I’m a Little Unsteady

I know I’ve recently written things many likely find offensive.

I’m probably less racist than Hillary Clinton. Any misogyny I display is quite obviously not Trumpian or anywhere close. I’ve always believed in equality of opportunity – and outcomes, in some cases.

The more serious problem, though, is to fail to recognize to understand that “angry white male” and the impact of his views on American society.

Having a woman on the ballot is enough to motivate the sexists. The recent protests by Black Lives Matter members and others (though the angry white male will focus on BLM) will similarly motivate the angry white man to vote against the Democrats and liberals. We can only hope such things aren’t as influential as we get closer to the election.

I have friends on the left who, likely reading a deeper racism into my posts, have expressed agreement with such darker thoughts, but they are uncomfortable openly stating their beliefs. That’s natural, but sort of sad. None of these people are racists or sexists. But it doesn’t make sense. When your eyes have seen the same or similar things all your life, it just doesn’t make sense. Much like the racial violence to which she was victim surprised the hell out of Misty.

It doesn’t make sense. No matter how many justifications we find for it. No matter what we do to change it. It doesn’t make sense. But the more enlightened of us nonetheless continue supporting progressive policies that will help everyone. We don’t turn inward and build a wall around our compassion.

None of it makes sense. But even through the absurdity we must push.

**

Free, And Not So

Hoping for more and wishing for less
When I didn’t care was when I did best
I’m desperate to run, I’m desperate to leave
If I lose it all, at least I’ll be free

It’s clear you think that I’m inferior
Whatever helps you sleep at night
Whatever helps you keep it tight

I’ll certainly miss the rain here. It may drench the already-soupy air further but I love it. Obviously, I wouldn’t want to be here if it rained too much. That wasn’t a concern when I lived on the Gulf Coast as a youth. My parents worried about hurricanes and such. I was a kid. We were excited and happy to get a few days off from school (this was before they started requiring “make-up days”).

That freedom isn’t quite available anymore.

Nowadays, I have to worry about it. I have to remember we’re living in a bowl that’s flooded more than once and been destroyed by water more than once. (Also by fire, but that’s beside this point.)

I have to think about how we get ourselves (and in “ourselves” I include George, Jeff, Carl and Mel) and our valued belongings out of town without a vehicle. My current plan is to bail early. Is it in the Gulf of Mexico? Is it predicted to even brush New Orleans? The Mississippi River is maybe 15-20 blocks away, if that. We out.

It’s not something fun to think about because it’s not something that seems fun, especially if your worst fears do, in fact, make landfall. But, beyond naming the local natural disasters, I certainly didn’t give considerable thought to their possible impact on our lives.

How often do we consider the large disasters that regularly cause destruction in our chosen relocation destination? Weather – the normal, day-to-day highs and lows – may be worried over. Regularly occurring natural disasters, however, are given much less thought. Hurricanes and tornadoes and floods and mudslides and polar vortices and more. These are present in mind only when we, or someone else causes us to, call it to mind.

But when, except in retrospect in the aftermath, do we focus so intently on life’s possible disasters?

Entries are much more difficult to write now. Maybe they’ll start flowing more easily after some time and practice.

Will life get ahead of me?

All these times will change
I can’t turn away
Planes are heading home
When old friends are gone

I thought that after I left Austin I’d be able to write about it. The Ruta Maya years. Before Austin began becoming San Francisco in industry and (relative to the local cost-of-living) rent prices.

I followed the rule that one can’t write about a city without leaving it.* That writing hasn’t occurred yet. Partly because I haven’t focused on it the way I need to if I plan to actually produce something someday. The other part being I haven’t pushed it. And I’m too old to believe inspiration will strike – can wait until death for that to happen. It would be nice, though.

Dane, my old Air Force brat friend from Keesler AFB in Biloxi, messaged me on Facebook last night to note how negative I seem to be and check on me. He wanted to make sure I wasn’t planning to “off” myself.

I’m not, for the record.

We’re pushing through. Many things may seem – and many are – extraordinarily disappointing and maddening, but we’ll make it. If nothing else, Misty and I have faced no end of obstacles during our time together. There’s always another hump. I fear the day there isn’t one will be the day after I die. It would be really nice not to be constantly fighting to take another new hill. Could be worse: Could be Sisyphus.

It was nice chatting with Dane. Even if it did make me wonder if I should be happy. If that’s even a possibility.

When it comes to dry wit, I was in the zone.

At one point he asked how I was voting. No matter how much of a privileged angry white male I may be, I still won’t throw my vote to Trump or a third party. But, as I explained to Dane when he asked if I wasn’t curious just how far down we can go, my expectations of her are little different from those I have of Trump. They’ll both take us down. It will just be more slowly under Clinton. And less offensive. But more insidious for that. Neoliberalism will still rule.

Which reminds me of an example of neoliberalism’s effects on personal interactions. Another friend, a fellow former politico, posted on Facebook a note explaining to an unknown-to-me friend why he’s a Democrat. It’s a long post, and some found it very affecting.

At the end, he copyrighted it. Permission was given to repost it on Facebook with attribution.

How deranged is the world when our friends find it necessary to overtly tell us not to steal their shit?

That they fear their work may be used to their friends’ financial advantage?

Your Life: One Big Financial Transaction

That’s neoliberalism for you.

Reminds me: There’s only one thief in the Army. Everyone else is just trying to get their shit back.

We all know I’m a nostalgic.

I enjoy wanders down memory lane. In particular, I like that bittersweet heaviness on my heart.

I sometimes get sad during those inner wanderings, of course. It isn’t a wanderlust that wants to return to those days; I have no doubt that back then I was saying I couldn’t wait to be older. But aging is strange. The mind – or, at least, my small mind – ages far slower than time passes, it seems. I’ve learned more, but I’m, fundamentally, the same person I was at twenty-years old.

For someone who, like me, loves of reminiscing, the Web is truly a gift. We can keep in touch with so many people.

Even with all this technology and connectedness and other libertarian Singularity trash we can’t always stay in touch with all those we wish we could. Time or distance or relationship or life. Sometimes we block people from our lives; others block us. Either can be heartbreaking.

As Misty likes to say, “You’re welcome.” Given our generation, Generation X – that small in number, large in impact generation between the massive Boomers and Millennials – created the Web for all intents and purposes. Trust me: You wouldn’t be surfing around an Internet merely full of white-on-black text. Not to mention the devices used to access it. I’ve been filling up the Web with original content from as far back at 1995 or earlier. So, yes, you’re welcome.

I’ve always liked Douglas Coupland’s description of one’s twenties. He described those years as “nothing but muck and shit and pain and horror.” At least, that’s how I remember it, and I’m not going to look it up because I like that version.

Maybe as we grow older the first three adjectives don’t change but the last one does. We’re rarely horrified by the things we experience and see each day. Maybe it changes to “sorrow.”

 

*I’m fully aware it’s not a rule. Nor is it true you can only write about a place after you’ve left. I should know: I’ve spent years writing about the places I’ve been. 

 

[I’ve been slowly, painfully and regretfully (to you) trying to get an entry up on inadequate. This is what you get. Not editing it. Took all day to get this junk out of my system. Let us hope things improve soon.]

Poetry & Words

The poet feels the dull memory of other knowledge of the tongue and can’t reproduce it. She has to use the words there are for such things as have names — language is the fallen medium, built of worn material — but what she wants from an act of reference exceeds what any amalgam of communicable content can actually do. She wants to make moonlight felt, not speak again the name of the moon. Actual terms, whatever their number and glamour, are always too few and too many, always wrong. Poems become the tokens of unrealized desire. Poetry is the name for what poems never became.

 

. . .

Poetry, then, implies a vexed ground where profound ambitions are joined to inadequate means of realization. This, in capsule form, accounts for both the persistent aura and disappointment of the art.

Brandon Kreitler, “Like a Poem: On Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 22 July 2016.

I Wanna Be Your Crystal Baller

I’m ready to pack up the dogs, get in a vehicle and drive away; never looking back.

We received two emails from our property manager a couple of days ago. One was accusing of us leaving a bag of trash under the stairs on the other side of the courtyard near the gate (essentially, as far as one could get from us and still be under those stairs). I know of the bag because I saw it there.

I simply replied, “Not ours!” No response.

