Saturday, April 24, 2010

At the Intersection of Real Life and Fairy Tale

When Velvet first went off to college, Sondheim's Into the Woods provided a timely metaphor for each of us as individuals and for the two of us together as a mother/child dyad (Stonerdate 06.28.2009). The similarity remains as we approach the finale of Velvet's freshman year. I just don't know exactly which tale we are living since it seems like we've pulled in elements of a variety of fairy tales which I like to look at as a manifestation of archetypes. The thing about real life, though, is that people are such mixtures of archetypal energies that it's hard to know who is whom and what the hell is going on.

If Velvet and I are in the process of living out our own stories, then let's say:

Once Upon a Time a mother sent her son, Velvet, into the woods to seek his fortune. While he went exploring, she returned to their home in the village to develop her own story now that she had finally some peace and quiet.

Velvet ran willy nilly through the forest until he burst into a lawn surrounded by buildings called The Land of College. On the surface, The Land of College looked enough like High School to convince Velvet that he already knew all about it, so he didn't devote much time to Professors or Class. He was much too interested in the tantalizing sounds and smells coming from a big white house on the border between the Land of College and Reality. Reality is a treacherous area with things like jobs and jail.

There were many other places and people in The Land of College where Velvet might have found a peer group. There were Students in the Library, all kinds of kids with all kinds of interests in The Dorm and there were other houses on the periphery filled with Douche bags who attended the Big Beautiful Private School with which Tree Hugger Academy shared a campus. But Velvet felt most at home with the guys at Hookah House who enjoyed his company so much that he became King of the Halloween Party despite the fact that he had not pledged his eternal loyalty to The Hookahs.

Meanwhile, the mother was connecting with her essential nature. She rediscovered her own internal landscape which looked remarkably like The Hundred Acre Wood.

She determined that she was very likely related to Ewoks - fuzzy little round creatures whose strengths are often overlooked by more powerful characters in the big, wide world. Walking in the park, she came across a man who was either a troll or someone whose inner beauty was trapped inside a beast. She examined him thoroughly and concluded he must be a nasty troll. She had lived so long among Ewoks, Hobbits and other characters who had their flaws but were basically Okay that she didn't quite believe Trolls and Assholes could come into her neck of the woods. They were Real, but in far away places like Corporations and Congress. In the Hundred Acre Wood, there were pontificating and gloomy folks like Owl and Eeyore, but no trolls. Even Buzz Kill and Vagina Dentata have inner beauty. Something had to be done, so she huffed and puffed and made him disappear.

All this thinking about Ewoks and Assholes brings us pretty much to the present day in our story. I have been on a spiritual quest. Velvet seems to have been having a high time in Never Never Land, but maybe he was on a spiritual quest too.

Looking at Life, The Universe and Everything through the lens of Story, then we see that sometimes the plot is driven by events and other times by character - but the story is in the character's response to events.

When Velvet got arrested the other day, aspects of his character must have come shining through because the police officers who were on the scene are on Velvet's side. In addition to the PoliceMom, who arranged for EMS to examine him so there would be a medical record and who told me herself that he was very polite and has learned his lesson, Velvet now has an endorsement from another officer. Thursday evening in the dining hall, a university policeman approached Velvet. He had been at the scene on the night in question and told Velvet that he was very sorry things had gone down that way for Velvet, but he left the university cops no choice when he wouldn't reveal the name of his friend. The policeman then said that when he was Velvet's age, he'd have done the same thing and gave the boy his card.

I'm thinking that the University cops are giving us a few hints on how to proceed through the judicial review. Since Velvet is still learning how to multitask, I'm headed up to Tree Hugger in the morning to arrange for a judicial advisor from the school. Once Velvet gives him the information we've received off the record and the reports that he has collected from the city cops and the EMS, he can give Velvet some pointers. Hopefully, there will be an opportunity to meet with this advisor and find out exactly how he can help Velvet. We'll also see the lawyer Buzz Kill found through the legal service that is available through the university to full time students. That lawyer already has copies of the documentation and predicts that the city cops will dismiss the charges against Velvet as long as he stays out of trouble for 6 - 12 months.

