Dry Land (Burning Man 8)

Roy Gillespie was on board the Coast Guard cutter Heron. He was safe in one piece. The EMT team on board had immediately hooked him up to an IV of saline to rehydrate him. He had been in and out of consciousness since being pulled from the waters of the Gulf. Several times he remembered thanking his rescuers and telling them emphatically that he was okay. The powerful thrumming of the cutter’s engines had a hypnotic effect on the completely exhausted roughneck and he felt himself slipping in and out of reality. He closed his eyes and heard the seabirds which followed the boat like a long lost kitchen.

Roy was dreaming now. He was dreaming of a beach in a realm without time. He was a seabird soaring along the shore. In the distance, with his sharp, precise vision he spotted a body laying in the sand. He circled, feeling a sense of the familiar with the body that lay there. He saw two grotesque figures emerging from the sand. Two demon like creatures had come up from the sand and gaped at the man who lay there sleeping. They seemed to be arguing between themselves. Roy soared in for a closer look. As he drew closer the demons started to flail their arms at him! They were warding him away. For what reason he could not guess. The Coast Guard cutter hit a patch of waves. With the jolt Roy woke up. He looked down at himself. He was in one piece but his head hummed. His vision was clear in his mind.

“That must of been quite an explosion back there sir.” Billy heard.

He looked up at the EMT. A young freckled face with aviator glasses looked down at him.

“Yes it was a blast. Just like in Kuwait. Did anyone else..?”

“Survive?” The EMT finished his question. “No sir you were the only one we found. The blast completely took out the platform. There’s a team there now still searching the debris.”

Roy rolled over on the pad he was lying on. He didn’t feel like talking at all. He couldn’t believe that all his friends were gone. Surely someone else must have survived. How could he be the only one? He drifted back off to sleep. Once again he started dreaming vividly. This time he was a small boy beside a campfire. He saw a group of men sitting around the fire. Beyond the flames it was pitch black darkness. He looked skyward and saw the stars as he had never seen them before. The fire sparked and sent up a shower of sparks that reinforced the stars in the sky. The men seemed caught up in a solemn discussion. One of them called to him. Again Roy woke up from a jolt. He sat up this time. The EMT was sitting on a bench nearby.

“How much longer…?

“Til we get to land?” Once again the crewman finished his sentence. “About twenty minutes now, we’ll have you home in no time.”

“Can I take this thing off?, I don’t like things sticking in me.”

“Sure, hang on.” The crewman stood up and gingerly knelt beside Roy. With swift precision he removed the needle from Roy’s arm. “Got some clothes for you here.” He turned around and produced a decent pair of jeans and a t shirt. Roy looked surprised. “Here put these on. An ambulance will meet you when we dock. I thought a guy like you would appreciate some real clothes and not some hospital gown. Keep ’em courtesy of the United States Coast Guard.” Roy saluted when he heard that. The crewman saluted back. “I figured you served. You seem like the type. Real calm like. My name’s Gabe.”

“Roy, Roy Gillespie.” Roy reached up his hand and Gabe helped him up. Roy was a little shaky and he leaned against the cabin wall. His head felt as if he was wearing a plastic bag over it. He knew the shock still reverberated through him.

“Well Roy it’s a pleasure to meet you and I sure wish it could’ve been under more righteous circumstances.”

Roy nodded. “You better believe it. Where we coming in?”

“Near the big easy Roy. We’ll be seeing you get to a good hospital. Doctors going to check you from head to toe.”

Roy nodded again. His vision was a little blurry. His neck itched a bit. He reached up and felt something around it. He followed it down. There on his chest was a gem. A peculiar medallion of sorts. It was the opal mobius. “What the …?”

“Must be a damned good luck charm. That’s all you had on with your long johns. You wouldn’t let it go even when we tried to take it off you.”

“I’ve never seen this before.” Roy managed to stammer.

“Sure thing. Just stay calm.” Gabe reassured Roy and held him by the shoulder. “Here we come in now.”

Roy clutched at the medallion and shuffled his feet following Gabe. Soon he was surrounded by a retinue of crewmen. They were applauding him. The Lieutenant had already brought the cutter to the dock with barely the slightest bump. An ambulance waited within sight. Gabe tried to help Roy onto a stretcher.

“If it’s all the same I can walk.” Roy said determined to get back on land. Gabe nodded and helped Roy to the ramp. Looking at the EMT’s from the ambulance Gabe said, “we’ve got him hydrated and he’s conscious. This guy is one tough hombre!”

