Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weed Nation

Now that the buildings next door are nearly built, Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters on Central Park West feels like Miami Beach in a way. The terrace is a great spot to fly a Weed Nation flag. Queer Nation, too. Declare my allegiance to those Nations on Independence Day. I need a flag, though.

My friend and fellow Menopausal Stoner, The Rebbe Mohammed McCrory, has started writing her own blog: VERYMISSMARY. It starts with her discussion of chronic pain. She's not sure where it's going since she just started, but she's going somewhere. She always understood the Road to Nowhere completely. The Rebbe Very Miss Mary is an excellent woman with a needle, and she knits like nobody's business, too. She might could make a Weed Nation flag just like Betsy Ross.


All these Internet connections could build alliances as strong as those who brought down the Berlin Wall. Ronald Reagan took credit for bringing it down, but really it was the invention of the fax machine similar to how the printing press led to The Reformation.

The BP mess in the Gulf shows politicians to be pawns of their Corporate Sponsors so starkly that folks began calling Republicans the GOBP. It is not like Katrina, though. It's more like the Berlin Wall because that spewage is complete man made Bull Shit. Katrina was shit from Nature, or even Pat Robertson's God. You can't sue anyone or hold anyone criminally responsible for an Act of God.

If the printing press brought on the Reformation, and the fax machine took down the Berlin Wall, then the internet could potentially spark some resistance. The Punk Patriot started calling to revoke BP's corporate charter back in June. Green Change picked it up. They said something on the internet somewhere, which was referenced by RealityZone while discussing Corporal Punishment for Corporations. There was a link to the post in comments to JadedJ. All these links are like chucking rocks at the Berlin Wall. Our combined voices could be heard by others out there in Blogland. We all start making noise just like in Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who until the Wall of Corporate Domination breaks - and if somebody starts trying to send us to Gitmo, we can hoist each other over and make a break for the hills. That's why the Corporations are trying to restrict access to the internet (Jon Stewart on the Net Neutrality Act).

Since the Supreme Court has decreed that Corporations have the same rights as individual humans, then Corporations have the right to face the death penalty same as any garden variety disenfranchised human on death row in Texas. We know all about the Death Penalty in Texas. Off with their heads, I say. I know this Tea Party.

I know where The Garden is, too, because I've been tending it (Caught in the Devil's Bargain, Stonerdate 06.26.2010) So has The Rebbe, and so has my old friend, Mean. She's another Austin Stoner circa 1982 who lives in the hills out past Lake Travis. She's coming up to New York City to visit me for the Fourth of July. I'm sure it will be much more fun to be with Mean than it was with The Preacher.

Me, Mean and The Rebbe may have to brew up some herb tea, for medicinal purposes only, load it up in a little cart and go drink it down on Wall Street. We can laugh at banksters strolling to work from our lawn chairs under an umbrella. I expect they would dismiss us as a bunch of kindergarten teachers except for the Weed Nation flag, and the cooler full of "The Recipe" like the Baldwin Sisters on The Waltons.

Caught in the Devil's Bargain

We Tuned in
Turned on
Dropped out.
When Ronald Raygun got elected, we ran for the hills and hid
like the Druids and the witches did when the Romans came.
Bit by bit, there's nowhere left to hide.
They're killing the planet one mountaintop, one coral reef,
one wet land at a time. One miner, one farm hand, one poor schmuck at a time.

We've got to get ourselves back to The Garden to find each other.

Afghanistan looks more like Vietnam every day, and it looked a hell of a lot like Vietnam years ago. Sounded a lot like it, too, if you listened to John McCain when he was running for president.

There were only 500,000 at Woodstock, but they were all in the same place at the same time. There are millions of us on the internet - but as connected as we are intellectually and/or spiritually - we remain isolated. The Garden could change that. I don't know how to manage it, yet, but I'm thinking.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Turn off your lights; Turn on your spirit


Arvol Looking Horse is a Souix chief who, like Barack Obama, calls for people of all nations to pray - but there are significant differences between his call to prayer and the one Barack delivered in his speech the other night.

Barack Obama's speech from the Oval Office the other night wasn't bad, as far as it went, and given that he's talking to a great nation of idiots, Barack can only go so far. His entire presidency so far reminds me of the scene in Idiocracy where the Narrator explains why no one in the future can understand English:

Unaware of what year it was, Joe wandered the streets desperate for help. But the English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them. (IMDB)

When Barack Obama asks a nation to pray, he speaks to a nation of idiots.



