The Sixth Boro
To follow up on yesterday’s post…
“I’m telling ya, this is going to be the death of liberals. this nit-picky, intramural attacking of friends for insufficient purity. Compulsively cleaning up a little corner of the room, that’s already quite clean…while there are giant piles of shit everywhere else.” – Bill Maher
I guess Bill Maher considers Libya a “little corner.” Ditto the deportation of children back to Central American war zones. Bill Maher won’t tell you any of those things about Hillary Clinton because he’s a Muslim-hating white nationalist who will do everything in his power to keep you ignorant about her foreign policy. His strictly “America first” discussion of his pal Hillary betrays a virulent racism underneath. It’s worse than Trump’s isolationism. It’s giving Hillary carte blanche to do as she wishes abroad because pundits like Bill Maher will help ensure it won’t get discussed at home. Even on her domestic policies he won’t discuss her support of fracking and her years of anti-gay marriage rhetoric, not to mention her painfully racist remarks. See here for the full scoop on what Bill Maher doesn’t want you to know about. He’ll make sure you stay focused on how much you hate Trump.
I indeed felt picked apart, shouted down and ridiculed by my own party’s speakers and leadership this week, and I know there’s a huge pile of shit in Libya for one place. It troubles me to no end than neither Bill Maher nor my (formerly) fellow liberal Democrats want to address it. They’re really okay with thousands of dead Muslim civilians and more to come under Hillary (most likely Tehran if she’s elected president). They just won’t talk about it, sort of like CNN. Even Bill Clinton skipped right over Libya last night during his pep rally. US Prez is the most powerful person in the world so we can’t just say yes but she says pretty things about Muslims here at home, and all we care about is what happens here at home. We’re okay with thousands of dead civilians as long as they’re brown and live far away, and as long as Hillary says she’s pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights here at home. How disturbingly narcissistic are we? This is its own kind of isolationism and she too is a demagogue.
Hillary was also pro-TPP until 5 minutes ago to appease Sanders supporters and I still don’t believe she won’t switch right back if elected. Trump is also pretending to be anti-TPP. Trump is also now pretending to be pro-LGBT.
All of my liberal Dem friends have spent years opposed to the Iraq invasion even though under Bush it labeled us pro-Saddam. Hillary fell right in line with Bush back then and we disliked her for it. Now that Trump is saying the same thing we’re all siding with Bush and Hillary Clinton by default, or just saying nothing and avoiding the subject.
If we take the stance that politicians say all kinds of crazy things during an election year, then all we can go on is their actions. Let’s try it. Trump might say horrible things. Clinton does them. Trump might want a temporary ban on Muslims. Clinton attacks a sovereign nation and murders thousands of them. And when they devolve into a 3-way civil war and ISIS invades she can only call the situation “unfortunate” as we send in 250 Special Forces troops to keep the oil roads open. Don’t forget that’s what this is still all about, y’all. The oil.
Hillary’s got until election day to win me back and only one thing will work: promising to name Bernie Sanders her Secretary of State. Until that fairy tale occurs I’m a Jill Stein supporter right along with Cornel West and I hope you’ll check out his inspirational and factual words here –
A sampling: “This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an ‘outstanding president’. Her militarism makes the world a less safe place…Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen…The American empire is in deep spiritual decline and cultural decay. The levels of wealth inequality and environmental degradation is grotesque. The correct response to this is: tell the truth about what is going on.”
