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I became Old Man Shouts At Cloud at a too early age.

In my very early 20s. When I was first assaulted by the word “facilitate.”

To this day, I do not know what that word actually “means.”

And that is the problem. For the word doesn’t “mean” anything. It is a no-word. A word invoked solely to cover Crime.

From its first appearance in my life, to its last, it has functioned but as a signal that I am about being Robbed.

Of money, or, most often, of the space to create.

Through a series of no coincidences, that it would be too much of a tangent to here relate, I had, very early on, read my Orwell—the Real stuff, the essays—and so was attuned, long before “facilitate” was thrust in my face, to the mustering of words to conceal, like squid-ink, Assaults.

“Facilitate” just means that somebody—I suspect a sort of machine, having taken human form—is about stealing from me.

Next, not too many years later, came “mic.”

This, a product of knuckledragging. De-evolved ’80s drooler musicians who, perceiving the English-stamped imprint above one of the holes in their amps—”mic”—believed that to be the proper abbreviation for “microphone.”

No. There had emerged, decades before, a perfectly serviceable, and apt, abbreviation for microphone—”mike.”

I know that this—the fuggin amps—is where the pre-monolith “mic” came from. Because I had played off the same sort of goddam amps for years.

But this was the era of “punk.” When it was actually a Crime to, say, be able to play your instrument.

Once, I recall, when reviewing a punk band, I made the mistake of observing that a woman had mastered the guitar.

When my piece appeared, she was summarily heaved out of the band. Run out of town like a three-legged dog. While letters flowed into the paper suggesting that I be lynched in the County Square.

Similarly, familiarity with the English language was considered so “uncool” that anybody who even spoke of such a thing needed to, at the very least, be dropped down a well.

Thus, “mic,” drooling, knuckles dragging, displaces “mike.” So that, today, imbecility and illiteracy has so overrun the land, that, now, these days, “mic” is considered the appropriate abbreviation for “microphone.” While “mike” makes the majorly portion of English-speaking humans just scratch their heads.

“What dat mean?”

And I—I, am a man without a language.

For, to this day, whenever I encounter “mic,” in any piece of writing, I immediately turn the page: that piece is dead to me.

There are many more such examples. But I will not bore you with them here. For no one likes to listen to an old man, shout at clouds.

However, in an attempt to try to coerce you past the squiggle, I will say that, therein, lies fevered jeremiads against two word-formations that have metastasized across the nation, since the re-election of the black man: “pivot,” and “fiscal cliff.”

“Pivot” is, to me, a word that does not refer to human beings.

Fewer words are so cold and contrived and awkward and mechanical.

A robot may pivot. But not a flesh-and-blood human being.

I loathed the word when it was invoked, Lakers-era, to reference a move in basketball. A move that rendered humans mechanical.

“Pivot” is a machine place. A place less than human.

Today we hear, in the second term of the black man, that the United States has decided to “pivot” towards Asia.

What this means is that Al Qaeda and various other associated Crazed Brown People have become, both to the American people, and to the Masters Of War, boring.

And so there must be a new Menace. And, lo, China, already identified, more than a decade ago, pre Atta-into-the-towers, as the Next Menace—China shall serve quite well.

And so all the creaky robots, they shall pivot—ships steaming, planes flying, spies snooping—towards frowning darkly, upon the yellow man. As well as the brown man.

From the nation presided over by the black man.

Wonder why his hair got gray so fast? Wonder those poisoned-blood bags under his eyes? Wonder the wrinkles? The parchment skin?

Wonder not.

Kabuki. Not his. But he is, fingered, as Director.

Jackie Robinson died, for Americans’ old and in the way sins. So will this man.

And so, we arrive at “fiscal cliff.”

Absolutely totally important complete bullshit.

My colleague—so sorry, but she’s a genius—observed that, in that brief post-coital period, following the vote-returns November 6, already The People, right and left, were ginning up, fight-or-flight, to get Extremely Concerned, about This, That, and The Other.

