Thursday, April 28, 2011

Did I Miss The Memo?

I wasn’t sure at first so I waited a bit, then turned around and he was still there. If someone has a moment, I have a genteel question: When did Donald Trump become a serious political contender?

Presidency of the United States, right? Donald Trump? The rich joke with all the issues? I’ll keep this brief: If a dude approached you with hair like that trying to sell you lemonade on a hot day you’d call the police.

The McCain/Palin wounds haven’t even healed, dammit!

Granted, the purpose of leaving political office open to chance individuals is to weed out the fools among us, but there’s fools and then there’s carnival freaks children shouldn’t even want to come around.

Maybe I misunderstood. Donald Trump??

Come on, America, stop fooling with me! Yeah, you got me, very funny, but, Dude, seriously, stop. You're really being a tampon in the swizzle stick of Life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Maya Rudolph…or Totally Foreseen Annihilation?!

At the end of the song ‘Loving You’ by Minnie Riperton, Minnie seemingly innocuously ad libs her daughter’s name into the melody, crooning sweetly “Maya, Maya, Maya Maya” and so on. But in a serious newscaster’s voice we have to ask: Was that an homage to her lovely daughter. . . or was it a complete and total nod to total freaking destruction?

I think we all know the answer to that. There are billboards up and everything. There are 2 camps of doom to contend with though. Freaking Mayans with their skull rugby and forecasts of total freaking doom next year on the one hand; and garden variety religious nutballs with their billboards advertising doomsday as May 21, 2011 (yes, soon we will be able to cue the David Bowie song ‘Five Years’ regardless of incorrect timing). Unless they’re the same thing, but how a dead society can afford billboards, I don’t know, but with so little time left to sit around and watch TV a man pauses to reflect and reevaluate: Rosario, meet me for smoothies and graphic monkey sex. Or send an autographed picture. Whatever works for an active Hollywood schedule.

My inner mind just clued me in that the word “sex” up there might be crass; the world’s ending does not excuse crassness. And your idiot writer by no means intends to convey an overwhelming sense of carnality toward Ms. Dawson. Plus I’m sure she’s in a lovely relationship with a guy who likely has pecs and not moobs (man boobs)—or with a gal for that matter (I’m not up on my TMZ so I don’t know)—so to Ms. Dawson’s dear loved one, no disrespect. I’ll readily swap the Wife with you for the time it takes Rosario and me to study the Bible.

Know what? Can we slow things down and bring up the lights a bit? Can we feel real for a minute?

Know what attracted me to Rosario in the first place? Her smile. That incredible “God Created Woman” smile. Call me romantic but when I saw that smile I wanted to slap a child. Like blood to a vampire, like chicken to grease, like an order taken correctly at a Taco Bell drive-thru, it was glorious. Her smile was irrefutable proof that God exists and digs beautiful women. Does everybody feel the spirit in this room tonight?

So it’s not just sex. I would also accept an autographed 8x10 glossy (life-sized cutout?), but see, the thing is. . . neither will happen. For one thing, I’m married. Yeah, I know, why are all the good brothers taken? For another thing she’s in a line of work that would require me to bitch slap most of her co-workers on sight. Consider this: Will Smith has gotten to kiss her; I think Denzel hugged up on her; Colin Farrell has seen her butt nekkid (and I know that the camera crew has families but, dammit, collateral damage is a bitch; I’ll come for y’all in the night); a bunch of tools in that “Rent” movie got to sing with her—can you appreciate the Incredible Hulk-sized beatdown the acting community has coming? Would have, I should say, if she and I were to fulfill our destinies in a consummation of passion that would make angels horny. Plus there’s that end of the world thing.

Yeah, I know. Complete and total bummer. And there’s a chance it might actually happen this time. The signs are undeniable. Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin will merge, and not in any properly lubricated way. Planetary disasters are happening faster than insurance companies can get their compassionate commercials out to us. Something named “Snooki” has written a book. Think of all the things you should have done that you never did. It’s almost as if it mattered one whit whether you did them or not. World’s still ending, right, Nobel Prize or “Undercover Boss”. Greatness comes, greatness goes, with dumbasses in between. But if it ends this year I’ll be this dude stuck in Detroit, no chance watching Rosario stir, stretch and yawn under a beautiful morning’s light, just a dude with a wife and a mortgage and a bunch of nieces and nephews. I’ll have read some damn good books, saw Josh Ritter and Prince in concert (not on the same stage, mind you; that’s an orgasm more intense than mankind is meant to know), still be married to a woman who is either insane from going through “the change” or going through “the change” while insane (like she’s ever going to read this, and if she does it’s just a matter of me saying, “Well obviously I meant for you to read it seeing as it’s on the entire world wide web. Duh! Not like it’s a secret, is it? Let’s join hands now and share our feelings”).

