918 wanted to exploit the demand for alcohol but individually they all failed. The scale of the law required an organized approach never seen before on American soil. Maybe it was Italian and German and Spanish experience finally coming to fruit, but I don't want to blame it on those countries because by that time these were 1st and 2nd generation Americans. I watched The Godfather. Vito Corleone had no intention of returning to Italy. He was American. So, as an American, people like Vito put aside their childish petty thievery and embraced professional crime, crime that required bribes and corruption. Watch Leone's Once Upon A Time In America for a good dramatization of this time period. This is the law of unintended consequences in which the fantasies of some well-intentioned temperance folk forced the criminal element of America to organize to succeed. And like any good virus, they adapted, they built communication lines, they built bridges, they corrupted officials, they evolved. Some died, but the strong survived and built Las Vegas. This song, Good Night Little Girl, was published at the very end of the Prohibition, which ended in early December, 1933. Songs published in 1934 all were in a climate of legal alcohol and organized crime. True, the end of Prohibition forced the criminal cartels to adapt again, but they merely switched drugs. And while an end to the Prohibition of drugs will cause the cartels to adapt again, it will not eliminate them. That opportunity ended in 1919 when they first were forced to adapt. See, once the adaptation process starts, for a virus or a cartel, then there's no turning back the clock. All attempts to kill the virus or the cancer or the cartel will only cause it to divide and strengthen. No, I think there is a good argument that 1918 was the last chance to maintain some kind of innocence and domination over the outlaws of the West. And that's why there is a nostalgia for even the outlaws of that time, because it was the last time period when there was no organized crime. A handful of gangs with a handful of members impacted isolated areas but now a handful of organized crime cartels impact the whole world.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Exercise With a Vampire

Weary walker rests like dazed junkie in hurtful sunlight

I have become nocturnal because of the peace at night, but this really doesn't work out because the merciless sun comes up at 6am, about an hour after I lay down so I sleep with a pillow on my face, which suffocates me and causes night terrors, which occur at noon, so I don't know what one calls that. Day terrors? Sleeping terrors. And the main comes to clean with a loud broom at 1. And they are renovating the bathroom all day. But it is peaceful at 3am. I dreamt I had an afro.
























































































 
 Overlooking Queztaltenango
And because my visa is shortly running out and the draconian Guatemalan regulations possibly require I leave the country for 90 days to renew my own car visa...maybe... I need to renew my personal visa in the country and then go to the airport in Guatemala City and renew the van visa. All of this will take perhaps two weeks so I'm going to be off the radar living in either Antigua or GC. So I had to get new black and white matte/texturized photos taken at a Guatemalan photo shop and they make me look god awful. She told me to take my ear ring out but I said it was impossible because it has no clasp and is a pirate hoop. But because of my nocturnal nature I am pale and my photo was hardly flattering.
Who the hell is this vampire and why is he wearing my shirt?










Monday, February 23, 2015

Cinco Quetzales

Not my picture, since I have become Nocturnal lately
Quetzales are the Guatemalan currency and they are appropriately named after a bird, who I think was named after a bird in the Nahuatl language and there may be a Mayan god involved too but I'm not sure. The Quetzalcoatl is a feathered serpent god, not to be confused with the dinosaur of the same name.
Compare this to the coin dollar in Canada also called a "Loony" after the Loon that is on the back.
This is as close to seeing this bird as I've gotten. This bird is on every paper paper bill of any denomination
What I do know is that the 5 Quetzales note, which is worth about 80 cents in US currency and buys me a liter of water or a plate of French fries or a bag of Mango slices here, has three unidentified Mayan pictoglyphs that I like.
This god appears to be cooking bread in a radial tire


Your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect drugs were involved.


A fish? Or a fish that ate a turtle? And Why does it say "Canadian Bank Note"? Is it printed in Canada?
 I've looked everywhere to figure out what these glyphs actually are, if they are reproductions of carvings or original or imaginary. The search continues as it's a classic Latin American development that they can explain almost everything that is printed on their money. "Oh, those pictures? No one knows what they are or why they are on our money. They just showed up one day and we didn't question it." 
Every little scratch on a US dollar is scrutinized but Guatemalan currency has a bunch of unidentified pictures. I'm sure if I asked someone they would explain what they are but I don't understand why this is not published information. These gods were so important that they were printed on the money but then never identified? So bizarre.

Q&A Oscars 2015

A follow up to my review post

Q: Oggy, what do you think about Birdman winning Best Picture?

 A: It deservedly won Best Director for the planning/timing involved in those extended shots which were like Scorsese on crack. And it won Best Original Screenplay cause it stole an idea I had way back in 2003. The truth will come out. It was an even match between Boyhood and Birdman but because Birdman wasn't quite as big a novelty it deserves the award. I didn't love it, but I appreciated them both.


Q: Best dressed?
A: Rachel Weisz

Q: She wasn't present at the award ceremony.
A: Wherever she was, she was the best dressed.

Q: But of those present at the award ceremony, who was best dressed?
A: Rachel Weisz.

Q: Whiplash supporting actor J.K. Simmons won for his Kreese-as-conductor portrayal. Thoughts?
A: Great acting, not a very good role. He does reveal dynamics to his personality but he's a one trick pony in front of the band and I didn't like that because it's false. Almost none of my conductors said, "Good Job" but they also didn't slap me in the face.

Q: Maybe that explains why you can only play major scales on the guitar.
A: You're a real wiseguy. Let me finish. Simmons played the part well. It's not his fault he got written up as a 1 dimensional cat. He played that part as well as it could be played. Duke Ellington still rules.

Q: Neil Patrick Ha....
A: Please stop right there. He's good but there's room for improvement. That's all I will say.

Q: Did you cry when you watched Still Alice?
A: Yes, I cried. My grandmother did not recognize me when I last saw her. I probably have the Alzheimer's gene and won't be able to write "Happy Birthday" soon. I cried. It'll be a sad day when I stumble upon The Man in The Van blog and chuckle and think, this guy Oggy is a funny writer.

Q: You'll wonder why 'he' stopped posting.
A: Right. His last posts made no sense and finally they stopped. Maybe he died. But he was funny for a while.

Q: Then what three questions would you ask yourself, that if you failed to answer, you would kill yourself because it would mean your brain was toast?
A: I only need one. Right Fielder for Boston Red Sox in 1986. If I need to look that up, I'm done.