That email was shortly followed by one stating that they’d heard we have a new dog (we actually have two) and that it was a Pit Bull.

I simply replied that, “We’re dog-sitting until roughly the end of the month. There’s no Pit Bull here, though. Only a lab, a Basenji/Dalmatian mix and itty-bitty Carl. That was acceptable to her.

Of course, that first part wasn’t true. So we have to figure out what we’re going to do with George and Jeff – see if Mom and Dad will take them again? register them as ESAs? Then they can’t kick them out for any reason.

Jeff looks nothing like a Pit Bull. Beyond that, though, they’ve done nothing to anyone. Continue reading “I Wanna Be Your Crystal Baller”

HC, DT and BLM

Does anyone really think I’m a diehard Hillary Clinton supporter?

Do I think she’ll push needed policies are hard and far as they need to go? Nope.

Do I like the idea of continuing another political dynasty? Hell no.

Do I think it’s important that a woman finally sit behind the desk in the Oval Office? Absolutely.

Do I want the Republicans to win? Definitely not. Even if the candidate isn’t Trump? Even if the candidate wasn’t Trump, I wouldn’t vote for a conservative Republican.

She’s certainly the most qualified candidate (including third-party candidates).

You can be a little punk and say you won’t vote for Hillary because there’s no difference between her and Donald or they’re both evil or you just don’t like her, but remember:

That same argument got us W. with a side of unnecessary war in the Middle East and a large Great Recession to top it off.

And if that’s not enough:

The first thing the new president will do is make a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

How long do you want your vote (or abstention) to negatively impact the country? Continue reading “HC, DT and BLM”

Tell them if they’re lookin’ for me / I’m on the road to the next city

Born and raised in the USA
By way of New Orleans where the killers stay

 

I’m working on unsubscribing from every New Orleans- and/or Louisiana-focused newsletter, state and/or local political insider news update list and MeetUp group andneighborhood (and local technology) Facebook and NextDoor group. Excuse me, but: Fuck this place.

There are most certainly many intelligent, caring and concerned residents of New Orleans. I’ve met a few of them. But I’ve met far more who are more interested in puffing the city up as something it’s not (a tech mecca) while ignoring the current state of affairs, which includes the lack of good jobs, the explosion of high rents and merely a tourism industry to support the city. Not to mention the ridiculous number of violent crimes based on ignorance and racism committed every day threatening the only industry in town.

The local newspapers are just ten-page crime blotters. Yes, you heard me right. Excluding sports and other such non-news nonsense, the entire newspaper can be ten staff-written pages – at best.

Back in the early 2000s, while visiting New Orleans with my then-girlfriend and staying at Teri’s place, I noted the anti-intellectualism of the town. Even a town with as many universities as New Orleans has.

Our residence here has not changed that opinion.you're a douchebag! art

I’m happy to take my real tech job, tax dollars and shopping locally somewhere else. Along with my company’s advertising money.

The city that care forgot? Or the city whose residents are full of apathy? I think the latter is the real problem.

We keep bouncing from city to city since we left Austin. A short time in NYC and Harlem, a longer period in New Orleans . . . and now we’re back at it. Not immediately – we need money, and it doesn’t come quickly nor is it saved quickly given our rent and other bills.

Where are we going to go? Probably back to Texas.

Even Houston isn’t this violent, and at least it’s localized there. It isn’t all over the city. In New Orleans, you can’t tell how your street is going to turn out until someone is killed on it. Others have much better experiences than we have, apparently.

In reply to Misty’s email about the late-night, mid-week bombardment of fireworks after the hospitality industry convention a couple of weeks ago, our city councilwoman replied that it frightened her, too, as there had been two shootings on her street recently. That’s nice.

Express concern about all of these things – jobs, crime, rent – and other New Orleans residents give you a dismissive, “Why do you live here then?” Unlike in other cities, they make no arguments for New Orleans. Nor do they offer counterarguments.

Within the last 72 hours, a neighbor found a bullet hole in her car and my daily crime email included seven serious crimes within one mile of our address. The high is still 29 crimes (assaults, rapes, murders, armed robberies, carjackings &c.).

