Category Archives: Blog

General observations of events in the news or daily happenings.

Being a Male MCU Fan in 2022

Table of Contents

About Me
She-Hulk
Ms. Marvel
Dr. Strange M.O.M.
Moon Knight
Hawkeye
The Eternals
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Friends,

I’ve seen a lot of complaining about the MCU since Thor (2011). While that film did deserve some panning, the greater significance of those criticisms was that they were the first I remember of many, many, many criticisms to come for the Universe and its offerings.

From whence did a general distaste for the MCU come?

Red Letter Media is where I first really began hearing about superhero movie burnout (I wanna say around their review of Ironman 3 (2013) ….goofy ass film that it was, but kinda good still), and while I can apprehend that frustration in the abstract, it seems like an ungenerous lead weight to hang around the neck of every new superhero film or series.

To be clear, I love RLM’s reviews and have watched most of them. That said, there are times I disagree with them. And if I’m being honest, this post was prompted more by the Facebook group, Red Letter Media Endless RichEvansPosting (and who knows who’s running that group!) than any recent review I watched of theirs. But the tale of the memes there is that beyond generalized superhero fatigue, there are some irksome woke politics being bandied about in a polarizing way.

I have devoted a lot of time and attention to digesting the MCU stories (some of them repeatedly) and so I feel I am as qualified as anyone to speak on them.

*************************************************

Who am I? (Skip to next section for reviews)

If you’ve been reading this blog since its inception in 2013 (or if you go further back to the 2011 blogspot days (The Most Interesting Blog in the World) you’ll know that I have been at odds with woke politics on some level from Trump v Hillary onward. Since that summer of 2016 (‘Summer of Sam [Hyde]’) I have kept my edge and avoided mental and moral docility with a steady diet of Jordan Peterson, Million Dollar Extreme, The Joe Rogan Experience, Hermetic philosophy, stand-up comedy, and right-wing politics & meme groups (what can I say, the left can’t meme…).

Being an unmarried 30 something male during Trump v Hillary was like being a suburban white kid when The Marshall Mathers LP dropped; the gravity was inescapable and it made me feel righteous and justified (it still kinda does). The legacy of TvH is a complicated one because Trump was telling us things that were true but which also needed scrubbing before they could be adopted productively (by me). ‘Scrubbing’ is a pretty sterile term so I’ll cal it what it is: From Summer 2016 until Summer 2019 I dealt with feelings of resentment, hate, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, self-harm, and longing for catastrophe. In reality I was learning to have worth and set boundaries, but anyone who puts up a boundary, whether a picket fence or border wall, must seem like an intolerant tyrant to someone else.

(*Note: With regard to the MCU and Star Wars (another universe I had grown up with), there was all manner of cuckoldry afoot during these years (Captain Marvel, Solo, the Sequel trilogy, Black Panther) and such blatant disregard for what I wanted to see was irksome—whether I was ultimately right or wrong.*)

Still, I wasn’t quite worth anything yet—I was still exhuming deeply embedded bullshit in the core of my being—but the fences were up at least. What I later realized (right before doing peyote in January 2021) was that doing ayahuasca (Jan 2016) had put me on a multi-year path of self-discovery where I had to purge deeply entrenched emotions, traumas, pathological anatomical structures, and misapprehensions about the world.

Ayahuasca truly sent me to hell, and anyone who got close to me during those first few years thereafter got caught up in my hell.

I did keep going though. Looking back on some of the ideas I held at the time and the things I said, I’m glad I was able to vomit them up in the nerf’d space that is social media, rather than going out and acting them out for real.

Playing guitar started to turn things around for me in 2018, while subsequent psychadelic experiences kept the tempo of self-discovery brisk. Thankfully, those and other concurrent and earlier investments in self began to appreciate and the fences I had established now actually protected something of value. Possessed of said value (at least by my own estimation) I felt a lot better about the world and unlocking the gates of the fences more liberally.

*************************************************

Now that you know who I am…..

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Over the last few weeks I have been watching She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. I like it and I’m going to continue watching it. Have there been missteps? From my perspective, yes, but at the same time I know women and they misstep and/or say cringe shit all the time so its actually kind of realistic.

How likely is it that a chick lawyer is gonna have a RBG bobble-head in their office? Pretty goddamn likely.

How likely is it that an empowered woman is gonna reference possible murder as a consequence of not keeping their cool? Pretty goddamn likely.

If I met Jennifer Walters at a bar we would probably butt heads and I might be provoked into saying something sexist like, “Calm down, pussycat!

Listen pussycat, smile a bit.

I don’t think that makes me bad or her a feminist martyr, but I think it does indicate that the higher the level of verbal sparring you do (and she’s a lawyer), the greater the imperative to never let ’em see you sweat. When I’m bantering with someone I’m gonna play with their feelings, and if progressive womanism is what they got their (safety!) panties in a bunch about, then you got a believe that’s where I’m aiming.

She-Hulk is not a story about a woke superhero. It’s about a very plausible progressive woman with a chip on her shoulder who I would 50/50 love or hate in real-life, and who suddenly has powers and a spotlight on her. She is of course reluctant now because all of her unpopular opinions are under the scrutiny of myself and other deplorables.

