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Alex Baer

A Few Outbreaks of Sanity

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There are days when I imagine the main purpose of The News is to get our blood raging to check the strength of the vein walls, or to have us self-check the gnashing positions of our upper and lower jaws to test the limits of the bullets we're biting on, or maybe, to make us drag our funny bones out of storage to give them a random tickle and jolt, via a semi-vicious half Nelson.

These past couple days, checking the headlines, I think all of that is trying to happen at once.  No, it's OK -- I get it:  Life is simply trying to see how much Krazy it can stuff into the Klown Kars of Reality before everything goes Ka-Boom.

I dunno about you, but I always keep my leather bite tab handy.  See, mine doubles as the key fob on my set of keys that go to the Scream Room, the Isolation Tank, and the now-abandoned, 1950s-era, Anti-Armageddon Bunker.  (I closed off that last one a number of years ago.  It used to double as the Rumpus Room, but you just can't find high-quality Rumpus anymore -- about the same time Formica was no longer mined, and Naugas went extinct, and their hides got harder to find...)

Anyway:  If you were to put me under oath and ask how full the Klown Kar's getting, I'd be obliged to tell you we're gettin' purdy close to bein' all topped off and then some.

Before we have to go look around for roof racks, let's start off easy:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 19:14

Behold, a Season of Be's

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Getting warmer out there, near 100 by week's end, so that means it's getting warmer in here, too [tilts head, taps temple, nods knowingly].

The hotter it gets outdoors, the more bees I seem to have in my head, if not in my actual bonnet, or my pants, or elsewise stuck in other uncomfortable, compromising places that are on, in, or around my own highly-personal person.

Behold:  The coming and going of the longest day of the year!  Behold, the season of easy living!  (Well, once the inexorable, excremental, weekly yard work -- and the semi-satisfying begriping about it -- is all done.)

It is an unbenighted time that is now upon us -- not to get too tangled up in double reverses and triple negatives.  It the time of year in which one can be easily lulled into a false sense of bright promise, by day-dreamy heat-wave brain-fogs, further precipitated by such beclement hammock weather and by the planted seed of an ice cold beer, calmly betaken and beswigged, once necessary labors have been temporarily clubbed into submission.  Again.

I am becalmed, bemused, and besprinkled with summer's besmiting pixie dust.  I am also as behumbled as I can be, and beguiled and bemarveled -- and even bespoke, in point of fact -- plus, as a bewelcomed bonus, I am utterly and deeply beholden for such fine days.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 10:16

The Vanishing Art of Disappearing

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We are all time travelers.

I have come to this conclusion in a roundabout route, my usual method of making way from A to B, via a few scenic-tour handfuls of multi-cultural alphabets wrought from pen, paper press, and cuneiform tablet.

Art is the key. It is in art where most of us spend our free time, from soaking up opera to hand-tying flies for fishing, or whatever our fancy.  We are consumers of all things, now that we make almost nothing in this country, and art -- popular culture, if you'd prefer to call it -- is part of our voracious appetite.

(Even today's old-fashioned broadcast radio and television counts -- although, I am often unsure what it counts as -- buh-dum-dah.)

Art is where we go for relief from the routine world in which we find ourselves.  And, if we have any energy left over from just trying to survive, and have any interests to do so, we choose art as a platform on which we hope to stand, better understanding our world, ourselves, and trying to make some sense of this journey and this place -- maybe even other people, although we shouldn't get our hopes up too high.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 16:02

All Freedom, All the Time

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Report from The Front:  We haven't been killed yet.

Frankly, I have no idea how to estimate the number of times the exact same phrase has been used throughout human history, or even American history by combatants -- and noncombatants -- during times of war.

America's wars have been fought almost exclusively overseas, except when Americans got excited for a while by the ability of Americans to actually own other human beings, and to further become agitated by the assorted economic truths surrounding that other embarrassing truth.  (Funny how that same one reared its head in the Constitution -- once steely-eyed and proudly, and nowadays stunned that it must be half-muttered, with eyes buried underground, requiring some winks and knowing glances to the knowing few.)

Well, the economic truths are all still in place, and still completely legal.  Only the crimes of banks and various corporations are allowed to become larger every year. These crimes now incorporate new entertainments; such as featherweight taps on the wrist and assorted penny-ante fines, to, you know, help us keep the lights burning in prosecutorial offices up and down the chain of our hamstrung governmental command and dissolving protections.  It's good PR, having those lights on, as it gives the impression someone's watching, and maybe even doing something.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2015 16:45

Running on Empty, Zapped & Unplugged

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Pardon me while I smolder and sputter from somewhere within, in the penthouse of this body, up behind the eyeballs, where my subdued executive function strains and squints, scrambled sidelong a smidge.

It feels like The Really Big Bottle of Liquid Smote has been glunked out and loosed into the reluctant Jacuzzi of my brainpan, bubbled and fluffed up a tad with some stray napalm.  Sorry about the greasy haze.  With any luck, that soot'll come right out of your clothes, as well as these curtains.

The lingering blast-zone of ozone playing tag with bacon in the air ducts will probably vent out eventually.  We all tend to air out eventually.  The trick is to give it time, and be in no rush.  That seems to be the Big Message here so far, if in fact there is one at all hanging about waiting to be discovered, recognized for what it is, then hugged, and given a lemonade and a homecoming parade.

So, today, I am cooling my fizzy, sizzled nerve endings with the oasis of my imagination:  a home-made, inner-mind batch of an old family recipe, the Turquoise, Gelatin Blur and Silky Malaise of On-Purpose, Memory-Shunting Cool-Ice Bars, following a thumping, thunder-tackle of the trumpeting tsunami terror some have come to experience, and then personally call, a brain seizure.

My trip to Abby-Normal Land, or Brain Oz, or Mind-a-Palooza, was on April 9th, when a few stray lung cancer cells had a flash reunion in the Motor Function Jazz Lounge of my Control Room's brain, completely hosing normal function for a few moments of confused, mutinous body wonder while everything else on board was forced to participate in a sort of genetic kabuki theater thought possible only by Kafkaesque writers laboring to improve upon TSA scripts with rich Jungian pride, using thick, rich concepts from Samuel Beckett, The B-52s, Hamurabi, Heckle and Jeckle.

Yes:  It has been a rich and heady time, me spreading my atomic structure in one-mote densities across this end of the solar system, and waiting for it all to spring, sproing, splung, and splap back into recognizable shape once again during assorted re-entry procedures at the hospital, where gravity and I were reunited in the same room, and allowed to playfully slap one another on the backs in a pantomime show of trust, friendship, harmlessness.

All the right signs are there, all the right noises are being made -- my body coos along again at my beck and call.  The meds and staff and insurance guardians and gatekeepers, and my body and I, and a phalanx of auxiliary staff, are all on the same pages and parapets of Gregorian Medieval Prescription Chanting and Calendar Watching.

So far, so good.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 15:08

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