They could not live, these people—right or left—unless their hair was actually, continuously, on fire.

A student of brain science, my colleague, she perceived that, especially there on the intertubes, but also on radio and TV and in the treesheets, there was happening an addiction thing, an atavistic fight-or-flight deal, where people developed a serious jones—where there must, always, blooming from out of them, come some sort of Outrage, over which they could in turn express their Outrage.

And so, though one might reasonably expect that, after the election returns November 6 at last arrived, there might be at least a bit of a respite: no. Instead, the lizard-brain fight-or-flight had, by the very next day, or at least the day after, moved into Warp 10 ululation about: (1) the pee-pee of David Petraeus; (2) the nimrodness of Israel; and (3), the Doomsville of the “fiscal cliff.”

And so, while prior to the re-election of the black man, there was little discussion of any “fiscal cliff,” upon his re-ascension, “fiscal cliff” became all there is.

New heroin. Into the veins. All we hear about. Avid. Always. To feed the jones.

As see, here, this chart, tracking the these-days mention of this “fiscal cliff” heroin, as compared to the 2010-2011 “debt ceiling” heroin. No comparison. The jones. Heavier. Moving. More extreme. All there is.

Excuse me. Needful here, to shoot up.

The “fiscal cliff” thing is about money. Which means I can’t take it all that seriously.

Money is new: invented only in 7000 BCE.

And now, today, almost over.

More than five times as much money as exists in the world, is currently owed in debt.

That is not sustainable.

Eventually the humans will see this.

Once the humans ate LSD, and looked at their hand, and saw right through it. So too will they look at their hand, with money in it, and see right through it.

Money is over; money is done.

The final manifestation, before we swirl up and out, will be the money, with my lover’s face upon it.

I don’t care if that makes sense to you.

For money makes no sense. And I make more sense than money.

In this being—these beings, alpha and omega, terrestrial and extraterrestrial—there is no pivot. There is, instead, only love.

That there is this nonsense now, about taxes and Medicare and Social Security and debt limits and reserve currencies, as the American Century sinks, as is its rightful fate, beneath the waves—in the histories, when they come to be written, all of these will be minor matters. As compared to how many humans became to walk upright. In love.

(see, with, like, cool illustrations and stuff, red)

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Comment Preferences

  •  T&Red! (9+ / 0-)

    This dish must be savored so I'll be back later. :)

    866-OUR-VOTE!!(866-687-8683) Lyndon Johnson: The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.

    by JoanMar on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:18:59 AM PST

  •  Dude.... (7+ / 0-)

    ...how did you hang around the punk rock scene and stay this uptight? Language changes and evolves: the claim that any particular form is the "correct" one and that other forms are "wrong" is at best, a thoroughly subjective value judgement, and at worst, a vehicle to disguise and legitimize prejudice: "THOSE people don't talk correctly. You know THOSE people. What makes the way THEY talk incorrect? Because it's not the way WE talk, silly!"

    Now, that being said, I agree with you 100% regarding money. Money is an idea. We made it. We can unmake it. When it comes to money, the human race has collectively committed the sin of reification (treating something abstract as though it were real). We'll figure it out sooner or later -- at this point, probably sooner.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:37:43 AM PST

    •  here's (8+ / 0-)

      my punk story. A punk band wanted to assassinate "Freebird." A worthy goal. But to truly accomplish that objective, they had to first learn how to play it. Before destroying it. The gal I praised as knowing the guitar was the only one who attained that place. And was, as a direct result, summarily heaved out of the band.

      Just as I once worked on a newspaper for a guy who didn't know how to fucking spell. He would constantly cry that Shakespeare took all sorts of liberties with the language. Which was true. But, as I told him, he, like Shakespeare, needed to know the Normal, before he tried to venture beyond it. Shakespeare veered intentionally. This clown plunged into the ditch from ignorance. There's a difference.