Am I saying that what truly matters is family and the small connections and that I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the face of whatever? Don’t be stupid. If Ms. Dawson ever called me I’d be outta here so fast it’d create a time warp. What I’m saying is that—and this isn’t even maybe, this is definitely—with the world ending you need to at least be square with yourself.

You see, I’ve gotten to a position where I don’t particularly fret over the world ending anymore. Before I was all, “But what about humanity? What about warp drives and seeking out and art?” Years of enduring the abject stupidity inherent in thinking that if one makes the rich richer, those less fortunate will be better off too (which would be fine if greed and wealth weren’t pretty much Siamese twins); that if we simply relax or eliminate environmental restrictions on companies they won’t turn around and package mercury as “Mr. Zippy” in Happy Meal toys (as opposed to dumping wonderful waste in landfills conveniently located for your carcinogenic pleasure); that pretending to educate the poor is noble in and of itself; that left to their own devices people are basically good, when (left to their own devices) people come up with devices designed to get rid of other people; that CATS is a theatrical experience to anyone over 5 years old, and that, Good & Sweet Baby Jeebus (sidenote: read anything by Chris Moore and you’ll feel the Jeebus love), an ad by J Crew featuring a lady laughing at her son’s playfully pink-polished toes is just one more indication that they’ll be teaching kids how to buttfuck on Sesame Street by 2012—all this just means that there is a certain distasteful truth to all the inane “reality” crap being mightily shoveled at us: LIFE… is inane. Think about it. Shakespeare’s dead. Gandhi’s dead. Cornell West is aging. Prince receives mailings from the AARP. The greatest poet of our time probably lives in utter obscurity 2 doors down from you. And Pam Grier, God Bless Her, will one day wear false teeth. The world has been, and always will be, running down. People, can we let Sisyphus and Atlas chill for a minute? ‘Cause the thing is, we don’t even make the best of what’s still around. Why fret against entropy or Armageddon when much ado is made about Jennifer Hudson, Charlie Sheen, Rihanna, Britney, Will Smith’s kids, crazy people running for and subsequently winning political office, and whether fading, marginal celebrities are able to learn dance moves from professional choreographers.

Gaze and be something biblical, ye poor unworthy bastards. That which survives is beauty, that which is beautiful is meaningful, and that which is meaningful...

Well, that which is meaningful does not get covered on the Evening News. When’s the last time the News told you that a smile was worth changing the world for? Never. Those monkey bastards only care about smiles if the smile is coming off some dictator who just squashed a civil uprising via the military brothers and sisters of the dead. They’ll love the smile then. Fox, CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC (but not PBS, ‘cause PBS is the shit-—liberal media, bitchazzz!), when they cover the end of the world it will be with computer graphics, Armageddon displays, and the music-bed version of James Earl Jones’ voice. They won’t have a single picture of Rosario Dawson’s smile...

…or audio of my 3 year old nephew’s laugh…

…or an essay from novelist Ru Freeman…

…or a man in the street interview with me, with the reporter asking how I felt the first time I saw my wife…

…or footage of the crashing realization on the faces of zealots realizing how much time they’d wasted…

…or the first and only earnest review of my novel NEON LIGHTS (available for $2.99 at and, the world’s not over yet) as being entirely derivative and not worthy of a slap across the face with Percy Everett’s cum rag…

…or even the night sky. Look outside. The sky is there for reasons we still don’t understand.

Alas, alack and damn.

Minnie, go ahead and sing us out, then go back to resting your soul. We’ve either got a few weeks or about a year.

By which time I should have an answer to the question should I really care who judges American Idol or not?

