The New Slang Standard

Some people think they are cool, and then other people find it funny how those people think they are cool, and even more people want to take the word "cool" and run over it with a Zamboni until it's a puddle of graffiti. Vice Magazine takes smack talk to an entirely new level. "Do's and Dont's" features trash talk from very creative angles. It's supposed to be about fashion, but like many photo collections some of the pics become a "would do" or "would not do" competition. Be prepared. Some of the pictures reveal just how disgusting fashion can get. Leg warmers and spandex are only a jumping off point for the horrors you will find. Discussion concerning the hallucinogenic frogs of the Amazon reeled in many readers two years ago, but since then it took off, because it's Vice Magazine. [Good photojournalism, so-so video, however.]

Latest Works

Another horrific ankle injury left me stuck in my room all week. Here's five new songs I created. It was way overdue for me to make some more music. All those music lessons go to waste when you don't work on anything.

[spent too many hours per day on this-- 19 or so, from the bed]

The first tracks I ever made, two years ago, were created using only LAME using BeSweet as a graphical interface. Everything created existed as only one track from start to finish. I got a lot better since then.

There's no way for me to record good quality instrumental tracks, but I finally got around to learning multi-track recording and mixing, to what extent I have done it so far. Hopefully the future will allow me to do this a lot more. This was a blast, as usual.


And MSWord on this computer won't convert Open Office documents. Now counting to ten. Okay. No writing upload today. I had a fantastic thing I wrote about Cylon Raiders and the use of feminist principles in their programming. Damn. You'll have to catch it later then.

The Lure of Easy Money

There were 6 shootings in New Orleans in the course of an eleven hour period. Just about every week somebody gets murdered in North Baton Rouge. Not every one of these acts of violence were necessarily directly related to drugs, but a great deal of them are. The following says a lot about the violence:

Generalizing from the findings on Prohibition, we can hypothesize that decriminalization would increase the use of the previously criminalized drug, but would decrease violence associated with attempts to control illicit markets and as resolutions to disputes between buyers and sellers. Moreover, because the perception of violence associated with the drug market can lead people who are not directly involved to be prepared for violent self-defense, there could be additional reductions in peripheral settings when disputes arise (see Blumstein & Cork, 1997; Sheley & Wright, 1996).
What does it say about our nation that we don't care enough about people getting murdered every day to change our basic approach to one of the greatest underlying problems?

The continued failure to decriminalize drugs has led to huge numbers of deaths and incarcerations, and that's always apparent in the poor parts of the United States. 1,841,182 people were arrested for drug related offenses in 2007, nearly half of those for marijuana. The approach to controlling drugs in our nation laid out by George Bush Sr. has quite literally been an ongoing insanity, and a blemish on our national honor. The massive imprisonment rates for this crime of consent show how little human life really meant to the legislators who passed some of the most Draconian drug laws.

Our policies also greatly affect the lives of our neighbors in Mexico, and people throughout the drug production and trafficking areas of Latin America. We did not put guns in the hands of the men who killed 18 people at a Juarez drug rehabilitation center a week and a half ago. We have, however, created conditions that make drug trafficking so lucrative that murdering 18 people in one pop is worth it to some of the gangs. This makes absolutely no sense.

It would obviously be a tough sell to have heavy drugs decriminalized. It's every challenging politicians wet dream to have an incumbent opponent who can be labeled soft on crime. It's also easy to convince a majority of people that decriminalizing drugs would lead to widespread and escalating drug abuse, despite facts to the contrary from every nation that has done so in the past. Our policy gives our people no credit for their strength and will power in staying away from things that are bad for your mind and body. Maybe one day the political circus that runs our nation will stop deceiving the masses and begin governing effectively. Some still hope that marijuana, at least, will be legalized, even if it won't happen anytime soon.


This city, not long ago a big cow town, has almost nothing to hold me here but force of habit. Every one of my friends who lived through the 1990's left long ago. All of the family I cherished here died or live beyond my ability to communicate with them. The places where I made friends in the past, the nonconformist hangouts and stoner retreats, have all been bulldozed and replaced by apartments and condominiums. Great big empty hole with a house in it -- Baton Rouge from my perspective.

I'm not sure why I haven't thrown my hands up and walked away forever. The place gets in your blood. It's like vampirism. I came over here in the rain to say this. That's how much fun my house is. No wonder I spent so much time trying to open up dimensional portals. [not really... it doesn't take that much time] LOL.

Did I miss something? I keep thinking maybe a big curtain was supposed to drop, and a beautiful young chick in a bikini would pop out and say, "Surprise! Your shit life was just a trick! Have what's behind door Number 1!" The woman never pops out. Tease.

