Monthly Archives: March 2013

Destroying us, item by item. Me and my pop culture checklist

me at 16

me at 16

AT ONE POINT (in the counter culture) WE DIDN’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT MARRIAGE. NOW, WE ALL WANT TO INHERIT CLOTHES FROM ELTON JOHN….

The US supreme court justices strongly challenged a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriages as discriminatory, motivated by prejudice and diminishing the power of individual states to regulate marriage. Baby I’m amazed ! Are you?
On the second day of historic hearings about gay unions (no pun intended), the 1996 Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) was left facing an uncertain future. The court’s usual swing vote on social issues, Justice Anthony Kennedy, aligned with the four liberal judges to strongly question the legitimacy of the law and the authority of the federal government to impose a definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman on those US states which permit same-sex unions. The law prevents same-sex spouses from receiving federal benefits, tax breaks and some legal protections.
Kennedy bolstered the expectations of Doma’s opponents by emphasizing his concerns that the law intrudes on the rights of individual states to recognize gay marriages. I wonder…
“When it has 1,100 laws, which in our society means that the federal government is intertwined with [its] citizens’ day-to-day lives, you are at real risk of running in conflict with what has always been thought to be the essence of the state police power, which is to regulate marriage, divorce and custody,” he said.
The challenge to Doma was brought by Edith Windsor, who was married to Thea Spyer in Canada in 2007. The couple lived in New York, where their marriage was recognized by the state government. But when Spyer died in 2009, the federal government invoked Doma to force Windsor, who is now 83 and in poor health, to pay $363,000 in taxes on her late wife’s estate – a charge she would have been exempt from had she been married to a man. Isn’t that warped! Isn’t that the ultimate insult?

Once upon a time – when we wanted to destroy the establishment and its values, marriage was the number one item on the list. I’m just going over my checklist of values here, wondering when the day will come (because it will come!) when the old status quo will have a huge laugh at our expense, our protesters, our poets, beatniks and beautiful pop culture.

Gerald Thomas

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Redefining the New American Family ! The Gay debate. We’re all gay. Aren’t you? Magical Man?

I'm not Munch

I’m not Munch

my drawing ages ago

my drawing ages ago

“Redefining the new American family” – brought to you by the Supreme Court – (will be right back after the commercials.)

Gays, lesbians, exotic and exoteric behavior, bipolar and schizophrenic disorder, voodoo lounges , black magic women, strange religions, UFO sighting, Popes in the family, drugs – hard and soft, mental retardation, gluten and lactose intolerance, terrorism, alcoholism, racial hatred, abstract expressionism, etc…

The big debate in the US at the moment is (again !!!– quite unbelievable) is whether or not to legalize same sex marriage. My arm is full of marks – I’ve been hitting the walls, and my hair turned orange! Am I for real? No, I’m not.

I remember, when growing up for a year in Tennessee (I was 12) and greeting a kid soldier, returning from Vietnam. Disoriented, fucked up and in constant rage (“agent orange” rage) he obviously could not deal with the neatly organized town (village? conglomerate?) called Erwin, where we lived. He’d seen atrocities.

But it needed to be like this: it took a kid like this to come back to the “Edwards” family and relay his anguishes, panics, his everythings so they could understand what nobody knew (then) and give him some loving.

Nobody knows nothing ever. That’s the rub.

Now, 5 decades later, nothing has changed. Not about only war (and also about the wars) but about the social conundrums and corners I see people pressed against because – well, because society STILL has not learned from the past. And it seems it never will. Kafka’s “The Penal Colony” dwells upon our ignorance as a blessing !
But it’s our ignorance which makes us (so happily) grab our morning beverage day after day and turn us into working warrior ants to oil the machine that will ultimately get us tortured us, harm us, kill us.

Yes, maybe something like that.

Please realize that, for a kid of the 1960s this is hard to come to terms with. Yes, a Huxley kid, a Leary kid, a …an Orwell and Hendrix kid and, ultimately a Shakespeare and Beckett kid…this is all very very old. Yes, cannot forget the Bloomsbury guys and dolls, The Wolfs and Shaws…and now the debate: THE SUPREME COURT WANTS TO REDEFINE THE AMERICAN FAMILY????

PLEASE!

So, here we are again: years of political and legal battles over same-sex marriage could be decided with the unusual spectacle of the White House and Congress facing off before the US supreme court this week. The nine justices will for the FIRST TIME consider gay marriage in hearing two cases – one involving a California referendum barring gay marriage, and the other a federal law preventing the government from recognising same-sex unions. Both hinge on states’ rights and constitutional guarantees of equality.
Nine justices. Nine. Imagine that.
Judge Robert’s sister is a lesbian and has been waiting for this ‘thing’ to finally be passed into law so she can, well..get MARRIED. Dick Cheney’s daughter is too, a lesbian and…well, the same: wants to have a family and wants to stop fighting because of whom she is, goddamn it!
But do we need to always make progress because notorious families have finally realized that “things” happen in their own back yard? Is that what defines a democracy?
Everyone ALWAYS had or has a case in the family of someone (and or) something that is or has been outlawed. Outlawed for a while, at least.
During my days at Amnesty International in London in the mid 1970s, I’d always be amazed to find a die hard stone rich lady, arriving in a Rolls, covered in fur and jewelry, coming to present her case about her abducted brother or husband or son who was…a (wel….) communist (abducted,tortured and killed for engaging in some communist guerilla warfare in some remote area of the dictatorSHIT world).
Or, at a party somewhere, a “puritanical” couple, conventional to the dotted ‘I’, saying things soooo bitterly “right wingled” that not even the J Edgar Hoover era black lists would have believed it. Yet, 3 drinks later and a nose dive into a heap of cocaine, straw and all and listening to the ironic grove of “Hey Joe”, by Hendrix, they’d be crying their sorrows and dropping their masks.
Yes, everyone’s ass is burning with guilt somewhere because of this damn hypocrisy. How else would we catch Merv or Marv dressed as a drag queen in a motel, just so he’d be fired as a sports commentator from NBC? Or O J Simpson and the others who stab, shoot and throw crystals at you?
Yes , they snap and when they do the count is high: 20, 30 dead and it’s usually schools. Kids. A bunch of dead kids.
And all the dazed and confused roach like heads (like headless chicken) are left in parking lots wondering “but why? How? Him? “BUT He was so nice…kept to himself…and..never killed a fly” Always the same. Denial.
The false shock of the neighbors.
EVERYONE has something to do with:

– someone who snorts, drinks compulsively, overdoses on this and that, is gay, lesbian, transgender, has some weird exotic behavior and / or suffers from psychotic something, cancer, AIDS, HIV, practices voodoo , black magic or other off the record ritualistic faiths and are into strange religions, sects, UFO sightings, geometry lessons, have Popes in the family, do hard class A drugs, have relatives who are mental retards or are committed suicide or…speak to walls or speak to God directly or Cleopatra or ….have THE TRUTH in their bedroom drawer, “heal people”, etc.

So, out of the 7 billion that we are today, nobody escapes. Everyone is connected to someone who does something or IS Something that’s banned.

Everyone knows someone who knows some who knows someone who knows someone who…

I wonder why we keep on playing this mortal shadow play. And who is the audience of this “taboo play”? Taboo is a ridiculous concept. Why? Because it’s really just based on ignorance and the wish “not to know”. It is a ridiculous fear that questions the safety and the pseudo state of happiness of the middle classes, thereby “saving them” from the evils of the unknown. PURE bullshit. PURE hypocrisy.
Unfortunately though, it is precisely these taboos that have killed more people in History than any natural event.

Other than the compotes, the preserves and the conserves …does anyone really care?

So just make our damn lives easier will you, Supreme my ass Judges? Legalize the entire thing and enjoy your GOLF playing and get out of our lives!’

Gerald Thomas

____________________________________________________________________

PS: Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is regarded as the potential swing vote on this issue, raised the question of whether the court should even be hearing the case. He said the court may be entering “uncharted waters” by deciding on who has the right to marry, and wondered aloud why the justices had agreed to hear the case.

“I wonder if this case was properly granted,” he said.

Other justices also pressed questions that appeared to reflect scepticism about whether the supreme court should have taken up Proposition 8.

__________________________________________________________________
This is only the beginning ! Just imagine!

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Iraq – 10 years after – a waterfall of tears.

a rusting wall to nowhere

a rusting wall to nowhere

Iraq: Ten Years, a Million Lives and Trillions of Dollars Later and a paradox that makes me cry.

On September 1, 2002, Chris Matthews wrote, “I hate this war that’s coming in Iraq. I don’t think we’ll be proud of it. Oppose this war because it will create a millennium of hatred and the suicidal terrorism that comes with it. You talk about Bush trying to avenge his father. What about the tens of millions of Arab sons who will want to finish a fight we start next spring in Baghdad?” And after the administration began citing a New York Times story (based on information leaked by the administration) that reported Saddam had obtained aluminum tubes to be used to process bomb-grade uranium, the Washington Post published a well-reported article noting that the government’s own experts had questioned this conclusion.
The war was no self-financing cakewalk, and it is now widely regarded as a mistake, costly in blood and treasure, that was sold to the American public with falsehoods. The invasion did not usher in a progressive era in the Middle East. (Suck on that, Mr. Friedman.) Iraq remains a mess. The Iraq War boosters have moved on to other enterprises and contentions, yet, 10 years later, they have had their assertions measured against reality, and they have been proven wrong and misguided. None of that, though, will bring back the Americans and Iraqis who lost their lives. For when it counted most, the spin worked.

Any comments?

On this day – 10 years after the fact – (and with Breaking News that Syria has just started a bacteriological warfare within its own territory and with Obama flying to neighboring Israel and Jordan), I’m looking at an old poster of Picasso’s GUERNICA on the my wall next to a picture of Hendrix playing at Woodstock. A Waterfall of tears. Just tears.

Any comments?

No, I guess not.

Gerald Thomas
March 19, 2013

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The Statue of the Christ in Rio turned ….because of St. Patrick’s Day of because of Kryptonite ….

The Usual Self

The Usual Self

And what he turned into

And what he turned into

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POPE Francis – CONGRATULATIONS ARGENTINA (com reservas), congratulations to the world

Jorge Mario Bergoglio The New Pope FRANCIS  from Argentina - not  plagued  by scandals !!

Jorge Mario Bergoglio The New Pope FRANCIS from Argentina – not plagued by scandals !!

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, becomes Pope Francis – the first pontiff to take that name – an early indication perhaps of a reign he hopes will be marked by inspirational preaching and evangelisation.

But the cardinals’ choice risked running into immediate controversy over the new pope’s role in Argentina’s troubled history. In his book, El Silencio, a prominent Argentinian journalist alleged that he connived in the abduction of two Jesuit priests by the military junta in the so-called “dirty war”. He denies the accusation.

Homophobic ? Reactionary ? The usual thing?
Heavy stuff.
Gerald Thomas

Folha de São Paulo
14 de Março de 2013

Repercussão

“Estou emocionado, mas percebo que se opõe ao casamento gay. Esses itens mantêm a igreja “estacionada” nessa garagem enferrujada. Que pena!”

GERALD THOMAS
diretor teatral

Comentarios de Angela Piño (Argentina)
[3/14/13 3:09:02 PM] angeles seus: GERALD ESTE PAPA ESTEVE INVOLUCRADO NOS CRMINES DE LESA HUMANIDAD, É UM HORROR ISTO É UM GOLPE DO FACISMO INTERNACIONAL NA AMERICA LATINA TODA ELE DEVERIA DIZER ONDE EST$AO AS CRIANÇAS DESAPARECIDAS, ELE MANDOU A TORTURAR MUITAS PESSOAS. eLE ESTÁ CONTRA DE NOSSA pRESIDENTE.
[3/14/13 3:11:07 PM] angeles seus: eLE JAMAIS ESTEVE AO LADO DOS POBRES, É DE TERROR, FAVOR DIFUNDIR PORQUE VEJO QUE TODO MUNDO FALA COMO SE FOSSE UN ANJINHO, ALIÁS DEVERIAMOS LER A VEIAS ABERTAS DA AMERICA LATINA, PARA SABER COMO ERAM ESTES JESUITAS.. FAVOR!!!

Folha de hoje

Folha de hoje

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We did not discuss North Korea. As for everything else….

Garrick Beck, Brad Burgess and Judith Malina

Garrick Beck, Brad Burgess and Judith Malina

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THE THEATER OF THE EXTREMELY ABSURD

No Comment

No Comment

THE THEATER OF THE EXTREMELY ABSURD

Some Council or some Congress approved – for the XXX time, a new regimen of sanctions Thursday, on, well, North Korea for its underground nuclear test last month, imposing penalties on North Korean banking, travel and trade in a unanimous vote that reflected the country’s increased international isolation. Wow. I am impressed. Now, here is something new!

The resolution, which was drafted by the United States and China, (really? Buddies!) was passed in a speedy vote hours after North Korea threatened for the first time to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea. And all this only hours after Dennis Rodman left the northern part of the peninsula.