Q: Give me two more, just for fun.
A: What year did Marty McFly return to in the first movie? The significance of the tattoo on my right shoulder.

Q: Like they say, 'Better make hay while the sun shines.' 
A: Let's not go overboard. I have my standards as a slacker to maintain.


Q: On a lighter note, American Sniper got snubbed? Biggest ticket sales of 2014 by far and it only wins Best Sound Editing? What gives?
A: Hollywood is filled with Jews and their flunky pet projects so it's no surprise. The Libertards would love to watch America be overrun by Muslim terrorists. They won't be happy until Americans are dying in the streets of Los Angeles. Their guilt eats at them day and night.

Q: Your buddy Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) won for that performance you didn't care for.
A: Like Ricky Gervais said, "Play a cripple, win an Oscar."

Q: Richard Glatzer, who wrote and co-directed Still Alice, has ALS.
A: Exactly. Dementia, ALS, Cancer, AIDS...they all win Oscars. I'm one terminal disease away from fame.

Q: Your pal Wes Anderson won all the design awards, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Costume Design. I guess those ugly carpets paid off, huh?
A: That cheap rate charlatan has everyone fooled but he can't fool me. Nope. I know the deal. He won't pull the wool over my eyes. I know a phony bastard when I see one.

Q: What do you mean phony?
A: His phony cast, his phony sets, his phony stop action trick photography and identical framing of every face shot. His phony script. Phony to the core.

Q: Could you expand on that?
A: I'm done talking about Wes Ander-phony. DONE!

Q: Selma won Best Original song with Glory, a quasi-spiritual. Any opinion? I saw you getting choked up.
A: Stephen Spielberg wasn't available for this Oprah movie so it was an expensive history lesson for kids who skip school or live in states where they don't celebrate MLK day. At least the song is not Disney.

Q: They recognized the 50th Anniversary of The Sound of Music.
A: Good. They should recognize that musical every month in perpetuity. It's one of the greatest artistic endeavors man ever created.

Q: Back to Wes Anderson. He...
A: You can go to hell.

Q: Did you see Foxcatcher?
A: Sure, right after I put eyeshadow on my dolls and made tea for my teddy bears. Of course not.

Q: Michael Moore didn't win an honorary Oscar for eating Oscar Meyer hot dogs. Reaction?
A: Start a campaign. There's always next year.

Q: CITIZENFOUR won Best Documentary. It concerns Edward Snowden.
A: I didn't see it because I was catching up on the Pardise Lost trilogy. It won in 2012.

Q: So you're more concerned with a 20 year old triple homicide and three wrongful convictions than you are with the status of the modern surveillance state?
A: I don't like your tone. You'd best straighten up and fly right.

Q: Thank you for your time.
A: Whatever.

Q: By the way....
A: Yeah?

Q: Wes Anderson called and he said you can go fuck yourself. His film got three Oscars and you couldn't write your own suicide letter.
A: He's pretty funny. He'll look even funnier when I shove that phony Oscar up his phony ass. Yeah, you better run. You goddamn hippie.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Little Old Lady



Little Old Lady
1936
From: The Show is On
Words and Music by Hoagy Carmichael and Stanley Adams
Key: G Major

The quality of this particular song sheet is so good I think this is a reproduction/reissue and the publishers didn't change the copyright. The paper itself is slightly different, it's a thicker cardstock, but I'm still puzzled by the condition of the paper.

I wanted to record one song by Hoagy Carmichael (H-Oggy) so I could do a little research into why I've heard his name before. Hoagy's given name in 1899 was the unfortunate "Hoagland." His Scottish parents named him after a group of circus performers and his rags to riches story is interesting.
Hoagland's Broadway tune


Saturday, February 21, 2015

America Love it or Leave it


Classic Vietnam War song from a great artist named Ernest Tubb. The melody is pretty horrendous but I'm going to try and write a response to this with different lyrics directed at the Conservative Zealot. Jimmie Helms wrote it, not Tubb and I think once the general idea of the lyrics was clear he made no attempt to polish the melody. Goddamn Hippies runnin' wild! Can anyone confirm hippies burned down school? Is that a reference to college protests? The lyrics make sense but the claims are totally unjustified. But this is the kind of editorializing that is missing from today's music. I swear Rap and Hip Hop are the only socially aware music produced today. Everything else is generic. It's America (Love It Or Leave It) written by Jimmie Helms 

It's America (Love It Or Leave It)
written by Jimmie Helms
11/1/05


CAPO II


INTRO: G  C

      D                  G
(It's America love it or leave it)

         G 
Well I'm gettin' mighty tired of seein' hippies runnin' wild
                                                 C
And burnin' down the schools and steppin' on the flag

Things are gettin' out of hand when you read about man
                                                             D
Who'll burn his draft car then hang around the pool room and brag
C                           G
Some folks think it's okay, but I wasn't raised that way
                   D                       G-C-G
And I won't be satisfied 'til I've had my say


CHORUS:
        C             
It's America, you got no right to deceive it
         G
It's the best there is, you'd better believe it
         C
Good men gave their lives, so we could live to see it
     D                    G
It's America, love it or leave it


INTRO

           G
Things are goin' mighty wrong when respect for law is gone
                                C
And it seems everybody hates a uniform
                         
It's kinda hard to understand when you read about a man
                                                        D
That's talkin' 'bout love and knockin' the place he was born
C                             G
If things don't go their way, they could always move away
                 D             G-C-G
That's what democracy means anyway


CHORUS

     D                     G      C  G
It's America, love it or leave it 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Best Picture 2015 Reviews

This weekend is the Academy Award so I had to hurry and watch every movie nominated for Best Picture to give a brief review of each.
These were the movies:

American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Birdman
Selma
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Whiplash
The Theory of Everything
 


I don't know what the rules are for nominations are but there can be between 5 and 10 nominees. This year there are 8 and I watched them all as the Internet quality finally recovered here in Latin America. I could buy all these on bootleg DVDs on the street, costing maybe $1 each, but that seems old fashioned  and all the dialogue would be in Spanish. So I watched them all on various streaming services although efforts are being made to shut down these sites because, well, it's blatant copyright infringement. But that's a topic for another day. Right? People are nuts! Christians believe a virgin mother gave birth to the son of the creator of the universe. This man was crucified and then came back to life, not as a zombie, but as a superhero with magic powers of levitation. A woman reports a rape and the same people turn into the world's biggest skeptics and act like she's reporting a UFO abduction. Moses, who lived 120 years, parted the 1700ft deep Red Sea, but 7 billion people driving cars can not affect the climate.  Grown adults are saying, "We should be able to insult all religions equally." and religious zealots promise to kill anyone who insults their religion...and this is somehow confusing for people. There is no predicting human behavior but there are many ways to dramatize it with film.

