Tag Archives: U.S.N.

God Fuck America.

By the time I had lugged this machine up the hill from the ferry terminal, I was dripping sweat from my brow and my shirt was thoroughly drenched. I could not get connected to the web in my apartment by piggybacking because the signal was too weak, and Richard Merrill was my login name and  P.J. the terrier was looking up from my desktop, but I didn’t care. It is not every day that I am handed a laptop with no strings attached, but it is surely a pity that this coveted prize became mine as the result of  another man’s slow and  painful death. With this unassuming machine I might bring glory to an honorable man’s memory. On the flip side, the possibility exists that I could potentially bring ruin upon myself, an individual whose only accomplishment is the completeness of his failures.  Only time will tell.

When we met at the gazebo on the waterfront in faux Scandinavian Poulsbo, it was more for the benefit of the living who had gathered, than for the benefit a dead patriot who could never serve his country again. The allegiance to his country that he had sworn in earlier days had been betrayed and now his remains were merely ashes, to be spread about at the discretion of the living. Though it is said that a memorial serves to celebrate a life gone by, the mood at such affairs is seldom celebratory and people generally do not cry when they are at a party.

The fact of the matter is that our country had sold him out, and now we had gathered in his memory surrounded by balloons and flowers. Asbestos exposure is what gave the man the cancer that took his life and now we were left behind to write our memories of and tributes to the dead man, on little scraps of paper that we would release skyward tied to the balloons that surrounded us. On one of the slips I wrote that; In Heaven It’s Tacos 24/7! Actually, I just thought about writing that, but it would have been much cooler if I really had.

Everyone sitting on those rented, steel, folding chairs could see the smiling pictures of Rich that had been taken in earlier days when he was still alive. On the table before us was a flag that had been folded, neatly and officially, into a triangle and placed inside a glass paned, wooden display case. As I sat there that day I looked around at the wife and children and grandchildren and friends and family members that had survived the man, and I thought that this was not a fair trade. Here was a bunch of people who had given up something irreplaceably valuable and unique, and in return all that they got was a stupid flag, and a worthless atta boy from the country that had exposed their loved one to the mortal danger that would eventually claim his life.

As far as I am concerned, this American empire cannot collapse soon enough. Where others pray for God to bless America, my prayer is that God fucks America hard and without any lubrication. It was almost twenty years ago I had my first taste of the systemic callousness this nation has toward those who have voluntarily chosen to serve in the military. These days a young person who is sent into harms way can easily return a mere shell of their former self as the result of traumatic brain injury or otherwise, and there is no assurance that they will receive the treatment that they require. There is no foolishness is loving your country of origin, but Americans would do well to avoid serving in their military because those idiots will kill you with their carelessness. Enough said. Peace.

Advertisements

I Love Tacos, and I Love Burritos

T W T W 11/10/07 to 11/16/07 

                        Taking Saturday off of at work is usually a pretty sweet deal for me, but this time I had to attend the funeral of an Uncle that I really have a lot of love for. Upon arrival after a short ferry ride across The Sound, my mother announced that she was disappointed in me, that she just “wanted more for me”. I reminded her that the feeling was mutual, and that I had not sat around when I was 15 years old dreaming that my life would turn out the way that it has. Uncle Rich surely didn’t expect that the ships he served on with pride as a U.S. Naval officer, would eventually cause his body to contract Mesothelioma, and that his dreamtime would end leaving his wife with only memories, a dog, and a home full of things. What we have is now and with it the opportunity to continue to grow and change and evolve and love. There is no time like the present to put aside our expectations of what could have been. While we can we must, continue to dream of what still might be.

            Work was still pretty busy for so late in the season, and when you work with stone, there is plenty of opportunity to become physically ravaged over time. Of course the payoff is sweet when the lights go down and the clothes fly off, but moving pieces of rock around all day can take a toll and make you sleepy at night. It seemed like every customer this week wanted the piece of stone at the bottom of the pallet, which meant that after removing a literal ton of stone, I had to put it all back later after the person I was helping had left the yard. My coworker James saw a show about the Spartans on the T.V., and found that our job was remarkably similar to the training that they endured. Wheelbarrows take on new significance when they are piled with several hundred pounds of stone and pushed across the yard repeatedly.

            When I heard the Barry Bonds indictment announced on the radio this week I lost my shit, because I have been saying to everyone for the last six months that the Feds were going to come with it. Of course I grew up in the same area that he did and even went to the same high school as him in the years after he had been there. His reputation as being a major dick was well acknowledged. I also read the book Game of Shadows, which details the whole affair that has caused him to, with consuming devotion toward his record of personal achievement, be indicted for lying under an oath that granted him immunity unless he lied. My bias is clear and I am inclined to enjoy watching his martyr like pleas in the press that nothing was amiss with his body chemistry during his golden, glory years, and that he is merely victim of the white man’s media.  All of this insignificant drama is the result of one man’s narcissistic and over inflated ego and the culture that knowingly inflamed it. In America, that is what we are all about, we hold them up high just so that they make a bigger crash when we knock the pilings out from under them. Of course when the icon that we seek to upend is more than willing to contribute to their own undoing, a la Britney or O.J., it becomes an engrossing public spectacle that we can all enjoy together from our vantage point high above.

            Midweek, my Dad told me that he has prostate cancer, and that they are weighing the options to decide how best to go about treating it, of course this means going under the knife or chemo, but they caught it early so that is good. Really I have been thinking about a life without my father since my teens. It was because of a strange turn in my own life that I became familiar with death’s stern and sudden way, at such a tender age.  Since then I have of considered death as an omnipresent force that, ironically, overshadows all of life, and that cancer is its biggest producer. I smoke and have for twenty five years, so I am pretty sure that I cannot be very far down on cancer’s “to kill” list, but really it is a non discriminatory disease that will lead to the death of many people just because. As far as diseases go it is the big, mean, biting dog that freely roams and it will go for your nuts every time you encounter it.

            Finally this week I discovered that a guy I did a couple of plays with back in high school has hit the big time down in Hollywood as an actor. He is cast in a major role in a big hit T.V. show that I never watched before but will check out now that I know he is in it. We touched base through the email and he reminded me of a crazy thing that I used to do back in high school when I would jump, with all four wheel off the ground, the tiny Honda Civic that used to drive, on this hill near the school we attended, to the immense pleasure of my fearless, (maybe some fearful), teenage passengers. Of course I was congratulatory of his success and honestly so, but I also felt really bad about myself, that I had made so many stupid decisions along the way and had squandered so many opportunities that could have enabled my life to have heft and/or relevance. Self reflection is a key for growth and I certainly want to continue doing so, but it sucks to be when the one staring back from the mirror is a warped version of the person you hoped and dreamed that you would be when you were young.