Nature of the Beasties

 

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(Seen above) Some planetary bodies in our shared tiny solar system most humans on Earth do not know exist.

 

As we are glued to our spinning orb, equal in impact and same as effect, an ever-increasing menagerie of our species forges ahead in the name of raging inner issues, turf wars, and blatant self-gain. Biblically these are in the line-up of the seven deadly (7DS) sins. 7DS, no matter if mythologically fashioned, or social psychology of the collective non-conscious, you would agree 7DS is on the thrive curve – going up the bell shape of our human insanity, hatred, bias, avarice, stupidity, and ignorance.

 

I am proposing, as our multiplying-like rabbits population and mega projects (dams, cement cities, and continuous sprawl uglies) are tilting the Earth’s axis, so indeed, does the 7DS. This is not news.

 

My perch does not come up on Google Earth, because it is too remote. The birds (satellites) in their programming rule out the necessity to keep their geo-data current about little jungle Alfombra. When you purposelessly chose to live obscured (unseen by the matrix), advantages and other stuff magnifies. One’s compass realigns with the wild world as endemic nature accepts its newest gentle members into an indigenous eco-system. Costa Rica due to its inherent magnetics, three generations of natives living with no military and vast bionetwork, spits out human undesirables, including three presidents of the country arrested and convicted for crimes against the citizenry.

 

When I first became cognizant the peaceful CR biome as a whole practiced a Darwinian methodology, I laughed. In contrast to my homeland, a country riddled with immigrants, preppers, stoners, and neo-cons, the idea of an environmental consciousness capable of taking decisive action to maintain its wonders seemed ludicrous.

 

Then, in my incessant personality privation to find the underlying cause of stuff, I began to interview non-natives hearing their personal stories how they arrived – to stay – on our section of the mother ship. Another revelation in the data stream popped up. Costa Rica picks its ex-pats, even sorting them into geo-based micro-enclaves based on an essential value criterion.

 

My laughter went up on its own bell curve. As data arrived, the tales of plug pulling leaving behind grotesque consumerism to relocate, on purpose, were nearly fairy tales. Stories told about what happened to become residents of the goat world paradise, if not inspirational, where regularly too cool to believe. Someday, I hope to provide a compendium of these adventures. With the ex-pat accounts, overlaid with the happiest Latin culture on the planet (my theory it’s the altitude and waterfall infused airs), a distinct pattern emerged.

 

Inside this arrant design was a vortex, alive and spinning, with no help from humanity.

 

After too much forced musing, I let go – to allow the concept to gestate in its timeframe, not mine. Meta-ideas (creative considerations) demand space and time, some, more than others, driven by a fundamental inventiveness, or because we keep messing with it.

 

My m.o. is no different than any other intense intellect Swiss-cheesed with a plethora of integral and cranky awareness. We, you and I, plug in the ‘data’ expecting intuition (the third eye) to eventually affect its message of fresh pieces to the puzzle. Occasionally, we begin the voyage with intuition, but normally not. It may sound mechanical in demeanor or visualization, but its 180-degrees from such a dimension. Could be its the healer’s way of mystery through an open heart, I dunno, I am a birdwatcher not a self-proclaimed shaman.

 

Sanctity is the watchword. Inviolability requires its own temple of comprehension and concentration, then once purity is assured it lifts our consciousness – in spite of our rigidity, self-absorption, and everyday bullsh*it.

 

We are human, plagued by 7DS, so sacrosanctity is like a mirage in the White Desert of ailing Egypt. Crossing in our caravan looking for direction much of what we perceive on the horizon are profane fakers of sentience. They glisten and dance attracting our wakefulness but in reality are like a beautiful faux-painted1720 fireplace surround. Until you put your hand on the mantle and feel no stone coldness, you believe it to be made of imported marble.

 

Keep reading, I may save this spring grapevine from heaving pruning, yet.

 

How humanity became geared for slavery ruled by warmongers is a deliberation not reflected in our disseminated history. I know this because I am a student of human heritage from ancient architecture to military coup social re-organizations. I am telling Ya, every historical string from Wikipedia to the library at Yale or the Vatican is maligned to deliver lies to keep us on the plantation.

 

Such a conspiracy is because the Homo sapiens sapiens monkeys on gold rings chase their tails, from generation to generation. Nearly every young person sited in Gaza to downtown Austin, is blindsided by such nonsense, but there are grand exceptions – thank God.

 

Contemplation of matters, creative problem solving, following the third eye’s clue trail can only stay untainted if we step out of the paradigm fed us. Ex-pats, be they in Costa Rica, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Fontainebleau, London, or Bali, see with an advanced clarity the mogul guys on Wall Street or those sitting in the cop clubs of Cairo neither respect nor seek to know. Such sage insight from thinkers outside the sphere of the empire’s influence if mass interjected into the lying one-dimensional world of more is never enough would collapse prevailing war economics. Social media is the massage.