In Reality, however, there will be no repercussions for the Douchers. According to my mother, that particular fraternity has had a reputation for being thugs since she and my father were in college fifty years ago. And the fact of the matter is that those are the very same thugs on Wall Street who are jacking off and robbing us blind at the same time.

It's the same thing as I learned when I was going through all that bullshit about Ass-Wholes (complete and total assholes, according to Woody). When you look at character, you often find that individuals and corporations often display the same fundamentally awful traits. What you find in both cases are arrogance, egotism, self-absorption and general douchebaggery that manifests itself as a collective disregard for community which is replaced by dedication to individual agendas founded on the notion of their own superiority.

I can't blame Velvet and his buddy for wanting to harass the Douchers. Hopefully this experience has shown them that they need to save their energy and talents for bigger battles. The Establishment protects The Douchers - that's why they could assault a scrawny white boy and get a ride home while he got arrested. But there are glimmers of hope for our side, occasionally, such as when a cop on his dinner break slips a kid his card.

It's nice for a mother when the officers at the scene have complimentary and pleasant things to say about her son, but I have had to institute some rules for Velvet:
  • No getting high before 9:00 pm except on weekends - and even then homework needs to be done. Sunday counts as a school night.
  • No more getting arrested unless it's for protesting social injustice, particularly War. Civil Rights and the Environment are also okay, but some knowledgeable grown up should be in charge. Somebody at least as experienced with this stuff as Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.
  • Cumulative GPA better be good enough to stay in school. He's already on Academic Probation from last semester, for crying out loud.
I know that he looks at rules in much the same way as Captain John Sparrow looked at the Pirate Code, but I really mean it about no more getting arrested.


The Judicial Review is on May 3rd, and Buzz Kill is going up to be with Velvet. I'm told that infractions against the student code of behavior such as Velvet's typically require community service and a reflective essay that must be read to next year's incoming freshman at orientation. Somehow I don't believe Velvet is going to become a Cautionary Tale. He seized the opportunity to get those dang brownies out of the freezer when I was forced to dispute Buzz Kill's assertion that the IRS is after him because of my insistence that the child and spousal support be paid on time. I thought those brownies were in the freezer until yesterday when Velvet himself told me he used them as social capital over at Hookah House. Apparently, the boys had a bake sale to offset the fine levied against the house as a result of the incident with the Douchers. It may be that Velvet has been smooth enough throughout this episode that his name can remain Velvet for the time being. We'll see if his grades are satisfactory.

As it happens, May 3rd is also the day Jack Daniels arrives. Frankly, I'm kind of glad for all the distraction Velvet is providing since I'm so overwhelmed by the idea that a man I've never met is getting on an airplane next week for the specific purpose of meeting me, and he'll be staying here with me to boot - I can barely manage to think about it for more than two seconds without feeling an inner scream starting to build.

I'll scream my head off in the car on the way back from Tree Hugger.

It gets even more intense because, as it happens, last week Jack Daniels got a phone call out of the blue from the synod for Metro New York. Some church in the suburbs has been looking for a preacher for nearly a year, and now Jack Daniels has a job interview on Wednesday. As a confirmed Bokonist, all I can say is: Busy, busy, busy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Velvet Gets Arrested

Velvet got arrested, hopefully for the first and last time.
The good news is that this episode did not involve weed in any way shape or form.  He hasn't bought any weed ever since he spent all his ready money replacing a bong he accidentally busted over at Hookah House.  I don't know when kids started using $150 bongs, but apparently it's de rigueur in some circles.  Velvet himself has a fancy, hand blown glass bong with an ice chamber which was given to him by Dolphin, the little fellow who followed him home from fair week end at Hippie Dippie Quaker Camp last summer and spent an excessive number of days hanging around on my sofa in his boxer shorts.   I can't say that I approve, but at the moment expensive paraphernalia is the least of my worries.