      I had a problem with punk from the get-go, because I want from my music beauty, magic, passion, and grace. Eventually, as in the SF-punker tune below, the best of those folks (see for another instance The Clash) came around to my place. ; )

      •  another one, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eataTREE, Avila, sofia

        from the same band, where they out-train even Woody Guthrie.

      •  The Clash achieved two kinds of greatness (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eataTREE, Avila, JoanMar, blueness, poco, aitchdee

        (well, many, I think they're the Beatles of punk - they devoured the form, and broke out in every direction, as the Beatles did with pop, and Led Zep with heavy metal).

        1) They were so committed in spirit that their 1st LP was a classic even though they could barely play their instruments. Witness their gutter re-invention of Police & Thieves. They found the truth that other band was imitating when they kicked out their competent guitarist.

        2)They didn't get stuck there. They kept devouring, and growing, until London Calling (The White Album of punk) grasped more excellence and ambition than punk allowed before that. And then Sandinista.

        "He who's not busy being born is busy dying."

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:24:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  most recent Wallflowers (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, blueness, poco, aitchdee

          and Mick Jones' collaboration, Glad All Over, is, in my opinion, close to a third kind of greatness, and continued reinvention. ;)

          •  I have no sound on this computer :( (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueness, poco, aitchdee, Avila

            But soon I'll get my own computer, and perhaps I should spend a few hours looking back through all blue diaries, since he picks such good music. I suspect that you do too.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 04:34:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  his is better ;) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueness, Brecht

              blueness likes lots of music i would never have heard unless he had told me about.  one i recall was U2 classic in a very interesting Caribbean merengue version.  i hope you get sound very soon and will share your favorites.  we seem to have a lot in common, no?  i am amazed and glad for the internets all over again. ;)

              •  That we do, and thank you, too - I'm happy to help (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Avila

                gladden you. But no more deleting of less than perfect diaries, please, okay? That's not cricket. If you did make them perfect, you'd only offend Allah anyway.

                For a crash course in my favorite music, here are 30-16 and here are 15-1 of my 30 greatest Rock Double LPs. Alas, less than half the videos I linked to two years ago still work. Yes, I'll have to write some more Rock diaries soon.

                "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                by Brecht on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:37:44 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  not cricket (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brecht

                  hahahaha!  i so love it.  Capote?  off to check these lists. ;)

                •  Brecht (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brecht

                  i had nearly forgotten something i once loved so much i listened to virtually nothing else, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew.  thank you x 10 zillion.  hotlisted both of these and some i haven't even heard of, but the others?  a stellar list.  and what a talent you have in writing about music.  i am even all the more happy to have made your acquaintance. ;)

                  •  Your kind compliments are so very sweet (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Avila

                    & I really need them - I have a huge ego to support.

                    Miles is such an interesting, ambitious, original character and musician. Around the time of Bitches Brew he told a bandmember that he didn't play ballads anymore because "he liked them too much".

                    I want to write more on music, in part, because there is a raw and wordless experience there. So, if I stay wide awake, I can avoid the glib lingo & the tired cliche. I can write about the spark & the epiphany of hearing freshly.

                    I come from a family of professors, and bookchat comes easy to me, like ballads to Miles. I want to say something new, in a voice of my own. Also, I'd like to edit like Teo Macero.

                    I'm very happy to have made your acquaintance, too. We gotta be careful, though. If we keep chatting like this, we'll be friends before we know it ;~)

                    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                    by Brecht on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 03:33:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  An aside... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, blueness, poco, aitchdee

          Don't know whether you've ever heard the original by Junior Murvin. The song was written and performed by him in 1976. Word is that he wasn't particularly impressed with the version done by The Clash.
          I prefer Junior's version, btw.

          866-OUR-VOTE!!(866-687-8683) Lyndon Johnson: The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.

          by JoanMar on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 03:31:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I would amend this only slightly in re usage: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eataTREE, JoanMar, blueness
      the claim that any particular form is the "correct" one and that other forms are "wrong" is at best, a thoroughly subjective value judgement
      I would say: the claim any particular regularly used form is the correct one and that other regularly used forms are wrong.

