Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The Bunker--London--9:34 am Tuesday, 27 June:

Glancing quickly at the headlines for every major news paper, news magazine, sporting news, online or not, during my morning meal has left me in such a state of fear and loathing--to borrow a phrase--that I am acutally questioning leaving the confiines of my fortress high above the docklands. I have supplies: food, water, wine and enough high powered alcohol to go long and deep into the new year while hopping this rotten era will end soon but not too soon that criminals in charge aren't held accountable for their sins--to be punished under the mantra of the Old Testament eye for an eye episteme. So quickly run down the list of what's set me off on an otherwise lovely, yet chilly summer morning.

3 armoured divisions are ammassed on the Gaza strip because that's where the Isreali army thinks one of their boys is being held. I don't condone kidknapping, or terrorism--however potentially justified--, but it seems to me that the nation with a legendary secret inteligence service called Massaad, whose capacity for inflicting massive yet efficient violence anywhere in the world is renowned, could get one hapless gunner caught with his proverbially dick in the wind out of the hands of a few amature at best 'freedom hating jihadists.' From my vantage point there are two options. Either the Isreali military is actually patheticlly inept and all of those stories you hear late at night in the Frontline Club are the fictitious ramblings of a bunch of boucholic cynical war junky hack journalists or the concerns over one Gilad Shalit are the furthest thing from the minds of a government who's been itching to finish the job they started in 70's by rolling the tanks through the last bit of occupied beach front property before they turn their gaze east. Frankly, I'd be surprised if Shalit exits.

Bush, and adminsitration, is upseat about journalist leakage of DHS finance monitoring scheme calling the New York times "disgraceful" and at risk of endangering the lives and security "of millions of freedom loving americans," while Peter King says, "The New York Times is putting its own arrogant, elitist, left-wing agenda before the interests of the American people." This is not a political blog, so let's just wonder whose interests the benevolant chairman is concerned with.

Finally, to the cycling news. The faracas in Spain is leading to all sorts of wild eyed accusations proving once again that the best way to catch a thief is to fling poo everywhere and see where it sticks. Greg Lemond is continuing his hate campaign against Armstrong--not that I particularily care about Lance--,but is is somewhat pathetic that Lemond can't hide his jealousy better and merely accept the fact that after his brother in law accidently gave him two barrels in the back that his cycling career was effectivelly over.

Armstong yesterday on ESPN used the word "apoplectic" to descibe his feelings, and after looking it up in the OED, that's my opinion of this whole vile shit-rain that seems to be leaking through the storm windows.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

warm beer and cold meat

Undisclosed London Location: 8;41 AM (Sunday 25 June 2006)

Somewhere in the depths of my depraved reality I found my self drinking mai tais in the basement bar of the Savoy Hotel on a random Tuesday morning near the end of June after cashing in on a room I didn’t pay for and in a vain attempt burn this cash cow for all it was worth. This all would have made the lead of a great story; far better, in fact, than the awful truth that finds me slumped on my sofa at 8 am Sunday morning with a vicious headache and stone dry—except for three cans of warm Kronenbourge and some mystery liquor someone brought back from Andorra, a cross between Absinthe and Gin something I wouldn’t touch unless I was a raving alcoholic lunatic and Britain was in the throes of heinous bout of prohibition, which isn’t exactly so unlikely that I would count it out completely, and I will get back to you on that after tonight’s England/Ecuador game. Also, this is not to imply that I haven’t had cocktails at 10:30 in the basement bar of the Savoy on a Tuesday, but that was for a completely different and somewhat professional reason, and this essay is about the god-awful truth of my life, and there is nothing truthful about my professional life. There, I’ve said it; a maniac reveals the mendacious reality of the Academy on Sunday morning. But I digress.