Film is an approximation of human experience and mostly films fall far short of authenticity. Their reach exceeds their grasp, market research both helps a film find focus and also drains any kind of originality from it. Traditional film theory and traditional story arcs rule cinema in 2015. Veterans like Clint Eastwood and Rookies like Ava DuVernay are almost indistinguishable from one another because all films are boiled down to a common totality. I can hear sweating producers asking, "Where's the Oscar moment?" and the editors scurrying to create one. This is at once required to maintain world order but it also has reduced cinema to an approximation of an approximation, which makes me an approximate pundit of an approximation of an approximation.

These 8 film reviews follow. Spoilers will only be omitted by accident:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

City Council Meeting

The Santa Cruz City Council meeting attracted all the flies to the kitchen of despair. The Meat of Democracy was rotting in the sun, all concerned parties filled the city council chambers with blood in their words, one even wore a Roman Toga to draw attention to the ridiculous formal dress of the Council members. The weighty  "Hegemonic Fashion Dictator" insult was hatefully directed at the Mayor as he walked into the chambers followed by cheers and smug nodding on the part of frustrated street zealots. Only the Meth Kingdom was not represented at the meeting because the junkie emissary had been delayed at the railroad trestle. As preliminary introductions were being recorded this emissary was smoking in dreamy bliss from a glass pipe in the shadows of a pile of creosote dipped railroad ties. He was content, even triumphant, the potent smoke made his eyes bulge and his lips swell but his pride transformed from a wriggling worm in the mud to a muscular werewolf on the run, leading the furious pack through a moonlit forest, chasing prey boldly, gnashing at the bony legs of fear, enveloped by lust. His head fell against a sticky wooden railroad tie but he felt nothing but his claws sink into quivering flesh during the foggy hunt.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wolf Quest Part III


Slightly Better Map

I hate to spoil the story but this map kind of implies I never arrived at the destination of Ellesmere Island, I did not save or even see an Arctic wolf in the wild, and furthermore, I was trying to scribble a route across North America to the Arctic and ended up in Central America. So you might ask what went wrong...and that's the main point of my tale which I will begin again now.

A quest like this is only accomplished with allies, surprise help when I least expected it and while I did have a few scenarios like that I have to admit that it was mostly the opposite, mostly at the critical stages obstacles increased and allies all fled for the hills. Instead of picking up speed with the wind at my back it was more like patching a leaky boat from the moment I hit the water. And every leak I patched was replaced by ten more leaks. And instead of meeting allies who united with my quest to save the wolf I met men who wanted to freebase cocaine in dirty basements, crippled diabetic clowns, dying indigents. I found work in an aluminum factory and was fired two days before Christmas. Christmas Eve did not end with me magically meeting a wildlife biologist at a bar and making love in front of a fireplace. No. Instead, I slept on the street in the van in 0 degree weather. The battery died. I got a parking ticket. The tires all wore down to the metal radial and no one magically appeared to replace them. Instead, I went to NTB Tires and put two new tires on. The old tires disintegrated a day later, the rear wheel bearings seized...and the shitty alignment I bought actually destroyed the two new tires...so I was worse off than before. As soon as I reached the point of no return my battery fell apart, the exhaust system fell apart and the transmission broke. I could go on, but you get the idea. A quest of this magnitude requires a perfect alignment of events to assist me in my goal and I actually had a perfect alignment of events to absolutely prevent me from reaching my goal. I received support, but it was in pursuit of a different goal. One of the critical steps is getting into Canada and I was barred entry into Canada by the border police. That's a pretty serious setback and shortly after that I was stranded in a northern Maine snowbank.
Part Wolf - Part Oggy

This epic beard took a few years to grow so I don't want to give the impression that I left Mexico with a huge beard. No.
Oggy in a Mexican DIY garage

I left Mexico and drove north believing that there was no way I would cross the entire continent without either changing my mind or else convincing at least a handful of people of the importance of my quest. Let me remind you, the climate has destabilized and epic changes are in the future that will be catastrophic for everyone. I believe Mankind will get what he deserves and I have no sympathy for him, but the wolf is totally innocent and I felt something had to be done to raise awareness. So, armed with this argument, I suspected I could not drive the entire distance of North America talking about imperiled Arctic Wolves without gathering a team...and I believed a team could reach Ellesmere Island. And if I failed to assemble a team, or even one other person, then the wolf would not be saved by myself alone and I should resign myself to a world without wolves. Or I could be totally wrong about everything and this quest was merely a projection of my fear and self-loathing. One of these latter scenarios proved to be the reality. The plight of the wolves was not gripping enough for anyone I met.

But what are the details. Of course no one reading this is moved by the plight of the wolf so your only interest will be in the human element, the psychology behind the quest, the obstacles, the pain, the depression, the people involved. If I did not meet one person who was interested in joining me then what kinds of people did I meet?

The year was 2009 and the economy had imploded, mostly because it is a global Ponzi scheme, but specifically because the housing market is exactly as corrupt as everyone suspected, built on a cancerous tumor of manufactured promises and baffling chicanery such as mortgages becoming intangible commodities that are traded amongst nations in an effort to launder exploding debt from metastasized military expenditures. It's ludicrous, everyone knows it, but it's the current paradigm so people go along with it. From 2004-2008 I was living in a decaying house near Venice that was valued at $1.25 Million dollars, purchased for $875,000 a few months before I moved in, and worth $275,000 about 5 years earlier. I went to a  seminar in El Segundo, "How to Buy A House With No Money". I'm not joking. In 2006 I was offered a mortgage on a house worth $650,000 in Venice and I was an unemployed screenwriter...with a car I couldn't drive due to expired registration. 

I said, "I don't know if I can afford that kind of mortgage. What are the payments? $6000 a month?"
The seminar speaker oozed evil and he slicked back his greasy hair and his teeth were so artificially white that I was blinded when he spoke, "No, no, we'll make a plan that you can afford. Don't worry Oggy. This is the perfect time to buy a house."

In 2006 this same line of bullshit was being swallowed all over California and Florida and honestly, it's not dumb. California law prohibits banks from suing home owners if they default on their mortgage and the foreclosed house sells for less than they owed. Maybe Florida has the same prohibition. Some states don't have this prohibition so you might want to do some research before abandoning your mortgage. So, at worst you will simply pay rent, trash a house, and move out when it suits you. Treat all the mortgage payments like wasted rent. My rent was somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500/month, and I had to collect every penny every month to send to the owner, so I could conceivably "buy" a $650,000 house and SAVE MONEY, which explains why so many people did just that. Do I need to explain further to justify my claim that the whole housing market is diseased?


This backstory is important because I was planning to cross the United States in a 1969 Ford Econoline van during a economic depression in the first year of a new President's term. Banks and investment cartels had been revealed to own everything under the sun. All the dirtbags who expected to die before their scam was exposed ended up being invited to the Washington to sort the mess out. The pirates were in charge of the royal jewels and there was nothing anyone could do because decades of counter-insurgency programs had succeeded in creating a castrated citizenry who would call for the blood of anyone caught cheating in sports but would shrug and change the channel when those responsible for bankrupting entire states are given luxury hotel rooms during their time in Washington. Are they in Washington because of grand jury indictments? No, far from it, they are in charge of the show, they have politicians by the balls. These scumbags got caught but could not be punished, they kept their jobs, kept their salaries and America got fucked. People's priorities aren't messed up, but their self-trust has been completely eroded by government propaganda and corporate lies up the ass. So, the default action is to do nothing.


Probably drunk...talking about the wolf quest

That's the political climate I was reentering and it occurred to me that this was a historic journey, like wandering the West during 1933 Dust Bowl. It also occurred to me that I was one of the legions of destitute gypsies since I had no money or job but that has always allowed me to blend in. People on the street don't necessarily like me, but they don't distrust me. They open up to me and I listen. I hear the stories of the men on the ground and whether they believe these stories will be remembered or not I think the human tendency to share oral history is still strong. The computer illiterate generation will soon all be dead and my kind of observation will be less important because digital confessions will replace the campfire story. Perhaps the destitute have chosen a life that satisfies a primal need to smell smoke, to recount families lost and trails walked on. Or maybe the destitute have no other way of being remembered so they tell their story to everyone and hope that one of them will send it to the future.

Thus, early on in the quest I saw a parallel quest concerning the status of Americans. I can't say that my research was exhaustive, but it was honest and the lack of concern Americans had with the wolf was compensated by the concern Americans have for their integrity. In that respect, my quest became America's story so I will respect that.

No mention of wolves.

Here are links to the installments of the Wolf Quest

 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

1977-1980?

Once upon a time*...Oggy was not a disdainful grump.

I really can't be sure when this was taken but it was between the years of 1977 and 1980. Rumors suggest it could be 1974. It's odd that I do not recognize my own age in pictures. I look about 7 years old but I could be off by 3 years either way. Note to parents: write dates on the back of pictures. Of course everything is digitally time stamped today. I do recognize my beloved zip-up reindeer sweater. I think I tried to buy a similar sweater at a vintage clothes store recently but it didn't fit. I'd pay $100 to see what kind of pants I was wearing in this shot. Please let them be pinstripe bell bottoms! OR plaid polyester. Or maybe red denim to match my sweater.
This one I know was 1975


This has to be the only time my hair was clean...so maybe I was living with my mother in Boston. That would be 3rd grade. After I moved back to NH I stopped all hygiene.This period of time was carefree, I played a game where I'd toss a ball against a wall and catch it for hours. I tap danced impulsively and thought I would be a stand-up comedian or Broadway actor. I idolized Don Knotts.
1976?
Is the child the father of the man? Probably. We never stray too far from our roots.

"MY HEART LEAPS UP WHEN I BEHOLD"

          My heart leaps up when I behold
              A rainbow in the sky:
          So was it when my life began;
          So is it now I am a man;
          So be it when I shall grow old,
              Or let me die!
          The Child is father of the Man;
              I could wish my days to be
          Bound each to each by natural piety.
 
---Wordsworth 




Dear god, a comic book shirt?
*The consensus is 1977 or 1978 and this may have been taken at a Sears photo counter, not for school photo day. That would explain why I don't look like a drug addict.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Whiplash


I really wonder why I did not receive one recommendation to see the recent movie Whiplash. Maybe no one I know or has ever read anything I posted here saw the movie either. That's possible since it's not a widely distributed movie, nor widely read blog. But did not one person even hear about it after it was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture? Was no one curious about it and even read the synopsis? When I see a movie or even a commercial I think someone else find interesting then I send them a link to it. I had to find out about this movie when I was reviewing all the nominees and let me tell you that student jazz band movies are not something one finds every year. I can think of Mr. Holland's Opus (school orchestra/band)...Drumline (marching band) and that's it. Two other movies that are remotely related to student jazz bands. And now Whiplash. I don't want to lie and say it's the best movie I've ever seen but this particular topic, jazz bands rehearsing Cherokee, is so rarely dramatized that you'll likely not find another example.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Forum Chef

Oggy hobbled from the oatmeal line toward a picnic table where Bella was feeding rats with moldy bread. An old recording of a meandering song by The Doors played on the weather worn speakers of the feeding area. Oggy balanced the corn oil biodegradable foam cup of oatmeal until he reached the condiment table. Two men were occupied with the sugar cup.

"I like as much sugar as I can fit," said one through a toothless smile. "Sometimes, I pile on the sugar, and stir it up so that it dissolves, and then I can get me another spoon of sugar on there. That way it's good and sweet. The sweeter the better."

The other man nodded in agreement. He was scraping an empty container of margarine with a stick, or a pen, Oggy couldn't tell which. "If I had me a million dollars, I'd buy me as much butter as I could eat. I would buy butter and I'd stock a whole fridge full of butter so I could put a nice slab of butter on everything."

"Not this margarine shit."

"No. No, sir. I'd get the real butter, the cow milk cream butter with the salt."

"My doctor said I can't eat no more salt."

"Mine too, but I figure life ain't worth living without salt. So I'd get the butter with the salt."

"Low sodium?"

"No, sir. I'd get the butter with all the salt."

"Yeah."

"And I'd buy blocks and blocks of butter and put it in my oatmeal. That's what I'd do with a million dollars."

"Any margarine left?"

"No, sir. This margarine has no taste."

Oggy waited patiently and cleared his throat. "You guys know that margarine is only one ingredient removed from paint?"

The men ignored Oggy.

"I'd buy butter and I'd leave it out so it'd get soft."

"I hate hard butter. It don't spread."

"That's right. That's why I'd leave it out so it'd get soft and I could spread it."

"And it'd have the salt and everything?"

"Course. Salted butter. Ain't nothing better than that. Soft salted butter. Ain't no Margarine or sugar left, Oggy."

Oggy grinned with his lips closed because he felt that showing his teeth was an act of mockery since neither men had front teeth.

"That's ok. You guys have a good breakfast."

"With no sugar or real butter this oatmeal tastes like joint compound."

Oggy hobbled off using his crutches intermittently with his injured foot and also balancing a slice of bread on the cup of oatmeal, first moving the crutches and then leaning into them so his left foot was off the ground, or dragging through the wood chips, and his body weight was on his arm pits. He arrived at the picnic table with Bella and found that another man was sitting across from Bella staring at her with his jaw slackly drooping. The man was leering directly at Bella and it was hard to tell if he wasn't in a full drug trance or else was transfixed. Oggy cleared his throat hoping to get the man's attention but he didn't blink.

"Bella," asked Oggy hesitantly, "Why is this creepy dude sitting here staring at you?"

Bella shrugged and tossed more crumbs to the rats in the piles of abandoned clothes. The rats squealed and fought for the crumbs. They were getting bold, Oggy noticed, hardly showing any sign of fear of people. And they were big they were...then Oggy heard himself say, "WELL I DON'T LIKE CREEPY MOTHERFUCKERS SITTING NEAR ME STARING AT MY GIRLFRIEND!"

He didn't say it as much as scream it at the top of his lungs. A few nearby conversations stopped as the anticipation of a fist fight grew.

The man seemed to break from his trace and without emotion he slipped out of the picnic table. Oggy reached into his pocket for the knife he carried and prepared to unleash the fury of hell on this punk should he make any sudden movements, but the man drifted off toward the television and all the conversations resumed.

"AND IF I SEE HIM AGAIN I'LL CUT HIS FUCKING THROAT AND SNAP HIS SPINE!" Oggy paused because he wasn't sure if he had yelled this last threat or if the echo in his brain was becoming more audible. He looked around to judge by the reactions of those nearby and decided that he had only thought the words, but hadn't spoken them. His heart was throbbing nonetheless, exhaustion, were they drugging the oatmeal like some of the homeless people accused? Oggy wasn't sure, but he hadn't eaten any oatmeal so how did they get the drugs in him? Maybe they were delayed from the dinner the night before? It was possible that they were drugging the dinners to incite violence in order to justify closing the shelter...or rounding up all the violent people and shipping them to the labor camps. Oggy felt a wetness in his pants and realized he had stabbed his own leg repeatedly with the knife and he was gripping it so hard that his thumb was spasming. But no one had noticed and the wounds were not deep.

"I have to go to the bathroom," said Oggy to Bella who was contentedly tossing the crumbs to the squealing rats. Oggy mumbled something about the kitchen staff drugging the oatmeal and limped toward the port-o-potties. On the way he crossed paths with Karen, who hugged him and asked how his foot felt.

"As long as I don't walk, it doesn't hurt too bad," answered Oggy with a backward glance toward the picnic table. The diseased punk with the blank stare was back at the table staring directly at Bella with his cheap, gaping mouth, breathing flies and poison, brainless motherfucker. Oggy's eyes dialated as he envisioned himself pouncing on that punk and decapitating him with his knife, really enjoying the process of cutting every tendon in the punk's neck. He'd feed the man's throat to the rats, laughing. Stare at my girlfriend with your brain dead eyes? It'll be the last thing you look at. He'd then cut his guts out and...

"...minimum wage but it sounds like a job you would like. So, what do you think?"

Oggy turned back to Karen who was speaking to him but he had missed most of the conversation.

"Pardon me? I didn't get much sleep last night and I think the're putting drugs in the..."

Karen grabbed both of Oggy's shoulders. "Listen, I don't want to know what they're putting drugs in. I got you a job. You need to take it. I wouldn't offer it you if I didn't think it would work. No one else here can type or even turn on a computer so you're the one they need. I'm not asking if you want the job. I'm driving you there and you'll be great. Make some money, save it, rent an apartment for you and Bella."

Oggy nodded. Karen had a trusting manner, her tone was pure, Oggy decided, it was not covertly manipulative, she was simply stating exactly what was on her mind and her agenda was her own...Oggy relaxed his grip on the knife in his pocket.

"Are you bleeding, Oggy?" asked Karen.

"I just need some gauze."

"And then you'll go to the job? I'll take you there."

"I have to tell Bella, and I have to cut that son of a bitch's head off."

Oggy again looked at Karen but it appeared she hadn't heard that last threat or else she was ignoring it. Oggy could hear the squealing rats over the hum of the nearby morning traffic. Low clouds, overcast skies, damp air, coughing women in the port-o-potties, and the sound of deceit in the parking lot, clanging locker doors, arguments, lies.

"Let me tell Bella, and I'll get cleaned up. And then we can go."

Karen hugged him and she smelled like a forbidden cigarette mixed with cheap perfume and the animal stench of sweat. Oggy balanced on one foot and kissed Karen's shoulder.

"I'll call them back and tell them you can start in an hour. You'll be great. They'll explain the whole thing to you there."

"What is the job?"

Karen was already walking away and mumbled something Oggy couldn't hear. He turned back toward the picnic table and was about to crutch back there and cut that punk's head off but the punk had moved and could not be seen. The plastic door of the port-o-potty slammed closed and Oggy hustled to get inside before some junkie could get there first and shoot up and pass out for two hours while everyone shit in the bushes. He gently dropped his pants and tried to push the flaps of loose skin back over the gash he'd cut into his leg. Oggy decided the food at the shelter was drugged, they were drugging him intentionally to get him to self-injure. He'd heard dozens of similar complaints and now he was seeing the proof. That was it; the food was drugged, the cooks were Federal Agents, possibly CIA, and they were trying to incite riot and violence in order to eliminate the homeless so the land could be developed. Oggy used some of the last toilet paper to cover the wound and clean the knife. Unfortunately, the injury was on the right leg and his left foot was already injured so he would now limp on both legs. Before Oggy left, he took a shit into the pits of hell and hoisted his filthy drawers back onto his bone thin hips, his crutches propped against a plastic door with "Hump Fucker Rules" graffiti and "Blonde Destiny Fans bang chicken butt" and illustrations of cocks and asses with the sound of someone pissing against the concrete wall behind the port-o-potty was a sensual buffet for Oggy, a delightful romp through the fields of destitution. He didn't look back into the hole...he unlocked the door and did not meet the eyes of the next person in line.


Oggy pleaded with Karen to let him walk to the job location because the carbon dioxide emissions were not justifiable but she tricked him by saying her car didn't run on gasoline. Oggy didn't have time to verify this and she confessed en route that the car did run on gasoline but she had to pick up kitchen supplies at the store anyway so the trip was multi-tasking and therefore Oggy's presence didn't affect carbon dioxide concentrations at all. Oggy made a note to do the math on these claims at the earliest convenience. He clenched his jaws as they crossed the railroad track where Bella had fallen once and cut her hand when they were picking blackberries. The car trip was excruciating as the image of birds falling out of the sky as the pollution belching from the tailpipe followed Oggy like a mental funeral procession. He was exhausted by the time Karen parked the car outside a brick building near the east side Industrial park. She escorted Oggy to the door as he initially started to wander toward a park bench where squirrels were eating bird seed. He'd felt a need to formally apologize to a liberated member of the animal kingdom for the car trip but Karen intercepted him and led him by the arm inside the institutional building past a plastic sign that read "Forum Chef". 

He was introduced to a short woman with glasses. Oggy first noticed the grey roots in her hair that indicated a semi-recent coloring, and subsequent usurpation by age. This particular detail depressed Oggy to the point that the formal introductions were a blur of vapid stupidity, absurd, inauthentic, all intended to distract one another from the rapidly approaching death march.

"...where you'll be stationed and I want you to ask any questions."

The woman was escorting Oggy to a desk, Karen was gone, there were other people seated before some kind of screen, typing or speaking into a microphone.

"Questions. Well, I do have a question. What are we doing here?"

"Like I said before, this is Forum Chef, we manufacture custom forum threads for our clients."

Oggy almost corrected himself, he wasn't asking about what we were doing here specifically, but rather what humanity in general was doing on Earth, what was the purpose and goal? But he decided this kind of clarification would only cause problems and depress him further. People were simple, they wanted simple projects with the least amount of debate, like dying birds in a poisoned cloud. People were dumb and invented cheap fascinations, false hair color, teeth whitener paste, annoying music.

"And your project will be the toilet paper and baby diaper threads. Todd will be your project manager. Todd, I'd like to introduce you to Oggy. Oggy will be taking over the TP project could you explain the details to him and if you have any questions come find me in the main office. Ok Todd?"

Only then did Oggy notice a large man sitting nearby. The man rolled over in his office chair and extended a meaty hand. Oggy wanted to run outside.

"What happened to your leg, buddy?" asked Todd, glancing at Oggy's crutches and the blood stain on his pants.

 Oggy shrugged the question off as he immediately did not trust Todd. He didn't distrust him, but he didn't trust him either...so Oggy remained guarded. Todd didn't seem to press the topic of the blood stains and the crutches and gave Oggy a few sheets of paper. 

"These are your work orders. They collect in this bin here, "Todd gestured toward an overflowing paper bin. "Your goal is to process all the orders."

Oggy asked through squinting eyes filled with the flaking skin of chronic Blepheritis, "But what exactly are we doing? Specifically?"

"They didn't tell you? We're manufacturing forum threads to praise our clients. This is life behind the curtain. Take this order, for instance, for Silky Touch Toilet Paper. Fine. They paid for praise. Now you open up your forum chef program and begin to write praise for the toilet paper."

"Toilet paper I've never used?"

"Whatever the case may be. They ordered ten praise comments and four negative comments for their competitors...so you process this order by going step by step through the forums that are listed here. Product review forums. Hemorrhoid forums...colrectal cancer forums..." Todd yawned and scratched the stubble on his chin. Oggy yawned also but tried to hide his mouth behind his hand. "All the forums listed here. One by one. Check them off as you go. 10 praise comments and 4 negative comments."

"I just make the comments up?"

"Absolutely. There are some samples on the order sheet. Sample praise and sample criticism. See?"

Oggy studied the praise sampled, "I'm very impressed with Silky Touch toilet paper. It quality is leagues above the competition."

Oggy grimaced and looked around the office where a dozen or more people sat in confined cubicles.

"This is what happens here. You write fake toilet paper reviews on forums?"

"Not only toilet paper. Drugs, cars, airlines, hotels, any commodity that has a brand name has an opportunity for bolstering the advertising market."

"I really don't know about this. Do you have something more humiliating than toilet paper?"

"More humiliating? What's humiliating about toilet paper?" Todd looked uncomfortable.

"I mean the reviews are fake so you're asking me to be a virtual toilet paper shill."

"Correction: We're paying you to be a virtual toilet paper shill."

"But it seems dishonest. These are real forums with real people and I'm impersonating..."

"Real forums? No, most of the people on those forums are doing the same thing as us. In fact, many of the forums were created originally by shill services like us and they've been bought and sold so many times. I mean, there might be real people on them...but I highly doubt it. All those users..." Todd pointed at an active forum page..."those are mostly people you will find in this room."

"Is anything real?"

"That question's above my pay grade, Oggy. So, unless you have any questions I think you can get started."

Oggy took a deep breath and shook his head slowly back and forth but before he could object again Todd said, "Oggy, you can't do anything wrong. You can't do a bad job. It's impossible. You're only processing a client order and submitting your screenshot as proof so the client will know it's done. This is part of their advertising budget. It's no big deal. Easy money. Anyway, no one even browses these forums anymore. Not humans at least. Maybe capital cyborgs. But not humans. You can use the Transphone or the keyboard, whatever you prefer."

Oggy mumbled something about this being "so fucked up" but nevertheless sat down in the seat. It felt good to be off his crippled feet.

"One more thing, " said Todd. "Mix up the reviews. Try to be a little creative or else you get burned out. Don't try to win any awards but use slightly different language every time. It helps keep your awake. Right, August?"

Todd knocked on the cardboard petition and a vaguely affimative groan came from the other side.

"Ask August. She's been doing this a long time. Welcome aboard, Oggy. Lunch is at noon. I hope you brought something to eat."

Oggy hadn't brought anything to eat and hadn't eaten any of the drugged breakfast oatmeal. He was certain he had entered a hellish nightmare where all logic and sympathy had been abandoned in place of naked aggression and insanely rampant capitalism. He read the bold type on his order sheet "Important: Brand name must be mentioned at least twice (2x) in review."

He navigated the basic software interface and muttered, "bullshit". Then he grinned... "Silky Touch toilet paper feels like angle wings on my bum," he typed. "I purchased a package of 4 rolls of this delightful product, based on the recommendation of my neighbor, a Mrs. L who has a garden of tulips she orders from Holland and plants in the Spring. She expressed her satisfaction with Silky Touch toilet paper. She said that the quality and longevity of the product surpassed all previously used products. She insisted I try some so I purchased a package of four rolls at a nearby supermarket that is open late on Sundays. Imagine my surprise when I found that all her previous recommendations had been entirely founded in truth. This paper wiped my ass with a true silk touch, amazing, inspiring and excessively satisfying. My whole mood brightened. My sex-deprived lifestyle no longer cursed me so I was able to satisfy my neighbor over and over as we wrapped ourselves in rolls of Silky Touch Toilet paper, binding our limbs and then trying to break free. Blah blah...bullshit...bullshit this is all bullshit...I am changed now in a spiritual sense. Try Silky Touch toilet paper. Try it today. You will not be disappointed."

Oggy was smiling at first but he was quickly gripped by depression that stole the strength from his fingers.

"At least you can type fast," said Todd absently. "The person you replaced was in a wheel chair, one of those silicon valley kids with the heavy metal brain syndrome...and he transcribed everything verbally but because of the problem with his tongues, the program couldn't transcribe correctly. We spent more time editing his work than he spent saying it. This other lady..." Todd continued with a vapid anecdote as he clicked to a screen that allowed him to preview everything Oggy had typed...he nodded contentedly at first and then his obsessive finger tapping stopped suddenly.

"Whole Wheat Cheeseus! Oggy, what have you done!"

Oggy's attention drifted into a syrupy muse in which he thought for an instance that he was listening to a cyborg speaking to him through a virtual forum that was actually words transcribed by a Silicone Valley baby...and it was feasible that the universe was a fake forum designed by gigantic toilet paper shills. He also realized the he'd been driven to the building on the road that he'd been campaigning to have returned to natural state but tearing up the asphalt. What did that mean about his ethics?






The Overnighters



I watched an interesting documentary that was so suspenseful that I almost thought it was fake. There are so many fake documentaries out there now that it's hard to know what's real. Once upon a time the only fake documentaries were comedic so people knew they were fake. Now, the challenge to trick an entire audience into watching a documentary that was scripted by paid actors has all kinds of crazy productions being released until even the real ones, like The Overnighters, could possibly be fake. Who knows?

But if it's fake then it still resonates as authentic with me at least. The premise is one that I've experienced on more dimensions than most. It starts out simply enough with a pastor in the oil boom town of Williston, North Dakota who has invited aspiring oil field workers into the church to sleep at night. What follows sort of runs the gamut of human experience, success, failure, sins and redemption, consequences unforseen, deceit, betrayal and hypocrisy. I don't want to spoil the suspense but it's worth looking for. It's on primewire if you want to navigate the pop up ads.

I had several reactions as I was watching it because I can identify with quite a bit. I remember trying to clean the house of the woman with multiple personalities in Corpus Christi...the whole thing slowly deteriorating into madness...and I felt the police were going to be called by her or me very shortly and the outcome would be bad for everyone, but mostly me and so I went to the Salvation Army and I found the same single men with faded photos of their children in Arkansas or Kentucky, children waiting for birthday cards or something, wives whose patience had run out, in-laws raising the kids, no money and we're playing softball in 112 degree humidity and heat. There is work in Corpus Christi in the refineries but there are unions and drug tests and prior conviction hoops to jump through. It's funny because I wasn't even there looking for any of that, no, not in the oil field or the refineries or off shore. But it found me and that's another story. So, I personally experienced the relevant issues. Never mind a lifetime of tramping and gypsy living, this is the most recent experience and this documentary seemed very relevant.

Corpus is a big city and it's noteworthy that it has 4 refineries. Corpus can accommodate or absorb immigrants. Williston, ND can not. That's the main difference, but the interesting part of The Overnighters is not merely how foreign that scenario will be to the average viewer, but how all the reactions are not uncommon at all. So it's an unusual circumstance met by normal people and filmed. Worth watching, especially if you are about to go to ND to look for a job with oil prices plummeting and all the oil field contractors laying people off and slowing down expansion. If you want my advice then you will go to a craft/trade school in Corpus and get some verifiable skills in welding, industrial painting, electrical, pipefitting, etc. And you will not go to Williston, but instead go to Odessa and Midland where all the human resource departments are for the Permian Oil Field. OR maybe San Antonio where the bases of operation for the Eagle Ford Shale are. If you are an idiot you will go to Pecos and everyone will tell you to drive back to Odessa because the field offices are in Pecos, but not the human resources. No one can hire you in Pecos, there are no facilities there, water is rationed, you will end up living at a truck stop with no work unless you have the $1100 to rent a room at an abandoned old age home...which will actually be in Fort Stockton, not Pecos. And you will be shocked to see the gas prices around the oil field are not lower but actually higher and that's because all those gas stations are not charging people, they are charging corporation's credit cards that employees are using. All those bills end up back at Exxon and Chesapeake so people are as careless as possible with the gas...drive 80 miles for a good hamburger and then forget your hard hat and drive 80 miles back. 320 miles of driving and $155 of gas for a $22 lunch that would cost $6 anywhere else in America but because the restaurant knows you are paying with a per diem expense account they added $16 to the bill. Ridiculous. But if you are not an employee with a bottomless gas card and a per diem account then you will spend all your money paying the idiot tax. Go to Corpus, then Odessa. Williston is not the right place to start. Knowing someone already working with the company is also important as a reference. No one gets hired without a current employee reference. You will also be drug tested, a background check run and you will go through a safety course with a test in English.

It's rare that I see a documentary that I relate to.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Disdain

"I don't even know what it means to be self-loathing," said Robert in response to the remark someone in the crowd tossed out. "I know what you think it should mean, that I'm ashamed of my own behavior so I transfer my own shame into an attack on others, who are really a substitute for myself, like I'm too much of a coward to commit suicide, so I punish others, while subconsciously punishing myself. Is that what you're talking about? Help me out here."

The handful of spectators grumbled to one another but made no clear confirmation or denial of Robert's convoluted summary.

Robert's latest hunger strike was outside Seaside Books which was casually selling copies of the Bestseller Money in Minutes written by a real estate loan agent/anti-christ. The implied argument Robert stressed was that while freedom of speech and press were noble and worthwhile ideals, they did not require a bookstore to sell anything, and since carrying an item like Money in Minutes or its close relative Mein Kampf, the bookstore was approving of the content by making it available for sale. This was a delicate and controversial position so Robert had arranged for daily "conversations" to inform the public of the specific nature of his concerns and to clarify the dangers of confusing freedom with obligation. He disliked being labeled a censor so his current conversation was titled "Discrimination is not censorship." The author of the real estate book was free to sell it on the street like Larry did with Needles in My Arm: A True Story of Psychiatric Butchers In America (which was conspicuously absent from the Seaside Books shelves). These particulars had hardly been broached when someone had shouted out that Robert should "get a job" and stop being "a self-loathing son of a bitch."

Robert shrugged at the silence before clarifying, "Or do you mean that I secretly loath myself but suppress my loathing and target innocent businesses as a way to vent my frustration? Because I don't know what that means. I'm not self-loathing. This business chooses to sell a book that openly describes usury tactics

Kinky Fetishes Rules #12

(Months ago I was going to post this example of "found poetry" but for some reason I backed out at the last second. I've removed the thread link because if these things interest you then you probably don't need more sites to visit> I wanted to write a song paying tribute to these kinky fetish rules. Or something. Maybe I'm the only one who is amused by the formality of how these rules are laid out in A,B,C sub sections. Is it a symptom of borderline personality disorder to be very amused by the first rule in the A section. I can almost hear the person writing it thinking to himself "How can it go in the Cum Swallow thread if the cum remains on the woman's face? She's clearly not swallowing it...so the category is completely wrong. When will these idiots learn?" 

Anyway...I guess I'm ok with posting it now. It was always amusing but now I don't care if no one else finds it amusing. Part of my concern was that these words on my blog will cause hundreds of internet surfers to click on this page because of the text, but it's misleading because this is only demonstrating my amusement with the text. Just imagine what the previous 11 rules were. On a side note I visited a humorous site and it made me want to illustrate this particular rule. And to prove I can sell out too I designed a t-shirt for sale on Zazzle. I get $2 if someone buys that.
Kinky Rules #12.A
Kinky Rules #12.A by Wearable_Oggy
Check out other Sex T-Shirts at zazzle.com
)

Kinky Fetishes Rules #12. Concerning all Kinky Fetishes section community threads, including:

Cum Swallow Mega Thread
Jerkoff Instruction / Encouragement vids
Humiliation Megathread


  1. Post only videos appropriate to each thread.
    - Bukkake does not belong in Cum Swallow thread.
    - Humiliation content does not belong in Jerkoff Instruction thread
    - Jerkoff instruction content does not belong in the Humiliation thread.

    I honestly think I could write many posts using this kind of stuff as material
    - Jerkoff encouragement / instruction audio must accompany videos posted in the Jerkoff Instruction thread.
    - Humiliation / insulting audio must accompany videos posted in the Humiliation Megathread.
  2. Do not post the same video in a community thread and your personal thread.
  3. Junior Members do not have permission to post in other member's Kinky Fetishes section threads, including community threads.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Wolf Quest Part II

Almost can't fit both locations on one screen
Ellesmere Island is so far north that the compass almost goes in circles. The only people who have seen Ellesmere Island are soviet submarine captains and arctic explorers. But that's where Arctic wolves live. While Antarctica is a continent drifting so far south that the snow and ice covering the land never thaws, Ellesmere Island is the last land mass before entering a vast sea of ice in the north. This ice would influence my quest because research proves it is shrinking at an increasing speed and what was once only traverse-able by dog sled has recently become open to ships. Minimum ice mass is now half of what it was in 1984. The Arctic Ocean will be free of ice during Summer in the future but the exact details are debated. I predict 2040 but long before that ships and oil developers will flock north to seize resources and they will populate Ellesmere Island as the closest land base to their resources, ports will be constructed, docks will appear, pipelines, Denny's, WalMart, all of it will find a place on Ellesmere Island and the wolves will be eradicated or relocated. The wolf is the one land species who has adapted to every climate so he will survive, but it irked me that this innocent wolf, quietly killing a musk ox or two on the far reaches of the planet would soon come under siege and would be killed. This irked me and irks me still but in 2009 I thought I would devote some time to the wolf's plight. No, that's not accurate because the wolf's plight had not yet begun. The ice still exists, the shipping lanes are still being debated, the land is still uninhabited. The wolf's plight is theoretical at this point so I was trying to stay ahead of the curve. I determined it could take a decade to reach Ellesmere Island so if I didn't start soon then I might miss the opportunity to recruit the army of wolf defenders in time to do any good.

The first step to traveling to Ellesmere Island was getting out of Mexico so I bought a spare tire, pointed the van north and drove at 45 mph. If I go further into detail than that then I'll never finish the tale because I will have to explain a whole series of events and introduce people who are not relevant to the wolf quest. So, I will leave my activities in Mexico unexplained and simply say that I wept as I irreversibly burned bridges by beginning my quest to save the Arctic wolf. There's a lesson here...that a quest begins when one quest ends. Maybe this isn't true in every case but it was true in mine. The wolf quest was incompatible with my goals in Mexico and something had to be abandoned. I decided the wolf was a priority. The single lane road threading up the Baja Peninsula is long and remote and vast and dangerous but I had a basic plan in my head involving a visit to my bank in Los Angeles to clear up a financial technicality, then drive to...I looked at a map....a Canadian province called Labrador...then get a boat to Baffin Island and onward to Ellesmere Island. It was a 4 step plan with lots of room for improvisation. After the tears had dried I was excited, a quest renews an old man's heart, it forgives all past failures. A quest gives a man purpose and from that moment on if anyone asked me what I was doing I said, "I'm going to Ellesmere Island to save the Arctic Wolf." And after a quizzical frown I would then begin to answer the questions that followed, questions that I was learning the answers to as I went along.



I had dreams of landscape like this alive with wolves.


Here are links to the installments of the Wolf Quest
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.