Monday, December 31, 2007

Dick Clark's In My Freezer

Another wretched year limps off to die, taking whoever it can for the final walk. And what of us who remain? The distant fires may reach us soon, or perhaps not, if we can keep our heads down low enough to be ignored.

Eh? What's that? You don't want to be ignored? You wanna take it to The Machine in '08? You wanna make a difference? Sure. Fine. Why the fuck not. Tie a fire-red bandanna around your head, grab an aluminum bat, scream a hideous scream and charge the thing with all you've got. I'll be right behind you. Not directly behind you, of course, but within shouting distance. Give me the high sign when all's clear.

Please don't see this as a form of surrender, or God forbid, despair. Some poor fuck's gotta stick his or her head inside the Beast's mouth to get a better sense of what awaits in this all-important, let's-stop-fascism-in-its-tracks-by-putting-any-Dem-in-the-White-House election year. Me, I'm playing the age card -- been down this shattered road so many times that I've lost whatever inspiration and political verve I once possessed in a life now in mist, where hazy figures stumble around, arms outstretched, calling for guidance and tips on how to avoid the M18A1 Claymores. I'll offer what I can when I can, but remember, my chest and throat were blown apart by a Claymore in an Army war game, so my record's not all that great. If I couldn't find the tripwire when I was 19, how the fuck will I see it today?

So as not to end the year on a sour note, let me give warm thanks and boundless love to all my friends and co-conspirators, online and off. I especially want to thank Barry Crimmins, Toby Hayse, Blue Girl, James Wolcott, Beth Renaud, Louis Proyect, Eric Yarber, Darrel Plant, IOZ, and Ian Garrick Mason for their support (if I stupidly overlooked you, write in and give me utter hell). To Rob Payne, who has helped me much with research for "Savage Mules," I say, go easy, brother. I recall when you were a bit more upbeat, and now you seem intent on out-Silbering Arthur Silber, whose end of civilization posts make one want to drink bleach while jumping off the Chrysler Building. Things are bad, but at least you can play the sax. If nothing else, we who bother to write about the bloodbath must embrace something creative in our personal lives, something that gives us balance. Otherwise, what are we trying to salvage?

If you crave upbeat -- I'm talkin' so fucking optimistic it'll singe your mind with wonder -- stick close to Jon Schwarz. This guy loves living in these horrid times. He sees so many beautiful possibilities, and is so certain that even the dopiest liblogger will eventually recognize true reality, that you'll run to the mirror to verify your own existence. When Jon and I talk on the phone, he laughs off my veal crate statements to spin magical tales about reinvigorated humanity, the use of instant communication as a democratic leveler, and the uncharted, but decidedly real, areas of human hope and imagination that can, and with enough effort will, turn this barbarism around -- or at least mute its awful effect. Jon even sees the upside of an Obama presidency. Mind you, he sees all this completely sober. Not a mushroom stem in sight. Far be it from me to question such splendid imagery in another person's skull. Whatever kicks off a pleasant chemical chain reaction.

So, into the vortex we go, like it or not. Catch you on the other side.

Apropos of nothing, here's a video of The Plastics, circa 1981, from "SCTV." I never got Dave Thomas' Tim Ishimura, who introduces the clip. He's so over the top that it's hard to be offended by it. But then, one can be offended by anything. All it takes is desire.

Hoppy New Yeah.