Monday, November 14, 2011

"Personhood" and a heartbeat....

My wife has noted that I can cry at commercials. I am a sensitive guy. It's not always true, but if the commercial includes a cool piece of music from an ancient place, I might get misty. Rarely, though, do they make me think. Recently, an ad for a product to help control know...gas...had a line where an interviewer read a resume and said, "...flatulent in 3 languages...," -that made me think. The thought was strange and perverse, but a thought. I was immediately imagining a talking anus. Pursed lips shaping words, first in English, then Spanish and finally Russian. Within no time, my ass was making speeches! It was eloquent...loquacious...mind numbing. The talking ass voiced a thought of its own: "I am a person!' Another ass in the room, a Republican, seconded that motion and introduced their "Personhood/Heartbeat" Amendment.... The war on women continues and escalates.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last one standing....last one dead.

He is 22. She is 24. Her name is Lauren. She's a Facebook friend of mine. She's in Afghanistan, in the United States one seems to be able to explain why she's there. Something about Freedom. Karzai, the President there, isn't happy with us...he wants us to stop bombing them. The bombing is killing civilians there. We have robot planes called drones, too. Like science fiction...Buck Rogers. For her it's real, though. It's hot and bad things happen. Unhealthy work. His name is Albert. He's there too. The war there is almost over...his friend was just killed though. An IED blew his friend's face half off. The war's almost over, thank God. Lauren and Albert have families here in the States. Their fathers don't know each other. The same thought, though, keeps them both awake at night. The troops, our troops, are coming home soon...some sometime soon. There are no more goals to achieve...just to stay alive. Both dads can't stop thinking...Lauren and Albert...will be the last one to die. The last one to never come home. The last one old veterans call the REAL heroes of war. Can you imagine someone you loved being the last. Or even being the first. God save you Lauren and Albert. Or maybe we should save them.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I need a friggin God!

Voltaire said, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." Politically incorrect it may be. But a profound truth when we see the lastest news. As of June 7th of this year, the war in Afghanistan became the longest war in our nation's history. I need a God just so I can say, "For Christ's sake...stop!" At home, we're diddling with the economy and politics like children fighting over a popsicle. Republican Debate audiences cheer the death of the uninsured and shout down our gay soldiers. This's like during the Holocaust...when neighbor said to neighbor, "Aw, come on...that can't be happening." We need a friggin God to say a prayer to, light a candle for, mention in passing...when these bodies come home every day.... I believe Stephen Hawking when he says we need no God to explain the Universe. But I need one today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Storm Porn....

Years back, oh so often, I would be hit by a pornado of naked breasts and pelvises while searching for a vendor at work. An innocent misplaced request for medical record chart holders once sent me pop-ups that lasted 10 minutes, as I aimed and struck X's like a marksman. The unexpected casual observer would avert their eyes...but could not help but notice. Pop-ups were a fact of life...a fact that, I'm sure, ended careers or, at least, changed their paths. They were a kind of "Porn Storm." Now, every news channel has cranked up their broadcast of "Storm Porn." And it is addictive...not unlike the urge to see death at the racetrack. Irene is the villain today. No naked breasts. And signs along her target proclaim a sweeter, calmer time. Good night they say to her. So here's to sweetness: 

Monday, August 22, 2011

The oxymoron....

Compassionate republicans...a small mind
A big mouth and ? which to open...which to shut.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our Legacy?

What is the legacy of humans? Is it what differentiates us from the other species? There is the opposable thumb. And we are the only animal that has sex over the phone.... But, it seems, everyday, another animal is making a tool or showing intelligence, true care and affection. We do legitimize things, like marriage, with ceremony and law to express importance. But do we know that other creatures aren't somehow celebrating or emphasizing their lives in a similar way? Absence of communication between species allows for imagination. Is our legacy war? Or the actions of our politicians? The Holocaust? Or love? I don't believe any of these things makes me feel special. This made me feel special. For a while.,0,5287053.photogallery?index=lat-gay-wedding_loug8inc20110724084934

Friday, June 3, 2011

Baseball, Death, and a place to rest....