And many of these idiots still wish the Confederacy had won the Civil War exactly like in the movie The C.S. A.

When Barack asks these people to pray, he might as well be asking them to jerk off because that Church is a place where they pay a preacher to feed their egos. Prayer is emotional masturbation. When they need additional stimulation to get off, they have their own porn stars:











Certainly it makes sense that in this troubled time, Barack Obama would tell Conservative Christian Right Wing Republicans to shut up and jerk off. Their way of thinking led to Joe Barton's Capital Hill Apology to BP on Thursday morning. G*d knows Joe Barton receives plenty of capital from the oil and gas industry.

Jerking off is all well and good, but it does not lead our country away from an attitude of individual entitlement toward connecting with our fellow humans in community. Arvol Looking Horse, on the other hand, has a more productive message.

In Arvol Looking Horse Speaks, he says "On June 21, shut off the electricity and let's pray."

Barack could have asked us to live without gas or electricity for just one day - or to buy nothing for just one day - while we reflect on how a consumer driven lifestyle has damaged our individual and collective spirit as well as the planet. He just asked us to have faith that something will work out, and to pray about it. Nice words, but in my mind, that's not doing anything. Arvol Looking Horse is asking us to do something while we're reflecting - turn off the electricity. Simple and Direct.

Maybe Arvol Looking Horse has more freedom to speak what is in his heart and mind than Barack Obama. Arvol Looking Horse doesn't have to balance the needs of the people against business interests, particularly when it comes to mineral rights since we Europeans made sure no indigenous peoples were left with any mineral rights. Looking Horse explains:
When the first non-Indian came to this land, our people said, 'What shall we call this man?' and they called him Wasicu . . . It means 'takes fat,' which we know today means the white brothers are taking fat off Mother Earth. Long ago, when the first nations lived on Turtle Island, through our prayers and ceremonies, we maintained harmony and peace, a way of life where there's no ending, no beginning.
It's everyday life for us that we hold Grandmother Earth sacred, we hold the trees and the plants, everything has a spirit. We need people to be really respectful for each other. The Great Spirit put us here all together. If we're going to survive, we need to have spirit and compassion.
As it happens, the Celtic world view was much the same back in the days before The Church called our ancestors witches and burned them. June 21 is summer solstice - a time to celebrate Mid Summer. I have a feeling that Barack Obama is happy for support from any corner these days, and pagans with peace pipes would suit him fine. Sadly, we're all surrounded by the kind of Christians who tie The Word to their wallets. Until somebody takes them to task, nothing will change, and from where I sit, a preacher leading that Church in prayer is leading a circle jerk.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Simple Suggestion

It's nasty out there.
Again. Anger everywhere.
Justifiably, but
there is another way.



Simple Gifts

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

http://www2.gol.com/users/quakers/simple_gifts.htm

Todd Snider, One More Time . . .



Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican Straight White American Males - still easy to blame.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Green Revolution

I slapped myself on the forehead at the end of the president's speech tonight, when Barack Obama said America should pray. Velvet reminded me that Religion has been a successful political tool in the past.

I continue to be reminded of Cat's Cradle. I'm just to the part where John the Narrator becomes President of San Lorenzo but "Papa" hasn't slid into the ocean with a sliver of Ice Nine consequently turning the world into a swirling shit storm. The current situation has similar existential absurdity because a president inherits an environmental disaster of global proportions which is caused by military greed and insensitivity to humanity. And as in San Lorenzo, there is a symbiotic relationship between Church and State.

Now that we are officially going green, I'm turning my attention away from mineral rights around the world to legalization of marijuana for recreational use. I figure with this much shit going on, We The People might as well be able to get high without threat of arrest - especially since it apparently reeks of weed down my hallway all the way to the elevator.

When Cupcake came over this evening, I ushered her conspiratorially into the apartment asking if it smelled like weed in the hall. She acknowledged that it did, and visibly relaxed at my moderate show of affection. I don't want the girl to feel awkward. She slept in Velvet's room last night while Velvet slept on the couch. Since I have extensive experience with awkward domestic situations, I felt it was incumbent upon me to set her at ease.

