We Are Not Alone

Give me that Olde Tyme religion
You know the kind
Orthodox, fundamental, unyielding, extreme
The stuff countries are made of
Wars too
Sometimes

I have been pondering lately
Our need for religion
So I decided to ask god

This was not unusual
I ask god many things
Sometimes I try to think
What god would say
In answer

Once in a while though
I don’t have to…

The answer came
Before I could even finish the question

Free Will

Everything humanity does
It does with free
will

You are all
One
one family

One people

Humanity

All your history
Is but a brief moment
In time
And already you have forgotten this


You look for ways to make
yourselves different
For reasons to disagree
And religion has been no exception.

You look to me
Call upon me
Pray to me

But it is not mine to say
What shall or shall not be
For
my gift to you has been
And will always be

Free Will

And in giving you this
I myself am diminished
And you
are empowered

For you cannot have both
Do not ask me
to explain man
Why does man need religion so?
Why this need
To worship me?

My own answer surprised me
With it’s brevity, depth, and quickness

I think it is because we are lonely

So do I, said god
And it saddens me
For you have not only myself
But also
Each other

Rather than embrace humanity
You embrace
such things as
Nationality
Ethnicity
Religion…

You don’t need me
You have each other

My response was immediate

I have long understood this
But I feel it runs deeper

As we learn to see
With your eyes
Hear
With your ears
Touch
With your hand

We find the universe to be
A vast unimaginable place
And we are so very
Very
Small

We are lonely
As a species

Besides your wisdom
There is no sounding board
No mirror
For us to hold discourse
To put our intellect
To the test

Not so
I marvel at man
Scanning the heavens
Searching the
universe
For intelligent life
While there are so many species
Right
here on Earth
As intelligent as you
Some perhaps
More
so

And you have scarcely acknowledged them
Other to enslave them
Or to hunt them

Some discourse indeed

Have you
even bothered
To learn how to communicate with them?

As you scan
the heavens for intelligent life
You are exterminating all traces of it
Right here on Earth

So you see
You are not
alone

But you will be


You will be

Happy Vonneguts Birthday

I'm a few days late with this post
But I am not at my computer as often as I would like these days

Kurt's Birthday was November 11th
A day we choose to celebrate as Veterans day

I remember the day as Armistace Day
And also Kurt's Birthday

As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and
mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen.

And then I had
come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for
them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results:
They were
doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the
reason Americans shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device
for ending short stories and books.

Why were so many Americans treated
by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial
tis- sues? Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players
in their made-up tales.
And so on.

Once I understood what was making
America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with
real life, I resolved to shun storytelling.
I would write about life.
Every person would be exactly as important as any other.
All facts would
also be given equal weightiness.
Nothing would be left out. Let others bring
order to chaos.
I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have
done.

If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the
literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us,
that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead. It is hard to
adapt to chaos, but it can be done.

I am living proof of that: It can be done.


Kurt Vonnegut - Breakfast of Champions

Zero and One

The first time I heard Laurie Anderson
I was working in my darkroom
I listened there
In the dark
my first reaction was

What the heck IS this?

It was a long composition and I started to come under it's spell

It was unlike anything I had ever heard on the radio
But this was college radio

My eight by tens were now mostly in the fixer
or the first wash trays
As the set ended and I listened to the DJ list off the tracks

Laurie Anderson
Oh Superman

I pulled out a felt tip pen and noted it on the darkroom wall

I went out the next day and purchased the album
Big Science

Yes on vinyl
Shortly thereafter I was in New York and photographs by Laurie Anderson were on display at some gallery in Soho, so I went to see them
I was impressed

This video, entitled Home of the Brave appeared on cable
I got to see Laurie right around that time
She came to Proctors, an historic theatre here in Schenectady.

She was amazing...






Listen to my Heart Beat



Sharkey's Night



Sun's going down.
Like a big bald head.
Disappearing behind the boulevard.
It's Sharkey's night.

It's Sharkey's night tonight

And the manager says: Sharkey?
He's not at his desk right now.
Could I take a message?

Hey, Kemosabe!
Longtime no see

He says:
Hey sport
You connect the dots
You pick up the pieces...

Well

I drove down to big DC
And I walked into room 1003
And there they were
The BIG Boys
And they were talking
Big... B
Little o
Little m
Silent b

They were saying
Lets teach those robots
How to play hardball
Lets teach those little fellas a little
Gratitude

Hey
Whats that big noise
Up in the sky?
Sounds like thunder...
Nope
Sounds like the 4th of July..
Nope
Wrong again

You know
It's just those angels walking
They're clomping around again
Wearing those big clumsy shoes

Deep
In the heart
Of darkest America
Home of the brave

Ha ha ha!
You've already paid for this

Listen to my heart beat

Rainbows come to play

On my office walls
On a sunny day
Sleeping
Sunbeams
Slowly
Shifting
Drifting
In a most inviting way
Rainbows come to play

Olympiad

For Lydia at Writerquake

During World War I conductor / composer Eugene Goossens asked British composers for a fanfare to begin each of his orchestral concerts.

This proved to be so successful that he thought to reintroduce the idea in during World War II for the 1942, 43 Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra season, this time using American composers.

He wrote to several American composers including Aaron Copland., suggesting titles such as Fanfare for Soldiers, or sailors or airmen.

Copland considered several titles for his contribution; including Fanfare for a Solemn Ceremony and Fanfare for Four Freedoms.

Much to Goossens' surprise however, Copland titled the piece Fanfare for the Common Man.

Goossens had asked for music that would provide a “stirring contribution to the war effort”
He was not prepared for the strength, power, and awe-inspiring majesty he was about to experience.

Upon listening to the piece he wrote back to Copland
"Its title is as original as its music, and I think it is so telling that it deserves a special occasion for its performance.”

The piece was given a showcase performance –March 12, 1943 at income tax time.

Eighteen fanfares were written at Goossens' behest, and were performed at the opening of each concert given by the CSO.

Fanfare for the Common Man is the only one which remains in the standard repertoire.

As you listen, remember that Aaron Copland wrote this magnificent fanfare
Not for the president – or any world leader
Not for any nobles or royals
Not for any Kings or Queens
Not even for the soldiers…
But for you


For all of us

Firewater

For Hopper and his firey rings











Escher







Zap

Part of photography
Is being in the right place

At the right time




The trick is
Making the place
You are at

The right place...












Sixteen Miles

These old stones


Were gracefully crafted


In the early 1920’s


In a huge public work


Laughingly referred to as


“Clinton’s Folly”





Mayor of New York City
Then governor of New York State
De Witt Clinton made this work happen.

People said it couldn’t be done
Connecting NY City
To the great lakes, the Ohio and Mississippi
It took eight years to build
And it got Dewitt Clinton voted out of office.

Six years later as the work neared completion
It got him voted back in again.
And rightfully so



Before the Erie Barge Canal was built
It cost about $67 US dollars to ship a standard bail of goods from the Atlantic seaboard to the continental interior.

After the Erie Barge Canal was built
It cost just $12 US dollars

This is what made New York City
The economic hub
Of the free world




The Canal was basically
A 500-mile long ditch
Filled with water from the Mohawk River
Which it follows across the state.

There were locks like this one
To raise and lower boats
From one level to the next.





In 1918 these old locks were abandoned, as the Mohawk River itself was flood controlled and “canalized” for navigation, to accommodate larger barges.

Most of the Canal has faded and worn away
But here…

You can still feel the pride
In the workmanship
Instilled upon these old walls





The barges themselves were pulled along by teams of mules.



The Mule would walk alongside the Canal on what was called a Towpath


Often the Mule’s owner walked with him



The average distance a Man and a Mule were expected to haul a heavily loaded barge in one day?


Sixteen Miles




Shifting Gears

The Old Nyskayuna Train Station




There was a time you could ride the train
From Schenectady to Troy
And all points in between
Right alongside the river


Train service on this line ended in the early 1970's
The tracks are gone - and there is a bicycle path there now
It is 10 miles (17km) from here to my home
(though I have not covered the distance by bicycle in quite some time)
This little train station is being restored

A simpler time
When you got a ride from the farm
In a horse and buggy
To this little place
And connected to the world
I wonder how many local farmboys
Stood in this room
Wondering what it would be like
In New York City
Gettysburg
Paris
Germany
Korea
Viet Nam

Images


Shakey Ivey







Spiney




A Rose for the Crow

Image inspired by Human Being
A dark Rose
On a dusty table
In the attic










Sacred



I don’t often speak
Of my dreams
At least
Not



Directly

Because to me
My dreams are sort of
Sacred…

Dreams bring
messages
And revelations
To me
Sometimes…

Often they are
relevant
And I share what I have learned
Freely

But the dream
itself…
Is mine alone.