This is 4D story-telling and I would say that you’re supposed to hate it except that it is so remarkably self-aware, well-paced, expertly acted, clever and funny. It is incredibly well-wrought and fun to watch, and I daresay the things that I find cringe in the show are things that I have to get better at dealing with as I take steps away from my vagabond lifestyle and into my role as a member of society.

Ms. Marvel (Yet to finish, but I will)

Ms. Marvel (Yet to finish, but I will)

Despite being very underwhelmed by Captain Marvel, I wasn’t even particularly dubious about Ms. Marvel—I have been enjoying the Disney/Marvel series’ precisely because they have been defying my expectations in two key ways:
1) Defying my expectations of who a superhero might be; and
2) Defying my expectations of shittiness in the wake of Disney/Marvel/Star Wars’ shitty 2016/18 woke run (with certain exceptions…there were exceptions during the woke run that is….)

Kamala Khan is likeable and believable in the same way Jennifer Walters is, and the show (at least by episode III) had already done some interesting things with regard to Kamala within the socio-religious context of being a Muslim woman in America. The show didn’t blame white men for a young, Muslim girl’s struggles but did show a woman’s struggles within an actual patriarchy (the Imams and Uncles in her community).

And wouldn’t you know, the patriarchs are humanized too. Sure, they may be fossils, but they are benevolent. In reality, Kamala faces more immediate repression from her mother (also not painted as a villain). I like this show so far because it’s showing that “patriarchy” doesn’t have to be what someone else tells you it is. It shows tradition as important—keeping the fire alive rather than worshipping ashes. Kamala Khan is a female version of the man Jordan Peterson has been telling me to be for years: The brave adventurer that descends into chaos to rescue her (archetypal) father who has gone blind and stale. In the process she (and friends) revivify her society and she is remade into something better than she was before.

And for those who have complaints about the frenetic style in which the show shot and edited, remember this is a teenage girl’s reality. Remember: Demographically there is no group that will make you feel more stupid, insecure, outdated, antiquated, and annoyed than teenage girls. You will not understand their slang, the tech platforms they use, etc. Nonetheless, this show manages to level the curve to the extent that we get a glimpse of how they think and put reality together.

Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

This movie is the shit! I couldn’t look away nor could I shake the feeling that Marvel had made something just for me. I’ll be brief here and do a full review later:

Dr. Strange is the smartest fucking guy in the room, and because of the stakes and tone of The Infinity Saga his goofiness, arrogance, and constant failings are only just being explored in earnest. Like me, there is no reason why Strange shouldn’t always win everything all the time, except he constantly shoots himself in the dick with pridefulness before ultimately learning his lesson. That is so relatable to me.

For the geopolitically minded, there are some heavy themes regarding Sino-American relations which will be discussed at a later date, but even more important that (yes, more important than that!) is the commentary on motherhood. Themes of pathological motherhood have been prevalent in 2022, with Moon Knight and Hawkeye showing abuse and criminality respectively, but Scarlet Witch’s Oedipal tendencies (set up in Wandavision, though not explored in order to give her room to still be the hero) are shown in a high-stakes and sensational way. What would be interesting to see (Listen up, Disney!!) is for season 2 of What If?… had an episode where America Chavez and Strange don’t defeat Wanda and instead we see what her boys became years later under her pathological care.

Moon Knight

Again, Moon Knight spoke to me with its themes of pathological motherhood and having a split identity with superpowers. It’s too wacky at times. Too slow at others. Some stuff isn’t explored enough and the rules they establish (powers of Gods, enemy abilities, jump cuts) are consistent although somewhat fucky. Still, I have to extend the same latitude to Moon Knight as I did to Ms. Marvel: This is probably something approximating the experience of being mentally ill. Take it from me. (Also, lyrically ill).

Hawkeye

I didn’t want to like Kate Bishop but I do. I see so much great comedic potential between her and Yelena, and Clint Barton was honored. It’s been a few months since I watched it so some of the finer details are foggy, but its always nice to watch a series like this which is grounded in (mostly) unpowered people fighting criminality. Like Falcon and Winter Soldier, but less global.

The Eternals

I really liked this film but it is a sloooowwww burn. While reviews have been mostly indifferent to it, it’s another that I feel was made for me. It’s beautiful to watch and the story is archetypal in the sense that the heroes we see are super being, gods, humans, and perhaps most importantly, avatars of the viewer’s emotions/psyche.

Killing a baby to save the mother and the father’s subsequent reaction is portrayed so deftly that you don’t even realize what you’re watching until you’ve had time to think about it.

It was nice to see the genocidal SJW (Sprite) get knocked out by the incel (Druig). ‘GO TEAM!!’ I suppose…

And the best scene in the film: Phastos’ reaction to the detonation of the atom bomb. I cried.

Shang-Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings

I think the best thing about this film is that bad is not all bad (the father), good is not all good (the sister). How very daoist!

The fight sequences were cool and I felt that the art direction was very…Asian-minded! It’s hard to explain but the sequence with the shifting trees and the hidden path felt like an old Chinese story come to life. And of course, the main story about Wenwu (the father) pathologically pursuing his lost love to ‘hilarious’ consequences is entirely relatable to me.

The only thing I didn’t like is the reform of Mandarin, who apologizes profusely for impersonating an Asian warlord in Ironman 3. I get atonement—see my above confessions—but I feel it could have been handled better with humor rather than such sullen seriousness. And of course, the ‘Mandarin voice’ would have been a welcome return—perhaps as a small assist in the final battle.

Replacing the entire roster of the Avengers for a new generation (or at least decade) is not easy, but Shang-Chi takes its responsibility to the fans seriously and is a solid instalment, which, in a similar spirit to The Eternals, shows me something I’m not used to seeing in the MCU.

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Thank-you for reading this far if you did. I have been thinking about rewatching the whole MCU series of films and shows from the chronological beginning and writing a review for each and I think I enjoy the material enough and appreciate it deeply enough that I could do a worthy job.

Please stay tuned.

Best,
-Andre

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I Don’t Make Films but if I Did They’d Have a Samurai

Friends,

I got invited to join DALLE image generation (“Brave Lois, the last horse crosses the finish line…”)

Naturally, the first thing I have been working on is generating images of my various psychadelic trips by describing what I experienced.

Ayahuasca, January 2016, Nuevo Rocafuerte, Ecuador
Psilocybin (5g), September 2016, Hamilton, Ontario
Amanita Muscaria (9.2g), January 2017, Tohono O’odham, Arizona
Psilocybin (5g) June 2018, Tiergarten, Berlin Germany
Psilocybin (5g) July 2018, Tiergarten, Berlin Germany
Ketamine (Unknown Dose), Summer 2018, Berlin, Germany
Lysergic Acid (Unknown Dose), December 2018, Granada, Nicaragua
Lysergic Acid (Unknown Dose), January 2019, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Ketamine (Unknown Doses), March 2019, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Psilocybin (3g), April 2019, Joshua Tree, California
DMT (0.1g), April 2019, Joshua Tree, California
Lysergic Acid (Unknown Dose), September 2019, Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal
Psilocybin Microdosing Regimen (0.5-1.0g each morning), December 2019 through January 2020, Barrie, Ontario
Peyote (3 Buttons, fresh), January 2021, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Psilocybin (8g) July 2021, Desert NE of Cottonwood, Arizona
Psilocybin (8g) August 2021, Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona
DMT (0.1g), November 2021, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

But now I don’t do drugs anymore.
-Dre

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I’m Still Designer

…and SHIT!

I’ve been watching Cesar Milan: Better Humans Better Doggos the lqst few days. I have never watched his previous hsows but the TSST episode of South Park is one of my favourite and I always thought the principles used to correct Cartman’s behaviour were sound with regard to my incompletre knoweldge of fields like social dynamocs, psychology and anthropology.

This show is great. Everything is our fault as dog owners. Lately my pit Diesel has been barking when I return home. He loves me and eagerly charges into our adventures together, but I think I might have scared him a little bit over the last few months of knowing him (two week long visits before moving here full time this month). I took his mom and he’s seen some violence in a past life.

Arguments with Vallerie have undermined corrective moments, but I think she’s starting to see that letting me go will to will with the dog for certain small things up front will mitigate the need for drastic interventions later. She’s seeing that and that’s good. I think I believe that we can survive any hell so long as we can see improvement over time.

My home here in the desert of Phoenix is a lush and verdant oasis—it’s adjacent to a lush and verdant oasis at least. The city is so inhospitable that shaded greenspaces/parks are so much more appreciated.

Guitar playing is going well. I get out a lot in the heat and play. I stick to the shade but I see myself getting very comfortable playing in the sun. I think I gotta start dressing like an Arab—light, blowy linens.

Cesar just finished helping a family of women who had survived domestic abuse and who had no control over the many dogs. They learned courage and that trickles down to the dogs.

This is my pitbull, Diesel camoflaged on the couch with his puppy dog eyes

Trickle-down sounds good. I like it phonetically. I picture a crisp clear mountain stream that I can drink plentifully from. And maybe that’s why trickle down economics didnt’ work like ppeople might have been led to think it would: if there is a stream you still have to get up, and get out and get after it. Entertain rich people. Dance for them. Debase and humiliate yourself for them and you access that stream.

Psych

Everybody’s fucking dying, but I can live. I can make it if I try. I can get through the wire like Jor-el launching Kanye in a pod from Krypton (“Farewell, my son…”)

“Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down”

My wife is having adult career frerustrations and I feel woefully inept to help. It doesn’t help that I’ve been using cannabis products because I tend to look to expansively ad holistically at acute problems. Not that I’m wrong, but not necessarily what someone want to hear when they are venting; not simply a solution, byt a solution which would also require them to look in ward—especially from their musician/blogger husband.

This is me showing an example of how unqualified I am to give advice.

Stay thirsty,

-Dre

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I’m Designer

11 Aug 2022

The thing that’s real to us is fortune and fame/
All of the rest seems like work.

Never again will I repeat myself/
Enough is enough.

It’s truly aliiive.

You don’t know what love can buy—neither do I!

Father in law in ER right now for swollen feet. I don’t really know how to console my wife. You see I’m a silly man and a recent immigrant in this country to boot. I’ve always gotten by by keeping it simple and making financial windfalls last—not reinvesting. This has been good because it ultimately left me the freedom to move to the US.

