Posts Tagged ‘2012’


The Thinking Viking has seen his fair share of candidates speak. It is not my first rodeo, as they say.

From Jerry Brown in a Colorado Community College years ago to Ron Paul on the University of California – Berkeley grounds in 2012  (I was there as an observer, more for entertainment than support; please see https://thinkingviking.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/a-short-piece-on-ron-paul/: ), to actually caring enough as a 20-30 something to follow presidential politics and watch these paper puppet$ fight for slices of a pie. I got so pissed off I was a libertarian for a while. That didn’t last… once I really thought about it.

Now I have seen Bernie Sanders.   And I have a good feeling about this man.

We made our way to Bernie’s rally in Boulder on 10/10/2015, after securing tickets from a campaign volunteer my wife knows.  Traffic was heavy but we got lucky and scored a shady parking spot nearby. We made our way to the gates, met up with our friend, gave her a ticket, and went in.  That was …. interesting.

As we went through security to the event with our locally released only limited issue tickets, the “guard” asked “Kristin” (not her real name – this si my old friend) …asked her to open her purse as a check for weapons etc..and then asked what was “in that container…” – “Is it marijuana?” He asked casually.

Those words that would mean jail time a few years back. but.. Colorado, you know? 2015. So, he really didn’t need to ask. It was clearly labeled as such, with a tax stamp and everything.

“Yes, it is. It’s medical, here’s my card.” She says, opening her wallet to show a green cross card.

“OK, go on in.”

Times are changing.

So there I was with my wife and an old friend from my dangerous years, sitting in a crowd of at least 9,000 people, on the deep soft turf of the center lawn of Potts Field, East Campus, University of Colorado, Boulder – my Alma Mater, BTW, 1999 grad. – on a bright warm Saturday afternoon. October 10, 2015. My how things have changed.

So the crowd kept coming, pouring in like a slow stampede. We bought t-shirts, got free bumper stickers, and jockeyed for position to see the stage. The rather short stage. Bad ass sound system, through, fit a for a rock concert. Flat field. Not a venue for short people to see the guest of honor in what quickly became standing room only. We were somewhere in the middle, and I couldn’t see the edge of the crowd, even being slightly above average height wise. My.. vertically challenged wife had no nope hope beyond a lucky peek through the crowd.

The crowd. Not just students by a LONG shot. The slightly-older-than-us couple behind us looked like they walked over from their porch on a lazy afternoon, smelled of beer, but looked quite happy. Next to us, three (four? one left) most-likely-freshmen girls with a dude who must have been one of their fathers. Smiling and happy, girls all seated on the grass in a circle on some sort of media streaming the speech they were too short to see. Next to us, a young Hispanic couple, a group of frat boys all in Bernie t-shirts a size too small (they ran out of “Large” – I feel your problem dudes, the shirt I got is kinda small), a circle of aging hippies dancing to the music with their eyes blissfully closed, a gang of spandex clad bikers, sans bikes who really should have taken off their helmets – blocking sight, you know? And dozens and dozens of ordinary people in sunglasses, t-shirts, water bottles, smartphones, some alone, some on twos, small groups… honestly if felt like a music festival, atmosphere wise. Who ever was DJing the pre-speech music was making people dance. 🙂

And moving through the crowd slowly, several people with cameras with optics good enough to get good shots from this far from the stage. Like me. Yeah, camera phones are handy, but it hard to beat a 20x optical zoom on a 16 MP Canon DSLR.

So I got to see him speak. Got to look in his eyes. I saw an old man. An angry man. A old, fierce warrior, but a warrior proven in battle and old enough that if he put away his sword and shield no one would question. A grandfather. But… more warrior, more knight than elderly statesman. He never unbuckled that sword, his shield he carries with him daily. Still fights every  day for what is right and just. Still fierce and dangerous. Saying what no one has had the guts to stand up and say. He’s been doing it for years, and I think part of the look in his eyes is the look of a man who is sad that it took this long for people to listen. That, as his age, he has to lead his government away from the madness that should be painfully clear we are steaming toward, like some mad runaway train. So he takes a deep breath, forgets his age, and bellows in rage.

IMG_1975IMG_1986 IMG_1981 IMG_1978 IMG_1976 IMG_1962

I feel it, too. It’s why I took to the streets with Occupy and Anonymous. (..And why I still do.)

There is something rotten in the state of Denmark. (ed: HAMLET QUOTE – Shakespeare…. arr  gg)
I’ve smelled it for years.

Bernie smells it too.

From Citizens United and Super PACs buying our elections, partisan politics producing nothing solutions, to the military industrial complex having a strangle hold on foreign policy, media controlled by a third shadow power, to trade laws and patent laws that only help shareholders, to Big Pharma, big agriculture the EPA and the FDA all trading people and favors, the federal reserve and our love affair with Wall Street that only helps the 1%, to the insanity that the Tea Party has tap danced into.. to the Evangelical right and the bigotry they show and how it’s being used to pit american against american…I could go on. The police.  The drug war.  Private prisons.  And on. And on.

But – it all fits. He’s right. If we don’t do SOMETHING we are not going to leave this world a better place. It’s time for a socio-political revolution. The revolution won’t be televised. That battle has been lost. But we are legion. We have the internet, we have millions of cameras, millions of facebook, youtube, instragram, etc account.  Boots on the ground. Each of us is a point of contact with people every day who are being slowly crushed by what our country is becoming.  We can fight the money, fight that corruption, with our own hands, our own energy.  Too long we have just sat back and taken it.

I won’t take it anymore. Now I have an ally in someone with the potential to be the most influential man on Earth; he sees what I see. It’s time for Team Bernie to rise. I fund his campaign.  Only politician in my entire life I have given money to fund a campaign.  He’s earned it, he deserves it, and America deserves Bernie Sanders.

I #FeelTheBern. I have said it before, I am saying it again. I want Bernie Sanders to be the next President of the United States of America.

Think about it.

EJ

#Bernie2016

#TeamBernie


The Thinking Viking has found his car keys.  In my shoe. Again. As in, repeatedly.  I almost thought I was sleepwalking. Nope.  It’s my bird, Cray.  Just watched the (surprisingly strong) little dude do it.  Right off my end table. He drags them off , onto the floor, flies down and keeps dragging them…and then, for reasons I cannot fathom, he drops them in my shoes.  2 ounces of shiny excited Australian dwarf parrot  and mystery solved.

No need to think about it.

MJ


The Thinking Viking has been …thinking.  I know, I know, there’s always trouble when this happens, but I just can’t stop myself. I was going to weave this into my other post “Kill Your Television” – but decided that my anger at television was distinct from my thoughts on manipulation via sex, lies, and video clips.  I chose the title deliberately (It pins my age if you remember the movie I refer to) – pretty much everyone now understands that  using sex to distract while you lie is effective, and that manipulating video can make almost anything appear to be true – tie this with some sexy propaganda, perhaps a viral meme, and bingo – new “truth”. I think most also know that these are just a few of the tools used to influence people.   These are the things you still get when you kill your TV.  The top youtube videos, email from internet groups,shared facebook postings, movies from Netflix,  all the websites with free content, don’t be fooled into thinking these sources are not also affecting and manipulating you.

….and damn are there a lot of websites and chatrooms, facebook groups, twitter tweeters.. (yeah, I have a twitter and facebook account. ) and …um… blogs….oh gods, what can I say. You gotta be careful – just as the Big Media is controlled by a handful of companies, the reverse is true on-line.  There is no real oversight, no censors, no one authority dictating content. just the web itself evolving. Which is fucking awesome, and also terrifying.  Many people will trust these “authorities” precisely because they are not “Mass Media” – they feel as though they have found some secret truth that others are too ignorant to understand.  You have all seen it.  It’s behind 90% of all conspiracy theory websites. Yes, that means that I think some of these crackpots might be on to something.  But I digress.

The line is increasingly blurred, with TVs at gas pumps not actually showing television, but rather a corporate “station” designed to look like broadcast TV.  Countless websites invite you to “create an account”” and they notify you when they have new content.. and these notification pop up as text messages on your goddamn phone, instantly. Impressive, but…wow  So in effect, you are choosing what to allow yourself to be brainwashed by.

By odd coincidence, I just received a text message about an event in Oakland that needs…shall we say “volunteers” (free tickets are involved), and it wound its way to my phone from via a free email service…one of perhaps five email addresses I technically have.  Hmm.  Somehow this maze of chosen connections I use  tastes better than Mass Media, but it comes with some dangerous side effects for some.  Such as championing a cause that doesn’t exist, this gave us the fraud that was Kony 2012, or convicting someone of a crime via viral memes online, without legal due process (which is where my only sympathy for George Zimmerman lies). Or convincing yourself that the entire aviation fuel industry in spreading psychological chemicals across the nation.  Or that the world is ending in 2012.

So we have entered a new world of information, for better or worse. I think it’s working.  But it is sometimes as sketchy as a skateboarder on crack sliding down a 100 foot railing into a pit of bear traps..

Think about it.

MJ


The Thinking Viking was once an unemployed student.  Living with mom again at 21, helping her through her last days after the cancer returned again. I had been fired a couple of weeks before, because they needed to fire “someone” –  they could not figure out who was actually stealing from the loading docks, I was the new guy, so I was out.