I received the same email about the neighborhoods I lived in while in Austin, a city larger than New Orleans. The crimes that happen here never happened there. Even in the “rough” neighborhoods in pre-gentrification East Austin.

No income tax and lower sales taxes will be nice again, too.

Aside from always having to be alert and keeping my head on a swivel in fear of a potential problem arising at any time, I love walking around the ‘hood for a little while with Jeff and George or Carl and George, depending on how I’m walking them that day.

The smells and stickiness remind me of my youth in Biloxi. And I wonder again how the hell I played outside as a kid there and, later, marched two miles a day to class at Keesler in this soup. Take a deep breath and you’ll drown.

You don’t have to be outside for more than a minute and, without even actually workingup a sweat, you’ll be drenched in it and begging for the A/C.

If we’re going to call any city a cesspool, New Orleans definitely has all the right ingredients.

I knew this city was violent. I expected black-on-white racism. I predicted to Misty when we first moved here that something aimed at one of us would come flying out of the window of one of those cars at some point in the future. I didn’t realize she would so quickly fall victim to the racial violence here. Harlem was 100 million times better (I’m operating on your prejudices with that).

There’s no reason for this, New Orleans. Except that you’ve all buried your heads in the sand and justified ignoring the very real dangers and causes for the stasis – at best and backsliding of your city with your white liberal guilt and corruption and profiteering from the inadequate basic public services (disintegrating roads, lack of police officers who respond to crimes, a contracted-out education system, etc.) the city offers its residents.

Apathy doesn’t look good on any city.

It’s the birthplace of jazz, you say. It has so much culture, what with the Creoles and Cajuns and Catholics and blacks and whites there, you say. The food is delicious and can’t be matched in the States, you say. I said that, too.

Guess what? You can experience all that on a short trip here. You don’t need to live here.

Anyway. That’s enough. I’ll be happy to find someplace in Texas – outside Houston? Austin? Waco? San Antonio? Brownsville? Corpus? Who knows? Omaha also sounds nice. Too far of a move right now, though.

Someplace with $600 a month rent. There are more of those places than you think, surprisingly. I didn’t realize you didn’t have to live in the projects and only pay that much.

FYI: This blog is going up unedited.

Tell them if they’re lookin’ for me / I’m on the road to the next city

Born and raised in the USA
By way of New Orleans where the killers stay

 

I’m working on unsubscribing from every New Orleans- and/or Louisiana-focused newsletter, state and/or local political insider news update list and MeetUp group andneighborhood (and local technology) Facebook and NextDoor group. Excuse me, but: Fuck this place.

There are most certainly many intelligent, caring and concerned residents of New Orleans. I’ve met a few of them. But I’ve met far more who are more interested in puffing the city up as something it’s not (a tech mecca) while ignoring the current state of affairs, which includes the lack of good jobs, the explosion of high rents and merely a tourism industry to support the city. Not to mention the ridiculous number of violent crimes based on ignorance and racism committed every day threatening the only industry in town.

The local newspapers are just ten-page crime blotters. Yes, you heard me right. Excluding sports and other such non-news nonsense, the entire newspaper can be ten staff-written pages – at best.

Back in the early 2000s, while visiting New Orleans with my then-girlfriend and staying at Teri’s place, I noted the anti-intellectualism of the town. Even a town with as many universities as New Orleans has.

Our residence here has not changed that opinion.you're a douchebag! art

I’m happy to take my real tech job, tax dollars and shopping locally somewhere else. Along with my company’s advertising money.

The city that care forgot? Or the city whose residents are full of apathy? I think the latter is the real problem.

We keep bouncing from city to city since we left Austin. A short time in NYC and Harlem, a longer period in New Orleans . . . and now we’re back at it. Not immediately – we need money, and it doesn’t come quickly nor is it saved quickly given our rent and other bills.

Where are we going to go? Probably back to Texas.

Even Houston isn’t this violent, and at least it’s localized there. It isn’t all over the city. In New Orleans, you can’t tell how your street is going to turn out until someone is killed on it. Others have much better experiences than we have, apparently.

In reply to Misty’s email about the late-night, mid-week bombardment of fireworks after the hospitality industry convention a couple of weeks ago, our city councilwoman replied that it frightened her, too, as there had been two shootings on her street recently. That’s nice.

