Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two Of You, At Least

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Off and On
Two of You, At Least

PINE RIDGE, SD - You ever get the sense that the whole universe is waiting for you to get your shit together?  That's what they're saying about the entire planet.  Waiting for all of us to make some changes so they can complete the symphony.  If everybody could elevate just one tick, we could make that quantum leap.

', annnnnnnd LIFTOFF!'

We've got to do something different, tinker around a bit more with dna and stem cells, or scrap the old model entirely and return to the drawing board. There must be some reason why we came to the garden, if there's a reason behind everything, like people like to say.  I've heard people say it, anyway, as if it were a common truth, like gravity.

What if they're wrong? What if the bumper sticker is right?

No.  Contrary to contemporary proclamations, shit just doesn't happen.  Shit happens because of prior shit happening.  Any scientist will tell you.  Cause & effect.  Buddhists say karma.  What go around, come around.  Isn't learning figuring out relationships?  Monkeys and lab rats figured it out.  Why can't we?

In any case, here we still are with things closing in.  Live, evolve, reproduce, die.  There must be more.  Experience?  Create?  We sure make all kindza shit. Seems like there would be a tipping point, a breaking point, where we can't make any more shit because we've used up all the resources.  I can see the graph. Then what can we make?  Or maybe we can't make any more shit because all the jobs got shipped to China.  Perhaps they could assume our capacity to make war.  They've got the guys.

Reason why I say that about the waiting universe is because I'm still thinking of the multiple universes, a parallel universe of endless possibilities, my clone over there on the backside of a black hole, trying to copy all my moves, trying to keep up with me on the dance floor.  I'm over here doing all the heavy lifting while he's over there just going through the motions, vamping on my psyche.

You think people see the same person you see reflected back at you in a mirror, who all these years you think you are? They're seeing the real you.  The person we're looking at has it all backwards, but thinks they've got it straight.  Check it out.  The part is on the wrong side, if there's a part.  Look at a photo.  That's you.  The mirror?  That's an illusion.  The Self-story, the bullshit script we tell, is all delusional, a chasm between the perceived and the real.

Reason why I say that about the mirror is because I just saw some creepy horror movie over at Bo and Misty's where the girl was in front of a mirror, and when she moved, her reflection didn't.  That was creepy.  It got worse.  Her reflection came crashing through the mirror, no shit, into the room, and proceeded don't want to know...maybe you do...try to kill her with a long, pointed mirror shard.

Maybe you know the movie.  Gave me the yim yams.  Turned out, the girl got away from the evil twin, and was all right by the end of the movie.  I don't care for that horror shit in the movies, ever since Vietn...ain't gonna say it...ever since my time working for the government in Southeast Asia, the aftermath of a tsunami, and life here in the Real 3-D World on Pine Ridge.  Who needs more horror?


Speaking of being scared, have you noticed lately on the radio the government, FEMA, is telling us to continue to be afraid.  Prepared, actually, and that's okay because that's the motto of the Boy Scouts, a fine organization, and what do they say about an ounce of precaution?

Nothing.  But they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  An ounce of precaution will save you a boatload of paranoia.  Insofar as FEMA public service announcements are concerned, they're asking us what we'd do in the case of a disaster with the combined sounds of a tornado, screeching brakes of a subway, and agonized cries from hell going on in the background.  They advise getting a kit.

If you aren't the go get a disaster kit type, or maybe you'll put it off until the last minute, along with a gallon of milk, which won't be of any significant consequence if a massive solar flare hits us, we get slapped by something big & nasty whizzing in from space, or if you find yourself quite suddenly and unexpectedly swimming for your life.

But what gets me is the language they use, asking; 'What would you do if life as you know it is turned on its head?' and later, 'What will you do if your family's world gets turned upside down?' One hopes they're speaking only figuratively, but what an odd choice of words.  Twice.

If you live in a perpetual state of fear or non-specific anxiety, and are even mildly concerned about the possibility of polar shift instantly freezing your lake and iced tea in July, then that kind of momma earth-spinning talk could be disturbing, to say the least, especially when it's coming not from some alarmist late-night end-of-the-world kook, but from your  government. 

They say have a back-up plan for your family, in case everything 'goes down'.  Is this like fallout shelters and 'Duck and Cover', or are they prepping us for something everybody has a feeling is coming? You can go to

You don't have to be paranoid to be good boy and girl scouts.  Stock up. Be prepared.  Food. A gallon of milk, more ammo.

'Duck and Cover' - For those too young to remember or to have participated, the federal plan in case of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, the Russians, the fucking Communists, all same same at the time.  Don't run to the window to see the source of the brilliant flash. There's going to be a helluva shock wave next.  Get under your desk.  Grainy black and white instructional films of happy, white, early1950's American kids in the classroom, all obediently and quickly taking cover in unison at the instruction of their teacher,  'All right now, children...everybody...DUCKANDCOVERYOURASS!"

It was funny then, and it still is now, has lasting comedic power, and as ridiculous as yesterday's discarded color-coded federal terrorist threat alert system, to be heard only in airports.  You'd have to go to an airport to learn how afraid to be on a given day.  Surely, someone in the administration at the time was asking, 'Shouldn't we be broadcasting this message on street corners and Wal-Mart?'

The response had to be, 'No. That would create too much a climate of fear.'

Everybody soon realized the obvious, including government security agencies after a time, a decade, that you don't need to be in the air to be extra afraid, though we continue to experience a charade of security as American air travelers who are all first treated as presumed suspect criminals, then allowed clearance only after submission to humiliating invasions of privacy at the hands of strangers.

This bothers me.  It seems an acute outrage, and in airport security lines, I feel an absurdity, an innate urge to resist a numb, voiceless pathology, removing one's shoes, remove all items from your pockets, don't make them pull you aside, move along, move along, down the plank, stay in line, into the boxcar, over the cliff. 

I've got this thing about being in the air; in fact right now I'm seeing how up I can get.  Climbing trees, tree houses, kites, back-flip high-dive high school swimming pool clown, the high-wire circus act, helicopters in Vietn...ain't gonna say it...helicopters in a Southeast Asian rice and noodle-eating nation starting with a 'V' and ending with 'M', the transmitting tower incident at the Fort Wayne tv station, and now, today, these airplanes all over the place.  The air up in here is thick with aircraft.

In reflection, I'm beginning to get it - I always wanted to be 'UP', or high.  I can still hear my mom, 'Come down from there!' the chief engineer screaming, "DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY VOLTS ARE RUNNING UP THAT TOWER?" and years later, the judge hollering, 'STAY OFF OUR ARCHITECTURE!' after those guys, the cops and those people, talked me down from the attempted St. Louis arch crossing ('Judge Fines Man in Arch Crossing; St. Louis Post-Dispatch 4/16/73).

The attempt was to prove to my colleagues in the Flying Palominos that I wasn't chickenshit, after all, as they had alleged.  That was without a net, a six hundred and thirty foot drop from the crest of the arch to the Mississippi, but it seemed a lot higher than that.  A misleading headline, as well, since I was prevented from crossing, but I probably could have made it had they not interfered.  Like they said after the spelling bees and the war, 'You didn't win it, but the important thing is that you tried.'

And just the other day, my daughter asked her brother, 'What was he doing up there in the first place?'

So, I see this 'air thing' a persistent and lifelong strand, my android clone operating a robotic device, harvesting minerals and rare ores from asteroids in the ort cloud.  Speaking Chinese.


My Chinese Friends

Speaking of speaking Chinese, I'd like to welcome you new Chinese readers on board.  What a plllleasant surprise!  Tell all your friends.  All 1.3 billion, ha.  I've been trying to get a toe-hold over there.  A toe-hold; that's a figure of speech.  That's like, 'a foot in the door'.  That's like, uh, developing new markets, okay?  Maybe you know English figures of speech, already.  That's what I do, officially, professionally - cliches and figures of speech.  I have no idea of your proficiency, but, whatever, welcome. I hope we can be friends.  I lay off the Chinese jokes.  My landlord is Chinese.  I buy of lot of your stuff in Wal-Mart.

Annnnd...without sounding overly patronizing, one of my best friends is Chinese, and I have another good friend who studied Chinese in Kunming.  Did I say my landlord is Chinese? I was raised Chinese, we had a China cabinet, I eat Chinese food fairly regularly, I can find China 'Town' on Google Earth, a distant grandfather served with General Tso,  and as a small child I ate spinach because of your starving people, and, and, I watched you guys launch your spaceship last month.

So.  We're like brothers.  Be sure to tell your friends.  What?  You want Chinese jokes?  Okay.  I've got one for you;  In China, even if you're a one-in-a-million guy, there's 130,000 guys out there just like you.

In China, you've got to get caught red-handed, because nobody can describe the suspect.

Will this get by your censors?  Next time, some jokes about you guys finding a wife.  What're the odds over there of getting laid, 10,000 to one?  No wonder the young dudes are heading out.  Who wants to oversee a mining operation in Nigeria? The sheer demographics of it have the world's population as half Chinese by sometime soon, so you can feel good about the future.


You see where they found a new, possibly life-supporting earth-like planet about two or three times the size of us?  Told ya we'd find it. That's the good news; there will be lots more space for everybody.  Only thing is, it's 15, 20 light years away, give or take a bump along the way.

How do they know?  A little bird.  Also, they can see it.  This isn't the not-too-hot, not-too-fucking-cold 'Goldilocks Planet'.  That one was much farther away in another distant galaxy.  This new one is close.  It's right there.  We can practically reach out and touch it, with a long enough hand.  A virtual hop, skip, and jump.

Fifteen light years.  Hmmm.  Some say twenty.  Another dude said 600.  Oh?  Is it possible that something could be racing toward us from deep space and we wouldn't know about it until the last minute?  They said yes.  Which direction would you look.  Up?  No.  Out.  Look the fuck out.  Again, duck and cover.

These aren't 'ramblings', as some readers have referred to it; 'Keep sending your ramblings.'   I'm working from notes here.  Just looking for a way to tie it all together into some form of a consistent line of thought, which it is not.  It's not a treatise.  It's's a...a..uh...

A sort of rambling report from my world.  No doubt, you've got other things to think about in your universe.  If we listen to people talk, we can tell exactly what's on their minds.  What never ceases to amaze me is how each and every one of us has something different going on in their head.  As they say in Asia, same same, but different.

I had an arrogant asshole of a boss one time tell me, "I need your best thinking on this."  This was several years ago, but it stuck, and today I'm still as baffled by his comment as I was at the time.  What the fuck?  Like, your hazy, everyday, 33 1/3rd isn't good enough?  You need some ginko?  Slam it into overdrive?  And if so, just how do you do that?

I suppose a person could start with a pot of coffee.

Milo Yellowhair stopped by for a pot of coffee last week, and upon hearing my lamentations that few, if any of our eighty-six pilots knew their tail numbers or the name of our organization, created a hypothetical prisoner-of-war scenario for downed and captured pilots from the 335th, more than willing to spill their guts at the hands of their captors under the threat of torture, but helplessly unable to remember the tail number of their aircraft or the name of our squadron.


"Wait a minute!  Wait a minute.  Let me think," he said, holding up his hand.  "I can tell you.  You guys don't have to do this.  I can remember.  Just give me a second.  It's on the tip of my tongue...the ah, The Aerial...the...The Slim Buttes Aerial Squa...uh, The Slim Buttes...uh..."


The Cafe

With the advent of high-speed glass data delivery here, we witnessed the unofficial opening of a dream of bringing an internet cafe and coffee shop to Slim Buttes, with several people showing up, saying, "We heard you got your internet."

They stayed way beyond 1 a.m., sipping coffee on a tab, listening to pow wow music on You Tube, surfing the net, checking their email, fiddling with their mobiles, texting, and totally ignoring me and my jokes.  'So this is the way it's going to be,' I thought.  In disgust, I had to eventually kick them out.

Along with the big new sign, 'Home Of The Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron', the six-wicket croquet golf course, and Bavarian Beer Garden on Tuesday and Thursday nights out on the veranda, the plan is to serve connoisseur coffees; your Guatemalan, Ethiopian, East African Uzuri, Sumatran, got your organic Free Trade bean here from Costa Rica, and my favorite, East Timor.

We're going to be as serious about our bean here as the folks in Seattle, and as as you may already know, Indians are some serious, competitive, major league coffee drinkers.

Okay, as opposed to Facebook or the dream world, here's a serving all in one big glob, one big blogglob.  Enjoy the holidays.  May you and your loved ones be blessed through the coming year.