And here’s what Jill Stein herself had to say this week –
A sampling: “Despite her penchant for flip flopping rhetoric, Hillary Clinton has spent decades consistently serving the causes of Wall Street, war and the Walmart economy. The policies she fought for – along with her husband and political partner, Bill Clinton – have been foundations of the economic disaster most Americans are still struggling with: the abuses of deregulated Wall Street, rigged corporate trade agreements, racist mass incarceration, and the destruction of the social safety net for poor women and children. The consistent efforts of the Democratic Party to minimize, sideline, and sabotage the Sanders campaign are a wake up call that we can’t have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party. Sadly, Sanders is one of a long line of true reformers that have been undermined by the Democratic Party…Each time a progressive challenger like Sanders, Dennis Kucinich or Jesse Jackson has inspired hope for real change, the Democratic Party has sabotaged them while marching to the right, becoming more corporatist and militarist with each election cycle. Millions are realizing that if we want to fix the rigged economy, the rigged racial injustice system, the rigged health care system, toxic fossil fuel energy and all the other systems failing us, we must fix the rigged political system, and that will not happen through the rigged Democratic Party. Right now we have a real chance to change our rigged political system, and we must not squander this opportunity by pledging allegiance to a corrupt political insider who the majority of Americans do not like, trust or believe in.”
My Tweets last night–
were the dying embers of a liberal Democrat. Yes, I was already on the precipice but the ridiculous display from Franken and Silverman at the Wells-Fargo Center less than a mile from my Philadelphia home were the final shove I needed.
Do you think the DNC has learned anything from the leaked emails? They’re going to be neutral in future elections because, boy, they sure did learn their lesson? No, the lesson they’ve learned is that it worked. Hillary will win the nomination. They just need to be more secretive the next time around and have better email security; that’s what they’ve learned. This thing has been rigged against Sanders since the word go, and it’s not just at the highest levels with DWS. It trickles down to the Democratic poll workers across the country who were called out and investigated for destroying Sanders votes and de-registering likely Sanders voters in advance of primaries.
Pro-Clinton pundits have been coming on TV all week saying yes, Hillary and the DNC played dirty pool but the primaries speak for themselves — Democrats voted mostly for Hillary. That’s a disingenuous claim given the aforementioned DNC’s voter fraud against its own members, and the fact that the leaked emails show the DNC’s direct collusion with major media in manipulating public opinion during the primaries. So no, the primary votes don’t mean Hillary won fair and square. And have you noticed that DWS got raked over the coals but none of the pundits are going after CNN and the like for proactively playing along? I’m talking about fools like Maria Cardona and Donna Brazile.
Now what we’re being told in summary is this: yes, Hillary is crooked and the DNC operate a rigged system to silence liberal Democrats like myself, but you don’t want Trump to win do you? What a cynical and disgusting game they’ve resorted to playing. It means that nothing, absolutely zero, will change in the DNC. What they’ve learned from all of this is that their tactics work.
One day my child will ask who I voted for in life and why, and I’m going to have to look him in the eye, and look at my own self in the mirror, and give an honest answer. I want to tell my child that I voted my conscience. My child is approaching school age and I’ve taught him not to be bullied, and to stop bullying when he sees it. I am now being bullied by the DNC, and even Bernie Sanders, into voting for Hillary Clinton. This is what the DNC thinks of liberal Democrats such as myself.
Therefore I’m with Julian Assange, who told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman this week that choosing between Clinton or Trump is like having to choose between cholera and gonorrhea:
“Well, you’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea? Personally, I would prefer neither. Look, I think—you know, we know how politics works in the United States. Whoever—whatever political party gets into government is going to merge with the bureaucracy pretty damn fast… So it doesn’t make much difference in the end. What does make a difference is political accountability, a general deterrence set to stop political organizations behaving in a corrupt manner. That can make a difference.”
I’m out. I’m done tolerating blatant, unapologetic corruption in my political party. I’m hearing you loud and clear, DNC. You don’t want people like me. You will continue to proactively squash liberalism in your ranks, so I’m heading for Greener pastures. It doesn’t mean I’ll never again vote for Democrats but I’m done being treated by the DNC like a poor relation.
Thrilled that Bidisha Dasgupta will be performing newly choreographed Indian Classical Dance (bharatanatyam) pieces in the Dance Diversity Tour on Saturday, April 16th in Philly. Two shows. Tix are $10 until April 2nd and $15 afterwards. You haven’t bought yours yet?
