How can there be hope if the other side is ignored?
How can there be truth if the other side lies?
How can there be peace if the other side dies?
How can there be rich if the other side is poor?
How can there be hope if the other side is ignored?
How can there be truth if the other side lies?
How can there be peace if the other side dies?
Today is International Day of Peace. Peace...Perhaps some day, if we kill the military-industrial complex it could happen. Give up on fear, give up on war, give up on the greedy capitalistic, unsustainable choices we make, give up on hate in all its forms and truly give peace a chance. It is a dream I have.
We are tribal, blinded by our need to belong on the winning team and easily manipulated by the chieftains who use the tools of tribalism as weapons of opportunity.
Sometimes a brave soul will ask me what is going on in my head. I am never sure if they are serious, poking fun, or horribly afraid. I usually pause, think on the topic and say, "It's hard to describe. Sometimes there are voices competing for attention, other times I am blessed with complete silence."
I muse a great deal on what people say to me since it is a rather uncommon experience to have someone say anything to me at all. I'm thinking on this while walking on the sidewalk on Main Street when I notice a Starburst candy on the pavement. It is a pristine, perfectly wrapped strawberry Starburst.
"Don't listen to him, its probably a mix of heroin and coke just waiting for you to ingest and die!"
"Eat it! I want to go on a trip to the rainbow forest and taste the dewy thoughts of God!"
"Okay its not drugged, but shouldn't you give it to some poor homeless guy who hasn't eaten in two days?"
"Bullocks! That Hobo can find his own candy! TRIPPIE TIME! Come on, two-step with Satan! EAT IT NOW!"
"Wait, are those ants crawling out of it?"
"Ants? Adam Ant? Atom Ant? Ant farm? Animal Farm? Farmville? A little protein wouldn't hurt...I had an Anatomy professor who pronounced it pro-tee-en...isn't that strange?
"What is Starburst even made from?"
"Quick, google it?"
"You don't own a smart phone idiot!"
"Searching data banks Will Robinson. Starburst is a high energy complex molecule consisting of four nitrogen, four oxygen the appropriate number of hydrogen bonds...BULL SHIT. YOU ARE TOTALLY MAKING THAT UP!"
"Look it up. What do you think Hydrogenated Palm Kernel oil is if not a complex molecule..."
"Starburst is a yummy ecstasy tab that will help me achieve nirvana."
"If you had a magnifying glass you could cook the ants and the starburst and maybe cause a violent reaction resulting in a massive release of energy and..."
"You mean explosion?"
"Your glasses will work...point them at the sun..."
"No, NOBODY is watching you..."
"HA, I totally lied, look at all the people looking at you....what are you doing?"
Suddenly someone STEPS on the starburst and continues walking as if nothing happened. The Starburst is stuck to the bottom of his shoe and is leaving little pink blood stains on the sidewalk with each step.
I stare in horror, mouth gaping, my mind in entropy.
Hey, is that a penny?
It's 2117. I still live in Michigan, but I've moved to Western Michigan because its a little cooler. The city is called Hope. I'm lucky. I live in one of the few areas that didn't flood during the disaster of 2032, when the last of the polar ice melted. I also survived the plagues of 2021 and 2043, although both of my legs are bionic replacements. My synthetic employee Socrates brings me breakfast from my self-sustaining roof garden. We are all more or less vegans since the hundred year world ban on killing animals was enacted in an attempt to restore some ecological balance to our world. I live in an older home that is mostly underground construction to conserve energy. We've mastered solar and fusion energy now, so building underground is uncommon today. There is hope that the world carbon scrubbers will help return our environment to a more temperate level in the next hundred years. We've done our best to sequence tree DNA of as many species as could be saved in hopes of reforesting once more land is reclaimed. There are still some native trees, but they are not found everywhere. It's funny, even though we've found a gene therapy that has stopped and reversed cell death in the brain, I still find long periods of day-dreaming to be a tell tale sign of my age. I tap my connection tab on my neck and connect to the Collective. The internet is long gone. Now if you want to communicate with others you get a brain jack and connect directly with anyone or any business. You use the connection tab on your neck to go online or offline, but nobody can connect with you unless you accept the request connection (although I've heard some hackers have been successful in a possession...a total take over a consciousness...this is completely illegal, yet a current risk of using the Collective). After I've connected with my two remaining relatives and a few old friends I tap in with the Bureau of Science to get some work done. Everyone works for the Bureau of Science no matter where you live or what you used to do. We are just a few years from launching of first interstellar colonizing modules and those of us who remain are needed to work out the logistics to colonize other planets similar to Earth. I put in my two hour shift and now it is recreation time. I touch a wall tab and the entire body of world knowledge is at my fingertips. Should I read the Illiad in the original Homeric Greek today or take a course in cybernetics? Maybe I will just take a dream journey through an ancient forest or listen to the sounds of the now extinct whale. So many possibilities.
Had a dream last night that I had joined in with a Star Trek away team led by a very old but androgynous Dr. McCoy played by (DeForest Kelley). He had spiked blonde and brown hair. The group was attacked by shape-shifting aliens that killed everyone but the Doctor and a female archaeologist who escaped through a one way portal into a tomb or unground complex. I was killed by one of the aliens, but later found myself alive with Dr. McCoy's black poodle (who had his own webs...ite...complete with one brainy quote and many simple sentences that clearly belonged to the dog). I found myself in a home full of dead people and the McCoy's dog was leading me somewhere. Next I was trying to melt ice in a ditch which I did and then a moment later found the ice was back. I melted it with a hose and then fell through. I was climbing out when the alarm clock went off. Welcome to my Wednesday.
I headed down to the dock early morn as I was wont to do when the weather was nice and the skeeters were no bother. I had my favorite cane pole, cup of fresh dug nightcrawlers and a stringer in case the catfish were hittin out on Carter Pond. I dinked around for a while not expecting much when I got my first bite. When I got the line in, if you squinted real hard (which I did two or three times), there was a tiny catfish wiggling on my hook. I said to my self, "self, that is the smallest darn fish in the whole pond!" I was about to toss it back into the water when this nasty ole tabby cat hops out of the willow tree next to the dock and pads up to my catch, purring and a spitting.
I look at the cat (which had clearly lost more than it's share of late night brawls) and said, "Sorry bud, this fish isn't worth your time or mine." Well that cat started purring and rumbling and swishin its tail like a politician at a fundraiser, getting more and more animated until I swear to you he said, "Hold up!" "What? I swear I just heard a cat say, "Hold up!" Now, I've been known to string a few beers together on some of these dock visits but I swear to you I didn't have a dime for bait, so I sure wasn't having Miller Time today. I go to flip the fish into the water and that cat starts hopping up and down and says, "HOLD UP!" Well I did hold up, cause I aint never heard a cat tell me that before (other than the first time he done it) and my daddy always said be sure of what you're about before you go leapin in half-assed. Before I could say somethin that cat says, "You let me eat that fish, 'ceptin the tail and you use that tail for bait you will catch you a much bigga fish." I thought about it for a second (which is a long time to think, if you think about it), and sure enough it seemed an easy bargain to make. I give the fish to the cat and he spit the tail out in my hand after eating the rest. I put the tail on my hook and tossed my line back out into the water.
Time passed and the cat just sat there watching. Soon enough I had another bite. This one felt much bigger. Before I know'd it I had a six pound catfish on the dock, wagging back and forth. I was about to put him on the stringer when the old orange cat started purring and hopping and says, "Hold up!" So I did. "He says, you give me that fish, I give you the tail and soon enough you will have you an even bigger fish." Well damn. It worked once. This cat must have magical powers I figure. Well that ole cat ate down that fish like it was the only meal he ever had, but he spit out the tail and I put in on my line and cast it back out. Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking aint no way you gonna catch a bigger fish on Carter Pond, cause they're aint no bigger fish. Well you'd be wrong, cause sure enough I caught the biggest damn catfish that ever dwelt in Carter Pond. That fish bent my pole so bad I though for sure it would snap, but it didn't cause I use the best cane I can find. Took me a minute but I grabbed that big fish by the mouth and he clamped down hard on my wrist causing me to let out a holler that woke Mrs. Watson's coon hound and it started howling right along with me. Now that fish was near as big as I was. I had no idea how much it weighed cause my measures only went up to twenty pounds but it was heavier than I was too. I started to string up that catch. I Just knew I was gonna be in the local news for sure! I spiffed up my hair as I imagined being right famous.
