Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Thought Xperiment @JEWanon #jfds;lfjrjfsdr

There's a fluid stasis
as the basis
for those thoughts
that hound and chase us
reduce and trace us
and would erase us
and debase us
if not waste us
real head cases
that mentally race us
instead of pace us
and embrace us
and truly face us
in our places
of oasis.
No my country's not made of good people who make sick things up and stick by them because they know it scares and intimidates everyone else. No it couldn't be..We're better than that. We're not total nazis yet. Are we? ARE WE?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I LOVE YOU TODAY (pre studio vocal and mix; recorded karoake style in car)

the embed link

I LOVE YOU TODAY (YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL)   mp3 (mixed final version coming soon...)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


The Menace Apprentice

is a fate that's not meant us
just a mistake life's lent us
come to divide and rent us
an unreality show star
whose known wide and far
for his inimitable genius
for lying and meanness
and the smoke and mirror
make his confusion much clearer
a mental hologram of blubber
fool's gold and used rubbers
The Eternal Dolt
a dodo in full molt
a pitiable ignoramus
will die still trying to shame us
loves the suffering he causes
accepts only escape clauses
feels nothing but threat
even his saliva's flop sweat
he's a blob of self-pity
what he touches turns shitty
he's all about the teardown
the meltdown the beatdown
mad clown with a shit crown
he's a nervous condition
of demolition absent contrition
a public masturbation of dissipation
the excitation now a capitulation
to his fear of a fight
a scared dog with a bite
drowns in the hate he's sown
with us in the splash zone
now a pandemic he's blown
it's your very life he'd own
an exploding supernova of gall and bile
the only space force we'll see for a while
a dark matter show of hook and crook
of deny steal lie plunder and rook
our suffering his happy place
good ol' arsenic and old mace
he and his axis of weevils
their role model medieval
minds in constant upheaval
I may yet believe in evil

April 14, 2020
Indian Cove

Austin, Texas

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Five Pulitzer Winners Walk Into A Bar In My Amazon Dream

I realized tonight I've known five Pulitzer Prize winners. They are described below, not in chronological order, but with attempted aspiring candor, wit and cleverness.

The first one I'd known had been a high school friend and a fellow member of the school choir, she as celebrated and accomplished pianist and accompanist. She won her Pulitzer in 2005 for Biography and Autobiography with a Willem de Kooning biography, co-authored with her husband. I took heart when she told me it had taken ten years to write it. She and I at the earliest had been fellow participants in, I think, a local 4th or 5th grade patriotic speech competition. She recited "I Am An American", and I recited "The Gettysburg Address". I believe she won the competition, despite my earnest gratifying Lincolnesque performance (if Lincoln had had the larynx of an elementary school boy). She was a most talented girl, which is a vastly understated compliment. She is an excellent person of highest integrity and is sweet, kind and charming.

The fourth Pulitzer winner I'd met, Lawrence 'Larry' Wright, I met in Austin because I knew his equally brilliant wife from a helpful but now somewhat embarrassing personal growth seminar called Insight II (I demur from describing the exhaustive energetic hysterics of its Limiting Characteristic Theater; that's all I have to say about that). Larry won his Pulitzer (Those words put together in that order!) in 2007 in General Nonfiction for the book The Looming Tower. He wrote for Texas Monthly at the time I met him in about 1988. I was impressed when meeting him even then, and his ego was not at all corrupted by his talent and his already gathering reputation for insightful well-crafted writing. Talent wins out sometimes. That Larry can write!

The third Pulitzer Prize winner is Ben Sargent, editorial cartoonist for the Austin American-Statesman when I worked there at the City Desk from about 1984 to 1987. He had won his Pulitzer in 1982. He was the lanky friendly bearded legend (way back before not-shaving was compulsory lemming behavior) padding around the newsroom as if he were merely mortal. Ben was quiet and unassuming and had a wicked and sharpened sense of diabolical humor that gave incisive hilarious hell to people who well-earned it. Luckily for him, Texas politicians even then were especially mock-worthy, as were the national 1980s Republicans, and the Pulitzer committee likely especially enjoyed Ben's fearless skewering of them and of their precious cherished right-wing delusions. I was city desk assistant and, among other celebrated duties like 'hand-populating' the template with temperatures from around the country and world and calling area funeral homes to gather the names and information about the most recently Hill Country deceased and writing their obituaries for the afternoon/evening edition of the daily paper, I also received and solicited public information and then conveyed it to reporters and editors and other staff including Ben, the gentle giant with a mighty set of drawing pens.

