Ucking-Fay Ant-Ray

2020 was bad.

Good in some ways, but generally bad.

For the first time, I learned that character doesn’t matter.

Doesn’t matter? Character doesn’t matter?

Never mind the pandemic, people die all the time. We overcome.

Shit you can get unemployment and coast for a bit, hit the bank, suck it up.

Armed people threaten because they can’t speak

Our education system failed them and us

Let’s lie and cheat and steal and cheat and lie

Don’t believe ANYTHING

Don’t believe ANYTHING

I can’t trust my eye

Even your boy attracts flies

how’s that formaldehyde?

no matter your side.

Sit down

stop acting like a clown

or the bleach you tried to teach

tell me

what is the purpose of a willful ignorant?

voices hide in the American dream

tongues come and go

while fingers stream

clashing moral waves

hiding in digital caves

months feed fodder for prose

empty brain thinks it knows

flounder cult lies

failing legal ties

majority gets the prize

but you don’t count that high

in darkness thou shalt find darkness

where character doesn’t matter.

Doesn’t matter?  

Is this what you wanted when you strove for high places?

Is this what was intended when you took the seat?

How can you justify your double-speak?

I am sick and tired of your lunacy

I am sick and tired of how you find truth through blasphemy

Go back to your grand hovel

Here let me help you with the shovel

There ain’t no room to grovel

Take your cult foul mouthed sermon

And fade in the disgrace of your dominion

There is no time left for your opinion

We will move past you now.

Vote Beyond Greed

Vote. It matters. Don’t let the words: “Let your voices be heard” become a cliché, an empty meaningless idea suited for another age. We might all be heading down the same well, but let us at least go down with some dignity. Let us have empathy that we are all in this together, that we are not a mere plutocracy, but an American people that value our history and each other in the present. I know this is ‘Idealism’, but I have heard it said, too often, that one side or the other will destroy us. In my view, while we might be tempted to reason the idea of unity, as if , therefore, the vote doesn’t matter, we still have a choice on how we want to take it. If anything, we will destroy ourselves when we put money above our humanity.

What we have seen for the past several years and longer in our country is a complex web of deceit. Maybe both parties are in on it? Maybe Putin really is (among others) the puppet masters that have let the American experiment run its course and they can claim rights on an ego bet? Either way, a divided country results only in chaos and no hope of breaking the invisible bonds of slavery. In our country, the United States of America, our imperfect system allowed for a criminal to take the reigns of power and dupe our closest friends and family members causing deeper division in our homes, work place, and society. This only leads to the power of a dictator who sways enough support to prop up against – not a majority. Whether part of a grand plan or not, it only works when we are divided.

Religion has become the whore of Babylon. False prophets with guilt and shame have manipulated the consciousness of the American people. It has been used as the go to tool to move humans in profound ways – including war and the killing of neighbors – essentially contradicting everything it is supposed to represent. But make no mistake, religion is NOT the same as spirituality. The religious pawns of our current administration whisper in the ears of vanity and prey on the stupid. A good sign of it is seen in the pulpit of the prolific lie. Our current President doesn’t even bother anymore and lies profusely on just about every topic – even trivial matters. Meanwhile, religion follows waving a banner of hypocrisy for its followers. What we have seen is a joint of messaging, whether spoken or condoned, where deep conspiracies are become normal and lies are pushed until they become truth.

Swept up with it all is Race, which has been transformed – nudged by greed to modernize with the times. Alongside race is poverty and economic inequality – each byproducts of a corrupt system where endless questions of what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right have given way to the blatant corruption that have gained power. The rhetoric ‘drain the swamp’ is a ploy. The idea of smaller government is only a convenient idea to cause division. Race is important not because we talk about it – but because it is one of the important consequences of our system which has relied on slavery. This was probably a natural migration of thought from a Feudal system and serfdom as a necessary requirement for an economic model of a new free country. Over time, we all became slaves as Capitalism evolved and civil rights and other social justice issues emerged and came into conversation. Unfortunately, it did not go away – just changed to enslave all people under the maturation of a system that cares more for monetary status than the common rights of a humanitarian system. Race gets lost in the mix as another contributing factor, which is why just enough has been done since the Civil Rights Movement to make it socially more palatable. Unfortunately, if you are a person of color, you know it is a deeply systemic issue and is embedded. This is where the powerful white man has taken us.

These issues are complex and deep seeded and I believe are to a great extent why why our politics have become so visceral, so polarizing. It is where the elite control and manipulate and is by design. However, within this field of disparity and party politics remains hope for decency. We are a pinnacle need for a cultural shift in terms of what we value. Money and wealth capital should not dictate decisions nor should it limit people from pursuing the best of themselves that contribute to society. I believe this is where some fundamental doses of socialism have value in that it raises the bar from the bottom which in turn strengthens our consumers if one were looking at it purely through the optics of capitalism. As one professor of Economics I know have described it, “A top down system doesn’t work because eventually wealth is consolidated and the consumer base is eroded and so, therefore, is not sustainable. A bottom up model is important for because it inherently protects and feeds the consumer that puts back into the system. It is reciprocal.”

