Wild, Wild Country

I just finished watching Wild, Wild Country and I want to write this blog while it’s fresh in my head. It’s a 6 part documentary about Bagwhan Shri Rajneesh and the Rajneeshi’s attempt to build a utopian community in rural Oregon in the ’80s. I recommend it.
Bagwhan (later in life known as Osho) is often quoted on Facebook, nice little platitudes about letting go and becoming one with the universe and sunshine and flowers and stuff, and that’s all pretty harmless, but up until now I’d usually responded to those comments with something along the lines of “Yeah, but what about poisoning the well, and having a million Rolls Royces?”
At the time it was happening, it was a distant news event to me, and the few facts I knew made the Rajneeshis look pretty bad. The documentary changed my mind.
Sure, Ma Anand Sheela was a little bit nuts there, as things were falling apart, and poisoning the salad bar at Shakeys was a very nasty thing to do, but the people of Antelope and the governments of Wasco County and the State of Oregon started the problem, and everything that happened was their own damned fault.
The Rajneeshi’s bought the property legally and, in the beginning, were nothing but friendly with the people of Antelope, but they were met with instant hostility. Basically, these uptight people could not stand the idea of nudity and sex and people enjoying themselves only 9 MILES away.
If the redneck villagers hadn’t done everything they could to limit their development and threaten their eviction, they would not have bought homes in Antelope. They would not have bought the cafĂ© and started serving fried bananas instead of bacon. They would not have taken over the city council, and changed the name of Antelope to Rajneeshpuram. If they had not started walking the perimeter of the encampment shooting off guns at random to scare the orange robe wearing hippies just like the Trump loving assholes who they, and their descendants, undoubtedly are today, Sheela would never have started stockpiling guns, or started her weapons training classes. And they probably wouldn’t have gone to America’s big cities and recruited several thousand homeless people which, by the way, was a goddamned humanitarian gesture and all of those cities should have sent them a thank you note and a big fucking check, but they didn’t.
Bagwhan (Osho) was eventually driven out of the United States and Sheela and a couple of her followers spent a few years in prison, but he still has followers. And I, for one, will not make any more sarcastic comments on Osho posts.
The scandal was not him, and it was not his people. The scandal is how they were treated.

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Hyperbole

Admittedly, the storming of the capitol made for a great show and, admittedly, five lives were lost, but…and this is a big but…everybody’s making too much of a big deal about it.
It was not a coup, and if it was an ‘attempted coup’ it was the most poorly planned attempted coup in the history of attempted coups. They did not have the support of the military, they did not take over a single TV station, and they had no end plan. They took over the capitol for a brief time and some guy posed for photos sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s desk, and some dude in fancy dress became a viral internet sensation, but that’s not actually a coup.
The left has a long tradition of occupying public spaces and holding sit-ins, sort of like the one AOC staged in front of Pelosi’s office shortly after arriving in D.C., although no windows were broken and no lives lost in that one. That’s all this was, plus a lot more shouting and threats and a lot less Kumbaya.
The media has used one word a whole lot to describe this, and that word is ‘unprecedented.’ Not really. There have been lots of large demonstrations in front of the capitol. There have been lots of political demonstrations in which people have been killed. Kent State comes to mind, and more recently the demonstrations in Minneapolis, in which a right winger murdered two people on the left. And, as the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, pointed out: this happens all the time in other countries, supported by and often instigated by the United States. It’s almost identical to what happened in Bolivia, when they threw Evo Morales out and established a short-lived right wing dictatorship.
Anyway, this incident has passed. There will be another outrage soon. There always is.

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Comments on the Capitol Killings

I thought of writing a blog last night on the storming of the capitol, but thought I’d wait until morning to get answers to some basic questions, like who was the woman who was shot and who shot her, but I wake up this morning and find that 4 died, and we still don’t have a name or very many details for the first one, except that she was a Trump supporter. One might assume from that that she was shot by police, but in a crowd which is commonly heavily armed, it’s also possible she was shot by one of her own.
We don’t know anything at all about the other 3. Were they shot, were they trampled, did they have heart attacks caused by tear gas inhalation?
I’m not against reasonable limits. If they’re not releasing the names until they notify next of kin, they should say so. Other than that, the public has a right to know. Despite the egregious behavior and, in fact, the offensiveness of the very existence of the people in this gun-totin’, bible thumpin’, white supremacist crowd of multi-generationally inbred morons, I still don’t think the police should be able to kill large numbers of them indiscriminately.
With regards to the storming of the capitol itself, and some bozo standing on the podium wearing something that would even confuse people at a costume party (Are you supposed to be Davy Crockett, or a Viking?), I am kind of envious, and wish we had that much fire on the left.
I remember an anti-Viet Nam war protest on the steps of the Iowa Capitol Building, cca 1970, so I was still in high school. There was a line of police at the top of the stairs and, being the think outside the box kind of guy I am, I walked around to a side entrance on Grand Avenue, and sauntered right in, like any tourist on any normal day. I walked over to the glass paneled doors and looked out at the crowd, between the row of policemen. I waved at people, tried to get their attention, pointing and mouthing “Go around to the side!” but nobody saw me, or at any rate nobody moved.
The left just wants to make their case, do their symbolic gesture and go home. The right wants a fight. I wish there was some middle ground between those two courses of action, between those two states of mind.

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A Country’s Just a Place

Hooray! Whoop-dee-doo! Fireworks going off inside my head! My newest book of poetry, entitled “A Country’s Just a Place” as you can see in the banner which replaces “Every Day’s a Butterfly” as my latest new book, is now available to the general public, i.e. published. If you go to www.gurukalehuru.com/poetry you will find it, and you’re in plenty of time to buy a copy or two for Valentine’s Day, or somebody’s birthday, or any other occasion where you think poetry might make an appropriate gift.
Or you can just go there and have a look, read a bit of it before buying. It’s not everybody’s Cup of Tea (that was the last new book before Every Day’s a Butterfly, and there are about 14 or 15 before that one.)
It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, as evidenced by one critic over at Rattle’s Anything Goes poetry group, who called my work ‘forced-rhyming tra-la-la poetry,’ which is kind of spot on, in a way.
Of course ‘forced rhyming’ sounds terrible but, when you think about it, all rhymes, like all words put down on paper, are forced. Words don’t just jump onto a page of their own volition and start running around and swinging on the monkey bars. The idea is to make it sound natural, to feel like it’s an even flow, and I think I’m pretty good at that. You be the judge. Go. Read. Then there’s the tra-la-la thing, which she apparently meant as a criticism but, since I want my poems to have a light, musical cadence, and there are lots of great songs which have tra-la-la in there somewhere, I’m pleased with the description.
If you’re looking for something more in line with most modern poetry, which doesn’t use rhyme, is pretty darned casual with maintaining meter, and leaves you scratching your head and wondering what it’s about and feeling illiterate because you don’t quite understand the symbolism, then I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. That’s not me. That’s not the kind of thing I write.

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Awoman

We’ve had four years of mixed horror and laughter at a Republican administration, so now be prepared for four years of horror and laughter at a Democratic administration.
Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) delivered the opening prayer at a session of congress the other day, and, as far as politically correctness gone wild and flat out dumbshittery, it was a doozy.
First, let me state for the record that I don’t think they should be opening with a prayer at all. If you work in an office, or a factory, you probably just show up at your position at start of shift and start working. They should do it like that. It’s a place of government, not a church.
But, it was the ending line of the prayer itself which was so comically stupid. Amen and Awoman, Cleaver said. Leave aside the fact that, if the idea was just to be gender equivalent, he should have said Amen and Awomen, so plural matched plural. Really, leave that aside.
If we are to substitute female nouns and pronouns everywhere we see male ones in the language, even in words which have no natural gender, you come up with things like herstory, which is a rather clever neologism to mean ‘women’s history,’ which is, admittedly, an undervalued part of history. But, you also come up with a hell of a lot of stupid shit.
It is an over compartwomentalization of huwoman womentality, in which we are fundawomentally experiwomenting with language, sort of a PC pig Latin. Why do we say herpes and not himpes? Why do we say “Wake up, sheeple!” if half of them are heeple? Even if people did start talking like that, which they won’t, it would not change the relationship between men and women in our society.
That’s going to be the work of generations and is only going to come about through a lot more communication, and understanding of the psychological and physical differences (and similarities) between actual men and actual women, and not just the various syllables which relate to us.

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