May 2002 - Double Nickels ( Side B)
RayzRealm (c) May ,2002

The May 2002 Saga Continues

"Imigosh! it's an atomic bomb, what do you do?"
"Duck...and cover, Duck...and cover"

Friday May 24

Duck and cover

At times I'm almost glad I turned out the way I did. Although I don't have many friends still left alive, the ones that remain are not your typical 21st century zombies. As I get older, I am becoming more sensitized to the world around me, and the bizarre sixth sense I have had about people, places and events since childhood, is getting more finely tuned. And no, I'm not one of those Elvis channeling new agers. I have always marched to a different drummer (don't try this at home), which never won me a ton of friends and admirers. Being an outsider is a gift in some ways. It allows you to see the world and people for what they are, and to weed through all the bull shit. I have learned that people get very uncomfortable and do not like it when someone can see behind the facades and webs they weave. I'll tell you this much, people are getting stranger and stranger as time goes on. Our society today is such a pressure cooker, that as much as people try to cover up, smile and act like nothing is wrong, many are coming apart at the seams.

I'm no willing to play games with people, wear masks and in general allow myself to get drawn into their webs of gossip and intrigue. I have learned over the years that engaging in these behaviors is crucial to surviving and thriving in today's society, so I stand here today, mostly an outsider to all the fun.

About 25 years ago, I learned that not everyone (very few actually) who suck up to you, have your best interests in mind. Most I encountered had some hidden agenda or were looking for a sacrificial lamb to offload their stored up slush funds of rage and frustration. When I avoid contributing to other people's gossip, I'm labeled as aloof and standoffish; I prefer it that way today. I have gotten royally burned and set up by others too many times during my 20-30's, "once bitten, twice shy". Well enough pontificating. I was just making an observation as I begin my 56th solar cycle.

My own foundation has been shaking lately, and I'm sure that many others have been subliminally feeling edgy, particularly since 9-11. I took the better part of the week off since Sunday from watching any TV or listening to news on the radio. At times I need to decompress from all the hype and hysteria. I spent most of this week reading instead of suckling from the glass teat after work.

Last night I decided to watch the news and a couple of local TV news magazines. Hmmm, more of our planetary neighbors are getting irritated at us (no rocket science here), the Catholic church sex scandal is still front page news, but I suspect the media talking heads will milk this cash cow until she collapses and is ready for the rendering plant. I don't have a good feeling about the growing tensions between India and Pakistan, as well as the rest the global unrest.

One TV news magazine ended with a human interest story about what Prez Bush listens to while flying on Air Force One. According to the anchor, he listens to ZZ Top, some shit kicking singer (sorry I'm not up on the country Western top 40) and show tunes. I was sure she was going to include Ozzie Osborne.

And to think I was considering making a special appreciation tape for Dubya to listen to while in flight. Just about everyone I have made mix tapes for have loved them, claiming I have a knack for finding eclectic varieties of stuff that seems to all fit together. Would our president appreciate a mix tape or CD of Moby, Afro-Celt Sound System, Phil Collins, Enya, Zero 7, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Enigma, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Moodswings, plus other musical nuggets. Now wouldn't I be struck totally speechless if I received an e-mail from the White House taking me up on my offer.

The only other show that was on was a special that replaced a normally scheduled TV news zine. It was a tour of homes of criminally rich people's homes. As if the vast unwashed majority of us could afford even to walk by these palaces of pretension, let alone think about renting one for an hour long roll in the hay. I turned the TV off and returned to reading. WWF Smackdown on Thursday night is not my idea of "must see TV".

Perhaps not all yuppies are as wealthy as they want the rest of us Six-pack and pretzels slobs to think they are. I made my usual Friday after work stops at the supermarket and farm stand. I endure the "I have arrived, get out of my way" mentality of most of the people who shop at the farm stand, only because a lot of their produce is 10 times better and cheaper than the cardboard swill the supermarkets pawn off as fruits and vegetables. I was in line behind some princess on her cell phone as she was having her purchases rung up. All of a sudden she tells the cashier to wait and runs back into the store. Perfect yuppie princess number 2 is standing behind me on her cell phone, making subtle "harumph" sounds of impatience and looking at me like I'm the one holding up the line.

