Monday, July 25, 2011

Such a jerk

Come on in and enjoy some pumpkin seeds.  So tasty.

So I realize I haven't written much lately, except some mostly depressing and annoying self-involved crap, and I realized, 'Wow, I must be such a fucking downer.'  So I went out and had fun this weekend.  Two fun larps, lotsa fun socializing, getting to hang out with a new friend in a situation that wasn't virtual or solely game related.  Was a great time.  Of course, I also managed to piss a few people off but hey, without controversy what else would I be good at?

Also have realized that, besides the crappy parts, there are some rather good parts.  Like my day today, it went super well.  It made me realize that I'm actually valued in a lot of areas that I didn't think I was.  And I started to think about the jobs I was now applying for, and what the pay in those were like, and wow.  Life is certainly changing because of that piece of paper.

But the one thing I've been thinking about is a little flare up that happened recently between a few friends.  And it's something I've personally been thinking about a lot lately, and it has to do with Richard Dawkins.  I'm not a fan of the guy but I've never actually sat down and explained why I dislike his writing.  So, over the next little while, I think I'm going to pull out the points that bother me about Mr. Dawkins.  There may be a lot of things that folks will dislike about what I have to say but before I get into it, I want to make it perfectly clear that while I disagree with a good deal of the how of what Mr. Dawkins writes, I very rarely disagree with the why.

To lay a little ground work, here goes.  I will, over the next little while, demonstrate how I feel Richard Dawkins writing is divisive, damaging, and overall a detriment to any useful dialogue that could happen to further his goals.  I recognize that one of the major points within what he is attempting to do is to create a rallying point for atheist thought and foster community, however he's doing it in almost an exact replica of fundamentalist dogma.  In fact, his response is just as dogmatic as it is based on false assumptions, and at times rather weak and selective academic work.  In fact, there are quite a few parallels between Dawkins and another writer who takes dogmatic arguments and reverses them to create divisive work, and that is Tom Flanagan.

to counter point this I will make reference to a rather great writer, Douglas Adams, who wrote a number of incredible articles on atheism that I found to be perhaps the best rallying points and community based ideals that might further Dawkins' goals without the open hostility the dogma he is attempting to create.

But here's the kicker, in the end, the one thing that should be remembered is that this is an academic exercise, not a personal attack.  Nor is it an attack on any who enjoy Dawkins' work.  It is meant to create a place for dialogue so others can understand where the differences matter and where they don't.  And to make sure that a wider community does not need to be split apart due to false assumptions or misunderstandings.

P.S.  The Such a jerk is me, not Dawkins.  Thought I should clarify that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Come on in and enjoy some veggies.  Gotta get a little more in shape, maybe lose some wieght, time to kick some ass with the football, yeah!

As is already apparent, I love football.  LOVE.  IT.  SO.  MUCH.  And again, I'm coaching for the RMF Mounties and dayum, we got a great looking team this year.  I'm thrilled to once again have the privilege to be the o-line coach and oh good goodies, we got us another super cool otherworldly offense.  I'd tell you about it, but it's a sooper sekrit thing and all that, y'know how it is.

So here's the thing.  I love coaching, for all kinds of reasons, ones I've shared.  What do y'all love to do?  What makes your lives feel complete and enjoyable.  Share, talk among yourselves, I'm gonna go draw up all kinds of Xs and Os and squiggly lines.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I know

Come on in and watch as the smoke forms words and those words form feelings and those feelings reflect on the soul.

Plugged In

Hollow life prepackaged for purchase
As meaningful as quarters jammed
Into an arcade game
Flashing lights creating a new reality
Flat images, two dimensional
Moving side to side in a dance
Of slow sliding death scrolling
Across a bar made of light
With little else beyond the
Repetition of joystick and buttons
Until you win or lose.
And shove in more quarters.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time for a prayer

Come on in, grab some real estate and pass around the bowl of veggies.  Enjoy the weather, the beauty of summer, the peek of life and the struggle for life that goes on around us.

I thank the Grandfathers for the wisdom to understand more than myself.  The ability to step outside what ever perceptions are allowed to me and see the world from new ways, to crawl out from my own limited view and spy the vast span of existence for a brief and baffling moment.