Mom was sick, and tired, and had decided that after fighting cancer for over ten years, only to find it returned with a vengeance and that she would be facing more surgery, more chemo, and that even then, she could not expect to live more than a year, she decided to live out her end days in dignity.  She would take drugs etc to ease her suffering, but would not fight again. She didn’t have it in her. I understood.

Having me unemployed was not good. We were silently terrified about the situation.

The phone rang. Friend looking for something. Didn’t have it.

Cook lunch for mom.

Phone rings again – oddly same question. Same answer. Can’t help ’em.  Don’t have any myself.

Then my mind kicks in.  Math starts rolling. whirrrrr – click. click. click. PING!.

“Hey mom, can I borrow $100 until this afternoon?”

Mom – “What for?”

“So I  buy an ounce of weed for $100 and sell it for $160.  Pay you back in two hours.”

“OK.  I love supporting cottage industries.”

I paid for tuition at  my community college with the job she helped create with a $100  loan.  She had no income beyond SS disability.  She was a 47%’er.

Thanks Mom, you helped me out a lot.

Fuck you, Mitt Romney.  I know what a job creator looks like.

MJ

PS Mom died about a year later, before I got my 2-year degree.  Dad died not much later, but I can’t write about that now.  Missing details.


The Thinking Viking is now also smelly as well as dirty.  Oof.  All this stuff is heavy when boxed up. Some of it just doesn’t pack well. Like this fan.  Or my sword collection. And how does everything get so dirty just lying around? Got an ignorable Sci-fi channel movie going for background noise, a can of Rolling Rock for refreshment.

Don’t pack the library books!  Don’t pack all the pots and pans – still need to make mac n cheese later.  On second thought, still have left overs from the pizza – after – the- farmers- market- meal so, scratch the mac n cheese.

ACHOO! ACHOO!! damn dust everywhere.  Wait – I have TWO scanners?

Actually, I have too much stuff. Three computers. Yes, I know, I’m a geek.  But three comcast remote controls as well? THREE?  Two identical bottle opener-corkscrews? Two giant pots? When am I ever going to cook four lobsters simultaneously?

And how to pack the chain mail and free weights? This stuff is heavy.  Ah, look at that. I still have her motorcycle helmet.  I’ts been what, six years? Out of sight, out of mind.  ebay, craigslist, next month, sell that thing.

Hey, it’s my CU – Boulder ID card…student number 1030 from spring 1997. Look at my damn hair.  But I am proud of the fact that I weigh the same as I did then, even if I’m not as athletic as I was then.  Gimme a break, I just turned 41 and I have a bunch of metal in my right ankle.  And..there’as my cane.

Bad memories there.

That was from when i was still recovering from my motorcycle-dump truck contest. The truck won. Had I not been wearing hard-core cycle gear, I would have likely broken both arms and maybe my collarbone as well.

my leg’s first post-surgery x-rays. You can see the staples and everything.

Wasn’t planing on writing about that.  But that’s how it goes when you move – weird stuff comes up.  Anyhow, about the leg – tri-malealor ankle fracture with displacement.  The bike right side engine case landed squarely on it as I went down. Doctors – three of them- all told me I would never run again. Fuck them.  It hurt like hell, for months and months – but I CAN run.  Secret is persistence.  Keep at it, every day, even if it seems like nothings happening.

That’s all for now, I’ll add more if anything interesting happens..

And it’s a Zippo from Antarctica.  “Operation Deep Freeze” from when my friend spent a summer…and WINTER down there.

MJ


As a kid, my mom shared a bit of wisdom she claimed to be a weather forecasting trick used by native Americans. She said “Indians”, bet meh, times have changed. I have no idea if this bit of wisdom this is true, or if it is, if the native Americans she told me about actually used this to forecast the weather, but it made me think today.

It is pretty simple.  Birds have feathers, and most are not all that water proof. Wet birds have trouble flying, so it stands to reason that when it rains, most birds take refuge in some nice tree. But sometimes, you see birds walking around in the rain, pecking at bugs etc in the grass, foraging and getting wet. Why? The story goes that birds have  a sense of the weather, and that if the rain is going to be just a shower or other brief event, they shelter themselves.  But if those same birds sense that the rain isn’t stopping anytime soon, they bite the bullet and get wet, because, well, they’re hungry and its worse to go hungry than it is to get wet. So if it is raining, and the birds are out in it, you can also infer the rain is going to stick around, and you might want to reconsider plans to have that picnic later in the day.

If people were birds, we’d be out in the rain these days, because it doesn’t look like it’s letting up anytime soon.

Think about it.

MJ