Thursday, March 22, 2012

Coffee House Recitation

There was a time when if it didn't cause you pain to get it out
it wasn't a legit experience.
Those days are gone -- gladly.
Now I am too old, the coffee sours me
and I wonder if the stomach spasm is just from the coffee.
I come to the tiny table with cliches and memories and the last traces of dreams.
Something pulls; I lean in, I lean back; something stays, retracts.
Moving; that's how things make sense -- moving in a sort of stasis in a singular place.
Spilling myself across the table.  Sloppy.

That hasn't changed -- the careless handling of containers.
But the contents have gotten hotter, darker, more acidic, bolder.
And it causes me pain to drink it in.
And I like it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Soul Music

It comes to mind that there are those who can't grasp why atheists like songs that use words like "soul" or "miracle". It's easy -- atheists understand the concepts and the multiple meanings or interpretations of such things.  For example, there is no such thing as a soul in the sense of a supernatural, eternal being -- you simply don't have one of those.  But anyone can relate to soul as a fullness of one's passions or depth of emotions or totality of mental experience.  Something is soulful because the experience of engagement is a fulfilling moment.  

Same with miracle.  While there is no magic being performed, there are things that yet lack explanation and others that are simply so unexpected they seem almost impossible.  When they do happen, the occasions are amazing, grossly fortunate, astounding... close to magical.  So the atheist can appreciate the notion of this according to a secondary or casual interpretation of the concept rather than the literal or primary term.

And sometimes good music is just good music and it's easy enough to overlook these ideas and just enjoy a song.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Occupy, An Internet Conversation.

It went like this:  I posted a link to Occupy New Haven getting an eviction notice. Follow the exchange and,  like usual, I make no apologies for my opinion.

EG:  It's about time they got off their lazy asses and get some kind of job. Anything.

Me:  Lots of them work -- they leave during the day and camp at night. Don't be so fucking ignorant. And, by the way, I have a job doing anything because I can't get meaningful, full paid work -- because the shift in most industries is to part time work for minimum wage. That's why I live in poverty so take your bullshit perspective and choke on it.

EG:  Americans have become over educated and afraid of doing what you would deem shitty manual labor. Well guess what, I went to the same college you did, got an art Ed degree and decided it wasn't for me. So I got a job working with my hands, learned a trade and joined a Union. I help build America and I'm fucking proud of my work. So when I hear I can't find meaningful work, it makes my stomach turn. Some days at work suck, from freezing cold to blistering heat. My life isn't comfortable and I don't bitch about it. I work my ass off so my kid can have a good and happy life. So get out of the fucking park that my taxes help keep clean and safe.

MB:  Manual and manufacturing jobs are scarce too. If I lost my job, I'd be GLAD for the chance to do manual labor. To put food on the table and stay in the apartment. AND because I would stop getting desk-fat. I'm no different than millions.

Me:  Yes, get out of the park and stop using your Constitutional rights. Very patriotic of you.

I'm not talking about manual labor vs another form. What you do for a living is the irrelevant part of the conversation; it's how much work you can get and how much it pays that matters to a person's ability to be self sufficient and pay his or her bills. Check just a little bit of news or statistics -- look at the history of wages compared to the cost of living over the last 30 years coupled with the reduction in benefits, including health care, paid vacation time and even sick days. Now, no one has to pay you for any of those things because they can hire staff at half price and half time.

That your life isn't comfortable is exactly why those lazy asses (as you call them) are out there -- so that even YOU can earn more to make your life more affordable and give you better quality of life overall as related to your job and living costs.

What makes my stomach turn is when I hear someone say ignorant things like get out of a park you pay taxes for when part of your taxes are used to preserve public space for, among other things, the purpose of providing a public forum for a redress of grievances. It sickens me that anyone still buys into the "boot straps" defense when that is a manipulative way to blame the lower income classes for inability to advance economically in an economic structure that is designed to favor those who run it -- and is protected because they can buy their politicians. Or haven't you been watching the primary season, for example? And it's okay to blame the little guy because self-determination is the American way but when the little guy takes to the public square to assert his rights he is suddenly called unAmerican and lazy. Fuck you.