 

Maturity is our finest honed deterrent to 7DS. The real characters of truth have lived a life beset with immense valleys polluted by a darkness of their own self-loathing. Nevertheless, they crawl backup from the bottom of the Dixie cup hanging from the edge and peer around. With a twisted body, soul, spirit, and mind they see, they truly see with their bludgeoned third eye. They are the veracity warriors and hopefully the genuine currency of our times.

 

The bigga brains and talent of humanity were not released from the womb with golden wings and a pass card to use against the slings and arrows of emotional pain and the abyss of human crap. Each human of excellence in values and compassion I have interviewed, read their words, looked at their art, or listened to their body politic cures for civil society share one specific quiver in their Robin Hood suit.

 

In their sharing, they expose their pain, making us and themselves shed the tears of gratitude. I have stood in front of Impressionistic paintings in museums shamelessly weeping because the beauty energy emanating from such human accomplishments drives a newfound perception into by heart. Sitting in a cove, on a boat, I have cried my eyes out watching marine life play below the bow or behind the transom. Such vibrant creatures send out their vibes while making eye contact shoveling out compassion our species refuses to accept let alone re-establish a channel of inter-species communication. Watching human or goat kids play, I become maudlin because their natural innocence of joy is remarkable in comparison to the havoc we adults wreck on each other.

 

Listening to a man mangled by a lost childhood, then shoot up the ladder of endeavors to be severely maligned by his own doing, then by his peers, and subsequently left to die brings waves of gut wrenching up into my throat chakra. Somehow, as his story is revealed how today he soberly fights for justice against all odds, the immensity of such inner fortitude and God given grace I blink in recognition and admiration.

 

We already have an army on Earth to skirmish with 7DS. Men and women who went down in flames from what appeared to be total self-annihilation only to rise up and become our exemplary miracles. I am not talking about Christ, Buddha, the Prophet or MLK.

 

Right now, on Earth, there is so much suffering, I cannot begin to fathom it, nor can you. It is overwhelming the limitlessness of penetrating human caca we must be attend to, if our species is to make it to the next century. Our sh*t is piling up like global climatic change mountain snowdrifts in the Rockies, in July.

 

How we got jammed up is a complied pile of crap and at this late date is better stepped over than stirred. Each of us, awake and brooding, has directly in front of our world view an opportunity in the chaos.

 

As wistful and impulsive as you and I are, we are the Re-Boot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goofy Valentine or Bullets to the Heart?

Today’s one-liner: The elegance of humanity is not tangled with or highlighted by image or status. Our simple essential essence – love and peace – is realized by walking into the moonlight yet knowing the sunrise will be. We can re-illuminate our day or our night, at any moment, if thoughtfulness and watchfulness lead us.

If we are imprisoned by self-Imposed anger, resentment, frustration, cynicism, or bias then the light, be it moon reflected or sun beamed, goes rogue. So, I make it a regular part of my day and night to cruise with nature. There in its cathedral / mosque / temple /synagogue/ sweat lodge I reconnect to life to be renewed and reminded how precious and instant our time is here. 

At certain junctures, idealism is missing, and my brain trumps me, then I must be even more mindful to let my heart and intuition carry me along its path. God, for me, is not some old dude in the sky sitting on a throne, or a mystical voice in a burning bush, or hanging on a cross as my salvation. My God takes wing to interrupt my self-induced daily programing and enchant me with a found awareness to feel fresh love. Inhaling deeply, I am replenished, grateful, and embarrassingly somewhat giggly. 

I am unsure how joy happens and at this stage of my shortening time on Earth to ask such questions are silly, yet holy benign. Across these ethers is the sacred handiwork of a power greater than me or you. Connections are made, affirmations offered, kind words commented and souls cemented. Without support by others coupled to glorious wild nature how dark and bitter cold this day or night. 

Thank you and be assured while i swing away chopping down the walls of the empire, some of you are in my thoughts as concurrently as the synapses are firing. If you get a whiff of jasmine, it is only me leaving a scent trail. You can follow, lead, hover, or not. Sober and sobering integration is not a roll in the hay, or a life of repetitive ground hog days trudging the road. Once zapped recognizing each other’s core, everything beautiful is possible. 

Yea, we can run but never hide. What is ringing the inner chimes is not of our making. Poets write about it, mystics heal with it, birds sing to it. 

#Egyptians Prevail? One More Day to Go

Dateline: Somewhere in the Jungle, Costa Rica

A Western Woman’s Point of View

Thumper for Participatory Democracy is one of three lines on my business card. Today, I need new engraved cards made. Why? ‪#‎Egypt‬ has fashioned NON-Participatory Democracy.

By boycotting a faked election for a little man who has no relationship to a free society, the Egyptian people have done what many predicted. They have led the world down a different path of non-violent political activism. A new improved non-violent civil disobedience serving the greater good and slaying the corrupting evil.