It all started last week over at Hookah House, the fraternity where Velvet was king of the Halloween party.  Before dawn last Tuesday, Velvet and FP, a freshman pledge at Hookah House, got a wild hair up their butts and decided to steal the letters off Doucher House.  According to Velvet, The Douchers are a bunch of cocaine snorting, steroid taking loudmouths who like to lord it over everyone.  FP and Velvet were inspired to this action after a night of drinking Budweiser.  I don't know where the more mature brothers were.  Sleeping soundly, I suppose.  They certainly were not around to discourage the concept, so Velvet and FP found a screwdriver and proceeded down the street to Doucher House.

They had to climb up onto the first floor roof at the Doucher House in order to get the letters, which were attached to the second story.  Velvet and FP easily removed the first two letters, but they couldn’t reach the third.  The job could not be considered a success until they removed the final letter, so the boys went back to Hookah House and got a stepladder.  It was about 5:00 in the morning when they hauled that ladder up onto the roof of Doucher House.

Velvet was on the ladder unscrewing the third letter while FP supervised. The pair apparently made such a clatter that the Doucher president looked out his window to see what was the matter.  Seeing vandals on the roof, he raised a hue and cry.  The Doucher Chief charged out the door in his underwear followed by four brothers and a chase ensued.  FP got away and felt very bad for abandoning Velvet who ran as fast as he could toward Hookah House, but carrying the ladder slowed him down.  He only thought to drop it when the Douchers caught up to him.  After the Douchers tackled Velvet and commenced pounding, one of them picked the dang ladder up and proceeded to beat Velvet’s ass with it.

Velvet kicked and hollered in self-defense.  The Doucher Chief finally pinned Velvet to the ground, started choking him and demanded to know his name.  Velvet told him that he couldn't breathe and couldn't talk which convinced the Doucher Chief to stop choking him.  With windpipes properly cleared, Velvet hollered with sufficient vigor to rouse the cops.  In their wisdom, Big Beautiful Private University built the campus police station across the street from Hookah House.  The University DPS responded so rapidly that they may have already been en route.

In what can only be described as a grotesque miscarriage of justice, the police drove the Douchers home in comfort and arrested Velvet.   He was handcuffed and everything.   If the story I got is accurate, Velvet was charged with Petty Larceny, but the real reason he got arrested is that when the University DPS asked Velvet to give them the name of his friend, he refused.  He said, “I don’t have to tell you because you’re not real police.”

They said, “That’s right.  We’re not real police, but we can put you in handcuffs until they get here.”   While they were all waiting for the Real Cops, one of the arresting DPS officers arranged for Velvet to get medical attention since one of the Douchers had smacked him with the step ladder, and she wanted to make sure Velvet didn’t have a concussion.  Thanks to her, there is medical documentation to corroborate Velvet’s version of events on the morning in question.

I heard this whole tale from Velvet his own self last night.   As it happened, last Sunday afternoon I decided that Velvet's freshman experience was such that we needed to seriously discuss the concept of college.  I can't remember why I came to this conclusion last Sunday, but I called Velvet to say that I didn't want to talk about it on the phone and asked him is he preferred for me to come up to Tree Hugger or if he wanted to come home.  He wanted to come home.  He and I were in the process of arranging for his train tickets when he told me about shattering the $150 bong.  I have to say that between the Bong Busting and the Gas Mask Episode, I was seriously considering changing his name to Bong Boy.

With luck, Velvet will finally get the idea that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  He freely admits that he deserved a beating at the hands of the Douchers - which I personally dispute since he was not on their property at the time of the assault.  Anyone from Texas knows that you are only allowed to shoot people who are fully on your property.  Five guys don't chase one skinny dumb ass a few blocks.

Clearly the Douchers should also have been arrested, but it's important that Velvet witnessed first hand that cops show favoritism to The Establishment.  Hookah House is the black sheep of Fraternity Row.  They were fined and put on social probation last semester because their own president passed out on their front yard after homecoming.  When the cops rousted the young man, he asked them if he was sleeping in a pot plant.  Apparently the campus cops at Big Beautiful Private University, to which Tree Hugger is attached, are willing to overlook drinking from future Wall Street executives but get all punitive when scruffy stoners are involved.  This sad fact of life is something Velvet needed to experience for himself.

Buzz Kill's anxiety over this situation has reached elevated levels.  He is convinced that Velvet will be expelled and sent to jail for thirty days, managing to accumulate several thousand dollars of legal bills along the way.   I told him to stop pissing on himself and start working on getting a copy of that medical report.  It seems to me that the campus police and/or The Douchers might see their way clear to drop the charges of Petty Larceny against Velvet given the campus police clearly showed favoritism to a pack of marauding douchebags who beat my child with a step ladder.  Furthermore, the letters have been returned unharmed.  In fact, the only harm done during the whole scenario was to Velvet.

The Man from San Antone, a lawyer from a family of lawyers, says Velvet does not need an attorney at this time.  He has confidence in my ability to manage admirably given that the whole thing is absolutely asinine.  I'm just thankful that Velvet's hair had started to grow back at the time of his arrest. He had been sporting a Friar Tuck for some days after loosing a bet on the basketball games. He bet that Butler would go all the way. It would have been entirely too much if he'd been arrested with a Friar Tuck.  As it was, he was simply rocking an exceedingly close cropped crew.

Commander Data with a Friar Tuck hair cut

The next task is preparing Velvet for his Judicial Review.  Given that the manchild was already on academic probation, there is undoubtedly cause for concern over his study habits.   Although I'm sure everything will turn out fine, we'll all be nervous until we see for sure that Velvet will be allowed to return to school in the fall.   We’ll be nervous until he presents himself before the Judge, too.

Now that he's been arrested for Douchebag harassment, I'm stumped as to the boy's new handle - but there is no denying that he is outgrowing the name of Velvet. He's been Velvet since about 10th grade as a result of statements he made to Rhet that sounded remarkably like Velvet thought pimping out his mother (that would be me) was a good way to make a few bucks. He wasn't suggesting sending me out on the streets. He thought that The Man from San Antone would slip him $100 any time The Man visited HQ. Notably, that has never occurred in Real Life. While listening to the child's fantasy, it occurred to Rhet that he sounded a lot like Velvet Jones, an Eddy Murphy character from Saturday Night Live. The man child has been Velvet ever since, but I'm thinking those innocent days are gone.

Meanwhile, that boy needs to find a summer job.


UPDATE:  Velvet is on Disciplinary Probation as long as he remains at Tree Hugger.  That means he will be totally suspended if he ever gets in trouble with the City Cops again.  He also had to perform 50 hours of community service.  When he went before the Judge later in the summer, she ruled that all charges will be dismissed in six months as long as keeps his nose clean.  She required 35 hours of community service, and she was happy to accept the 50 he had already completed for the school. 



Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jesus Bound for New Orleans

My friend Kelly has been staying with me this week for her spring break. She lives near Berkley now, but she lived down the street for years and years and years. This morning I drove her out to JFK. It's an easy drive at the crack of dawn, and the sun was a peachy pink shade of orange today. I was already on my way home when it rose up into my rear view mirror.

About that time, this song came on the stereo.



Singing along as I always do, I wondered what would happen if Jesus really were bound for New Orleans this morning to kick the shit out of Sarah Palin, Liz Cheney and whoever else was making a giant asshole of themselves this week at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Newt has been such a jerk for so long that I'm sure Jesus has absolutely no bearing on anything that man says or does. Truthfully, I'm pretty sure Jesus doesn't have much to do with anything that happens in politics at all. Nevertheless, I liked the idea of him striding into an auditorium full of loudmouthed Republicans to tell them they don't know Jack about Jesus with ZZ Top wailing in the back ground.

