Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Gospel According to Gyajoaled Walsus

You know that we are all crazy conspiracy theorists. You’re right!

Yes, I believe that Captain Kangaroo was the subject of a class action law suit brought by the entire marsupial species.

Yes, I believe that Joe Friday was actually Joe Wednesday, but changed his name so as not to interfere with the ashes.

Yes, I believe that chickens don’t cross the road merely to get to the other side. I believe that they want to find out if the grass is really greener.

Now, the gospel according to Judas has been released. There’s a lot to learn from reading that gospel. For example, Jesus was not really a Capricorn.

The Front Man has said that the bush-god of the bush-bible tells him to slaughter innocent people. After all, didn’t that very same
god spend a lot of time slaughtering innocent people? I guess he leads by example.

So I’m convinced that now is the time to reveal the most cryptic and unmanageable document ever not discovered by man nor beast nor dark of night.

The world may not be ready yet, but I can’t contain it any longer.

Caution: The Gospel According to Gyajoaled Walsus has been known to cause nightmares and make people inquisitively ask, “Huh?”

There once was an old man with a gray beard and a long, white robe. He lived high in the clouds, much higher than any bird or vessel can fly.

One day, this man, whose name escapes me for now, so I’ll just call him Gyajoaled Walsus, or “GW,” felt lonely. He was the only person amongst the vacuum.

On that fateful day, he took his Legos and began building a full rack of ribs. There was no time to fly, so it was easy to lose track.

To his amazement, he had overbuilt the rack by one and thought for forty days and seven nights what he should do with his one extra rib.

He finally decided to build a half rack and split it in two.

The Legos eventually came with a full compliment of arms, legs and other sundry characteristics of today’s homo sapiens.

GW said to his Legos, “You can do anything you want, but don’t eat apple pies.”

Well, wouldn’t you know it! As soon as half rack heard that, we’ll call her Maria Terra for now, she broke out her Betty Crocker bake set that she had received for being the fiftieth Maria Terra to eat beef and bake apple pies.

Well, this story isn’t so bad yet because she just baked the pie, right?

Nooooo! She had to turn to full rack, who we’ll call Phil Estien, who later became the second most powerful psychotropic drug in history, and say, “Phil, won’t you eat a piece of my Betty Crocker bake set apple pie?”

Well Phil remembered what GW had said and replied, “GW said not to eat apple pies.”

Maria Terra looked at Phil with those canary eyelids and said, “GW said ‘pies’. I’m offering you a piece of my Betty Crocker bake set apple pie. I’m not suggesting you eat ‘apple pies’”.

Phil spoke for a moment and then thought. “OK, you’re right. GW can’t get mad at us. He did say ‘pies’ and you’re just offering a piece. Besides, GW never said what would happen even if we did eat pies, did he?”

The day of reckoning arrived just in time, for the day of reckoning was at hand. The court room was filled. There was the jester, Johnny Cochrane, Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, Branch Ricky, Robby Jackson, the first Australian/American to slide into a full plate of Betty Crocker bake set apple pies, Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas, Marianne Faithful and her husband, My Cheatin’ Heart, and gobs and gobs of life from Flora to Fauna.

The prosecution wasted no time for time had just been invented and they really didn’t know how much they had.

“Your honor”, one persecutor said to Johnny Cash, the only person to wear all black that day, “we feel the death penalty is in order for the heinous crime of eating Betty Crocker bake set apple pies.”

Cash took one puff of his rope and granted recess.

The entire courtroom emptied out into the playground.

The sentencing phase came just after recess.

Cash lit a new rope, for he had either eaten or finished smoking the rope referred to above.

A hush fell over the court room as Cash deliberately delivered his deliveration.

“Your order, Sirs and Madams,” he said to the persecution. “But no one is to die until I finish my model of the after life.”

They all agreed, but, as they were lying their napkins on their lapse, little did they know that the two eyed Jacks, Kevorkian and Kerouac, were building their own version of the Betty Crocker bake set.

“No one will tell us when to die”, one Jack said to the other.

It was at this particular time that they started calling them World Wars until they reached II. After that, Legos fell apart, piece by peace, walls were built, children were born at gun point, mothers went to Sears in burqas to get family photos taken, Japanese skin crawled under mushrooms, hangings sold out, every one of ‘em, watt chairs were invented, AKs honeymooned with 47s, Columbine declared the world round and discovered China (what a time to have forgotten his laundry), slaves built Rome, home and other sundry whiplash.

Betty Crocker offered Lego a very tender deal and parks sang themes.

To friendship,

"In sharing, in loving all and everything, one people naturally found a due portion of the thing they sought, while in fearing, the other found need of conquest." - Chief Luther Standing Bear - Oglala Sioux

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Where Are The Rest of the Jean Rohes?

An address to the graduating class of The New School in New York City by student speaker Jean Rohe preceded the remarks of the guest speaker, Senator John McCain. Ms Rohe showed a great deal of courage as she set aside her prepared speech and addressed the points that she already knew McCain was going to make in his speech. McCain had previously spoken at two graduation ceremonies and said the same things each time.

Jean Rohe is one college student graduating in 2006. She is merely one. Where are the rest…?