By not voting, they send a blaring message to every #coup leader, every thief of #liberty, every #foreign policy advisor, and every #despot Egyptians prefer a democracy, and not some trumped-up psychopath junta murdering, arresting and spreading fear.

Those who refuse to vote stand taller than ever for #freedom, #justice and #bread. To say I am proud of Egyptian brothers and sisters does not come close to the respect I hold in my heart. I join with you in prayer to bring peace, not bloody revolution.

The Sea Eagle is the majestic bird symbolizing #Egypt. #El Sisi is a fallen crinkled star made of rotting Felucca sails and blood soaked Galibias of his own doing.

The world is watching while most ImageAmericans are sunk in an abyss of apathy. Egypt could well be the phoenix rising, the one holy men and women envision and billions of humans seek. God knows, not you, nor me.

Yet, honor yourself and your encompassing passion for your homeland by the Nile. In the years I have observed the body politic, Egyptians take the cake, the donuts, and the whole bakery for a culture die-heart in love with their remarkable land of ancient mysteries and mystical understandings.

Many healings, many joys, many strong hearts . . . and to the innocent, release them El Sisi – return them to mother Egypt and then go into exile with the rest of the power drunkards.

Era of Live Violence Goes Viral

Dateline: #KeyWest, Florida, USA, Today

The Era of Real Live Violence Goes Viral

Tropical tourista Key West, like thousands of other communities around the planet, is subject to escalating brutalization by puke hearted authorities. 

Why is police/para military rage being acted out upon the innocent when citizen cell phones or municipality surveillance cameras easily record such horrors (see below)? 

It use to be the screwed-up cops dragged their prey somewhere hidden in the hallows of justice or a back alley to beat the crap out of them. Why now in front of others able to record and disseminate the insanity for all to see?

Gun rampages inside theaters or schools are not by accident and neither are daily dramas of violence in America’s inner urban neighborhoods or backroads in Alabama. An entire history of societal ills from poverty to drugs to gang mentality feeds on its self. 

Self-hatred, exhibited by highly dysfunctional police thugs or paid mercenaries, makes you and I the target, but why? Why are we the focus of a human collective inner rage fed by false egos? Why is unlimited herd madness apparently so pathologically amuck the boys in blue have no sense of remorse, as individuals or as operating gangs? 

Tasering a ten-year kid, or shooting someone’s dog over a pizza delivery gone askew, or blasting away at a great grandmother are planned acts of aggression to instill fear in the masses. They receive broad spectrum coverage in the media. They circulate across the vast landscape of social media, sometimes for years. They go viral.

The entire US judicial system from the Supreme Court to the podunk judge in rural where ever is part of a systemic erosion of civil liberties where the mental tires are burnt and the emotional wheels have come off. What was the foundation for civil society, the rule of law, is blown to smithereens. 

Why is an ungodliness visited upon us by corrupted boys in blue, or camo, who are suppose to champion our safety and protect us from harm gone off into deep-space? 

Beginning in the late 60s LAPD (Los Angeles Police Dept.) beat to death people of color. SWAT teams took down radical subversives like the Black Panthers in a wink of a blind woman holding tilted scales. The pigs invaded homes of those suspected of being against the police state’s siege to, “keep the niggars down, isolate the spics, and scare the living shit out of the gooks.” 

These grotesque slurs indicate how necessary it is for primitive insanity to bed itself deep down into a pathology riddled with fear and insecurity. Fired up with hatred and bias the cops had no problem with murdering the citizenry in the name of security demanded by a ruling status quo. Politicians, priests, bread makers, dog walkers, and the rest of the citizenry inside gated communities and enclaves of the rich and rude turned on the nightly news to watch the latest blood bath. Here they could feel their part of the village would never be violated by the “likes of them.”

A state of proxy local wars acted out by authorities on the streets of East LA to downtown Burbank and even raunchy parts of Venice, California where the first shadows of a creeping ugliness. A pollution burping of what our species going rogue is capable of while apathy and self-preservation rule over common sense and compassion. 

What is destroyed is the primal human need to gather together so the lions and tigers do not jump into the communal fires set to ward off the dangers of the night and its predators. The multi-cultural heart of a multi-dimensional community, a sense of belonging, of pride and place is satisfied in safety in numbers, coming together under the best and worst of times. It takes a village, a city, a trailer park, a neighborhood to establish its own unique community identity. Sprawl is the exact opposite of fostering community and civil unity. Alienation is the watchword to split and splinter neighbor from neighbor.

Once the fabric of society is shredded and burned beyond generational recognition the Phoenix is awaited. Today, across our world, caring concerned humanity paces, prays, and sighs in hopes of a rebirth, a reboot, a regeneration of human love or at the most banal begging level, “Please officer, don’t shoot by baby.”