Now, here’s elegance and decadence all in one for you: for about 90 minutes on Wednesday night, a dozen senators and the president gathered on neutral territory (neutral territory? Switzeland?)— a private dining room at one of this city’s most elegant hotels (wow!)— and tried to work out their frustrations over beef and wine. Now imagine that! Beef and wine, rotting in their GI tracks for the next 36 hours – while all forms of laxatives, Nexiums and activia are being swallowed to ease anger management and control.
Or treat them to an expensive dinner, for that matter, experts said. The senators, as is their custom, did most of the talking on Wednesday night. They were grateful to Mr. Obama for the invitation,
Around 8:30 p.m., Senator John McCain of Arizona (the Arid Zone, right next to the Hot Road, the Cali-Fornia, right next to the “Snowed” – Nevada), and the self-appointed timekeeper, interrupted to say that they had exhausted their allotted hour and a half and should let Mr. Obama be on his way. “The president’s a busy guy,” he said.
That’s right. MacCain is in charge of protecting Obama’s well being and, of course, making sure that the president does not exhaust himself . I like that. I love political compassion exercised between grinding teeth (dentures!)
And with that, they went their separate ways into the cold, damp Washington night. Oh, “cold damp Washington night”. How gay and how romantic. (Chandler?)
Next week Mr. Obama will take the extraordinary step (extraordinary?) of traveling to Capitol Hill to hold four separate meetings with members of Congress (wow, that must be exhausting! Feed the man extra Ginseng!)— one with Democrats and one with Republicans in each chamber.
“Stories about dramatic interaction between big personalities make for excellent reading, but they do tend to downplay the structural constraints against which that drama is playing out,”
Now, here we’re talking !

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

Or ““When you remember me, it means you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. I mean that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.”
― “Frederick Buechner”

So….“Stories about dramatic interaction between big personalities make for excellent reading, but they do tend to downplay the structural constraints against which that drama is playing out,”
After LBJ: Much of the Great Society legislation — laws that created the Medicare, Medicaid, the National Endowment for the Arts and financed public schools — passed Congress when Democrats commanded supermajorities in both houses in 1965 and 1966.
But after the Republicans picked up dozens of seats in the next Congress, weakening those majorities considerably by 1967, Johnson had a more difficult time. In battles that mirror today’s big policy debates, he had to swallow considerable cuts in domestic spending before he could persuade Congress to pass a 10 percent income tax surcharge to help pay for the Vietnam War. And he failed to persuade Congress to create a national gun registry after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

Okay, I confess! Upon hearing that name (Bob Kennedy), I freaked out. Freaked out completely!

“No wonder. Someone with your name, Bob Kennedy, must get really busy towards the end of December”. I’ve heard this joke all my life. So, now, what are they charging you with?”

“Homicide, I think”.

“You’re wrong, officer! I was assassinated. I was killed!”

“not the way I see it”

“You see it? Who are you?”

The officer left without saying a word.

Someone came to my defense. “You were assassinated, yes. The name of your assassin was Sirhan Bishara Sirhan. Your brother John was killed by a Lee Harvey…”

“Stop” – I cried out.

“And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was killed by…”

“STOP IT !!!!!”

But it was Frank Sinatra who killed John Lennon and nobody will ever know that, you see? Because Lennon had a thing or two to do with the attacks of 9/11 and then Dr Conrad Murray and Osama Bin Laden, you see, were both heavily involved in the East Wing of Al Qaeda and……
The medical examiner concluded that the body parts belonged to one woman, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-7, approximately 164 pounds. (Her head and hands were found near the torso.) According to the autopsy, the victim had taken a “deep dive into nowhere”.
These are strange words for a medical examiner to use. I would have expected something more colorful like, “the body had been dismembered post-mortem with a band saw, a carving knife and a hacksaw”
Members of both parties complain today that the president’s outreach has been distant and dismissive. And they often cite Mr. Obama’s immediate predecessor, George W. Bush, as being especially effective (HA HA HA HA HA !!! yes, they do have humor in DC. It must get exasperating!)
“Without these overtures, nothing would happen,” said Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who took one of those phone calls on Monday. “It’s not a sufficient step. But it’s a necessary step.”
O.K., everyone makes a bad prediction now and then. But these predictions have special significance, and not just because the people who made them have had such a remarkable track record of error these past several years.

The interest-rate story is fairly simple. As some of us have been trying to explain for four years and more, the financial crisis and the bursting of the housing bubble, bursting of the housing bubble, bursting of the housing bubble, bursting of the housing bubble, bursting of the housing bubble, bursting of the housing bubble created a situation in which almost all of the economy’s major players are simultaneously trying to pay down debt by spending less than their income. Since my spending is your income and your spending is my income, this means a deeply depressed economy. Bursting of the housing bubble !

Frank Sinatra killed John Lennon and nobody will ever know that, you see?

Oh God! Do I miss the days of the Cold War !

Gerald Thomas
March 8, 2013

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