Archive for July, 2011

Growing Up and Growing Out of Things

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by Drogo

Trends, Phases, and Life Stages

We go through phases in our lives. Even the most conservative and rigid people have had different phases; whether physical or mental. Despite this fact, I would like to say a few words on behalf of those of us that become adults, while retaining interests that are perceived by others to be immature.

First let me distinguish between child-ish and child-like. Being childish means a person is acting petty, rude, or un-ethical. Being child-like means a person has traits, characteristics, interests, or habits that exhibit youthful wonderment, innocence, or imagination.

Secondly I must say that not only do various cultures have different definitions of adulthood; but individual families and people in America have many different concepts of growing-up and growing-out-of things. Most of us grow-out-of clothing, as our bodies mature, but growing-out-of habits, trends, or phases is a psychological cultural phenomenon. Growing-out-of a youthful interest is entirely psychological.

We are conditioned by society, individuals, propaganda, and our own psychology to ignore or become interested in something. Then those same factors influence us to either stay interested in a subject, or to lose interest in it; and call it a passing phase. We say “It was something I was into at the time, but not anymore.”

I feel compelled to write on this subject because of the variety of interests I have found to be embraced by adults or shunned by adults, and my differences of opinion with the majority of them. Some popular contemporary beliefs are that it is good for adults to be obsessed with sports; and bad for adults to continue to like childhood shows they once watched with delight. I am of the opposite opinion: I believe that fanatical addiction to commercial sports is ridiculous and juvenile; and studying brilliantly executed performances by actors, artists, and directors is enlightening.

 

I believe there are important stories, lessons, and artistic techniques embedded in old shows like MASH, GI Joe, He-Man, The A-Team, etc that many adults failed to learn as children, and continue to be ignorant of; for example the anti-authority, and pro-individual aspects of said shows. There is a reason why I liked them as a kid; it was NOT because they are stupid or I was dumb; it is because they are works of art that communicate values that the adults that created them wanted to share.

 

People I have worked with as an adult usually do not understand my enthusiasm for referencing old tv shows or movies. They often do not seem to get the same enjoyment or satisfaction, I believe because they have a negative association with remembrance of youth; and have been conditioned to not seek meanings in the nostalgic delights of our past, as I do. It is interesting to me, that so many adults have so quickly abandoned their own pasts, despite their inability to do what the actors, directors or artists achieved with those old shows.

“Knowing is half the Battle!” – GI Joe

Nice war we had. Of course every war has its cute things. World War II had it’s songs. The War of the Roses had nice flowers. We’ve got booms, they had blooms. Actually, every war has its ‘ooms. You’ve got doom, gloom, everybody ends in a tomb, the planes go zoom and they bomb your room.
– Franklin Pierce, MASH

I’m sick of hearing about the wounded.
What about all the thousands of wonderful guys
who are fighting this war without any of the credit
or the glory that always goes to those lucky few
who just happen to get shot.

– Frank Burns, MASH

Look, all I know is what they taught
me at command school.
There are certain rules about a war
and rule number one is young men die.
And rule number two
is doctors can’t change rule number one.

– Henry Blake, MASH

“We knew we were telling the story of real people.” – Alan Alda

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Tribute To Drogo Empedocles

Posted in Recommendations & Tributes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by Drogo

“I really am not qualified to speak to his architectural skills: I can, however, speak to his strength of character, his concern for the built and natural environments, and his artistic and literary capabilities. All of which are exemplary. Much ahead of the crowd, Drogo understood the fragility of the natural world, and the responsibility we all have to live with it and not on it. His endeavors with the Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development testify to this. The group maintains a blog with individual authors pages. He writes under the name Drogo Empedocles there. Here is a link to his works: https://scodpub.wordpress.com/author/drogo76/ The rest of the architecture world begins to catch up with him, but he was something of a pioneer. I can’t fail to mention his enjoyment of the language. I have found it rather rare to encounter someone who enjoys both brush and pen, but Drogo certainly does. He has a love for puns, and a love for his home “shire” Harpers Ferry, WVA, which appears in some of his pieces as Harper’s Furry, and in others and others as Harpers Faerie. I am delighted that I’m going to appear in the latter, as O-Laugh the Ordinary.”

from a recommendation letter by ~ Michael R. H. Swanson Ph. D.

Professor of History and American Studies

Roger Williams University

Bristol, RI 02809

Bat Country 5

Posted in Dr. Dippie on July 20, 2011 by Gary M

Nosey and I wandered across campus, through the stink-cloud of an all-night laundromat, across a street humming with traffic to where the meat-markets were.  We made genial conversation on the way, pausing only to let me smash the windshield of an unattended BMW convertible that was parked rakishly in a handicapped space.  I felt pretty good about that, sort of Robbing-Hoodish, and pride surged in my breast as screams sounded from the enraged owner as we ambled off.  Two good deeds with one stone, so to speak.  The pride was competing with appetite, I don’t mind saying – though after talking to the demon the thought of elf-distilled liquors was not setting my belly to growling in the normal fashion.  “Let’s get some beers,” I suggested.  The redshift snapback had propelled us through the whole day at hyperspeed, and now that time was flowing properly again I was ready for a drink.  “And maybe some barbecue.”

You might think that as a pig-phouka Nosey would turn up his cavernous nostrils at the thought of hogflesh slathered in spice rub and slow-roasted, but in fact pigs are fucking cannibals.  My comrade and coconspirator was a devotee of the bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich (hold the bread, lettuce, and tomato), the porkchop, the greasy rack of ribs.  And he was a horny bastard, let’s not deny it; so I’ll not even begin to relate his stories about tender loins or pulled pork.  He pointed a trotter at an overhanging shingle advising of nearby eats and drinks (“Hot & Wet,” and I looked twice in vain hope for stripper poles) and squealed.  “Here, here!”  He’d dried out, mostly, still a little fishy in the armpits but I didn’t think anyone would notice.

We rolled in, Nosey preceding, snout all a-wriggle at the delectable odors rising from a grimy steam-table at the back of the place.  It was dimly-lit, fairly full, bursting with jabbered conversation, braying laughter and the clink of bottles.  I ducked the lintel, and, seeing a table that interested me, pushed past the pigsy and made straight for it.  A couple of jocks were already seated there, satiny basketball shorts on their plump buttocks sliding on grimy vinyl while engaged in the opening maneuvers of date-rape with their respectively-cleavaged partners.  There was enough giggling and hurhur-ing and antics to satisfy a family of fucking baboons: all that remained was for the lads to start picking lice off one another’s nutsacks.  I leaned over, put my palms flat on the table and said “Fuck off, you.”  One frat rat opened his chowhole to protest, his soulpatch waggling in righteous outrage, and I let the fuckwits see, I mean really see the size of the cock they were about to engage in a pissing contest.  We ogres have been around for-fucking-ever, long enough to establish a solid terror of hulking things with metal teeth in the human racial memory.  The chaps skedaddled so fast that hat-sideways-boy climbed over his evening’s prospective cum recipient without even pausing to squeeze her cupcake-like tit.  All four vanished with an audible clatter to reappear at a table unfashionably close to the door, where they slouched in defeat, beaming scattery eye-lasers of rage in my direction.  No offense, Jake, but there’s only one of you pink-and-nipplies a generation that can drop an ogre and you ain’t him.

I threw myself down in the booth, still warm from collegiate ass, and Nosey scooted in across from me.  “Get anything you like, I’m a fucking millionaire tonight,” he grinned and dropped a handful of change on the table – penny-and-nickel stuff, plus a couple washers and a grey-painted knockout from an electrical box.  “Spit!” he commanded, so I spat – working up a real good snot-gob, rumbling and cruffing much to the consternation of our booth-neighbors – right in the center of the clinking coin-pile.  A wave of Nosey’s split hooves later and a jarl’s ransom of fool’s-gold gleamed in the stained light shed by the dust-furred lamp above.

My porcine companion plucked a laminated menu crusted with suspicious sauce from behind a greezy napkin-holder and buried his prodigious nose in it.  I followed his example, and was just beginning to feel annoyed that every fucking thing on it was cooked when I felt a presence, doubtless drawn by the slippery stack of Fakerrands spilling off the table.  “Gimme a pitcher,” I said, not looking up at the waitroid.

Someone’s mouth snapped a skeptical bubble of gum, and I rose up with intent to bring thunder – met eyes like sea-green wells over freckle-dusted cheekbones, each downy hair on her face ringing with an ineffable glow, the burgundy stripe dyed into her bangs as incandescent as a war-banner.

Oh fuck, I realized.  It’s the angel.

