Thursday, July 22, 2010

La Luna y La Malecon

Moon over the Atlantic
elevated, we
eyes to see
the night
through moving ships
and mystery
and history
illuminating sea & city-scapes
cloud-captured shadows
outlined by the Malecon,
the stone wall
concrete interpretations
of beauty & necessity
across the ages
elemental shifts quickly captivating
the distribution of perception
water, like a living hallucination
a charcoal sleet
at the edge of the city's feet
whetting the palette of time
everlasting motion
same moon over the shifting ocean
and the ever-embellished
shifting of Mankind

VI, La noche en Habana, Cuba
June 21-22, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Make Me A Mickey: Reflections on the Makings of an Icon

Imagine the birth of Mickey Mouse. From Walt's hand came the gleeful doodle; a spry little happy-faced guy who then sprouted earphones, perhaps inspired by the studio shadow. Soon the two combined, a suit added, and whimsically disproportionately-sized white gloves. A hefty handed mouse of a man was born, nascent but on the scene: soon to be singing and dancing onto every screen. Then, no matter what, at the center of everything - our iconic muse with which we have been branded...all this coming from a steady hand and a spark of genius with a fleck of gold to flick. Now, bigger than the Beatles, immortalized almost as much as Jesus; not as long-lived, but ubiquitous, with notoriety still stepping up the steep stone steps to idolatry.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Trash is Trash

Let's give this oil leak some persective:
If a garbage company were to take its fleet of barges out into the middle of the Gulf and start dumping it all overboard - and everybody could see it - those people would get arrested and fined.
Next time you wonder why this LEAK happened and why they have not been able to cap THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT, think about the cushy seats that everyone in the oil industry has built for themselves in Congress, as well as in overseas tax shelters.
Also know that the American taxpayers subsidize these companies, who have been able to make record profits in a recession, and make their net profits at the pump paid for by hard-working Americans trying to get to work (if they're fortunate enough to have a job and a car).

Read on:
"As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Subsidies"

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jesus and the White Rabbit

Recently some people in the Midwest noticed a knot in a tree that they say resembles the face of Jesus Christ. This cult-ural phenomenon made the local news on the West Coast. Amazing that it was featured considering the incredible amount of actual events occurring around the globe, for example: the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (do we have to call it the "Gulf of America" to get everyone's attention?!), the failing war efforts in Afghanistan where (surprise surprise) regional forces are steadily combining in response to misguided U.S. interference, public education and thus the future of our culture and economy is in crisis, the food industry with its bureaucratic seals of approval continue to poison and lie to the public and manipulate farmers, as well as the fact that children across the land are being solicited to 'play' violent street and war games that are decidedly distracting and deceivingly realistic.
So, if the channels of information are willing to funnel faces of fanaticism into the public eye, then I deserve my fluff piece of imagination to grace these pages as well.
Without further ado, I was flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains at 30,000 feet, and to my surprise, looked down to see the face of Grace Slick (from Jefferson Airplane) etched out in a snowy, rocky formation. Talk about 'logic' defying 'proportion'! I was seeing this while looking out past the huge hovering jet engine outside my window of a giant aluminium bird we call a commercial airliner. And there I sat, sipping my ginger ale, trying - among other things - to respectfully deflect the stench of the giant man next to me who had just finished gobbling down his $7 cheese plate. It's a wonder any of this ever works out. Curiouser and curiouser...
The funny thing is, I have some news of my own that I am hesitant to share with the surrounding public: I'm an American going to Cuba! But with the current degree of paranoia and systemic ignorance with which most Cold War-witnessing Americans have been indoctrinated, I have resolved myself to keep quiet. After all, it's still basically forbidden to travel to Cuba, and I don't really feel like explaining the ways or reasons why I have been approved for a visa to travel there legitimately. It's like being invited to a private party, and I don't want to flaunt my invitation nor create any delay to my arrival...especially because it is - I believe - a very important date.
There is a thin line between sharing one's excitement about something and having it matter. Many ideas, persons, and experiences are merely a drop in the bucket these days - and maybe always have been. That's part of what makes our conglomerate human experience so fascinating and wrought with mystery. One can never witness or know about everything, even if you only have an attention span that allows you to stare at a screen as images flash by you. That's why people have to dare to dream, follow intriguing paths, and tune into instincts that can never be programmed into a GPS.
Nevertheless, I want my imagination and intellect to be as newsworthy as the freak Jesus tree facade. I have an independent sense of perception, however, that apparently doesn't make the censors' archetypal cut. Now I'm waiting for the line, "I guess they do still serve nuts on planes." I know when I'm being given backhanded complimentary food for thought!
So, rather than extend these hijinx beyond anti-gravitational capacity, let me cloud your head with this: the less you observe and acknowledge about the world around and within you, the deeper into the rabbit hole you will tumble, free falling with no chance to grasp onto reality or the fate of your soul.
-V.I., flyin' high.

America's Hot Mess

On June 30, 2010, I boarded a friendly Virgin America flight in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and turned on my in-flight tunes to The Pretenders. As the plane took off over the Atlantic only to circle back across Florida to cross the Gulf of Mexico, I looked down to see the oil spread and spreading as far as the eye could see from 25,000 feet and growing. Just then, the song "How Much Did You Get For Your Soul" came on. It seemed appropriate considering the audacity and arrogance of the oil industry - not just BP - for having the wherewithall to drill oil without the technology in place to react to a LEAK of this magnitude.
The plane shook in the cloudy atmosphere, as did the core of my being as I watched the light of the setting sun illuminating the brown-yellow-black irridescence encroaching onto OUR SHORES. It was like witnessing a slow death without a cure at hand.
It further seemed symbolic that we were entering a clouded sky so that it quickly disappeared out of sight, but not out of mind as many would have it. Such is the physical malaise of America today that we have been put on our knees before the corporate/industrial/war powers that be who have continually neglected our outcries and frustrations. Of course in the row in front of me, someone had opted to watch an episode of "The Jersey Shore" which depicts over-privileged, ill-mannered, self-centered consumers - mainly women - with no self-respect who create petty spectale by cat-fighting. Such adds to the haze in which we find ourselves while things that actually matter go ignored.
Although the plane continued to shake as it persevered west, it rose above the horizon of the gray storm line - and so can we. Survival will not come in the form of tuning out or giving up. Rather, on the route to progress and rejeuvenation, the uphill battle must be pursued with mindfulness. We can pretend no further that we are above the sludge in which we (collectively) find ourselves.
Don't let your mind turn to mush - be the influence!