As long as we must choose sides, as an Independent, I prefer a smarter fresh way of looking at our culture and the economic options that feed a different set of principles. Based on this paradigm, it does come back to our vote and the image we hold for our country and the ideals of our humanity.

A Corner of Comedy Contradicted

One gray and chilly Saturday morning, the kind still trying to recover from weeks of snow, a comedian steps out onto his front porch and proceeds to proclaim a new skit of the likes one might see on Saturday Night Live.

The anchor man says, “A man was found hanging around the meat market waiting for his leg of lamb to cure where it hung in the window. But that is not what this is about. He was a witness to the Scarf Lady Killer who allegedly strangled a Senator who refused to pay for her services.”

“Wait!” The Scarf Lady Killer enters the news set wearing large round sunglasses with thick black rims and a paisley scarf wrapped around her head. “It wasn’t me! I did not do this! How can you say such things about your mother!?”

“Mom!” The news anchor exclaims!

“Don’t give me that or I’ll call your father and he can remind you of the bull whip!”

“Oh no, not the bull whip!” The anchor man ducks down behind his desk and peers just over the edge.

“Your witness is a blind man and I don’t know any Senators.”

The smoke from my cigarette swirls into a sky of tiny snowflakes learning to fall. The four corners of the complex are quiet and empty but for the comedian. He is an animated fat guy in his old worn cardigan and disheveled hair that transforms in to an orator of profound theater. With one outstretched arm, he is erratic and quirky speaking proudly the voice of each character. He tries to squat when the anchorman ducks and bolts to his feet when the Scarf Lady Killer states her case. Then suddenly, dramatically, he comes to an abrupt stop and dead silence just hangs there over the yard. Slowly, his shoulders lower and he is an ogre or Eore. After two weary steps, he is comedian again and jumps into the next scene.

A judge appears dragging his pulpit onto the news set. The anchorman says, “Judge! Where did you come from?”

“I am here to end this madness, once and for all. The Scarf Lady Killer must be stopped and there is only way to know for sure if your mother is she.”

The comedian leans forward and waves his hand over the courtyard with a scrunched up facial expression that squints with a cynical look. In a deep raspy voice, he says, “Whoa to you Scarf Lady Killer, we will know the truth yet. Where were you the night of April first? It was a Monday, if I recall.”

“Judge, you can’t be serious! I was with you!”

The neighbor jerks into the air and scuttles a couple of feet to the end of his perch laughing at himself. He halts before tumbling into the snow bank and says, “A monkey riding an alligator runs onto set and eats the judge in one big gulp. Then a trained voice of another anchor person says over everyone, “Well, I guess that takes care of that?”

Then slowly, the comedian fades back into being a cave dweller and disappears behind the screen door. I took that as the end. There was no encore or applause. The cigarette had been gone already five minutes and it was cold so I went back inside my own cave and marveled at the wonderfully strange world we live. I doubt my neighbor will ever repeat his antic, but it is possible, and so I will continue to pay attention.

Jonny’s World

Hammer was an armored beetle in the first fleet of the special guard who wore dark blue helmets. He had a special gift that allowed him to turn any bad situation into a good one. He had a friend named Jasper that was sent away to work in the second fleet of the gathers that made sure the kingdom had a proper food supply. Much of this work was precarious and daily missions were made to the great fields where the treaty that ended the bird wars was negotiated. Jasper was among the elite squad that scouted in the early mornings to make sure the fields were safe. Jasper was especially good at hopping great distances, which was quite handy. If the fields were safe, Jasper would rub his legs to produce a loud wave of music that reverberated throughout the kingdom. The gathers waited each morning as they washed themselves near the river for the Scouts Song, then they would go to the fields.

One day Hammer was conducting his routine checks of the outer parameter to their kingdom, The Wooded Burrow. This was a magical place that needed to be protected. Hammer marched quietly along a trail that skirted the edge of the great forest. He liked this shift because he rarely ran into trouble and it gave him time to think. The worst he ran into was a swarm of angry dust mites that had been misplaced and lost their way back to the pale lands where they fed on the giants. Hammer realized that they were becoming increasingly upset as their hunger for flesh continued to be deprived. Hammer began waving his warning sign at the swarm. Suddenly, the mighty dust mites began dive-bombing Hammer and tried to eat him. But Hammer’s armor was mightier and the dust mites just bounced off of him. After a short time, the dust mite king, Lord Klum ordered his legion to hold back. As the swarm swarmed into a ball, Hammer noticed the Lord advance alone to speak to him.

“You there?!” came a faint voice attempting in its best way to sound commanding. Even though the dust mites are invisible to the humans they feed on, Hammer could see Lord Klum approach and hear his squeaky voice as is common with dust mites on the fact that their voices are parched with dust and are squeaky, small sounding.

“Yes?” replied Hammer.

“Why can’t we eat you?”

“Because I am an armored horned beetle of the special guard commissioned to protect the kingdom of the Wooded Burrow.” Replied Hammer

“Well we dust mites are hungry and if we don’t find flesh, we will die.”

Hammer considered the predicament for a moment. Although he could ward them off, others from the kingdom would not be able to withstand a swarm of dust mites. “What is your name and title?”

Lord Klum realized that Hammer had no idea who he was. “I am Lord Klum – king of the mighty dust mites!”

“Well, you are close to trespassing on the lands of the kingdom of The Wooded Burrow. Lord Hardbark rules by the elements.” Hammer replied.

“That may be, however, we have somehow strayed far from our homeland and must eat.” Lord Klum eagerly advanced.

“Hold up there! You will not find what you seek here in this kingdom. But I might be able to help.” Hammer was determined to resolve this matter and make sure no harm came to his kingdom. It was his duty.

“Oh? And what could you possibly do for us other than remove your armor?” Lord Klum sneered.

“I can help you return to your home so your mites may eat. But I need you to wait here while I fetch supplies and I will return to guide you.”

“Fine, I will give you one half of the shadow of this blade but if you are not returned by that time then we will have no choice.” Lord Klum replied pointing to a slightly bent grass blade that was showing the first signs of its shadow begin to stretch into the dirt.

“Ok. I will get right back!” Hammer reassured Lord Klum as he slowly turned his large round black torso around. Naturally this took Hammer some time and on a normal outing served him well as he would carefully scan his parameters. It was a risky business. Even though Lord Hardbark had negotiated a treaty from the Bird Wars that saved thousands that lived in Wooded Burrow, there were always those rogue robins that liked to try and be sneaky with an occasional dive bomb. Hammer always had the feeling that the treaty was fragile but the birds stood fast and honor the treaty so all was quiet for now.

On his way back, Hammer ran into Jasper who was hopping high above the meadow that rose above and away from Bone Creek that ran through the kingdom. Grass pollen trailed behind his long legs whenever he burst through the tops, landing and bounding gingerly from their curved tops. Now and then, a blade would give him a little boost that sent him even higher. The grass blades were allies and had provided lots of hiding places during the war. Some of the blades found along Bone Creek served as weaponry to the special guard; it was a good relationship held in tact due to the cooperation of the colonies not to feed on their fleshy skin.

“Jasper, come quickly!” He could see Jasper’s antennae twitch and his large eyeball scan in his direction as he leapt through the air. Suddenly, Jasper appeared right behind Hammer.

“Hello Hammer!” Jasper glanced around always looking in several directions at once with his crazy eyes.

“Agh!” Hammer was startled with Jasper’s sneaky tricks but glad to see his old friend. “Jasper you should not go in that direction. There is a swarm of dust mites that have lost their way and they are hungry. Fortunately, my armor was able to ward them off, but they will swarm into the kingdom if I do not help them return to where they came from.”

Jasper had not heard this urgent tone in his friend’s voice in a very long time.

“Jasper, we must awaken the Stones. Tell Lord Hardbark there is a swarm of dust mites waiting at the entrance to the kingdom and they could potentially eat everything in their path. I am going for the Stick of Truth to carry with me for protection. But if I fail, then we will need to use the stones to protect the kingdom.” The stick was not ordinary though it was rough and natural looking. It was a pointer that could guide any who held it so long as their heart was pure because the stick could only lead in the direction of good. Once, the stick had been captured by pigeon pirates who tried to use the stick for a coup against the burrow but then they tried to do anything, the stick burned them. Finally, they returned the stick saying it was useless and had a dark spirit about it.

“Hammer! Should I call back the harvesters? They will be setting off for the fields any minute now.”

“Yes, Jasper, that is a great idea. Please make sure the other scouts know not to send the Scouts Song. I will try and hurry and let others know that I meet on my way back.”

“What about the council.” Jasper said.

“I don’t have time for them. Lord Hardbark will deal with them.” Hammer stammered as he waddled his armor up a slight incline and into the cover of foliage.

“I will do as you request just as soon as I alert the other scouts.” Jasper bounded off into the air and over the tops of the wall of wispy grass blades.

The Stones were smooth like moon cheese without any flaws and each represented one of the four elements – Water, Earth, Fire, Wind… Lord Hardbark vowed to forever protect the stones within the kingdom of the Wooded Burrow. When the stones were properly aligned, they could harness the combined strength of earth and bring great power to the wielder. In the wrong hands, these had the potential of controlling all life or destroying it. It is said that these were crafted deep in the mountains by an ancient man race. Sadly, greed brought down and demolished every last one. One of the Makers had managed to cast a shrinking spell and gave them to Lord Hardbark of the Ants and sent him away just as the last room under the mountain came under attack and fell to the evil that had come to steal the stones. That was the last time they were brought forth for any kind of use.