The third Pulitzer Prize winner, Raymond Bonner, won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of writers while on staff with The New York Times. He also won first prize in 1985 for 'Weakness and Deceit: U.S. Policy and El Salvador,'' in the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Awards program. Bonner was a NY Times reporter when I met him in 1982. I had called the NY Times Washington bureau office because my Austin neighbor's ex-Marine boyfriend had a hot story to tell and hopefully sell. Bonner and another NY Times reporter, Philip Taubman, Jr., son of a senior NYT editor, flew the next day from D.C. to Austin to secretly interview the ex-Marine, who had been one of the earliest pot smugglers across the Rio Grande into Texas and had contemporaneously in 1982 been a part of the CIA's then-secret operation to create a right-wing guerilla army (The Contras) in Honduras along the border with Nicaragua. He scouted landing zones for C-130 Hercules transport planes.

The two reporters and my scary new friend and I spent two days scouting isolated locations around and outside of Austin where the interviews were then conducted. I was taught to conceal my activities and not be followed. My friend's story was to be part of a larger story being written about other ex-military people also taking part in that covert operation. By that time, Bonner had already made journalistic history with a 1982 NY Times story that first exposed the weighted fist of oligarchic capitalist genocide and oppression in Central America at the hands of the American-trained, American-supplied, and American-denied El Salvadorean Army El Mozote Massacre in which 800 to 1200 fleeing civilian peasants including children were hunted and killed in the countryside in 1981 by that army’s Atlacatl Battalion, whose officers (and other members) had been trained at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia in Columbus. Bonner continued in the same journalistic vein with a lifetime of equally intense and historic other reporting elsewhere such as Rwanda, Bosnia and Indonesia.

Lastly, the second Pulitzer Prize winner I'd known was a journalism professor at Louisiana State University whose Advanced Typography class I signed up for and dropped in 1973 after coming to terms with the fact that I had no interest in typography whatsoever, advanced or primitive.  James Shoaf Featherston won his Pulitzer in 1953 as part of the reporting team for the Vicksburg Herald's coverage of a 1953 tornado in Vicksburg, Mississippi.   Much more famously, Featherston was the Dallas Times Herald reporter on November 22, 1963 who, immediately after John F. Kennedy was shot in his motorcade, secured a witness (Mary Moorman) for the police to interview and himself later testified before the Warren Commission.  Also, in the 1950s, Featherston covered Emmett Till's Mississippi murder trial for the Jackson Daily News.  It's remarkable his Pulitzer Prize was not given for either of those but for coverage of a tornado.  He probably assumed he'd peaked early until the Emmett Till trial and the events of November 22, 1963.  

The dream was that I win a Pulitzer. I've wanted one since I first learned what a Pulitzer is. So I majored in journalism in college, where I dated a woman last-named Pulitzer. She was a real prize, actually, but not THE prize, and I wasn't convinced I wanted to 'win' her, nor had she shown evidence she'd want to be 'won' by me.  Since then I've come to understand more fully that someone actually needs to write an especially outstanding cohesive series of articles or one really gigantic blockbuster of a news story to win a Pulitzer or a book.  There's always a catch.

Anyway, that's a Rubicon I super likely will never even locate let alone cross. However, having been exposed to actual Pulitzer winners will serve me well if my writing stars align well enough for me to essentially win what would be for me the journalistic lottery. I'll be able to name-drop as I awkwardly negotiate interviews, and perhaps I will have learned by osmosis how to behave accordingly. At least I've gotten close to the Pulitzer Mojo of the five Pulitzer winners I've known and met, good people all, and my life's been elevated and enhanced because of them.  I count that as a win. And finally, here's the Amazon part of the dream.

Coming as a Little League shortstop I made an unassisted triple play (without any help!) with the bases loaded, and of how in one game I made all three outs in the last inning of play. A true hero's journey.

Sunday, August 12, 2018



Where does the time go

the same place the years go
the same place the winds blow
and the same place as flies the crow
in our mysterious status quo
our lives a happy hobo
without a care or need to know
if there's some final glorious show
or a surprisingly gentle undertow
either way I've got to go
tomorrow's the only thing I know
and tonight I have a furlough
and fields of love still left to sow
so good night from this old fellow
who wishes you well and says hello

For Eli on his upcoming 40th

Saturday, August 11, 2018

(FB barges muscles intrudes onto my personal FB page.
So what else is new? This is explained in the first paragraph.)

Larry Piltz
Tonight Facebook said I am one of a small number of people (what, half a billion?) being asked to take a survey about their reaching out in cultural ways in some cities and if it was being effective. I said, sure, I'll take the survey. I like to tell people what to do. So, yeah.

Ending about maybe ten years ago (truthfully I have no idea how many years it's been), I was a monthly Gallup Poll respondent for three or four years (no idea how long, really), and my wife for longer. Our two cabins made us officially two households, evidently. So she and I held great sway in American Opinion for a while there. That's when we were doing better as a country, thanks to us! Well, it was under Bush, so maybe not. We weren't  responsible for him though, though we lived in the same town for a while and should have given him a good talking to before AND after he fell on his head). Thank Barb and GHW for that.

 did mostly online and some phone Gallup polls. Some were political. Most were marketing, but with an up or down presidential 'good job' or 'bad job' question at the beginning. I relished that one. I was also a Nielsen family for about three years (see above), one year of which I didn't even have TV. :)  I was also an Arbitron (the radio station ratings company) survey taker for about two or three years (see above) in a row. I could barely believe I was getting all of these serious survey requests. Apparently, they'll take anybody.

Also, I must be Mr. Average American (which is a two-edged inference). Everyone should be like me! What a country that would be! I'm as moderate as an extremist can be! The sky would rain beer and everyone would have affordable homes with beer gutters and beer barrels to collect the stuff, and that would be piped into a system of pipes parallel to your water supply, with keg taps on a parallel set of faucets [actually, I haven't had more than six or seven beers or glasses of wine in at least 20 years, though I still love it
 :( ].

Well, my soapbox is beginning to spin under me, so I'll get to the point. One of the survey questions was an essay test. Something like, 'Why do I feel that Facebook's cultural outreach has been credible?' Did I say it was credible? I must have missed that day in class. Here is my long answer. And you won't be surprised to learn that I ran FB out of characters and had to stop right when I was really getting warmed up. And as you see, I don't really answer the question in a manner in which they would hope or expect.


"I think it's credible only in the sense that Facebook wants its public face to appear to be authentic in its particular outreach but that it's under much more intense pressure to just stay the same and only appear to change or make little inroads that don't make a significant impact.

"Facebook would really have to show me that it rejects all hateful right-wing rhetoric. As you know, left-wing rhetoric can and often does disparage right-wing beliefs and agitprop, but that's because the right-wing is the only 'wing' that is actively trying to destroy its opposite. The left-wing wants to play by the rules and make rules that make it fair for everyone.

The right-wing, by its nature and character and demands of a disappearing demographic, are working hard to shrink the legal voting population with cynical manipulative, well, bullshit lies, and simultaneously trying to pull up the ladder behind them and then either passively or directly attack the people trying to get access to the ladder to a better life. That's not really as partisan as you may think, or maybe not at all. Fascism in this country is sponsored wholly by [certain] Republicans, previously only indirectly, and now directly directly.

Facebook has to choose sides, whether it wants to or not. It can't exist in the fictional center. There is no center right now. There did use to be a moderately sized consensus center. The right-wing abandoned that long ago. The left-wing still occupies the moderate liberal FDR coalition and LBJ coalition (both of which included moderate Republicans, which MAY NO LONGER EXIST; extremist Republicans exist for sure, along with ultraconservatives who feign moderation at times but never or super rarely vote that way).

"Facebook needs to join the side that has always worked for openness and liberalization of access to the American Dream, not like Republicans who have upped their extreme ante even further since 2000 and especially since 2016. We're descending into a willfully and intentionally arranged chaos by right-wing theorists now pulling fascist policies into a coherent but sick political apparatus.

"There is now an anti-urge against democracy remaining in the Republican Party except for a literal handful (four fingers and a thumb), about five congresspersons, and they still vote the party line way more times than not. There is not really a Republican Party any longer. It is a death cult - your death, not theirs - and it acts as a hive of Killerized Bees, swarming and stinging people to death, specific people, meaning people mostly not white, which of course must be entirely coincidental, right?

"So in closing, my fallow Americans. There is no center. Facebook has to choose a side. There is not enough organized right-wing actual interest in Facebook other than gaming and stealing from the Facebook system and therefore no significant enough monetization potential for Facebook from the right-wing. Right-wing demographics are shrinking. So right-wing strategists are pulling the rug out from under democracy in calculated and so far successful ways to forestall a more moderate and cohesive American future.

"Facebook wants what? A dangerously split country with the cruelest-by-far faction of the 1% and the most murderous racist bullies in charge? Facebook has an identity crisis, and it has to choose. GO WITH THE BULLIES AND DIE IN THE PYRE OF AMERICA'S ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENT WITH VIOLENT FASCISM?

OR GO WITH THE PEOPLE TRYING TO EXPAND THE FRANCHISE AND LOVE for harmony, innovation, and honor among non-thieves. Seems a pretty clear choice. Democrats are about healing and helping. [And then the characters ran out. So now FB doesn't have to pay an excess electron luxury tax, even though they are taking away my rights to whine like a Fox News-appearing toddler who isn't allowed to publish anything they want anywhere any time in the private sector, because WHINE WHINE WHINE]."

If I have offended you, I'm sorry. Really. I can go 'over the top', pretty far. But I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I don't like having my feelings hurt either, like when nazis say I shouldn't exist and their complicit allies in the White House and Republican caucus say nothing, nothing but "There are good people on both sides". But I can't really do anything about that now except wish you well and a continuing change of heart. Godspeed.

Thought Xperiment @JEWanon  # jfds ;lfjrjfsdr There's a fluid stasis as the basis for those thoughts that hound ...