Friday, October 30, 2009

Bear Down....BEAR DOWN...


“If things came easy, then everybody would be great at what they did, let's face it.”
Mike Ditka

The horrible images of Derrion Albert being viciously beaten by his peers raging uncontrollably high on a gangster culture embedded into them since birth have consumed my thoughts for the last few weeks. Every kick after kick, punch after punch, and blood curling yell after blood curling yell replays in my head until Derrion Albert is dead on the cold hard cement in the city of big shoulders, my Sweet Home Chicago.

Zombies, werewolves, and monsters at least kill out of necessity, while these children did so for pleasure, acceptance, and entertainment value in a world that values entertainment often times more than life and actuality. The camera caught it all, and the news played it ten but film no longer develops clear enough to see the big picture anymore and the image of horror were soon replaced by Paranormal Activity and Halloween. Every time I replay the image in my head I get sick to my stomach and wonder where the outrage is? I’m helpless and removed from the issue by space and race leaving me with that disgusting fucking word I keep hearing over and over since the dawn of the new millennium, hope.

That same sickness I had for the Albert murder was the way I felt as the Cincinnati Bengals demolished the Chicago Bears last Sunday in one of Chicago’s worst performances. I wanted to do something. I wanted to help. I was outraged and angered and bitter and fucking frantic at the mauling taking place on my television. I threw a bottle of Beam at the wall watching it shatter in reality as the escapism I tune into every Sunday was failing me. Nothing could be done, so I just watched on as helpless as the team on the field.

It was bad hoss, the kind of thing that makes you want to burn everything orange and navy blue you own. The kind of bad that makes you ask questions of your own faith and your own belief systems. I wanted to turn it off, or look away, but like a car wreck on the Kennedy I had to see all the horrible details of twisted metal, broken teeth, and white sheet covered stretchers. Plus what if my hopes came to fruition and they fought back and won the damn thing. What if I hit the lotto? What if somebody stepped in to help Derrion Albert. What if…aka hope.

This last week the sporting press has done their jobs of questioning every morsel of existence in the Bears organization (or lack of). The coaching staff has a lot of middle fingers pointing at them and rightfully so as overly aggressive stock brokers yell into their Backberry Storm2 9550 phones to provoking sports radio hosts. Cedric Benson looked amazing and everybody is now questioning if it was circumstance as previously accepted, and unchallenged, or piss poor talent evaluation and no coaching. The latter seems to be the favored opinion of Chicagoans this week.

Gary, Indiana just 25 miles from downtown Chicago was once a bustling city and the home of the Jackson family. It was a steel factory town and Indiana’s second largest city. It was full of hope and promise as it rose in population and jobs. But the steel melted away and desolation moved in. The people put their hope in their politicians to help recover the town. The city with so much promise just ended up rusting. Gary, Indiana is now a ghost town long forgotten after Michael Jackson and the factories faded away. Just violent criminals, immobile poverty, and shanty houses remain. A sad portrait of real America you never would see Norman Rockwell illustrate. The kind of place roaches search for motels to kill themselves in. Leadership is to blame for sure, but the people have to help themselves too.

Tommy Harris was a spit fire out of college and a much needed addiction to the Bears defensive line. He seemed like the final piece in a masterful building process. So young, so dominate, and so perfect Bears fans rejoiced after his rookie year where he showed power, speed, and determination. But now he’s turned into a crybaby who favors being either lazy or dishonest hiding in injury. He’s falling apart and the Bears fans are outraged.

The black and white ink on Tommie Harris paints him as a stubborn and lazy malcontent who hates his head coach. He was benched during the beat down due to a ‘knee injury’ just about everybody has admitted doesn’t exist. You can see desolation setting in the eyes of Tommie Harris. The reason this lump was benched was because he hasn’t produced much of anything despite all the money the Bears have dumped into keeping him. He needed a message. A wake up call. This week he’s back in practice for the first time all year and talks of a big game against one of the NFL’s worst teams the Cleveland Browns. I hope he can turn it around. I really do.

Webs site message boards are exploding with fans who want to cut or trade Tommie Harris as fast as we can. Try to get some value out of him is the logic. The city is in a complete and utter bitchfest over the Chicago Bears in general. It’s nice to see everybody motivated a level of collective disenfranchised feelings for the first time since Obama left town. Nobody is happy and everybody has an opinion and is more than willing to shout it. Even the non-fans know what’s going on and they too are steamed like a Chicago Style Hotdog bun. The Bear’s organization hears the fans loud and clear and will react.