The immediate task at hand was the reeking hallway. I fell to work sauteing onions in olive oil and herbs de provence. I learned from Granny the Ho that when you saute onions it smells like you've been cooking all day even though maybe you were out playing golf. Onions and Herbs adequately covered the smell of weed in the hall, and I threw the leftover rice from yesterday's Chinese food into the pan with some frozen green beans from Trader Joe's. But it sucks that I shouldn't be allowed to smoke weed in my own home. It also sucks that kids who can vote and go into the military can't drink beer.

If religion is being overtly handed to us as an opiate, then the prohibition regarding weed for recreational use and hemp for industrial use must be lifted. Hemp deserves equal time with the church, and in my mind, it's a better opiate anyway. I'll smoke weed; I won't go to church. Although I'm skeptical at best about the power of prayer, it beats being instructed to shop for America. Further, you never know -- focusing our collective positivity onto the Gulf could benefit the planet. Lifting the prohibition on recreational and industrial hemp is a more concrete form of action, and as a rule, I'm a lot more positive when I'm high.

For the moment, I'm most interested in legalizing recreational marijuana because I don't want Velvet to get busted. I wouldn't want to get busted myself. While recreational use is still illegal, it's important to maintain an atmosphere of plausible deniability, and crucial to avoid giving police an opportunity to declare "Probable Cause." I'm modeling these behaviors for Velvet as I prepare him for living in the world.

The Green Revolution is incomplete without ending the prohibition on marijuana.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Deterioration and Dysfunction

New York Times Headline:
U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

The punch line:
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

And there's more - but really, we know everything we need to know from the excerpt. The US fears China will move in and keep the minerals for themselves so now that Afghanistan can become a playground for Mountaintop Removal, we're never leaving. Unless the Taliban kills us all.

Pentagon Geologists probably had a pretty good idea about the mining bonanza in Afghanistan for some years, but the technology to prove their speculation has only recently become available. Otherwise Dick Cheney, the Bushes and the Bin Ladens would have already started digging. We can be sure they've already tied up the mineral rights. The deposits are estimated to be worth One Trillion Dollars.

And now, who gives a flying fuck about the Gulf of Mexico when the mountains of Afghanistan are as wide open as California during the gold rush? We know that mining is only a problem when the mine operators care about the miners and the environment. Afghanistan already looks like an ashtray, and if we cared about their people, we wouldn't have been killing them from helicopters as if they were biologically based video game characters.

You better bet this announcement could "fundamentally alter" the Afghan war. Thank goodness we've already occupied the country and started moving in heavy equipment.

My mother has always believed that the reason we rushed to the aid of Kuwait years ago was not because Saddam Hussein was a vicious dictator who ate babies and stuff. It was because he was swiping Kuwait's oil with the Slant Drilling.


Makes sense.
So do these mineral deposits.

Frankly, I don't really care about these things today except for that the news provides a distraction from the heartbreak that is Velvet.
Or Tiny
Or Ming the Merciless
Whatever my child's name is these days.

I keep trying to tell myself that this unrest is simply a typical manifestation of the ongoing dance of attachment and separation, but that doesn't stop my tears. I don't think he's an evil bastard who doesn't care about anything except his own pleasure. It's more like he's turned HQ into a battlefield by his behavior and he's distressed about it, but he can't recognize or admit his own role, take responsibility for his actions and begin to make necessary changes. In my mind, that's what grown-ups do. Brats piss on you, and when you tell them to cut it out, they get angry at you for objecting and keep pissing on you.

At issue: He keeps sleeping with Cupcake in my house even though I've told him they aren't allowed to sleep together in my house. They can fuck when I'm not here - just like the rest of us did when we were 18 - 20 years old and home from college. If for some reason it gets so late that Cupcake needs to sleep over, she can have his bedroom and he can sleep on the couch. The couch is a maximum of 30 feet away from his bed, and I believe that even the drunkest sailor in Singapore should be able to stumble 30 feet to the sofa.

The latest incident occurred on Friday night, when he was supposed to be sleeping at his father's. Since I banged on the door and insisted on driving Cupcake home at 5:00 am back in May, I figured there was no reason to repeat that scenario. I assessed the situation and went back to bed. My son woke up around 6:00 and shuffled her out. I called him at about 6:30 to ask: Why is the one simple rule in this home too difficult to follow?

