Thank you to the few people who have read and enjoyed this humble blog of mine. While I feel that I should keep my future writing private, I had fun with the blogging experience. Life is slowly going better for me, as I'm now working in janitorial at American Family Fitness and taking a poetry class at community college. I will leave you on a happy note: the opening to Dragon Ball Z, my favorite anime.
Monday, November 4, 2013
“A hole would be something. No, it was nothing.”
As my eyes witness the beauty of a grove of life,
With trees nestled together and the sun’s radiance raining down,
And I wonder what I’m supposed to see.
Surely, the ruggedness of existence has its moments of unadulterated wonder,
And to some that is enough.
But when the sneaking shadow of the axe hangs over the heads of the hopeful,
What truth can really exist?
Can the mother of a dying child take solace in past life, in love now gone, gone forever?
What small, sad provincial governor could oversee such a state of affairs?
The horizon bleeds with suffering and the wasted water of billions of tears.
Every dream ends, and as for me, I have woken up at night in a cold sweat.
I see nothing.
As the moon’s frail beams of midnight despair creep across my bed,
It’s another night with no one to put the warm hand of friendship upon my shoulder.
Ugly… stupid… worthless…
A demonic assault on the walls of my very mind.
I look around, but night’s paintbrush has obscured the room’s once familiar comforts.
If only there was an easy answer… A nonchalant miracle.
I don’t know why the hand of God hasn’t reached down with a heavenly dosage of manna.
Yet I do know that God sent his only Son to die on the cross because He so loved the world.
In this land of burning loneliness, One has given us refuge in the luminous love of his blood.
I can just barely hear the laughter of children.And so I can sleep.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
The dim blue hue of a computer screen,
Masks the oily blackness of the window it opens.
A man thrusting his hips into a woman’s most private place,
But without the tenderness of a lover.
They are merely two ghostly, hollowed out forms that dance in the twilight of a red-eyed camera.
What happened to the dreams of the little girl within?
At her soccer games or dance recitals, was this always to be the same godless outcome?
A deterministic nightmare from the mind of a depraved Calvinist bastard.
Can’t she be saved?
Not by me.
For the love of gold she did it, and for the love of lust I watch it.This is business… and I am a customer.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”,
Is the culmination of my fear.
The church bell has long stopped chiming,
And the stained glass face of Mother Mary is forever crying.
Was I good enough? Apparently not.
Now my flesh is to rot.
Which circle do I belong? God, I have done no wrong!
Was it greed; have I carried the wheeling weight of an idol?
Or was it anger; did I allow rancor into my heart?
Surely I believed in You! Or did I let myself be deceived?
Damn God then!
Yet I know it’s because of my sin.
Jesus loved us on the cross,
So I am to blame for my loss.
As the fires rise,
My hope dies.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
As Ninja Turtle mania spread like wildfire throughout Middle America in the late 80’s, New Line Cinema had a simple but brilliant idea: Bring the turtles to life in a movie. As I was too young to see the film when it premiered in 1990 (I was only a year old), I had to settle with a VHS copy. Well, in the span of my childhood I put that tape through the grinder. While I’m aware that TMNT is a flawed movie, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a lot of fun.
The main problem that comic book aficionados had with the cartoon version of the Ninja Turtles was that it was too slapstick. They liked the humor, but felt that the violent edge of the original graphic novel was lost. Luckily for everyone, the TMNT film combines the best of both worlds. The turtles are still reciting their goofy jokes (“You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket”), but they’re ready to kick ass and take names while they’re at it.
So, the Ninja Turtles are still crime fighting heroes, and they still confront the evil Shredder. There’s Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello… as well as Splinter, their giant rat mentor. It’s a classic good versus evil yarn, and I really don’t see a problem recommending it to kids as young as six or seven. There’s a little cursing (I remember thinking it was the coolest thing when Raphael said “damn”) and some stylized violence, but you’re not going to get Game of Thrones type content here.
The fight scenes are pretty cool though, Raphael’s battle with the Foot soldiers on the roof of an apartment building deserving special mention. The soundtrack is also surprisingly good, with Turtle Power tapping into that cheesy 80’s hip hop, and Shredder’s Suite being a legitimately thrilling piece of music. A shout out must go to Jim Henson, as this was the last project he worked on before his death, and the actual turtle costumes look amazingly expressive and vibrant.