Right now, my life is far, far away from luxuriating in the Savoy. I’m wound like a top with an ever-impending deadline, and 10000 more words to go before I sleep—or to be more accurate, hop a Lufthansa charter to Budapest via Munich. My face still hurts from that base degenerate’s sucker punch, and though I’m pretty sure I didn’t crack a bone in my hand as it tore through his face, it feels like it and right now, between disjointed sentences it is currently resting in my ice bucket that normally utilizes its cooling power for rum—but I finished that on Friday. So it is for all these reasons I found myself at a barbeque last night somewhere in the far south of London full of a bunch of Kiwis, Aussies and the odd German girl who would have loved to go back to my suits over looking the Aldwych Strand—and probably would have settled for a quick hump on Tooting Bec Common. But last time I went in for that sort of thing, I ended up lost in Balham, and it took me 3 months to convince the cop that she and I had completely and diametrically oppositional world views and probably couldn’t come up with something that resembled a convivial relationship. Though, last time I heard, she met a nice bloke with the same episteme who’s also currently being implicated in that terrorist scandal on the East End where some kid was plugged because he was suspected of being a terrorist, accused by someone who had heard, from someone who’s brother knew a guy that heard in a bar that the owner’s kid bet that the guy who was actually shot might be a terrorist—or through some other faulty cop logic. My God, digressions all over the place; we’ll see how the score works out in the end; I just got word from my mobile communications unit (MCU--not to be confused with MPU which is mobile party unit, AKA a coat with many, many pockets utilized for the smuggling and or transport of malt beverages to places where said materials are prohibited) that the German girl will be at today’s BBQ, and she’s ‘l-king f-wrd to c-ing me,’ so there will be plenty of time for freaky Olympics later.

So, let see; BBQ last night:

It was a nice event and a proper celebration of meat on the grill with a good mix of booze and people typical of any housewarming gathering in high summer. I took my usual position in the doorway dividing the patio from the kitchen—or in more technical terms between the hot meat from the cold beer, taking a page out of Harper’s book where, to meet people in a foreign environment, he stresses the importance of being in the way. From my vantage point, perched between the high stress of the hardcore drinkers (mainly the Aussies) and lazy curls of cannabis from the Kiwis, I was able to see the division of nationalism. And, since I only knew two people there, who think of my social ‘abilities’ as legendary, the others regarded me with the awed deference reserved for high-powered acolytes and seriously deranged felons, characteristics that raise one’s pulling power to new heights—hence German girls named Nichol who now track my movements like I was an endangered African rhino.

Holy Jesus, even I don’t understand what I’ve just written making me skeptical that anyone in the ether would have any clue. And here I was trying to make sense of the odd socio-political scene that has ensnared us all, but for that I’d have to start over again, and that’s way beyond my powers today—since I have another BBQ in the afternoon with some drinks at the Waldorf in the evening before I hit the hard one this week to finish so I can finally and assuredly go on vacation.

Bringing me back to my original point—that I don’t have one. Which, in it self, may be the true point that there is none. Not on the sub-atomic or grand-universal level, but it’s funny to think about the levels in between the really big and the really small where our own private realities converge into something that may intimate meaning. But I’m jangled right now and not thinking in terms of meanings or even complete sentences, and frankly that mystery liquid in my kitchen is looking better and better, so I’ll sign off before I embarrass myself even more by this uncontrollable drivel.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Jesus with a Machine Gun

Russell Square, London: 12:03 PM

Principles take their toll after 17 hours writing and fifth of Mount Gay 'Anejo' (also ten limes and a bucket of ice) as I found myself trudging accross the garden of Russel Square at 11:20 in the morning to the beat of drums and shouting, most of which was not in my head. I'd been up all night polishing off a rewrite for a review--after scrapping 15,000 words at 1:40 the previous afternoon, and needless to say, the rum and frantic typing has left me a little ragged at the edges and in no mood for delay. Boosted by only a pre-coffee espresso, I was a veritable time bomb as one eye was seeing square and the other round.