Roy stood on his own and took a deep breath before the burly ambulance EMT helped him up and onto an awaiting mobile stretcher. Roy reluctantly lay down thankful that Gabe had given him street clothes. He’d rather have been going home.

“Let’s get this over with.” Roy said in a hoarse whisper as the ambulance doors closed.

Neuroscience and The Abyss

Is it possible that all the extrasensory electronic stimulation that as a post modernist society we are all increasingly exposed to are causing some members of the population to fall into a moral and mental abyss? Take the extremely disheartening and disturbing shootings that occurred this past week, which you are familiar with I am sure, and consider the fact that the perpetrator was at times consumed by a video game in which he vicariously killed other humans in a simulated combat game. It would appear and has been documented that such behavior leads to a form of hypoesthesia where an individual becomes desensitized to sensory stimuli to the point where the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. This leads directly to a form of deadly nihilism which completely replaces any fragments of feelings or moral code that remain in an already socially confused and alienated individual. As a society we need to be extremely aware of such dangers and the inherent ripple effect that violence has on ourselves and others.

Compare hypoethesia to its’ antonym a condition known as hyperthesia. This is a condition where the senses become heightened. A heightening of the senses as one was perhaps enjoying the wonders of nature. Would this not then logically lead to a form of empiricism? A state in which the very reason one would have to live would be the experience of such full and heightened awareness of touch and feelings? All the senses engaged at once instead of only the senses a video game could provide? Perhaps we should also be acutely aware of the lack of this state in so many of our lives. We have dangerously replaced nature with a poor facsimile. We should take care to recognize this shortcoming of humanities’ electronic creations and make concerted efforts to remedy the lack of nature in our lives. It has been shown that being outside in nature actually helps to lower ones blood pressure, all by itself. Certainly this wouldn’t work if one was being pursued by a wild animal.

This brings us to guns. Do human beings need guns to exist happily? Absolutely not. One of the beautiful advances of modern civilization is the very fact that one can exist peacefully without constant threat of death or pursuit of by wild animals as our ancestors had to endure. For the most part we can live in peace.  Sadly there are times when madmen seek to destroy this peace by blowing things up etc. Instead of emulating the violence that has occurred we should seek to sublimate such events. More video games that have less killing and more civilized behavior would be in order. We must learn to take care of each other lest we end up in a hell world of our very own creation.

“Maybe every other American movie shouldn’t be based on a comic book. Other countries will think Americans live in an infantile fantasy land where reality is whatever we say it is and every problem can be solved with violence.”                   — Bill Maher

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” — Isaac Asimov

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The Great Marching Plutocracy! Iraq Ten Years After

Let’s cut a blood soaked bargain,
And sell the bovine mass a war,
Never mind they’ll do the fighting,
We’ll make those patriots our whore.

Hate will fuel our terrible cause,
The truth we’ll put on tragic pause,
Heck we’ll bend and rape it,
Reality is cheap,
and Son you are enlisted,
Our orders you will keep.

March from house to house then,
Shoot them if they flee
Remember nine eleven,
Mad justice you will seek.

Burn the village, burn the town,
Dethrone the evil bastard clown!

And if you’re hurt perhaps you’ll bleed,
But that’s our motto and our creed,
All for profit and capitalist greed.

Couched in forced Democracy
The Great Marching Plutocracy!

Just ask our crooked bankers,
And our highbrow lawyers too,
Humanity is fodder, just fodder we can screw.

Don’t ask for help when you get home
Tough it out, you’re free to roam.

Never mind your nightmares,
Who cares if you can’t sleep.
It was not about your choices,
Numb that conscience, kill that creep!

The violence has won now
Mercy never stood a chance
It was all about the oil
And about the corporate dance.

You’ll get the bill for sure Son,
It’s never us that pay!
This is the devil’s bargain
And this hate is here to stay!

“Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.”                               — Donald Rumsfeld

“There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that’s just a fact.”          — Donald Rumsfeld

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Forget Reality this is Much More Important

Pull up a chair and set a spell there is a whole other round of reality coming your way this week in the news. Pay no attention to the media circus behind the curtain. It doesn’t matter that the Pope is resigning and he actually was not, common to contrary belief, fired by Donald Trump. There is also no truth to the rumor that the Catholic Church is beset by scandal and backstabbing infighting. Remember these men of God have forsworn their egos to serve the true Christ. Far be it for them to be guilty of the pompous sin of envy  and the filthy sin of lust. It seems as if they had not found a career serving God they could have just as easily pursued the noble professions of banking or lawyering.

Scandal is as scandal does and the merry go round continues in the fabulous world of beltway bloviating. Nothing new to report dear readers. Very little has changed politically. However, the climate is still rapidly changing. Oil companies are hastily trying to sell us on fracking and how extremely safe and bankable it is. (For them it is – they are certain to rape a tidy profit!) Also the calls for the Keystone Pipeline, a huge pipeline through the middle of the country to transport “shale oil” is causing a ruckus. Remember now you cannot have your cake and eat it too! We can’t burn up the world and grow trees at the same time. Make up your mind dammit.

Sequester this and sequester that, kick the can and let the fat lady sing. Let’s cut all the helpful programs because we still didn’t pay for that damn Iraq war we were sold by the warmongering cronies we were stuck with in the beginning of the millennium. Imagine a reality where those cronies accepted that responsibility and were actually accountable for their actions!? Who owns a huge chunk of that debt? China! Now we owe China some serious coin.  Meanwhile China is trying to hack our computers. Gee ya think they remember the Opium Wars and maybe they are still sore about that? C’mon fellas we were doing our best to be the most honorable pirates as sanctioned by God and the king! Hell don’t dare raise the minimum wage! We need division and an abyss. Let us have our walls and lawyers to hide behind. D.C. runs on lawyers, bad blood and empty rhetoric.

H.S.B.C. the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation has gotten away with murder. Not the first bank and in no way the last. Nothing new here however just another story about money getting in the way of humanity in the sense that humans are supposedly compassionate creatures. But wait are we really compassionate? Is that a reality or just something the Pope wanted us to believe? Some sugar coated Christian cake. An idealist version of a juvenile reality. No wonder the Pope quit. Was that a wolf with a suitcase full of money running down the road? Profit, not The Prophet, is God. Christ is for suckers.

https://i2.wp.com/behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles12/878305/projects/2946991/578f8145339fbed96972260b275305e7.jpg

“That weapon will replace your tongue. You will learn to speak through it. And your poetry will now be written with blood.” — Nobody, from Dead Man by Jim Jarmusch

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Neuroscience and The Abyss

Is it possible that all the extrasensory electronic stimulation that as a post modernist society we are all increasingly exposed to are causing some members of the population to fall into a moral and mental abyss? Take the extremely disheartening and disturbing shootings that occurred this past week, which you are familiar with I am sure, and consider the fact that the perpetrator was at times consumed by a video game in which he vicariously killed other humans in a simulated combat game. It would appear and has been documented that such behavior leads to a form of hypoesthesia where an individual becomes desensitized to sensory stimuli to the point where the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. This leads directly to a form of deadly nihilism which completely replaces any fragments of feelings or moral code that remain in an already socially confused and alienated individual. As a society we need to be extremely aware of such dangers and the inherent ripple effect that violence has on ourselves and others.

Compare hypoethesia to its’ antonym a condition known as hyperthesia. This is a condition where the senses become heightened. A heightening of the senses as one was perhaps enjoying the wonders of nature. Would this not then logically lead to a form of empiricism? A state in which the very reason one would have to live would be the experience of such full and heightened awareness of touch and feelings? All the senses engaged at once instead of only the senses a video game could provide? Perhaps we should also be acutely aware of the lack of this state in so many of our lives. We have dangerously replaced nature with a poor facsimile. We should take care to recognize this shortcoming of humanities’ electronic creations and make concerted efforts to remedy the lack of nature in our lives. It has been shown that being outside in nature actually helps to lower ones blood pressure, all by itself. Certainly this wouldn’t work if one was being pursued by a wild animal.

This brings us to guns. Do human beings need guns to exist happily? Absolutely not. One of the beautiful advances of modern civilization is the very fact that one can exist peacefully without constant threat of death or pursuit of by wild animals as our ancestors had to endure. For the most part we can live in peace.  Sadly there are times when madmen seek to destroy this peace by blowing things up etc. Instead of emulating the violence that has occurred we should seek to sublimate such events. More video games that have less killing and more civilized behavior would be in order. We must learn to take care of each other lest we end up in a hell world of our very own creation.

“Maybe every other American movie shouldn’t be based on a comic book. Other countries will think Americans live in an infantile fantasy land where reality is whatever we say it is and every problem can be solved with violence.”                   — Bill Maher

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” — Isaac Asimov

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween