The City of Angels

On October 30, 2010 I traveled to Los Angeles; staying until November 7, 2010:

I.
The Sinner has touched down in the City of Angels. It’s so glorious to be out and about with the Sun richly blessing every step this late in October; guys are still in shorts girls rocking flip flops and tank tops. Wonderful. Swimming with the pimps, players and phonies. Where have all the prophets gone? Perhaps exchanged for profits and power.
Cue: Kanye West – Power

II.
The Sinner sips tea by the surfer walk of fame & in a rare moment silent & still contemplates you, what was, what could have been but knows like surfing the hardest part of today is getting up & staying up.
Cue: Beach Boys – Surfin’ U.S.A.

III.
The Sinner has seen the future and can smell the false prophecies which abound like leftover Halloween candy. That and the Laker girls say hi.
Cue: David Lee Roth – California Girls

IV.
Under a pool water blue sky The Sinner pours out the contents of his heart to Mr. Showtime. There’s hope in a soft touch, intelligence with vision and a past so fertile it grows fruit to this day.
Cue: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Magic Johnson

V.
The Sinner returns (though no journey is as long as coming home or leaving home) to face a future of possibilities, what ifs and the soothing serenade of a fresh cup of tea. What we let go is more powerful than what we keep.
Cue: Frou Frou – Let Go

-28-

Rally For Better, Rally For Me

I’m Torrance right now, about 18 scant miles from MacArthur Park where a simulcast of Jon Stewart’s Rally To Restore Insanity is being hosted.

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X-ceptional Blessings

Oh speaking of Uncanny the current X-Men issues (X-Men Legacy 238-241) are taking place in Mumbai. One of the X-Men is Indian, Indra and has to honour an arranged marriage. Course it’s a comic book so nothing unfolds smoothly and they’ve run into The Children of the Vault.

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War, Inc. (Unpublished)

(Originally written April 2, 2008)

We’re such a strange society.

Almost every day I see something that makes Fight Club—book or movie you pickless absurd and more literal. Ok maybe not literal…since we’re talking about it but real for true.

Just came back from a screening of War, Inc. and a Q & A with John Cusack and Mark Leyner (I know…who? He’s the co-writer of the flick but that don’t mean a whole lot when you sit next to Cusack).

The film is a savage critique, an apt satire of the current administration’s Iraq bungling and America’s relaxed permission allowing to be whored by corporate interests. Which if anyone’s read Cusack’s open and often repetitive criticism of the war in blogs and in newspapers doesn’t come as a surprise.

I just don’t see the point of making a movie that only the same old people will see.

If you know and read Naomi Klein you will end up seeing this movie.
If you know and read Noam Chomsky you will end up seeing this movie.

If you despise Fox News you will end up seeing this movie.
If you read Fast Food Nation you will end up seeing this movie.

We’re comfortable doing what Cusack has done with this movie and preaching to the choir because it’s easier and safer to earn: “I know what you mean!” than to deal with the blanket of stupidity that covers a big chunk of Americans.

As this film branches out from the centre of the media concentration (I’m supposed to count LA but come on when has anything come out of LA that wasn’t artificial) so really I mean NYC the dumber people get so good luck getting em to see this flick. If dumber doesn’t sit well with you you can pick ignorant truth is in era of high speed internet and CNN not one bloody person has a reason to be ignorant. Stupid yes, that’ll always happen, but ignorant, is just not allowed.

So we preach to the choir, like minded gangs exclaiming familiar as your own home phrases: “I know what you mean!” “That’s so wrong!” till eventually somebody says: “Well good gravy we gotta do something about all this.” And that’s when you hear crickets and silence and see tumbleweed drift by.

We’re stuck…the old ways are not going to work or be effective.

If signing a petition allows you to feel you’ve helped usher in change, good for you, keep signing. You won’t ever see my name on one of those.

If voting is your way, electing somebody who represents what you consider your ideals, awesome, have at it, vote away and bring your friends and family. Voting solves nothing.

Maybe protesting is the way to go, signs, chants, make some noise, gather in numbers, get on tv (“Hi Mom!”). Cool…you’ve seen the track record you know how often protesting works and how it makes politicians and corporate bastards change their minds. Just don’t ever ask me to participate.

We’re out of effective ideas. Please note the word effective in front of ideas. We got ideas. Now we just need effective ones.

Look this whole rant is an old saw for me, if this is the first time you’ve heard it, trust it won’t be the last. Sorry for it all coming out, it’s all happening, it wasn’t my intent.

What I thought was absurd was that we turned to John Cusack for help. For effective ideas. “Celebrities will tell us what to do.” Sadly not this time.

Cusack had no ideas, he didn’t know how to affect positive and long lasting change. Instead we get this movie. This movie is his 2 cents. And it still don’t come with solutions.

Celebrities will not tell us what to do or how to be effective.

In the end it’s as simple as leadership. We require leaders.

Individuals who will give up their rights to accept responsibility. Leaders with a profound staggering infectious vision. It cannot come from government or from Nike. It must come from within us, from within our group.

When at night over the murky sky of Gotham City the Bat Signal is illuminated only one man can answer: Batman.
When the alarms begin to ring at the fire house firemen know their services are urgently requested so they dash off to save the house if not the day.

Quoting Cusack from his best work: This is a dare to be great situation. Lloyd knew he had to step up. This period, this time, these circumstances and this society…this is our dare to be great situation.

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