Wednesday, September 30, 2015

achieve /əˈCHēv/

Somewhere a person must rise and slumber no more. For sunset nears, and to the darkness there is no end.

Achates /əˈkeɪtiːz/

One day you will understand this devotion; its strength, its permanence, its worthiness of every imaginable trust. I would follow you into Mordor.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

acerbity /ə-sûr′bĭ-tē/

Suger-free aspartame. Sucralose. Hypnotising pocket-device eyeball strain and squatty plumped people perved out on extra-wide TV screens. Sodium nitrite and hydrogenated oil. Fudgee-Os that taste like bland chemicals and pulp filler and nothing like fudge.

Hey kids! Did you know that when I was your age Fudgee-Os tasted incredible? Like chocolate? They were fucking amazing. Sorry for the foul language but that is the precise truth. They tasted fucking amazing. If you went back in time you’d be shocked. In the 1980’s I used to bang away on an Underwood typewriter made in the sixties. It still worked perfect in the nineties when I gave it away. Your great grand-parents used to care about quality. They were a different breed of hominid.

We however, work longer hours (and get paid for fewer) even though those hours are absurdly leveraged by technology and resource-rape. We tilt the global imbalance of wealth to absurd degrees. Our poor live like kings and our rich live an unnatural existence which makes a complete mockery of the human reality.

And how do we leverage this hyper-excess of productivity? Not by making stuff better. By making stuff worse. The marketplace has become a theatrical battlefield where masked villains peddle facades and screw each other over. Where does the over-productivity go? Into the ground and into the skimmings. Over-manufacturing, planned obsolescence, dollar-store disposable versions of products that were once expected to last for years or decades. Massive food waste, military destruction... All of the fat skimmed to make the super-rich super-super-rich. Capitalism must generate waste in order to perpetuate. It must because collectively, the working class does not get paid enough for what they produce to afford to collectively buy what they produce. The new perversion of trade. The cream rises to the top.

Not by making things better.

By making things worse.

But it’s easy to imagine that things are good. It’s easy to believe the pretty pictures on the packaging when our minds are trained by obsolete survival instinct keying on reputation, not reality, to look at our experiences, not directly but rather through the eye of the other.

image courtesy of marketing execs

image courtesy of google maps

Monday, September 28, 2015


The Pando quaking aspen colony is the heaviest known living organism on earth. Appearing above ground as individual trees, they bear identical genes and gender (male), revealing a single shared root system which is estimated at six million kilograms, and buried so deep it is protected from threats such as wildfires. It has re-risen like a phoenix and likely a great many times, for the Pando also rivals the oldest living organisms on earth. It is roughly 80,000 years old.

It has thought to have not flowered (reproduced sexually) in the last 10,000 years or so but survived strictly by cloning. That’s quite a dry spell. I suddenly don’t feel so bad.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

ace /ās/

It was their adventure; their quest. A fine heartfelt bonding experience. A coming of age.

But as they finely closed on the object of their macabre interest, the older boys descended on them as older boys will do, to ruin everything for their own pointless, cheap, cruel pleasure. For kicks. For the hell of it. Because they could.

But Gordie will not have it. Not this time. He will defend their moment and most certainly pay dearly for it later. He draws the sacred item; a real live GUN. And clenched in both hands he raises it and targets the leader.

“What are you gonna do?” Ace snickers. But his smile is nervous as he glances at his cohorts. “Shoot all of us?”

“No Ace,” says Gordie. And Ace knows at once that he’s not bluffing: “Just you.”

--paraphrased from The Body by Stephen King, and film adaptation Stand By Me (Columbia Pictures 1986)

accustom /əˈkəstəm/

Driving cars to all our vital appointments and buying up what we want from the Big Buy stores which line the horizon. Packaged flesh and new gadgets with the latest trinkets which we have always needed and only miraculously survived without for the last quarter million years. And the old trinkets magically disappear, melting into their individual natural elements and seeping back into their proper niches in the ripe Earth – we trust.

Working less hard while garnishing more rewards we know the paradise is eternal, for we, the chosen ones and our blessed daughters and sons.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

accusation ˌ/akyəˈzāSH(ə)n/

Who now will hold me accountable?

I once served as my own one and only critic, tearing away at my own understandings, looking for their flaws, murdering my darlings. There was a time when I was able to find the flaws in my work. I seem now to have lost the knack for it – or else there none left to be found. Which statement is so, I do not know.

accursed /əˈkərst/

The glass tit, Stephen King called it. Right away I knew what he was referring to. The box from which we suck our toxic mental nutrition. The boob tube.

I didn't so much reject TV, back at the turn of the millennium, as fall out of the habit while more useful habits formed. The airwaves seemed nothing but idiocy at that time and I've yet to glean any clues that the boob realm has improved since then. Has it?

"Do you watch the such-and-such show?" people ask.

"I don't watch TV at all," I say, with pristine annunciation.  

And then, invariably, they delightedly try to tell me all about their favorite show while I silently search the sky, yearning to be kidnapped by aliens. It doesn't occur to people that if I have no time to waste watching TV then hearing about TV is presumably a bigger waste.

I’m not sure what’s more comical: sit-com dopes, pea-brained advertising, bubble-head blatherers of quasi-news? Does all this vapidity flatter us by setting such low intellectual bench-marks? As long as we’re at least a modicum brighter than the fools and jesters of the screen?

It seems to me another prime power in the structure of the matrix, goading us into the doldrums; dulling and doping the sheep that we would more easily be led.

Friday, September 25, 2015

accuracy /ˈakyərəsē/

Truth: the most dangerous word.

What is truth?

What is truth but any damn thing heard which does not conflict with any damn thing we happened to hear on a previous day, at least as far as our individual subjective accounting is concerned? How blind are we willing to be in order to keep our task of thinking simple?

We call things true because we see apparently logical connections between they and other things we labelled true and because it suits our selfish interests to assume them true.

But the web of causality is unfathomably massive; its threads everywhere; the flow of its threads so often unapparent in their direction. Any picture you want can be imagined from them, like ice cream castles in the clouds. Soft, dull, stunted thinking summons any desired result.

In reality we know nothing to be true except that which we have consistently experienced and that which we have extrapolated from said experience with the purest and most thorough application of logic and, above all, with the courage to accept the most dire of possible outcomes. Integrity does not trump fear. Only those with the strength to shed fears can know truth.

But such pristine accounting does not happen here in a society that does not require truth, nor regard it nor reward it. The games we are addicted to do not support the pursuit of real truth nor leave us time for it so long as we are slave to the matrix.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

accumulate /əˈkyo͞om(y)əˌlāt/

A new couch, two buffets and a hutch. Desks, tables, shelves and artwork. Televisions, stereos and other appliances. I gave them away. Area rugs. Gave them away. Two dining room sets and more furniture. Gave it all away.

Dishes, cutlery, crockery, boxes of stationery, music albums and boxes of who knows what. Boxes under the bed, boxes in closets, boxes in the cubby hole, under the stairs. Christmas wrap, decorations, party supplies. I shed it all, amazed at how good it felt; like a thousand anchors severed so this ship can finally sail again.

I kept my bed and books and comfy chair and select few works of art: not the priciest ones, not the stuff elegantly framed; not the original oils. Just the images I most liked looking at; the stuff that reminded me of the life I wanted. I kept enough clothes, some mementos and gifts from loved ones.

To my neighbor I gave the bamboo plant I had bought to serve as centrepiece for a dinner party, a thing that afterwards, I had not expected to survive my neglect. And when I saw it there in the neighbor’s window, front and centre among her many plants; this ignored thing still living and now appreciated… well… it put a cheer in my heart and a tear in my eye.

Farewell, little bamboo. I’m on my way.

Monday, September 21, 2015

accredit /əˈkredət/

Societies. I only know this one. The modern western world. And more and more it feels like nothing but a big game. A recreation. A pretend life in the strange absence of a real one. The perils and prizes that drove our evolution for such an incredibly long time by our tiny point of view, are suddenly irrelevant.

