Archive | May 2012

The book Blood Meridian to music

A musical/lyrical interpretation of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy was created by Ben Nichols of Lucero fame.   The EP is titled “The Last Pale Light in the West”.

I tried to share the entire album as a stream on here, but it didn’t seem to like that.  For now though, you can listen to one of the tracks here on Grooveshark:  http://grooveshark.com/s/Toadvine/2M6a8r.  All of the other songs from the EP can also be listened to on Grooveshark.

You can find the CD on Amazon here:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Pale-Light-West/dp/B001MW0IWU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1337970025&sr=8-2

I hear they are making a Blood Meridian film. The producers would be doing themselves a big disservice by not choosing Nichols to flesh out the soundtrack.  Quite an excellent job of representing the literature in song.

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Flat out sick of politics

From the post counts for my different categories its obvious that I’ve been pretty political with previously posted items.  Fairly recently though I’ve come to the cynical conclusion that my vote really doesn’t matter.

I’m thoroughly convinced that what we see in the political arena is just a false illusion of choice.  I’m also of the opinion that the whole Left vs. Right fighting is to keep the human cattle fighting among themselves so we don’t look at the farmers.

We are the livestock for the fat cats that are pulling the string.  The same big money makers support both of the “presidential frontrunners” while the folks that the enlightened people choose don’t have a chance against the establishment (go Google Ron Paul.)

Now, instead of caring about politics, I’d rather just hop on the scoot, crank up the tunes, and twist that throttle.  If things get really bad, I’ve got my contingency plans, but until then I know that nothing I can do can push that stone up that hill while all that big power money keeps building the hill higher.

Mama tried

I realized in the last blog entry it probably didn’t cast my mom in the best light (unless you’re a ‘wood, at least up until the note at the end.)  But really, she was in her early 20’s, had three kids already (two with her,) and one in the oven from a man who had just been convicted a fixed term of life in prison.  I’d say that’s a lot to deal with.

In addition, I’m sure more and more of these cathartic releases will not portray her as Mrs. Cleaver.  As a matter of fact, they’ll make her look downright horrible.  For a while things were pretty horrible, both for her, for me, and for my siblings.

You see, my mom had me at age 14.  That’s already stacking the deck against her.  She then hooked up with a much older man very active in the Neo-Nazi movement in the LA area three years later (wow, there are some odd memories on my visits to see them as a kid including an armed raid led by a cop in a Dick Tracy-style hat and a trench-coat, and militant Nazi’s doing PT in the back yard, but I digress.)  Somewhere throughout her teens, she got hooked on heroin too.

A few years later she then married an ex-convict and they split to both their family’s home stompin’ grounds in the Ozarks.  This is when I was uprooted from my idyllic farm life and brought into her life.  A couple years later while we were living in a dive in Idaho, this same convict ended up murdering his connection because he wouldn’t front him some heroin (all the parties involved are dead, and I plan on writing about that whole ordeal along with posting excerpts from legal filings… should be a real hoot.)

From there came a string of convicts that were to be my “dad”.  Most of them willing to smack me upside the head for one thing or another, along with exercising their little power trips and subjecting my siblings and I to their psychological games.  This went on for years until shortly after I turned 18.

I remember a bitchin’ 18th birthday party.  Cases of beer, KGB, and tons of my loser friends.  It was the end of my “fun” (even though so far it hadn’t been terribly fun,) as not much after, I came home from spending some time at the park to find a note on the door stating basically “You’re 18 now, we’re gone, sell what you can in the house and good luck!”

Nothing teaches you to fly like being kicked out of the nest, eh?  Shortly after that though, my mom ended up back in the joint again and my siblings into the foster care system.  She got out for a little while, and was then popped again in what was the largest heroin bust in Northern California at the time and went back in again for many years.

I guess I still haven’t really done a lot to redeem her image so far.  But I do know she always wanted different for me.  I know because there was stuff she would not tolerate in the slightest bit and she responded strongly and swiftly to correct my behavior.

I guess in the end, I turned out all right.  She lived long enough to see me become a good husband, good father, and to let me know she was proud of me for choosing the right path.  On the other hand, despite numerous invitations I never let my kids stay with her for the weekend.

Hitler hiding behind the door

If someone is old enough, poor enough, or nowadays “green” enough, you’ll know about cloth diapers and possibly the “rinsing” process involved.

Well, I’m old enough, and was definitely poor enough to experience those old cloth things.  For a while back when I was young, my mom would work a lot and party a lot and I was responsible for taking care of my little sister.  I got to be a master at the folding and pinning of those things as required as part of the changing process.