Direction not Perfection

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Critical Commentary of Civilization, Environmentalism, Psychology, Spiritual with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2011 by Drogo

Direction vs Perfection For me Life should be more about direction, than perfection. I say ‘should’ because I often do get hung up on relative perfection. I say ‘relative’ perfection to clarify the desire to make something as flawless as possible, as opposed to archetypal Platonic perfection. ‘Direction’ is obviously a metaphor for life purpose (not travel orientation). I have intense drives both for direction, perfection, and the desire to not be a hypocrite. Despite these drives, the suffering of life forces me to compromise. Although I am sometimes a harsh perfectionist, I prefer compassionate happiness if I am forced to choose. My heroes all have some traits which can be perceived as flaws, and even make them hypocritical in some ways. And my interests, needs, actions, and desires often have contradicting aspects to them. So now you know I am talking about reality. So for me to be generally happy, I have a general direction in my life towards art, architecture, and environmentalism. I am content to try to make things better, as opposed to making them perfect by objective standards; because practicing perfectionism to me means never being content, and snobbish. My directions, on the other hand, allow for distractions, contradictions, and errors; because directions are ways of life, careers, goals, quests, ethics, and other complex ideals or theories. – Drogo

Are You Going to Harpers Faerie?

Posted in Poems, Rhymes, Riddles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2011 by Drogo

(Recited to the tune of Scarborough Fair)

 

Are you going to Harpers Faerie?

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee-Balm.

Remember me as one of the Faerie.

Herbs on the hill, spirits to calm.

 

 

Have them make me some peppermint tea.

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee-Balm.

With rain-water and local honey.

When I die, my soul it will calm.

 

 

Faerie dust shall be spread on high-land.

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee-Balm.

Tell them this must be done by their hand.

When I die, my soul it will calm.

 

 

Plow the land with the horns of a stag.

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee Balm.

Then sow some seeds while smoking a fag.

When I die, my soul it will calm.

 

 

Harvested with gauntlets of leather.

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee-Balm.

Reap it up in a bunch of heather.

When I die, my soul it will calm.

 

 

Tell them to dry it in an old Oak tree.

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee-Balm.

Gather with a basket of mulberry.

When I die, my soul it will calm.

 

 

Have them steep it in yonder cistern.

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee-Balm.

Make sure to add, some Bakerton Cat-Nip.

When I die, my soul it will calm.

 

 

When thou has finished thy task.

Pep-per-mint, Lemon, and Bee Balm.

Come to me, a favor to ask.

* When I die, my soul will be calm.

Bat Country 4

Posted in Dr. Dippie on July 2, 2011 by Drogo

And so we left. Demons have a way of pissing me off.

Part of me was still in the dormitory, my body seemed to float down the hall, past the foyer, and outside into the night. Later I recalled having done such things, but at the moment I was living life in reverse. It was like one big transcendental chess game, and I was playing it while red-shifting in reverse.

GROK-DAM!

Pieces of broken red glass seemed to pick themselves off the ground, and complete themselves into a window. Did I ever tell you ogres hate windows? I hate glass, because it is so breakable and pointless. Don’t get me wrong, I love breakable things, and pointless things, just not as weak and fragile as glass. It makes me want to break it.

FUCK-ZAM!

Time was really fucking with me. All movement was not only in reverse, but had trailers that would not stop. Space around me became filled with the ethereal after-mess of motion, and I’m not just talking vomit here. Fairy trails.

Suddenly I was transported for a few moments in time and place 5 years ago. That never happens to you? Well frack the frick-up, its my story. Anyway I began reliving the events after I had eaten my neighbors’ dog, Piss-bog. They were yelling at me, and I was yelling at them. They said “That was the nicest dog that ever lived!”

I said “Your dog tried to bite me, repeatedly acted like it was on rabies, and was about to jump on me. I tried to ignore it, but it would not stop being a little bitch. I thought it was going to fucking rip my throat out, the way it was barking. It seemed to me it was saying ‘I want to fucking kill you!’ over and over in dog bark.”

So the neighbors said “It didn’t even touch you! How dare you use bad words around my family?! You nasty Ogre, you have a negative aura and dogs can sense that sort of thing.” Now true dogs can sense auras, but so can I, and I swear to you that dog had a worse aura than I did, well before it antagonized me every day, every inch of my walk past that house. I could not believe that Mormons were able to be so un-sympathetic to me, a neighbor that had welcomed Mormons into my house time-after-time when they were strangers imposing their beliefs, and did not eat them.

I was going to get them a new dog, but after they acted like that to me, after I had been threatened by their dog, I just threw up on their lawn. There, you can have your dog back. True the dog could not have seriously wounded me, but it should not have acted like it could. In poker that is called a bluff, and in life that is called stupid, annoying, and worthy of violence.

SCHNAP-CRACK!!!

Then I was back in the present. Who was it that we had left in the dorm-room? Did I have some obligation to that girl, if it was a girl? Well my heart had not exploded yet, and I felt the freedom of the night.

Bat Country 3

Posted in Dr. Dippie on July 2, 2011 by Gary M

Nope, it wasn’t just me.  The pewter slipped through my fingers and fell, gonging off the floor and spraying the last of my Old Gil-galad Artisanal #7 across a pair of filthy bowling shoes.  The air thickened with screams and the scent of brimstone boiled up as the demon materialized before me, striking a theatrical pose in the reddish light.   “Nice place ya got here.”  The demon’s voice was smooth and smoky, like a long drag on a fine cigar with a chaser of Precambrian scotch.  “Can I have a minute of your time?”

That fucking elf rotgut sat in my belly like a seaslug, weeping neurotoxic slime.  “Uh, actually no.  Gotta split before noon– geas and all that.  You know how it is.”  Which was the wrong thing to say to a demon, of course.  They rebelled and got consigned to Hell, while the fair folk – well, they didn’t drink the Lucifer kool-aid but you didn’t hear ‘em singing hosannas, if you know what I mean.  So they fell too, just not as far.

The demon’s eyes, already livid yellow and more helter-skelter than a bucket of Charlie Manson’s brains spiked with sweet chili sauce, writhed with rebel-angel wrath for a split second but its ruddy face remained smooth.  “Actually, I’ve slowed down time for you and I – the red light, you understand.  Redshifting and that.”  The hell-dweller waved it all off, like changing universal constants was something it learned to do about the time it learned to stop shitting in its pants, didn’t everyone?  “So at this rate we can talk for an hour before pushing the limits on your little oath-problem.”

I looked around and it was true, Enemy Mine was pushing his face into the fishbowl, bobbing for guppies or some shit, a furious bubble-cascade frozen in place, shooting up from his glorious nostrils.  Man, that nose of his.  I returned my attention to the demon, who covered up a mock-yawn with a taloned simulacrum of a gentleman’s hand.  “Okay, so.  Whaddaya want?”

The demon smiled, exposing a triple-row of gleaming enamel shark-teeth.  An indivdual of lesser fortitude might have quailed at the sight of all that serrated, meat-slashing dentition.  Not I.  Because I am a fucking ogre, and I’m not scared of anything except having my heart explode.  And I have a pretty respectable set of chompers myself, each bronze tooth cast an aeon and a day ago by Nin-Agal in Sippar-Amnanum to microcubit specifications.  How I came to inherit them is another story entirely.  “Just to talk for a bit, my not-so-fallen friend.  Can’t we brother bastard-children of God exchange civilites once in a while?”

“Sure.  ‘Hi.’  Now get to the fucking point.”  A new bubble was inching its way out of Enemy Mine’s cavernous nose, and this timeshifting shit was playing merry hell with my perceptions: all around I was witnessing things that happen too quickly for normal people to notice.  Flashes in the upper atmosphere, sudden detonations of cosmic rays smacking into rogue atoms, quanta of insanity whirling in lazy outbound spirals before the mean-ass bitch of a teacher at the front of the room notices and WHACK down comes the ruler on those naughty knuckles.  Either that, or the blotter that Nose-Boy put in the juice was still fucking with me.

“Right,” the demon sneered and straightened its tie.  “I’m looking for a contract killer – id est, an ogre – to take out one of the opposition.  All I need you to—“

“Fuck no,” I interjected, the nectar of the Tuatha de Damn’d making me ballsy.  “I don’t sign contracts with demons.  What do you think I am, a fucking moron?”

The demon forebore to answer directly, merely venting a small quantity of exasperated hellfire from its nostrils.  “Kill the angel, and I’ll break your geas.  I’ll be in touch.”  And with that, it disappeared in a puff of Drakkar Noir and dead hopes.  The timesponge, having soaked up all it could of my attention, shot back to full-speed-ahead; Nosey making burbling noises in the depths of his fishbowl, something small and scaly flailing at the water in a mad, doomed effort to escape.

“Nosey!  You fucking freak, leave off tormenting that finny bastard and let’s get out of here, there’s a demon lurking in our spacetime.”

“Lemme grab a shower first,” replied my comrade, and inverted the fishbowl over his pink triangular ears.  Fishwater cascaded over his pork-pie hat, soaked the zooty shoulders of his cheap gangrenous-green polyester suit.  A piece of fake algae caught in his lank hair.  “Ahhh, refreshing.  Ready when you are!”