The situation has deteriorated, so that now all we do is shout at each other over the phone. He sleeps at his grandmother's apartment - which is where Buzz Kill lives, but Buzz Kill is always over at his girlfriend's apartment. Buzz Kill doesn't even know when his son hasn't come home, and Buzz Kill turns off his phone from Midnight to 6:30 am allegedly because he doesn't want to receive calls from India and China. Maybe so - but he can't get calls from the emergency room either.

As long as his son is living in that apartment, the boy becomes Vagina Dentata's creature instead of Buzz Kill.
Recent photo of Vagina Dentata in a performance at the Senior Center
She's supposed to be in costume, but the only difference between this outfit and real life is that she would wear a different hat


Vagina Dentata is already turning Velvet into her drinking buddy. It won't be long before she starts trying to get him to walk her home when she's gotten drunk at the restaurant down the block. Velvet is a bus boy there this summer. Vagina Dentata has been drinking there so long that the manager happily employed Velvet. If Velvet isn't careful, he'll wind up not only being her walker, he'll be wiping her ass when Buzz Kill heads for the hills.

Buzz Kill's rich sister, the robber baron, cheerfully subsidizes Buzz Kill and Vagina Dentata in the magnificent rent stabilized New York apartment so that she doesn't find Vagina Dentata installed in her guest house on the West Coast. I don't blame her one little bit. But it's a drag when you see your child falling into dysfunctional family patterns

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Please Bless These Seeds I Sow

Everybody knows This Land is Your Land, but we don't usually sing down to the last verses where the point Woody was making back in the 1930's seems particularly relevant in 2010:

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

Here's Pete shouting out the verse at Obama's inauguration.



Pete sang this verse at the inauguration, too.

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.


Obama himself sings along, but everybody knows that his power is limited no matter what's really in his heart. Big Oil has big influence in the White House no matter who the president is. Big Money has controlled the government since Woody wrote this dang song, and long before that as well. Coal miners in the UK started unionizing in the 1830's to fight pretty much the same bastards who control BP today. Before that, I think workers just died -- like the folks who died before they ever saw a penny of the money Exxon was supposed to pay in compensation for the Valdez incident. Nothing shuts somebody up like dying, and Big Money can afford to wait.

While Pete is clapping and encouraging the people on the Mall to sing along, his grandson is really carrying the song, much like Arlo has been carrying the song for Woody, and now Alro's kids are singing. One of them plays ukulele in a band with Willie Nelson's daughter. Generations of folk singers fighting the Imperialists who try to own us all. Notably, Pete didn't encourage Obama to sing along. Pete rallied the people on the Mall because if change will ever really come, the people are going to have to demand it. Generation after generation after generation.

This fight has been going on for thousands of years. Both Jesus and the Buddha offered an alternative path, and the message is simple: Stop Being Assholes. Sadly, assholes abound. Not only in our government and on Wall Street, but also across the world - like in Israel where activists armed with kitchen knives are killed execution style by the military and in Afghanistan where girls are beaten for trying to escape arranged marriages to old men (CNN video at Change Happens).

Maybe this generation is lost. I keep thinking of that dumb ass Jaded saw up in Nebraska waving a confederate flag as he filled up his truck at BP because that dumb ass represents our slide into Idiocracy. I'm worried that the assholes will use the Idiocracy for fun and profit, effectively stomping the rest of us underground where we survive in small, isolated pods until we look out of our burrows like groundhogs in twenty years to see if it's safe to go outside again. Reverend Billy has already noted that the BP disaster has become a Reality show complete with ratings and ad revenues.

Some people have made noise about Obama indoctrinating America's youth to Socialism - as if that could actually happen in corporate controlled America. Those people need to know that there are teachers around this country quietly and intentionally passing on the message to the next generation, hoping to raise a crop of youngsters who will keep fighting these bastards even as they are stomping us into the ground.

At school, we practiced The Garden Song (Mallet, 1975) for a couple of weeks in preparation for the sing on the last day of school. The oldest kids at our school are six years old. My kids are two and three year olds.

I watch my kids as if they are the seeds that need protecting - so they can live to fight another day.



