along brown road / air bellows
Made a town run today for groceries and gas, light rain, light fog on the mountain. Had lunch at my new favorite restaurant, La Mexicana, good food, good conversation with Manuel, the owner operator. I have to listen closely to his accent, yet when I listen too closely I lose it. I was looking for the best way to listen to him. I could easily understand about half what he said and had to figure out some of the other. Listen too closely, I don't hear anything, though listening casually I miss about the same. It is a zone in between where I understand him best paying attention without trying to make out everything. I got most of what he was saying. He was talking about the socialist governments in Bolivia and Venezuela. He was talking Latin American politics from the inside, and I know very little, only enough to keep up with what he was saying. What little I know came from reading. The politics of everyday life is quite different from the second-hand historical perspective interpreted from a different culture, belief system and language. There is a difference between reading about it and a gun pointed at your head.
along brown road
Every day in news is something about guns and the varieties of killing. Everybody is questioning what to do about guns, from the polar opposites to everything in between. The one thing I never see or hear by not watching television is guns solve problems. It would take Hollywood to agree to make less gun movies and tv shows, and that's not going to happen like Exxon is not going to support solar energy. Guns have obsessive entertainment value, exciting, the cheapest thrill. The philosophy of television says, if you don't like it, kill it. It doesn't do to blame television when you consider the audience creates its own entertainment. Young guys in a new band go with what excites the crowd. Young stand-up comics learn from their audiences, learn how to give them what they want. Television gives us back to ourselves. It is a stretch of the imagination to call television art, though it figures when you look at it like everything is art. Art reflects life which reflects art which reflects life. It is a constant feedback going both ways from television to viewer to television. Television is not going to self-destruct by advising viewers to be less obsessed with guns, because the viewing audience was already obsessed with guns before television.
along brown road
The only solution I see for the gun problem is to live what I believe and allow others to live what they believe. For my part, I don't want any guns. Had two that were given to me over time, not wanting any of them. I gave them to somebody who appreciates them and is glad to have them, somebody who values guns. There came a time I wanted them out of the house, didn't even want money for them. I believe guns attract guns. They also attract thieves. I've seen the propaganda about security spread since the Nixon administration, Joe McCarthy's right hand man, until by now an awful lot of people believe they need multiple guns for security. And so many people are hoarding ammo these days the supply cannot keep up with the demand. Fear has pervaded the land so much through television that I, who am not subject to propaganda through tv, see changes in the people around me that diminish them as human beings and they go with it like it's the latest thing since a recliner. The fear by now, half a century into the propaganda of fear, has become aggressive. Found a good meme attributed to Frank Zappa, "Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex."
along brown road
I'm not with the anti-gun people and I'm not with the gun people. I see they all have a right to their points of view, all of which I believe are valid, like I have a right to mine. My point of view is to let them fight it out and I'll watch good movies, listen to good music, read good books and make a string dance for a kitten. This is how I live in the world not of it. I look at the television once a week, see appeals for me to go in debt over a new Lexus I couldn't afford a set of tires for. The pizza commercials make me never want another pizza. The Viagra and Cialis commercials make me laugh out loud every time. The first half is suggestive testosterone prowess and the second half an endless list of warnings that this product will kill you. If your erection lasts more than four hours call your doctor. I'm not interested in my doctor like that. I don't want anything I see advertised on tv. If they advertised books by contemporary poets or picture books by contemporary artists I might take an interest. I don't need it, because I know how to find them without advertising. I divorced self from television in 1961, and, like Robert Frost said, that made all the difference. I like to see the television from time to time to keep up with what the people around me are believing, glad deep down I don't believe that mind anymore. I've grown wary of it.
along brown road
all photos by tj worthington