A Shaheb’s Guide to India
How a simple father-son craft project became a global, epic diorama
Five years ago this month my wife Bidisha and I got married a full Hindu wedding in India. Four years ago our son was born.
This past Thanksgiving while carving the turkey at our Philadelphia home I got to the bone that my granny from rural southwestern Virginia used to save and make into a turkey bone Santa sled decoration at Christmastime every so often. It’s a morbid Appalachian thing, you wouldn’t understand. In a fit of nostalgia I decided I’d give it a whirl and introduce my young son to a part of his cultural history.
To make sure I was really remembering correctly I Googled “turkey bone sled” and one of the first things that came up was someone’s Pinterest page about turkey bone sleds with the header, “My granny made these.” Yep, I was on the right track.
My son and I often do multi-stage, multi-day art projects so I told him we were going to embark on this “small” project. I’m thinking the whole thing will be five or six inches long with a couple of ceremonial reindeer pulling it but he insists that it be the full 9 reindeer, and that there be a full moon, and a Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters), Aldebaran (the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and one of the bull’s eyes), a small pine tree like the one we have in a planter outside our house, and our street sign, and snow on the ground, and hovering in the sky above Santa there should be Kartik. Without missing a beat I told him fine but that he’d need to design it on paper first so we’d know exactly what we were making and not leave anything out.
Kartik? That would be the Hindu god Kartik, less famous brother of Ganesh. Kartik is the Pete Best of major goddess Durga’s children. I later learned it’s impossible to find an altar figurine of just Kartik alone, so I convinced him instead to CONT’D at medium.com>>
I’m having gas pains. I know that bitching about a car rental company is a mere #firstworldproblem but on the other hand here I am in the City of Brotherly Love for an extended stay and we’re trying to be green and all by not owning a car. My wife and I can afford a car; we just don’t want or need to own one, so we use public transportation as much as possible and rent cars as needed.
When we first came to town we discovered a cool little experiment called PhillyCarShare, a local nonprofit with a grass roots, hometown, environmentalist feel. Then it got bought by Enterprise and now all the employees of Enterprise CarShare live in far away states and handle customers from multiple cities across the US, UK and Canada. Mostly this depersonalized corporatization has been fine but it hasn’t been without its zany frustrations, so much so that this past year we also joined the Avis Budget-owned rival company Zipcar to compare the two. Both have their pros and cons.
Here’s a CarShare con: with Enterprise CarShare you must return the car with a minimum 1/4 tank of gas. They also provide a gas credit card in the car so that you don’t have to pay for it yourself. They also ask you to book an extra 15 minutes of time in case you do need to get gas. So far, so good.
But sometimes their card doesn’t work at some gas stations, or sometimes the card isn’t there at all because a previous driver accidentally kept it, and then you must pay for the gas yourself and send Enterprise CarShare a receipt (or leave the car below 1/4 tank and pay a hefty penalty fee).
Except that sometimes you find out that the gas pump doesn’t print receipts. When these pump problems happen I simply pay for $5 or $10 worth of gas with my own credit card, wait for the charge to appear on my statement and send a screen capture of it to Enterprise CarShare so that it can be credited to my account.
Keep in mind this is all a result of CarShare’s credit card not working so it really burns me up when they make it seem like it’s the customer’s fault and chastise them rather than thanking them for taking the time. See this email exchange below from last week between myself and an Enterprise CarShare customer service rep whom I’ll call “Jane.” (continue reading…)
Looking for the Pope in Philadelphia
On this overcast, blustery fall day I made a lone pilgrimage on foot two miles from my South Philly home to Center City for a chance at glimpsing Pope Francis, “the people’s Pope,” in person. All the way up Broad Street, Army or National Guard soldiers — I’m not sure which — in green fatigues hung out casually in pairs on every other street corner. They’d been there since last night but I’m not sure why as no Papal events are planned this far south and barely a soul was out. The city seems apocalyptically deserted.
Eventually I came to barricades personed by police and military at every intersection to keep out vehicles but as a pedestrian I could pass freely. Finally, just south of City Hall, I reached one of the security entrances to the main event. The lines were much shorter than I anticipated, and much friendlier. Soon I was inside the secure zone.
Although I’m not Catholic and have serious disagreements with the Catholic Church and its checkered history, the Pope is a major historical figure and he’s right here in my town so naturally I wanted to be a part of the event. Like all these visitors from around the world I was one more gawking pilgrim eager to see “the people’s Pope” in the flesh.
Crossing Love Park I got my first glimpse of one of the Jumbotrons, on which the Pope was just starting (continue reading…)
To: Jeffrey Stanley
Here is my week 5 Homework. Unfortunately my roommate caught some sort of stomach bug at a party over the weekend and I just got it passed to me yesterday, and I was laying on my couch watching South Park and eating soup and forgot about all schoolwork until the episode where the kids write “Scrotty McBooogerballs” came on and I had a personal reflection on things that I had written myself, and remembered that I needed to send you my treatment for my final project as well as my other homework.
From: Jeffrey Stanley
a) I need a doctor’s excuse
b) there’s no homework attached here
Ironically I was also sitting watching South Park tonight and I enjoyed it up until the part where Kenny got killed, which made me think of your final grade.
The Saturday 6/27 show concluded with yet another simultaneous Ouija board-EVP session that gave us all plenty to talk about. Audience volunteers JOY and JOE (not the same Joe who sat at the board in the previous show) personed the board while the audience and I gathered round to watch. Joy and Joe contacted someone named V I V (short for Vivian, or perhaps it’s 3 initials) who was 7 8 years old and standing to my R I G H T. What did she think of the show? S U B T L E. (That was a first, and a particularly eloquent response that made me blush underneath my sadhu ocher, ash and dirt). Did she know anyone in the audience? YES. J O E. How did she know Joe? H O M E. Joe and I didn’t like where this was headed so I quickly changed the subject: would Viv like to speak with us electrically? YES.
I took a few steps away and fired up my trusty P-SB7 “spirit box” and connected it to a loudspeaker as usual. Somewhere between the hiss of the spirit box and my ad libbed one-liners Viv’s seemingly jovial mood changed and she suddenly got annoyed with us. When I asked if she could say my name, a voice (continue reading…)
We had an enthusiastic crowd Friday night for my first show and first concluding seance at the Art Church of West Philadelphia. The Ouija board was personed by audience volunteers JOE and JOHN and the planchette was zooming about urgently. We spoke to a M A N who was 5 0 and A R M E N I A N who told us he did not speak or write English well. His name was L A M E K (Lamech? A Hebrew surname; were we talking to an Armenian Jew?).
Kolkata’s Armenian Ghat, a former loading dock along the banks of the Hooghly built long ago by Armenian merchants, is mentioned in the show, and after the Ouija board spelled the word Armenian an audience member, someone who was not touching the board, spoke up and self-identified as Armenian).
I asked Mr. Lamek if he knew anyone in the audience and he spelled J O E. When asked if he had a message for Joe it spelled out L A L A L A L A over and over. This oblique response has happened to me twice before (in 2011 during my previous show Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead and in 2012 during a midnight seance on the stage of Philadelphia’s historic Plays & Players Theatre) and my belief is that it means the spirit doesn’t want to answer the question, or (continue reading…)
Cara Blouin and the Art Church of West Philadelphia
The Body Horror Mini-Fest
2015 Philadelphia SoLow Performance Art FestivalAs long as you’re coming to see Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS (6/27, 6/28) why not make a night of it and also check out the rest of the exciting triple bill featuring work by Philadelphia performance artists Joseph Ahmed and Joy Cutler?
The Art Church of West Philadelphia
5219 Webster Street (MAP)
All shows are pay-what-you-can but individual reservations are required for each show, as follows: (continue reading…)