All a sudden, that cat says, "Hold up!" Now, I aint about to hold up, cause there aint no bigger fish in the whole darn State, but that cat starts a hissing and then he starts a hoppin like a cottontail in the Spring and I think well, I guess I'll hear him out. He tells me again if I let him eat that fish, well I'll get what I deserve. Now I start laughing and I can't stop laughing. I laugh till I can see nothin! The idea that some stray barn cat is gonna eat a fish bigger than itself by ten times (my math may be off... I was never much good in school), has me in stitches. I finally stop laughing. When I get my senses about me, I say, "Awright, you can eat that there fish, I'll try your game once more, but you're telling me one hell of a fish tale if you think I am gonna catch me a bigger fish than this here one." Now I know you won't believe this cause I don't neither and I saw it myself, but that cat unhinged his jaw like one of them big boa snakes from south of the border and ate my prize fish down. He was a big sack of orange fur and his feet were kind of like sticks poking out and he sort of looked like one of them Macy's Day floats. As I stand there with my own jaw hanging down, he spits out the fish tail.
My greed starts to kick in and I swoop down and grab that fish tail and stick it on the biggest hook I own and toss my line back into the water. Now I wait and I wait and after a while I do get a bite. I got so excited I nearly dropped my pole in the water and that would have been the end of it. But I grabbed my pole and something took my line straight to the bottom of Carter Pond. You know how you get one of those hits when fishing that you just know is gonna end up in the record books? I had one. Then, the line relaxed. For a moment I thought, well he must have gotten snagged up on some weeds. I pulled and nearly got hit in the face with my hook. That shiny hook didn't have a drop of fish tail on it and that is no lie. I was snookered and robbed! I looked around but that fat cat was gone! He got my prize fish and all I got was a big piece of humble pie. So ends my tale.
It happens every night it's true,
somewhere between midnight and two
The elves arrive as twinning pairs
The goal of course to mess up my hair
With magic curlers and snail goo
They twist my hair as elves will do
Every night my perfect locks
Transform into snivilous flocks
For when I wake at half past six
Look in the mirror at snarlous licks
of twisted, knotted, ruinous hair
created by elven twinning pairs
Before I can unravel my dome
I must locate my favorite comb
I search and fumble all around
But my favorite comb cannot be found
Aghast, dismayed, my shout profound
"A gnome! A gnome, has stolen my comb!"
My wife calls back from the floor below
"What did you say? Did you say gnome?
Again I shout as once before,
Louder yet, I do implore,
"A gnome I say, has stolen my comb!"
"Silly man", says she to me,
"No gnome touched it, twas me you see,
I put your comb in the drawer fair
It was unsightly sitting there
Stuffed with so much tangled hair,"
I stood my gaping mouth hung down
For in the drawer I had found
The comb hidden by a stealthy gnome
A gnome, who's hiding in my home.
Fudge Fickle Fodder was friends with an otter
Whose name was Slippery Simon Smith
They were always holding hands
Throughout the seven lands
There was nobody he'd rather be friends with
One day in the Fall just after the Butterfly Ball
They happened upon Barron Bully Biff
His arms were stacked like lumber and he began to number
The reasons he detested Slippery Simon Smith
"His breath is rank like fish
And I have but one wish
To churn his tail like butter
Til its stiff as a tugboat rudder
Yes, otters are bad and this one is worse by far
You could not possibly ever, not even in December
choose a much worse friend even if pickled with sand and tar!"
The otter began to shake and tremble
like a windblown poppy petal
about his webby hands and wrists
There could be no mistaking
that a plan Smith was making
to run far away from Barron Bully Biff
But who should then utter
but Fudge Fickle Fodder
the words that gladdened Slippery Simon Smith
"How dare you good sir!
How dare you indeed?
How dare you ask me
Which friends I secede?
For friends are not chosen,
like lime-green lederhosen
A friend is there whenever you're in need!
A friend is joy
A friend is mirth
A friend is great as the whole wide Earth
So do not cause superfluous alarm
As if you mean to do him harm
For let me tell you Barron Bully Biff
You can be our friend too
And no one will ever bully you
Because you'll be friends with Slippery Simon Smith."
So Fudge Fickle Fodder and that strange little otter
Held out their hands to Barron Bully Biff
And sandwiched in between them
For all the world to see then
was their new best friend
Barron Bully Biff
Tell no lies
Fill my eyes
If I had a thousand Waffle Fries
I would die a thousand times
But oh so good
I am responsible for all that appears before you.