badphairy's leery lair

Suck it up, Buttercup

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December 2016

Why do you even -want- to go to San Quentin?”

lsp-angola-coffle
As I prepare for my upcoming trip to California, I keep getting the same question, repeatedly.

“Why do you even -want- to go to San Quentin?”

Because it is the purest distillation of our idea of “justice”. And it’s a fucking nightmare.

It’s something I wrestle with long after I come back home. Whose life is being spent in a cage, waiting to die, and can I look those people in the eye and say with conviction, “This is the correct system by which to treat you.”

The socio-economic implications have been exhaustively covered academically, but the visceral impact of LSP Angola can’t be ignored. I’ve stood there, watching lines of mostly black men, hoes over their shoulders, going to work in the fields under the watchful eye of the white patroller…why are we doing this in 2016? What have we gotten wrong, besides…everything.

These are the kinds of questions I need to be asking myself when I think about who I vote for and why. What kind of place do I want the U.S. to be, and how far from it is the status quo.

In order to even be able to construct these questions, is why I go.



Working title: Blood

Are you ready to play”, Nela challenged, sweeping condiments and water glasses out of the way. She unrolled a piece of worn, split skin, inked with a faded grid.

Urit rolled her eyes, inserted a hand in her cleavage and brought out a spotted grey skin bag. She upended it, showering the skin with bone pieces of various shapes, all about the size of a Classic M&M. She flicked pieces by twos, dividing them evenly between Nela and herself.

“Don’t I get to play,” asked the journalist.

“This is not a game for prey, “ growled Nela, as she pointedly did not smile.

It was hard to tell how the game was played. There were knucklebones to be thrown, but they were etched with unfamiliar symbols. The counters were moved onto the grid, occupying where lines crossed, not the spaces in between. It looked a bit like “Go”, but not quite. After a while, what had to be swearwords in a number of dead languages began to fill the air.
Urit looked at her watch, sighed, made ready to leave. “Do you want to come Nela, it’s overnight at the hospice.”

“Do you have enough?”

“Sure, death is always in season.”

“I don’t need to kill, but an Ativan-laced cocktail would be a treat.”



Listening, at Craters of the Moon National Park.

When my friend Sue and I were at Craters of the Moon NP at dusk, she was chatting away, and I in my usual bluntness said, “Could you please STFU for a minute?” Bless her, she did, and we both heard an owl hooting into the desert darkness. We followed that plaintive call, as it was repeated every 30 seconds or so, until we stood before a stunted tree. From an innocuous-looking knob on that tree, came that mournful sound.

I’m a talker, I love the sound of the human voice, but sometimes the sound of the inhuman voice is the sound we need to hear.



Kate’s Predictions for 2017

Kate’s Predictions for 2017
 
1. Every full moon will be labeled a “supermoon”…again.
2. We still won’t have commercial flying cars.
3. Really annoying celebrities will still fail to spontaneously combust (props to MJ for trying)
4. The Patriots will not win The Big Game (take that how you will)
5. We won’t go back to the Moon
6. California will not fall into the ocean; Florida might.
7. The U.S. will continue to slide, prompting many tendentious and not well researched comparisons to the fall of Rome. As if.



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