I’m here now—Phoenix—and I’m in a holding pattern it feels like. I’m living with my wife and so naturally I feel like a kept man of sorts. I felt like this back in 2018 while living in Berlin with Anne, but at the time I was much less happy and much less of a man. I felt a cripple at the time; I coudn’t stand up straight. I didn’t really love my frau (although I certainly have missed her at times) and was acutely of how aware my life was bullshit.

I wanted to be in America. Not Germany.

Now, I’m in America. That shit is fucking cool.
And Phoenix? This city is cool. It’s got its charms. If you pass out on the concrete in midday for example you will die. The floor is lava.
Lots of big concrete blocks with regard to potential parkouring obstacles. Nighttime freerunning could be a cool hobby for me to try. I just looked up parkour groups in Phoenix. Figures they’d be centred around university campuses.
My physical and postural alignment is so much better relative to last time I PK’d. Curious to see how much better it goes.

I’m getting comfortable with putting out less polished pieces. More honesty and stream of consciousness is good. Creative free writing. Creative freeballing. Hardballing like the 47th Agent. Toronto Hitman. The man from Toronto. Am I a Marty or a Rusty? Perhaps I’m neither. Perhaps I’m both. Perhaps they’re not so different in fact.

One thing I’ve realized is that I have no idea what the fuck people are thinking and feeling about anything. I only need to look at myself and how I have ascribed meaning and imaginated objective events—willfully and productively in most cases—to be omens, symbolisms or synchronicities.

12 Aug 2022

I’m not in yesterday anymore.

I counterfeit myself. I think this blog is done.

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Reagan was a space astronaut

19 June 2022

We peein our pants yet?

How many times I been fired? Lots.
How much am I enjoying my life? Lots.

She got so low she sucked a earthworm’s dick

Ain’t found a way to kill me yet. So sleepy.
Only in America. Wonderful. An epiphanous experience of pure religiosity.
If respect is not given freely, it must be exacted.

Just gonna leave they got plenty of other girls. GO FILL THE BRITA, TONY!!

Travis Bickle is an incel who hates on Sport because Sport is a pimp. Square men hate pimps. FACTS!

Come to the commune with me. I lived in a commune once…twice maybe.
I don’t like hippies. I AM a hippie. What does this mean?

I feel disgust and shame when Ithink about the old days. The formative days. Most Iproved motherfuckers in any domain must look back on their beginnings with disdain.

Must…musthe. Like bull elephants.

Lighthouses used to use Fresnel lenses

Tight lens, bro

Ambergris comes from whale guts. And it smells tasty.
Incidentally, Moby Dick is not a British whaling novel but an American whaling novel. If you are curious about out-of-date marine zoological information then you should read it.

There are some things you find on wikipedia that surprise you. Take a deep dive. But don’t worry: if you get lost all roads lead back to Hitler.

18 June 2022

Nancy Reagan in fancy pantsuit.
El Contador. They call me ‘mujeres’ in Nicaragua

Space Cowboy Bebop & Rocksteady on the right

17 June 2022

Nancy ReAGAN IS THE THROAT GOAT . I HAVE HEARD THIS NOW MORE THAN NOCE. I HAVE SUGGESTED IT TO PEOPLE EVEN . Coversationally

J\gga jigga that nigga jigg

THE idea of the yuuzhon vong scares me more than the idea of the galactic empire because its symbolic to me of there always being a greater evil to vanquich even after yopu ‘ve vanquished the ultimate evil.And he will fuck you up in ways you cant even imagine.

Head hing in regret and.

regret and?…

crrrrtivity

I named this chipmunk

Chip$$y Hußel

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Humans in Heat

I was standing outside the wine bar feeling indignant. Ola would show up any moment and my thought to bring the dog made the place inhospitable to us.

She arrived. We hugged. I told her the situation and suggested another bar. She good-naturedly agreed. We walked at a brisk, bouncy pace both of us, and at length, when we arrived at bar 2 to find it closed, we circled back to my hostel, dropped the dog off and returned to the wine bar where we got a nice table right away, right against a wall looking out onto Real de Guadelupe’s foot traffic.

We sat close and she strongly pulled me closer at times.
She was playful and good-natured. My willingness (enthusiasm) to have sex with her was established early on. She was seeing someone and didn’t want to make it complicated.
I didn’t pout. I talked with her. At one point she got quiet and looked straight ahead paying attention, because I didn’t know what to do. She started pulling me closer affectionately and saying in a sing-songy voice, “We are friends! Can you be my friend? Ja! We are friends.” She held me around the neck and hugged me as she sang. I was under her spell.
We looked at each other’s hands. We held our hands close to each other’s.
She lamented how her hands looked aged and weathered.
We got closer. Held hands. Played with each other’s hair (*my bald head*).

The walk home was surreal. I walked her home. We were pushing each other, dancing twirling each other, holding hands, linking arms. I picked her up like a fireman when she started hitting me. She said ‘put me down’. I put her down. We continued frolicking up the street listening to ‘silly dance songs’.

Her head was wrapped in a reddish silk scarf with a floral pattern. She looked so sexy and cool. And she was playing with me! The street was our playground and she was prodding at me and my reservedness—like the little girl does to the little boy in Up.

I felt young and beautiful. Our inner children enjoyed each other. Her centre of gravity would shift into within mine and force me to catch myself or get thrown off-balance. I kept my hands moving when putting them on her. Our hips moved together in a dance that was whatever it was.

We got into her neighbourhood. I walked her down the long stretch of street before stopping short of her street. She reiterated that she had someone and then began the movements of goodnight. The gentle swaying in and out, daring the other with locked eyes. Her pupils were dilated and it wasn’t from drugs. I let my desire show, but only through my eyes and gentle rhythmic incursions of my inner toroidal field into her inner toroidal field. There was nuzzling, hugging and cheek kissing, and then, just before stepping apart, our lips touched for the briefest instant.

We stepped back from each other, and she turned, looking back once as she rounded the corner. I felt mind-fucked. It had been the most wonderful walk home. The brownie I had eaten fuelled some of the surreality to be sure, but nonetheless, we were two kids frolicking in a playground.

I never had a friendship with a girl like this.

*********************************************

This experience redeemed so many years of awkwardness around women I like. It was a challenge and an adventure; she was strong and challenged me physically. Her challenge was contending with my greater mass and roughness of movement; my challenge was staying radically present with her in the moment, staying ‘locked-in’ and not drifting off and imagining our lives together, or how she compared to other women I’d known.

In closing

We’ve been dancing around a get-together for a month, and this evening together almost didn’t happen because she was tired. I told her it was my last night, and her response was ah ok fuck it.

I liked that.

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Gay Bomb

Friends,

I performed last night and ate shit as hard as I’ve ever eaten shit that I can remember. The bar was Bandera Negra and the show itself was called Just One Wish Before I Die…

Cool poster, tho, rite?

It was 8 Mile bad. I choked. I was high off brownies and acid. I was perhaps tired—I’d been playing out in the streets for the better part of the previous 36 hours, and there was miscommunication with the venue (my fault) re: what kind of event it was gonna be. But whatever, I’ll eat all that. It’s my fault, all of it.

I fuckin’ bombed. It hurt. I will come back from this; in fact, I already have. I was ready to play like half an hour later and was shredding along to the Stones, but the promoter stopped me because I guess he was too butt-hurt that the initial performance didn’t go as he thought it would.

Oh, and that goes back to the title of this post—it turns out it was a gay bar (which of course throws that poster into a more interesting light) and as I was arguing like, “Let me play now, look how many people are here!” I felt this weird dom vibe like they were more wounded and angry than just business would dictate, and they wanted me humbled. Like by not putting me on they were teaching me a lesson, but by not putting me on it just made it look more and more like I was taking the piss from everyone who had come out.

The place was packed after all, and I didn’t bail, I hung around and drank with people, and schmoozed with the friends I brought. We were cool by the time I left with me making song requests and such, but as soon as the doors closed to the outside public I’m like, “That’s my cue!…” and I bounced.

Just One Wish Before I Die

I’m beginning to think this show is cursed—my final party in Mexico City last season was also called the same thing, with a similarly cool poster to boot….

….and that party was a little under-attended for my tastes and I ended up having a particularly salty spat by using irreverent humor with a Jewish female friend whom I was trying to cheer up.

Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself, and this lyric, Just One Wish Before I Die is part of it. Too high-concept? Too dark? Too immature, drawn from a Motley Crue lyric as it is? Maybe all. Maybe more.

One of the bright sides to me bombing was that this other Canadian dude, Vince, saw me bomb just before leaving town on a bus. I have felt distance the last few days from Vince because this girl, Shayla seemed more into me than him and I have always made good account of myself in group settings where he’s been around and so seeing me humbled might have been good for both of us.

“I’m not gay. I told you; I’m a deeply closeted gay man.”
-Norm Macdonald (rip)

I’m also beginning to think I’m attracting a lot more gayness into my life than I otherwise that I would; more specifically, I am attracting it unknowingly, naively A lot of my friends whom I took to be women are actually trans women it seems. They’re still my friends, and I feel attracted to their feminine energy, but when I find out—found out—I felt really dumb and clueless. I take people at face value, and that goes for how they present. In the final analysis, I’m glad I’m so naive, because I’ve seen dudes who are so cynical and jaded that they assume every woman is a dude, and that kind of mistrust I think is toxic, whereas I just get an occasional surprise sometimes in my relationships (before things get to the bedroom of course, because I’ve learned to take my time and get to know people before sex….thank God).

Fuck it tho—even Iceberg Slim got fooled once, and I daresay I’ve handled my friend’s gender reveals cooler than that ice-cold motherfucker.

Speaking of Iceberg, one thing I did right: If you’re gonna fail, make sure you look is on point.

Stay black!

-AG

PS Left gay bar, went to mezcal bar, left with girls. They kept looking over at me promisingly as we walked to the night club.
I couldn’t get in with guitar. Got some tacos.
Walked through park on way home. Get accosted and approached by some junkie.
He approached me from behind and I waited for his hand to touch my shoulder.
I whirled on him and forcefully, loudly screamed into his face,”No me toques!”
This caught him off guard and he stopped pawing at me for a moment, I quickened the pace and he head-butted me, hitting me in the upper arm, then tried kicking my leg in retreat.
I guess he thought that this dandy walking through park carrying a guitar and amp was low-hanging fruit.
As he kicked, I lifted my leg, evading it like a choreographed dance, and stared at him as he shrunk into the shadows.
I crowed, loudly, like a rooster. Three times, drowning out the muttered, ineffectual cursing from the shadows.
Not even on your best day.
Not even on my worst night.
Ain’t found a way to kill me yet.

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Covid Refugee (A Blog Post)

Friends,

Greetings from Chiapas, Mexico. It’s been some 13.5 months since I left Canada in October 2020 and as it stands I’ve no plans to go back. It started with 7 months in Mexico where I more or less kept up the tempo of event-hosting I had started in Canada in summer of 2020, followed by 6 months in the United States, where I found myself a job in the Arizona wine industry. Now it’s back to Mexico to work on my visa application for re-entry into the US, then hopefully a greencard after a time, and citizenship in the longer-term.

I’m done with Canada. It’s (f/c)ucked. In fairness, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on there from the conflicting reports I hear, but having lived there most of my life, certain criticisms seem predictable and plausible—particularly those developments which pertain specifically to public complacency and the citizenry just rolling over to show its/their collective belly. Some people—those I reckon are most like me—tell me it fuckin’ sucks and is sliding further into communism. “Imagine getting out of Russia in 1916…” was a thought that played over and over in my head (for better and worse) during the last six months in the US.

From my series #ShredalSeerRizon; made while in Arizona

Better because it strengthened my resolve to make a clean break.

Worse because living isolated out in the desert as I was, I might have been more susceptible to a general paranoia.

Does it break my heart that I see my country of birth sliding further into communism? Especially since I spent time in the military, etc? Not as much as you might think. I’ve always been drawn to the US; particularly the deserts of the south-west. It always seemed like the place to be for me, and getting caught up in the patriotism of being in the army and then deploying to Afghanistan might have—in retrospect—delayed me from really embracing this goal and pursuing it in earnest.

Even though I don’t feel conflicted about following my heart however, there is still a weird feeling about openly speaking so treasonously. I’m afraid because my best laid plans to obtain residency and then citizenship elsewhere might be for nought and then it will be back to the frozen north for me with egg on my face and nowhere to go. That is my biggest fear in fact—being stuck in Canada.

To be Fair

Canada was a good place to grow up. There are more safety nets there and a general niceness which helps ease one into the real world. I know some friends for example in the States who went through the criminal justice system early on—in some cases upwards of 20 years ago—and they are still feeling the effects of it. Not to say, you can’t get caught in the system in Canada, but for whatever reason I never did, whereas I feel the likelihood would have been higher if I was born in the States.

On the other hand, Canada’s safety nets and collectivist leanings also mean that there is a lower ceiling for what one individual might accomplish—especially one who works in the arts as I have (mostly) have since 2013.

Do I owe Canada anything for the relative safety of my upbringing? Maybe.

If I do, have I already paid it off? I would say most likely.

The only pang of guilt/regret I feel is to the fine men and women I served with. I admire their love for the country. To one comrade (no pun intended) in particular whom I feel most accountable to, I have stated that I feel more loyalty to the US at this point, acknowledging that this might seem like a betrayal. Better to stab someone in the front than in the back right?

Canada has always had problems; Covid has simply thrown them into sharper relief. At the same time, it perhaps also gave me the push I needed.

Thanks for reading.

-Dre

PS Stay tuned for the serialized release of Covid Refugee (The Memoir)

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The Dervish: Overlay Lore 26 DEC 2020

Salta opened his eyelids after a deep slumber and surveyed the expanse of water before him and all around him.

He stared into the distance, seeing infinitely far with no especial effort, but then allowed his focus to relax and settle on the immediate -albeit, vast- expanse of water he stood in.

He saw ships all ‘around’ him -ragged things mostly; junkers, pirate vessels, smugglers and derelict cargo ships waiting to be commandeered and plundered. Spatially, they ranged from a dozen to several hundred kilometres away from him, but that mattered little because he didn’t exactly live in the spatial realm. Good thing too, because with his immense proportions he would certainly collapse under his own 3D spatial weight.

3D was a term he’d picked up over time from intercepting and processing every electro-magnetic (another term he’d picked up) transmission made by the 3D species on this planet (yet another term). He didn’t know what ‘D’ the humans would classify him as -if they could even conceive of a being such as he- but he was sure it was some D level that was supra-ordinate to their 3D.

So why did he envy them?

Because they hadn’t matured? Maybe.

Had he matured? He suspected he had.

In fact, he had a feeling that he had once been one of these little 3D creatures -one of these humans- but at some point the cone narrowed into a quickening spiral like a whirlpool only to an infinitesimally small threshold before beginning to grow and expand outward toward infinity in a widening spiral like a… like a….

“…reverse whirlpo-” he muttered low and slowly before catching and silencing himself. It was too late: the echo of his whispered words had caused violent upheaval in the waters before him and a large cascading impulse of water cascaded forward. He knew better than to try and stop it -if he but could with both hands meaningfully and eternally occupied. No, the best he could do would be to try and upset the wave by kicking it but that “remedy” would only cause more upset to the waters and perhaps an extinction-level-event.