Inch by inch, row by row
Please bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below
'Till the rain comes tumbling down

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones
We are made of dreams and bones
Need a place to call my own
'Cause the time is close at hand

Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
Till my body and my brain
Tell the music of the land

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Orleans in August

My brother, Smelt, is involved in a project about New Orleans and Katrina. Telling Their Stories: The Lingering Legacy of the Katrina Photographs


He happened to win a prize or two for his work on Katrina. It makes a great story, but I can't tell it without revealing his identity. He wouldn't care, I don't think, about being related to Menopausal Stoners since I believe he's introduced me to his associates as My Sister the Menopausal Stoner. The thing is that Buzz Kill would probably still be bent out of shape about the blog if he could connect it to my real name, and once I'm connected to my brother, then the jig is up.

As it happens, the reason Buzz Kill finally moved out of the marital residence is that he found a story I had written titled, "The Jig is Up," which involved a black man with a dick like a mag light. Since we're coming up on the anniversary of that event, which blew apart that year's Gemini Party in addition to the remnants of our marriage, I would hate to cause another commotion - especially when it all coincides with our wedding anniversary. Wedding anniversaries can be a sore spot for divorced couples - pretty much like the anniversary of Katrina is going to be particularly sore for New Orleans this year due to the Gulf of Mexico being killed by BP and our national addiction to fossil fuels.

The family is having a jamboree in New Orleans in honor of Smelt at this event which is on August 21, 2010. I want to go because (1) I love going to New Orleans, especially when my dad is picking up the tab and (2) I want to see what's going on with the oil slick in August when shit will have totally hit the fan.

Right now, shit is barely stirred up and BP is paying for all kinds of PR to calm the natives. That's pretty easy in America since so many people already believe propaganda is news. Jaded J saw folks in Nebraska flying Confederate flags from their SUVs in line to buy gas from BP - and most likely they're not oil executives. You expect that bullshit in Houston. In Houston, you're always having to dodge a long line of limos filled with the Bushes, the Bin Ladens and their OPEC buddies headed up to George Herbert Walker's place in College Station - home of the Texas Aggies.

I figure there will be no shrimp in sight by August except the ones from China that are steeped in antibiotics. Costco sells them at a good price. You can make gumbo with chicken. Etouffee, too, but it's not the same. Who knows whether the teabaggers and the end-of-times crowd will still be hollering "Drill, baby, drill," in August or if a few of them might have begun to wake up and smell the crude in the coffee.

There have always been liars - big, fat liars. I'm having to shove that fact in my son's face right now since he's very friendly with a number of Israelis and was inclined to believe the Israeli party line about the Gaza Flotilla. He was stunned to hear that the activists were killed execution style. Now, I have no illusions about peaceful Palestinians - but the fact remains that the Israeli government is 100% wrong. Anyone who hogs water in a desert is a dick wad, if you ask me, and the Israelis have been hogging water for decades. The Israeli Government sucks.

Sadly, we suck too.
If We The People didn't suck so bad, people would have paid attention to Jimmy Carter's repeated call for an Energy policy that ended our dependence on fossil fuels. The gas lines were in 1979. Now it's 2010 and We The People guzzle more gas than ever as a result of listening to Ronald Regan and countless Republicans all spewing the same profit driven bullshit.

A few of us did pay attention to Jimmy. As it happens, my dad was in charge of Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in Houston, for all the good it did anyone. More Middle Eastern bullshit there, too.

Oil, War in the Middle East and Israel. We can't really say Same Old Shit since the shit is worse now. We've killed the ocean. The coral reefs in Florida will be damaged from chemical compounds spreading in the oil plumes deep under the surface. These toxins are supposed to evaporate in shallow water. They drift undersea like a spreading virus. (NYTimes, Plumes of Oil Deep in Gulf are Spreading Far, Tests Find).

I'm frankly surprised that anyone considers it news that the oil spill is spreading toxins. Anyone who has ever tried to cool down the water in the bathtub so it doesn't boil your ass the second you get in knows how water circulates, for crying out loud. The Gulf Stream simply complicates it all by spreading the oil all the way to England - conveniently avoiding Haley Barbour's shores. Big Oil Cheerleader Haley Barbour is currently trying to convince Mississippi businessmen that BP will compensate them for lost revenue. If the Alaskan model applies to the Gulf, then they can expect ten cents on the dollar.