The incessant drumming, reminiscent of the 'War Drum' scene at the end of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon--where John Wayne is talking disapointedly to the old Apache chief, was getting louder as I approached my building. Coupled with shouts and cheers. Marijuana smoke was heavy in the air as the entire scene was undelain by a loud techno groove from enormous speakers. I'd left my home office (dining room) and stumbled onto a heady block party. As I got closer, and began to peer through the haze, I realized I was in no mere celebration but a protest, an 'occupation' of a 'derelect' building by student activists taking a stance against the University charging them money for their apartments. Marxist slogans wafted through the air from glassy eyed hipsters with dreadlocks. I stopped dead in my tracks and retreated to Starbucks for reinforcements because I knew where I was going to be in 5 minutes.

"Corrupt cops and crack rocks!" a chorus from the speakers--was that Rage Against Machine? Returning to the jaws of the animal crowd with a giant paper Starbucks cup, my hand burning because I'd accidently dropped that cardboard sleeve thingy, my attention was earnistly seeking the leader of this thing (it would turn out that my coffee would be my undoing, for reasons that are probably already obvious).

The flags said 'peace', at least the one next to the Anarchy black and the Sandinista crimson/black banner but I knew that free love and world harmony was not on the minds of these student freedom fighters--rebels with no clue bourgeousie whites from Essex and Surrey--they were into the drugs, the scene, the noise and the prospect of spending their parents' rent checks on Lager during Sunday's England match that squatting would afford them. There was a fire breather and a juggler too: all the components of a resistance movement. And, obligatory for every movement, this one had a name: Tragic Farce (in one act), brought to you by the London Anarchists.

I fought my way through the crowd, careful not to spill my coffee on my shirt and mindful that my flipfloped toes might get trod on by the barefooted brethren. Buses rumble through the noise, whilst deisel fumes and taxis circle the park. The world goes on around and through the gathering. The din rises to a full blooded fever, orgiastic and complacent in the fact that a few blocks away, the shear movement of world capital and finance would obliterate this place if it bothered to care--a testament to the futility of angry white middle class protesters--I thought about scoring some LSD, but the bloke selling the little capsuls looked kinda dodgy, like even he didn't buy what was going on and was only in it to off load his old product before the next batch came in for the weekend's raves, clubs and rock festivals.

The thobbing mass getting ugly at my stumbling and elbowing for coffee room was soon greeted by 'the leader' a grungy dreadlocked Westender, who before standing to the crowd pulled a ski mask around his face--a hushed crowd, drums stop, techno turned down to a manageable level--the masked man arms spread like a martyr elicits a loud cheer--and then silence. Birds chirping--he's getting ready to speak,

"Revolution! Freedom! Existence is Resistence!" cheers again from the crowd as he hushed them again.

I've wormed my way to the front row, right at the foot of the podium, "Chingada maracone...Hola! Commondante Marcos?" Holy Shit, did I just say that out-loud--paranoid, who here speaks my brand of gutteral Mexican Spanish? The crowd turns mean, they don't know what I said, but my short hair and shaved face, brandishing my sign of imperialism in the form 20 ounces of liquid happiness was enough.

The grumbling of the crowd increased, "pig!" "narc!" I decided to beat a fast one to the safety of my office. Fighting and shoving my way out, a wild eyed, black soled, dreadlocked, self-rightous vegan barred my exit--pushing me back, "hey man" he challanged "what's your problem?" "just curious" the caffiene and alcohol are finnally mixing in a death brew on my frontal lobe--sparks are closing in from my periphery, taste of blood at the back of my mouth.

"it's protest man, against people like you"

composing myself, note book out "how so?" no answer, "what I thought, excuse me" taking the easy out "I need to get to work", as I start enroaching on his space. The crowd has once again gone back to the guy dressed like Marcos, leaving me and my friend to settle our differences in the reletive obscurity of the mob. He pushes me back--"what's your problem?" he enquires again.

The rest is hazy, I aimed for the back of his skull, and before the melee ensued I was accross the quad into the mob of onlookers and other cynical naysayers. But i'm left perplexed, also a swelling face and severly bruised right hand.

Where did it go wrong? And perhaps more broadly, where and how can a group of white upper middle class men get the idea to demonstrate that they are not happy that the university evicted them for not paying rent. And perhaps more troubling, why was no one hip to talking about it, instead hiding behind slogans ripped off from a Mountain Dew advertisement or from Taco bell- quisero chalupa?. The protest was cut short because of rain--perhaps the ultimate commentary about convictions--flying flags of revolution, until the elements might damage i-pods and mobile phones--one kid was on a blackberry, even protesters need to keep up on email. Perhaps what is most disturbing was the lack of diversity in the crowd--mainly one of white 19-23 y/o males, protesting against forces they both completely embody and cannot fully comprehend. How many threw away their i-pods when it was proven that Chinese slaves made them? Or their phones? It's the scene; branded represention of social lives--protesting because it's hip and in the end they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Defeat takes them back to mom in Surrey countryside--or into a 12 month tenancy agreement for a Camdon flat; victory equals free London rent. Where were their convictions in Elephant and Castle when the Latino population commemorated the death of some poor Brazilian student because he 'looked Asian' and was was wearing an unseasonable coat--before being gunned down (six to the head by most accounts) by the Met in Kennington. Or the poor bastard who was shot in his parent's house, suspected of terrorism in Bethnal Green, only to find out that the police were acting on fourth party hearsay intelegence? How far would these convictions fly if the police were to come burn them out. Think 'Marcos'' mask would protect him from the CS gas or the trudgeons that London Cops are so fond of using?

Perhaps my own perspective is mistaken now. Maybe I'm too old for this. And it could be that my own situation put me into the maw of beast that I wasn't prepared to handle today--pushing just a little too hard in my own surely self-rightousness.

I'm out

Thursday, June 15, 2006

About time

Not that I ever believe in prefacing what I have to say with apologies, but as Grounds Keeper Willie puts it, "I don't wanna pick fight, but the lad's have been drinkin all day." So, for all of the pundits of law enforcement agencies or members of law enforcement who read my blog, my apologies, pigs; i don't like you; I don't respect you, your way of life, nor do I respect your world view. Frankly, I envision a world that doesn't need, want or support cops and that views cops for what they are: selfish jack-booted criminals without the stones to do their jobs an who require an interior sense of self-gratification manifestted as legitimization by the state.

I had a viscious scree sketched out about how G W Bush was a melonomous carbuncle on the knob of humanity, and how I cannot believe that that dimwited nimrod still has the huevos to call himself "President", but frankly, why? Instead, I come home after a hard day of social criticism to open the LJworld site where the headline is Lawrence Police Department under investigation for impersonating the FBI. Keeping in mind, that my opinion of cops extends to Feds, all I have to say is how typical. A small town police force, that is a bunch of rednecked filth feels the need to boost themselves in order to intimidate players in what amounts to a shut case by posing as FBI. I can just imagine the scene: bad polyester, Jimmy Houston aviators and ubiquitous 'staches. It's a bad parody of Dragnet or Crime Story. It's like that Beastie Boys video, only in real life. I bet J E Hoover's dress is bunching up in his grave over this, which is sad.

Now keeping in mind that my history with Lawrence's finest runs long and deep, from the incident of the 'dim' tail light to the out right intrevention in a civil rights violation of a non-english speaking dark skinned latino and all acts of civil and not so civil disobedience in between, lets consider my relationship with them is not on par with that of a contented citizen. Even so, I hope someone ends up in Levenworth over this one. And they wonder why we call 'em pigs?

Okay, enough; even I can't hold a grudge long enough for this one. It's been a busy few weeks since I got back to London, so a lot has happened. In my jetlagged state, I managed to find myself at a cultural geography conference amidst the gibberish of a bunch of junior academics trying to sound smart to senior academics. I found a quiet corner, read some gonzo journalism about LSD and prepared myself for the after party.

Fear and Loathing at the Pizza Express:

When a bunch of over acheiving academics decide to have a bit of a party, it gets ugly fast. Whilst I was still trying to find the keys to the boiler room door, I discovered that it was already open, but no one was falling in. Two bottles of wine later, my bullshit-o-meter's going off like a gieger counter in a uranium mine when the girl I'm talking to starts rambling on about her catharthic experience while reading Foucault. Ah that name again. I see two scenarios. Either it was inpenertrable gibberish to her and she wants to sound cool, or she actually had some sort of reaction--either way, I'm out.