The trouble with folks like Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney, not to mention her father, is that they always think they know better than everybody else anyway, ergo: Jesus Himself could show up on any one of their doorsteps, and someone would shout for security. Kind of like the prince in Beauty and the Beast. Long before Belle's father stumbles into the Beast's castle, back when the Beast is still a handsome prince, a scary old crone came to the door during a terrible storm and begged the prince to let her inside. When the arrogant, entitled, selfish fellow refused, the crone revealed herself to be a powerful fairy and turned him into a hideous beast physically to match his hideous internal character.

It's too bad that's just a folktale, so no powerful fairies can do anything about Liz Cheney and that collection of assholes in New Orleans. Imagine a bunch of powerful, magic fairies having fun with the whole damn lot of them as if it were Midnight Retribution in the Garden of Good and Evil.

There are plenty of drag queens, queers, and Rock & Roll stoners who know more about Jesus than an auditorium full of sanctimonious shit heads calling themselves Leaders ever will. Since Jesus has had so little impact on all these self-satisfied "christians" who are comfortably deluded into believing that God likes them best, maybe it's time for God to start speaking through drag queens and fairies. Dr. Frank N Furter can be in charge of discipline.

Rudy Guliani enjoys a playing a bit of dress up himself, and had the good sense to keep both feet firmly on the ground when he appeared with the Rockettes in 2001.

Who knows? Maybe Rudy Guliani is just the sort of leader the Republicans need.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pervasively Unsatisfactory

A friend from high school, Cretin Vodka, liked to switch the lyrics in this song to "You hurt my feelings." It was a good joke, but I always associate this song to the time I was in the looney bin on account of the line, "Oh no I've said too much; I haven't said enough."



When you're in the looney bin you are choosing your confessions all the time because what you say, and don't say, directly influences whether they let you out. Or not.

It's a bit like that when you're trying to have a discussion in real life. You try to find a way to explain yourself in a way that strikes a balance between reality and respect. Sometimes it seems like the only way to keep the balance is to shut up - at least until you can be sure your own feelings are reality based.

Reality is a weird thing especially when people are looking at their lives in retrospect. Like when you wonder how your life might have turned out if you'd taken a different path. I never wonder about that, actually, but there have been times when men have said I reminded them of someone from college. I doubt that wondering about your life path is a gender specific phenomenon, but I have only been the source of such speculation for men. Specifically men who feel mired in Dullsville and daydream about a free-spirited hippie chick they met at some concert.

During my divorce, it seemed like every other guy I met imagined I was that hippie chick. These guys were all in their early or mid-fifties, successful in their careers and had older or grown kids. A few still had wives. One man who swore he was separated told me over a lunch at a trendy downtown restaurant that being with a woman like me could help him rediscover his creativity. He even wrote me a poem where he called me his butterfly. Granted, it had been a sunny day at a sidewalk cafe in Union Square, but I thought the Butterfly comment reeked of Mid-Life Crisis.

Maybe I had one too many expense account dinners with men who were searching for external solutions to internal issues. A certain kind of female is much the same as a sporty convertible in the land of External Solutions. I'm attractive enough physically, but I excel at asking questions that allow for reflective responses, and I always pay attention to the answers. That's how you learn about people. It's certainly how you learn that you've been objectified.

Right now, I'm reading a book that Max the Psychic Life Coach loaned to me the last time I got my hair cut and colored, The Mustard Seed by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The Bhagwan explains:
. . . peace is only possible if everybody is almost dead. There will be no war, no conflict, but there will be no life either. That would be the silence of the graveyard . . . That type of peace is useless -- then this world, with war, would be better . . . many have been endeavoring to bring about peace, and their attitude is just negative. . . . even great philosophers think that if war is finished, everything will be okay. This is negative. Because war is not the problem. The problem is man. And the war is not outside, the war is within. And if you have not fought the war within you will fight it without. If you have fought the war within and have become victorious, then the war without will cease. That is the only way . . . once you conquer yourself your fight with others ceases immediately -- because this fight with others is just a trick to avoid the inner war (1975, pp. 29 - 30).
This reading is part of my ongoing study into changing our patterns - both individually and as a society. If Rajneesh is correct, and it sounds like he is especially when you factor in his own colorful history, then we can count on the world being far from peaceful for generations to come. Nevertheless, we can hope to create a peaceful place in our own little worlds. From what I understand, the Buddha taught that All Life is Suffering, but a shrink named Mark Epstein says in his book Open To Desire that the word Buddha used for suffering, dukka, is more precisely translated as "pervasive unsatisfactoriness," which would mean that Life is Pervasively Unsatisfactory.

