Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hosho Mccreesh's "Second Coming, Pt. 3..."

Pavlov & The Last Laughing Neanderthal

So what of this business of dogs & gods? Just this: even Pavlov’s dogs knew better than we do not to shit where you eat. Salivating wants aside, the gist of what I’m driving at here is this: as with Pavlov & his mutts, any behavior rewarded is one that persists. Conversely, a behavior fades from existence if unrecognized, unheralded. If, for instance, we were to stop taking pictures of Paris Hilton, just you try & guess what would happen...

So we are to blame. For all we’ve encouraged & for all we’ve let die by the wayside, we are to blame. We are to blame & shame on us. You give me science, you give me gods, you give me technology to blast men into space, chart the fissures of Mars in search of water, or makes a Snicker’s candy bar more damnably delicious–you give me all of these things as proof positive of the undying nature & spirit of man. I give you our laughably repeated histories. I give you centuries of basically pointless & unimaginative wars, starving babies while abundant grains rot in silos & farmers are paid not to farm. I give you impermanent lines we’ve imagined across mountains & floating in rivers & oceans–lines our own generations worth of humans have died defending from ourselves. Not from space-aliens, or the brutal assault of mother nature, or anything wholly outside of us, mind you–but ourselves, only ourselves. We dream up things to believe in, believe so fervently in them that we fashion, of our innocent-of-all-but-disagreeing human counterparts, enemies. & thus we are the architects of human misery. Because at the end of the day almost every human I’ve ever met wants basically the same thing: a sustainable source of food, shelter & clothing from their respective & brutal climes, & a way to worry less. Some want solidarity, some want community, some to be left alone. Most benefit from a sense of purpose. Most flourish beneath the weight of love & family. Most deteriorate under tightly girded lack of freedoms. Most want to be heard in some way, want to matter. Most want to be alive, want to bear witness to the simple majesty of it. Increasingly, many don’t want this current manifestation of the world. Too few have too much; too many not enough. Of all these simple, basic, primal needs, too few are being met, for most. How can we believe in any of that? How can that be right or just? How have we ruined Eden so completely? Is it simply a question of geography? Have we become to wrapped up in the lines & borders we’ve invented to remember that before us there were no lines, before us it was just one hunk of hurtling rock? Have we forgotten that it will be that again when we’re gone? Or do these troubling questions about our own mortality & impermanence just fuel the madness?

If so, for many religion is the source of calm, the thing that quiets the swelling inner fears–fair enough. Use it then, keep it–if there is purpose in it for you. But let’s try to remember that there are different brand names, that it’s not the only thing people fill their days with (some might find as much fulfillment in shopping) & that religions too are man-made (or at least man-manipulated) & therefore imperfect. I’ll even allow that most religions, at the core, encourage the same kinds of tenets: simply put, to do things that make you better tomorrow than you are today. I can even admire the undertaking, the self-examination &courage to try & change. As a journey, it’s one that, in the end, can bring peace & meaning to an unquiet heart. Let’s not forget this very important truth: while not mutually exclusive, religion can be something staggeringly different from spirituality. By way of example I offer this: when you find yourself slathering at the maw for your particular brand of religion, unable to appreciate the fact that others who follow a different text are on just as sacred of a journey as you are, when you find yourself with your high-powered cross-hairs beaded on a fellow human, or you’re diving a plane full of innocent travelers into a skyscraper full of innocent workers, when you’re carpet bombing a village or you’ve got a satchel bomb strapped to yourself in a bus full of people going to get bread & beans at a market–religion might condone that, but spirituality certainly cannot. & in such moments it’s absolutely necessary to question how you’ve strayed to the furthest extremes of what your particular text teaches–often ignoring scripture contrary to such extremities en route–& try to identify what specific little religious hang-up derailed your spiritual journey & took you so far from what you supposedly believed in.

Now, perhaps we are too many. Perhaps humans were meant to roam in much smaller packs, driven together by the wild throes of necessity & uncertainty. Perhaps our distended & decaying souls are truly beyond redemption. Perhaps we’re damned to always succumb to our wanton & childish lusts. Perhaps we were supposed to die off as cavemen, & some last laughing Neanderthal bore witness to a spectacular innovation that saw his tiny pack through to the other side of that planned & certain extinction. Perhaps we can blame him–be him Thag or Adam–& his heavy-browed cronies for damning us to a rotting pile-up of useless millennia. But I can’t quiet escape the fact that he knew better than we do, how to fill his days with meaning. As cautious as he had to step, the way even a turned ankle could be a death sentence, I see no way his days weren’t spent on the electric edge of his own mortality & that, in itself, is far more invigorating than the lifetimes we pass in cubicles, on subways, or crawling along in gridlock. I can’t help but see Thag or Adam cackling at all our useless toil, wondering just what in the fuck we are doing with this human race he handed us, this populace working so diligently to ensure it’s own unhappiness in the short term & demise in the long.

I believe it all makes a pretty convincing case against believing or relying on any of the shitty little gimcracks we’ve dreamed up & manufactured—be them objects, borders, ideas, or gods. I believe there was always supposed to be more to living than anything we currently know; believe we were meant–with our silly little lives–to justify & redeem the energies expended to create us…repay, with our honest & purest efforts, that caustic spark that bore us; believe we should all find our own way to make our time matter, to find some meaning in this...

But who cares what I think? I barely even care what I think. Like I said, I am sick of people who believe things...

Second Coming, Intro
Second Coming, Pt. 1
Second Coming, Pt. 2

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

short one...

as I head out the door to play some cards, just heard from Laura Hird that I'll have a "Writer's Showcase" in the next issue (a lot of talented small pressers have these babies, and now the other kind like me...) along with a short bit I wrote for "The Devil Has All The Best Tunes," which is a section on various music that means a lot to folks (I chose, surprise, Miles Davis and "Sketches Of Spain").

I'll update when it's live. all for now, time for one more gulp of Chateau Montrose 98 and then a little mixed games/no limit/pot limit good time.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

back in the saddle...

as if anyone noticed, but I've been "offline" for a week now, and only just got a new computer. my old one had a major internal fuckup, complete with loud POP sound and everything freezing up nicely. luckily, I'd backed my shit up to an external drive, but turns out, all the data is fine and dandy, some kind of "heat retention wall" broke and destroyed my motherboard. so now I'm loving my new machine and will transfer all my bullshit from my old sad unit to this new sleek masterpiece of planned obsolescene.

until it crashes too or the world blows up or I go even crazier.

real post to follow at some point, and how bout the GPP? 60 finds!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

new poems...

I've updated my website with a few new poems (not many, maybe five because I have to type em in and fuck that, I've typed em once...) and if you like, you can read them here.


Friday, February 02, 2007

wine notes...

ahh, well, with the NYQ accept, the forthcoming trade paperback from Sunnyoutside and the fact that I've nailed down the framework for my first novel (gonna begin very very soon), tonight we celebrated a bit and splurged on a couple of good Bordeaux wines that are usually a bit pricey for us po' folks.

we bought a bottle of 1998 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (a St. Julien)and a bottle of 1999 Cos d'Estournel (a St. Estephe), both second growth wines.

the Ducru is one of the goddamn best wines I've had, and I can't imagine how fine a great vintage like 1982 (around $250 a bottle locally here) would be as the 98 is a wonder. this wine has a deep purple color, with a lighter ruby rim and no sign of age anywhere, like it could easily last another 25 years in the bottle. the nose is full of minerals, dark fruit and smoke with a ghost of chocolate hovering somewhere nearby. a fully integrated wine, the tannins and fruit are in almost perfect balance (most Bordeaux need about ten years or so to lose some of their tough edge if made right) and I can't find too much new oak vanilla which is great (I hate that taste, really, too sweet, too processed, and the Borie family uses around 50% new oak). the Ducru is about 70% Cabernet Sauv and the rest Merlot and Franc. black cherries, raspberries, leather on the front and a long, complex finish that lasts, with a gentle heat that fades like the notes from a trumpet at midnight. man, it's a good one and worth the dough.

St. Estephe has a rep for being a hard, tannic appellation, the soil is mostly clay which means poor drainage and a higher acidity in the wines. but the Cos doesn't show it very much, with about 40% Merlot grapes softening the tough, closed edge. this wine had a nose of herbs and smoke, a pink rim and a lighter, more garnet color than the Ducru's deep thick purple. the taste was medium bodied and subdued with flavors of pencil lead and earth, and a crisp short finish with very little tannin for an Estephe (probably that damn new oak easing the sharpness). a solid wine, I thought, and considering the amount of new oak they use (around 80%) I wasn't put off by any strong cedary vanillin flavors. UPDATE: the next day I had another glass from the Cos and after breathing for a while the wine had a much more notable herbaceous/vegetal nose, a bit mushroomy, and the fruit had slipped sadly into the background. I probably would buy it again, but from a vintage like 98, 90 or 82 (right, if I could afford it/find it).

okay, that's the Cunningham Frenchy Pompus Asshole hour for the day, and dig it, I could care less. I fucking love Bordeaux wines, and ya'll bitches can kiss it.

here's some elitest jazz music too, enjoy:

more later...