On May 4, 1970, four college students were killed at Kent State University in Ohio. The situation that culminated in this tragedy revolved around a student demonstration against the Nixon Administration’s invasion of Cambodia.

Kent State may be the most well known college campus anti war demonstration that took place during the sixties and seventies, but it was far from the only one and far from the largest.

In fact, starting in 1964, almost immediately after the Gulf of Tonkin non attack that gave Lyndon Johnson a congressionally approved blank check to send Americans to fight a war in Southeast Asia, college campuses began to become the sites of almost constant protests. Throngs of people attended them and they weren’t all violence free, as Kent State proves.

College students didn’t merely protest and demonstrate, they actually overtook by force and occupied the offices of deans and college presidents.

During the Vietnam war, middle aged people didn’t use an internet to encourage other middle aged people to show up at rallies against the war. In fact, those who were in their thirties, forties and fifties mostly supported the war.

We, the people who belong to groups like The Mount Diablo Peace Center, MoveOn, etc., were the kids who were demonstrating against a war that we saw as anything but in defense of the safety of The United States of America. We are now the middle aged, and older people trying to stir up opposition to The Regime’s War in Iraq.

There have been relatively large demonstrations and marches in opposition to the Iraq War. These protests and demonstrations are few and far between. They’re also pre-planned with everyone on a Progressive mailing list informed well ahead of time.

Large demonstrations may not have taken place daily during the Vietnam War, but there was college unrest, a daily uneasiness caused by the fact that, at any moment, students might spontaneously gather and start to speak out against the war.

Today, students are still initiating demonstrations against the war in Iraq. In fact, the same students who kept the fires against the Vietnam War constantly burning are coordinating the demonstrations against the war in Iraq. Literally, the same people, who are now in their 40s, 50s and 60s, and older, are coordinating these well planned demonstrations.

There is no unrest on college campuses. I dare say that one may be able to find almost as many college students who “support their president” on campuses as students who don’t support “him”.

This essay asks the question, “What’s the difference between the college students who opposed the Vietnam War and the college students of today, some of whom support “their president”?”

Representative Charles Rangel, Democrat of New York, knew what the difference is when he introduced a bill in 2003 that called for reinstituting conscription.

Actually, the reason Rangel called for the return of the draft was to level the playing field. Rangel believes that those who need a job or need to learn skills but can’t afford to do so join the military to reach those goals with the help of Uncle Sam. Wealthy people don’t need to join the military.

I disagree with Rangel because, as people like Bush and Cheney proved during the Vietnam War, money can buy one’s way out of the draft or at least out of combat. A draft will not level the playing field.

What it would do, however, is to end the war in Iraq fairly quickly. Centers of higher education would once again become centers of major anti war activity. Those who “support their president” may revisit that position.

I spoke with a young woman not too long ago. I told her of my song, Casey’s Song. She asked who Casey is. I told her that Casey is the name of Cindy Sheehan’s son. She asked me who Cindy Sheehan is. This young woman is 24 years old.

Some people abhor Cindy and some adore her. However, I would not have thought that there was anyone who didn’t know at all who Cindy is.

The young lady knew that there were Americans fighting and dying in Iraq, but she seemed emotionally detached.

I know people who do lots of work to help find a cure for cancer. These people all know someone who’s been affected by cancer. It seems that every time I meet someone who feels strongly about an issue or volunteers to help address the issue, that person has had a personal experience with that issue.

We had a vested interest in the war in Vietnam in the sixties and early seventies. It seems as if there were a lot more pacifists during the Vietnam War than there are today. We also had the draft.

Bringing back conscription is very close to bringing back slavery. However, one difference between the draft during Vietnam and a draft today would be that, back then, kids were sort of resigned to the fact that they were going to have to eventually make a difficult decision concerning the Vietnam War. They were going have to decide to accept their induction and go kill people they’ve never met, let alone knew, go to jail for refusing to answer the call or move to a country like Canada with whom the US didn’t have an extradition agreement.

If The Regime reinstated the draft, kids who feel very comfortable today, even comfortable enough to support “their president”, may begin to see combat in Iraq as undesirable. They may even become born again pacifists.

I believe that it’s the nature of most people to care little about an issue unless and/or until it potentially affects them intimately.

I am absolutely opposed to a draft. As I said, it’s akin to slavery. Forcing people to kill others and to put themselves in a position to be killed is a sick game that governments can play.

However, it appears that nothing short of reinstating the draft will gain the attention of college students. Young men and women will become antiwar activists in a hurry.

To friendship,

“And what if you track down these men and kill them? What if you murdered all of us? From every corner of your Republic, thousands would rise to take our places. Even Nazis can't kill that fast.” – Victor Laszlow (played by Paul Henreid), from “Casablanca” - (1942)

ps Neil Young put out his fantastic collection of songs entitled “Living With War” because he didn’t think that people were using music enough to inject life into the anti war movement.

Well, I’ve got good news for Neil and anyone who feels the way Neil feels. My album, “Flameland”, will go on sale at CD Baby in the next five days. It contains “Casey’s Song” and 13 other songs, all aimed at “giving peace a chance.”