Stirring in the Bullpen
by Michael Lawless

            I guess I just hadn't thought it through. It seemed simple enough…baseball field…grass. But, here I was, at Jacob's Field, an Urban Baseball Cathedral in the heart of Cleveland, dad’s birthplace, with my dad in my pocket, and I still had to find a place to put him.
There was no problem at first. He wanted to be cremated and he wanted his ashes spread on Lake Erie. Dad loved the lake. He lived his last years in a 12th floor condo on Lake Ave. We would sit on his balcony some nights and watch the boats, all lit up, lights twinkling. Mom left him a while back- too much booze, too much pain. And, he’d lived the better part of thirty years in Chicago, away from mom, my two sisters, and myself. At first, he lived on the streets, grabbing food and sometimes a smile from the Salvation Army. Years later, he was back on his feet and taking care of his dad at the end. Gramps had an apartment on Lakeshore Boulevard overlooking another lake. When he died, and dad had nothing left in Chicago, we asked him to come home. He did, and I soon took over the same role he had played with his father.
            He loved the Tribe. We’d seen the last game at the old Municipal Stadium, and, in only the few times he was able to get to Jacob's Field, he had fallen in love with the park. At his funeral, after talking to old friends of his we never knew, my sisters and I came to feel that part of him that loved baseball and that part belonged at the Jake.
            The day was September 16th, his birthday and over a month since he had died. We planned on a late morning ceremony at Lakewood Park. We hiked down the path to the pier and all the way to the end where you can stand on the rocks and see the downtown buildings shining in the bright September sun. It was perfect. Just a couple of runners on the path that seemed to want to avoid us. We had the place to ourselves, which was good. We’d learned that there might be a legal concern with dumping anything into the lake-even your father.
            The ceremony was memorable, even moving. My wife, my sisters, their husbands, and myself each read what we thought were appropriate words in his memory and pictures were taken. Then, a moment of truth came when we had to open the black plastic container where dad now resided. This would be the first time any of us saw the results of our father’s cremation. The ashes were placed into a plastic bag inside the black plastic container. I opened the bag and pulled a sandwich baggie out of my breast pocket. I reached into the container's bag and grabbed a handful of dad and moved him gently into the baggie. Human ashes are strangely crystalline, not like, say, cigarette ashes, but somewhere between road salt and kitty litter. Just very different. I rolled him up, sealed the baggie, and tucked him away in the pocket of my jeans. Then, I poured the remaining ashes into the lake in front of us. The lake was calm, but I had assumed that the waves would quickly disperse dad among the rocks and to the bottom. The ashes seemed to flow back and forth and, like a cloud, maintained a shape just below the surface. I am not known for being overly spiritual, but he seemed with us. We hung around for some time, not saying much, just watching the cloud- dad, slowly sink. Then we said our goodbyes and left the park.
            My wife and I had tickets to the Tribe game that afternoon. So, we hopped in the car and headed for the Jake. The whole thing gave me the feeling like when you were a kid and tried to get away with something secret. We parked at the Madison Rapid Station and gave dad his last trip on R.T.A. I really thought there would be no problem finding a grassy area for dad at a ballpark. Like I said…baseball field…grass. But once in, I realized for the first time that the asphalt warning track ran the entire circumference of the field. And the grass was a good 8 to 10 feet from the closest railings. I had to figure this out. We found our seats and I planted my wife so I could keep looking and she could grab something to eat (and appear innocent).
            After about half an hour, it became plain that the only grass I would be able to get near enough to was in the bullpen. The game was just starting and, as always then, the ballpark was jammed. I knew dad would haunt me if I put him in the visitor's pen, and, who knew, his presence might inspire our pitchers. So, I chose our bullpen.
            An aisle parts the lower stands from the picnic area behind the pen and ends at a railing. Looking down over the railing at the rear of the pen, I saw green grass and knew this was it. I slowly pulled the baggie from my pocket and hung it out over the railing. I unrolled the bag and, knowing again that I didn't want to have to explain what I was doing, I quickly shook dad down toward the grass. But, all at once, it was windy. And again, dad was like a cloud. He started slowly down and then, with a jerk, a gust moved the cloud toward the back of several fan's heads in the lower stands to my left. Just as it seemed that I would be explaining to strangers why my father was in their hair, I felt another gust and the cloud, dad, went up and out and over the bullpen and then shot straight down into the grass. It was like at the lake. He seemed with me, and whole.
            Years later, I think of him whenever I'm near the lake, or at the ballpark, or watching the Tribe on the tube. He's now part of my hometown, and his. And if our pitchers in the bullpen see dust stirring out of the corner of their eyes, and the hairs rise on the back of their necks, I know it's just dad's way of saying, "Throw strikes!"