I was walking in the rain thinking about the Bears when I looked up to take in the sight of the half naked tree when I slipped on its magnificent display of already fallen brown, orange, and red leafs. I laid in that discarded pile looking up at its branches listening to the rain fall between the leafs still hanging on. Somewhere in there I found a moment of clarity and tranquility. Sometimes you need the fall to see the beauty of it all.

The Bears have all the time in the world to turn it around, and they will. I hope it starts this week against the Browns, but we’re probably looking at next year for a real turn around., but we will preserBEAR and win it all. It is just to bad Gary, Indiana can’t do the same and its very sad Derrion Albert never will see the Bears turn it around. I hope we the people can.

Alfred Ferdinand Larcher III

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mass Confusion in an Age of Mass Communication.

“I'm tired of runnin' 'round lookin' for answers to questions that I already know
I could build me a castle of memories just to have somewhere to go
Count the days and the nights that it takes to get back in the saddle again
Feed the pigeons some clay
Turn the night into day
Start talkin' again, when I know what to say’”
--Blaze Foley

I didn’t want to get off my fat ass but my friend who goes by Martin Luther (he’s always tacking notes to doors) had been nagging me for awhile now to get back involved in a cause. Causes like love, memories, and cereal start out great but if you’re not quick enough they get soggy, messy, and lose their magic. After years on the wrong side of losing political battles I considered myself apologetically beat off and ejaculated out of the realm of debate and participatory interest in politics. It is after all where most American’s reside and comfort is the new freedom in an age of inaction.

Government has become so large we are all nothing more than replaceable parts. The individual serves the master in return for a few luxuries and filtered cigarettes. I wish Woody Guthrie would have asked for just a bit more as feel as ripped off as the Native Americans who we also promised comfort and security too. Right now I’m nothing more than a rushed assembly line Model-AL that somehow got passed off as ‘ok’ by inspector #33, who was drunk on a sick cruel sense of humor, and rum. But here I am 30 years later a little broken down but still running. Running, running, running. Running from bill collectors, running from commitment, running from responsibility, running from causes, running from authority, running from madness, and most of all running from myself. I’ve spent my whole life running. All the running and looking over my shoulder does keep me semi-healthy and well stretched. Half of anything really is all a man ever needs.

This morning tacked to my door was a note that simply read:
“AFL, if you died tomorrow would anybody give a shit?”

Death and impact are heavy things to digest with a bum, freshly removed gull bladder, and a pint of whiskey already brewing deep inside. I tossed the note with a perfect Cutler like forward lob right into the trash bin by the mail box, as a black cat watched on unimpressed. I wasn’t sure if that was a good sign or a bad one but at that point…signs and direction meant I was back on the highway finally getting off that road nobody was traveling. When you’re on a strange road all alone the humanity in you seeks danger and you take the curves as fast as you can with a maniac laugh and deranged stare.

Net Neutrality, killer Flu Epidemic, and Health Care are the major issues of debate in this country right now. I’m going to be honest with you as I’m either stupid or to tired to lie pretending I understand these issues. I don’t know anything about any of these topics. Nothing. What I do know, is nobody seems to know what the fuck is going on and mass confusion is spreading like a California brush fire. Lady Liberty is way too busy filming a reality show based on tired and weak immigrants making a life here to mail back home to even try to decipher the madness. The American Dream is now an export made her and shipped off where home really is. I’m confused and completely uninformed for the first time in my overly opinionated life on the day’s topics. Not by choice either, as I’ve scoured the web and the news programs for answers but every piece of information has been written by the best liars money can buy. Information is no longer based in fact or fiction but rather spin and targeted demographics. Everything is owned and all the owners are now players in our toppling Democracy.

So here I sit an undereducated, under employed obese blob of Chicago confusion watching angry pus filled monsters spiting halitosis fire from their snarling grotesque dragon mouths as they fill the televisions and debate halls with their wickedness. Nigger, Kike, Honky, racist, Rape, sexual abuse, child abduction, pedophiles, murder, Democrats, Republicans, lairs, faggots, pig, cunt, Valarie Jarrett, Rush Limbaugh. Whichever word causes you the strongest feeling and makes you the maddest is exactly the kind of rhetoric the monsters are engaged in yelling as veins pulse and bust splashing everybody in the process contaminating them with a virus much worse than N1H1. Vicious ugly words now used as bombs causing so much noise decency cannot be heard over the explosions maiming the innocent and killing the indifferent.

A cause? How can a cause be found and fought for when every opinion or idea is trademarked and bought out by even bigger and more powerful company? This includes the news, the unions, and every other group whose responsibility is to protect the individual from the institute. We’re all volunteering for high priced designer label straightjackets. Grassroot causes are impossible to assemble without selling out to a ‘sponsor’ or collapsing in angry debate amongst itself. Who does confusion benefit? Confusion befits the fine folks already in control. A distracted nation is an easy nation to rule control and craft.