The marathon, my leg at least, was hard. I've never done an easy race, and this was no exception. 8 miles in 53 minutes, no record but still hard, and it was hot. I put 12 minutes on my competitor, and my team came in fourth over all, but I was in a world of hurt that no ammount of haggis or scotch could fix not for lack of trying. Edinburgh an amazing city. Beautiful, hilly, with a true mtn top fortress. It's no London, but then again, what is?

World Cup:

It's here; it's huge; enough said.

Okay, even I'm not making sense now, and I haven't even started drinkin yet, so I'll sign off.

Thanks for reading and keep it weird


Friday, June 02, 2006

trip to garden grove

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." The late Dr (Gonzo) HST

Que pasa?

So I'm back on my side of the world, it's Friday afternoon on a 'balmy' late spring day and I feel like I've just smoked the biggest spliff in the world. A two week bender, God knows how much wine (though I imagine a certain wife of a certain good friend has a much closer accounting on that accord), and some torn up gonzo action on the streets of Larry capped my vacation in such fine style that I had to send my flatmate to the store this morning for a crate of grapefruit and 2 quarts of Wild Turkey so I could write this one out. Oh, and I'm jatlagged too. Don't know if it's the time change or the free Northwest airline booze that's given me this headache--not that I wanted to drink on the flight, I'd prefer to sleep actually, but some 19 y/o chick next to me who's meeting her fiance for the 2nd time (it was an internet thing) wanted to assure me of her fear of flying (for 12 hours), so I made it my mission not only to document this trainwreck for posterity but to test the limits of the flight crew's conscience at 41,000 feet to serve alcohol to someone reading Catcher in the Rye (I bought at the gift shop). I broke them an hour before landing during 'breakfast' when I asked for a double bloody mary with a JD chaser. On the down side, I still think Salinger was a punked out momma's boy who should have quit the business long before he hit the Apple.

Now, I'm sitting in my flip flops with Sublime up loud enough for me to question whether the pounding I hear is my frontal lobe or the police on my front door wanting me to kindly turn down the stereo while trying to figure out if that funny smell wafting from the balcony is some sort of funky grilled/smoked Turbot or an ounce of schwagg on a brazer--it's actually a dreadlocked mate of mine working his own grim version of the commodity trade via pager and mobile.

But enough of this. I want to thank everyone for showing me a good time in Lawrence and for helping me prove, once and for all, that it is a totally consequence free environment. Where else can you trade punches at 1:30 am and then walk to the King for some fine quality Lingua tacos and hippy baiting. And, that's just the tip of it; the spiral had only down to go after that, so when I found myself wandering across town 24 hours later after a day's worth of reshuffling the wine cellar and 'pulling' on Mass, all I could do was sigh--forget about it, it's Lawrence.

My current situation is very bleak. I'm in a universal shitstorm with the shutters wide open and broken latches on the windows wondering how I'm going manage my career, side job, dt's and training, and since there's only a week until the World Cup I'm searching for a solution to the 'speedball' problem. In a week's time, my flatmates B-day, and you all know what happens to me at B-day parties--for those of you who don't, think cops, bad cops, naughty, dirty, twisted cops of the best and worst kind. Then its an 8hr train to Edinburgh, followed by a 26.3 mile jaunt around the beautiful Scottish capital, some more celebration entailing 2 world cup matches. Somewhere in there as my soul slowly subsumes itself in its own decadence, I have an article to get out, a cirriculum to establish and probably an AA meeting--just to establish a baseline not to mention a trip to the Jura, Dijon and all points Burgundian to plan, and since I'm taking up stone carving (to relax) I should probably look at some sculpture.

so my friends, as I'm about to panic my way into a second bottle of wine, thank you all for reading and try to keep in mind that fear is just another word for ignorance.