Be Afraid, America

Be afraid, America, for behind every bush, light pole, corner, or in every shadow lurks a (Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, the foam-flecked lips of a gun nut, the lily-livered lips of a gun hater). You get the idea. Pick one, go after ’em or (in the case of lily-liver lipped liberals who like alliteration) run from them, heart pounding, as you poke 9-1-1 on your Apple I-Phone or your I-Pad or, for all I know, your Kotex pad if it’s that time of month.

Have we always been a nation of fearful haters?

Possibly. After all, the Puritans cowered together praying for their fierce and vengeful God to protect them and smite their enemies. Patriots warned that the red-coated slimy limeys were gonna take your musket. Abolitionists warned that the African-Americans would revolt and God (yeah, the fierce and vengeful One…) would fuck with us all for having been evil.


I suppose this fear has always been the center of attention. Otherwise, religion and government might not have much to rail against.

War. War in Korea (well, a United Nations mandated police action) to keep the commies f’um taking over. War in Vietnam for much the same reason. War in Iraq to keep Saddam Hussein from bombing us with those weapons of mass deception destruction. War in Afghanistan to keep the Saudi Arabians from sending money to the crazies who want to kill us all. War in Iraq (war redux) to get the good feeling back that we had when Stormin’ Normin kicked the shit out of the Iraq army in 4 hours, 13 minutes and 12 seconds with our only casualty a mess hall full of GIs whacked by a Patriot missile whose guidance system detected a liberal inside that tent.

Maybe Donald Trump will save us.

Maybe Donald Trump will ponder to our fears.

We have much to fear if The Donald gets nominated.

For that matter, we have much to fear if Hillary, Burnie, Ted, Carly or any of the others get elected, too.

Oh, shit. We DO have reasons to fear. Say it, Pogo: We have met the enemy and he is us.

Fuck (fill in the blank): In Fine Anni Pt II

Fuck. A fine word, equally at home as a verb (transitive or intransitive), noun, adverb, adjective…you get the idea. Highly suggestive, disdainful, disgusting and able to invoke colorful mental images, fuck is a wonderful term to employ when dealing with life’s conundrums. In Part II of In Fine Anni Observations, you may apply the term in any manner you wish. I certainly do. Shall we begin? Yes, let’s.

Fuck the electorate from our recently completed elections. That’s certainly what the incoming legislators will do.

Fuck the Kardashian family (including their associated spouses, ex-spouses, random paramours and anyone else who hangs out with them) for their unparalleled bad taste and disgusting money grubbing. Otherwise, fuck the Kartrashians on general principles.

Fuck Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. See line two above: he’s about to fuck all the rest of us with his fundamentalist beliefs and his denial of any form of mankind induced climate change.

Fuck Governor Douchey of Arizona. We thought Jan Brewer, former Arizona governor, she with the crocodile skin, was bad. Seeing who is in office now, we’ll miss our crazy former chief of state. Hell, I miss Ev Mecham and Fife Slymington.

Fuck extremists, certainly to include the Islamic nuts killing people for dissing the prophet. Je Suis Charlie, whether we want to be or not.

While we’re at it, fuck Mohammed. He probably needs it.

Fuck college coaches who are being paid millions of dollars each year. Need I explain? What about professors getting paid? Or teachers, for that matter?

Fuck vehicle drivers who control their deadly weapons as if regulatory signs (such as stop and speed limit 35 mph, etc.) were merely suggestions to be considered as discretionary choices.

Fuck keepers of web logs who are vapid, sophomoric and vulgar. Yes, I know I’m included in this group. Je Suis Charlie.

Fuck Mitt Romney, especially if he really does run for the presidency again (with or without his dog on the roof of the family vehicle).

Fuck Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and all the other right wing bigots.

Fuck Hillary, her husband Billery, and all the other left wing assholes.

Fuck Obama. He’s been in office long enough: this is his goddamn mess. His hands stink of the shit he denies having touched.

Fuck Ron Barber for being such a wimpy butthole that he was sure to lose the CD2 Arizona Congressional race (which he did).

Fuck Martha McSally, winner of the CD2 Arizona race. Without any doubt the little colonel will fuck all of us, her poor, deluded constituents.

Fuck people who live with a cellular phone attached to their ear.

Fuck people who stand checkout lines screaming into the cellular phone attached to their ear.

Fuck companies that send advertisements designed to look like checks or invoices.

Fuck the Omaha Insurance Company that continues to send ads marked “this is your last opportunity” when the ads continue to arrive month after month, year after year.

Fuck the USPS, the postal service (service is merely part of the name, not a description of what they do), which now consumes 2 business days to get a letter from one small town in southeast Arizona to another town some 25 miles away. How? By closing a sorting facility in Tucson and sending the mail to Phoenix for sorting. (Sordid, isn’t it?) Mail must be at the local post office by 2:00 PM in order to make the transfer. No more having the local carrier pick up an outgoing letter in the streetside box, not without adding at least one business day to time enroute. So…add the cost of fuel consumed driving to the main post office to the cost of the stamp.

Fuck young people for flaunting their youth while being so oblivious to the future.

Fuck old people for having pissed on the future by destroying past opportunities then being angry that their youth has disappeared and old age is miserable. (Ever notice how many members of Congress are old, white, male and disgusting? Are you listening, Nasty Pelosi and John Boner?)



EOTWAWKI (End of the World as We Know It…)

July 13, 2014

EOTWAWKI is an acronym popular in prepper circles. The term signifies End of the World as We Know It, referring to a dystopian future that some people believe is inevitable. What’s different about this alternative universe of the preppers is they believe EOTWAWKI will occur sooner rather than later, such as in any day now the shit will hit the fan and he or she who isn’t prepared will face a tenuous future. I don’t know that I entirely disagree but now I shall digress. Many summers ago–the warm season of 1964 just to narrow the time frame–I was employed as a rewrite editor for an agricultural newspaper in Dodge City, Kansas. The Arkansas River (in Kansas, that’s pronounced Ark-Kansas) flooded, destroying the physical plant where we busy little beavers produced the paper. I received a generous severance check from my publisher and had ten weeks of doing whatever I wanted before returning to college.

The flood and my subsequent time off was…EOTWAWKI…at least for the young me of 1964. With no job to force my nose to the grindstone, I was FREE! I had folding money, a 12-string guitar with a hard shell case, a Ford pickup that I used to haul my Triumph scrambler about the area…and I wasn’t going to return to my parent’s house in Montana, that was for damned certain. I sold the Ford to a farmer in Garden City, offed the scrambler to a guy in Kansas City and used the funds to pay for a 1959 (or ’60…it was a long time ago, folks…) Harley-Davidson FLH bagger in tolerable condition, a sleeping bag and a pup tent.


This is not a picture of the bike, the guitar case or the sleeping bag…nor is the shop above one that I visited. But it all could have been. My FLH was blue and white with the big, white DuoGlide bags made of some odd, synthetic material. My bike had the cushy tractor seat, too. And the windscreen. And the puddle of oil where the beast marked its spot, just like all Harleys are wont to do.

Embarking on a journey to I had no idea where, I had no idea what I would do whilst on my way there other than go with the flow. My travels initially took me from Kansas through Missouri and north to Minnesota. After a few days visiting friends in the twin cities, I rode west through North Dakota and into Montana where I spent a night in Miles City, another in Red Lodge then a few nights in Watuck City, just outside Yellowstone Park, where I played guitar at the Watuck Lodge. Never had I imagined that my life could even remotely resemble what it was like during this amazing hegira. And, for those who are familiar with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I was not following author Robert Persig’s route. His book wasn’t published until 1974, ten years after my summer venture.

Along the way I began to develop an entertainment repertoire, some of it folk music I picked up during my stay in Dinkytown (outside the University of Minnesota) and other coffee houses that were part of the inchoate folk venue…the rest of the material I created as it happened. Most of the poems put to music that magically flowed from brain to fingers and tongue are long gone, faded from memory, erased during the destruction of a multitude of brain cells during the succeeding decades. Still, there’s one lyric that returns to mind during periods of sleeplessness, a EOTWAWKI theme that I played in raunchy bars across the US.

The lyrics were set to a guitar background but the material was spoken rather than sung. If you heard my voice, you’d know why I preferred speaking rather than singing. I must provide a caveat: the tale about my journey from Kansas on the Harley is true. The End of the World as We Know It didn’t really take place but often I was it had.

One gray morning when I was on my way to work I boarded the city bus at the normal time and stumbled down the aisle between the seats until I found a place to sit. An attractive young woman already occupied one part of the bench. She looked away as I took my place beside her.

“Good morning,” I said, rather cheerfully. “Would you like to make love with me?”

She blanched then answered me, “Well, I’m on my way to work and I have on a new dress and I just showered and, anyway, I find you physically repulsive. No.”

I paused for a moment. Should I accept the rejection? No, I had to make one more try.

“Did you know that the world is going to end at noon today?” I asked.

The woman slowly turned toward me, considering what I had told her. “Is it really?” she asked.

“Yes, it is.”

With that, she put her arms around me then we kissed. She unbuttoned her blouse, pulled her skirt up and was fumbling with my trousers. As we made love, other people on the bus began murmuring what I’d told my companion. The world is going to end at noon today. Couple after couple began coupling. The bus driver guided his vehicle to the side of the street, stripped off his grey togs and got something going with the elderly woman who always took the seat behind him but had never spoken to him in the past.

Then, when we were all finished, the driver pulled his uniform back on, the rest of us rearranged our garb and before long, we were getting off at our respective stops so we could go to work and await impending doom.

That night, on the way home, we were all very quiet, rather embarrassed by our performances of the morning. None of the passengers looked about for fear that they might meet the questioning gaze of their erstwhile partner and be expected to explain what had occurred.

“What if the world had ended at noon?” I asked, my voice rather soft. “What if the world were going to end at noon tomorrow?”

Soon my question was whispered from person to person throughout the bus. The driver, when he heard the new hypothesis, geared the vehicle down and once again pulled to the side of the street. As he began pulling off his uniform the elderly lady sitting behind him was unfastening her blouse with one hand and lifting her dark skirt with the other in preparation for another adventure.

When we finished, the driver returned to his position of authority and delivered us to our stops. Our previous discomfort had melted like flakes of snow coming to rest on a warm tin roof. See you tomorrow, said my companion as I left the bus.

Before long, word of what we were doing reached the ears of other passengers on other busses throughout the city. Slowly, the concept spread across the state then across the nation, growing ever larger, leaping rivers and lakes and vast deserts, bringing people together everywhere. Borders meant nothing, even oceans did nothing to deter the words The World Is Going to End at Noon…

Streets were almost void of traffic, only busses occupied the concrete thoroughfares. People sold their cars and bought bus passes. Only the rich drove to work because only the rich preferred the solitude of their leather-covered upholstery to the companionship of other humans. Eventually, people everywhere were taking the bus to work then home again, even people without jobs. There was no more crime because no one wanted to be a criminal when the world was going to end at noon and judgment would soon follow in whatever form it might take. There were no more wars as borders and nationalism were meaningless when the end of the world was at hand.

The world had truly changed.

Strange as it seems, the world never came to an end.

Or did it?

Did the world come to an end? Could it? Wouldn’t we prefer this future to the one many of us are creating?