Monthly Archives: March 2020

Green Tambourine

I have a very, very small pot habit. I can make an eighth last many months. I live in Augusta, Georgia currently, far from the carefree regions of the west where people are waking up and turning on to the best marijuana humans have ever produced. Still, some quality bud is making it here. It has the same general effects with varying strength. I think I’m smoking indica, rather than sativa which is what I’m accustomed to. Experts say that difference is not necessarily what makes one strain lock you in your chair and one makes you want to leap out of it…the type of shit The Breakfast Club got into or something.

Anyway, this stuff I’m smoking right now is a locker and a mind eraser, really strong too. I have only had the pleasure of using what I’ll call “euphoric” (not enough of a good word since all pot smoking is euphoric, I guess…”up”?) pot a few times, the type sativa is claimed to be-once in my twenties, and a bag or two at the beginning of the pot boom in Colorado ten years ago (I’m 48), about the time I was also slowly losing my grip on reality due to bipolar disorder. I got it from a girl who asked me if I wanted a head high or a body high. I asked for the body high. Wow, people. It was like a different drug altogether; I overflowed with energy, no loss of functionality, no being stoned. All the insight without the paranoia. I could smoke it all day and do whatever I needed to do, no falling into a TV hole or what have you. It was like Jimi Hendrix wondered- I was not necessarily stoned, but…beautiful .

I miss that shit. I would actually move somewhere to get more of it. Or it would be weight on the scale if I needed to decide where our next move is going to be. The Chief and I know that the Augusta suburbs is not where we want to land permanently. There’s no problems here per se…there’s just no nothing, and that is a problem, I guess. And eight months out of the year, the heat is positively unbearable. You eat, sweat, try IPAs, work on a belly, get diabetes and die (PS: The Godfather Of Soul made downtown his stomping ground back in the day, so there’s a music pedigree to boast of so in fairness it’s not all “nothing”, it’s just perhaps that “something” happened before I got here). Now if you are a golfer or a racist, you are in Paradise. And I’m not either of those. So the magic of Augusta is lost on me. It’s lost on the majority of Augustans from the looks of it, but that’s another story altogether and not mine to tell.

Anyway, it’s been about two hours since I smoked, and I overdid it a little. It’s taken me this long to sober up some and use the English language a little more precisely. I’ve almost hit 500 words chatting with you about weed while I come out of my stupor, which was not what I was expecting to tarry on today. I fear I have told you a boring pot story, yakking about being high because I’m high. I don’t tell good stories in general, a regrettable weakness. Now, during some of the crescendos of my mania, that wasn’t always true-I had a great deal of acuity and flow that must have lain dormant for all of my life. I was fun at fucking parties for once. I wonder though- was that the pot or the mania? Both in concert? The prescription drugs I was on? Who even knows. Anyway, the acuity and flow and fun turned into wild, dangerous delusions that would would eventually result in a stay in a locked ward. Whatever I unlocked, there was a price. I pulled a kitchen knife on my wife (in defense, unwarranted) and that was the ballgame. Sounds like an interesting story, doesn’t it? Alas, I would have a bit of trouble piecing that time together. Maybe I can work up to telling it someday.

If you want to peek at my unfiltered decline into madness, see some of my words from 2010.

Anyway, all of you know I’m an atheist. I don’t like getting into philosophical discussions about it much, I’m comfortable lacking the guidance of the divine. For example, one of those churches with the clever, pithy marquee style signs is across the street from my development, and they’re batting zero selling something I need. Like this month’s marquee is about envy. Home base says I don’t have any, really, except that healthy envy like “I wish I could play guitar like that” or “I wish I could tell a story like that”. I don’t need saving from that, it gives me something to aspire to. Last month’s was about the gathering of material goods. I have a couple of music addictions. I like to collect it and I like to try and play it. To that end I have hundreds of LPs and CDs, several guitars and they are beautiful. I’m glad I own them and they sound fucking kickass. What’s the harm in feeling good about something you have? So far this church is doing a shit job telling me why I need Jesus.

And yet occasionally, there is that existential nag that it’s all for nothing, and I think that’s a problem stemming from living in a capitalistic society. It’s probably no surprise that the church is trying to warn me about the dangers of desires and products because that’s pretty much all that motivates this reality. Without them, an emptiness could come on. That’s when people get spiritual, I guess.

But instead of walking into church, I regularly remind myself what a kickass family I have assembled. It’s #1 with a bullet for sticking around. And to that end I have helped chart a new course for my name, a new generation of Battista nonbelievers who have no limits on who they are or what they want to do (just in time for the actual end of humanity-sorry, kids). The house is crawling with creatures to love and be loved by. I did good. I did not create evil, I don’t feel evil, much less guilty- what do I need church for? I offer kindness and mercy and assistance when I am out and about. I do the best to learn about my world while I have the time and do things to change what sucks about it. I feel like the rockstar I always wanted to be when I strap one of my stringed babies on. And I will never run out of chords or songs.

I’m a better Christian than a lot of Christians, honestly. Or at least I’m as good as the lot of you. What is my sin? I live reasonably well, especially after coming back from the brink of madness. Perhaps I could seek forgiveness for such conspicuous satisfaction amongst so much suffering in the world, but I’m not going to confess to God for that. After all, it’s his fault that things are so fucked up, lopsided and loaded. He should confess to us, frankly.

The pious are going to have to result to scaring the shit out of me but good if they want me. Which might be next month’s sign, because they are not above it under all their cheeky goodwill.

Safe American Home

There’s a lot of drama going on in the US of A.

We’re watching the Democratic establishment spit the irritant called Bernie Sanders out. C’est la vie. The Democratic establishment represents Democratic voters and they don’t need an insurgent with no respect for the machine that brought them to the dance. His viability ended with that dumbshit tweet. You don’t goddamn bite the hand so blithely. Biden didn’t have to lift a finger to bring Buttigieg, Booker, Bloomberg, O’Rourke, Klobuchar, and even Kamala Harris-the candidate who drew first blood on Biden in the debates-over to his side all because Bernie believes in his own hype.

Sanders supporters are agape and agog and angry at the wholesale updraft to the Biden campaign. They simply don’t understand American politics. One day, when they do, it will be a good day. I mean, they could have gone for Liz Warren, an actual Democrat with exciting and new policy ideas in a similar vein as Sanders, but unfortunately Bernie has nurtured something of a cult of personality as an auslander and many will throw their vote away to spite the process that did not nominate their anointed candidate. It is worth noting that no other candidate’s following does this withholding of a vote bullshit. I find it grossly privileged to do so. If you have been on this rock a few revolutions, you ask for a lot-that’s all well and good-but after you have fought, you settle for a little. Even Saul Alinsky understood this. It’s just poor tactics to bury your bullets. It doesn’t do anyone any good.

So: let’s talk COVID-19. We’ll ignore Donald Trump, because he’s golfing while this virus flies across the countryside, and when he’s not doing that, he’s trying to manage the crisis by lying about it not being a big deal. No one is listening. People are a little panicky right now, if the grocery store shelves are any indication. There’s rationing of Clorox wipes, Purell hand sanitizer, and Lysol disinfectant spray. I bought a can of wipes and some spray for the hell of it. People are genuinely scared that this COVID is coming for them. And who can blame them, stuck in an information vacuum?

Since even the fucking CDC seems tainted by Trump’s insistence on handling every crisis by the seat of his pants so he can get much needed adulation, I have had to resort to alternate information on who has COVID and where. I’m happy to say I found a great site for raw data like that. Johns Hopkins is compiling a visually striking case and fatality list. I go to see the location of the virus and I like to take an average of the estimated US population to the number of infected people…see what kind of odds I’m facing. I know that the incidences are much higher but you go with the numbers you know. I did it last night and we have one case in every 600,000 heads. This morning, the odds changed to 583,000 to 1, just to give you an idea of the velocity of this baby. President Asshole may not think this virus is big shit because we’ve only had 566 cases and 22 deaths so far here but the fact is we don’t know a damn thing about this virus from a biological perspective but we know a few things empirically: it’s exponentially contagious as all get out and it kills the vulnerable and we have no vaccine.

While we’re on the subject of coronavirus, let’s talk about the stock market tanking. Currently, the market is in a 5,000 point slump from the loss of consumers and producers due to the virus. It’s either a great time to buy, or a horrendous time to leave your 401k exposed to further volatility. This might be the big recession everyone’s been heralding; we shall see when things like earnings come out. The world’s central banks have emptied out the toolbox to fill the gap left by the virus’ arrival to at least keep the stock market bubble stationary. It did not work. It’s clear that there’s a fundamental rupture somewhere and the good times might be gone.

Something’s gone horribly wrong in the greatest country in the world. Perhaps all that is going on is that we are realizing we are just another country in the world. One thing is certain: we are not going any place special with the fucked up “leadership” we have right now.

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