I pray to you, those of you that walk beyond your path, the ones left behind and the ones chosen to stay, that you may illuminate the way for those of us still here, wrestling with the demons and difficulties of day to day existence.

I pray that the ways of understanding, of tolerance, and above all, sensibility, can flow into those around me who have found conflict, so that they might resolve the issues around them in a way that will both enrich them and allow them a broader understanding.

And I thank all my friends, from old to new, for their beauty, strength, differences and difficulties, and want them all to know that no matter the circumstance, I will never ever stop loving you.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Come and grab a stump, the weather is so nice, I've moved the fire to the entrance and we can sit beneath the starry sky.

Driving along the sunny streets, gorgeous weather locked away from me as I spent my day locked into a large building so I can make a living, I let the smells of summer rush into my wide open window and try to shake away the depressing problems of my day.  I have to breath deep and slow, the urge to let the tears rush down my face is barely contained.  The only reason I don't is the emotional vapour lock that has decided to turn my usually rather sharp mind and senses into a locked room where the only thing to do is to stare at the failures plastered across the walls.

I can't help it.  I turn over in my mind why she left.  Why she can't see the good and only the bad, the bad that possessed me in the moments of my near death.  I beat myself up over how badly I've done things.  The friends who claim me insane.  The ones who only tolerate me out of a sense of past loyalties.  The ones who no longer talk to me because of the way I've treated them.  and let's not even get into the various folks that would probably lynch me given the chance.

I watch as the sunlight flashes off the hood of the car, and think of all the different possibilities, the different time lines that could have happened, had I just learned a bit sooner.  Actually, let's be honest, a lot sooner.  I made the same mistake again, I walked into something that would never work, I walked into a relationship that would never succeed.  I laid myself out, and let myself fail because I just couldn't find the right way to be a real human being.

So as I passed the happy people enjoying the weather I thought of all the things that had led me to this exact moment.  And in truth, I found that only one thing mattered.  The two of you. The two things of perfect potential.  Two perfect beings still waiting to be raised above what ever small damages might be awaiting.

I pulled the car over to the curb, and got out, watching you run around the small park, chasing a small bug, I saw your older sister, standing aloof, her phone clutched in her hand as she texted some person about what was going on, and I suddenly smiled.  I walked forward, an arm slung about the eldest, and as you saw me and yelled 'Daddy!' rushing to me, I flung my arms wide.  I clutched you, I held the small body, no more than 30 kilos of weight, yet an entire world of potential waiting to be unleashed.  Your sister, older yet on the verge of adding to that potential, filled with her own about to burst upon the world stepped forward and graciously allowed a hug among father and his daughters.

The world again regained its balance.  This was right and whatever else may come, these moments, moments of pure potential, they were all that mattered.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pass Interference

Come on in and enjoy the beautiful weather, the gorgeous wind that blows through the night, entering the mind and bringing with it sweet smells.

On the wind I can smell a soft summer night, one that promises rain, a deep earthy smell, mixed with that near ozone smell of high voltage hiding in the sky.  I remember a similar night, walking along the street, hand in hand with someone special, laughing and splashing through the puddles.  Watching our clothes run slick against our bodies, tightening as we moved, spun, grasped one another, feeling the power of the rain, the lightning flashing above, hot sparks like our lips meeting.  The rain fell so thick it was like swimming, the emotions ran so deep I felt I could swim forever next to you, and let the world attempt to drown us, we would grasp the joy it afforded no matter the situation.

The smell has a sharp tint at night, one that brings out thoughts of fall.  I can feel the bite of the North Wind as it eases out of the sky after midnight, a promise of things to come.  I love the fall, so bright and bracing, yet I remember an argument.  One that flashed down like the wind on an October day, cutting into your flesh through the clothes, an argument that had no purpose, because like the fall, I was winding down, losing any warmth, finding only bitterness and bite, slashing about.  I was dying, falling down like the leaves, but with little promise of the regeneration of spring.  I was little more than wounded animal.  A rotten branch dying, ready to be cut from the trunk.

Yet I lived, without you, without the intensity of previous seasons.  I didn't die and learned of a new way to view the cycles, the promise of spring that must come after the desolation of winter.  Without you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Incidental Contact

Come on in and watch the smoke.

I was otuside some bar, having a cigarette, chatting with a female friend.  We were discussing the songs that should be banned from karaoke, "'Summer Nights,' that shit has GOT to go, and if it's busy don't be the douche that puts up 'Don't Fear the Reaper.'  Yeah, we all like cow bell but jeezus fucking christ, it's nine goddamn minutes long."  A few folks near me nodded and chuckled along with my companion.

And coming around the corner was what could best be described as a piece of human refuse.  And I don't mean that to be insulting.  I mean it as an honest description.  He was a human being who society had thrown away, finding him no longer useful.  Despite the summer heat, he wore a ragged sweater, once white and now some blotched mixture of gray and brown, over top of a black t-shirt.  His pants were corduroy, and some sneakers that looked like they were bought in 1982 were on his feat, high tops worn down to near nothing, patched with a mixture of black electrical tape and silver duct tape.  (It's duct, not duck.  It was original made to work on duct work, heating and what not in your house, but I digress...)

I doubted he was much older than me, but he was certainly smaller, couldn't weigh more than 130 lbs, and probably stood only an inch or two shorter than me, but he slumped.  He was hunched over as if compensating for some wound or pain.  His hair was dirty blonde with patches of gray, like the stubble that laid over his jaw. 

Worst were his eyes, he looked at me and I looked him right in the eyes, not as a challenge but as an acknowledgement, one human to another.  I tried to say to him without words, "I see you brother.  You are not going to pass unnoticed and ignored.  I care about you, because everyone needs to be cared for."  All his eyes seemed to project was pain, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual pain.  They said, "I need food, and water, and a place to sleep, but most of all I need a drink, or drugs, anything, something that will remove from me the knowledge of where I am and what I have to do to get by.  Anything, I need anything."

He stopped and hooked his head to the side rather than up to look at me.  He started to speak, but his voice didn't want to work right to start, he garbled something out, then coughed, and turned his back to me to spit in the street, and then spun around again to hitch his head to the side again to look up at me, "You uh.  You got any change?"  The voice was cringing, fearful, expecting this person who acknowledged him to abuse him like the rest of the world usually does.  I nodded and smiled, "Yeah I got some change."  I pulled about six bucks from my pocket, and held it out to him.  "You need anything else?  You smoke?"  I produced my pack, it was half full, and handed it over, I had half a carton in my trunk anyways. 

"Oh uh yeah .. I smoke."  He was staring at me suspiciously, and started to back away without taking the pack.  I slipped it open and took one out, lighting it up and handing the open pack to the beaten man, "G'head, I got more, look like you need it more than I do."  He nodded and snatched at the pack, taking a smoke out and about to light it with some matches.  My companion finally got the hint, she handed over her lighter, "Here take this."  He did and lit his smoke, "I uh... I should be going."  I nodded, not entirely in agreement, but to show he was free to do what he wished.

But before he could leave, I stepped forward.  I laid my hand on his higher shoulder, the one away from where his injury had to be.  Despite how gently I placed my hand, his whole body jolted, flinched and shook, expecting the worst, because the worst is all he knew.  I smiled at him, and let his body settle while I kept my hand on his shoulder, and said, "Take care of yourself, and please keep safe."

As I stepped back, his face twitched.  I swear he was smiling, but it was hard to tell with his face hooked over to the side like it was, "Yeah.  You too."

As he walked away, I listened to the arrogant words of the drunks outside the bar wanting to reprimand me for caring about another human being, "He's just gonna buy booze or drugs with that money, he's a lazy bum," or "Great, that's just going to encourage more of those filthy stinking homeless crazies to come by here expecting some kind of hand out."  Their words were filled with hate and contempt, a form of arrogance that bothered me so deeply, I wanted to turn around and scream at them, ask them why it was ok for them to go back inside and get drunk to forget their problems, but not ok for him just because he had no money or home.  I wanted to kick them so they hurt as bad as the broken man did.  Instead, I just kept feeling the love that I wanted that poor broken human being to feel and turned and smiled to the gathered mass, tossing away most of the smoke I had just lit, wanting to go back inside.  As I passed the two knots of people I said to no one in particular, "I hope no one ever has to feel what that man probably feels day to day.  But if they ever did, I hope someone will treat them like the human being they are." 

I shook it off as I entered, and let the butchered vocals of 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light' wash over me and let me forget my problems.