(Copyright 1998)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fried Cerebellum....

Someone is trying to nudge a spatula under the edges of my brain...the cast iron pan is rolling...back and forth...up and they want the butter to surround me...saturate me...make me oh so tasty. But I eat myself first and fold up inside me till no one sees where I am...with green eggs and ham.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Definition: Merriam-Webster: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain priveledges.

Why does it sound like priveledged or special when someone on the right says the word entitlements? Like, "We have to deal with entitlements to get this budget under control." The same thing happened to the word liberal years ago. It became synonymous with socialist or communist  for the majority. Why can't they call it what it really is? It's a promise made to us years ago by our government. A promise we made choices about because it was there.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I love some weird olives, and my wife. But I really love irony. It satisfies some strange place within me. And, I think, last week I saw the most amazing example of irony. Japan's earthquake and tsunami started a nuclear crisis in Japan that may take decades to sort out...if it ever can be. In the same way, it took decades, decades ago, to heal that nation after being the first to experience the atomic bomb: 

What odds would Vegas give that the same nation could be changed forever by both the peaceful and wartime use of nuclear power?

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Walk on the Wild Side

I can't shake this feeling. The shit is coming down faster and faster. It's "the quickening". Japan, the quake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown, the magnetic north pole shift, oil flooding the Gulf...(it's still there...killing). I see myself flowing with the tsunami, banging off buildings and trees and...then down a crack, a Rabbit Hole into nothing.... ("Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it." -Woody Allen.) I've really tried to be a nice guy. Pretty vanilla really.... Maybe it's time. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I second this nomination.

Laurel Krause is a Facebook friend and I second the nomination of her sister, Allison, for mention and honor this Women's History Month:

JOIN ME in honoring Allison Krause for Women's History Month in 2011. Allison was a nineteen year old coed at Kent State University in 1970. On May 4th, in the national guard occupation of her campus, Allison was shot dead as she protested the Vietnam war. Sandy, Jeff & Bill were also killed and nine students were wounded in this action to suppress dissent against war in America. The incident triggered national outrage in a country already divided over the Vietnam war. In the days that followed more than four million students rose up in dissent across 900 campuses, generating the only nationwide student protest in U.S. history. The Kent State killings have never been thoroughly examined and no person or group has been held accountable for wrongdoing. Here's a poem on Allison published in the Congressional Record December 2010 and at my blog. Please read & learn ~ The Kent State Truth Tribunal was formed by Allison Krause's family to uncover, record and preserve the TRUTH at Kent State 1970 here ~ Watch this amazing video on Allison by Walter Theodore Wynn ~ 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Someone actually spoke their mind at the Oscars....

When director Charles Ferguson accepted the Oscar, last night, for Best Documentary, he joined that rare club of people that, under the spotlight that is the Academy Awards spectacle, avoided the bullshit and spoke the truth. In his film, Inside Job, he eviscerated Wall Street players, economists, and bureaucrats for their crimes and misdemeanors. And, yesterday, he brought life to that annual self praise-a-thon called the Oscars when he said, "Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that's wrong." Thanks Charlie.... 

