Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hear ye, hear ye,
hear this read
from a lost sheet
from the library
of Alexandria: Jesus awoke,
with a shriek, wearing a white blanket
in the rusted out, flat broke,
fragmented and electric New Jerusalem
and one cop, who had failed and was fired
for forgetting to write a ticket
for one-full year, finding peace, achieved
on the road, finds this poor guy,
thinking he was some lost dude diplomat
found drunk after a toga party downtown,
decided to arrest him for his own fool good
so he could wear a new orange jump suit
in a cold cell, and the jittered up, dressed down
lost last full man was thankful
for this strangely uniformed lord of all help
and then continued to babble blind things
in Aramaic ... He was brought a Navajo interpreter
who told him he was a terrorist and He then wept
when he could scarcely understand the charge of evil
accomplished in his name, and then they took blood,
gave him a full dose of seven kinds of pharmaceuticals:
He kept pretty quiet, just smiled and sailed, after that.

~ The Bard ...

The scoreboard at a little league baseball field in Flagstaff, Arizona ... For further views on baseball in Arizona, see No Joy in Mythville and Baseball Dot Lit ...

The Professional Pedestrian:
Me? I Am Just a Trans-Mission Statement

The only thing missing is Brando. The film, "American Graffiti," is all about the baby boomer generation's romance with the automobile, but I got a divorce from all of that. Get hip, I say, the gas-burning engine is so like, duh, 20th century.
Sure, the "American Graffiti" is a kind of poetry auto-motion. The conflicts are poetry in motion. The characters aren't wild ones, exactly, but they are restless. I appreciate the dilemma.
When the film released in the early 1970s, the intended audience was a mainstream silent majority of folks who were in no mood for rebels without causes. The country was in the process of withdrawing from - and losing, the Vietnam War. "American Graffiti" is therefore a sentimental journey during the year before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and after that, the escalation of the ground war.
So when all of these old men with money to burn start buying up automobiles, pity them. They are lapsing into sentimentality. They are trying to re-fight the Vietnam War, trying to drive off into the sunset of life, to get one last kick on Route 66.
The Brando film, "The Wild Ones" is all about a similar post-war sentimentality. Except America won that war, and when the veterans came home, many took to the road on motorcycles in order to work out the post-traumatic stress disorder of being unable to settle down into the New America of subdivisions and consumerism and getting that first Big Mac at the drive in.
In "American Graffiti" then, with this mix of these early boomer post-war generations running the world by the early 1970s, one clue to its intents is the fate of one of the characters, who, we are told in the end, dies in that conflict. But this journey about motorism is a pictorial tune up with a Camelot era glow. Considering the actors and its director, its success as escapism for the masses sure funded some pretty seditious stuff to follow. That is, the "Godfather" series of films, and, of course, "Apocalypse Now," one of the most expensive films made in the 1970s that did, in fact, include Brando as the anti-hero.
So I must apologize. I'm am the anti-hero of automobiles. When you tell people you don't drive a car, they think you are a drunk or something. But no, I'm just a professional pedestrian because I don't care to add to the troubles of the world. Of course, we all do, in other ways. Quit beef, or, invest in a Buffalo ranch and let them roam: Everybody hurts.

To read more, go to Automous Author


"Beyond the Palace hemipowered drones
scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rear view mirrors
 and the boys try to look so hard"
~ Bruce Springsteen,
from song, "Born to Run"

You know the look. When Joe Torre, famous baseball team manager, looked out behind the field, he had it: A glum stare. No expression. The poker face. It was as if he didn't like baseball at all. Dark sunglasses are needed. The look is stoic. Rocky. Pitiless and hard.

The other day I was in this coffee house, which I won't tell you the name of, and there was this old guy in there who had the look. The coffee house was actually a kind of front, apparently, for a whole range of evangelism-related activities. The coffee house charged a lot for its brew. Prices were in range with what other establishments charge, but the actual coffee was served in a container was about the size of a Dixie cup. It was a little like passing the plate, I suppose, since they sure were making a mint, in terms of coffee per serving. What I mean by passing the plate is what happens when a church asks for money when God probably has enough already, doesn't use money, touch it, or anything. But that's not the point. It was as if the coffee place believed you really didn't like - or want you to have - coffee.

But that's not the point, either. The point is, while I was at the coffee place there was this guy, an older gent, who looked at me blankly as if he hated me from behind these dark sunglasses. It was kinda creepy. The only way I can describe it is it reminded me of what the late Rev. Jim Jones, who asked his customers to drink the tea to commit mass suicide, looked like. It was the late Rev. Jim Jones stare.

Then I noticed the person I was looking at was merely a reflection of myself. I was staring at myself. I had the the late Rev. Jim Jones glare.

So now I try to smile more and where sunglasses less, and when I do, I try to smile more.I try to be less, well, apocalyptic about things.

But what about everyone else? People stare from behind dark sunglasses a lot lately and one supposes it might because they are unhappy. Or could just be a fashion thing. Nobody smiles in public any more, or so it seems. That's most likely because the times are so hard and perhaps many people who stare blankly with the Jim Jones glare is they drank the tea, didn't like the taste, or, didn't like baseball, or, simply don't have jobs, just lost their homes in some financial, climate-related disaster or all of the above.

But most of all, staring is rude. It's a kind of surveillance. A really, really crude kind of surveillance, but surveillance nonetheless. As they say, idle hands are the devil's workshop, but a Medusa stare, man, that's hard and cold as a stone.

People need jobs. Cuts down on staring time. But staring skills could be better employed. You could, for example, right now (operators are standing by) apply for training as a remote flyer of drones.

Since the best and brightest lunatics and social-political defectives (world leaders) of our generation have determined surveillance society is good for the economy, and the encouragement of drone technology is all of the wave, let us consider where the jobs are ... staring at a screen for drone technology.

First and foremost: It's the best short-cut there is in the motion picture industry.

I know this because of my own experience in film and television and motion pictures. For example, I spent a considerable amount of bartering trade on a cameraman to produce a film about myself. However, his camera fell off a cliff and the document was lost. Long story. The short side of the story is it broke into pieces, since video-making devices are fragile. This is something we need to remember. Careers as famous people are fragile things and can come and go quite quickly.

Fortunately, even as I write this, my life story is pieced together as some odd duck shot on the public patios of surveillance society for posterity's sake. We all are.

We all have a legacy in film to be pieced together. To produce a full movie all you need are the necessary security clearances to obtain this productivity en masse.

For example, I have appeared in such films as "My Left Foot by the Laundromat," "Photo Radar," "Coffee and Cigarettes by the Convenience Store," a very Jim Jarmusch-style series of daily sequences, and "Leaving Las Vegas Bank with Less Money in My Pocket Than When I First Arrived." 

Numerous bank, library and national monument documentaries. I have been a star walking down the street and driving up and down what seems like every road in America.

You get the picture.

All of these films about myself are in preproduction since nothing bad happened in them. Unfortunately, great stories need conflict. I went to the Twin Towers a few years before 9/11, but that film, "What the Bleep Do I Know About the Location of the Restroom" also is lost to the dustbin of history. Another short film, 
"Cleanup on Aisle Three," has some comedic value, but short films don't appear as fodder for theater matinees anymore.

Anyhow, I lack much conflict in film. Terrorists get all of the play these days and I'm not a big fan of the genre. News media outlets, purveyors of such films, with tight controls on the hype, distribution, serializations and so forth, like them. They get big repeat business. Horror films and fear-based stuff is big business. Bigger than sex, in terms of theme, I suspect. However, as a long-time film critic, I find this trend most unfortunate.

Still, it's a booming field, especially if we consider the future prospects of drones. Oh sure, the blessings of such technological miracles come at the expense of the sanity of many individuals, but look at the bright side. If every inch of the earth, every town, city square, park or, hell, blade of grass, were under drone surveillance, it would force job creators to hire millions, perhaps even billions of people to process the information.

It's good for lawyers, too. A whole new field of privacy law would need to be considered: personal air space. Could take a century to adjudicate. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court hasn't even been able to update the 1872 mining law allowing individuals and corporations to plunder federal property for valuable minerals, despite the ecological damage to such lands beneath beneath our feet.

I'll bet personal air space isn't even being considered.

I have my own mind on a film called "Bang the Drum Slowly in Personal Air Space." It combines baseball and horror into one big basket. It starts out when one of these airborne, dragonfly-esque, nanotech devices comes toward me and I swat it with a baseball bat.

Like I say, these drones with surveillance drones are pretty fragile. Must be because as I say, life is hard. Best keep an eye on the ball.

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