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(July 12, 2010)

         When I look out my window, many sights to see. . .When I look out my window, so many people to be. . .And it’s strange. . .---Donovan.

          Trixie the cat looks out the window a lot. I mean a lot. She parks herself half on my scanner, and half on the sill, folds her paws in “cat position,” because she can’t help it, and watches.
          Me, I try not to watch.
          Trixie watches the thundering garbage and recycling trucks as they screech and ka-boom, the cars that roll through stop signs, the hulking walker screaming profanities for undoubtedly good reason, the hostile and raucous little kiddies walking slowly home from the nearby high school, the psycho neighbor who impresses everyone as “such a nice guy.”
          I’ve seen it all before.
          Oh, I sometimes join her in watching a hummingbird, or a butterfly, or the squirrels playing on the roof next door. These are my lifelines to the real world, the non-human world, which humans have largely traded for television, Angus burgers, and Lady Gaga. So I have Trixie to thank for this reminder.
          Truth be told, and it seldom is, I can barely stand to look out the window anymore. For that matter, I can barely stand to go out among the humans. But don’t tell anybody, or they might get the wrong idea. Like I’m an agoraphobic or something. Hell, I like rabbit wool sweaters, as long as no rabbits are harmed in the making of this film.
          What’d he say?
          I’m sick of writing. I think it is of less consequence than farting. Farting, after all, has entertainment value, let alone arguable impact on global warming, especially when performed by cows. Especially when those cows are fed massive amounts of genetically modified corn in corporate slaughterhouses in order to fatten them up supernaturally so as to quickly be transformed into corporate Angus burgers. In order to be badly digested by corpulent humans who will then fart nearly as much as the corn-fed cows. (Billions and billions served.) Who will then become addicted to Prilosec and other antacid “medications” for temporary relief of minor heartburn pain. Which will fatten up pharmaceutical companies whose heads will unleash metaphorical oral flatulence in opposing any/all sane health care proposals by government.
          Writing is of no consequence. Well, if you want to stretch a point, nothing is of any consequence. We don’t know what we are, where we are, why we are, how we got here, where here is, or why dogs aren’t bothered by the smell of each other’s asses. But that’s beside the point. What is the point? Hell if I know. But I do know that writing only means something to the writer who might get an egotistical or monetary reward from the act, and to the reader who is stimulated to some intellectual or emotional response. That’s a pretty impotent closed system, don’t you think?
          Don’t you think? Now there’s a good all-purpose rejoinder to drop into conversation. But do it slyly, so the recipient is not aware of the double meaning. Just tack it on to the ends of sentences spoken to blowhards and dunderheads. They’ll never catch on. Doncha think?
          Yawn. Somebody just sent me a bunch of links about that shooting trial involving that kid on the BART train in Oakland. One of the links goes to Youtube video, where some dumb (white) transit cop allegedly thought he was going to “tase” the (uncooperative, black) suspect, but whoops---wrong gun! Suspect dead. And there were lots of links to angry “Black Panthers” saying lots of angry Black Panther things. Yawn. So sick of racial crap. It’s endless. A cancer on the society. It will never, never get any better. People write about it, and write about it, and write about it, and yack about it, and pass laws about it, and yack about it some more, and write about it and. . .it doesn’t ever change. I don’t want to know anymore.
          That’s really it. I no longer want to know. Anything. I know enough. Or as Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart and countless other actors must have uttered in B-movies, “He knows too much!” What is the point of knowing all the things you can possibly know? Party conversation? What is the point of arming yourself with all the news and commentary of the day? Schmooze ammunition? Okay, hey, have a ball. But I think people are spending way, way too much time knowing things, and jabbering about them, and knowing more things, and jabbering about them, than is healthy. I think people should be content with what they know, and mostly shut the fuck up.
          Knowing, talking, writing. All pretty much a waste of time. I mean, people write, and write, and be a villain. Which is to say, nothing is affected or changed much by writing these days. Everything is still acrimony. The Internet, in fact, has made acrimony official. The world is shrouded by the cacophonous yapping of irritated humans. Almost literally. Everyone has become a writer and jabberer, and despite a lot of very smart, very knowledgeable writing and jabbering floating in the ocean of verbal cyber-sewage, none of it changes the acrimony. In fact, the acrimony just gets more acrid. Whoops, got to be careful. That’s almost "writing."
          So stop the jabbering. I mean, what does “talk radio” accomplish? What, you are better informed? So what? What changes due to being better informed?  Everything not only stays screwed up, but it becomes exponentially more screwed up--- from all the talking. Here’s some reality: governments beholden to invisible corporations that usurp the environment to keep SUV’s rolling while millions of children die of AIDS and millions more are born to contract AIDS while space junk circles the earth and women are stoned to death and whales and dolphins suffocate in Gulf oil and futile wars are fought out of lies and paranoia and incomprehensible greed and banks pay billions in bonuses while skilled people who have worked long and hard can no longer get jobs. Do you think that being informed, and jabbering, and writing, will change any of this?
          Pardon me while I make a sound like a dying rooster.
          Perhaps you think I am being facile, or a reasonable facsimile. Well, all the jabbering and writing that took place before BushCheney’s Iraq invasion did nothing. It was widely and definitively reported that there were no real grounds for invasion. Yet the largest protests in world history did zip to stop it. That’s about as compelling an illustration of the futility of “discourse” as I can conjure.
         Whatever power there was in jabbering and writing has been rendered inert by the Internet. “Marginalized,” as the popular expression goes, if not trivialized. If everyone is a jabberer and a writer, who is listening and reading? Other writers and jabberers. Who, in turn, will be prompted to write and jabber. No one’s right if everybody’s wrong, to quote Buffalo Springfield.
          The media, the mass-produced/dumbed-down/force-fed “popular culture,” the demographers, the marketing rapists, the avatars of political correctness, the hustlers, the "icons," the “entertainment industry,” the supragovernmental corporations---they all have a lock on global everything. Children---babies, almost---are programmed by “popular culture.” Primed to accept the brought-to-you-by reality, primed to consume. How hilarious is it that “individuality” and “self-expression” have been co-opted by corporate mass-marketing? Want to express yourself, kiddies? Get more designer shoes, get more tattooes---just like everybody else. Definition of that monolithic marketing phenomenon, “cool:” conformist. Try substituting conformist every time you say, or hear someone say, “cool.” It’s all a done deal, a rigged game, a Pavlovian orgy, and it isn’t likely to change, no matter how much jabbering, no matter how much writing.
          Everything is a forum for everyone to run their little games, mostly. That's about all. From pundits to presidents to Prince to BP.
          But you just ignore me, now, and keep smiling, and keep tuning in that KPCC and all other important talk shows full of important topics hosted by important people so you can be better important informed! Know the minutiae of all those important issues that have no direct impact on your life whatsoever, and that you are absolutely powerless to change! Get informed about Iran and Israel! Get informed about illegal immigration! Get informed about Afghanistan and Hezbollah! Argue about it all with friends! Get that important “dialogue” going so you can know what is going wrong with the world, or your community, in order to have exactly no effect on it at all!
          It’s really a lot like soccer, or football, or as the entire bozo planet now pronounces it, “foop-ball.” People run around like mad and try to control a ball without using their arms and hands. (Now there’s a humorous idea for a sport.) Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of every foop-ball match consists of this ridiculous, chicken-without-the-head bloogledoogle. Fleegledeegle. When a goal is scored---an analogue of change!---it is just shocking. This, of course, is why people love sports. There are definitive changes, and real outcomes.
          And so, as the west sinks slowly in the west, I leave the looking out the window to Trixie the cat. She likes it, bless her. Yes, it’s quite a show, to her eyes, judging from the hours she spends watching. Me, I’ve seen the show. I’ve done a lot of writing about it, too, though hardly as much as many writers. Yet I’ve learned something that many other writers either don’t learn, or override with drugs, booze, ego, or paycheck: there’s no point. What's more, the more I think, and the more I am informed, and the more I write, and the better I write, the less peaceful I become. I’m in favor of peace on earth, so you see, my contribution must be. . .less writing. Maybe no writing! That’s it. What is the greatest thing I can contribute to ongoing “discourse?” To quote Edwin Starr in the great song, “War”. . .
          Absolutely nothin’!

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