I don’t mean to sound like one of these fucking babbling conspiracy nut jobs but something doesn’t seem right. Perhaps it’s schizophrenic paranoia, fear mongering, or whatever vicious language and judgment you wish to write me off with. God’s greatest power was instilled into us –deep shit when you put your brain power to it -as we all have the ability to commence judgment. Maybe it’s time we start to examine how we use this ultimate power as I don’t think we understand its full impact yet.

The richest people of the left and the richest people of the right are crafting a brilliant dinner theater show that we’re all engaged in; just enough to pay attention, but not enough to get up from our overcooked Chicken Cordon Bleu and Rice. Fuck it the new season of LOST is starting, and this season stars you my liberal friend and me your conservative enemy. Will we ever get off this island without killing each other first? The battle of us versus them has turned magnificently into us versus us.

Yesterday I was at a diner I enjoy at the edge of my Gothic home of Chicago. A middle aged lady was having dinner with her aged mother. The topic of healthcare popped up and the older lady was against it, and had facts and reasons why. The daughter wrote it off as crazy talk and asked her if she’s been watching FOX news. The daughters face turned into a sour lemon grimace as she just shook her head in absolute disgust. “Yea, but they are the only ones against universal health care,” the mother said with such conviction.

The old lady nailed it. No matter if you hate FOX News or love them; if they vanished tomorrow only one side would be heard. Sandpaper is Democracy and when something is feed into congress the two sides’ fine sand it using friction and repetition until it’s something we all can agree on. Without opposition I assure you we all will lose. That’s true of both sides, without a liberal sanding this nation would have very little feeling, emotion, and would probably collapse under some evil corporation.

Hey, wouldn’t an epidemic causing health fears throughout the country benefit a side looking to pass a health care bill? I’m just kidding. But seriously both sides need to STOP ignoring other INDIVIDUALS because that’s the same thing as ignoring an image in the mirror. Anybody in Chicago whoever wants to sit down with me and talk issues or try to reach an actual middle ground my door is always open. Labels are a dangerous thing, and unless we start shedding them or devaluing them or pissing freely all over them until the ink smears and erodes into illegible nothingness, resentment is only going to grow between all fellow travels of this fine nation. Stop listening to the news. Stop listening to the parties. Start listening to each other.

Real communication is my only cause right now. Maybe Martin Luther is on to something with these door notes.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Irrational Anger in an Agitated Age

Irrational anger is the worst enemy of democracy as all our filters are shut down and the inmates control the asylum in the most animalistic of styles. The wise manipulate and trigger these moments of blind rage as it causes the very cover needed to push their agenda of control and power right by our beer commercial attention spans and half blind guard dogs. Stop the ignorance and stop ignoring just because you are comfortable in your surroundings.

I was on the Irving Park bus and I’ve learned if you ride route 77 long enough you’re bound to see a woman who looks exactly like a witch. I mean so close to the real deal you sit there and rationalize how this person can be and can’t be a witch. This older woman got on the bus and she had the weird hair, strange nose, crooked smile, and mole. My mind started routing me back to the right track telling me how ignorant and judgmental I was being thinking such silly thoughts about a poor old woman. Just as I was about to shame myself she went flying forward making the funniest witch face I have ever seen. Her face was something right out of a horror movie with a witty writer and a non-existent budget. She was sitting in the three way seats facing me and the acceleration of the bus threw her off balance for a minute causing her to fly forward before grabbing on. Any control I had over judgment I lost as I started laughing like a madman. She started pointing at me and yelling gibberish which just made me laugh harder now to the point of tears. I think I’ve been cursed as some of the things she was yelling at me sounded dark and evil, but it really wasn’t my entire fault.

When I first heard about Enrique Gonzalez this sick, gang banging, lowlife I wanted nothing more than to hunt him down and pour bleach into his eye sockets while chanting game show theme songs loudly in his ears. A painful exit seemed appropriate after hearing this maggot of a man held his seven year old son down and tattooed a gang sign on his hip. A membership into the early grave club before the kid even has a driver’s license. Not a great start and a baseball bat bash to the head of the father seemed logical, even if a bit violent.

Richard Heene made his son lie to authorities and media just to gain exposure to try to get the world to look at him yet again in his attention drug fix. American’s poured positive force into a negative story while real kids suffered and were ignored. Its true balloons, white people, and hillbillies; trump blacks, poverty, and guns as a ratings grabber or money grabber for that matter. It was a disgusting reflection of our own image after a twenty year drug binge full of greed, excess, and orgies Just because you keep the garden cozy and give to charity every month doesn’t mean horror doesn’t exist behind the white shades of perfection you present to us.