I can easily imagine a Buddha thin or fat nodding sagely and saying, "Life is Pervasively Unsatisfactory," because it leads directly to one of my favorite show tunes, It Sucks to Be Me, from Avenue Q.



It's hard to stay pervasively unsatisfied when a group of lively people and puppets shout, "It sucks to be me." Life is further put into perspective when the Asian Landlandy sings, "It sucka sucka sucka sucka sucka sucka sucka sucka sucka sucks to be me." She's also featured in another of my favorites, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist Sometimes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Old News

The video of a bunch of US Soldiers in black helicopters shooting the living shit out of civilians in Iraq is old news now, I guess. WikiLeaks released it almost two days ago: Collateral Murder. Alternet uses this clip in their story:



That's about all the information I needed. I haven't watched the longer video because it will make me cry.

When I was pregnant with Velvet, I was looking at CNN one night and eating Tatertots when the first ground war in Iraq broke out. Some folks around a table were argufying about something, when Bernie Shaw, Peter Arnet and Wolf Blitzer interrupted the broadcast to bring us live action war.



Being pregnant and distressed about the fate of my unborn child, I cried so much I didn't even finish my tatertots. Life went on and brought us more war. Maybe it's worse these days than in previous generations, but more likely we just have more extensive records.

They had journalists back in the 60's, too.




The horrors of war is very old news. A few folks had cameras in Nagasaki back in 1945,


and in May, 1863 to document dead guys in the American Civil War:



The day before WikiLeaks released the latest installment in the horrors of war was the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1967, Dr. King spoke out against the Vietnam war at Riverside Church. As it happens, I spend a lot of time around that progressive institution because of my work. Bill Moyers is a member at Riverside Church, and he recalls Dr. King's sermon in an article he recently published with Michael Winship (Dr. King's Economic Dream Deferred).
A year before, at Riverside Church in New York, he had spoken out -- eloquently -- against the war in Vietnam. King said, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death," a position that angered President Lyndon Johnson, many of King's fellow civil rights leaders and influential newspapers. The Washington Post charged that King had, "diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country, and to his people."
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was graveyard dead. That's old news, too. Meanwhile, Christians like the Hutaree are making news with comments like these in the Detroit News:
"Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment ...," one of the group's purported leaders wrote on its Web site. "We, the Hutaree, are prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren't. We will still spread the word, and fight to keep it, up to the time of the great coming."
It's no surprise people are embarrassed to admit they are Christians these days, with Martin Luther King dead and gone and Christians like the Pope and the Hutaree spreading the gospel. There are certainly plenty of Real Christians around today. We just can't hear them very well because those bastards at C Street make so much noise.

I don't know what to make of that video from WikiLeaks. I'm sure those guys in the helicopters were no more malicious than those soldiers who shot the villagers in MyLai.



MyLai happened almost a year after Dr. King spoke at Riverside Church.


I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us (Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, April 4, 1967),
I wish more Preachers and Christians would say something about War and Poverty. It's a tricky business since so many conservatives and tea baggers are preaching violence that anyone speaking out for peace and equity becomes a target. Makes me wonder who the terrorists really are - the ones who flew into the World Trade Center and gave George W Bush and them an excuse to start another war, or all those Stupid People with Guns who are silencing Secular Humanists and Real Christians?