So he watched the wave -the tsunami– go forth toward the central portion of the Lemurian archipelago some thousand kilometres away before turning his attention to his breath; keeping it regular but not too violent.

How long had he been here? 

For all of time by the chronology of the 3Ds. For him it had been a moment and an eternity. He remembered the quickening of the whirlpool that had abruptly ended the thing that came before this eternal existence. Had that previous thing also been an eternity? Was such a thing possible?

The memory of that previous eternity was dark, which was a stark contrast to his clear recall of everything that had happened, ever in this eternity.

No, it wasn’t ‘dark’; it was light. Thinking back as best he could to that last eternity, his only memories where vague and implicit: accelerating upward, pain, ostracism, and then a bright, all-white consuming light before he woke up here with one purpose. That purpose, holding two things together. He knew this; and his muscles felt the strain of it every day, but he didn’t exactly know what those two things were.

Still he felt it was important enough to keep doing.

He looked east to the rising sun over the seemingly endless expanse of water, and realized that it was the beginning of the human ‘day’ in this part of the world. He had a little game he played which he felt helped him understand the humans better: He would stare at the sun and meditate on it as it moved around the Earth over 24 of their ‘hours’. The 24 hour period was important to their physiology and understanding of the world, and so he reckoned that he might gain some perspective about them -and mayhaps his own previous eternity- if he could really hone in on that 24 hour period and experience every instant of it.

Easing into his silent, still meditation, he made an-ever so careful adjustment of his arm so as not to disturb the planet more than he had to, and during this gentle application of effort his eyes closed for but a moment. 

When they opened the sun was setting on this day. Or perhaps the next one. Or perhaps one further down their chronologically linear 3D road in a distant future time. Salta didn’t know, but all he could do was remain silent, keep breathing gently and resume paying attention.

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The Dervish: Chapter 2

Joe landed with a thud against the asphalt of the damp alley. His outstretched palms and right knee had taken most of the impact but his left cheek had still hit the with ground with enough force to later bruise and abrase it. He slowly relaxed his clenched eyes and allowed them to open into ‘squints’. For a moment there was quiet. Then he became gradually re-aware of the commotion behind him. There were voices yelling angrily -two were much louder than the others and seemed to be in direct communication with each other, voluminously and aggressively. The twin logos thundered back and forth and over top of each other. Within the interminably long half a second of regaining clarity, Joe noticed that at times the voices were more clear and sometimes less clear -muffled as if by exertion.
There were other voices too -probably 2- but in that instant Joe couldn’t be sure because they blended together into a consistent, supplementary whine of pathetic indignance. Still, even in that brief instant of recovering from near-semi-consciousness, Joe was certain that these were the voices of enemies.

Alertness fully restored by the sound of bells ringing internally, Joe pressed up off the ground with his hands, only slightly fumbling the attempt to hop right to his feet from a prone position. Steadying himself for only the briefest of moments and satisfied that his motor function was at least commensurate with his technically functional mental clarity, Joe whirled around with what he reckoned to be a sufficient amount of coordination and aggression to convince any adversaries present and watching that he was still a force to be reckoned with.

Casting eyes on the situation that he had been cast from like a chick being pushed from a domestically-abusive nest by sociopathic cuckoos, Joe quickly confirmed that which he’d never actually forgot; He and Elijah were in a scrape with the bar owner and two of his employees.

“I DON”T GIVE A FUCK WHERE YOU”RE FROM! YOU DON”T SAY THOSE WORDS IN MY PLACE!” screamed the bartender, grappling with Elijah, his hands hooked around the shoulder straps of Elijah’s patrol rig.

“DON’T PRESUME YOU CAN”T ‘GET GOT’ FOR SPEAKING TO YOUR BETTERS IN SUCH A MANNER!” Elijah responded, indignant and surprised that this ‘peasant’ would imply ending his life.

The two employees, who were feebly trying to wrest Elijah’s hands from the bartender’s blazer (seemingly unaware that their boss was still very much holding onto their quarry), looked at each other shocked at Elijah’s words (and then at their boss) before giggling nervously.

For his part, the bartender froze, eyes widening into an incredulous stare. The stare intensified and the faintest glimmer of a condescending smirk began to appear near-imperceptibly at the corner of his mouth

“My betters?… Are you fucking joking me, old man? Elijah looked at him for several seconds and then wearily began to feel admonished. Respect-lacking assholes like this barkeep used to never have the audacity to vent their resentments to such as him. For years and years after the beginning of the armistice, Elijah and his buddies would have gone to dumps like this and been treated like royalty.

But that was just it, he didn’t have buddies anymore -not really; every other contemporary of his he knew of -survivors of ‘the Rad-lands’, had raptured.  Any damn fool who hadn’t was dead. Except him.

Your ‘great war’ was a long time ago,” the barkeep continued, tauntingly, menacingly. You had a chance to go up in the world, so WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HERE?!”

Elijah’s eyes widened in anger, and his indignance remembered, he screamed at the barkeep, “You SONOVABITCH! I MADE my chance!”

With his exclamation, Elijah threw his left hand from the barkeep’s chest, out laterally in the direction of the approaching Joe, and bent at the elbow to reach to the back of his belt, where he carried a concealable -though still needlessly large- combat knife. 

Fuuuuuck…. here we go again…” thought Elijah as he lunged in the direction of the fray, reaching around behind Elijah to grab and stay his forearm, and placing himself between the two quarrelling men. At his return to thick of things, the two employees of the barkeep (who had been the ones to bum-rush Joe pout onto his face in the first place) turned some of their attention toward him but remained mostly devoted to holding back the much larger (and seemingly more unreasonable…also drunker) Elijah. 

The stalemated human knot lingered in stasis for an instant and Elijah allowed Joe to pull his knife-less hand back out to his side just under the notice of the three adversaries, who were none-the-wiser about nearly needing to increase their weekly dry-cleaning budget. Satisfied for the moment that the situation was effectively de-escalated, Joe slowly turned about to face the barkeep. 

“Senor Gravacci.” he intoned with deliberate respectfulness. “I apologize the this misunderstanding…” the barkeeps eye’s narrowed but before he could protest this appraisal, Joe continued: “…that we caused. I pray you: allow us to leave. My man is unwell, but has not not had an outburst in some time. If you allow us to leave I swear we won’t return.”

Gravacci looked from Joe to Eli and back to Joe.

“You know if I kill him he wont come back either…” As Gravacci said this he pulled a stiletto dagger with a mother of pearl handle out of a forearm sheath hidden under his sleeve.

“Sir!” Joe continued, his calm tinged with urgency, “Death comes at every moment…”

At this utterance, one of Gravacci’s flunkies nodded in assent unconsciously. Joe Continued:

I just saved the life of at least one of us here. I pray thee to give me the benefit of the doubt, and assume it was you or one of yours.

At this point, Elijah and Gravacci, locked in a tense stare-down, both allowed their eyes to move in the direction of the Joe. Their faces stayed tense, teeth clenched in alert malice. Gravacci, with a view of Joe’s anterior aspect let his gaze fall from the boy’s eyes, down past his chin and to his neck. There, just barely peeking above the top button of a collared floral shirt, Gravacci could see the top of a tattoo; cursive script. Slowly he moved his dagger, pointed over Joe’s left shoulder at the face of Elijah down in front of Joe’s face, dragging the tip across his left cheek. Joe didn’t flinch, and after resting the dagger a moment near the corner of Joe’s mouth, Gravacci brought it slowly and deliberately down to his neck, and brought the length of the blade laterally across his throat.

Joe was aware of the precariousness of his position but he wasn’t afraid. Gravacci pulled the top of his collar down with the blade revealing the word truth tattooed across Joe’s neck. 

“I don’t like speakers in my bar. They’re trouble. I don’t deal in spells; I deal in potions.”

” I don’t deal in spells either, sir.” Joe responded.

“You better fuckin’ not; not anywhere around here, because next time, I won’t give a shit what God it offends…”

Joe steeled himself to maintain equanimity during the imminent blaspheme.

 “…I’ll kill you … both.” 

Gravacci watched Joe’s face as he said the words slowly and even his perceptive eye didn’t catch anything approximating a flinch. Satisfied, he quickly FLICKED the blade away from Joe’s throat, prompting Elijah to resume gazing at him, and popped it back into his sleeve with an elegant flourish. His left hand released Elijah’s shoulder-strap.

“You two are free to go.” Gravacci said with a sweet, ambiguous familiarity. 

Joe maintained his gaze at Gravacci and spoke: “Eli. Take your hands from Senor Gravacci.” Eli complied and Gravacci looked to his men. They abruptly shoved Eli and Joe out into the alley, causing them both to stumble, but neither fell. 

Gravacci moved between his two flunkies who stood at something approximating goombah attention, and took up an imperious and regal posture. He spoke:

“Good sirs! I thank you for your patronage this evening. Until there is not, there is always tomorrow.” As he spoke, Gravacci took a an exaggerated bow, and Joe, who had quickly recovered after being ‘rushed’ once more into the alley, had also taken up a regal posture and returned his bow, except Joe’s bow was deeper. He replied to Gravacci:

“The Gods and your ancestors doubtless smile upon the hospitality you have shown two weary travelers, this eve.”

At this, Gravaccinodded, whirled about and re-entered the bar followed by his jabronis. Elijah, who had recovered from the shove and turned his body away from the assembled three adversaries to face down the alley, looked at the closing door they had just passed through and spit. Joe whirled on him. 

“Don’t!” he commanded.

Elijah scowled. “Now you presume to command me? YOU are not my better!”

“No…” Joe responded, stepping more into Elijah’s personal space and piercing his soul a gaze whose intensity belied his youthfulness. “…but I will be.”

He gazed at the arrogant, foolish, troubled old warrior for a few moments longer, and Eli, for his part, looked down.At this, Joe began to slowly turn his body away but kept his eyes stuck to his companion. As he began to walk down the alley away from the scene of the conflict he gradually pulled his gaze forward, and when he did so Eli let out s sigh.

Joe neared the end of the alley and turned right. Elijah watched him disappear and contemplated going a separate way for a moment before continuing after him.

THE END

 

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