Alas, alack and damn.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Requiem for Satan

Time to reorganize, ladies and gentlemen. The new theme is “rehumanize yourself”. The Police (for the young folks, this is the group Sting had before he was the old dude your mother likes) sang it right, which is where I get the name from. Rehumanize Yourself. As in, stop being so freaking stupid and greedy and myopic and turn the wealth of Life toward keeping life livable for every-freaking-body. War, famine, pestilence and avarice—be gone!

See, here’s what I’ve found out. Why we’re unhappy? It’s not the Devil. Everything bad in the entire world is because people don’t like their lives. Period. Humans are the most unhappy twits in the world. The asshole texting who caused a three car pileup killing everybody but himself because he needs a certain image to feel worth the air he breathes can’t stand himself. The asshole executive in a useless industry whose arrogance is the complete set including midlife crisis and trophy skank, the one who has to berate wait staff with the six saddest, most stupid words ever strung together: “Do you know who I am?” That guy shouldn’t have opened his eyes in the morning. Death isn’t always a tragedy. That guy can’t stand himself. He doesn’t even know who he is. (For the record, anybody having to voice the words ‘Do you know who I am?’—the answer, no matter which way it goes, will not please you.)

We’re unhappy because we’re dishonest with ourselves, with our wives, with our husbands, particularly with our kids, with jobs we can’t stand, with neighbors we don’t want to see, and especially with our lord god savior Jesus Buddha Christ. Hell, how many folks is this true of: we wake up in the morning wishing for death’s sweet embrace but at the first human face what do we say? “Good morning.” Talk about keeping hope alive.

So in order to rehumanize myself, I have put away a few fears. Fear of success—and that’s a real fear, because a lot of people become successful and become utter assholes; granted there were kernels of ass in them already but success tends to exacerbate things—fear of loss, fear of failure even. Strange dichotomies abound. Anybody who’s read more than 2 of these blogs knows I love music. Here are some words from the U2 song ‘Stuck in a Moment That You Can’t Get Out Of’: “I am not afraid of anything in this world. There’s nothing you can throw at me that I haven’t already heard. I’m just trying to find a decent melody, a song that I can sing in my own company.” Or thereabouts. Sometimes I might get a few words wrong in a lyric here and there. For years I’ve thought Michael Jackson was belting out “Strong is hot funky” in ‘Beat It’. Point is, fear creates aggression, which creates tension, which creates assholes. Military assholes, political assholes, pop cultural assholes, job market assholes. Fear creates huge, honking pointless wastes of time.

Honestly? I’m sick of it. If I was Jesus I would bitch slap so many of y’all into eternity it ain’t funny. Do the Bernie Mac ‘Head of State’ reach-down-to-the-ground smack. And just keep walking. So I’m looking at life that way, smacking the hell out of fears, anxieties and irrationalities.

Which means I finally got off my ass and published a book. Marketing 101 says I should have mentioned that from the get go, but I’m not here for that. It’s an ebook only. If you buy the book, fine. I’d love to sell a million copies, put some serious money in my niece’s college fund, and wake up naturally every day. Title is NEON LIGHTS, it’s a satire on publishing in general and black publishing in particular, it’s cheap, and links are here and here Barnes & Noble. Free apps on both sites for reading on PC, laptop or whatever device. The book itself is not as important as me actually getting off my ass and publishing it my damn self. It’s made the short rounds of potential traditional publishers and agents. Got nibbled on, got passed up. No hard feelings anywhere. But a friend said “Jed, take that book and move away from there.” Said “Pubit and Kindle are the places you wanna be,” so I uploaded my goofy book and I published it for free (almost, that is; $2.99, less than Starbucks coffee or tea).

It’ll be bought by 7 people. But on a grand scheme I’m looking at life differently. That pervasive, silent scream shrouding the earth is audible as ever…but it’s nothing I haven’t already heard. It won’t keep me from doing what I need to do. I was born human and by damn I’ll die human. And I might be full of too many sins but if I’m going to hell for Original sin I’ll keep some other beautiful sinner good company. Some simple human soul whose ego is under control. Somebody human. Somebody who can stop being who they are…in order to be who they are.

So no more labeling these as the days of the Lord. Here’s to the human in me. May he reign over the earth forever.

I have always wanted to be a published writer. I just never factored myself into the equation as the one doing the publishing. Honest.