burroughs and death

•6 June 2011 • Leave a Comment

Unknown: “What is your personal belief on death?”

W.S.B.: “Well, as I’ve often said, how do you know you aren’t dead already? No, but quite seriously. The Bardo, the period between death and rebirth, which is supposed to be populated by some mythological monsters, but I think it’s much more likely if the monsters are too mythological, you’ve wised up, that this wasn’t for real. But it was very much like your real life. You might very well be dead and not know it at all.”

Unknown: “Those monters are projections of your own mind, it’s not external.”

W.S.B.: “Exactly. Exactly, yes. But as I’ve frequently said, I do believe in the possibility of survival after death. I think it’s the only goal worth striving for.”

William S. Burroughs as quoted from the documentary William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

zombie movie

•6 June 2011 • Leave a Comment

Last night I had this thought for a zombie movie: every innocent man, woman and child the United States Government/Military has killed during the last 100 years claw themselves from their graves, become zombies, invade our borders and feast on the flesh of American citizens! I mean, think of the terror! Imagine a group of foreigners invading our country, imposing their will and lacking any respect for the dignity or sovereignty of the nation and its people! Now that’s terrorism!

t/c/m

new fav radiohead song?

•4 June 2011 • Leave a Comment

In a previous post (and a significantly different context) I mentioned this song, but the more I listen to “All I Need” by Radiohead the higher it climbs my favorite-Radiohead-songs list. Simply watching these guys perform is mesmerizing. Watch this and prove to me otherwise!

But, then again, there’s this jewel.

And can’t forget about this one.

good day

•4 June 2011 • Leave a Comment

Today was definitely a day I was anticipating. I spent nearly seven hours shadowing a hospice nurse.

My path leading up to this point has been a strange one. It all started several years ago when I saw the magnificent Magnolia from Paul Thomas Anderson. In the film, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Phil Parma, a hospice nurse. I remember this thought striking me: there exists an actual person seated bedside, aiding the passing of another human being. And it happens every day. The thought of the experience itself excited me – not simply witnessing the phases of death, but to help that human being pass as peaceful as possible.

Prior to watching the film, I’d have passing thoughts about pursuing a career in nursing, but it was always a fleeting thought, and I paid it no mind. But one day, about three years ago I watched the film again. I watched it when I had just turned 30, and the thought, or perhaps fear, of going nowhere as a public transit bus driver (a career that chose me and one I did not want) inspired me to enroll in a local community college. After completing a series of prerequisite courses, I successfully entered a program that accepted a limited number of students.

And here I am. Hopeful graduation in December of this year, pass state boards and begin the path.

t/c/m

welcome to the midwest

•2 June 2011 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to the Midwest

briefly: mitt romney and the current state of politics in america

•2 June 2011 • Leave a Comment

Just heard a news story in which Mitt Romney’s appearance was compared to that of a “hedge-fund Ken doll.” I LOL’d. And in the same story, a Republican voter proclaimed he’d vote for anyone as long as he/she beats Obama. I’m certain many Americans share this sentiment (which reminds me of the Left in 2004 when the mantra was “anybody but Bush”). It’s a sad state of affairs when some (most?) voters vote solely to see the challenger/incumbent lose, but how could this attitude not exist when Americans are being served by a rotting government that has so perversely worshiped money and power that the United States borders on becoming a military state? (My opinion: I believe the military state is already here.)

Another theory is that the current state of American politics was inevitable — the Empire is crumbling. I suppose you can view everything happening now as some big reality television-game show, like Survivor. The weak contestants who realize they’re weak look to align themselves with another weak contestant. Obviously the pack leader isn’t going to commit himself to a weak member, so the less-than-strong unionize and, before being booted from the tribe, they try every trick imaginable. There’s deceit. Honesty. Hate. Respect. But the end goal is the same — to be the winner and the one with the most power. But let’s flip things for a moment and say the weak contestants know with certainty that they’ll lose. Then what happens? Well, if you’re a corporation (think Enron) or major financial institution you milk the cow until the tit is dry then jump ship, which, as I began this paragraph, is perhaps an explanation for the disintegration of American government and power. When the money runs out, your response is probably going to be irrational. How else can you explain the popularity of Sarah Palin and the catatonic Obama heads who still support him?