      There may be more than one correct usage.  This does not mean that there is no such thing as an incorrect usage.  If nobody knows what you mean, you're saying it wrong.

      (The spelling "mike" is still alive and well in some circles, so far as I am aware.  This does not invalidate the spelling "mic", nor vice versa.)

  •  Being more than old enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, Mnemosyne

    To be shouting at clouds, "mic" was and is the proper term.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:53:09 AM PST

  •  I have to tip you (7+ / 0-)

    just for that version of Under The Milky Way.

    Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

    by Debby on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:57:04 AM PST

  •  Tipped and reccd for Van Morrison (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, Brecht, Avila, aitchdee

    Your link lead me to the entire hour & a half performance at
    Montreaux. Some pretty amazing performances by the musicians. Van at Montreaux

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:01:10 AM PST

  •  How about.. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, Brecht, Avila, poco, aitchdee

    referring to cats as "pooties", or hide rates (HRs) as "donuts", or worse "d0nuts" (shudder).    I've never really minded the pootie thing, but since you mentioned it I've developed a real distaste for calling a hide rate a "donut".    When I see it I wince.   That means I wince quite a bit around here.  

    I've never had a problem with the word, facilitate before.  In fact I use it from time to time.   I consider it one of my "big words".   I hope you haven't ruined that for me as well.  ;)

    •  "pootie" (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sofia, Brecht, Avila, poco, aitchdee

      is anathema that comes from a literal redstater (PhillyGal) who invaded this space and smeared all our cats with that hideous name. Though she is now long gone, her insufferable "pootie" remains.

      "Donut" is a relict of the avid uber-troll MajorFlaw and his various sidekicks.

      The words "pootie" and "donut" cause bile to back up into my throat, and I cannot rec, or even truly read, comments that contain them.

      Because you are Good, sofia, I don't mind if you "facilitate."

      ; )

    •  these (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, blueness, poco, sofia, aitchdee

      exactly, sofia.  

      "donuts" - always cringe-inducing.  (aside from the reference, i despise deliberate, trendy typo use.)

      "pooties" - i remember the origin, but still, reflexive aversion.

      "spinning doom" - self-explanatory.

      "RK**" - flinch.  no doubt my own sick sense of haha, but the immediate association is one of needy Adult Baby overcompensation.

      "indefinite detention" - alliterative ipecac, the shrill tinfoil text of muy pollo loco, especially in combination with "drone" or "NDAA."  the new trutherism with none of the original sazon or passion.  one could go on, to crib from Hitchens, and indeed, one does go on, but only briefly here in the Donut Shoppe.  if i heard the words spoken, a breathless delivery, almost la Marilyn Monroe, one is certain. ;)

  •  Lots of nonsense now...... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, Brecht, Avila, JoanMar, poco, aitchdee

    Thanks for the music...and the message.

    Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

    by princesspat on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:43:19 AM PST

  •  You think so much. And feel so much. It must hurt. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, blueness, poco, aitchdee

    I enjoyed your sound and honest rage.

    Orwell had no bullshit, just common sense raised to a higher power. Been reading his essays recently. Politics and the English Language, of course, is implicit in your text.

    His essay on Dickens is some of the best criticism I've seen. There's an awareness of class, of psychology, there is really a deconstruction of Dickens's work, way ahead of its time, with zero pretension. Orwell just read Dickens thoroughly and carefully enough to see further into him than anyone else could.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:36:30 AM PST

  •  I do love that song (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, blueness, aitchdee

    and this is a gorgeous version of it.  Thank you!

  •  dint ump 2 aim unclusions dis time but o key/doke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness

    consider these terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout famine, acceptance of nature

    by renzo capetti on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:28:00 PM PST

  •  i see your fiscal cliff (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, blueness, aitchdee

    and will raise any and every work of Lynyrd Skynyrd,  mi abejo de miel.  play that dead band completamente.

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