Quaint-like downtown tropical Key West is known for its surrounding Gulf Stream turquoise waters, party places, wicked nightlife, and free-ranging chickens. Into this scene pours those staying on live-aboard boats docked in fancy or funky boat basins or folks driving down the keys for a lively Saturday evening of food and frolic. The beauty of its Ernest Hemingway ambiance is Disneyesque, not real, yet attracts visiting cruise ships like hummingbirds to sugar syrup feeders. 

There are many establishments in Key West, the very end of the road, with an ever widening menagerie of human lifestyles from visiting drunkard yacht stewards blowing off steam to gays running beautifully appointed B & Bs interacting with the traditional Key Wester. A KW native is way more pirate than Rotarian, more inbred anarchist than Baptist, and more kindly than aloof. It is as if God took Florida and stood it on its head and all the independent marbles, artsy types, maritime left-overs and harmless nut jobs rolled down to Key West.

It is reported, with no confirmation, regular customers of the world famous#SloppyJoe‘sBar in response to #CharlesEimers being beaten and kicked to death by the cops, have erected a memorial in his name with love notes, feathers, sunglasses, hats, fishing rigs, carvings, used condoms, and other human flotsam and jetsam. 

Maybe, what needs to be done is at the next sunset vigil of tiger cats jumping through hoops of fire down on the boardwalk another act could be included. The newest Key West crazy shit I leave to those who inhabit this unique community to devise.

What am I suggesting is it not be a panacea or a magical dusting, rather something wholly holy from the hearts of those who love their community and will not stand for it to become a battleground. 

I adore Key West, if you can’t surmise from the above. Not just because of its Tarpon fishing and mangrove birds but because Key West is a real piece of Americana. It is tainted and funky, yet unique to its community core brimming over with unspoken acceptance and integration. Fishing and blue water adventure tales are circulated like suds in a Marin County hot tub. Some of these stories and storytellers (like Hemingway) become not just legendary, they become the bedrock of community pride.Image

 

http://banoosh.com/blog/2014/05/24/10-broken-ribs-video-footage-conflict-polices-account-events-video/

The Bamboo is Whispering Again

Happy Memorial Day 2014 from Snooky, Marlena, and me

Today, the morning was brilliant in sunlight. I need light. The darkening days of our species were beginning to leverage its tacky toll on my need to fly free. 

Besides the noisy boys of Edinburgh supporting Palestine, there is more rockin’ excitement closer to my heart. Jack Davis S., my grand nephew, and only Macomber heir of his generation, as team forward won their league, yesterday. They are the champions ! ! !

Seen below is Jack D. working on his lego space machine he and his Uncle Ben put together (see my Fedbook faceline). This is his Aunt Natalie and Uncle Ben’s 1959 ranch house they renovated in Austin, Texas. In the background, is Jack D’s grandmother Rodeina, born in Palestine yet grew up in Lebanon. Rodenia and my bro Dan met at California Polytechnic University. It was an astonishing connection, and continues to sparkle.

Rodeina and Dan both lived amazing international careers in emerging computer technology. Dan was a futurist innovator in remote sensing (U-2 plane and then satellite mapping). He VP’d and then did the briefcase from out of town drill. He managed the introduction of digital graphics for environmental planning for govts. and the largest architecture and engineering firms on the planet. But he was picky who he shared his secrets with because honor is huge with Dan. Rodeina started as a systems engineer finishing as an IT Exec. VP, and now consultant. She was first in Parisian perfumes them NYC banking (ATM inventor) and then in USA and international blood banks (keeping blood safe). They both are poster adults for paying it forward.

Talent, consistency, vision, respect, compassion, brains, and inspiration is the whole loving package for a creative problem solver. The support and advice of extended family, all the way along the journey, is the legacy we foster and continue. It is far easier to be standing on a bedrock of a large family, who love you dearly, to carry forward your life and aspirations. This is the familial/tribal/clan tradition of the Middle East and Scottish highlanders, melded together. 

Next week, my godchild, brilliant beautiful Randa, takes another step forward in her life’s work. She becomes VP for the Lower Colorado River Authority (http://www.lcra.org/Pages/default.aspx), Austin, Texas, a quasi govt. entity established in 1934. She made her decision to leave her prior hefty position, not alone in her process of considerations. We (family and friends) offered advice and guidance she sought. Since my family are managers and basically too independent difficult sweeties, we try not to be too overbearing with each other – but we tell it the way it is. At times putting a muzzle on, after pitching analyses, possibilities, suggestions and consideration, is a test of love and patience. It is her life. Randa, will live by her decision. Yet, the family is standing steadfast for whatever she needs from us. This is God’s way, and one hell of a model for productive creative human activity.

Of course, I am the lone wolf ex-pat ex-politico honking from across the lake with my noisy commentary about the condition of our condition. When I think about it, how respectful my family is of me, since I am not inside the bubble they work and play, I smile and gurgle. Sitting here in the jungle, there is not a day, I do not hear from my brother and one or another dear friend. 