Express concern about all of these things – jobs, crime, rent – and other New Orleans residents give you a dismissive, “Why do you live here then?” Unlike in other cities, they make no arguments for New Orleans. Nor do they offer counterarguments.

Within the last 72 hours, a neighbor found a bullet hole in her car and my daily crime email included seven serious crimes within one mile of our address. The high is still 29 crimes (assaults, rapes, murders, armed robberies, carjackings &c.).

I received the same email about the neighborhoods I lived in while in Austin, a city larger than New Orleans. The crimes that happen here never happened there. Even in the “rough” neighborhoods in pre-gentrification East Austin.

No income tax and lower sales taxes will be nice again, too.

Aside from always having to be alert and keeping my head on a swivel in fear of a potential problem arising at any time, I love walking around the ‘hood for a little while with Jeff and George or Carl and George, depending on how I’m walking them that day.

The smells and stickiness remind me of my youth in Biloxi. And I wonder again how the hell I played outside as a kid there and, later, marched two miles a day to class at Keesler in this soup. Take a deep breath and you’ll drown.

You don’t have to be outside for more than a minute and, without even actually workingup a sweat, you’ll be drenched in it and begging for the A/C.

If we’re going to call any city a cesspool, New Orleans definitely has all the right ingredients.

I knew this city was violent. I expected black-on-white racism. I predicted to Misty when we first moved here that something aimed at one of us would come flying out of the window of one of those cars at some point in the future. I didn’t realize she would so quickly fall victim to the racial violence here. Harlem was 100 million times better (I’m operating on your prejudices with that).

There’s no reason for this, New Orleans. Except that you’ve all buried your heads in the sand and justified ignoring the very real dangers and causes for the stasis – at best and backsliding of your city with your white liberal guilt and corruption and profiteering from the inadequate basic public services (disintegrating roads, lack of police officers who respond to crimes, a contracted-out education system, etc.) the city offers its residents.

Apathy doesn’t look good on any city.

It’s the birthplace of jazz, you say. It has so much culture, what with the Creoles and Cajuns and Catholics and blacks and whites there, you say. The food is delicious and can’t be matched in the States, you say. I said that, too.

Guess what? You can experience all that on a short trip here. You don’t need to live here.

Anyway. That’s enough. I’ll be happy to find someplace in Texas – outside Houston? Austin? Waco? San Antonio? Brownsville? Corpus? Who knows? Omaha also sounds nice. Too far of a move right now, though.

Someplace with $600 a month rent. There are more of those places than you think, surprisingly. I didn’t realize you didn’t have to live in the projects and only pay that much.

FYI: This blog is going up unedited.

Looziana News Clips — 1 JUL 2016, PM Call

NATIONAL

US construction spending fell again in May
Survey: US manufacturing accelerates in June
US income gap widened last year as top 1 percent gained most
The 99 percent just had its best year in nearly two decades
US auto sales expected to hit record in first 6 months

STATE

Cassidy seeks to raise Louisiana’s share of offshore oil revenue
John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana budget vetoes: What he rejected
Center for Reproductive Rights Challenging All 2016 La. Pro-Life Legislation
Louisiana 1st state in Deep South to expand Medicaid
Louisiana’s Budget Crisis Empowers an Unusual Group (Lobbyists)
Ingalls Shipbuilding gets Navy contract, could total $3.1B
Oil, gas jobs: Recovery to be gradual
Tax changes on tap for Louisiana businesses
Initial unemployment claims in Louisiana rise
Job training requirements starting for 52,000 on food stamps
Spring shrimp season to close for inshore waters Sunday
Southeastern Louisiana University faces $1.4 million reduction in state funds
Double homestead exemption not just wrong; now it’s a crime

CITY

New initiative brings together area law enforcement to tackle crime in New Orleans area
Technology company CSRA to open new center in Bossier City
New Orleans Among Top Cities for Millennials Living Alone
Louisiana judge tries to resolve ‘debtors’ prison’ allegations
New $51 million project will use “Living with Water” ideas to improve Central City drainage
Audubon Zoo wants to bring back lions, asks city for $5 million to help
New Orleans Startup zlien Files Plagiarism Suit Against Nationwide Notice