Albuquerque

One of the things you learn, when you're having a life, is that when you form a vivid mental image of a place, sometimes it can be a mistake to actually go there.

I know a guy who went to Winslow, Arizona specifically because Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne told him it's "such a fine sight to see."

"They lied," he reported back. "That is not a place where a girl my lord in a flatbed Ford will slow down to take a look at me."

"Well, maybe so," I said. "Then again, you're not Jackson Browne."

I myself will never go to Albuquerque, because it lives in my mind via the Neil Young song, and I do not want to go there to discover it is basically Lodi. Which—trust me—is exactly as presented in the John Fogerty lament. If you can feel that, there is no need to condemn yourself to the physical reality. You've already been there.

Sometimes, as with Lodi, things will be exactly as described. Like, in Kentucky, there really is blue grass. But there are also murderous yeehaws who slay raccoons and then proudly drape the corpses over the fences. Driving the back roads there is like traversing the Appian Way after Crassus crucified along it the captured slave army of Spartacus. Except instead of Kirk Douglas hanging there, there are raccoons. Having experienced this horror, it is no mystery to me when the people of that state select creeping mutants like Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell to represent them in the Congress.

As a kid I grew up on the many black-and-white movie Westerns that occupied the television. And so when came the day I must needs move through Kansas, I was really looking forward to visiting Dodge City. What a mistake that was. Worse than Lodi. Because it wasn't even there. Whatever Dodge City vibe might once have been in the place, had long fled. I can't begin to describe it. Mostly because there's nothing to describe. It was a black hole, of not-Dodge-City-ness. All I wanted to do was "Get Out Of Dodge," as is said in the song of that name by Steve Cooley, written before he lost higher brain functioning, and became a Hairball cultist. Today, he is the Lodi, of humans.

The reason the people of Kansas send creeping mutants to the Congress is that there is nowhere to eat there except buffets. The steam and the grease in those places retards higher brain functioning. Has anyone noticed that wherever the buffalo once roamed on this continent there now sprawls the American buffet region? The transition from buffalo to buffets is all that needs to be said about the essential Wrongness of white people invading America. When once those buffets are replaced by taco trucks—and this will happen—then the Americans can again get about evolving. Instead of beating on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Which is what they're about now.

Some things are just wrong from the start. White people in the Americas, that is one of them. Another is buffets. A third: Los Angeles. And how do we know this? Because the first building erected there, was a jail.

Moving right along, I know a woman, a sexual adventuress, experiencing many carnal delights, who when in Paris decided to visit a sex club. She hadn't done that yet, and figured if anybody would get a sex club right, it would be the French. "What a letdown," she later moaned. "It was so not what I wanted it to be. I left after an hour. I didn't even do anything." She had experienced a sexual Lodi. And so, she was Sad. I suggested maybe the problem was she expected too much: you know, the French, sex, etc. And maybe if she'd tried a club in somewhere like, say, Estonia, or Bulgaria, she might more easily have entered ecstasy. Not having the French expectations, and all. She thought about that, and some time later eschewed the sex clubs of San Francisco, "the Paris of the West," for a fleshpot in the East Bay—Fremont, Union City, some armpit like that. And there had a perfectly wonderful time. Once she'd pushed the Paris out of it.

There are some experiences that will live up to whatever expectations you may bring to them. Maya Lin's Memorial Wall is like that. It is perfect in form, and all the dead are there. You can feel them. They are telling you they didn't need to be there. And that all of their stories, stopped too soon.

There isn't really any need to see any of the other memorials in Washington DC. The John Glenn space capsule in the Smithsonian, though, that's worth a visit. Because it is smaller than a Volvo. You stand there, and you understand: no one even remotely Sane, would, in any way, be involved in putting a human in that thing, and shooting him into space.

At the other extreme, is the aircraft carrier. Once I had to interview a guy aboard the USS Carl Vinson. Before walking the plank to enter the thing—and it was an actual plank—I stared up at it, from down on the waterline. And refused to believe it was Real. Because it was just too impossibly large. Humans have no business building anything that big. Worse than the Tower Of Babel.

