Friday, August 29, 2014

New poem: PRODIGAL CHILD

the minister's sermon
on the parable of the Prodigal Son
was meant to create a force field
to hold back young parishoners
from a future of long haired rebellion
>
yea, the minister preached,
the brothers and sisters
standing in hallways
shouting at parents
(who shouted back)
telling them about
wanting so much
to be in control
>
control over
eating drinking smoking
believing in God
going to college
going to war
leaving hometown
for another country
if necessary
>
they are prodigal
they are wrong
and one day they will come home
beg for forgiveness
from God and man
get a haircut
wear sensible clothes
find a good job
>
I sat through the sermon
at the age of ten
wanting the church service
to end soon
so we could go to the drugstore
>
all through the closing hymn,
I thought of buying a small Coke
from the vending machine
near the candy counter

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The cruelty of anonymous website creators: from poets to Showbiz insiders.

Whatever one thinks of the outspoken columnist Nikki Finke--who had a print career and transitioned to the DEADLINE website, which launched a seismic shift of Industry trade papers VARIETY and THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER from daily newsstand editions to online--she doesn't deserve this kind of treatment: http://nikkistink.com/

Anonymity used for the purpose of shutting up voices one doesn't want to hear isn't heroic or courageous--it's more cowardly and small than the person(s) being attacked.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Henry Rollins' pathetic writings on Robin Williams and suicide.

After reading Henry Rollins' current LA WEEKLY column, I'm rather chagrined to admit I devoted a blog post to something he wrote weeks back on the state of Las Vegas in the 2010s.

I'm partially aware of Rollins' career as tough-guy actor--never bought Black Flag albums when he was the frontman, or the later Rollins Band albums and spoken-word recordings.

One good thing Henry Rollins did was to publish a book by Los Angeles poet Ellyn Maybe through his 2.13.61 small press imprint.

Ellyn's one of the nicest, kindest, most sensitive Major Poets in the Southern California community.

So, imagine my discomfort when I read articles excerpting Henry Rollins' "I'm going to take the blows for speaking out" cruelty at the expense of the late Robin Williams, his widow and three adult children.  I can also imagine the WEEKLY/VILLAGE VOICE conglomerate's glee over Rollins writing something Controversial that gives the LA WEEKLY (which went from Left to Right-leaning under the bad stewardship of Michael Lacey) some Worldwide Attention.

Let's look at one excerpt from Rollins' bilge; if you kill yourself and you're an actor/comic/writer/musician, your work is forever dead to Henry Rollins:
When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind. I have many records, books and films featuring people who have taken their own lives, and I regard them all with a bit of disdain. When someone commits this act, he or she is out of my analog world. I know they existed, yet they have nullified their existence because they willfully removed themselves from life. They were real but now they are not.

I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them. Their life wasn’t cut short — it was purposely abandoned. It’s hard to feel bad when the person did what they wanted to. It sucks they are gone, of course, but it’s the decision they made. I have to respect it and move on.


Link to the complete column (with the charming title "Fuck Suicide") is here:
http://www.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2014/08/21/henry-rollins-fuck-suicide?showFullText=true

Bidding goodbye to Henry Rollins as he takes his place on the bench alongside other folks like Gene Simmons (who also made a "suicides are weaklings looking for attention" type of comment about Robin Williams, but Simmons did back away from his toxic statement after members of the KISS Army objected) and Ted Nugent.  These are pathetic people who engage in verbal sadism/chest-thumping Superiority in order to keep outdated cartoon notions of toughness, "brutal honesty" and manhood alive for their won't-think-for-themselves fan bases.

Graphic example of this--Rollins' close to his Robin Williams/suicide column:
I have life by the neck and drag it along. Rarely does it move fast enough. Raw Power forever.

UPDATE: Henry Rollins later apologized: http://m.pitchfork.com/news/56440-henry-rollins-apologizes-for-robin-williams-criticism/

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Maureen Dowd on the state of the President.

Column by Maureen Dowd of THE NEW YORK TIMES about Barack Obama, titled "Alone Again, Naturally": http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/opinion/maureen-dowd-alone-again-naturally.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpHedThumbWell&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

A key passage from the column:
The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.

Almost everything else — from an all-out push on gun control after the Newtown massacre to going to see firsthand the Hispanic children thronging at the border to using his special status to defuse racial tensions in Ferguson — just seems like too much trouble.

The 2004 speech that vaulted Obama into the White House soon after he breezed into town turned out to be wrong. He misdescribed the country he wanted to lead. There is a liberal America and a conservative America. And the red-blue divide has only gotten worse in the last six years.
The man whose singular qualification was as a uniter turns out to be singularly unequipped to operate in a polarized environment.
 
His boosters argue that we spurned his gift of healing, so healing is the one thing that must not be expected of him. We ingrates won’t let him be the redeemer he could have been.




 

 

Monday, August 18, 2014

New poem: AND I AM TELLING YOU I'M NOT GOING TO FERGUSON.

The President triangulates:
Midterms
I don't want to rock the boat
Midterms
I'm already sending the Attorney General
Midterms
My presence in Ferguson
makes white bigots more bigoted
Midterms
It's a local situation there
Midterms
I don't want to risk showing anger
Midterms
I can't risk being seen as strident
in criticizing white policemen
for treating all young black men
as potential criminals
Midterms
I imagine myself going to
Michael Brown's funeral
and having someone on Fox News
compare me to
Tom Bradley criticizing
the verdicts for the LAPD cops
at the Simi Valley trial
for the beating of Rodney King
in 1992
Midterms
Let's all support
My Brother's Keeper program
and turn the page on this episode
Midterms
Polls
Midterms