This link is his speech. Click on the box below the story:

Click here for the movie's's riveting:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life aboard a Frigate....

I've packed my duffel and bid adieu to friends, lovers, and reality and stepped aboard my new ship, the Frigate All. She picked me up at the East 9th Street Pier here in Cleveland with the sounds of gulls chirping overhead and the smell of frozen fish floating around us. I have to turn my back on my world for a few moments...the numbness in my head and heart is sending screams of I don't care out my piehole. How else is an old liberal idealist to keep on moving? The brick wall my head kisses daily...sometime hourly...needs the blood and flesh hosed off again...and a nice scent - patchouli maybe? - applied generously. I won't be gone for long. You see, I care. And I rage against the dying of the light...of compassion and fairness and sharing, as the Mad Hatter takes over. Maybe some mushroom tea? Please pass the sugar.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We will be bombarded with fascinating choices made in Congress this year. Irony runs rampant. Check this out: ....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Peabody's Improbable History....

The Mad Hatter's Republican Tea Party has found and plans to use the Wayback Machine. Redefining rape to deny federal spending for abortions is the beginning of a return to the core values of the 50's, 40's and beyond. Coat hangers will return to the delightful days when they did more than hang coats. Given enough rope, will Peabody's machine allow lynching to return? Am I crazy to hope that the cromagnan thoughts of the Michele Bachman's and the Sharron Angle's of the Party of Tea may prove that values require actions to truly interpret them and then the party will be reinterpreted.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Proper, legal, and humane....

Outdoor Adventures Whistler ordered the "culling" of dogs at their adventure park in British Columbia and now blame an employee of that park for the brutal way it was carried out. At least 100 beautiful dogs were shot while still tethered and some had to be shot multiple times. An  area vet refused to euthanize the dogs because they were so healthy. Outdoor Adventures Whistler said they were aware of the euthanization of the dogs in April 2010, "but it was our expectation that it was done in a proper, legal and humane manner." What punishment is appropriate? Something proper, legal, and humane.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lennon's Wrath of God....

Cleveland's Bishop Richard Lennon is casting lightening bolts and bullshit toward the Rev. Robert Marrone and his breakaway congregation. They leased a century old building at East 71st & Euclid to worship in after the Bishop closed their parish, St. Peter's in downtown Cleveland. At a time when this church needs men of integrity more than ever before, this priest has stood behind his congregation and jeopardized his eternal soul. The Bishop warned Rev. Marrone to resign within 48 hours or face "canonical action" (he's grabbing that lightening bolt). Marrone refused and undoubtedly is headed for Hell, where it's a little warmer than Cleveland. Bravo Rev. Marrone and power to the breakaways.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

God is Good, Pastafarian...and tastes good, too.

I have found pictures of God posted on the following website:
I know Catholics, and probably many other religions, have sacred rites whereby, like communion, they eat their God. I'm Irish, but my heavens, a God of Italian flavor? How could one go wrong! Catholic hosts - the little wafer God-thingy they eat - are bland as hell and not filling at all. But just think how great it would be to munch on THE GREAT SPAGHETTI MONSTER! They may even have Holy Parmesan to sprinkle on top! And Holy Garlic Bread for dipping! This is the closest I have wanted to be to God in ages.... (Oooh, aged Holy Parmesan.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Clemency for Clemons....

Changing even one period in Huck Finn would be an obscenity and a slap in the face for Mark Twain. What is this need to revise history, to cleanse reality and make life fit better in a  right wing Christian's brain. Okay, I respect your beliefs and will fight to the death for your right to believe any crap you can pop out of your ass. But I won't let you make it LAW and I won't let you say something that happened did not happen, or say something that did not happen, happened. Reality is my line in the sand. Really.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holy Mendacity....

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tried to defend fellow Republicans against claims from Dems they lied about healthcare. In doing so in the House, he took umbrage that Republican mendacity was being challenged. Translation: "The Dems challenged our lies." They do have dictionaries in Iowa? For anyone unsure, Merriam-Webster defines mendacity below: