Tuesday, September 28, 2004

music of the moment II

Currently playing: The Velvet Underground & Nico
(produced by Andy Warhol). Tres subversive when
it first appeared in 1967, and still a way cool disc,
even after all these years!

What a range of sounds these guys had--everything
from garage-band rock-n-roll, to light-hearted pop
(the music, not the lyrics!), to psychedelic drone.

Are there any bands out there today with albums
comparable to this? If there are, I'd appreciate
suggestions for some CD's to check out.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

music of the moment

Currently playing: Funhouse by the Stooges
(Iggy Pop's old band). They recorded this
monster back in 1970, and it still ROCKS.

Oh well...time to start gettin' ready for the
reading tonite...hope to see O, P, and G there!

Friday, September 24, 2004

meanwhile, back at the crib...

Not a single cup of coffee today, but my brain is
percolating like you wouldn't believe.

It's been a long week, and there's just too much
to think about. Too much to forget about, too.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

an observation

Went to two poetry readings last night.

The subject matter of many of the poems, and also,
much of the conversation after the readings, rein-
forced the reality that most human suffering is the
result of selfishness, pure and simple. Or should I
say impure and simple?

We're all guilty of it to some extent.

And we're all victims of it.

Damn it, it's too early in the morning to think about
this...I haven't even had breakfast yet.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

grin of the day

Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11 is now showing in
the Islamic Republic of Iran. The authorities there (who
usually are heavy-handed when it comes to censoring
films from the U.S.A.) were only too happy to allow a film
with a strong anti-Bush sentiment to be screened in their

Iranians' reactions to the film were mixed, but one young
theater-goer had an interesting response to it:

"It sure is a great country, where someone like Moore
trashes the president and gets away with it - and makes
so much money!"

above quote courtesy of Middle East Online

Friday, September 17, 2004

clueless, or just heartless?

Despite the claims of the Bush administration and their
apologists that the economy and the job market are good
(or improving), those of us in the real world know better.

I know more people who are either out of work or who
have taken jobs at lower pay than their previous jobs,
than at any other time. More companies are hiring fewer
employees, and those that they hire are getting less hours,
lower wages, and fewer benefits. If the economy is good,
it's only good for the greedy jackals in the upper ranks
of the corporate world.

"Outsourcing" or "offshoring," as it's often called--
the practice of American companies replacing their
personnel with overseas workers, usually for a fraction
of the cost--is becoming more and more common these
days. Overseas employees for call centers and tech sup-
port lines work for much less $$$ than their American
counterparts, and often get no benefits at all.

While I'm happy that the citizens of India and other
countries are able to get decent jobs, it's hypocritical
in this era of flag-waving patriotism--with all of the
"God Bless America" and "We Support Our Troops"
stickers and signs in the windows of retail outlets and
wholesale marketing offices--for companies to be
shifting jobs overseas and shafting workers here at
home. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), even some city
governments are hiring overseas personnel for cust-
omer service jobs. It really makes me want to sing
the national anthem and shed a few tears.

In a recent article in the Dallas Morning News, "Zip, zap,
gone," an executive from an industry consulting firm,
addressing the issue of outsourcing, was quoted as saying:

"There's no logical reason not to do it other than you
perhaps have a unique business reason." *

Hmm...maybe no logical reason, but how about ethical reasons?

I remember hearing a record (a vinyl disc containing music,
popular before the invention of CD's, youngsters) when I was
a child, entitled, "People are More Important than Things."

It seems the corporate masters of our world never listened
to that song when they were growing up. What a pity.

* by Crayton Harrison, Dallas Morning News Technology Writer,
from the DMN Business section, Sunday, September 12, 2004

Saturday, September 11, 2004

9/11: a day for reflection

We now interrupt this blog for a serious commentary.

Today is September 11th, the anniversary of the heinous
attacks on the World Trade Center. It shouldn't be a day
for anger, hatred, and thoughts of revenge. It should be
a day for compassion for all those who lost friends, loved
ones, and co-workers that tragic day in 2001.

It's important to remember that, even as our nation has
the obligation to defend its citizens agains terrorism, we
musn't allow ourselves to fall into the same mindset that
the terrorists have--ideological fanaticism, taken to the
extreme point where one can think it blameless to hate,
defame, harm, or kill people simply for being different
than us--whether the people concerned are Muslims,
Arabs, Americans, conservatives, liberals, et al.

Those who stand up to represent the principle of peace
have an obligation to be peaceful in their words and deeds
if they want the "peace movement" to be taken seriously.
And the only way it will be an effective movement is to be
taken seriously. Disagreement with government policies
and actions is one thing; hating the representatives of that
government is another altogether.

The late, great Hindu peace activist, Mahatma Gandhi, said,
"To take the name of non-violence when there is a sword in
your heart is not only hypocritical and dishonest but cowardly."

Also, I think that the Christian saying, "Hate the sin, love the
sinner" is appropriate here. Put it in your own words, if you
wish. The underlying principle is paramount: we find war
abhorrent, but we musn't let ourselves sink to the level of
hating the warriors or those who command them.

if you're colorblind, never mind

the grass isn’t really
on the other side
of the fence;
it’s an optical illusion
easily corrected
by wearing
rose-colored glasses.

© 2004 by Jack T. Marlowe, 9-7-04

relationships 'r' us

glimpses of real-life soap operas
(who needs reality TV?)

single man #1: "I'd be happier if I were married."

married man: "I wish I'd stayed single."

single man #2: "Lilith is a great lover, but when we're not
having sex, all we do is argue. I bet I'd be happier with Eve."

single man #2 (later): "Eve's a sweetheart, but
she's lousy in bed. I bet I'd be happier with Britney."

single man #2 (much later): "Britney's an immature, selfish
brat. I bet I'd be much happier with...[fill in the blank]."

single woman #1: "I'd be happier if I were married."

married woman: "I should have stayed single."

single woman #2: "Bob's a great guy, but he's kinda nerdy. I'd
be much happier with Phil."

single woman #2 (later): "Phil's a real he-man, but when we're
not making love, all he wants to do is get drunk and watch sports
on TV. I'd be happier with Mike."

single woman #2 (much later): "That bastard Mike cheated on me!
And he's a control freak, too. I'd be much happier if I gave up on men
and found a woman."

single woman #2 (much, much later): "Goddammit, that bitch
Deanna cheated on me...then kicked my ass when I confronted her."

And so it goes...

Friday, September 10, 2004

thinking about finality

Someone recently posted a question online, asking what
would people do if they knew what day would be their last.
The most mature responses were philosophical/spiritual
aims, which makes sense.

Thinking about death is often considered morbid, some-
thing to avoid thinking about--even though it's inevitable.

But if/when we honestly face our own mortality, we
realize that most of what we've preoccupied ourselves
with over the years doesn't represent who we really
are, or who we really want to be. On some level, we all
know that the lofty stuff is more worthy, but most of us
refuse to admit that to ourselves (or others) until it's al-
most too late, because 'lofty' and 'fun' aren't synonyms.

I've struggled with this, trying to find balance between
the two...the 'fun' side wants to bodyslam 'lofty'.

It's pathetic, how we waste so much of our time thinking
about fulfilling adolescent fantasies, and setting aside
the philosophical/spiritual stuff as something for "the
old folks." If we think about it at all, we figure that we'll
worry about the serious things when we get older--
which means we're assuming that we'll live that long.

I've checked in my "IMPORTANT PAPERS" file, but
for some reason, i just haven't been able to locate the
factory warranty that guarantees longevity, mental
or physical health, or a certain percentage of lifespan
that will be filled with satisfaction of any kind.

That sucks, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

early morning sigh

I fell asleep on the sofa last night, then woke up and
surfed the blogosphere for awhile. Can't say that i've
got much to write about this morning, just passing
some quiet hours in the early AM, torn between the
enjoyment of solitude and the discomfort of loneliness
that defines way too many days and nights.

Note: i tried posting this much earlier, but Blogger
had some kind of technical glitch that hung up for so
long that it timed out and didn't post.

Monday, September 06, 2004

faith in god

“I don’t really miss God, but I sure miss Santa Claus”
--Courtney Love, from “Gutless”(1994)

“I am my own God”
--Charles Bukowski, from Life magazine (December 1988)

the ultimate
deadbeat dad,
whose children
hold onto
candy-pane hope *
that he will
come back home
to be there for them,
to provide
for their needs,
to comfort them,
to love them.

a hope
never fulfilled,
an invisible
security blanket
cast aside
when children
finally grow up
and embrace
the nurturing mother
patiently waiting
for her time to come.

© 2004 by Jack T. Marlowe, 9-6-04

* trivia note: "candy-pane" refers to the fake windows used in
movies, which originally were made from a heated mixture
of sugar and other ingredients, resulting in a more-or-less
transparent sheet of candy that actors could smash through
without getting cut up. Beer bottles that were smashed over
cowboys' heads in fight scenes were made of the same stuff.

After the scenes were shot, the actors often ate some of the
pieces of the candy "glass."

seriously, i don't post stuff
just to piss people off

I realize that i'm very opinionated, and sometimes it's difficult
to keep one's opinions to oneself....but that's why blogs were
invented, right? :)

So...if anyone reading my blog is offended, feel free to respond,
but bear in mind that what i post is just my opinion (except
when stated otherwise).

I don't usually make personal attacks on anyone, so unless my
comments are directed at you specifically by name--in which
case you probably deserve it--just take a chill pill.

some of us are more delusional than others

It's sad, thinking about all of the violence in the world, but
especially when it's based on religion-based hatred. Christ-
ians, Jews, and Islamists spilling each others' blood for
centuries, and they still don't get it. Practice your religion,
and leave everybody else the hell alone.

On a somewhat different note, i was a bit perplexed earlier
this morning to read a post (on another website) by a girl
who had once been a proud, committed pagan, who is now
gushing about the "Lord." It appears that she has just
recently "found Jesus." Trading one delusion for another,
i guess. What's next--Ralph Nader and Michael Moore will
announce that they've joined the Republican party?

But maybe it'll be a positive change for her--who knows?

Nothing against Christians here, per se--it's just that
some of them--especially the newly converted--are as
fatuously annoying as Barney the purple doofasaurus.
Most of the Christians (and other religionists) that i
know just quietly practice their religion, and let their
faith speak through their actions. i rather like that,
even if i don't happen to share their beliefs.

yeah, i know i said that i wasn't into blogging, but...

Well, here i am...sucking down caffeine already, and it's not even
4:30 AM. I've had enough sleep already...i hate sleeping. There's
too many other things that I'd rather be doing.

I told a friend of mine that i'm not interested in blogging, that i don't
really have the time for it. But in the wee hours of the morning, there's
not a lot going on. I would rather be writing poems or short stories,
but inspiration isn't a constant companion, is it?

I did write one new poem earlier this AM...i'll post it on here later.