Friday, October 11, 2013
In case anyone thinks I’ve somehow left my liberal roots altogether, let me assure you, I still lean left. I am a liberal in the truest sense of the word: I believe in liberty. I also believe in human dignity. In the past few years, Republicans seem to have forgotten that whatever scandals Obama is dealing with right now, be it Benghazi or the IRS, they are absolutely insignificant compared to the atrocities committed by George Bush. George Bush is the worst president in modern history, perhaps going back to James Buchanan. Put simply, if you think Obama should be impeached, then Bush should have been executed by firing squad… that’s just being consistent.
I’m not even going to talk about Bush lying us into the Iraq War under the pretense of weapons of mass destruction, (which he actually joked about once at a dinner by looking under a table and saying, “Nope, no weapons under there”) or his botched handling of Katrina (“You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie”), I’m just going to focus on how he turned America’s military and intelligence personnel into torturing thugs. As a follower of Jesus, I am also stunned at conservative Christians’ attempt at rehabilitating Bush’s legacy.
So, after 9/11, I actually thought Bush did a good job. I remember the scene where he was standing atop some rubble with the megaphone, saying, “We hear you” or something like that. I was actually impressed by him as a kid in middle school. However, it wasn’t long before I started hearing things about what we were doing as a country that made me a little confused. I heard about a place called Guantanamo Bay, and how “bad” people were being sent there. Well, they had to deserve going there, right?
In case you’ve been living in a bunker near the Earth's core for the last decade, Guantanamo Bay is a prison… where you’re sent without a trial. Did you catch that last bit? I hope so. We take it for granted now, but just think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. We’re assuming that someone is guilty. We don’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, we just guess. Does that terrify anyone else? That they’re statistically going after brown people doesn't reassure me.
So, we’re already off to a bad start. As if going there isn’t enough, the conditions once inside are even worse. According to the “torture memos” written by John Yoo and approved by Donald Rumsfeld, the “severe pain” prohibition of the U.N. Convention is only defined with "death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions" and that prolonged mental impairment is only associated with a duration of “months or years.” So, if you’re beaten and don’t die, you’re good to go according to the Bush administration.
Of what we know of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” a.k.a. torture (of which is little due to the CIA destroying multiple interrogation videotapes in 2005), we know that there was little off the table. Torture included simulated drowning, use of attack dogs, being kept in a freezing room, being forced to lie in “stress positions” for over 40 hours, the use of insects, waterboarding, and sleep deprivation for days. Sadly, these are only the most well-reported incidents. Go to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and you’ll see a whole Hell of a lot worse.
In 2004, it came to light that horrible atrocities were being inflicted upon Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib detention facility. I don’t even know where to start with this one… American soldiers raped, and sometimes outright killed, Iraqi inmates. There were even incidents of soldiers pouring phosphoric acid onto the prisoners, or jumping on an already broken leg with such force that it would never heal properly. Abu Ghraib is best remembered by the public as the photograph of a prisoner with a hood on his head, standing on a box, thinking that if he moved an inch he’d be electrocuted. This was a dark stain on America, one that was spilled by George Bush.
The bottom line is that I refuse to believe that Abu Ghraib didn’t operate on a higher authority. All evidence pertaining to it has probably already been destroyed, but I know that Bush and Rumsfeld were behind this. Even if they somehow weren’t, the fact is that Bush created the template and atmosphere for this to occur in the first place. If he hadn’t used torture at all, and taken the moral high ground, this never would have happened. If you take away even one person’s dignity, then you’ve sold the pass to go all the way. There’s no limit to human depravity.
Friday, October 4, 2013
I was never sure if I liked the smell of his house,
Mac and cheese, always mac and cheese.
As a den of memories, carefully tucked away in the corridors of my mind,
There could be worse smells associated with this Golden Age.
The blue carpet was a rough, matted mess,
Each prickling fiber creating new wrinkles of childhood delight.
Their fruit roll ups tasted the best,
As does anything that you take without asking.
My friend, my best friend, hated that I loved video games so much,
Yet his for all his miniature brilliance,
There was an acceptance of me and my scrambled, electronic preoccupation.
When I think back to those days, dominated by my friend’s ridiculous bowl cut,
I think of myself blowing into the reaches of that magic box.
I think of the red, 8 bit curtain rising on a hulking tube television,With a friend sitting by my side.