Maybe it was in DC were I saw the Van Gogh. I don't remember the town, the museum, or even the name of the painting. What I remember is standing there looking at it from the side, astounded at how thickly he had applied the paint. Three or four inches thick it was. I understood Van Gogh in that moment. He was there. You could feel him. And it was sad. Because he was not a man easily able to endure the Lodis of life. A lot of the artists are like that. Which is why it is a good idea not to have them in your life. They are always cutting off their ears, and shooting themselves in the stomach, and it's hard to be around that. There is also the Problem that you will get the heavo-ho, if the art demands it. When Dire Straits was a scuffling bar band, Mark Knopfler could put up with his brother in it, but as soon as people started paying real attention, brother Dave got the boot. Blood may be thicker than water, but art/ambition is thicker than any blood. Like, James Joyce may have been the greatest writer in the history of the language, but sometimes his wife and children had to eat paint scraped off the walls, because Joyce would neglect to get any food. Joyce himself didn't need food, as his corporeal form ran on nicotine and alcohol. Provided to him by friends, acquaintances, hangers-on. Because he was "Joyce."

I knew a woman to whom I could never mention Robert Altman. Because if I did she would go off on a tirade. This is because she once met the man, at which time he basically barked in her face. I am ready to concede that Altman was objectively an asshole. But that doesn't diminish the power of Quintet or Kansas City. Unless, of course, he's assholed you. I anyway don't know that it's even possible to be a film director without having at least a little Hitler. The question is how much. Like when Lou Lombardo, who edited for both Altman and Sam Peckinpah, was asked to compare the two men. “Sam Peckinpah is a prick," he said. "And Robert Altman is a cunt.”

In the main, famous people don't want you to meet them on the level where they are famous. Maybe that's why that woman got the barking in the face. Maybe she was approaching him as "Robert Altman," and he'd long ago had more than enough of that. Or maybe he was just getting his usual asshole on. Or maybe I made the whole thing up. Fake news: is all.

Unless you have a syphilitic brain hole, like The Hairball, the fame thing gets old fast. People think they know you. They don't know you. They don't even know themselves.

Anonymity is fun. Once somebody—have I told this story here before? I can't remember. Sometimes it's hard to keep track, of the various apparitions. Anyway, here goes. Once somebody who was clearly looking for trouble assigned me to write a story for the newspaper about this event out at the fairgrounds where men went into an enclosure and there sat around a table playing poker. Then a bull would be let into the enclosure. Then the bull would Attack. The last man to flee the table, he would be declared the Winner. This was a thing not remotely Sane, and so I felt no obligation to confine myself in the story to reporting what had objectively occurred. Because, I mean, what, anyway, is Real, when men willingly sit around a table, waiting for a bull to frenzy? So I threw in a couple flourishes, like how between rounds clowns would come out, to mop up the blood, and toss severed limbs into a bucket. Things of that sort. Which, to me, seemed perfectly Normal, atop the baseline lunacy of sitting at a table waiting for a bull to gore out your entrails.

A couple days after the story appeared, I'm driving around with the country-music station on the radio, and I hear myself denounced as a criminal who should be executed. Apparently there was a blazing jihad raging across the land, to have the story retracted, and me fired. And leading this crusade, the radio informed me, was the guy who runs Diamond W. Now, it just so happened that recently some money had failed to timely flee from me, and so I was using it to buy Lucchese boots. From Diamond W. Because Luccheses cost more than cocaine, the Diamond W guy was treating me like royalty. Because he would be getting the money. At the same time he wanted my head on a pike, for the clown-limbs story. But he didn't know the Lucchese customer, and the clown scribbler, were the same person. The best part was when, there in the store, he paused in fawning over me, to holler at an employee to direct new waves of jihad at the newspaper. I didn't tell the Diamond W man that we were the same person. Because he wouldn't want to know that. It would dash, all his expectations. He would feel, as if stuck in Lodi. Again.

Like sitting at a table waiting for a bull to come at you, some things are dangerous to envision in your mind, and damn deadly to seek and to find. Such, yes, too, is the American dream. That is what Hunter S. Thompson was looking for in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: The American Dream. He had been gassed by the Daleys on the streets of Chicago in 1968, so he should have known better, but he was young and he was stupid, and so he set out on his doomed quest anyway. And when he found The American Dream, it was a dry hole out in the desert, a thing that had burned down years before, now but "a huge slab of cracked, scorched concrete in a vacant lot full of tall weeds," haunted by ghosts and junkies. He was forced to concede that the real American dream, it was back there in Vegas, at the Circus-Circus, "what the whole world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war," ground zero of "the Sixth Reich," a place where "suddenly a vicious Nazi drunkard appears 200 feet tall in the midnight sky, screaming gibberish at the world: 'Woodstock Uber Alles!'"

Thompson's continuing Problem was that, although he had seen this American dream, and in the Real, he still stubbornly believed there was a "what have you learned, Dorothy?," "real, truly, live place," Oz-wonderland sort of American dream. Out there. Somewhere. And that is why, shortly after George II was re-elected to be the president, Thompson blew his mind out in a car. He could not take any more Letdowns. So he erased his brain. In that way, he could no longer be disappointed, by any more badnesses. Like Van Gogh, he could no longer Live. With any more Lodis.

Dude should have stuck around. Then he could have experienced the Sixth Reich everywhere, live and in person, Circus-Circus from sea to shining sea, 24 hours a day and eight days a week, 200-foot-tall vicious Nazi drunkards screaming gibberish at all times, the all and every, presided over by the ceaselessly meth-mouthing depraved organ-grinder The Hairball, a creature who, in the words of Preston Sturges, stalks the land "a cross between a Ferris wheel and a werewolf.”

Let's face it, the Reality of the American dream, it has always been Lodi. I have long known this. And so I don't go looking for it. I am content, here in my mind, with Albuquerque.

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janis b's picture

it’s really all about finding fulfillment wherever you are ... but aren’t you glad you’re not from Lodi?

These were my favourite of your lines, of the many I enjoyed …

The transition from buffalo to buffets is all that needs to be said about the essential Wrongness of white people invading America.

Maybe it was in DC were I saw the Van Gogh. I don't remember the town, the museum, or even the name of the painting. What I remember is standing there looking at it from the side, astounded at how thickly he had applied the paint. Three or four inches thick it was. I understood Van Gogh in that moment. He was there. You could feel him.

Thanks hecate.

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hecate's picture

@janis b
what's it all about.

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janis b's picture

@hecate

we might find the answer.

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hecate's picture

@janis b
was once a famous movie man. He mowed through many women, until he had a breakdown while looking at a fetus. He vowed then to change his ways, but no womens any more wanted him. He ends up with a dog. He was played by Michael Caine, recently returned from South Africa, where in Zulu he had beat off many black men. Caine's Real name was Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. But, in his day, you were not allowed to be in the movies, if you had a name like Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. So, for the movies, he changed it. In the rest of his life, he continued on as Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. This was fine, until came the time of the Terror. Then, at the airports, and the other border crossings, the Cro Magnons would see on his documents Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr., and see in his face Michael Caine. They would become Suspicious. And want to have the body cavity search. Maybe even Guantanamo. So, to prevent being renditioned, he went to a Court, and there officially became fully Michael Caine. And that's what's it all about. Alfie.

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janis b's picture

@hecate

And now I'm further away from the answer. Come on hecate ; ). Does it have something to do with being a hollywood or rock star?

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@hecate
"Benedict Cumberbatch"?

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divineorder's picture

Smile

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12 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

hecate's picture

@divineorder
woke up with that song in my head.

You got in my brain! While I was sleeping!

Are you Faceborg?

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zoebear's picture

@divineorder

Used to listen to them on my first transistor radio. My Sister, my best friend Kimberly McDuffie, and I used to "perform" their songs with my plastic guitar and a few hairbrushes for mics.

Long ago forgotten memory that your video sparked up in an instant Smile

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Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

hecate's picture

@zoebear
was assaulted by Three Dog Night while searching for The American Dream.

Some gibberish by a thing called “Three Dog Night,” about a frog named Jeremiah who wanted “Joy to the World.”

First Lennon, now this, I thought. Next we’ll have Glenn Campbell screaming “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

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@hecate
lowell george had familiarized himself with the works of the author who employed a cigarette holder. mr. george had some familiarity with the geography of the southwest, and laid down some of the basics for his audience, in a tune entitled, simply, "Willin". mr. george was a self-employed itinerant troubadour, having lost his regular paying gig under the employ of the well-known puritanical bandleader Frank "Met a girl named Dynamo Hum, She bet me that I couldn't make her come" Zappa, who, mr. george insisted, did not approve of the taking and enjoyment of various inducements to altered states of consciousness.

in Willin, mr. george claims for himself extensive knowledge of the rural highway systems of the american southwest:

I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
Driven the back roads, so I wouldn't get weighed ...

and now I will quote from an early published work (date: 1964) of the aforesaid author, himself very much approving of the taking and enjoyment of various inducements to altered consciousness:

He has driven every kind of rig on every major highway in the nation. He knows the names of waitresses at truck stops in Virginia and Texas and Oregon. And he can tell you how to get from New York to Los Angeles with a heavyweight load by taking back roads and avoiding the truck scales. There's only one route left, and only a few veteran wildcatters know it."

To my knowledge, I am the first and only hooman bean to have ever made this connection. Welcome to the inner circle of the illuminated.

And since it's come up, do all of you old timers out there realize that kids these days actually seem unaware that "cum" is just a weird immature giggly-boy porno spelling of "come", and was once used primarily by semiliterate graffitiists? Like, they really think it's its very own word.

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hecate's picture

@UntimelyRippd
has long been Known that Mr. Thompson was a consumer of Mr. George's wares; it does not surprise me to learn the reverse is likewise true. That you discovered it: you are an art sleuth. ; )

Mr. George did not manage his Medicines as well as did Mr. Thompson, and so went to the boneyard sooner.

Yes, cum is deeply stupid. I have never been involved with such ugliness; I traffic only in come.

The one that really makes me want to stab and shoot is mic. It got into the language via howling imbeciles who looked at their amps and saw "mic" there and thought that was how you spelled "mike," rather than it being a stunted abbreviation for microphone. "Mike" had for many generations ably and sanely served, but the yeehaws knuckle-drug "mic" into the language, where it quickly took over, basically marking thereby the end of civilization.

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@hecate @hecate
the fool comes only in traffic

(Edited because I thought of a MUCH cleverer way to express the joke.)

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Lookout's picture

...cause its an American Nightmare. It is too scary to look for, better to mock from afar.

Thanks for the story!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Always lovely to see you posting, hecate, partly because your posts often attract Janis; and you are, each in her way, posters whose posts I greatly enjoy.

On L.A.: I made a business trip to Los Angeles (not the jail, though). It was not at all what I had imagined, but it was interesting, especially if you enjoy running across a large number of women with blond hair, facelifts and fillers. I didn't see a single brunette or redhead in any of the restaurants in which we ate. Perhaps, I just didn't notice them because of studying the facelifts? Then again, I think they would have stood out among the blonds.

On Albuquerque: My mother, who gave us her adorable malaprops and mispronunciations once told me that my sister, who loved shopping discount stores and sales, was taking her (my mom) to Alpakerkerky. Mom passed on not long afterward.

Never having thought that Albuquerque was a big vacation destination, I assumed that my bargain-addicted sister had found a trip package at a bargain basement price. After my mom passed, my sister mentioned that she was so happy that they had had that time in Acapulco together.

I've never been to Albuquerque. I greatly enjoy Sante Fe, New Mexico, though.

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hecate's picture

@HenryAWallace
means white oak. Acapulco means gringos.

Acapulco is easier to spell. Also, pronounce.

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@hecate

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@hecate
what are the odds of that!?

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janis b's picture

@HenryAWallace

Actually the story about your mom and Alpakerkerky made me think of gracie allen.

I tried to find a youtube video for you with gracie, but for some unknown reason youtube wasn’t responding. I unplugged and restarted my modem but that didn’t help. When it’s working again I’ll send you a clip.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

I mixed them up, but they're all mixed up anyway ; ).

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janis b's picture

@HenryAWallace

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Lily O Lady's picture

made a left turn at.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

divineorder's picture

@Lily O Lady via Albuquerque and various native pueblos has that fun 'meepmeep' roadrunner sound from the bugs bunny days.

Albuquerque is quite a surprising place actually, though with 26 plus exits off of two interstates it is not quaint. Has a ski area, old town, Rio Grande River Nature Center and other parts worth seeing if you ever decide to stop there. We take our folding bikes on the NM Rail Runner train down from Santa Fe from time to time for events, spend the night at the Route 66 Hostel and generally find some good music at night.

Politics is quite interesting there as well.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Lily O Lady's picture

@divineorder

rather than the place itself along the lines of hecate’s essay. Sorry if you were offended by my Bugs Bunny referent.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady @Lily O Lady @Lily O Lady
(EDIT: Okay, so I just listened to the song for the first time in about 40 years, and I realize I had it all wrong. Mr. Bunny clearly should have asked this guy for directions!)

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hecate's picture

@UntimelyRippd
is no Partridge Family in my Albuquerque.

The horror. The horror.

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@hecate
i suspect, though, that you would have welcomed the band that actually played on that record. they are various members of the recently-made-famous wrecking crew: Blaine, Tedesco et al.

dudes (and dudette, not appearing on this record) could play anything.

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Eagles92's picture

I've never been to Beirut. I do have vivid mental images of it, courtesy of 1983.

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hecate's picture

@Eagles92
that video you posted.

The Lebanese guy at the Syrian cigarette store says Beirut is very beautiful. The Syrian guy says life is actually easier in Syria, than in the US. Once you get past the bombs.

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Eagles92's picture

@hecate To parphrase Oddball, "I only posted it. I don't know what it's about."

Then again, it seems at once a despairing commentary on the state of the US health care system, and an uplifting affirmation that if only you can rob an unwitting group of aspiring cult members, your financial worries will dissolve. (Although, you won't get your dog or girlfriend back).

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@Eagles92

East. Then people started bombing it. Beirut that is, not the French Riviera.

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hecate's picture

@HenryAWallace
French Riviera got some bombs during an earlier Reich. The Third one.

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@Eagles92

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hecate's picture

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@hecate
that album is a balm. and the bomb. (the good kind.)

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Eagles92's picture

@UntimelyRippd

I've also never been to Brigadoon.

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WoodsDweller's picture

... haven't eaten at one in years. Not even sure if there is one around here. Bland food, but abundant, and if you scrape the pan clean another one appears as if by magic. The promise of industrial civilization protected by a sneeze guard -- no matter how much you consume, there will always be more. An endless flow of meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, and vanilla pudding.
So each artifice of man is a let down when experienced in person? That may be true. Yet the non-human world is one of endless magnificence. Some of it is towering like redwoods. Or the complexity of the insect ecosystem in a meadow. The terrors of wildfire and storm.
Our notion of the divine is formed on mountaintops. The all-seeing is one who watches the cloud shadows on the land below rather than shivering in the cold of their passing. Yet it is a place apart, where humans don't belong, for we are not meant to be gods.
When we were young we camped on the north rim of the Grand Canyon (aka The Big Fucking Hole) and went to a campfire talk given by an even younger ranger gal. Her eyes positively shined with excitement when she talked about how, during a rainstorm, you could actually see the erosion happening.
The natural world evokes the full gamut of human emotions, for we evolved in symbiosis with it. No Las Vegas show spectacle can compare with it. But it has to be lived, not observed, and who has time for that?

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I like this world. It's not perfect, but everything I love is in it.

hecate's picture

@WoodsDweller

lewWelch.jpg

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zoebear's picture

Back in the early 1980's. I was 21 years old with no plan in life and it seemed like something to do when my boyfriend asked me to go. So we drove my little Camero eastward, stopping along the way in Albuquerque to rest and eat. In the morning we were surprised to find snow blanketing the landscape as far as the eye could see. Snow among the cacti in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While it might not have been Winslow, Arizona, it was a mighty fine sight to see.

When we finally arrived in Kansas City, I was struck by how flat it was compared to the Southern California landscape where I grew up. Arriving in early March it was gray and flat with a few tumble weeds rolling by to give it a real autheticity. And despite the many Native American names for areas in the region, it was about the most homogeneous place I'd ever experienced, where everyone looked the same, dressed the same, ate the same food, talked about the same things, shopped at the same places, and prayed in the same denomination,

Stuck in the middle of this bland sameness, was a restaurant called Chi-Chi's, serving Mexican food with things called avocados, it was the most exotic place the good people of Overland Park and Prarie Hills had ever experienced. I worked there for a time and when I wasn't explaining what guacamole was, I was crossing State Line into Missouri to go drinking with fellow Chi-Chi employees and floating in the pool at the large apartment complex where I lived listening to the Police and every breath I take.

Eventually the relationship fizzled and I moved to New York City. Turned out that my boyfriends family deemed me to be the girl from the wrong side of the tracks solely on the basis for my fondness of wearing Dolphin brand shorts and halter tops in the middle of summer and asking inconvenient questions about long held assumptions. So I was squeezed out of favor. It also didn't help that said boyfriend was apparently a bigger asshole than I anticipated.

Kansas City was definitely my Lodi. But it was helpful to have that as a comparative point. Made living in New York City much more tolerable. Too bad the same can't be said for the boyfriends that followed.

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13 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

hecate's picture

@zoebear
boyfriends are wrong, and their eyeballs should dangle. This is a wisdom coming tomorrow.

Thanks for the story. Well told.

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zoebear's picture

@hecate

They begin to represent a perverse collection of humanity gone wrong that taken together paint a wtf kind of mural of various neurosis.

Enjoy reading your essays. You are an irreverant and quirky writer. Which according to my bookshelf, are the ones I like reading.

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12 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

janis b's picture

@zoebear

It's a great story, engagingly related. Thank you.

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zoebear's picture

@janis b

Are two of the kindest people here. Glad you enjoyed my scribblings Smile

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7 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

janis b's picture

@zoebear

I know there are definitely more. Kindness matters ; ).

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mhagle's picture

@zoebear

It is on the route from Iowa to Texas. And old boyfriends. And their families.

Assholes really.

An awfully nice thing to say about me.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

From outside she seemed so much smaller than I'd expected. The Lodi of warships.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

I live in it.
Pleasantry

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"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

EyeRound's picture

IIRC "lodi" is Estonian for "again."

The last time I returned to some places in Germany that I had spent time in earlier, I started crying, uncontrollably. I kept saying to myself, "You're crying. How stupid is that?" Just being there, again.

The reason was the again. Strong feelings of "again." Re-feeling, re-sentir as the 19th century Francophile Neitzsche would have known. Sought-after feelings, searched for and (not quite) found, again. Loudly celebrated, though. Infamous "ressentiment". Not resentment, but re-packaged, re-peated feelings. Like going back to see the play, again. Might still be good, but it ain't the same, again.

Could call it 'lodi,' I guess.

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janis b's picture

@EyeRound

The reason was the again. Strong feelings of "again." Re-feeling, re-sentir as the 19th century Francophile Neitzsche would have known. Sought-after feelings, searched for and (not quite) found, again. Loudly celebrated, though.

Thanks for this, EyeRound.

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mhagle's picture

A city in California?

Entertaining and thought-provoking. Thanks!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

@mhagle @mhagle @mhagle
Not sure if that is the place that gets you stuck.

Visit Lodi

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Beware the bullshit factories.

janis b's picture

@Timmethy2.0

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Beware the bullshit factories.

janis b's picture

@Timmethy2.0

and thank you.

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It's supposed to be good. Never ate one.

Added a link to the apple: Lodi apple

Oh oh, not good:

General disease resistance: Poor
Cedar apple rust - Very susceptible
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earthling1's picture

Writ large and long.
Great to see you here again, hecate.

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WheninRome's picture

Maybe we have reached peak wonder. I hope not. I try to have an outlook that would prevent that. It's an uphill slog.

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okay, well first of all, the line about the girl in the flatbed ford is 100% glenn frey, 0% jackson browne. which is annoying, because it's a great line, whereas glenn frey was a greedy jackass.

perhaps the dead raccoons on the fences are meant to be a message to inquisitive and ill-tempered creatures with stripey tails. kinda like Beorn the shape changer nailing up the pelts of the Wargs. some people just really want to send a message. go figure.

Lodis seem to be cast far and wide across the land. My heart is the hopeless and unregarded property of a young woman who hails from a Lodi east of the Mississippi and southwest of the Lakes that are Great. I had thought it safe, reduced to ashes, locked in a little wooden box of excellent craft; and now some mad goblin has slipped past my wards, and made off with the little oaken chest, and in some dim-lit smoky chamber has mingled those ashes with clay and blood and who-knows-what, and has over them muttered cunning phrases and the name of an elf, and Lo, the heart beats again, beats madly, and in that thumping futility yearns to be ashes once more. To be trapped in Lodi, but with her: Well, that would be far better than merely endurable, for at least one full cycle of the seasons. Except of course, she isn't there anymore anyway, and probably has no more entertained the possibilty of an extended return to Lodi, than she has the improbability of she and I, belly to belly and heart to heart, finding solace in the cricket-musicked night.

How weird is it that ranking high amongst our most grandiosely oversized engineering accomplishments are ridiculous ships that sail on the water and ridiculous bridges that span the water? Weren't Skye and PEI perfectly well off as islands? Did we have the right to un-island them, to chain them to the greater landforms and stampede forth onto their shores?

How sad to be let down by sex in France. I once knew a fellow who recalled with some fondness his initiation whilst on a cross-channel foray there, under the tutelage of, as he termed her, "the fastest woman in France." But you know the old joke -- Comedies are funny; the French are funny; sex is funny: So how can it be that French sex comedies are not funny? We will remake it: France is exciting! Sex is exciting! Clubs are exciting! Yet, French sex clubs are not exciting?!?!? Perhaps your friend should have tried Kansas City -- the inhabitants are reputed, by unimpeachable sources, to possess a crazy way of loving. I have not seen Kansas City, but I have seen The Moderns. In a response similar to that of your friend, when I tried to plead the case for it to my father, he heard that the star was "Old Wooden Face," Keith Carradine, and dismissed it with prejudice, Genevieve Bujold notwithstanding. Just a few days later, in one of those coincidences we invariably label "odd" (which coincidences, I wonder, ought to be qualified as "not at all odd"?) he picked up a paper, and found an interview with Altman, in which Altman asserted that it was his personal favorite amongst his own films. But perhaps Altman was merely being controversial. I like the movie not least because Hemingway and Stein are incidental characters, and both are portrayed as being self-important dumbasses.

Years ago, my son, at about the age of three, found himself nonplussed, wandering through a Van Gogh exhibit in Chicago, mystified by those layers of paint. I commend to you the works of these chaps

who painted stuff like this, the most famous painting in the history of Canadian art (which was painted by their mentor):

I think they laid it on thick with a pallet knife mainly because it's hard to apply oil paint outdoors in autumn in Ontario. The scholars may have other opinions on the matter.

Meanwhile, we turn to the Canadian troubadour to shed light on the American Dream. He never was shy to do so. The same guys who throw the raccoons on their fences probably think Ronnie Van Zandt was sincerely angry at Mr. Young, but of course he was just having fun, which is why the most famous photo of RVZ has him wearing a concert T-shirt from the very album you have excerpted. It bothers me a lot that on a typical day, careful and lucky flipping through the radio stations of this town will get you Sweet Home Alabama played at least once on at least three different frequencies, while the two songs that "inspired" SHA (both of which are simply, undeniably, superior) Alabama and Southern Man, are scarcely ever heard. The poor kids these days, no wonder they loathe "our" music.

I think it would make for an amusing little book, to document the various forms of "chicken" that humans have invented around the world. I remember reading once of some smarty-pants physics students who would sit during exams with their papers face down upon their desks; the first to turn the paper face up and begin work was understood to bear feathers. The ones that men have invented seem rather more dangerous than those invented by women. Lately though women are jumping into the game. I watched a video recently of a young woman (not yet old enough to drink a beer even on the north side of the border, were she ever to find herself there, where the winds blow heavy) executing a whimsied, ecstatic donut, having just become the youngest person, and first female, ever to have won a NASCAR race. And let's face it: A NASCAR race is really just a long, loud, preposterously expensive game of high-stakes chicken.

So, yeah. So much there to talk about. What an odd coincidence.