That said



This dream
Has been on my mind lately
And so I’m gonna write about it

It was back in 2003
The build up to the Iraq invasion
I had this dream about two months
Before the war started
I had it again
Just days before…

It was dark
I am there in Iraq
Part of the invasion force
Friends of mine
Were there too
We weren’t soldiers
We were just
There

There is fighting going on
We are on the move
Everything is going our way
Racing to capture Baghdad

Almost exactly as it would go
Just a week or so later…

There were soldiers too
And suddenly
It was like one of those WWII movie sets
With burned out houses
And bombs going off
In the background

Fighting had broken out
The soldiers ran off
To engage the enemy

That's when I noticed

Something strange
About one of the soldiers…

No one else seemed to notice
And I have no clue why I did
But there was no mistaking it

He looked back at me
As he went running in
And in his eyes
I saw it

He was god

God went running into the gunfire
Started pulling out the wounded
Struggling, laboring
Then he started pulling people out of harms way
Children
Civilians

Herding them
Protecting them

Then he was rescuing
The failing Iraqi forces
Themselves
No gunfire dared to approach him
Shielding them with his body

This seemed to displease
The commanding officer
He began shouting
At god…

He was saying
“Whathehellisthatsonofabitchdoing?”

“You there! BOY!
Just What the hell are you DOING out there?
Aiding and abetting the enemy!
Why on earth would you put your life on the line
For an IRAQI?!”

And god said:


“What’s an Iraqi?”

Throwing Stones

This topic came up again today
And I just can't say it any better than this song


Throwing Stones
Grateful Dead

Picture a bright blue ball
Just spinning
Spinning free
Dizzy with eternity

Paint it with a skin of sky
Brush in some clouds and sea
Call it home
For you and me

A peaceful place
Or so it looks from space
A closer look reveals the human race
Full of hope, full of grace
Is the human face

But afraid
We may lay our home to waste


There's a fear down here we can't forget
Hasn't got a name just yet
Always awake, always around
Singing:
Ashes ashes all fall down

Ashes ashes all fall down

Now watch as the ball revolves
And the nighttime falls
Again the hunt begins
Again the blood wind calls

By and by again
The morning sun will rise
But the darkness never goes
From some men's eyes

It strolls the sidewalks
And it rolls the streets
Staking turf, dividing up meat
Nightmare spook, piece of heat

It's you and me
You and me…

Click, flash blade in ghetto night
Rudy’s looking for a fight
Rat cat alley roll them bones
Need that cash to feed that jones
And the politician's throwing stones
Singing:
Ashes ashes all fall down

Ashes ashes all fall down

Commissars and pin-striped bosses
Role the dice
Any way they fall
Guess who gets to pay the price?

Money green
Proletarian gray
Selling guns
Instead of food today

So the kids they dance
And shake their bones
And the politician's throwing stones
Singing:
Ashes ashes all fall down

Ashes ashes all fall down

Heartless powers try to tell us what to think
If the spirit's sleeping, then the flesh is ink

History's page, will be neatly carved in stone
The future's here
We are it
We are on our own
On our own
On our own

On our own

If the game is lost
Then we're all the same
No one left to place
Or take the blame

We will leave this place
An empty stone
Or that shinning ball of blue
We can call our home


So the kids they dance
And shake their bones
And the politicians, throwing stones
Singing:
Ashes ashes all fall down

Ashes ashes, all fall down

Shipping powders back and forth
Singing "black goes south and white comes north"

In a whole world full of petty wars
Singing "I got mine and you got yours"

And the current fashions set the pace
Lose your step, fall out of grace

And the radical he rant and rage
Singing "someone got to turn the page"

And the rich man in his summer home
Singing "Just leave well enough alone"

But his pants are down, his cover's blown

And the politicians throwing stones
So the kids they dance
And shake their bones
Cause its all too clear we're on our own
Singing:
Ashes ashes, all fall down

Ashes ashes, all fall down

Picture a bright blue ball
Just spinning
Spinning free

It's dizzyingThe possibilities...

Ashes ashes, all fall down
(Ashes ashes, all fall down)

Ashes ashes, all fall down
(Ashes ashes, all fall down)

Ashes ashes, all fall down
(Ashes ashes, all fall down)

Grateful Dead
©Ice Nine Publications - 1982

[?]

[Mesons
Fermions
Gluons
Leptons
Quarks
Up
Down
Top
Charm
Etc
…]

[Particles]
Turning on and off
Fading in and out
Conspiring to fabricate
Reality
They are social whimsical and rash
Playful pranksters
Measuring potential
Now you see me
Now there is no now

They play tricks
On time and space
And are to reality
Only an illusion

Or are time and space
The tricks
And reality the illusion?

But there ain’t nothing wrong with the city

I really don’t know what to say
News from New York City
Three cops
Fifty bullets
And no justice

Should I be outraged?

It seems like I’ve been in a state of perpetual outrage these last few years
I have many sides to me
City mouse, country mouse, just to name two
And when I say city…
New York was the town

My town

I walked it's streets
And knew it's people

And the special places

So although New York is hours away from me now
It is still a part of me
And I took the news hard

I keep hearing the song by the great Gill Scot-Heron


So I'll leave a verse or two.

New York City
I don’t know why Iove you
Maybe it’s because you're mine

Like so many others
I found it all to easy
To stand of at a distance and criticize

But there ain’t nothing wrong with the city
Just some people been wrong there like everywhere else

New York City
I don’t know why I love you
Could be you remind me of myself

I’ve been poked and criticized
I’ve been pushed off to the side
And I’ve been kicked
When I was damn near out
But I’ve always felt inside

Like New York city
I don't know why I love you
It's somthing inside of me I feel

New York city
I don't know why I love you
I don't know why I love you
But it's real

Time to come clean

In light of recent events here in NYS I have been spending some much needed time reflecting on my own personal record in solemn introspection
I’m sure we have all done things in the past that we regret and are perhaps morally questionable.
Who among us is above reproach or can honestly say that they have never broken a law or told a lie?

In that spirit it is also safe to assume that we go on living our daily lives, and that further infractions of societies mandates and common sense will continue to occur

And so at this time I must step forward and come clean regarding my own actions.
First off, may my family and friends forgive me for anything reprehensible they might find about this announcement
I mean them no harm and proceed with cautious trepidation, and hopefully they and the good people of New York will forgive me for what I am about to say
In light of these things I will just go ahead and come clean about my intentions.

And so with deep regret for any embarrassment this will cause those who know and love me,
I regretfully hereby announce my candidacy for Governor of New York

May the lord have mercy upon my soul

Thank you – and please donate heavily.

Bobbb Citizen of NY

Believe

Imagine
all it would take
would be for everybody
To simply
believe...

Waste less
Use less
Want less
Procreate less

and care more
about the world you inherit
and the one you will leave behind

This is the turning point
The tipping of the scale
The point of no return

Now
In our time

We are the ones who will decide
Whether we will establish
A sustainable relationship
With this planet that gave birth to us
And sustains us all

Or not

For it is now within our power
To preserve or destroy
This place we call home

If you are a believer in God, of any faith
You may rest assured
that he will not forgive you
for carelessness and neglect
of the very hand that feeds you
and protects you from the cold dark void

Ours and the next few generations
These are the people who will make this choice
We get to decide what the vision for mankind's future will be

Creationist, or evolutionist
who would deny the unique expression
of life on earth.

By chance, by design, or by both
The very fabric and substance of the universe
Has risen up through the conscious mind and body of man
To contemplate it's own existence

Surely we can give some thought as to our future as well

Imagine
all it would take
would be for everybody
To simply
believe...

Score Some Points...

Last night I was watching the news and they did a story on the new “Grand Theft Auto” video game release.
The commentator was expressing outrage at the excessive violence and immoral attitude of the game-play

He asked “Where else can you score points for murdering prostitutes, assaulting citizens, killing police, etc…”

Since the media chooses to focus on things like Brittney Spears and video games rather than the reality of war I feel compelled to answer this rhetorical question

I Don’t know about “points” but if you want to get credit and gain the admiration of your peers for raping and killing, for destroying families and property, and for displaying total disrespect for the laws of this country, or any other, Consider working for a mercenary team such as “Blackwater” and joining them in Iraq.

“Points” aside – the average pay = $1,200.00 / week – plus all the contraband you can carry after you plunder the property and corpses of your victims

Grand Theft Auto? – It’s only a game

Join the contracted militia if you wanna do these things for real – you will not be subject to Iraqi law or American law – so knock yourself out

The media won’t notice your crimes – and if they are pointed out to them they won’t even care.
Just don’t paint anything with pigments containing lead, propose to a celebrity, or get caught using steroids if you want to stay out of the limelight

Remember it is only immoral to pretend to rape, kill, and plunder –
In Iraq, its pure patriotism

Back for more? Possibly...

Ok so I took a year off - sue me

Sex, drugs and ROCK N" ROLL baby! -

Dig it?

I toyed around with moving out west - and took some time to track down one anonymous blog commenting jerk

Turned out to be the illegitimate daughter of David Eisenhower...

But she won't be troubling this blog any longer

So if I can find the time - I will post the goods again

Thanks for all the letters & Emails
Bobbb