Both men damaged their children in way’s we all, regardless of political sides and moral ideologies, can agree is child abuse and disgusting. We can all agree punishment is needed. As it stands right now Richard Heene is facing six felonies charges with a maximum of six years in prison and a 500,000 fine. Enrique Gonzalez changed with aggravated mayhem faces life in prison. What is fair and who decides?

One’s a Mexican gang banger in California the other is a white media hound from Colorado. Sure you can argue one is more dangerous to the world as a whole then the other, but to me the crime is in the way the children were hurt. It’s a case of lifestyle. I always cringe when people cheer when drug laws that favor the rich are removed in favor of the same harsh laws that punish the poor. Why not change the laws so they reach the protective levels of the rich instead of the other way around? Irrational anger goes such a long way in limiting our own freedoms. Reasonably, I think in both cases the courts need to figure out if the child needs to be placed in foster care or if the situation can be fixed by responsible members of the families. After the child’s safety is determined both men need only a year in prison and lots of rehab. But of course that’s not the way the world as we are oh so comfortable with the way things are.

I’d rather take on the witches curse then Enrique Gonzalez’s judge’s sentence.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Elephants, Donkey’s, and Gypsy’s.

"Our culture's adjustment to the epistemology of television is by now all but complete; we have so thoroughly accepted its definitions of truth, knowledge and reality that irrelevance seems to us to be filled with import, and incoherence seems eminently sane. And if some of our institutions seem not to fit the template of the times, why it is they and not the template, that seem to us disordered and strange."
— Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)

What I learned in this last week was there is still at least one billionaires club of old white men so exclusive even Rush Limbaugh can’t get membership. I don’t know if I find that refreshing, or a sad reminder of how exclusive the world really is and how powerful those in power really are.

The United States has exploded into one massive traveling big top circus full of the lowest common carnie folk, Elephants, Donkey’s, and gypsy’s. STEP RIGHT UP AND WITNESS A BOY IN A BALLOON LIVE ON CNN AND FOX! See as the world watches with baited breath possibly witnessing a tragic death or a happy ending!!! Either way it’s all you need to know as THIS IS THE NEWS.

We’ve all seen Webster fly away holding onto the balloons in the opening credits of the show Webster. As a kid that always seemed fun and I wanted to get myself a bunch of balloons to make the same trip. As I listened to what the ring master was barking and the scary tone he was using I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry at the situation. I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for my chicken sandwich to finish at Franksville as everybody else in the restaurant was watching the TV as the balloon slowly touched down. We all silently judged if it was hard enough of a landing to kill, which I thankfully didn’t think it was. The authorities searched the balloon and it was empty. Yikes.

The speculation was maybe he fell out the balloon if he was ever in it. The police started searching the ground the balloon covered in its 70 mile journey looking for the possible fall out boy. Meanwhile back outside of the tent a Chicago High School is giving away fright passes, only these have nothing to do with Halloween. The Chicago Public School System is offering Fenger High School parents; transportation vouchers or attendance into Carver Military Academy if their children are too scared to return school after Derrion Albert was fatally beaten by a gang of angry thugs.

The nation is now coming together to pray for the safety of the little bubble boy as the news commentators take on a sad disposition. The child, appropriately named Falcon Heene has groups of law enforcement agencies searching for him. Words, no matter how perfectly crafted are only as strong as the people who read them and Heene has the best of the best reading his story winning over the people.

While the broom mustached ring master crafted the story of young Heene --back in Chicago, Romel Handley, a disgusting freak show of a man was sentenced to spend the next twenty years in an overcrowded prison. The tough guy begged for ten years calling himself a dumb kid. Dumb kids fly in balloons, Romel Handley brainwashed children as the head recruiter for the street gang the Insane Deuces. I number two for sure. This monster of a man gave guns to children and instructed them to kill; and murder is what they did. Twenty years…how many lives did he ruin? Teach your children well? What happened, where have we gone wrong?

A day later it appears as if the boy in the bubble was nothing more than a hoax. Just like most circus magic, what we saw wasn’t the full story just the fun parts they wanted us to see and hear. Where and what is the responsibility of the media to tell the stories that matter? What matters anymore?

I walked to the bakery to get a pumpkin pie and as I was thinking I started to crave roller skates. The ability to glide through the sidewalks and roll with the times has a certain freedom that just seems right. Maybe the world should start wearing more roller-skates. Maybe we wouldn’t take Rush Limbaugh so serious if he was on roller skates. Maybe Derrrion Albert would still be alive as the world is a little more cautious near slippery sloops while on wheels. Maybe small kids would skate away from monsters like Romel Handley. Maybe the news would report what mattered. Maybe…maybe.