So a monopoly board suffices instead. A game of credits: reputation and money. Though just like the Joshua computer; the wargames simulator, the little wires in our head know no difference between game and reality.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pointy pointy point points

So now that everyone’s been inundated with talk of refugees, migrants and Syria and can’t bear another moment of it, I will finally say a thing or two now that no one will be listening, and I shall do so in the meagerest point-form fashion:
  • When I say I would prefer that Canada give more help to them, this is not tantamount to saying I wish them granted citizenship. I’m immediately thinking of safe harbor while the matter of amnesty might perhaps be addressed more globally. I’m thinking of the concept of foster parenting if you will, whether there is existing functionality to serve such a concept or whether I am, in effect, proposing that such might be created? Okay, obviously I haven’t thought this out! It is simply an inclination that I wish help for these people!
  • I’ve been asked: do I want to “let everyone in” to Canada?
1. Sure. I don’t care. I don’t self-identify as Canadian and I don’t give a rat’s ass who does.

2. I don’t actually give myself any credit whatsoever for making “Canada” what it is or for the tremendous comforts, privileges and (dark-seeded) indulgences that it provides us. I do not feel even remotely entitled to claim deserving of them (though I do enjoy them!) while other peoples of the world are not. I can’t identify with such a conceit or understand why, in the past, I surely did. I can’t recall what rationalizations I once perpetrated. I only know it stemmed from the illusions of our bestial tribalism.
  • I’m sick of foreigners coming in and stealing our jobs and using up our welfare! I am told. Yeah. I don’t get that at all. The Canadian economy is built on immigration. Immigration creates material needs which creates jobs. And our immigration policies do very well, thank you very much, at bringing in hordes of wealthy immigrants who take large portions of foreign wealth out of their economies and into our economy for our benefit.
  • They have made a mess of their own country, I’m told. Why should we let them mess up ours, I’m asked.
Well that’s very interesting because blame is a very dicey and largely illusory concept, isn't it? Who are “they”? My guess is that the ones who are fleeing for their lives are not as responsible for “the mess” as those they are fleeing from. Isn’t that a fairly safe assumption? As for our own innocence, are we not making a mess? No? Really?

One could find himself sitting in the dirt because he owns no chair, saying, “Fuck a duck, have I ever made a mess of my life! My ass is in the dirt!” or one could find himself sitting in a big comfy chair saying, “Ah! What comfort! I am a success! This is no mess!” But if you did not earn that chair by working and paying for it legitimately; if you stole that chair from Guido The Brain Basher and he knows it, then who has made the bigger mess? If Guido is on his way to pull you out of his chair and bash your brains in, then the sitter in the dirt is looking like less of a mess-maker than you, don’t you think?

Guess which circumstance I’m metaphorically assigning to Canada?

I think we’re thoroughly deluded. I think that all of our economical and environmental practices are deeply flawed – nay – criminally corrupt; entirely unsustainable. As a nation we’re totally exploiting poorer countries and turning their labour into our wealth. That cannot go on forever. That we’re exploiting our natural resources exponentially beyond their rate of renewal is not even remotely debatable, even by the ruling classes (those unnaturally rich and running government, media and corporations) who constantly distract us from this insurmountable crisis in the making.

We sit around sucking our thumbs, nodding our heads to a fantasy democracy totally controlled by a few corporate-owned-and-operated parties who pretend to be diverse as long as we are dumbbells and only listen to their scant differences; the li’l issue o’ the day, and don’t grasp that the world and the environment are rapidly furiously changing in the eyes of global context. The real physical world is NOT conservative! To me, these parties are in fact all monstrously conservative by any real point of view, and then we elect the most conservative; the one most dedicated to preserving our slave systems and the least in touch with global reality. Have we not made a mess when in fact democracy means that the government is accountable to the people and it is the people’s responsibility to dismantle an ineffective or corrupt government and build anew? That is our responsibility which is over and above the responsibility to vote. We imagine that the media is enforcing some kind of accountability which is a farce. The mainstream media only plays the watchdog role in the most superficial manners. It never confronts the government in any way damaging to the institution! We “Canadians” are beyond inept. The time for rebellion came a long time ago. We’re a bunch of sissy-pantses!

The threads that hold our entire society together are incredibly fragile and completely interdependent. When the systems start to fail, by god, they are all going down and our society will melt down into complete chaos. And the primitive remains of it will swiftly convert our tech-slave society into an overt slave society and this will be a horror. People will be the new oil.

Of course it’s really easy to deny all this when we’re sitting around in our comfy chairs with no fears about Guido. None at all! And why should we? Because Guido ain’t coming for us, after all! He’s coming for our grandchildren who we purport to love.

Could I be wrong? I would love to think so. Maybe technology and resources will provide ever-deeper opportunities for exploitation stretching beyond the Earth; our solar system; the galaxy, etcetera, as required to sustain the ultimately-unsustainable human slave paradigm well into the future. But I really doubt we’ll be able to make that leap before the crash.

And if you’re in denial, let me throw you a little hint. When the day comes that western governments start saying, “Yeah, we need to repeal minimum-wage legislation – just as a temporary measure – just to get the economy stimulated,” that will be the sign that clinches it. That is when covert slavery has begun the irrevocable shift to overt slavery. And the end will be nigh. If you’re still alive when that day comes, you soon might wish you weren’t.

Strangely I feel no dread or rage over any of this. To me it is all a logical forecast and perhaps not a certainty. Where there is life there is hope, says Stephen Hawking. But hope, without action is the greatest sin of all. Hope, without a plan is just dumb. And the only plans and action I see are by marginalized people who truly act out of love and not selfishness and who are swiftly labelled by the powerful as radicals and eco-terrorists and such, and we buy into these labels because we’re dull-minded ass-backwards sheep who are just eager to hear that our lives are A-Okay!


Oh well. Perhaps we’ll find the miracle that accelerates our stalled evolution (the functionality exists I have reliably witnessed!) and another miracle with which to enlighten even the power-mongers who hold all the cards. And armies. Meanwhile I live for today, looking for ways to improve and be less a part of the problem and more a part of the solution. That is something joyful and something we can all take part in.

Well, so much for point form. I tried!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#92: What reason can there be?

January 29th, 1979, San Diego California: Sixteen-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer walked onto the playground of Grover Cleveland Elementary School with a gun and opened fire. She killed two adults and injured eight schoolchildren and a police officer.

When the media report came jittering out of the telex machine at WRAS, the campus radio station of Georgia State University, it was read by the Irish musician who’d been sitting next to the machine, preparing for a radio interview.

When journalists demanded of the killer: “Tell me why,” she would only respond: “I don’t like Mondays. It livened up the day.”

How could there be a reason for something so senseless? the musician thought. His imagination supplied the answer: Because a silicon chip inside her head got switched to overload.  

By Bob Geldof (The Boomtown Rats)
1979, Ireland

I always sensed something haunting behind these strange lyrics and never understood their origin until today.

Peak: #1, UK

Geldof reflects on the song and its consequences:

Monday, September 14, 2015

#93: Love songs can’t be wrong

I don’t get sucked into country songs often at all but this super-catchy melody and ridiculously romantic notion did the trick:

By Toy Caldwell (The Marshall Tucker Band)
1977, USA

The airy flute, uplifting tone and sappy message in the chorus all sound so happy but, it’s a country song, remember. So get into the verses and it’s just sad. The wrangler protagonist has fallen hard for the woman who has anchored him too long at his latest stop along the road (long enough for his boots to get old), but his nature has finally won out and so he must break both their hearts and move on. Oh well. What can you do? Men are dick-heads.

Peak: #14, Billboard Top 100.

This was by far Toy Caldwell and The Marshall Tucker Band’s biggest hit. Toy’s brother, Tommy Calwell, bassist for the band, passed away in 1980 at age 31. Toy, lead guitarist and primary writer, died in 1993 at age 46.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I probably shouldn’t have posted the link to this trailer on likebook with the message, “Everyone needs to see this.”

I keep forgetting about the unwritten rules of likebook. The more wisdom, intelligence or relevance you dare try to slip into a likebook post, the more that likebookers' uncanny substance-detectors alarm and the faster everyone scatters for the exits. God forbid we attempt to engage there, in dialogue aimed at improving our lives in any truthful or noble sense.

Oh, but it’s perfectly fine to pretend at it of course. It’s perfectly fine to re-post inspiring quote-image decorations which sound noble and which we pretend to have consolidated for ourselves and found them without flaw. What the hell, right? As long as a sound byte stems from some unfamiliar source, it must be right. Right? As long as it doesn’t come from any of the losers we know (who must secretly be as dull and phony as we secretly just-maybe fear we might ourselves be) then it must be legitimate. After all, there is one reliable constant in the universe: Our personal friends and associates will never be smarter, wiser or happier than we are. And they will never know something important that we don’t know first. This is the law pronounced by the ego which controls us. The ego that is the centre of your universe. And all of this conceit will run smoothly for us as long as we never learn anything or believe that anyone you know has learned anything. And this way we can merrily proceed, head in the sand, toward our oblivion. Easy Peasy.

Now, if your own ego tells you that you are better than that, here’s one way to demonstrate it:

Watch Samsara. Not because it is an excellent movie among movies. Not because it is different. Not because an incredible amount of time and effort and impartiality went into it or because of the great investment in top-quality film or its astounding imagery. Not because I say so. Not because I am a film buff whose frame of reference covers more than 2000 titles. 

Watch Samsara because it is an incredibly valuable tool if you actually have a mind that gives a damn about truth or knowledge or reality. If you have such a mind then this is a tool not easily replaced and if you take a pass on it, then you are forever less equipped to comment legitimately about the world you like to think you know.

It is not that these images will directly reveal things you didn’t know existed (well, maybe they will. In fact I might myself have been taken by surprise by a couple things). But it is your own mind that can reveal things to you when you look at things you know but from a different direction.

This film is a different direction.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

accoutre /əˈko͞odər/

What are the tools of a writer? A keyboard, paper and pen? A desk?

I don't think so. Even imagination and practiced literacy are but screws and nails. What are the real tools of the storyteller?

Skepticism. Restlessness. Empathy. Courage.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

account /əˈkount/

So many ills so many suffer and so often. The sorrow, the loneliness, the perceived injury. The jealousy and inferiority. Suppressed guilt and shadowy fears and on and on; a dreary roster of insanity. They weave their webs through all our days and leave a trail of suffering that is almost universally misunderstood. So accustomed to it all, it only feels like living; like the cost of doing business. But this living death is a tragedy born of illusions. We cannot see the bigger pictures; the miracles of our brilliant existence; our starring role in the great drama of the universe. We cannot access the only truthful perspective; the global perspective from the narrow channels, like foxholes, that we have dug for ourselves.

“We will pay the price but we will not count the cost.”—Neil Peart

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

accompany /əˈkəmp(ə)nē/

A lot of people tip their hand; reveal perhaps, why they are single when they talk about their idea of sharing their life with someone; "having someone special around," they say, "to make my big moments more special."

For me to ever be lured back into some permutation of couplehood, I would have to be so in love that my moments would play second fiddle to those of the beloved. It seems like many of you are not looking for a companion but for a witness.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

acclimate /ˈakləˌmāt/

“How doth the city sit solitary that was once full of people.” Leviticus 1:1.

The poet Michael Gaultieri pointed me toward this passage and it has haunted me greatly at those times I have felt so utterly alone. I have stared out windows at alien cityscapes, mystified. I have not adjusted well. Disinterest breeds silence which is taken for concurrence and for all the good that does I might as well be playing a mummer.

To be more assertive? Is that the answer? Or am I spending time in the wrong places? Should I invite further evolution instead? Perhaps further exploration is more the right idea, which can be achieved, of course, in new places as well as the familiar.