Without your kindness this past year of transition would have been a hell of an oozing deep wound. Foisted into being alone was not the problem. I lived a great deal of my life alone, happy and involved. The too sudden loss of one’s mate are many piercings to a heart. I was married to an utmost remarkable incredible human being. I know he is watching over us whose lives he showered with his humor, giant brain, bottomless compassion, and forever story telling, laughter, and insight. His unbelievable expertise to be there when we most needed his honor and creativity with some off-the wall workable solution or workaround with an unsaid support. Arthur’s too many suggestions seemed to arrive forever in the nick of time. It was an equal exchange between us. Our sober life together with each other was barely rocky, even when seas were falling, tides rushing and a sky absent of pin holes of light. It was educational and inspirational, our 19 years alone together. My husband’s maturing nurtured and matured my maturity. We accomplished far more together than separate. Some stuff was on the very edge of major paradigm shifting. Maybe in the next lifetime, together, we cannot just rock the boat, we can help install the tipping point.

We never totally move on empty from what was, do we? We carry what some label emotional baggage. My train include treasures, gems, and joyous memories. I rely on the past to lead the future. I look forward to what is to be, and become. Connections with others arrive through no fault or act of our own. Planning works for near focus. The big picture is spontaneous with its unknown possibilities and surprises. Clouds form and disappear with little import from us as they impact our world view. A human desire to know the linkage of beauty and science keeps us enthralled and humble.

Instead of being swamped by forced changes this past year, I became closer to my family and loving friends. Yet, some folks were jettisoned. After all, it is my life to lead with God’s enduring vision for this kid from Napa. Faith surfaces on the lake of doubt I swim in without any attempt on my part to take it hostage, or for a sail. The mystery is the mystery. 

Capt. Arthur, my husband, was one spinning mandala of wise comments and wise-cracks. Today, I see him sitting at the helm of one of his classical wooden fishing boats, smoking a cig, sipping from his mug perfectly Virgo brewed coffee, and at the same time singing a goofy sea chanty in his awful baritone voice with his Brooklyn Hamptons accent. No man of the sea is happier, than when underway. 

The water would be splashing across the bow with terns and gannets flying over a perfect ocean wake behind the transom. Eventually as the hours passed heading to a favored fishing ground or secret gunkhole, he would in slow motion (on purpose) spin around to me. I would be sitting with my bins (binoculars) on my breasts, my flip-flops soaked in salt water, my clam shorts and halter top slightly damp. My captain would yelp over the roar of the Penta inboard engine, “Hey, Bon, got any delights in the cooler for lunch, or your cute britches, or both?” 

And so it went, every Memorial Day, with Capt. Arthur , Esquire, for nearly 20 years. Really, what more could a woman ask for? 

Stayed tuned – there is probably more, life goes on.

 

The Grape Proxy

In the late ‘70s I returned to politics after a hiatus in foreign press journalism. While away from America I naively setup my jungle pup tent thinking within these encampments I would write ‘the truth’ and turn the tables on injustice. The prevailing pressing need to keep the Penngrove, California chicken farm in feed and fodder, meant I had to find a real job, or even maybe a career?

 

After working under the C.E.T.A (Comprehensive Employment Training Act), federal program as a Public Information Specialist for the County of Sonoma, California, I moved along to the largest daily newspaper in Northern California, The Press Democrat.

 

Yet, while under the training whip of Sonoma County’s premier glad hander, Richard McGlinchey I learned the craft of political and official public smoozing – a basic to migrating from protesting radical to fundraiser for Jerry Brown. No one was more adept at slathering a room of elected officials, or a single secretary, than Rich Mc. His uncanny ability to sit on a desk while casually swinging his leg in a brace (WWII war injury) telling a story wooed the dragons at the gates, and their lords. Not a single time in his employ did I see him rejected by any one of his prey. The man was actually not lame in any regard.

 

My partner in C.E.T.A crime was handsome, raspy radio-voiced, soon to be one-lung Rob Deignan. Rob smoked and had to have one lung removed. In my company in the TV station’s production booth, he puffed away on about five packs of Marlboros per

 

afternoonImage

 

. We disseminated press releases, covered the board of supervisors and other boards (but not the courts), and produced a community TV show of some San Francisco Bay notoriety. Rob was handsome, debonair, and my production visuals (look) were based on early morning 35 mm slides I took while birding. Sonoma County is classic ole California in some parts – bucolic views with bright blue skies and pure puffy white clouds in the shape of prancing horses and lines of dancing elephant choruses. Jungian and appealing.

 

C.E.T.A. required within its bureaucracy of Federal funding troughs (feeding into the county coffers) my job define a specific socially redeeming focus.

 

Rich Mc decided because of my get it done now personality and the fact I had briefly done a stint in the county’s mental health department (as a therapist and left) I should handle feature articles about women. My photo ops (I had been trained by AP to shoot and report coups) with a catchy storyline were to be seated in one particular theme. The overriding goal was to produce a showcase of stories where women performing non-traditional roles while in the employment of the county. It was in reality a legal parity program, a leftover from the Feds attempt to bring civil rights equality into the workplace. Federal Title whatever legislated quotas had to be met. Women working in maintenance, heavy equipment, roads, parks, and other macho work situations needed public recognition so the Fed money flow would continue while telling the lies how successful was the Civil Rights Act.

 

I had no problem interviewing dikes on cats (caterpillars) or burly ‘women’ with backs stronger than Sierra mules. These ‘ladies’ picked up and moved 50-pound bags of cement as hod carriers with a smile and a wink. The ‘girls’ liked me. I am petite, pretty (modesty is not my thing), and dressed in the latest non-feminist styles.

 

Standing attired in a Halston knock-off dress wearing real English riding boots to keep mud and yuck off Hanes nude-colored sheer nylons (held up by a lacy stringy garter belt) all I had to do was bend over, in a graceful way. Showing a patch of honky thigh peaking out over a nylon meant answers would ooze like honey from a hive. In addition, in an even cowgirls get the blues way, I am practical and kind of ‘ranchy’ and asked questions of some relevancy.

 

My mother, as I grew up, was the only female executive at Basalt Rock Company (due to familial connections). I spent time in quarries and around heavy equipment on Saturdays as we wheeled around Napa, Sonoma, and Lake Counties looking at job sites in her Buick ragtop.

 

I additionally, via my newfound smooch abilities learned at the kneecap of the master Rich McGlinchey, was not known as one more politico gadfly. Rich impressed me, and I endeared him, the elected board supervisors of the county, and those working to elect Jerry Brown.

 

My feature articles about women driving trucks and other guy jobs focused on women of color – Hispanics, Blacks, Asian, or some combination thereof. This insight earned civic NGO applause and even articles in the San Francisco Sunday Examiner about me doing by job. We call this in the hyperbole of PR – spin-off. In most regards, what I was doing was acting as a performer for a US govt. proxy govt., known as County of Sonoma, California.

 

 

Rich, Rob and I parted company as the one-year grant ended. Yet, Rich fixed my next employment – I started, after a couple of dumb tests, at The Press Democrat newspaper, four times my C.E.T.A. salary.

 

After my slide PR/PR job with the county working in a daily environment of endless deadlines, the roar of the three-story presses as large as a half city block while gaining entry to a bombproof building produced an instant death to any lingering ideas about being a romantic journalist activist fighting the good fight.

 

Latin America had cooked me up with graphic horrors yet the disappointment of being inside the contrived workings of a family run newspaper finished off any illusions about saving the world by telling the truth. Sticking a programmed plastic credit entry card into a slot at the employee’s heavy steel door, at street level, I proceeded to learn another part of the world of telling it the way, it is not.

 

Paper management and bookkeeping knew exactly when I left and returned, what floor I took on which elevator with cameras watching me, and others, smooching labor union computer typesetters and paste-up artists for a better headline, page design location, or participating in the latest betting pool.

 

Sitting at an advertising account executive’s desk attempting to understand their immediate need to publish some crock about a business they wanted to tie up with a regular contract of linage (ads) became the norm.

 

My vision of translating what I endured in Central America to American soil was smacked down via drunken mean editors and too many lunch hours shooting pool. Here in the darkness of the pool bar (directly across the street from the paper), while the boys knocked back Coors, I sipped away on Canadian Club Whiskey Sours and the revolutionary within pouted. The guys became my champions, teasers, and enabling protectors. They had written or designed for the paper so long printer’s ink crud under their nails was permanently tattooed. Yet, they maintained an aura of innocence, if not semi-stoned, that I needed to believe we might yet produce something on the lines of a Pulitzer.

 

A newspaper only has a history because it keeps a library along with awards and trophies behind glass in the public lobby. Otherwise, its wholistic entire intent is operating in the here and now drowning in current events. My fellow pool shooting buddies provided a heritage, a living legacy as a witty countermand to the latest double truck ad appearing weeks after an ad men signed up this new account based on my prior published story about the customer (usually on the third page).

 

What drives the news hole is advertising from want ads, display ads, and Sunday supplements. Booked ad linage determines what story is deleted, until another issue, or what truth telling story permanently dies on the cutting floor. Editors are humanoids forced to wax and wane writers with, “Love the story, guy (we are guy even when gal), yet no room, today, maybe tomorrow, or next week. Now, get your cutie ass out on the street, and get some grueling news and forget this philosophical meaningful bullshit.” Sounds like a movie script, because it is.

 

Editors, then, were protected from any sexual harassment suits because most of them were closet gays. Besides, of the three females tied to the newsroom, I was the only straight one. Everyone knew they were gay; no one used the info against them for story gain or personal bullshit greedy agendas. Mutual respect was a given, because editors actually were the wordsmiths. We were the news junkies.

 

For the times I heard, “Sex, mayhem, and corruption, but not of our advertisers or publisher, sell newspapers, LD.” I could have packed the newsroom and the floor of executive offices with this directive. In the news non-fame game, everyone gets a handle, not just a by-line. My handle was LD. I believe it had a sexual connotation but ignored the adorable provocation. I preferred the operating definition, Little Dynamo. It was cartoon-like, and probably cartoons of me acting out as LD circulated within the five unions operating inside the paper. Gossip is the handmaiden of newspapers from the guy on the loading dock to the owner of the news source. Dicey tidbits are the coal firing the engine of news, and function as therapy for crazed people working constantly on deadlines.

 

The Press Democrat publishes a morning and evening edition, every day, every week, and most holidazes, 362 days per year. The newsroom only closed down during a 24-hour cycle if we had a bomb scare. During the 70s, these were regular insertions into the daily grinding madness. Dutiful employees filed out into the parking lot to wait out the dogs sniffing through the building. The likes of me, and mine, headed for the pool hall.

 

Once the dogs found nothing (at least this is what we were told) we stampeded back into our stalls. Pressure and shitty attitudes would rise like 110 degree heat waves off the Mojave, as we settled down to satisfy the god of our lives – rolling the presses on time. The memory of the excitement of hearing the press startup still gives me a chill blain. The fact I am semi-deaf from them (and too many rock ‘n roll concerts) is a reminder how blissful is the sound of team nut job accomplishments. Once the presses begin to roll, it takes about ten minutes for the first finished papers to slide out on rollers to be hand stacked and bundled for the delivery onto the truck loading docks. From our minds and creativity, twice a day, we produced a whole damn newspaper, full broadsheet, many sections, always unique, but in many ways, the same.

 

There is a failsafe button (yes it is big and red) up on the second tier of the press to push to stop the entire meta-machine from spitting out papers. A designated union guy has the power to push the lethal button along with an executive suit. We frantically read our stories and ad copy as the presses roll looking to make sure we had not made some awful error, either not selling our lies carefully enough, or a mega-typo. Even with blue-line proofs, unacceptable stuff would magically appear on newsprint.

 

One morning edition, sitting down in the zoo (ad design) waiting to look at logos, I was reading the full back page ad, first section, for The Whitehouse from fresh papers dropped off by a copy boy. The Whitehouse was not where POTUS lived. It was a department store on Fourth Street, in downtown Santa Rosa, selling housewares, and rags (clothes) for over a century. I was competitive consumer shopping its ads looking for towels for the sauna at the farm. Then it popped out like a white glove in a mound of black soot, “Designer Shits, 2 for $15.99”. As I laughed my way across and down the rest of the full-page ad, it appeared the classy Whitehouse was selling all kind of shits.

 

I got up, picked up the phone on Bruce Keith’s drawing board while pointing dramatically to the ad. Buzzing the union guy’s wall phone by the big red button, no one picked up. You cannot hear anything near the roar of the presses and why the guys wore ear protectors the size of mixing bowls. Then, I tried the executive suit’s extension. It was busy, as usual.

 

Together, Bruce and I bolted through the ad department pushing possible ad buying customers out of our frantic way to get to the elevator to go up to the second floor. The paper was built to make sure you had to go through configurations of hallways with management’s ability to lock out one union from another. How it passed fire inspection is another story.

 

Laying shoe and high heel rubber down we flung ourselves out of the elevator onto the second floor. We jetted pass huge computer typesetting machines and rows of paste-up tables (now emptied of employees since the presses were running). We raced side by side until getting to a metal door with a small plate on it reading, “Presses”. There was a light above the door and if lit red and spinning you were not supposed to cross the threshold. It shaded our faces with its redness. Bruce yanked the door and it did not move. We banged and pounded on the door feeling the vibrations of the press cranking up as it went to full ROP, run of press.

 

Frustrated and exhausted, we tried one more thing. Bruce stood on a metal chair and lit his yellow colored Bic to a fire sensor. He singed his fingers, yet eventually the alarms went off and overhead water sprinklers spewed. Standing soaked in our undies and boxers, we felt the presses back down eventually coming to a full stop.

 

The next day, Bruce and I sat in the executive offices. We were dressed for a funeral, ours. A well-healed woman older than Moses came and escorted us into the owner’s private conference room. Up here on the fourth floor with broad windows, you could see to the west the grapes growing and the valley oaks swaying. Sitting with our sweaty hands ringing, chewing Certs to disguise our boozy breath, the bigga boss entered the room. He unbuttoned his suit jacket and sat down directly across from us with his back to the vineyards and his barrel chest facing our doom.