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Militia of Love

I am not now nor have I ever been Facebook friends with Velvet. And I'm not the kind of person who carries around pictures of my kid, either, so when I wanted to show some friends in Austin a picture of Velvet, I went to my own facebook page then did a search for his page to see more photos. There's a nice one of him in the Rockies. I was surprised to find this shot of Velvet wearing a Gas Mask with the bong attached.

I am thoroughly proud of my child because if you're going to be a dumb ass, you might as well be a World Class Dumb Ass - and Velvet surely qualifies as a World Class Dumb Ass now.

Naturally I called him right away and left a howling voice mail. When I checked a few days later to see if Velvet had removed the photo, it was still there. I sent a text. He responded by saying he'd been busy and would change his security settings. I replied that he better remove said photograph all together or I would confiscate the baker's dozen of brownies he forgot in the freezer when he went back to college - and I might even inform his father, Buzz Kill, of the situation. As a friend of one of Velvet's friends, Buzz Kill could easily get to that photo.

Velvet was distressed that I had resorted to threats regarding this sentimental photo especially since it was just a few days until his birthday. I had already told him he wasn't getting those brownies back until I saw a 2.0 on his report card, and suggested that his aunt, who also would have access to the gas mask photo if she went through one of his cousins' pages, might have an issue with the way he spends his time at college since she's sending money toward Tree Hugger tuition. When Velvet said that anyone with a blog called Menopausal Stoners has no right to question a facebook photo involving a bong, it occurred to me that Velvet might need some Community Service, so I tried to donate the brownies to support two of my favorite communities, The Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival and Corrente. They were unable to accept the donation because of the Unfortunate Prohibition of Recreational Hemp.

I wish that we would not limit the discussion of legalizing marijuana use to medicinal marijuana. I understand incremental steps and stuff, but if the fraternity is going to be dedicated to recreational marijuana, then they might want to work towards marijuana legalization. An advertisement from NORML will debut in Times Square this year on April 20. Four Twenty is national weed day.



The 19th of April is Patriots' Day, commemorating the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Militias have had an honorable position in America's history on account of their role in the Revolutionary War. Militias have gotten a bad name recently on account of groups like the Hutaree in Michigan (Stupid People With Guns, William Rivers Pitt, Truthout 4.05.2010) . Matt Savino, a local commander in the Michigan Militia, turned in the Hutaree to protect the good name of militias according to an article in the New York Times.

I'm willing to accept that not every member of a Militia is a right-wing extremist crackpot with a firearm fetish. But the increased visibility of Militias these days has made me rethink the idea of the Menopausal Stoners Militia. I would surely hate it if Menopausal Stoners were associated with right-wing extremist crackpots like militia sympathizer Timothy McVeigh who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma on April 19, 1995. As it happens, April 19th is Granny the Ho's birthday. Although Granny the Ho would never have minded if a bunch of grown men dressed up in costumes and played Revolutionary War across the countryside, she would have been firmly opposed to Stupid People with Guns.

Maybe we need The Menopausal Stoners Militia of Love.


Velvet has removed the Gas Mask photo from his facebook page all together. I know because Gigi was over here yesterday and since she and Velvet are facebook friends, we could access all of his photos. I called him to say I was proud that he had the good judgment to respect my wishes. He didn't remove that photo quickly enough to prevent it from being seen by Jack Daniels, the preacher from the mountains. I had given The Preacher a play by play of the pissing contest between me and Velvet regarding the photo, and as it happens, Jack Daniels is facebook friends with Gigi so he had access to said photo for a time.

Like most men in my demographic who are aware of this situation, he was overcome with a fit of nostalgia and couldn't quit laughing. The Preacher thinks the Menopausal Stoner Herb Tea Cart might need a supply of the gas mask contraptions in case we happen to get caught in the cross fire between Teabagging Militias and The National Guard. If the Teabagger dreams come true and they storm into Washington DC in such grand numbers that Obama is provoked into declaring marital law so that we find ourselves in Bizarro Birmingham (stonerdate 02.25.2010), and we haul the Herb Tea Cart up to the Mall in DC to watch the shenanigans, we might need to filter the tear gas out of the air.

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