These two factions exist not because American’s are dumb, ignorant. They exist because they’re all that we have. Look at Obama. Bush. Palin. And practically every senator and congressman now in Washington. The deception and corruption that runs through all these characters rivals The Matrix. What you see, or, more precisely, what you read and hear is a fantasy compared to the product delivered. It’s the ol’ bait-and-switch.

Most unfortunate of all is that our little Rome is crumbling. Consciously or unconsciously, I believe this realization, among other reasons, motivated many to vote in 2010. The use of the hope and change slogans weren’t so much a response to the previous eight years, but an attempt to appeal to the sensation that’s slowly beginning to creep into the American consciousness: a new fear. It’s no longer just terrorism (still a good card to play, however). It’s a fear that everything’s falling apart. Bridges crumbling. Increasing homelessness. Yet wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya.

To the shadows blue and red, shadows blue and red
Your alarm bells, your alarm bells
Shadows blue and red, shadows blue and red
Your alarm bells, your alarm bells
They should be ringing
This is the gloaming
(from Radiohead’s “The Gloaming”)

t/c/m

experience

•31 May 2011 • Leave a Comment

I stated in my first post that I began this new address largely out of the desire to retain my anonymity. In some ways I want to keep everything here as nondescript as possible, yet go into immense detail about my experiences. So this is what I’ll write: I’m a young thirtysomething living in the Midwest. I’m currently enrolled in a community college. I’m two semesters away from graduating with an associate degree in nursing. I hope to graduate in December of this year, pass my state boards and become a Registered Nurse. I then hope to up the associate degree to a bachelor. I ultimately wish to work as a hospice nurse.

I mention the above because now I’m taking Complex Family Nursing – it concentrates on the person and not the patient. As part of the course I spend two, eight-hour days a week at local facilities that focus on working with the homeless, the developmentally disabled and the dying. Last Friday was my first clinical; it was split in half with four hours spent at a local, faith-based homeless shelter and the other four at a day-care facility for group home patients, who all suffer from some form of mild mental retardation.

I’m looking forward to these clinical experiences because those involved are among society’s most vulnerable, and speaking as a Socialist, this is the group that would most benefit from aggressive social programs, which, even prior to the recent economic collapse, suffer from insufficient government funding and, more important, attention.

At the homeless shelter my classmate and I spent most our time in the kitchen prepping for lunch. The home currently holds about 40 men and two families. (Women are housed at a separate facility.) According to the home’s coordinator, the three-story building will house approximately 300 souls during the winter months.

What’s most remarkable about the shelter (I don’t like using the word shelter because this place offers above-reasonable quarters and valuable resources) is that it runs 100% on dontations. They receive no federal funding. Standing inside a near-warehouse sized garage filled with donated items is a special experience. It renews your faith in the human spirit.

The only issue I had with the facility is that there’s a strong focus on religion, specifically Christianity. All residents are required to attend the in-house chapel service, which occurs every morning at 8AM – and it’s seven days a week. Residents are also required to attend, at least once a week, an outside church service. I don’t have a problem with random drug/alcohol screens (although, where are the homeless addicts to go?), but it does concern me that an individual will be expelled from the home if they fail to attend religious services. They’re under no federal guidelines per se, so they can do as they please; I simply believe the religious requirement is excessive. I understand (but disagree) the facility uses the church to establish a support system, but such systems can be used without employing Christ.

More later.

t/c/m

(Oh, and seriously, the aforementioned Exmilitary by Death Grips is absolutely devastating. CANNOT stop listening.)