Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur

I cannot recommend the film "One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur" (Dar Williams, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Carolyn Cassady, Sam Shepard, Tom Waits, Robert Hunter) enough, nor can I recommend the soundtrack by Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard enough. There is nothing more to say, except direct you here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"You Lie!"

I'll admit straight off the bat that I have my doubts about emulating the tactics of your enemies, particularly when both their means and ends are inherently idiotic. Nevertheless, it felt great to disrupt Rep. Doug Lamborn's Town Hall meeting on health care today, if only to use the tactics the tea-partiers have used so effectively in the past.

Why be a jerk? Because Colorado Springs, while populated with many cool people, represents a closed community with closed politics and closed ideas. It is controlled by a tight clique of Libertarians, and its representative in Congress, Doug Lamborn, is the kind of guy who flew down to Honduras to support the coup. Frankly, I don't want no stinkin' dialog. I want to piss people off.

And in the end, the range of issues discussed regarding the public option and the role of health insurance companies was broader due to a rude intrusion than it would have been for playing nice. And I will give Doug Lamborn credit where credit is due. At one point, he said to his conservative supporters, "Well, turnabout is fair play. Some of those tea parties have been pretty rowdy."

Special award to good friend Pat Hill, who gave a dynamite speech on her health-insurance experience to a rally last week, and took on a prime role at the Town Hall. The Gazette ran a great photo of her here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I haven't updated this blog in the last few weeks because I've been too busy experiencing the secular world. Performances and civic actions and visits from friends were all piled into a brief period in early October, so the meditation and processing of information got put on hold in favor of raw experience.

Unfortunately, the nervous system does not do well with buffered traffic jams of unprocessed information after bouts of shingles. It uses PHN, or post-herpetic neuralgia, as a way of putting an exclamation point on the limits of Available Bit-Rate living. Now, I'm a lucky guy, in that PHN hits me in flares as the neural-network traffic jams increase. Some victims of shingles have such damage done to nerve bundles that they experience PHN as a constant pain, a residual unpleasant leftover of plain ol' living. That would be icky.

Let's step back for those not in the loop. Shingles, or herpes zoster, is the leftover retroviral component of chicken pox. If you've had chicken pox as a child, you have a chance of getting shingles as young as your teen years, though it tends to show up when you get as old and grumpy as me. When a funny pox-like rash breaks out on your waist, arms, or face, you've got shingles. The rash itself isn't so bad, but your nerves in your limbs and trunk start doing weird things, acting as if they have severe sunburn or have been hit with hammers. It's treated with a cyclovir derivative, and lasts about a week. The weird thing is, you are contagious to those who have not had chicken pox - but they don't come down with shingles, they come down with chicken pox!

The folks that have chronic PHN seem to have had significant damage done to nerve bundles. They require some serious drug regimens, and I wonder if their ability to process visual or audio information is impacted - I don't think that's been studied very much. Those of us with the flare varieties seem to respond to sensual cues. If one sense is over-stimulated, it's usually not a problem, but if all senses are on overload, watch out! That's why researchers are beginning to see public events like a fair or amusement park as being those most like to stimulate a flare. Movies, concerts, plays, not so much - unless they're combined with everything else.

No surprise I hit my BRZILCH! moment. As soon as I got back from the San Francisco trip to Intel Developer Forum described above, I had to plan for a week's worth of Afghanistan actions, including the talk of Father Louis Vitale.

Ordinarily, the all-encompassing ice fog of Oct. 10-12 might have been a sense reducer, but I had to go see my friends Paul and Shea, and watch all the semi-trucks jackknife on the freeway. No letup there...

The very next day, my sister and niece arrived in Denver for a fast visit, so we took them wandering around the 16th St. mall, up to Boulder to the Dushanbe teahouse and Ethiopian food, and around the high points of the DIA-downtown corridor.

And, as soon as Lisa and Molly left, there was the political-punky-reggae concert of State Radio to attend, then Ping Chong's moving play about the disabled, Invisible Voices, then helping get the registration and repairs for Abby's new Jetta ready.

And then a Saturday night of Middle Eastern food and beer-tasting pumpkin brews, and a million other adventures. Some time around Shakira's performance on Saturday Night Live (yeah, that's right, blame Shakira), the nerve system shorted out. BRZILCH! Time for a reboot! Luckily, there are several days of low-input, low-impact activities to bring the applications back up in the brain. I just hope I don't have to endure the real-life equivalent of Microsoft's "Blue Screen of Death."