And now for my next trick my life becomes so trivial the barest mention of it knocks people unconscious. That's what the military scientists have been hoping for all along. A powerful new Psy-Ops weapon, and the key rests in my dark, hot, empty crib. I hope they pay in dollars or snacks. I don't really need any more kind thoughts.

Traditional Religion

For the sake of younger people it's important to state the importance of formal religious education in their lives. Getting an excellent background in the religion their parents have chosen provides the only sure way of making an informed choice about lifelong theological beliefs. Religion is no laughing matter to parents, and a lot of children for that matter. Developing an understanding of what their chosen religion really entails and means makes any sort of encroachment upon it by third parties or agencies absolutely impossible, and gives a moral foundation upon which to grow and excel at everything else in the world.

I took everything I learned about religion as proof there could be no God. The righteous condemnation of the Protestant denomination I rejected turned my stomach. Now, approaching the age of forty and very secure in my concepts of life and reality, I have never been so certain of anything as the truth that no God would want me to lie about what I can and can't accept in spiritual morality.

The path of atheism and skepticism I followed for 15 years was difficult, but not as difficult as admitting I think I was wrong about it. I do believe in the existence of what most people would call God. My concepts and definitions would never fit with standard religious approval, and that's something religions don't forget or take lightly. There's not much to be done about that.

I wrote this because here in South Louisiana the sparse number of writers may sometimes give my words a weight they weren't meant to have. Dark humor concerning subjects of religious sensitivity is not alien to my efforts. So, young adults and older folk, please understand I'm not poking fun at you or your religion specifically. It's the raw nerves of society that amuse me much more.


The greatest goal of my own, personal metaphysical spirituality was always to witness extraordinary spiritual manifestations. There was always the hope that such manifestations could even be created, given enough information, faith and spiritual energy. I achieved those things, very successfully, a number of times in my life. There almost seems to be danger in dwelling in that small field of metaphysics, because once achieved there really doesn't seem to be much reward in continuing the pursuit. This can all be called dreams, visions, hallucinations, creative imagination, or it could just be as simple as what somebody sees in the clouds. It's not how you see, or what you make yourself see, that makes the process so important. It's the weight you attach to your revelations that cause the machinations of religions and medicine and analytic reasoning to spin on their heels and take notice. If you see mice eating grain, in the afternoon it might rain. If you see seven legions of demons eating the souls of innocent lambs, it could be red skies at night, and possibly lots of fright. Snacks?

Bored now... until later.

The Heavens Do Fear

Reaching out in the darkness,
So over pompous until confronted with true unknown,
Endless non-glottal gibbering echoes,
In the spaces beyond sight,
Down where the air pockets give out.
It's so simple that impossible just became real,
Nobody seems to have a problem with it.
All vocal analysis fails.
Meaning can't possibly exist in the tones.
Night fell, and the lights failed
Halfway into the first room beyond the first air shaft,
With only dozens more beyond.
Inside our minds the lights go even darker,
The place where seeing means freeing,
And darkness means never getting out.
Standing, breathe, cast aside need for tangible,
But the stone is there, the oxygen, the pain if one needs it.
The void likes to trick,
But reality is too quick for it if calm hearts and strong minds listen
To the beating heart,
To the world love creates in every moment of life.
The soul seeking passage beyond the pale
Will shut off all recognition of comfort, security and concrete existence:
There is no end,
Falling, nothingness, empty, all that is zero.
The leap into the great beyond breaks the barrier,
The wall between forgiveness and retribution.
Peace creates matter.
Thought creates the power,
And the sun rises in time for all to grow
Nourishing the wellness that will not let one fall from grace.
[Unless the one seeking passage
Could not find the inner peace
To leap into freedom from that dark place,
And the heavens do quake
At the thought of that.]

Fever Dreams in the House of Madness

Sequence 1a.

Ceiling higher at front
slopes down behind bed with rising
sun blanket and crush velour
lion pillows, and a hippie girl
deals cards on a footstool
[well at the foot]
dealing seven, wedded heaven,
the oceans rise, the sky falls
the star in her eye is the reflection into another room
one where you do not exist.
The face in the mirror
in the wall beside the door
the entrance to the goat's womb of indifference
the unrequited lover does pine
in carefully staged visions
blood soaked with fantasies of revenge
betrayed by the endless truth that
she drinks success
and it makes her other lover more sweet
and worthy of her adoration

Sequence 2a.: Hounds at the Bay

Seagulls scatter to the wind in terror
As the hounds' howls break the morning still.
Atlantic winds whip the hunt's finale
Uncertainty tears from the ground into the sky.
The earth feels the coming onslaught of a deluge.
The beast is cornered in the grand birch thicket,
In the cemetary's fence by the old sailors' graves.
The predawn twilight never saw it coming,
And the shadows gave off tones of red in the still limbs.
The features of the creature were truly frightful
As it snarled and charged the branches ends
Along and vicious, and back and forth all threat,
Too clear to be mistaken,
The deep cavern badger,
Ashen and red fluorescent,
Face a horror show of anger and impotent rage,
Scowls as it glowers and spits.
The hunting dogs have finally won the battle.
Many lost pups and mothers of terriers rest easier
When the beast is brought down and slain.

2b.: Spatial Distortions

Time residue gums
the camera
blurs shadows polarize and
capture life, perform skits
for nitwits who sit unblinking and unthinking,
overreaching neuralyzed psychic vampires
smiling from the video's other side
the hidden world comes alive
no evils can be denied, no transgressions,
for in that place they've a sickening pride in existence,
even fleeing visions beyond light,
humility un-keeled rolls on decency,
and never kneeling falls dead
killed by something it shouldn't have said.
Nobody wants to know or hear
It's not at all pretty,
And the picture is oh so crystal clear,
It's me, it's you, it's all of us,
But shed tears and learn,
Slide aside the useless veil that was to have protected modesty,
And it's plain,
Blackness is smiling,
But it's because of jealousy
For what WE have.

2c.: Sculpted and Frozen

Cratered by the rain:
one tear hardening
glance and dismiss
foolishly floundering
no way to beat the subtle, nuanced admonition
ignored on the outskirts of care,
she cries.

Forgotten love left icy wastes
All through her heart
Where the dreams of blooming flowers once lingered
All the time.
The children played
And happiness, now so transparent,
Was never in short supply.

Her lonely sob forever wrenches itself
From the pit of her wistful and unfilled heart.
Time stopped,
Only to be stirred by the sun's first rays,
But that golden moment turned black.
The pillar moved no more,
Ashen before the realization
Of what her sons had done
In the name of war
In the burning garden no more.

Sequence 3a.: Rampant Eidos

The words get even smaller
the snail's trace glimmers duller
the thoughts of man glisten in the sun
salt for the weeping grass, cut by blades and regrouping
grown sad and stoic from the loss of all loved ones
Theory, conquest, decay, regret, failure
Defeated, pitied, forgiven,
Reborn of flame kindled when the oldest trees
Were the tops of distant horizons
When metal bent beneath cold unforgiving hatred
For the nothing in the caves before the burning and the blades.
And all perished who followed that path,
And all who will, hatred swallowing even the darkness.
The tiny laughter fights on regardless,
For the other way leads to nothingness no soul returns from,
And the reawakening soul finds humor,
Amused by all the transparent lies.

[Just new stuff... about five more pages after this]

Early Words

Sometimes it takes me hours to finish writing about one topic. Rather than leave one of these items hanging on another post, or waiting for the end of the day, I decided to chunk them out here. Yesterday was such a waste... Okay, then. Onward.

1. The Occult: I use that term sometimes when what I am really referring to metaphysical spirituality. That really needs some explanation. That's the bulk of what I'm addressing today. I never intended by using the term to conjure ideas of dark arts or magic, but just the idea of obscured knowledge.

2. Work: I can imagine doing anything until I feel how crippled I am. Given enough whiskey and pills I could go back to logging, but perhaps it would be in my best interest to stick with writing. That may upset some people I owe money to. There's nothing I can do about what I can't do.

3. Vow of Poverty: I took one in 1988, and have so far found no problem (zerooooo) adhering to it. As soon as I make it up to poverty level I intend to stay there. I'm in what is called sub-sub-poverty right now. I have a time share on lighting with the cars driving down the street.

The Outer Rings

Biked out from the downtown and the river into the old neighborhoods of North Baton Rouge,
late Friday afternoon. There was no shortage of reminders of how incredibly downtrodden the inner city -- plenty of abandoned businesses and houses, and signs of poverty everywhere. I spoke too soon about the ruins being gone. They've just been pushed beyond the casual tourists' eyes.

It has come to my attention that nothing I can write will ever be free of errors. The only hope I have for putting out perfect copy rests in my dream of finding a beautiful young lady with impeccable English language skills to one day enter my life. Maybe she will take pity on my stupid ass, editing and correcting what I write so as not to be embarrassed that she knows me. We all have dreams.

Remodeling a house that's almost a hundred years old without lights or water demonstrates to me just how much fun it was before modern utilities entered the picture. The worst part is that it takes until 3 a.m. to cool off. The plan this week is to swallow my pride and do whatever physical labor I can find for money so utilities can be hooked up. All the education, manners and good intentions in the world won't provide a good job on a moment's notice, and the need for water is dire.

After beginning the remodeling I discovered there was enough hard wood used in the construction of the house to floor another three houses. Nobody ever built houses like the ones I'm working on (one of which I'm toughing it out in). The biggest obstacle is lack of a giant dumpster to fill up as I take out all of the acoustic ceilings, fiber walls and damaged sheet rock. It already looks better though. It's very rewarding making the appearance of your home change so drastically through hard work and caring. [Another commercial for goody-goody BS.]

On a side note, I perhaps spoke out of line concerning some events in Clinton, Louisiana last year. A few people made it clear (yelled, to be precise) that the involved parties may be upset about the discussion of that weekend. It was never my attention to shame anyone with the information. I considered it a law enforcement travesty, and still fail to see how that reflects poorly on the victims. It will never be discussed again here though.

A platoon of soldiers jogged down St. Phillip Street singing a cadence Friday afternoon after I posted at the State Library. Part of the cadence was "Country's still here, doing fine." That was good to hear. It's also looking at reality without thinking analytically. The derailing of the Fourth Amendment continues with massive public surveillance programs, and that was never a part of the United States that I am still fighting to keep alive (or revive, for that matter). I would still fight to the death for this place, but the Supreme Court needs about 3 appointments back toward civil liberties and middle left.

Incidentally, Twitter has been impossible for me to get into. It's just as well. I wonder if I said something people didn't understand. The reverse condemnation tac-nuke spell I used that day may have troubled some folks. It was just an outpouring of my total rejection of a lifetime of hearing school marm cackling about my occult fantasies. "And on that day the God said, 'Speak, and people will hear.' The mouse squeaked and the lion roared, and the crowd, quiet for only the briefest of moments, looked on deeply puzzled before returning to their slow march into the dust to which we all return." Book of J-Shannon 969:12-oh-yes-12.

I'm sure this is full of things that will bother me later. I probably got a dangling participle pregnant with a half-gerund somewhere. When will the travesties end?

Have a nice Sunday.

Ruins Gone

There are neighborhoods in Baton rouge where no landmarks from the decades before the civil rights movement can be found at all. Less than a mile from where I grew up in the downtown area there was once a federal housing project. Today there is absolutely nothing to be found of it. A lot of people think getting rid of the old falling down houses and bulldozing the vacant lots make the place look better, but there's a lot of history that becomes invisible forever in the process.

Somehow a huge hole burned in the side of my father's house during the three years I spent avoiding Baton Rouge like the plague. The house next door, which had become mine when I married long ago, now has flooring and plumbing problems. In all cases of the old houses I have been in so often in South Louisiana there is a long list of problems that need to be addressed, and never any money to apply to the tasks. Of course all that has to come after getting electricity hooked up [yeah, it's that messed up...].

The keyboard here in the State Library sounds like a drum set. The disruption it causes in the cool air makes me want to find a pile of sand and bury my head in it. And after all these years nobody has ever said, "Could you stop writing so loud on that computer?" I have often wondered when the axe will fall.

Earlier this week I attempted to revive a skater and biker tradition by beginning Baton Rouge Hell Tours again. The practice always involved going in the most bombed out abandoned areas to skate and bike late at night. Those areas have been pushed far away from the downtown area, probably to keep real life hidden from any tourists that should be enticed into wandering through the renovated areas.

I was almost to Ghost Town when a young man took offense at my presence. That usually didn't happen in the old days. It made my hair stand on end for a minute. Two blocks away the bike's flat tire went flat. The young man thought that was funny. I did too, later.

A lot of things have changed. The town isn't pretending to care about constitutional rights anymore, as near as I can tell from the turret cameras pointed indiscriminately at anyone and everyone who walk by certain points. I will provide pictures of those as soon as I get a digital camera to take a few shots of them. Apparently we have a big jump on the police state here in Baton Rouge. Our mayor wanted predator drones to fly over head at all times so that the area would know anything and everything that the citizens do. How very genteel of him. We'll have this free will thing licked in no time.

It drops to a comfortable 85 at night, with only 95% humidity. That's great sleeping weather after it keeps you up for a week and the fever dreams finally leave you drained in a puddle of sweat on the floor. Luckily the sirens at night never stop for long enough to make it possible for anyone to oversleep. The friendly emergency services crews are ready to provide inadvertent wake-up service to anyone sleeping with windows open and nothing to stifle the noise.

Last year in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, this very weekend, some atrocities took place. At least four guys got beat up very badly. There was rape and sodomy involved, in a facility controlled by law enforcement after Hurricane Gustav. In Clinton, Louisiana doing those things to prisoners became okay that weekend.

What happened to justice? What happened to the place where I grew up? What happened to my state, this country? I just don't know anymore. It's like even the ruins are being hidden, so all we can see is a big, fake smiley face.

Normal people (whatever that means): If you read this have a nice weekend. Sadists: Get bent. Death's not waiting for you.
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Symbols of Decay is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License..
Related written works at Angelfire, Sex Symbols, Cymbals of Silence.Repent or Die