I went to check out the super fabulous pink moon or whatever the hell it is, but there is cloud cover over The Creek tonight, obscuring the view. Still, it must be one hell of a full moon, because even from behind the clouds, it’s putting out very bright light. And the clouds add a rather pleasant dramatic aspect. Kind of looks like a CGI night sky in a Dracula remake.
N.P.: “Waiting for the Worms” – Pink Floyd
Lawd, dear reader. I am exhausted, it is hot, and my mood is foul. Gonna do us both a favor by being brief here and putting myself to bed.
N.P.: “The Angel Wars” – Gary Numan
Watching what’s been happening in New Zealand since the shooting in Christchurch has been interesting. And in many ways, predictable. The government is doing what it thinks it can do to prevent another such shooting. What was shocking to me was to hear members of the United States Congress applaud and point to the New Zealand Prime Minister’s actions as examples for what we should do in this country.
I have several English friends with whom I have long-running and very good-natured dialogues where we give each other shit about the inferiority of the other’s country and/or people. They refer to us as “the colonists,” and I am quick to remind them that I am a citizen of my country, whereas they are lowly subjects of Her Majesty Elizabeth Regina. They tend to struggle at this point in our discourse.
As I see it, the difference between a subject and a citizen is contained in the First and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The First Amendment guarantees me the right to say whatever the hell (short of libel, slander, or direct threats or calls to violence, of course) I want about any member of any level of our government, from the president all the way down to the local code enforcer. I can compose invective, horrendously insulting critiques, I can mock them in published cartoons and lampoon them viciously on late night TV. And they can’t do a damn thing about it because regardless of what office they may hold, they are all citizens just like me. But the Queen is royalty. She is superior to my friend Nigel, who is and shall forever be her subject. At any time, I can run for any office in the land. If I or any other citizen gets the required number of signatures and has enough money to pay various fees, we can run for whatever office we want, including the presidency. There is nothing Nigel can ever do to become royalty. And thus, his speech regarding the Queen Mother is quite limited, and though in present-day England speech is in practice relatively free, in other royal-ruled countries, speaking out against or even insulting the king or any member of the royal family can and will result in arrest and prosecution of crimes against the crown, with the punishments being long and difficult prison sentences and in many countries, death.
The Second Amendment guarantees me the right to defend my First Amendment rights if anything happens to the government and they go rogue. For example, say there is a military coups, the military suddenly controls the federal government and all commercial media outlets. They impose martial law, declare a suspension to the Constitution, clamp down on free speech, and begin violating other Amendments and provisions of the Constitution: with the Constitution “suspended ” (so their “logic” would go), the Second Amendment is no more, and soldiers will be coming around and confiscating all weapons. And with the Third Amendment also gone in this scenario, when the soldiers in your neighborhood need sleep after a long day of confiscating weapons, they can just come into your house, kick you out, and turn your home into a temporary barracks. All of this, of course, would be completely illegal and unconstitutional, but it could happen, and it is for that scenario that the Second Amendment exists: most of the amendments are clear limits on governmental power, and with the system of checks and balances the Founders put into place, the various branches of government are pretty effectively set up to police each other and prevent such a scenario from ever unfolding. But because it could happen, the Second Amendment says that citizens have not only the right but the duty (“necessary to the security of a free State”) to keep and bear arms. Weapons. What kind? Whatever kind it would take to take on and defeat the United States military when they show up on your block arrest you for speaking out against the illegal coups, to seize your weapons, and to take over your house. There would be no one to call…you’re going to have to handle this yourself. And those fuckers have state of the art body armor, fully automatic assault weapons. They have tanks. Helicopters. The Second Amendment says nothing about hunting. It has nothing to do with recreation or obtaining food. It specifies a “well regulated militia.” I’ll assume you know what a militia is, but many seem to be confused by the modifier “well regulated.” It does not mean regulated by the government. Well regulated means trained and proficient. Ready to mobilize at any moment.
So the government of New Zealand banned assault weapons. Which they can do, according to their constitution, which noticeably lacks any provisions for free speech or right to keep and bear. Why? I would argue that they are subjects of the crown as well, though that legally ended in 1948 when they were reclassified as citizens. But to quote Tyler Durden, sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken, and reclassifying someone as a citizen does not necessarily give them any additional rights. The real test, for me, anyway, is to see who is on the money: if the Queen is on your money, you’re a fucking subject. If you weren’t, you would have taken her old ass off your money. You know, like we did. But no…there’s the Queen on your money, so no right to keep and bear for you.
And though you may be thinking that you have free speech in your country, if your country has a Chief Censor, I dare say your speech is not at all free.
So this week, New Zealand’s Chief Censor, who had banned the live-streamed footage of the attack and the manifesto Brenton Tarrant cobbled together (quite poorly), had six people arrested for distributing the video, with each now facing 14 years in prison. Fourteen years. My goodness.
But they can do that. Because they have a very different constitution than ours. Which is fine.
What gets me about this, again, is that there are sitting politicians here in the U.S. advocating the actions of the New Zealand government as appropriate here, when in fact those very actions would be cause for our well regulated militias to maybe convene and begin discussing tactics.
N.P.: “Dance Hall Days – Orchestral Version” – Wang Chung
Whaddup, dear reader. I am having to admit that I have vastly more ideas that I have time to write them out. I get these ideas of things I’d like to say, things I want to tell you, or sometimes things I want to do with the books or one of the other projects and this is how they appear: usually there is just a single idea…a sentence. It just appears. So as I’m studying it and looking at it from various angles (this is usually done subconsciously or very close to that as I am likely doing something totally different consciously, like attempting to converse with someone), another idea branching off the original one appears, also in the form of a sentence. Once there are two sentences about the same subject, they sort of become postulates in a “logical” argument. So if A is the case, and B is the case, then C, which appears as a third sentence. After further mental marinading, D, a fourth sentence, appears, and this is usually what I think of A being true, B being true, and what I think of C, what I think of people who think C, whatever. Sometimes D is what I think C should be (even though it isn’t), and what a better place the world would be if more people agreed with me about C, et cetera.
And see…this is what happens. That paragraph you just read supra…that was supposed to be one sentence. When I started typing the sentence, my intention was to type one sentence, and now look at us, all the way down here at the bottom of the page. Jesus.
I meant to tell you that rather than jot the ideas down for another time when I have more time to expound on and expand the core ideas, and then never getting back to it and the ideas just languish away in the ether, I was going to try to limit myself to maybe a paragraph, with just the key ideas. Which I fear may result in an experience exactly no different than reading a tedious business email.
Okay…tomorrow. Tomorrow I promise you I give you the bare bones version of what I’m thinking, rather than putting it on the shelf for the rest of forever.
Okay…gotta get back to the book.
N.P.: “Far Side of Crazy” – Wall of Voodoo
petrichor – noun – a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.
The last couple of days have been a bit of a dud. Probably more than the last couple. But the last couple were me sitting in front of this keyboard, the file from the the book that I needed to work on was open on the screen, the blinking cursor more or less mocking me for not typing. Then there would be a burst of 7 or 10 words, then nothing for another how ever long. Some days that’s all one can do.
There are two clusters of headlines in my “Health” feed, one that is amusing, the other less so. The first story was about a Swiss study just released that concluded that men’s beards are, for the most part, swimming with disease and are a breeding ground for microbes and germs that are harmful to humans. The study concluded that if you captured a feral dog that had lived its entire life in a toxic landfill, and you used that dog to scrub all the toilets in your house, that the fur on that dog will have no where near the number of microbes found in the average hipster beard, which beard, much like the average hipster himself, is composed primarily of fecal matter and infectious bacteria. Which is hilarious, because most of the hipster girls I know with beardy boyfriends are spectacularly germophobic. Fortunately hipsters cherish irony above all else, so they should find the situation amusing.
The second item was about something else swimming with disease, but something that I value far more than hipsters. Researchers in Israel have found that petting zoos are home to numerous dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria including two strains that cause foodborne illnesses and urinary tract infections. Which is just lame. I can do without hipsters, but I’m really rather fond of petting zoos.
N.P.: “Obsession” – Animotion
I really don’t belong in Fecal Creek. The place and people have been nothing but wonderful to me. But the grammar…my God, the grammar. I have spent a great deal of my time here wanting to light myself on fire in the only reasonable response to the myriad grammatical atrocities I’ve unwittingly witness and helpless endured during the past couple of years.
I’d estimate that 98% of the conversations I’ve overheard that take place in The Creek are nothing more than poorly recounted, emotionally hypercharged, and unabashedly biased retellings of banal conversations that that originally occurred in totally different places with totally different people. And of those retellings, roughly 50% consist of variations of the following phrase, repeated over and over and over again with varying word order: “And so I told him, I says, ‘….’ And then I says to him, I says, ‘….'” It’s really quite horrible, and on some days, more than I can take. Hence days like today that I spend looked away in my room at Hotel California, hiding from the Herd and their ghastly grammar and odious usage
N.P.: “#1 Crush” – Garbage
I figured since I have both this website and an unending and ever-worsening contempt for social media, I might as well start my own antisocial media platform. No friends, no other members at all, no likes, no comments, no memes, no insipid pictures of what I had for dinner, no patronizing affirmations about strong women or how life is a journey. No daily pictorial updates of completely average children’s completely average development. None of that shit.
I was thinking about calling it Jaysbook, but that’s just stupid. If I keep the posts to 140 characters or fewer, I could maybe call it Bitter, and the posts would be Bites. That might work. That way, this time next year, when the press reports about something I said, they can say, “Jayson Gallaway bit out that ….” That works.
There’s really no reason to call it anything. Just Antisocial Media. Welcome. Now fuck off.
We kid, of course, dear reader. I’d really you rather not fuck off. I do enjoy your company.
N.P.: “I Believe” – Ghost
Pretty tired. Kinda down. And quite behind schedule.
N.P.: “I Believe” – Simian Mobile Disco