Princess 1, returns with some sort of vegetation. I could not figure out what it was, but it looked like something the Enterprise crew served at the Klingon dinner party from "The Undiscovered Country" movie. It seems if it's weird, exotic, rare or expensive, yuppies will buy it. Princess 2, moves off to another line, but not before making a noticeable exclamation of her displeasure, "welll, HAARRRUMMMPHHH!"

Her total bill was more than what I spend for a month of groceries. She hands the cashier a credit card <GONG!> seems that one was max'd out. She pulls out a second one from a rolodex of credit cards, second one <GONG!> max'd out. After credit card 3 bounces, she begins writing a check, then changes her mind and pulls out a debit card.

If I had held up a yuppie grocery line like that, they'd be calling their lawyer, the police, the National Guard, their influential friends at Enron. I casually thumbed through some nonsense new age snake oil magazine while I waited. Yuppie stores never seem to have "Weekly World News", "National Enquirer" or "Midnight Tattler" at their check counters. The professionals are so impatient and in a hurry all the time (time is money), except then it's them holding everyone else up. As I walked out to my car, I passed her sitting behind the wheel of a BMW SUV on her cell phone. I just thought it was priceless, Ms Princess perfect, Prada bag clutched under arm, pushing a Trendia Titanic Jr baby stroller (whining spawn securely strapped in) and driving a Beemer SUV, but bounced 3 credit cards. In today's world and according to it's value system, "who cares if you're in hock over your head, Image IS Everything".

Well kids, you know what time it is? It's the end of today's flight log and time for a couple of choice plums (more like rotten fruit) plucked from that garden of Eden known as the web. From Salon comes this tasty article Can We Sue Our Fat Asses Off? After you become dangerously obese, what better way to vent your anger than to sue the provider of such irresistible treats.

Saturday May 25

Last night I didn't feel like watching the usual TV drivel, so pulled out my copy of "Atomic Cafe" to view. The movie was made in 1982, and consists of public service announcements, military propaganda footage, plus good ole 50's trivia, that chronicles the whole 50-60's Cold War hysteria about always imminent nuclear attacks. It's a bit of camp and trivia, and I have it filed in the bookcase next to Reefer Madness. If you've never seen Atomic Cafe, it's definitely worth a rental.

The 10 o'clock news last night was filled with the latest terrorist alerts and warnings; beware of trains, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty this weekend, don't look under your bed, don't answer the door and don't take candy from strangers (especially if they're wearing turbans or riding camels).

I talked to Mom last night who was concerned, "oooh you're not planning on going into Boston this weekend, there are terrorist alerts all over.They're going to attack everywhere." I told her, "Ma, at this point, I really could care less if I'm sitting next to Abdul and his ticking suitcase. They want us to be paralyzed with fear." One thing I do know is that whoever the terrorists are, they are NOT dumb and are playing us like a piano. My hunch is if. and when they strike again, it will be when we least expect it.

Normally I check the weather before going out, to see if I should carry a jacket or umbrella. In the near future the daily weather forecast might sound something like this.

"The FBI has received credible information that terrorists may be planning to detonate a nuclear device or devices in the Chicago, New York Los Angeles, Detroit, Baltimore, DC and Boston areas this holiday weekend. If you will be in any of these areas this weekend the Surgeon General offer these suggestions; bring along polarized dark glasses, iodine pills and wear sun block with an SPF of at least 15,000. To avoid sterilization you might want to wear lead lined underwear, plus a hat with lead lining. There have also been threats of poison or nerve gas attacks in major malls and theme parks. Don't forget to carry enough gas masks and atropine for everyone in your party. The Surgeon General wants everyone to have a safe and healthy holiday weekend."

"Damn the torpedoes, exploding Cuban cigars, ticking suitcases and poisoned fast food Ensign, full speed ahead!" I drove into Boston this morning to meet a friend of a coworker for coffee and to bang around the city. Paul and I had a nice relaxing coffee on the patio at Au Bon Pain then walked over to the Fenway to sit by the War Memorial in the sun. He lives in the city, but has never explored the Fenway neighborhood. We had lunch at Thorntons Grille (one of my favorite lunch spots). I go into a long winded conversation with our 20 something waitress about pop music.

Whatever music they were playing was wonderful, different and varied. not at all like the bland gruel that dominates the airwaves. I asked her if it was a tape or CD's and she said they have a digital satellite with 80-100 channels of nonstop music. Now here was a pierced nosed gen y'er who said that today's music truly SUCKS and is boring as hell. She likes rock from the 70's and 80's and the channel they had playing had 80's music. Ahh, Depeche Mode, Thompson Twins, Tears For Fears, Bangels, Oingo Boingo, Blondie, Police, Erasure, etc, etc. Thorntons is an interesting, funky bar and grille that attracts a variety of locals. After a long lunch we head over to Newbury Street, which was packed like sardines with people. Today was one of those picture perfect clear blue sky days, not unlike September 11, and it seems that no one stayed inside. Every cafe and bistro was crammed, as were the streets.

Paul had to head back home, so I continued on my own, making the froot loop through the South End, stopping for a cranberry juice at Fritz, then returning home. My legs and feet were beginning to bother me, or else I could have hung around in town for a few more hours. Tonight will be just another Saturday night at the monastery.

Tuesday May 28

Although this was a 4 day weekend for me, it feels like I just left work a few hours ago. And it's not as if I were out partying on a whistle stop tour of friends and enemies. I was usually in bed every night by 9-10PM and last night I was in bed at 6PM. I'm not sure right now if this is due to depression, boredom or my medical condition catching up with me.

I visited my dear mama on Sunday morning then headed up to see Warren, who wanted to take me to a new Retro 50's diner that just opened up in his neck of the woods for my birthday. We tried pulling into the parking lot, but I have never seen a place that crowded in a long time. The cars were parked along the sides of the road for a quarter mile, and there was a 2 hour wait for lunch. Warren muttered, "damn no way! some other time" and we wound up at Chili's. After lunch we returned to his place to web surf, but I was beginning to nod out on his couch (is it old age setting in?) I opted to return home, to maybe watch reruns of the Simpsons, but FOX had some stock car race on "The Possum Creek 500". All the announcers sounded like "Bubba's". The race was only at lap 67, so turned the TV off to read a couple of chapters from "Everything You Know is Wrong". This book, and it's earlier companion volume, "You Are Being Lied To" should be mandatory reading for every red blooded, working class and laid off slob (your truly included in the rolls) in America.

Yesterday I was supposed to meet an acquaintance from an online group for people with my medical foul luck. We met for lunch last Winter and have talked a few times on the phone, but I'm feeling that we have very little in common. He didn't seem very interested in meeting for lunch. I once mentioned the Simpsons to him, his reply, "I try to avoid that show if at all possible, it's vile."

I took a ride into Boston, although the weather was not supposed to be very good. After a bucket of iced coffee on the patio, I headed over to the Fenway to sit by the war memorial. The sun was breaking through and it was getting rather warm and humid after all the rain. The sun brought out all the bush bunnies, who seemed to be in a feeding frenzy.

The sky began making ominous noises (the Gods were bowling) so decided to beat feet back toward the Back Bay and South End before the sky opened up. By the time I reached Copley Square the sun was back out and the sky was almost totally clear. I had lunch at Au Bon Pain and sat out on the patio, then wandered around the Copley Place mall.

Well lucky me! I have been searching for "any" of the movies produced by Michael Moore and no stores even know what I'm talking about. While I'm not a big fan of the run of the mill Record Town or Sam Goody's, I always seem to find some rare or supposedly unavailable movie or CD in one of these stores. I was browsing VHS movies at Record Town, "lo and behold" a brand new copy of "Canadian Bacon" for $4.99. After purchasing my find, my feet and legs were killing me, so headed back home.

Canadian Bacon has Michael Moore written all over it. I have to agree with a number critics who claim he is a genius when it comes to political satire. Alan Alda plays a very unpopular president who was responsible for ending the cold war. Unemployment is high, defense contractors are closing down, and the president's advisors tell what we need is a war to boost his ratings. To keep this short and not give much away, the president's top advisors suggest instigating a long cold war with Canada.

I enjoyed Canadian Bacon a lot, and would recommend it to anyone (if you can find it) who enjoys satire. Right after watching the movie, went to bed, at 6PM???

Today? well it was warm and humid, and rained off and on all day, but I still managed to hop a bus into Harvard Square for a few hours in the pouring rain. I did remember to carry one of my $5 throwaway umbrellas that you pick up in a bucket near the cashier at many Quik-e-Marts. It wasn't raining when I left home, but began to pour soon after I exited the underground T stop in the center of the square. Of course once I caught the bus back home the sun came out, which never seems to fail.

Thursday May 30

I'm glad I was not the only person who has been dragging their ass with unexplained fatigue. Warren said he's been feeling the same way as were a couple of people at work. I wonder, as a couple of people I have chatted with in the Fenway have pondered, is the gummint field testing one of their mind control satellites? This brings to mind John Carpenter's, "They Live" where the aliens were broadcasting subliminal messages to "sleep, sleep, sleep, spend, breed, obey, submit". Or the wicked witch of the West may have left OZ and joined the Taliban at the Tora Bora Hilton, stirring her cauldron, "poppies, poppies will make them sleep." Perhaps it's all the stress and uncertainty or the weird weather we've been having during May.

I heard on the radio today that the gummint has expanded spying powers for increased web surfing and e-mail surveillance, so to all my first time visitors from the FBI, CIA, NSA, AARP, ASPCA, "welcome to Bigboote's Area51 and enjoy your stay."

Now on to a couple of thought provoking articles I found on the Serendipity web site. These may seem far fetched, but reminded me of a couple of conversations I had with Fenway gardeners about the World Trade Center collapse. They also felt that the towers came down in too controlled a manner. Maybe the building was designed to implode on itself if it suffered catastrophic damage, but the more I se the reruns of 9-11 footage, the stranger that day seems to be. There is still a part of me that wants to believe 9-11 was just another of my weird nightmares.

I know I talk a lot about zombies walking the streets of Boston, but wonder if part of their living dead appearance is due to on some subconscious level, knowing that something was coming and suspecting that something even bigger is on the way, but they spend so much waking time keeping busy, filling their lives with noise and distractions, that they are not attuned to whatever vestigial sixth sense people still posses. Since I don't have many distractions in my life, that leaves a lot of clear channel bandwidth open for receiving all sorts of background hum and noise.

Now on to the spooky links for this week from Serendipity. You might find Propaganda worth a read. The other guys do it, we do it, everyone spews their own specially tailored spin on issues. We're all being Brainwashed in one form or another, to sway consensus belief. Then there is That Old Black Majic and 9-11. I found this last article rather interesting regarding the World Trade Center Demolition. I'm not saying I 100% buy into the author's claims but I still found it food for thought. Call Agent Mulder, get the Lone Gunmen on the phone, tape an X on the window to get Mr. X's attention.

I exchanged some mail with Doug in Thailand and he has also been having similar gut feelings that something is going to happen. I wonder how much of this is the conditioning we're all undergoing from the numerous terror alerts. One problem for me anyway, was that I was having the very strong sick nagging feeling that something big and catastrophic was coming soon, 6-9 months before 9-11, and for 1-2 weeks before 9-11 was having nightmares and bouts of vertigo. On and after 9-11 those feelings vanished, replaced by the shock that everyone else was feeling. Enough psychic voodoo for one day. May is a dead soldier, where did it ever go?

Friday May 31

A number of people have asked if I totally believe the contents of some of the articles and links I include in and around Area51. To this I must honestly answer "no", just as I don't take the articles in The Onion as gospel truth. I've always enjoyed Tom Clancy, the X-Files, plus a lot of other conspiracy, unexplained, sci-fi and spook stuff, mostly for it's entertainment value. I have also long believed that what we perceive as reality is not always what it appears to be, "many times truth is stranger than fiction." I have learned that most people I have met are afraid of thinking outside the box, the box being what we are told to embrace as truth by our collective keepers.

So I hate to disappoint some of you, but I am not quite like the character Mel Gibson played in "Conspiracy Theory" or Agent Fox Mulder. And for those of you who are regular readers of the Weekly World News, that is not a real space alien who is photographed shaking hands with the presidential candidates along the campaign trail...or is it?

On to a more mundane note in ending the May flight log, it has been hot and humid the past couple of days. I broke down today and put my two small air conditioners in the windows; one at one of my apartment and one at the other, with two small dfans to coax the air around. Living on the second floor of a two family house, this place gets as hot as a nucelar reactor core during the Summer, and the houses are so close you can reach into a neighbor's window to borrow toilet paper from their bathroom toilet paper roll.

Thus ends May, and now on to June, and hopefully tensions will ease between India and Pakistan, as well as everywhere else. As I look out the window now, one hell of a thunder boomer is headnig this way.

Shalom, Ray