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hecate's picture

@UntimelyRippd
great stuff. Thank you! ; )

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@hecate
that i had something to say about almost everything in it.

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Sigh

janis b's picture

@UntimelyRippd

My current desk calendar is The Group of Seven Canadian artists.

So far, it's this weeks image that I have enjoyed most ...

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@janis b
and this one most particularly; a print of it hung on our living room wall during my adolescence ("This is me in Grade 9, baby"). it was there for 5 years before i ever heard of its painter or his companions.

I had a large coffee table book of Thomson's and The Group's work, given to me I think by my father and stepmother. About a year and a half ago, not long after I came to know the young woman from Lodi and learned that she had an interest in painting, I found the book in a box. I gave it to her.

On the hard drive of an old laptop whose password is long forgotten, I have a photo of a jack pine that is remarkably similar in its form and its placement to that in the Thomson painting. It stood near the water's edge at a semi-maintained campsite, accessible only by canoe, several miles upriver into the back country of a provincial park in Manitoba.

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janis b's picture

@UntimelyRippd

There are only two images of MacDonald's paintings and many of Thompson's in the calendar.

I like this painting, found googling other works of MacDonald's.

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gulfgal98's picture

my husband and I drove from Tallahassee to Denver for a conference he was attending. We took the southern route out there specifically so we could go to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Albuquerque was okay, Santa Fe was better since I knew an owner of a major art gallery there. But what was best was when we made a side trip to the Capulin volcano in northeast New Mexico.

On the way back from the conference, we went the northern route which meant we traveled through Kansas. I wanted to visit the old wild west towns, but we were trying to make time and that got shelved. However, despite the fact that there is nothing in Kansas, I found it very beautiful with its amber waves of grain and deep blue skies in the rural areas. And then, of course, there was the wind and there was the wind.

I love reading your words. So often they bring back memories for me. Thank you again for sharing your stories with us, hecate.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

travelerxxx's picture

@gulfgal98

...despite the fact that there is nothing in Kansas...

Read William Least Heat-Moon's PrairyErth (A Deep Map). You'll want to go walk into the Flint Hills and sit in the grass. Alone.

The old Wild West towns are like hecate's Lodi towns, just more dead. And the amber waves of agriculture are moving up to the Dakota's due to climate change. Sorry.

If you go to Kansas, close your eyes until you're in the Flint Hills. You'll know when you get there. It will be quiet. Except for The Wind.

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referring to bombings of Beirut, not to bombings of the French Riviera. I did not mean to imply that the French Riviera of the French Riviera was never bombed.

As an aside, AFAIK, Beirut did not come to be referred to as "the French Riviera of the Middle East" until many years after the end of World War II.

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hecate's picture

@HenryAWallace
much everywhere has been bombed. Bombs were a really bad idea.

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@hecate

Or to make anyone live next door to one.

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EyeRound's picture

I'm still not too sure about those tears, but you are right, longing was in there somewhere. Good to read your response.

Hecate's wonderful ironic tones put me in mind of Nietzsche and ressentiment. I think N. would have called my tears a true display of nihilism, feelings "wrapped in plastic", more put in by the surroundings than generated from within. For example, all academics, standing in front of students and rehearsing, re-reading, re-searching novels by Flaubert, were nihilists. Nietzsche wrote both cold-heartedly and passionately at the same time, no?

(Comment in the wrong spot--was supposed to reply to Janis b @ 10:03.)

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janis b's picture

@EyeRound

he "wrote both cold-heartedly and passionately at the same time".

I recently read this quote from Flaubert, among others that were inspiring ...

"The faster the word sticks to the thought, the more beautiful is the effect".
Gustave Flaubert

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but your friend could have saved a trip if he had listened to the song more closely.

"I'm standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
With such a fine sight to see

It's a girl my Lord in a flatbed Ford
Slowing down to take a look a me."

The girl is the fine sight to see, not Winslow.

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hecate's picture

@irishking
believed he had been instructed to proceed forthwith to Winslow, Arizona, at which time a girl my lord in a flatbed Ford would slow down to take a look at him. When this did not occur, he felt deceived.

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@irishking
You can't ever leave that place.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

@Timmethy2.0
mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice.

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