 

“Thank you”, were his first words. Bruce and I looked at each, perplexed.

 

Mr. Finely, heir to the Finely publishing empire went on, “Without your quick action our family owned and family read paper would have sold shit to the tune of 300,000 readers. I and the whole family at The Press Democrat would like to do something to show our gratitude. What do you have in mind?”

 

Bruce and I conferenced with whispered voices and came to nearly an instant answer.

 

“Mr. Finley, thank you for noticing our good intentions. We are sorry if the water made a mess. Bonnie and I really did not know what else to do. We have two requests. First, we think the person in control of the red button should wear some kind of communication device independent of the phone system. Second, we would like a brand new pool table and set of cues for the bar across the street, and maybe some better lights over the table,” stated Bruce with a shaky voice.

 

“Ms. Davis, do you concur with Mr. Keith as to his requests, or do you have something to add”, Mr. Finely intuitively asked in a not so kind voice. Maybe he knew my rep to always add one more spice to the pot.

 

In my normal little Napa Valley girl voice I offered, “Sir, I do have a request. Might there be some way a nursery or pre-school could be built somewhere in the building so employees had a place to leave their kids when on shift?”

 

The brushy Irisher eyebrows went up, “I did not know you had children, Ms. Davis.”

 

“No sir, I do not. But a lot of people devote their lives to getting out the Press Democrat spending large sums of their incomes to have their pre-school kids tended to while they work” (the cartoon balloon coming out of my head replaced work with slaved).

 

“Well, we will look into the possibility. In the meantime, look for a new pool table and a memo regarding how to better stop the presses without soaking the typesetting and paste-up room. My assistant will show to the elevator, yet here is something extra for each of you, personally from the family.”

 

With this final comment, he handed us each an envelope while looking into our deer in the headlights eyes. Neither Bruce nor I were brazen enough to rip open our envelopes in front of Mr. Finley. Once in the moving elevator, going down, we opened our envelopes embossed with the paper’s new ID. Inside each was not a letter that we were axed. Instead were twenty crisp $100 dollar bills. During those gasoline scarcity days, this was a tax-free gift of major value.

 

I went onto to do the first pitch film The Press Democrat used to generate national ad linage from big time ad agencies in New York City. It was a visual sugary story with soaring bird’s eye views of vineyards, kids playing baseball, people eating grilled chicken, Fourth of July parade watchers, and more Americana kitsch, but with a simple concept. The original music was Tuscany sounding to match the vineyards. Words or voice over did not appear until the final seconds of the film letting the music lead the viewer along a journey over Sonoma County. Overlaid on a crystal-clear close-up of ripe gorgeous grapes swinging in a slight breeze on luscious vines appeared, “The Press Democrat family invites you to share in our harvest,” while at the same time a perfectly enunciated voice, a buddy of mine, Pete Coyote, tied the bow on the elegant package.

 

The film, a prototype, generated millions of dollars of newly mined national linage for the paper, and won some new awards for the institution run by the Finely family. I was headhunted by an agency to be their first female creative director. I left behind the news world, skipped into a universe of greater lies, and similar to illustration copy points.

 

See, bro, I told you my creative writings are a stream of conscious fourth step.

 

 

Epilogue:

 

The Press Democrat was purchased by the NY Times. Bruce was left alone to man the zoo. A politician (cum backroom operative) I campaigned for while at the paper, Doug Bosco, a couple of years ago along with an unnamed cartel purchased the paper from the NY Times.

 

Today, I follow the paper on Fedbook. It has not really changed its winning formula. The news remains local homespun rather than global graphic horror, and visually beautiful more than the actuality sprawl of California’s geography of nowhere. If read with detail one will see a headline and positive article (with photo op) about a local business. Within weeks, one will further notice the business is now a regular advertiser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meaning of #Mocus Pocus

Today’s arrogant annoying one-liner is not. It is a definition for mocus pocus. Yes, i have moved on from made-up words to made-up phrases. 

The condition of mocus pocus is described as follows: When understanding, insight, affection, knowledge, tolerance, and love are captured as hostages to be held in a self-made quarantine where one is blinded by self-inflicted voodoo. These acts of sticking one’s heart, soul, and mind with spears of denial are not restricted by any boundary, either geo or genetic. 

Consequently, what acts out are moments stretching sometimes into decades of mocus pocus. Usually, but not always, this dis-ease is alleviated by stopping any consumption of mood altering drugs or buying into ego or prideful balloon binges. 

There are companions/adaptations to mocus pocus (mp) such as political mp, bankster mp, writer mp, expat mp, and more. See upcoming addendum.

There is a cure. It has nothing to do with diving with stingrays, or globalilizing* love vibes. As in vibrations, in resonance, directed at those establishing one more coup hoping to destroy any attempt for a free society to emerge, anywhere on the planet. 

On third thought, maybe it does.

*Another made-up word, but you get its definition.