I also learned the “dookie dunk” where one takes the diaper, dispatches of the turd into the bowl, and sort of dips it in and out of the bowl to remove “extra” from the diaper.  I was trained in a manner to do a flush during to process to allow the water pressure to help rinse and cleanse the diaper.  In addition, one could let the diaper sit in there and “soak” before the final swirlie cycle.

I don’t ever recall losing one to suction, but somehow they managed to get flushed.  I’m thinking perhaps mom was a little high and didn’t realize she was flushing them.  Regardless, they got flushed which led to a backup and a call to the rooter man.

So, the rooter man shows up, and to my amazement he was black.  Keep in mind, this is small town Idaho in the very early 80’s.  In addition, the amazement  on my part was from me being a youngster maybe just busting into double-digit years who lived “away” from things most of my short life at that time.  I could count the colored folks I’d seen in real life on my fingers without spilling over to my toes.  This was a big deal for me.

I proceed to chat the dude up as I’m showing him where the john is, and he prepares to go to work.  We’re hitting it off pretty good and he then gets to work.  Being a tiny little house, there wasn’t a lot of room in the can, he ends up having to close the door to get things done.  After a while he comes out quietly, no longer the chatty friendly guy he was, gets my mom to sign something, packs up and splits.

Hitler

You see, in our bathroom on the back of the door my mom had a picture of Hitler pinned up.   Not really sure why the bathroom, but it was just there.  I remember she really got a kick out of it when she realized what happened, and as a young kid eager to please his mom, I’m sure I got a kick because she did.

This event is when I first realized the power of this sort of imagery and symbolism, though admittedly I didn’t really quite understand what was behind it until much later.

Please note: This is just a regurgitated memory so don’t read anything into this that isn’t there.  I will say though that my mom ended up passing in the presence of many black friends in a black neighborhood after a life of being a “featherwood” and sharing such beliefs with her children.  

Catharsis

I’ve changed my little “tagline” to include a reference to how some of this blogging is kind of cathartic.  Here is the definition of catharsis if you weren’t aware and didn’t fill like a little Googleing:

Catharsis – The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

I’m really digging the new WordPress site, and actually feel a little liberated by the whole environment.  I’ve also cleared out some of the garbage I had floating around on the old site that was imported.  In addition, I’ve actually found that enjoyment of “writing” and have all these things I want to get out of me into text when I have the time.

Do I know if anyone is even going to read it, or care.  Really I don’t know, and I could say I really don’t care, but in a way I hope something brings a smile, a nod, or even just an “I know what you mean”.  The reason I hold out hope is so in the back of my mind I feel there is an “audience” out there to assist with this cathartic release.

You see, I’ve been holding a bunch of stuff inside a lot of years and I know it’s really screwed me up.  By having a place to anonymously dump some of these feelings, I think it will be healthy.  Be forewarned though, some of this crap will be ugly, outlandish, and (insert whatever adjectives) here.  This isn’t for shock value, to invoke pity, or to even put forward some image.  It’s totally to just “dump” what I have inside.

That’s so gay!

Ok, so we’re (as a society) being told that it’s so terrible (well, I should say “thoooo terrible”) to say something is gay.  Well, I had erased the following song from my memory after initially hearing it on Lars Vilk’s Mohammed “art” film.  It was brought back when I heard it again on the satellite radio today.  All I got to say about it is “this is so freakin’ gay!”

Another Time, Another Place

A Decade of Steely DanIt’s always weird how music can take you to another time and another place.

I was strolling through the iPod and saw A Decade of Steely Dan in my album listing and thought I’d give it a listen.

Shortly after kicking it off, I was just flooded with a number of memories that took me back to Boise, Idaho in the very early 80’s.

My mom worked in a bar and I remembered hanging out at times, even though I’m sure this was a violation of numerous laws.  The place was I guess by today’s standards a real rough and tumble place.  A favorite it seemed of bikers, urban cowboys, and what-not.  They did have a regular band that played there that always stuck with me called “Winewood”.

Anyway, I remember going in on Saturday and Sunday mornings to help “clean up”.  My part of the clean up consisted of heading off underneath all the tables to report later to my mom and her co-workers my finds.   I got to keep the change and the adults would take the joints and pills recovered.  They’d eagerly identify “cross tops”, “black beauties”, etc.

I don’t know why this particular album kicks off these memories, but for some reason it just always does.  The “city” was new to me, and seemed so complex, and perhaps the complexity and worldliness of Steely Dan just cemented it into this particular time of memories over other possible musical selections of that time (after all, I remember spinning “Beth” from Kiss Live II more than any other song at that time.)

I just remembered why we even moved to Boise though… it was so my mom could be close to the Idaho State Penitentiary where my step-dad had just been sentenced to life.  Now that’s a whole ‘nother story.  I think I have an idea for a whole ‘nother post now.