The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

A drum roll, please, Anton?

In the spirit expressed by the participants, I have made an Executive Decision; be it known from this day forth that these are your Honorable Mentions from the Nipsey Russell Memorial Front Porch Limerick Exposition:

Best Lyrical Anger:
SPADOMAN, for Bitchslap

Best Traditional Styling:
DADA, for Newglubber

Best Pointed Intellect
D.K., for Camus

Judge's Honorary Award
All entries.

Take a bow, folks.

And now, back by Popular Demand, a reprise of some of my own verses:

There once was a Rep from the Sunshine State
Who was an Enemy of the criminals we all hate
Protecting the young
Unless they were hung
For his comeuppance we wait breath abate!

Bush made promises he's plumb forgotten
The original problem's still bin Laden
But we really wanna
Remember Osama
Still un-run, un-smoked, and un-gotten

Many churches have a big steeple
A voting booth should show how we pull
With elections coming yet
None of us should forget
That George Bush don't like black people

For Honesty, it's sure tough now being battlers
But I am proud to be one of the tattlers
And like Ms. Ivins sez
Rummy, Dick, and the Prez
Are meaner'n a skilletfull of rattlers

Happy Halloween, folks. This has been fun. Booo-yah!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dias of Darkness

Days of the Dead, or Near-So...

I am somewhat somber~~chalk it up to the season. I do, however, have an evil smile here and there.

Halloween being the embodiment of costumes, spooks, and reveling in the negative, I offer the following attitudes and comments in the spirit of Bill Hicks. He might be dead a decade or so, but he's my All Hallows this year.

*Posted originally at, in response to another angry fella*

Nothing like a good rant! Yours did not make my gorge rise (O'Reilly, who is bloviating on Oprah today, is another matter). I did want to chime in on the idea of something being worth dying for.

I believe justice is worth dying for...and not this silly revenge notion that the Bushi'ites hauled our asses to
Iraq for. I mean the justice reflected well in that old, beat-up document called the Constitution. Since we're having this conversation in the arena of Bill Hicks, the Other Man in Black, I'll reference a few of his thoughts on the subject, while I wish he was here to do it now himself.

I didn't say the "
U.S." Constitution, because I think that document represents fairness for all people, and it was a round world last time I checked. I'm not of the school of thought that the only reason government should exist is to provide "defense". I'm of the school of thought that the purpose of government is to provide for the common welfare and protect the liberties of all. I do believe in evolution, not in a Darwinist dogmatic sort of way, but in a common sense arena. All folks deserve the chance to live, eat and prosper -- please note that corporate entities are not folks, and deserve NO RIGHTS. Same goes for religious entities. The Constitution applies to folks with thumbs and human DNA. Easy litmus test there.

Which brings me to another favorite subject: Fuck Money. That same set of multinational fucks that sit every President down for a viewing of the Kennedy death motorcade from an angle NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN have not just America but the world in a deathclutch. Not that they had to twist any Bush arms very hard. I think a good place to start with Fucking Money is really simple. All obscenely rich suckers of Satan's Cock should be lined up and not shot -- just forced to live on Social Security. In
Detroit. In the winter. Those oil profits they just can't help making? Spread that boodle out to current SSI dependant folks and let Nanna quit worrying about how much garlic she should add to her Alpo meatloaf. I don't mind Paris Hilton being a party girl...just let her do it the way I had to when I was her age. By working at FUCKING BURGER KING! You become very creative learning how to afford beer after rent and bills in Arkansas without a film crew around. Bitch could stand to gain a pound or two anyway on the 50 cent box of mac and cheese diet. It worked for me!

I mean, I think that's fair. I think that's justice. I think that would surely be a step in the direction of providing for the general welfare. And if my own death would bring it about, I'd die for that.

In the meantime, if I disappear from commenting here, please direct correspondance to Fat Mouthy Fortysomething Bitch, General Delivery,
Camp X-ray, Guantanamo, Cuba. With the recent legalization of waterboarding, I feel confident I'll have opportunities to die over and over again. Ain't democracy grand?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hear ye, hear ye!

For ev'ryone that a limerick you have sent
Rest assured your valuable time was well spent
I know it's sure so hard
Trying to be a new bard
But, bless you all, when asked to go there, you went!

So here we go with our Top Five Contenders:

While pondering news off the wire
I found a great deal of desire
To bitch slap his face
And spray him with mace
He’s nothing except a great big liar

There was a young girl name of 'Gert'
Who came back from Iraq mort-ly hurt
As he sank by her side
George Bush rued, then he cried
"Shoulda done what I did - DESERT!"


Pappy Bush spent a night in Newglubber
With a wild tart named Barbara, a clubber
Today it's easy to see
How better off we'd all be
If that night he'd just worn him a rubber!


Election 2000: 'twas a sunny day
We went to the polls in the usual way
But then the Supremes
Cancelled our dreams
Saying next time don't vote, just pray!

Bush reading Camus has me benched
The lie has a palpable stench
If I'd heard it of Kerry
I'd not question nor tarry
Save for " the original French?"

Everybody, please chime in on your favorite, call your friends, wake the kids, et cetera, and let me know which of these worthies gets the nod for Best Limerick! Thanks again to all participants, and I promise not to make anyone have to work again this hard ever.

Until next year.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ah, geez, look at dis

I’ve been thinking of some of my personal heroes, and it’s an interesting Parthenon. There’s folks like Hunter S. Thompson, the epitome of an eccentric genius; I have a hard time seeing the word “swine” and not thinking of him fondly. I’m glad ESPN gave him a forum to express himself in two areas he felt passionately about, professional football and the joke that American public policy is, until Gonzo made the decision to leave this plane in disgust.

Someone else no longer with us is my man Bill Hicks. A rock-n-roll comic if there ever was one, Bill combined razor-sharp political and social observations with a delivery style that was part conversational, part pure raunch, and part what can only be decribed as a latter-day populist sermon. If you get a chance, I highly recommend his CD Arizona Bay, my personal favorite. For someone who died of cancer during Clinton’s first four years in office, much of what he had to say is still so valid and timely it is astonishing. Many of us consider him the patron saint of the Austin music and art circles; I know his rants have profoundly influenced my own thinking, my ability to communicate my views, the healthy, cynical anger I temper with humor, and the need to question authority vigorously. He is missed.

Some of my heroes are still around. God bless Ms. Molly Ivins – how can you not love a woman who gets fired from the New York Times for referring to a community chicken butcherin’ ‘n’ eatin’ festival as a “gang-pluck”? On top of that, she is an essayist that always puts a smile on the face, and not afraid to poke a few holes in the bluster of politicians across the spectrum, and herself as well. A true progressive, as well as an advocate of plain common sense, she reminds me of why I enjoy so many of my Southern compatriots who see beyond the way things are, and encourage us to work on making things better for all of us. I heartily agree with her sentiment that it’s not always easy to work against the ol’ boy system, but if you don’t always win, you might as well have fun trying. Hang in there, Molly. I know times are bleak, but there ain’t nothing but good times ahead.

Then there’s Willie Nelson, one of the daddies of Farm Aid. The man knows the difference between a family farm and Monsato, and the difference between marijuana and methamphetamine. And this is what he does in his spare time, after penning such classics as Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”, and his own “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”. I have to share a personal story here; I’ve got a raggedy old brown bicycle I used to ride around Everett and Seattle somebody abandoned on the front porch one time. It’s just as ugly and funky as it can be, but I’ve had many folks I’ve ran into on the street tell me, honestly, “what a neat bike!” Seattle folk are like that. Anyway, I named it Trigger. So when anybody mentioned it I could explain it’s not named after Roy Rogers’ horse, but Willie Nelson’s guitar. It’s brown, it’s ugly, but it gets the job done. Never fails to get a grin. I love the Red-Headed Stranger; he has a unique talent for gently bringing together the Red folks and the Blue, probably because he doesn’t make a big deal of it, and lets the music do its work. That is what I call a genuine uniter.

In that vein, I can’t forget Jimmy Buffett, another of our elder spokesfolk from the guitar-plucking field. “Margaritaville” might have given him his fame, but the music he’s put out over the years also give us a good look at the balance we all need between relaxation and plain old hard work, and the value of both. Jimmy might have toned down some from his wild and wooly rockstar days, but if you read some of his books, there’s nothing wrong with his sense of adventure. I think if I ever get a chance to explore the Caribbean, it’s not going to be on a cruise ship; I’d rather hitch up with some old salty dog who’s got an ugly but seaworthy old boat, and knows where the real points of interest are…

Lest you think all my muses are Southern, I need to mention a few other folks I love. There’s Olbermann, who, like Hunter has done both sports and politics. Then there’s John Waters, with his weird view of his own Baltimore and the rest of the country at large he reinforces my love of the absurd. It’s just not Mother’s Day to me until I call my own Mama, talk and laugh with her for an hour or two, and then watch Serial Mom. My favorite rock band after the Beatles is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which I consider one of the few good things to ever come out of Los Angeles, and I have a personal respect for Courtney Love. Yes, she is a mess. But she is a fearless mess, and there’s more than a little Janis there. Not to mention a little Tallulah.

One’s heroes, however, don’t always have to be real folks. There’s Don Quixote, tilting at his windmills, there’s Scarlett O’Hara, hard-bitten and self-centered, but tough enough to survive losing Rhett and Melly pretty much at the same time. I will NOT read the “sequel” to Gone With The Wind; I am a purist. Margaret Mitchell wrote one book, about not only a woman who went against the grain, but one that had strength. For all its PC flaws, there is a feminist element to it you won’t get by watching the movie…so to the critics, I say “Fiddle-dee-dee!”

Being comfortably agnostic, perhaps even Deist, I don’t know if such a person as Jesus of Nazereth ever actually existed, and I won’t even engage in an argument of divinity. But from the King James version, we have many tales of Jesus himself, and I do consider him a hero. Even if he might have been simply a slightly deluded fella who felt he was the Son of God, the stories of his life tell a story of a man who spoke out against the status quo, and insisted his followers exhibit their love of him and God by treating their fellows fairly. Maybe the message Jesus was talking about of getting to the Lord through him wasn’t about dogma; it was about the example he set of loving all peoples, and the universal theme that everlasting contentment is not found through accumulating power and money, but through the profound power of the human heart to love others. Jesus preached free will, but also community. That others would use and twist his legacy through the centuries doesn’t diminish it; it only confirms the wisdom.

I have a last group of heroes to talk about – from an old sit-com back in the Seventies. I absolutely love the Bunkers. Thank you, Norman Lear, for bringing us Archie, Edith, Gloria, and the meathead Mike. I love all those great characters, brought to us through a wonderful cast, for making us all laugh at ourselves. If you paid attention, you realized that the Dingbat was actually wise, the spoilt daddy’s girl was thoughtful, and Archie and Mike were at each other’s throats constantly because they were both two sides of the same coin. Then you had the young folks thinking they actually understood reality better than their elders. Were they “dysfunctional”? Yes, and wonderfully so. A better example of the American family is hard to find, and we can all relate. Because at the end of the day, they all did love one another.

As I get older, I see so many families in my personal life pulling themselves apart, whether over money, or personal issues, or whatever. The American public itself is polarizing over issues of right and wrong, and it seems to me a lot of it is simply the fact we’re all so caught up in trying to provide for me and myself that we’ve forgotten ours and everybody. We need crotchety old Archie as much as we need idealistic Mike, and thank God we’ve got Mom Edith and baby girl Gloria to remind us that there are other things to think of but ourselves.

I’ve looked back over this list of heroes, and I’m rather happy. None of them are perfect, and few pretend to be so. I look to them for inspiration because they all have one thing in common; they all represent the ideals I respect of being aggravated with what is, and striving for what might be. The Constitution speaks of providing for the general welfare and creating a more perfect union, and for me, that’s what being an American is.

Freedom IS free; justice takes work. And tyranny only happens when good folks let it. We do have some work to do. And heroes push envelopes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nukuler Fallout

Oompa Loompa Doompity Doo
I've got a-nother question for you...

Naw, I'm not going to make a lame limerick outta that; this nice picture tends to speak for itself! Good work by seeds of doubt.

Speaking of limericks! I'm calling the contest CLOSED; and modifying plans a little. Look for the Top Five next Tuesday, and feel free to sound off on your favorite before Halloween.

I want to say a personal thanks to everybody who participated in the limerick madness, whether you were able to submit, or even finish one! I know I myself learned a new appreciation for anyone who attemps to write verse of any sort. I have to say for me, the mental image of Dada counting syllables to himself on his morning walks while the neighbors are going "huh?" is priceless in and of itself. Thanks again to everyone, and be sure to check back next week and chime in.

One last thought on the current state of the upcoming election: If the Dems don't take back at least the House, there will no longer be any question our elections are shamelessly rigged. Word.

Peace out, y'all.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mala yerba, nunca muere...

That's an old folk saying my mija in Texas, Gina, turned me on to recently that made me laugh out loud. The rough translation for us Gringos (or Gringas) is "a bad weed never dies". I laughed not only because it is so true, especially referring to the pendejo we were discussing, but also because she provided translation before I could work it out for myself in my halting Espanol.

I knew yerba is grass or weed, mainly because I looked it up after finding a great CD, Island Life, by a group based in Manhattan called Yerba Buena (good grass; get it?). This is a bunch of folks who happily blend several genres of Latin, Caribbean, and African music with an extremely playful attutide towards "Spanglish". I doubt I'll ever master Castillian Spanish, but after growing up with Sesame Street and living a large part of my life in South Texas, I still to this day mix many Spanish expressions in my daily speech. That my own Espanol always has a bit of an Arkansas twang to it has been a source of amusement to my bilingual Texas friends -- and myself. I happily accept the fact my dearest Japanese-born (and highly English-fluent) friend will never really be able to correctly pronounce my name comfortably (Meranie Rane); therefore I live fairly comfortable with the knowledge that the correct inflection of Juarez is simply beyond me.

But back to our title? Given enough time, I think I might have been able to noodle out the translation without resorting to Yahoo's translator. I mean, if you know yerba buena is good weed, mala yerba is probably the opposite. And while I had not a clue on nunca, I did know muere probably had something to do with death. So me, 100 monkeys, and 100 typewriters, probably eventually would have stumbled onto the gist.

I hope.

I hear folks grumbling sometimes about having U.S. government liturature published in both Spanish and English, about how anyone living in the States HAS to speak English, even about sooner or later we'll all be speaking Spanish, god forbid. And I've also heard the other side of the argument about Spanish in North America being so "polluted" with English. I just have to smile.

I like Spanglish! And however bad my pronounciation, I'll keep on spicing my talk and my thoughts with melodious words and expressions. Congress just authorized a ridiculous fence from the Rio Grande to Tiajuana without any real funding (too bad, Halliburton). Thank you, Jesus, they didn't specify it was to run from the Big River to Aunt Jane. !Las muy mucha cabronada!

Then again, there is francois, at which I'm totally lost.

So ~~

Au revoir...y'all.

the World Can't Wait!

I did get down to a rally this evening, in front of the Federal Building in Seattle; but didn't make it to a mike. Which is to listen to some good speakers and met some interesting folks. A worthwhile evening -- I got to get away from the computer more often and get out and meet folks!

Meanwhile back at the oasis...

Wanted to share some thoughts I've had recently about our current DC scandal...I've heard some discussion online about whether or not experiencing sexual abuse as a child could "turn" someone gay. And god knows there's been plenty of blather about the evils of homosexuality being the cause of Foley's fall, especially from the Self-Rightous Right, and I want to chime in on that.

Statistically, most cases of sexual child abuse are perpetrated by heterosexual family members or friends. There has been volumes written on the subject, but suffice it to say the spectre of the stranger with candy is the exception, not the rule, expecially with younger children.

In adolescents, other dynamics come into play, but it is still primarily a crime that occurs when an adult betrays the trust of a responsible position.

It's been my experience there is no link between abuse experienced and homosexuality resulting. However, there is an overabundance of examples of pedophiles targeting boys and young men who "appear" gay or behave in so-called effeminate ways. Or may just simply appear somewhat delicate in physical stature. Incidentally, these are the same things that may trigger an incident of "gay-bashing". The sexuality of the victim is only important in how it is perceived by the agressor(s).

That Foley himself may have been a victim of any such abuse and then grew up to be an abuser himself says far more about the nature of child abuse than about homosexuality, and far more about Foley's own self-loathing. That, however, does not relieve the adult here of his responsibility to refrain from harming others.

Abuse, like many other crimes, is indeed a learned behavior. Homosexuality, or heterosexuality, is an integral part of one's personality. And hiding a large portion of one's personality due to fear of rejection by one's entire society causes much damage and pain.

It starts early. If you need an example - what is the most common schoolyard insult? "Hey, you little faggot!"

Progressives believe in the rights of all people to grow and thrive; neo-cons simply proscribe punitive solutions that usually make a problem worse -- look how quickly the sharks savage one of their own, with no apparent need to assign responsibility to the leadership that has allowed the abuse to continue for so long. The Republicans are not punishing Foley for his dalliances. They are punishing him for getting CAUGHT.

The big picture of this scandal is there is a serious need for a change in leadership in our nation's capitol. The current leadership, from the Oval Office down, has a philosophy not based on democracy, but on rule by the minority, based on the power of the Almighty Dollar. The cynicism of these folks can be measured easily; while paying lip-service to "supporting the troops", they show absolutely no concern whatsoever for the actual soldier, and even actually continue to cut funding for things so vital as the Veterans Administration itself.

Kind of like all that concern for the family and for children. But it is good for fundraising.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I need a flask

But for a good reason...unless circumstances interfere, I plan to be downtown Thursday afternoon for the World Can't Wait protest...should I get lucky enough to get a mike, I just might share some of the hilarious limericks several of you spent a lot of time writing. And as I am terrified of public speaking, I might just carry with me some fairly well concealed Bailey's. Irish Courage and Limericks don't seem to be a bad mix to me! And authors will be acknowledged by screen names...wish me well.

Just trying to turn words into action. And I'll be trying to tell my knees not to knock as well! Cheers, all.