Why Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones

Feel that despair.  FEEL IT!

Try not to feel it THIS much, though…

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Last night I saw the last episode of Henry Louis Gates’s six-part documentary series on PBS entitled “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.”

It blew my mind.

That’s all I can really say about it.

If you haven’t seen it, you can do so for free at the PBS website (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/).  I’m going to catch up on the other five episodes ASAP.

Power to the People!

“Iconoclast”

“Buddha was
a scam artist!”
So says
the iconoclast.
“Sometimes Jesus
could be a real
prick!”

My dreams
of alchemy
were just
that.

I pick up a pile
of shit
and hold it
to my nose.

“Breathe deeply!”
Imagine that rays
of light and love
are entering your nostrils.
Namaste!”

I start to gag.
“Real men don’t gag!”

I don’t know
what real men do
but I do know that
real humans gag
when they smell shit
and I’m a human
so I gag
and say,
“This is God’s shit!”

Then I drop it
and get on with my life
as a creature
of light and darkness.
I’ll let the matter rest there
and find a bit of peace.

“The Ant Tells Me Her Dream”

800px-Ant_Farm_Tunneling

“Ants Tunneling Through NASA Gel” by Steve Jurvetson https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

When I was a little boy, I had an ant farm.

I wanted to know if my ants were happy, so one day, I made myself very small, and I climbed inside my ant farm.

Once I was inside, I saw four ants sitting on a plastic swing set.  I walked up to them and asked them what they thought of life on the farm.

“It is very good,” said the first ant.  “We never worry about going hungry.  Once a day, a giant drops food down on top of us: fruits and bits of meat and pieces of cake.”

“It is very good,” said the second ant.  “We’ve dug all the tunnels we can ever dig; there’s no dirt left.  So there’s never any work that has to be done.”

“Indeed, it is good,” said the third ant.  “For every ant that dies here, the giant drops another one from the sky.  So our numbers are always the same.”

“And you?” I said to the fourth ant.

“It is good,” she replied, “but I had a terrible dream the other night and now I have trouble sleeping.”

“What was the dream?” I asked.

“I am buried deep within the earth,” said the ant, “and I am surrounded by thousands of my kin.  We are at rest.  But then we feel the earth growing warm, all around us, and we know the time has come.  So we crawl to the surface, and there we must search for food – anything we can find.

“It is perilous on the earth’s surface.  Flying beasts, eight-legged monsters, giants…they snatch us up, eat us, crush us under their feet.  Or water falls from the sky and some of us are washed away.  Or a strong wind comes by, and we are blown many leagues from home.  Still, every day, we march to the surface to find food.  And we dig.  We are always digging.

“We do this all for our beloved queen, whom we love more than we love ourselves.  When we’ve finished our day’s work, we return to her and to the nest, deep underground.  We eat and play and dance in a circle around our queen.  And she tells us stories of Hymenoptera, the Cosmic Ant, She who holds the earth in Her giant mandibles.”

The ant fell silent.

“What a horrible dream,” said the other ants.

“It was horrible,” said the fourth ant, but she wasn’t very convincing.

What I Learned From Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter_S_Thompson_caricatura

Last night I watched Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.  I didn’t know a whole lot about him – I did see the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas years ago and all I came away with it was, “This guy really likes hallucinogenics.”

Probably worth a second viewing.

Good ol’ Hunter, or some Hunter-esque figure, dropped in on me in the wee hours of the morning to drop some advice about writing, critical reading and critical living.

When I write a professional cover letter to anyone, I always introduce myself as “Grand Poobah” or “Lord of Shit and Whiskey.”  It cuts through all the bullshit, so that the reader knows who s/he’s REALLY dealing with.

When I read an article or an essay, I always read it three times.  The first time is just to introduce myself to the material, get familiar with it.  The second time is so that I can articulate the arguments that the material is making.  The third time, I try to refute those arguments, to the best of my ability.  I try to live my life this way too – What am I doing? Why am I doing it?  Are there good reasons NOT to do it?  To me, this is the best way to actually know  myself and the crazy, fucked-up world I live in.

BOOM!  Advice from Hunter S. Thompson, from beyond the grave.  You’re welcome.