When I visit my parents in the Houston Suburbs, we are occasionally trapped on Sunday mornings when services are over at the Baptist Church That Ate The Neighborhood. The church hires off-duty cops to direct traffic while SUVs pour out of the parking lot onto the street, many with bumper stickers that say things like: God is my Co-Pilot. I have always hated those people, but when I think of the oil spill, it's like they all lined up to moon us treehuggers and spewed their collective diarrhea into the Gulf.

If they are happy eating their own shit, I don't care. But I hate it that they have made us eat their God-fearing, Bible Thumping, Water Boarding, Dick Cheney loving, Gas Guzzling shit on a sandwich.

Maybe Gaia really will rise up against them, so that by 2012 they will have fizzled like vampires on a sunny day. The way things are going these days, there's bound to be a plague. A plague upon Imperialists and the self-satisfied religious fanatics who follow them like Satan's minions.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Juneteeth


Here's me and my mom, with Vampie on Bolivar Peninsula sometime in 1960. Granny the Ho had a beach house on Bolivar. It blew away during Hurricane Carla in 1961. The pink bathtub didn't blow away, though, which is how they found her lot once the storm had passed and folks were allowed to check out the damage. She got another house after that, where she lived for a while with her fourth husband whose name could have been Bill. They weren't married very long, and I was little anyway. When I was six, she married another man named Bill who lived in a big, pink house in Galveston. He grew peyote cactus in his garden. They used to set up colored lights on the beach in the hopes of attracting flying saucers. He hated the Catholic church and kept a map of Galveston on the wall of his office where he had marked all the property owned by the Catholics.

Granny was only married to him for six weeks. From what I gathered, he could get violent when his temper flared, so she left him in a hurry. He was her fifth husband, so she knew better than to stick around for that bullshit. At the time, we lived in Galveston too, so she moved in with us for a little while. Then she went out to visit my uncle and his family in Laguna Beach, California. She called my mom after a couple of weeks and said to put all her stuff on the bus because she wasn't coming back to Texas. That was in 1966. I still have the love beads one of her hippie friends made for her.

She died two years ago on my birthday. It's one of my favorite stories because the last thing she ever ate was a piece of my chocolate birthday cake. She was in Houston with my folks, and I was up here in New York - but distance never prevented anyone in my family from birthday cake. This year I had strawberry-rhubarb crisp at Cafe Luxembourg with Gigi.

This photo was taken about the time I must have been bounced on Lyndon's knee when he was sucking up to my great uncle in Beaumont to get votes for some election or another.

I've been wondering what would happen if somebody told all those teabaggers that only people whose families owned slaves would be able to vote in America. It seems to me that if you're going to get all bent out of shape about immigrants and preserving the American way of life as God intended it to be in the Constitution, then we should go back to those rules wherein nobody except white male property owners got a vote. That would shut up Sarah Palin right away since, as a woman, she wouldn't have a vote. Neither would I, of course, but at least there's a black side to my family which means I have more inherent status under Tea Party Rules since my family has been in this country longer.

Years and years ago, at my great-grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party up in NoFuckingWhere, East Texas, I met my great-half aunt, Pep. She and my great-grandfather were siblings via my great-great grandfather. Frankly, I'm not sure that Pep's mother would have been a slave because the timing isn't exactly right - but everyone knows how the state of Texas waited some time to tell the slaves they had been freed. Juneteenth marks the day that the slaves finally learned about the Emancipation Proclamation - June 19th, 1865. Since my great-grandfather was about 70 on his 50th anniversary in 1966 or so, he would have been born in 1894 or there abouts - a full thirty years after slavery was ended, and Pep was about the same age. Maybe she was his Aunt, but I could have sworn she was his sister. Either way, she was Colored, as was everyone on her side of the family.

The Colored side of the family had plenty of land because Big Daddy split the land equally between his white kids and his black kids. These days most of the land in NoFuckingWhere, East Texas belongs to the black side of the family, although the white side retained the mineral rights. It's kind of embarrassing that my great-great grandfather really was called Big Daddy, but it's a fact of life. Somebody probably wrote it in a dang Bible somewhere, and it just goes to prove what my former psychiatrist always said - I don't have to watch Tennessee Williams because I lived Tennessee Williams.

If folks are going to get fired up about immigration, then they better have a black side to their family. Otherwise, they can't be real Americans either. Well, maybe they can be Americans, but they can't be teabaggers.

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