Thursday, March 24, 2011

Death

Maybe it will come to you when
you’re in the grocery store, in line,
thumbnails pressing the hard red
plastic of the cart handle.
Your metaphorical kid wants candy
and you say no while reviewing
the mounds of cans, boxes, and bags
you have accrued.
Your kid wants candy again
And this time you nod and smile.
It’s compassionate to give the panting deer
a mouthful of pond water before you shoot.
A hunched grandmother ahead places coins
into Stacy’s cupped hand.
Stacy is the name of the cashier
and Stacy is the Angel of Death.
You’re next in line.

Maybe it will come to you when
you go to bed with minor stomach pain
and your last thought before the darkness is
“a little undercooked fish never killed anyone,”
but actually undercooked fish has killed a lot of people
and actually it kills you.
But just before your spirit slips out, you dream.
You see yourself kneeling
on a grassy school playground.
You have a halo, and so does the other kid,
and you are warm and sleepy-
you’ve never been sleepy in a dream before-
and you’re both looking for four-leaf clovers.
It gets to the part in the dream
when the red-headed kid reaches toward you.
He’s about to open his mouth. It’s a climax-
Then from the outside comes a slammed door,
the urge to urinate, an erupting throat.
You’re nearly awake
but you don’t wake up because you die.

Maybe it will come to you when
a red sunset spreads itself across the horizon.
You walk beyond your master-planned subdivision
into a mess of nature. You squint. You listen.
You’re just about to hear the cloudmen speak
when you look down and see
yourself standing on train tracks.
For metaphysical reasons
you don’t hear the whistle
and you don’t feel the rumble
and you’re looking the wrong way.
The cloudmen guide your head into a turn
to see the oncoming train,
to look and consider.
There’s plenty of time to leave
but the calm train gets closer.
You stand still.
You are talking with the cloudmen.
They tell you to spread your arms across, horizontally
and you do and then
wham! you’re dead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Porkulus Plunges Indians Into Cyberspace, Taxpayers Should Be Miffed

Dear Readers,

I just read the article "New Online World Ahead for Indian Reservations" in the Sunday March 6th edition of the Arizona Republic newspaper. It's about how lots of stimulus funds are going to Indian reservations in Arizona to provide Internet access to rural Native Americans. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the Stimulus a.k.a. the Porkulus) is giving $32.19 million to the Navajo tribe, $17.4 million to the Tohono O'odham tribe, $10.4 million to the San Carlos Apache tribe, $3.6 million to the Hopi tribe, and $2.2 million to the Havasupai tribe.

That's a whole lot of money!

And do Native Americans even want the Internet? According to Robyn Kayquoptewa, a Hopi student at Northern Arizona University, the answer is no. Robyn said of the Hopi village she grew up in, "The village has chosen not to [put lots of modern communication technology in their village] because they feel it is better for people to not disrespect the land."

So, many of the Native Americans feel that putting in cell phone towers, phone lines, and fiber-optic cables will disrupt their environment and their traditional ways of life.

Nizhoni Marks, another Native American said, "A lot of them [tribal elders] don't know anything about the Internet or have even used the computer."

So, many of the Native Americans have no interest in using computers or the Internet.

But this is the most shocking statement: Charles Wiese, the Tohono O'odham Utility Authority general manager, who has a lot of say in how the millions of dollars are spent, said, "We're going to have to have to try to create our own demand. I'm just having nightmares of the thought of providing all this fiber to these homes and nobody uses it."

He has to create a demand for the Internet?!

I think we should let things like this happen naturally. If the Native Americans really want Internet access, they'll pay for it themselves. That would be really expensive I know, putting phone lines and Internet in remote areas is always expensive, but you know a lot of those tribes get a lot of money from casinos. And they are supposed to be independent nations, right? So maybe they can spend their own money on Internet access if they want it.

Or, if they would prefer the modern, technologically advanced life, they could move to Phoenix or Tucson or something.

The article talks about how the Native Americans, once they get Internet access, can do online education and engage in e-commerce, and it will eventually in a roundabout way maybe stimulate the economy. But if you go to the public library, most of the computers are being used for MySpace and Facebook and watching You-Tube videos and playing games and other time-wasting things.

I don't buy the argument about Native American becoming online entrepreneurs once the taxpayers give them Internet access. I was listening to the Dave Ramsey show on my way home from work the other night, and he made a great point. He said that the Internet doesn't automatically make people run good businesses. You have to know how to run a business in the real world before you can run a business in the virtual world.

Now, a very stubborn and politically incorrect fact to bring up is the fact that Navajos don't run the stores on the reservations. It's the white folks who are the managers at all the trading posts and country general stores and shops on the reservation. Navajos just don't do it. It's not that their genetically inferior to whites, and it's not because some Jim Crow-esque laws are preventing them from rising in management, it's because... well, I don't know why. I guess it's because they don't have the responsibility or work ethic. Or maybe they just don't feel like assimilating to modern American capitalist culture. But if you go up to remote parts of the reservations in Northern Arizona, you'll see what I mean.

Providing Internet access to Native American tribes reminds me of a lot of Neil Postman's writings. Postman writes in Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology that people fundamentally change their culture and value systems to accommodate some new gadget. The gadgets are telling the people what to do. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "We do not ride the railroad, the railroad rides us." Putting the Internet into remote Indian villages will further erode traditional Indian customs.

Ha ha ha! This is so absurd. We're spending millions of dollars to give them stuff they don't want and it won't stimulate the economy and we're wasting money and America is going to collapse and we're all going to die.

And look what they're doing in Finland! The Finnish government has made Internet access a human right!

It's fun to complain about the Internet for Indians, million dollar suicide prevention walls and turtle tunnels, but the real issue pressing upon the American people is entitlements.

Entitlements make up the majority of federal spending. To balance the budget, we need entitlement reform. I work with this guy who knows this guy who worked for the military for 20 years and then retired, and then became a firefighter for 20 years and then retired again, and now he draws Social Security and stuff, so he gets $10,000 a month, (that's $120,000 a year) for the rest of his life! And he doesn't work anymore!

We need to reform entitlements now. Well, I guess we should wait until 2013 when Mitt Romney is the President.

I applaud Governor Scott Walker from Wisconsin and Governor Chris Christie from New Jersey for fighting public sector unions. I'm sure there are a lot of other heroic governors out there, but those are the two that I hear about on the news so those are the ones I'm talking about now. Now we just need someone in the White House who will fight public sector unions, reform or abolish social security, Medicaid, Medicare, and Obamacare.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Advertisements Everywhere

Dear Readers,

A long time ago, around 2005, I did a few news radio shows at Northern Arizona University's radio station, KJACK. We plagiarized news articles and read them over the air, in between punk music songs. Doing radio was pretty cool, but as with painting, gardening and flossing, I briefly dabbled in it and then moved on.

But I was cleaning out my filing cabinet this morning and I found this news spot I wrote. Enjoy.

Advertisements advertisements advertisements: they're everywhere! On the Television, on the radio, before movies, in stores, and on the internet. This news story discusses advertising of the cyberspace persuasion. Brian Mcandrews, Chief Executive of internet marketing company Aquantative Inc. recently said, "We believe the web site will ultimately replace the 30-second commercial as the central expression of the brand. The TV commercial over time will become more of a way to simply send people to your website." End quote. Each year, internet advertising becomes more and more lucrative. Recent market suggests that the 30 second television commercial is too lengthy for modern consumers, and the buying public now unconsciously desires 10 second advertisements on their computer screes. These new-age computer and advertisements can be interactive, futuristic, and more sparkly. Experience it for yourself, radio listener. Pyrotechnic commercials are just a few mouse clicks away and the commercials say zero one zero one zero zero zero one one zero one.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa