Thursday, December 24, 2009

No surprises anymore

Almost a year ago today, I posted a link to China's Charter 08 and mused about a possible "transition" led by China to a more ethical and just governance ...

Well the architect of the Charter is in jail and was sentenced recently, according to BBC reports, but that is just a small indication of the pipe-dream of an "ethical China."

Folks, it is not going to happen. Even taking into account the real national security reasons for China's scuttling of the Copenhagen talks, as reported by the Guardian, what we can look forward to is a China confident and arrogant enough to do whatever it pleases.

My friend Zhuang once pointed at a nouveau rich Chinese guy we saw at a restaurant and said:

"When China gets powerful enough, that's exactly how they will act."

Needless to say, the guy was arrogant, brutal, venal and self-serving at the expense of anyone who stood in his path. Superpowers come, superpowers go but the corrupting influence of power is immortal and universal. War between China & Co. and US & Co. in 2012 as the catalyst for the mystic Mayan prophecy? Not outside the realm of possibility.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The American Dream and the Written Word

So I am reading Daniel Boorstin, The Seekers, which is the third in a series that begins with The Creators and continues with The Discoverers. Boorstin is one of my favorite historians.

So in Seekers, Boorstin explores the philosophers and "idea-men" that helped to establish the foundations for Western political and social systems. What I found most interesting was the disdain the ancient Greeks had for the written word.

For Socrates, especially, the flame of understanding can only be passed through direct eye to eye mouth to ear contact between individuals. And have you ever noticed that the conversations you have with your brothers and sisters lead you to the Truth, but to write those conversations down is futile and silly? I have. It makes sense. Writing, for Socrates, impaired the memory, excluded dialogue and basically provided an inaccurate sketch of what it actually feels like when you make a breakthrough sitting around the fire with some friends, looking at the stars.

Socrates used the title "Poet" as an insult. I suppose he wasn't thinking about us, when he did all of his deep thinking about the Sage-King, Wisdom and Ignorance. If Plato and Aristotle hadn't written the "useless poetry" that survived the centuries, then Socrates' contributions would have drifted as far as the borders of ancient Greece and no farther.

Ironically, Islam's problems can be traced back to a related problem: Tyranny of the Written Word. Truly, Islam focuses the most upon the written word (Quran=Word of God=Law), but their great prophet Muhammad spoke to his people in Medina about Good and God. When he died, he did not leave written instructions as to how to lead the Ummah/Community. Only the Koran survived, along with an ever increasing collection of hadith, or lessons and interpretations. The wrangling over the written word led to the dissolution of the Community and wars between the factions and eventually war with anyone they met, including their cousins, the Bible worshipers.


So, while I was listening to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings yesterday morning, I heard her rendition of "This Land is My Land" (awesome version btw) and It reminded me of a rambling post here about where America is headed and also about a conversation I had with a Chinese friend of mine the other day.

He asked me why Americans, who come from all sorts of different backgrounds, are willing to raise the red, white and blue and fight for a country they have no blood ties to. He said this in the context of the Mainland's view of all people of Chinese descent: that they are Chinese first and forever. For him, it was self-evident that any Chinese in the USA would betray the USA if it came to a conflict with China. This is a very typical sentiment in today's China. Now, I know plenty of Asian Americans who have a hard time when they go back to seek their roots and meet the ethnic nationalism of China, Korea and Japan. Its a weird place to be in, I am sure.

Anyway, my response to his "question" was, that being American is a state of mind, not a bloodline or an obligation. It is as close to a "choice" as one can get in terms of nationality. I tried to explain the Manifest Destiny as an example of this state of mind. Unfortunately, he wasn't trying to talk about being American as much as he wanted to assert his idea of being Chinese. So I have to carry on this thread of thought with ya'll.

The Mainland Chinese have a VERY hard time with non-Mainland Chinese who consider themselves American, French, Thai or whatever. These weird creatures are deluded at best, outright traitors at worst.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Good Morning

Whatchyallknowbout Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings?

Just finished Natural Born Lover and moving on to Stranded in yo' Love

And this album makes me jig my way around this living room in my chupa, wrapped up and ready for this cup of coffee i got infused with anti-viral honey from Andrea Shanti's store, check it out and get you some.

Good Morning Ya'll

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Free to Post

I wrote an essay a while back about censorship in China, for, and I basically said that within the parameters of black and white, all life transpires.

Well i am now, thanks to Freedur, safely within the gray. Freedur is a VPN protocol that allows me to surf through a proxy and avoid sneaky, evil Chinese censors. If you have problems with haters or just wanna be anonymous, check it out.

If you are interested in buying the service ($60 for one year), type in "chengduliving" and you will get 10% off. is a website I am working on with my friend Charlie and it should be going live in a few days. Check it out when you have the chance.

So it is a trip to be back. The sky is always gray, which makes me feel completely isolated from the world, like the movie Dark City. I feel enveloped by the grayness and the thing about gray fog is it stretches on forever and has no borders, no shapes, no delineating lines -- it just is. So that can get kinda old.

And walking around is one of those things I forgot about. You have to get into a "China state of mind" to handle the throngs and swarms of people and vehicles passing in and out of your path with missions and dreams and plans and fears of their own. I miss being inconspicuous and part of the scenery.

Bean is plump and healthy. We brew up warm milk with anti-viral honey and sleep in late. The apartment we are in now is just a two-minute walk from the hospital. Tomorrow I will go to Dujiangyan house hunting.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

to all the beauty in your life

back in Shanghai, listening to Christmas music. i had a small panic attack in the vancouver airport as i watched asian people be asian and realized that my ass was headed back to China to live for a while and be a father and all that. started trrrrriping. in my own head of course. was waiting for the whole world to shimmer and disappear. probably had something to do with the fact that i was still drunk and loopy after a night at Beckett's with my man Big Scott. It was a rough morning. but as soon as i was on the flight it was all good and now that i am back in the old familiar hallways of China, all is good and as it should be.

i watched the movie Public Enemies and that was a good one. Special Agent WInstead's message to Billy at the end really got me. busted out in tears, but no one saw me do it.

also watched 9 and that was enjoyable. I couldn't help myself and watched the Time Traveler's Wife (Aliya really wanted to watch that one) and it is sweet and lovable and emotional too. got a little teary there too. i am a sensitive guy you know.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009


Ni zai kan ma??

Ni GUADEBUDELIAO! dajia dou xiaode.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Farts in the wind

I like to categorize my friends, even if those categories only last till the end of my breath and the beginning of an action on their part to make my cubby-holing a vain useless attempt to get a laugh.

So anywayz, i like to kick it with Tenz cuz he's all heart and Johnny cuz he's all balls and Scott cuz we get all intellectual on each other. So today me and big scott were talking about Obama and we basically came to the conclusion that, hey, we love the guy and he speaks like a messiah and sure we hate the hating-ass republicans who jump on him and will continue to jump on him till 2012, but you know, the truth is, we should have known better.

The whole idea that an elected representative in America can do any good or put through an idea or really make a change is dead and gone. On the national level. On the state, county and municipal level, maybe. I still reserve the right to scoff at any political debate.

We got to talking about States' rights. And this led us into a discussion that brings this question into light -- the legalities of marijuana. In each state, the laws governing the cultivation, sale and possession of marijuana are different. And these laws almost always come into conflict with the federal government's War on Drugs. So we have the DEA swooping in on a legal operation, according to State/County law, and cutting down plants, taking bins of weed out of a dispensary and so on. And never pressing charges.

Now i learned in history class that the battle between States and Federals is eternal (princes and kings, vassals and warlords etc) and the weakness of one will result in the victory of the other.

So this discussion led to a broad appraisal of America as a nation and its health and the condition of its psyche. I quoted this:

"A nation long united must divide, long divided must unite."

So we talked about where in the grand scheme of things was the US: long divided? or long united?

Interestingly enough, we found the debate to switch places according to what kind of division and unity we spoke of. Racially? Culturally? Politically? Economically? It seems to be a little confusing. Politically, one could argue that the US has been "long united" based on the acceleration of history in the 20th century. By Acceleration, we mean here that things move quicker: the Holy Roman Empire lasting 800 years vs. the American Empire lasting 80 years is a function of epoch, not strength.

Culturally and Socially, we are slowly working towards a "unification" or are we?

I remember looking at a map of Blue and Red regions (Democrat and Republican) and saw that the divisions were spread out across the US and it could be said of anywhere in the nation that "over the hill" were idiots who knew nothing about the "right way to live."

All of these topics are linked and I Know it:

Obama's rise and subsequent failure (so far) to be what we believed him to be (not his fault, but so what) and the battle over marijuana legislation in California and the divisions in a unified society ultimately will decide if we are a society "long divided" or "long united" because we, in essence, are one or the other and we are reaching a point where we will swerve in the opposite direction.

Why do I say we are reaching a point in which a change must happen? Well, because so many things (war, banking, Obama, weed, energy, climate, hippy mysticism, discontent) are, well, coming to head. Its a feeling i guess. And its one of those things that the stats back up, but no one at the coffee house really bothers to look at the stats cuz the coffee house guy just kinda feels it. (again, the never ending debate: didn't those guys FEEL something in late summer 1929? or late summer 1939? or even way back in 1529? and look. we are still here dammit, like roaches. AHA! good analogy. Roaches. How many times has a kitchen straight GOTTEN IT from a can of raid and all the roaches experienced the Apocalypse and for them, that was it? many many times. Still we have roaches. And still, many times a day, roach colonies all over the world are convinced that they FEEL something about to change their lives forever. Hence their skittering.)

Back to the tangent:

If, as is most likely, the US as a nation of people is both (divided yet united in division), then what chaos would emerge out of a nationwide about-face? Or, what is just as possible, what ennui would result out of this about-face, a switching of modes and modalities that is so widespread and involves so many people moving in opposite directions to each other that, in effect, (in math, so to say) no one is moving at all ... well ... that would be nothing to see now wouldn't it?

It would become cliche before it could have any impact because all those who turned left would ridicule those who turned right who would ridicule those who turned left and in the end Fox';s ratings would go up and the Daily Show would make jokes about it.

So i say, hit up the strip club, grab some numbers, tell jokes to your friends, eat good at the Ethiopian spot and flirt with the waitress, call yer lady up and make her giggle, read a good book, think deep and say something almost wise in front of someone you don't know that well, come up with another nickname for yer homie, check facebook again (imagine this rant slowly fading out so i can stop typing.)

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

They roundin up Hobos!

Bout to watch the Return of the King. Again. And the only reason I want to do it now is to get the full account of Gandalf the White's battle with the Balrog.

I feel quite comfortable with my fractal personality that involves serious nerdocity, hobo tendencies, sleazy charm, demagoguery and half-ass intellectualism. Add a pinch of poetic sensibility and a few shakes and splurts mystic hippy-ism and rebellious isolationism and confront it all with Ego and the terrible certainty that I have to be shattered and re-Made into One come the Rapture, or face the fate of the Father in the novel, The Road, and wander a desolate landscape estranged from the Truth and Love of God.

My boy Tenz reminds me of this race of giants called Titans in a fantasy novel. They had simple spells, but they bellowed those spells out repeatedly and loudly enough to crush any sputtering, gesturing, long sleeved wizard.

He be giggling in my ear like an ogre. And he smells like artichokes and mayonaisse. And he bought me cottage cheese for Thanksgiving, but we forgot to consume it. So now i have been gnawing on his leftover pork for days.

Johnny and me gave up World of Warcraft. If i decide to pick up the pipe again, i'll let ya'll know and feel free to harass me.

It sho aint easy, but it sho nuff necessary.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

this could have been anyone of us

In this story right here, I find a very familiar young man:

went to evergreen and became slightly radicalized. got a girlfriend and did what he thought was best -- take action instead of talk. got caught and ran for his life to Dali, a place i know well. ran around the town and got into the drug trade there, got caught up in the dragnet last year that we all knew about when it went down. none of my people got got, except for this kid right here, whom i never met.

good luck kid.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

i got brothers

i have been many things in my life, some good, some bad and some ugly. i have seen my brothers be those as well. what i have learned is that only through the fire can the secrets of these ancient bonds be learned and earned. i also believe that time heals all and everything works the way it should. so when my brothers and me find ourselves estranged, back in the day or right now, i feel it and it hurts because no matter what i have been, i have always loved deeper than i myself know and this in me and in you keeps the flame burning forever. ya'll know what i mean. don't trip. when i am alone i look at me and find whats black and toy with it. do the same. then go and break bread.

i'll keep keepin on till i earn what i have been given.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This shit really happens

In the Sanctuary in Oakland with my main men Big Scott and Johnny Frizzle. Today we tore the house up to try and find my passport. We all had different vague recollections of having stowed it away somewhere in the house, but it turns out I left it at a completely different sanctuary up north a bit. My mind is playing tricks on me.

I find myself feeling quite sad about a homie of mine, real old school. We had big issues earlier this year. He stabbed me in the back for a string of flimsy reasons and my crew made moves to reconcile the whole thing and it ended up that we met again and forgave each other. I suppose i had to forgive a lot more than he did. My brothers came through for me and no real damage was done to me. But now my old school homie is floating about and none of my crew wants anything really to do with him -- because he stabbed me, but also because he is a wild card. Leaves me in a weird space. I feel responsible and sad. Responsible because I made my brothers deal with this shit and sad because the shit involved an old school brother. I had hoped to merge crews and see a unification of minds. But in the end i stand alone at the bridge and I got to turn my way and do my thing. So thats that.

I had a dream last night that left me shaken. I went into a brothel to visit a girl I knew. She was in love with me and treated my visits like bright shining lights of hope in her sordid life of Johns and Pimps and otherwise bad men. In my dream, I took advantage of her love just so I could get some. We had sex and she told me it wasn't about my dick, that it went so much deeper than that. Her sadness was the old stale sorrow of a love and a life almost snuffed. I observed and catalogued this face of hers, just because it was a human experience i knew i could recall and perhaps insert into a story of mine. Three black men came into the brothel and demanded her. They wanted to inflict physical pain on this defenseless woman and at first I tried to defend her. But this was one of those dreams in which my blows glanced harmlessly off of them and they laughed at me and threw me aside.

This is where it gets brutal and horrifying. So don't read any more if you don't want to hear what really happens in brothels like these.

They took a stick and started shoving it in her anus, slamming it and jerking it and breaking it off. She started screaming in pain. I heard the screams and they were so real, so raw, so dumb and drunk with pain that it no longer was a dream, but a dimension in which Sascha the man in this world was awake and subjected to his own cowardice and his own complicity in the act. She screamed and i ran out of the brothel and i felt the stick in my chest and the screams became my own and they said

this shit really happens this shit really happens this shit really happens

to women all over the world.

I read once about a prostitute in China who had been murdered by some pimp, He killed her by ramming a toothbrush up her nose. Once, as a courier for a travel agency in Frankfurt, I delivered tickets and cash to a brothel and saw a big German beat a little Thai woman because she didn't want to work anymore. I once saw a young prostitute in China shed one big tear and whisper just inside of ear shot that she didn't want to lead this life.

Wo bu yao zhezhong shenghuo. I dont want this life.

This shit really happens.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


Headed back Here

And just to make it even more lovely, i read more about Chinese products ONCE AGAIN making consumers sick and otherwise doing everything they should not be doing.

My lady wants to stay just one year or so, because in 2011 a chemical plant will be built just a an hour or so down river from us. And it makes her feel nauseous to have me buy baby stuff here in the US -- although the same stuff is available in China -- because she does not dare buy stuff over there.

there is, of course, a silver lining. Its called Dujiangyan, Qing Cheng Shan and the Min River. I keep that in my head along with the courtyard enclosed home i dream of -- it can still be all good, even in the very belly of the belching beast.

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My Rainy Poem

Zhang Yushi -- Yu means rain, Shi mean poem or poetry or poet ... depending.

i met her for the first time back in the days when i was a real rake and rastabout. tenzin my man and i were playing chess in the ole cafe in Fanghua Gai in Yulin. I remember two giggling girls watching us play the fools for them. that was about 7 years ago. a little over one year ago, we bumped into each other again. i didn't remember it, but you know when you get that feeling, like something is about to change forever? well i had that feeling but i didn't really know it, i just thought it was a chance for me to -- for one time -- not seduce a girl and just be her friend and brother and confidante. so for a time, Yushi came to my rundown country house and hung out. she brought her stanky dog around, stole tenzin's steak, frowned at the weird shit i was cooking, listened to me preach, became my Shifu's favorite, impressed my sage homie Zhuang with her quick mind and ability to pierce through the bullshit.

she helped take care of my kitties, rolled with me into the earthquake spot, helped me mend fences with my neighbors, took walks with me at night in the last days of the village i lived in. she became friends with Andreas and Julia the photographers and one by one my friends wondered aloud to her and me, what plans did we have? where was this going? I loudly proclaimed that i was her protector and brother and teacher and friend and all that. she just kinda looked at me.

i made her lose her job at the newspaper, when i asked her to help me with a story i am working on and she decided to come with me rather then to her job. i never heard her mother's voice, she died in february, but i spoke to her just minutes before she did and i can feel her. her pops came up with a name for my tea house Ma Bang Cha Yi, which means ... Horse Camp Tea Tent. He feels me. He once told Bean (her nickname, which she got on a ride through the mtns to my Shifu's school) "nide ba de zhongguo wenhua xvyao liangge ren zai bi de shang!" which means ... your pops got game!

She tells me about myself in way that hurts because its all true. its like looking at a painting and seeing a red woman and then tilting your head and seeing the house and hills behind her and maybe the expression on her face if you tilt another way. i can only see red, at best, she points out all the other stuff.

at one point, i rolled to beijing for the olympics and before i did i asked my boy how did he know about his girl and he said, when you roll somewhere, she's the one you think about. i thought about her all the time. Still do.

we gonna write books together, raise a god together and grow shrooms and bud in china and spread the Word together.

I'm done with work and in a week i fly out.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Well well well

What Providence, What Divine Intelligence ...

so i am leaving the Wagon today and headed to a different brighter spot up the road a bit. I am looking forward to it very much and i believe its the best way to get my thing going before i head to China and begin life as a family man. Holy Jesus.

I haven't dropped any of that story on here until now, for whatever reasons i may have had, they remain mine alone and now they have become irrelevant and so it is time to letchaya'll know the deal:

Zhang Yushi is 6 months pregnant with my son and the due date is in February. It came as a surprise and it was definitely unplanned -- in a manner of speaking -- but its something i have wanted for a long time and I am excited to get this thing going.

So, sure it was unplanned. I did not want to put the cart before the horse and I assumed i would be hit by lightning before i settled down with a woman, but at the same time i have been willing this for so long -- the entire time i was in China as a matter of fact. I was given multiple chances to be a father but each one was cast aside by fear and doubt and simple fact that the future held too much suffering for me to contemplate. This time, I can see a beautiful future ahead of me and it seems so damn ordained that for me to run this time would be the end of me as a man and the completion of the devil's plan for me. I would become the demon that I have feared for so long and end up sucking the souls of others for sustenance till my ass got got by a man with morals somewhere sometime.

Thankg God that didn't happen. Instead I made the right choice and in a few short months I'll post pics of my son (or daughter, still ain't 100% yet) and then I guess this blog will be filled with those words and those inspirations ... for some time to come.


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Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Photo Project and a Photographer's ish:

the ABC's of photography

and peep the Yosemite B&W's here ....

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Chirp Out Day

Chirp Out is the day of freedom and joy for my Tribe. Its the day when we hit the road again after a season of trimming and farting and smoking and such. we hold councils on the daily and estimate the exact date of the final chirp chirp. we figure less than 10 days. maybe one week. after all of this, i might walk with around 6k. its not what i was hoping, but its good money in a good spot with good people and eachtime i come here i get stronger (and maybe weaker?) in some way or another.

So i have this homeboy SUPABOY in brzil right now and he is a shaman. we all knew this and to hear it from the horse's mouth is just confirmation of long held beliefs. the questions i ask myslef these days basically revolve around my increasingly tenuous hold on this reality coupled with the fact that i am going to be a father in about four months. so i have a family to take care of and a seed to nurture and at the same time my own individual experience tells me that the time is nigh. i know hippies and such talk about 2012 in whispers and loud proclamations. i believe in some of what they say even as i deride hippies for being the shades that they are. why should i sneer at a hippy goddess when she is just giving voice to what is in my head anywayz? perhaps because i feel that my path is more righteous in some way.

and getting into that, there is a dude at the ranch that judges all paths according to his particular experience and he does a lot of sneering. i find myslef laughing at him too. so i just bide my time and do battle with doubts. in the end, life has taught me that my free will brings me to where i need to be ... the path might be straight, but i needs be wandering off into the underbrush before i am reminded that the way is laid out. its what the universe wants anyway. complexity -- because the universe in the beginning was lonely and continues to be so until every single atom and molecule sings along with the one voice.

these thoughts collide with the very present needs of baby formula, nice house, clothes and the proximity of me to them and them to me (my family here is what i speak of) and the merging of all this into one clear train of action and thought is, i guess, what it all is.

i am with my crew and our energies crackle out loud and i can feel that even as we grow closer and stronger something holds us all back into our own perceptions. it is only me and my and I that will face the truth alone. and it is only with my crew and family and brothers that i can face the truth alone. the dichotomy of it all makes me sit and watch and observe, because any action is fraught with its twin: inaction.

safety and sanity vs. the unknown and the only thing we should know.

i feel ready to shatter and impervious to all weapons at the same time.

a sentence that hit me while i was on break from dry trim smoking one on the wagon's porch:

"sunlight through the scrub oak, a sparrow flies between them on wings of gold."

thats what it looked like to me. and even my homie hans had a halo when he stood before the oak below the nest and chuckled to himself about something as low low low as the deuce he just dropped in an overflowing outhouse. only by writing these things down can i keep the threads of my reality together just long enough to be there for all my family and people when they need me. I used to worry (and sometimes i still do) that all this writing is just for me and myself but every now and then a brother or sister will read it and feel it and laugh with me and say in a low whisper by a rain spattered window above the street that

i was thinking the same thing just now.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

The Wagon Part Deux

in darkness and in light

even as alli said in the last post is true, so is the sweetness of the old lady and the steady drifting of the old man in from the cold. she wants to be our grandmother and it takes time for her to manage the movement from skeksi to mystic, but if you have seen the movie dark crystal, then you know they are one.

the gorging of the skeksi sustains the mystic sheperd during the trek through the valley of death.

what i learned is that although the sheperd does his duty and brings them all through, the pain and suffering that cascades down the black valley walls does not ebb or dissipate or go away. no, the mystic takes it upon himself and drinks from the vile rivers so the weak may walk as children do.

i learned this during the penultimate phase of the moon on a veranda bathed in white light and the scatterings of tribal factions mimicing the protonic movements of free radicals searching searching ...

so the wagon is both. abode of demons and hearth for the lost.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Wagon

I have a day off today so i am in a cafe catching up on things and trying to get into contact with people. somehow i racked up a $234 phone bill even though i lost my phone 2 weeks ago. that hurts. AT&T really takes it out of my ass. thats 234 i did not think i would have to pay ...

speaking of pay.

i worked the past two weeks on a weed ranch in the hills north of San Francisco. We spent the first 10 days or so cutting down massive weed plants in the corn garden and pond garden (all outdoor weed) and wet trimming them into manageable chunks. What that means is, we take the plant and cut it up and remove all of the big leaves and useless scrapple weed and then take the buds and classify them according to a "hanger" and "tray" system. Hangers are large buds -- often the colas or tops of the plant -- and they can be hung from metal cages or hooks in the drying room. Tray bud are smaller buds that need to be placed in trays with screens to dry. So we took all these plants and brought them into a room and 6-8 of us trim them down and slowly move them to the dry room.

At the same time, it seems that the couple running the farm are in need of cash (yeah right, i'll get to that in a sec) and so they have a few guys dry trimming as well. Dry trimming is the trim process that happens just before the bud gets (hopefully cured) and packaged for sale.

After about 10 or 12 days of this, we moved into the greenhouse to wet trim that bud.

but first

the owner is a 60+ year old man who drives around on a four-wheeler from 5am to about 2am doing all sorts of stuff. moving piles of metal from here to there. digging holes over here and filling others over there. stacking bikes. erecting roofs and digging new outhouses. running pipes and installing septic systems. all sorts of shit. he has barrels and barrels filled with every type of screw and nail you can think of. He hammers out bent nails and stores them, feel me? he can't stop moving and i firmly believe the day that all the work is done on that farm is the day he drops and dies.

but it goes so much deeper and weirder than that. it twists and turns around a history of secretive scandalous behavior that ropes in young meth addicts turned indentured serf asking tentatively over a walkie talkie if he can have some cereal.

"No" crackles the gruff old geezer.

meth and porn in a Spartan Mansion spray painted on the outside (Pikey Camp) and oozing with cigarette butts and stiff yellowing tissues inside. armless Hulk dolls with big black dildos stuffed deep inside and lubes and douches and boxes of Ramen and 12 packs strewn about in the aftermath of a drug hazed rage session involving binding oneself and bonding a shred of a soul to the ranch and its horrors and insanities. he was alone with all of that stuff and only a small candle or a dying fire was there.

A girl's voice haunts us sometimes and some of us think we heard it down in the valley between the trailers and the horse barn. others in the house next door, empty save for boxes of the mistress's cloth. Or in the barn itself, the horses twitch strangely in the dusk as if ghostly hands stroke them. she argues with someone.

the old man braves the darkness of his land to be with his little girl but he is not really with her so he keeps the tasks coming. when all is silent his chest implodes and he is ripped apart by deeds farmhands whisper about. all we really know is that the engines are still running when sleep catches up to us.

The woman of the ranch is a skeksi. she sucks the blood of the farmhands and her face, sweet and old and haggard and dripping out of the corner of a farmhand's eye becomes a howl of fury and poisonous festering vengeance the undead dying hold for the undying life that can withstand any bombardment as long as the pay comes in -- even if the skeksi bitch takes her 10% tithe of hatred and gurgling mucus covered greed. her eyes bulge when our backs are turned and her clawed old bones grasp at my neck. i turn and she smiles with an old cookie in her hand and unsalted lentils raised up from a dripping spoon i swear i saw black shit drip but i slurp anyway cuz the paycheck the paycheck the paycheck is freedom in a satchel.

you think i'm playin dontchu. She brought in a rabbi to exorcise the ranch. some farmhands saw her standing above the old man shaking a finger and screaming in old Hebrew. She wants the ghosts to finally stay dead, but the old man would have to stop moving. If he stops moving she has no funds to support her grasping clan and her trips abroad. they find a way to live together.

so we swerve in and out of the work and waves of resentment content with "hey, she is really being sweet" and "i see the good in him" cuz we have to believe that no matter what anyone can be turned. anyone.

A 51 year old father of seven handyman with fingers missing and a heart of gold takes the place of the runaway meth addict porn hound chain smoking delusional and now he spits and screams when anyone is watching and bows and scrapes when the old man's four wheeler comes wheeling into pikey camp or when his voice says

"Dave where are you?"

"where do you want me to be?"

This compulsive old workaholic and his skeksi wife with their secrets and hatreds and schemings neglected the greenhouse so we humble farmhands had to cut the branches of diseased no flayed weed plants as little white carcasses drifted down like god's dandruff into our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, shirts. Worms dug deep into the bud and became something else. aphids marched and sucked and bled the plants brown. earwigs lurked and scattered. mold infested to boot.

So we took these fetid sores and broke them down in an isolated quarantine spot and atomized each branch with water to wash the filth and neglect and rot off of each bud. hung them to dry. we wait to trim them down so this old man and his womanthing can sell it off and bury their loot and tilt their dishonest scales further in favor of a life here, in hell, rather than face the demons of the night and the voice of the girl and the lonely torture of the serfs that get caught in the web and the boiling resentment and determination of a crew of farmhands who have always managed to escape.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

A new day rising?

chillin with my patna 10z taking care of a money crop bumping Nas's new album, which if you haven't heard is another classic. check it out asap.

here is a little post
inspired by what I have been thinking about recently and Obama's surprise Peace Prize. I was inspired by my main man Q to include a few words about WHY exactly Oslo decided to award this at this time. At first, I thought premature and linked to American domestic politics, but now after speaking with Q i believe it might have everything to do with the possible destructive fallout of America's domestic woes spilling out into international arenas and Oslo's not so subtle attempt to manipulate opinion. It def. seems like a calculated move as opposed to a decision based on merit. Oslo did this before with Willy Brandt, as described in teh NYT story about the Nobel ...

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

That Kauai story for the Oregonian

Here is that story -- a little truncated and bland, but hey, its a paycheck.

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The Weed Game

I watched the CNBC documentary on weed in Cali, Marijuana, INC. and it was a straight War on Drugs propagan(ja) piece. Trish Regan interviewd weed farmers and the look in her eye said: "this is so crazy, these people are not like (look into the camera with a Palinesque wink) US!"

So that was too bad. They focused on the money and the problems, not the money problems that bring this about.

Shall we discuss Medical Marijuana? Shall we talk about the dangers of Alcohol vs. the dangers of Weed?

I think it might be more interesting to note that the people in Cali are running after the American Dream that for some only a fat crop can help them attain. Think about this: You can work a job thats legit for 10-15 an hour and make maybe 1500USD a month after taxes and do that all your life, thinking to yourself that, yeah, sure if I do this for 20 years I can have a mortgage on my crib and save enough for my kids to go to college. Maybe. Or I can grow a crop that is legal in California and make 100K in one year selling weed legally over the counter to weed heads and cancer patients that want this product cuz it makes them feel better.

What it is is the meeting of two cultures: the weed culture of the 1990s and our parents, who consider it all to be Drug-Related. Its young families with ideas about 2012, holistic lives, multiculturalism and a new "back to the Land" vision sitting down and thinking to themselves: the contract I signed with the society (go to college and get a job) seems sour to me and I dont want it. What can I do? How can i live happily? what can i do to support my people my wife my kids and still adhere to my code of honor and living? how do i not sell out like all those before me but still get enough money to live a life that doesn't make me a slave to the sell outs?

For many, its the weed game. Search for a job that pays a young creative or be young and creative ... is that the question?

How do YOU feel about the weed game??

(I'm back)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Bumpin Raekwon & Drinking Dew

My sister is in Paris alone ... hoping that my old friend will visit and show her around, listen to her and give her a word or two of advice that she can carry back.

I am in Northern Cali in the midst of the harvest season. Billions of dollars of green gold erupting out of the earth and spilling out as far as NYC and Hawaii. Everyone is in on it on some level or another and it seems to be the oil that greases, eases or helps one carry on a separate legit biz that momz can know about and wifey can be proud of.

gotta go and get some supplies right now, there is a tab can of trichomes sitting next to my screen i rub it and its greasy and brown and its worth a new car.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

now that thats out of the way

I went to kauai with my man Q in January and it was one of the highlights of 2009. A great way to begin the year. I will always remember our gestures to the moon that last night ... we were blessed. One of those trips if u know what i mean.

So when i got back i wrote about the trip and submitted to the Oregonian. They will publish it this Sunday so thats a bit of bright news amidst all this personal stuff that will take a while to wash off.

so i will try and get a pdf from them and post it here for me and you ;)

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Friday, August 7, 2009

last night with a frozen bottle

after all that lonely lashing out ended, i dreamt of a castle i was in, under attack from buffoons shooting dynamite into the air. it was my castle, in the sense that i lived there, but i still wanted to show them my secret passageway in the wall and the stone staircase that led down to the village below. but it was only me that peered through the fake boulder into the village. a dog ambled passed me and then a mountain lion creeped up and at first i was scared but then i looked into its eyes and saw curiousity. it came close and its fur started to stretch and pull like a hairstyle and it said look what i can do, and slowly turned into a woman, first the leg -- i stroked it to make sure, and yes it was skin -- then her back and arms and then her head. we both were desperate to have sex and we were doing it when i awoke.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Oasis

A brown hen named Gary gives a flapping sqawk and makes a dash for the cherry tree in my backyard. Her two speckled girlfriends shoot their heads up and cock suspicious eyes, until they see Gary begin painting her beak black with cherry juice. They jump and run, coming to a calm hesitant stop near Gary as she pecks the ground madly. All three settle into that funky circling step the Meters call the Chicken Strut.

I watch from the steps on my back porch smoking a Top rollie and sipping on a glass of Maofeng Green. I laugh hard every time I see a chicken run. I check my phone real quick, yeah, I still have some time. Hip Hop bumps from the houses behind the cherry tree and I hear the unmistakable cadence of a Southern Black Woman. I can't see her because there is a fence between us, but I listen for a second.I get up and stretch real long. I let my grunt turn into a jungle yell and then cut it all off with a sigh and walk to the edge of my awning to inspect the browning grass. Its alive with ants and honeybees diligently doing their thing. My eyes can only take the movement from a certain angle, because if I look directly into the grass the entire lawn becomes a writhing sea of blades and tiny brown bodies and my mind reels. But I don't have that much time right now, so I play it cautious like.

I step along the path a dog named Libberz has beaten into the grass with her daily jaunts through the lawn, heading for the chicken coop area just to see what's going on, when i feel a shift in the air. I glance left and the hammock strung between the cherry tree and the awning watches me watching her. The breeze touching the hammock is the inviting whisper of a carefree lover. My demeanor turns goofy, as if this were the real thing. I face determinedly forward and walk barefoot on the spiky grass toward the back of my yard. What time is it? Do i have enough time? Sigh.

I pass under the dark shade of the Douglas Fir, taking care not to step on any cones and I look into the wild areas I left in the yard when I mowed it the first time way back in spring. I have been planning on planting a white sign with "where the wild things are" scrawled in black, but I haven't yet. A rodent rustles the weeds and is gone. The neighbor's cat tries to will itself through the chainlink fence with its glare. I see this as I walk to the coop. When I am there, I stand between the herb garden and the vegetable garden and just stand there. Take the last puffs of my rollie; wonder why I left my glass on the steps; feel the sun discover my neck for the first time. Its almost time. But I got a little time left.

I know what basil looks like and carrots. There are some cornstalks and I finger the rosemary as I walk on by, passed the coop, to my favorite spot, hidden in the back. I can't stay long, but I come for a minute or two anyway, every day. To smile upon the gnarled apple tree and the waves of wild grass lapping at its roots. I hear the creaking door of the playhouse in the wind and the brambles seem to grow and grow as the heat becomes almost unbearable. I feel sweat forming, the first beads penetrating my virgin pores. My head starts itching and i turn back. There is a small Buddha shrine in the corner between the vegetable garden and the front of the playhouse. I have to look at it as I pass, anything else might invite trouble. Today, I go as far as the Thai people do and place my palms together and give a slight bow. It can't hurt. But its about that time. Thoughts that have been banging at the door all afternoon have now kicked their way through and i walk passed where the wild things are and only hear the rustles. They remind me of childhood friends ringing my mom's doorbell and I feel the same way I did then when my mom said,"We're eating dinner now."

Head down I feel the change of the day as I pass in and then out of Papa Fir's shadow. I better hurry. I feel the breeze again. I know I shouldn't, its a bad idea, but show me the man who passes by an oasis in the desert and I'll show you a fool. She is just a white cord now, seen from a distance, but I know and she knows that all I have to do is go over there and she will spread herself wide for me, hold me in her arms like a pea in a pod and rock me all day long. I pretend not to see her and just pick up my glass for those last two sips. This green tea is glorious and I almost moan as the honey dew waterfall green-ness cleanses my mouth and throat and I feel the skin in my eyes shift back several years, as if the glass were spiked with Gelfling. She heard my moan over there, and I glance over to see what the reaction might be. The wind picks up.

Does the hammock really care? Or is my mind willing her to? Is this really happening?

The strong breeze passes over the entire backyard and the chickens feel it and flap a bit, cherries drop, needles hum, the wild places sing as the wave goes from one note to the next till it vanishes behind the chicken coop and I know I heard the creak of the door way back there and if I am not mistaken the sodden plop of an apple. It was decided a long time ago, with that first carefree whisper. In a trance I go to her. The whole backyard laughs the way friends do when two lovers publicly peel away. Its Ok. I still have a little time.

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Monday, July 27, 2009


The past two nights i have been drinking Yellow Tail Shiraz with my old high school buddy Maximillian. He was one of my first and best friends back when i was 16 and getting my bearings in Germany.

I had a friend walk with me in a dream last night, a walk i can barely remember because I was busy drinking wine and laying down by the fire in my back yard, he said he could smell my sweat and aftershave but i was like:

"That wasn't aftershave. it was the last hints of the wine bottle i finished off in honor of all my friends late late early early as the sun hinted hinted but i fell before the hint became a word"

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

off work early

i am better in group situations, then one on one
cuz in one on one I am too eager to reveal
I like to pass around planets
and laugh at jokes
or drift away
or just sit there and smile
i remember a show about a moment taken randomly
and how it could in a moment be divine
any second of the day i'll slip away
never to return
i love those groups so, i'll never take the final plunge
hold it off untill the day I die
the sweet rhapsody of simply doing nothing
or the laughter of a barbecue
or in the moment locking eyes and telling all

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Workin at Pok Pok

So for the past few weeks I have been working in the shack at the famous Thai spot called Pok Pok in Portland, on 32nd and Division. It was supposedly ranked one of the best spots in the nation in Food and Wine. All I can say is the food is excellent, the kitchen is the most badass I have been in ever and the morale of the staff is very high. We kick ass every night. We get SLAMMED every damn night. I am talking thousands of dollars every day in revenue. Its out of control. I work from 3pm till about 1130pm and every night when i bike (or sometimes get driven/drive) home I spend at least 2-3 hours winding down from the hectic ness of kicking so much ass. I have Khao Soi dreams and visions of roast game hen gettin chopped to pieces just in time. I move fast and keep movin all night.

My boy Wrisley, a known food critic, says he has heard of the spot and actually chums around with the owners buddy in Bangkok. Go figure.

But i have a decision I need to make. Come December, I will be moving back to China it looks like, and I have to figure out if I am going to continue at this spot or head south to Cali for the Fall and work on a farm. Usually, the money is better on the farm. From what I hear there is free room and board and enough work to walk away with maybe 7K over three months. If I stayed at Pok Pok I would be working 5 days a week, 40 hours a week for about 1500k a month. So it looks like there is more money in the farm than in the spot. But i find myself becoming loyal to the spot. So it is actually a tough decision. I am leaning toward the farm. But if any of you homeboys and homegirls have some insight, holler and let a brother know.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

She was my affair with Portland

and even though the morning afternoon and evening held sunshine sweet sunshine
oh lord the nights were demons in my belly
and i walked on creaky wooden floors
in my footsnuggies and sweatpants
where is my mind

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Obama in Africa

A lil sumpin sumpin here from another blog i post on:

Obama's sayz: Get your poo together!

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Rape is the Consort of War

That just kind of came to me earlier today while reading this story here about Somalis in Minneapolis becoming "radicalized" and then heading back to Somalia to be warriors.

I was envisioning the journalist interviewing one of the young boys who went back to fight and having the young boy go into a tirade about

"how sick he is of the media and the images the terms the media has placed into the minds of Westerners whenever they think of Islam, Jihad, Arabs, the Middle East, Somalia etc. and how furious it makes him that he has to convince this journalist not of the validity of his story but of his own sanity. He has to convince the West first that he is not a crazy men hellbent on self-annihilation in the name of an oppressive, backward religion. He has to convince everyone first, by saying things like: my home is on fire, and you in the West not only accuse me of inciting violence when i trry and put the fire out, but yu pour gas on my house as it burns!! but this does nothing either because all it is is a metaphor for a feeling that in the West is brushed away as impossible, just like all of the rapes that go on in war. Impossible, not by oour troops or our allies,. There must be a reason. We are Americans. We are the force for good."

I dont know if i believe all of this, but for a minute there i was sunk into a Somalis head as i can imagine it and there was a lot more but basically the above paragraph summarizes it.

BTW all that took place in my old neighborhood, the West Bank and if you read the story they say the place is called the Towers, but it aint, thats only what they told the NYT its actually called the Crackstacks and we all know it.

Anyway that story linked above got me thinking as did a movie i sat through yesterday called Four Fingers with Ryan Phillipe and Laurence Fishburne. Oh Lord that movie was wak as all hell. The ending though, was somewhat provocative, Thank God. Phillipe tries to do a Dutch accent in this movie and he fails so utterly that his entire character is reduced to a blubbering clown.

i dreamt of babies laughing in my arms yesterday or i guess this morning. That was a giddy dream.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Moses in the NYT

Dr. Russell Leigh, that is. My old Professor at the U of M was on CNN last year during the Olympics and now he has an Op-Ed in the NYT clearly and coldly explaining what is really going down.

Check it out.

In my last post i said that the Han arguments of "ingratitude" are laughably weak -- and they are -- but not the force that supports and enforces these arguments. In that same post, in the last paragraph, I share the sentiment that Moses clearly states in his Op Ed: Uighers and Tibetans are doomed.

Here, a relevant quote from Wendell Berry:

"A community, especially a rural community, is understood by its public servants as provincial, backward and benighted, unmodern, unprogressive, unlike 'us,' and therefore in need of whatever changes are proposed for it by outside interests (to the profit of the outside interests). Anyone who thinks of himself or herself as a member of such a community will sooner or later see that the community is under attack morally as well as economically. And this attack masquerades invariably as altruism: the community must be plundered, expropriated, or morally offended for its own good -- but its good is invariably defined by the interest of the invader. The community is not asked whether or not it wishes to be changed, or how it wishes to be changed, or what it wishes to change into. The community is deemed to be backward and provincial, it is taught to believe and to regret that it is backward and provincial, and it is thereby taught to welcome the purposes of its invaders."

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When i wake up i think to myself:

Ever notice how the convolution of simple tasks is at the core of many a dream?

Repeating myself.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Xinjiang protests continue

Here is the BBC on the protests ... there is some decent video here showing a large group of Han thugs headed to the Uigher part of town for revenge and also a crowd of Uigher women demanding to know where their men were taken.

The NYT has a repeat of yesterday's story with a little more from today added in ... not much different than the BBC version, but check out the slideshow, there is a great pic of the Han thugs as they march. You can see that for many of these guys, this is a show, some fun, something to take the monotony out of the day. Sure, they might hate Uighers because they're Uighers, but this whole gang thing is just a bit o the old ultra violence for them.

Whereas for the Uigher this is life and death. What does it take to take to the streets as a protester in a country where such acts result in life in jail, death and a heavier hand on all those left behind? How do you escape the futility that fills you up?

In this article in the Asia Times
, Dr. Jian Junbo gives a sober rundown of the situation and blames the unrest on a variety of factors that are basically breaking down the Marxist-era policy of making all ethnic groups within China "members of one great Chinese family" of laborers, with Capitalists and landowners as the common enemy.

He goes into Han grievances, which seem to revolve around the one-child policy and affirmative action in the universities and in some economic sectors. I find these arguments laughably weak.

First off, the Han are the overwhelming majority in China and the one-child policy is a function of over-population, not ethnic preference. Second, the minorities tend to live in rural, poor and/or remote areas like: the Himalayas, around the Taklamaklan and Gobi deserts, in the mountains of Guizhou, southern Sichuan and Yunnan. These are "underpopulated areas" (relatively speaking, this is China after all). Han far outnumber all the minorities put together, 1.3 billion to 123 million.

And affirmative action is also a very weak premise for Han anger, because the very very small number of minorities who benefit from affirmative action is absolutely insignificant compared to the advantages shared by all those who call themselves Han in China.

The real reason for bringing up these arguments is simple tactics. Did Rebiya Kadeer cause these riots? Or were they cause by one man posting rumors? or were they caused by simmering ethnic hatred? or were they caused by a failing Marxist system, as Dr. Jian proposes? For the majority of Han and the current Chinese leadership, the simpler the answer, the better. China wants their people to remain sheep -- money spending sheep -- but still sheep.

The most important thing to understand about this is that Uighers are actually X and Han are actually Y and these variables and the relationship between them can be superimposed upon any values (i.e. ethnic groups) across the globe.

If seen in this light, then we find a common mistake: one value is "heavier" than the other, resulting in imbalance and dis-harmony and then, eventually, violence. So far, across the globe, the common solution has been to increase the weight of the heavy value and hope that through an even larger imbalance, the problem will solve itself, perhaps with the elimination of the lighter value. All we have seen this approach produce is prolonged violence and suffering.

The real solution is to find a balanced, sustainable relationship. This invariably requires the heavy value (Han, Whites, Israelis,) to step back and allow the lighter value (Tibetans, Uighers, Blacks, Hispanics, Palestinians) to gain weight. "Gaining weight" can mean: gaining control of their religion, gaining control of their economic future, gaining control of their political future. These things will immediately remove the need for violence. People with jobs, a place to worship freely and a choice in who their leaders are will be content.

The rub is, of course, that the heavier values FEAR this above all things. Because this is an existential thing. To dominate and crush the weaker value ensures not only survival but sustained survival for whomever is doing the crushing. To step back and allow your "rival" for resources to grow sounds like suicide.


Sometimes, i feel i talk myself into circles and in the end all of this is quite meaningless. What i really believe? In this new world there is no place for Uighers or Tibetans or Native Americans or even Palestinians as they were. There is only one type of person who can and will make it and that is the person who believes wholeheartedly that the way we are moving is the one and only true faith. Progress, Modernity, Capitalism. All other faiths WILL die. The rest of us who don't believe better pretend or find a place to hide or be converted.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Violence in Xinjiang

Uighers in Urumqi rioted over the past 24 hours, destroying property, killing people and fighting the police. The immediate cause for the riots was a brawl in Shaoguan, Canton Province that began after some fool posted a note on QQ saying that 6 Uigher boys had raped 2 Han women. Han workers then rampaged through the Uigher worker dormitory and killed an unknown number of people.

Seems a lot like LA after the Rodney King verdict right? Well the similarities do not end there. The conflict between the Uigher minority and the Han majority is racial, cultural, economic and political. It spans the entire community. It is one community vs. another and the battle is very uneven. On one side is the state, and on the other is a minority incorporated into the state through force.

After the Communists liberated China in 1949, they went about pacifying and unifying the nation. That included invading and occupying Tibet and invading and occupying Xinjiang. Throughout history, "Uigherstan" and Tibet have been under the control of either local strongmen/religious leaders or split along local tribal/power lines or subjugated to erratic and temporary Imperial rule. Only after 1950, when the Uigher leadership -- on its way to Beijing for a conference with Mao -- all were killed in a "plane crash" and the Tibetan leadership escaped into exile in India, only after the leaders were disposed with did the regions of Tibet and Xinjiang come under Imperial/Communist rule.

This is nothing new in the history of these areas. The only thing different is that it is happening now, in front of our eyes, in a globalized world with the media there to project images and words.

Yes, the Han are absolutely oppressing both the Tibetans and the Uigher. In this old column here, I wrote about the Cultural Revolution-era techniques still being employed in Tibet and Xinjiang and the religious oppression that is a focal point of discontent.

There are other points of contention that add to the anger:

1) Han immigration: Han now represent the majority in both Xinjiang and Tibet. This is a recent development -- since 1950 -- and represents, for Tibetans and Uighers, the inevitable destruction of their identity and their way of life. There is nothing one can do when waves of "the Other" set up shop and start having kids. It is a peacful and highly effective tool of ethnic cleansing.

2) Han economic domination: Han Chinese dominate the government in both these regions. In both, the governor and/or spokesman is a native Tibetan or Uigher who is either completely brainwashed or completely venal. These "traitors" are in place to respond to crises such as these in the strongest manner, to give the rest of the nation and the world the idea that rioters and protesters are "inhuman", as opposed to demanding humanity.

Government domination by one ethnic group over another has another, more important effect: the unequal distribution of income and of justice. Funds reach Tibet and Xinjiang directly from Beijing and are then distributed "as needed" by the central authorities in Lhasa and Urumqi. No one needs to go into the corruption that hampers China's development as a modern nation. Now imagine that corruption in an area where domination and oppression of "troublesome" minorities is encouraged.

So in both Tibet and Xinjiang we have the following situation:

a leaderless, highly religious people ruled by a centralized, motivated non-religious people. The rulers have the economic and political power. The ruled find themselves with the choice: become Han in nature or die.

It is a soul crushing battle -- like between a boa and a small deer. Aimless dead-eyed young men watch their women choose stability and wealth over ethnicity and religion, watch their friends turn their backs on Uigher-ness in favor of a good job in some factory, watch their fathers retreat into the back room to pray and wait for death.

That is why they take to the streets, because making a Han face bleed, even for a moment and at great consequence, makes up for everything.

If you can feel the hate for the Han, then step back from this narrow view of life and feel the hatred and anguish of all the other peoples of the world that have faced this same dilemma and have already died, already forgotten their language, already retreated to the most remote outposts of what was once their home to slowly go through the motions.

When i traveled through Xinjiang I noticed that if the Han did not fear the Uigher as much, did not dread "splittists" as much as they do, there wouldn't be any.

It is the need to dominate that creates these conflicts, not the need to be Uigher, or be Black or be Palestinian.

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What it is

Drinking my favorite Honey Dew tea in the dungeon thinking about home births and bike rides. yesterday i biked aimlessly and ended up near Powell Butte. The path seems to lead straight to snow capped mount hood .. i waved and stared until the sky turned that shade of purple streaked with fading white and light blue that heralds the death of another day and the onset of a starry night. Portland is indeed a very beautiful city. right by the entrance to the butte I saw a small group of goats chewing on stuff. Three horses swished their tails nearby and rabbits chased each other in the tall grass. a tiny salamander wiggled its way cautiously across the bike path toward me. It held real still as i crouched a few feet away and we both listened to the birds calling each other out to dinner ... or whatever birds call that last meal before the sun sets and cats come out to play.

In the back yard the fading scent of raccoon keeps libberz the akita-sheperd pacing back and forth. She licks her chops and tried to look bored, but she places herself right between the cherry tree and the doug fir in the back yard. thats where the weak link is for tree-climbing rodents. The branches of the two trees reach toward each other but there is a good ten foot gap for libberz to exploit when squirrels try and make the dangerous run from conifer to berry.

One of these days, i'll be sitting out in the backyard pretending not to be eyeing up a squirrel and when he makes the dash, me and libberz will sprint to the base of the cherry tree and catch the little bastard just before he makes it. We'll get his ass.

its time to go camping again with someone who knows when to keep quiet so i can sit somewhere and spread all my senses out and try and melt into the forest never to return as a human, but as a wolf slowly unremembering days on two feet.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tea Tasting last Sunday

Last Sunday I invited a group of friends over to Paul Rosenberg's tea temple for a tasting. Paul runs Sacred Teas, a service for those who want to learn more about tea, its properties and how to appreciate the brew for all of the good things it can bring you.

In attendance were John and Louisa, Qusai and Roopa, Nicole and Emily, Bonnie and her daughter Donna and Willow.

We drank the following teas, in order:

Qing Cheng Bitter:
A tea that actually comes from the leaves of trees that grow wild on Qing Cheng Mountain. Qing Cheng Mountain is a Daoist refuge and for some the birthplace of Daoism. It is a very beautiful and magical place set in the Qingling Mountain Range, alongside the Min River. a very strong bitter taste with an even stronger sweet and smoky aftertaste. good for digestion!

Mengding Maofeng:

A classic green from Mengding Mountain in the Longmen Mountain Range not far from Ya'An. Tea has been in cultivation here for more than 2000 years.

Mengding Gan Lu:
A very high quality green tea from the same mountain (and grower)

Osmanthus oolong:

A very tasty Tie Guan Yin oolong infused with osmanthus flowers, from Fujian.

Da Hong Pao:
a very smoky, earthy Wuyi oolong also from Fujian. The quality and duration of this tea was especially surprising.

Aged Tie Guan Yin:
a treat to drink and pour. a 1991 oolong aged to perfection ... a very complex tea with different shades of earth and water and fire depending on brewing method and most likely also pot material. I used glass for all of these teas.

Mengding Huang Ya:
another feat of craftsmanship. This is a rare yellow tea made from an old Tang Dynasty recipe. This tea was "tribute tea" to the Emperor from the Tang to the Late Qing Dynasty.

Wellforth Rose:
Still the belle of the ball. A delightfully aromatic, sweet and somehow refreshingly cool rose hip tea from Gansu Province. A winner.

I had a great time and really understand the amount of energy and mental strength it takes to do a good pouring. It might seem far-fetched, but each of these teas demands respect and adoration -- its very palpable and if you ignore it, they will taste it.

Mad Love!

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Politics and asteroids

Yesterday i was talking with a geology student and she said her last big paper was about an asteroid that is scheduled to hit the earth in 2012. I was like, girl, you sure you haven't been youtubing or something?

and she said the information is only really available in universities and on lexisnexis and the media (and google) are actually very poor sources of information. good argument. so i was intrigued and decided to keep looking. All i can do for now is look at wak media sites and such, but I found nothing. Nothing about 2012 and asteroids except this dubious site right here which is a mish-mash of "we all gonna DIE" ish.

The i found this site, NASA's Near Earth Object Program and the most dangerous 'roid they have on there merits a 1 on the Torino Risk scale (if you look through the site, its easy to understand the basics) and a 1 does basically nothing. No talk about a bad-ass rock coming to get us.

The closest I could get were these two sites, one about a Japanese experiment with collisions and Stephen Hawkings telling us the obvious ...

The circumstantial social and cultural evidence is there. We as a species have some serious angst and it is evident in our literature, film and politics. But is this enough to sign up with that dubious site above and become a member of the Quack Brigade?

No not yet. I would have to see some science and numbers (like this girl was telling me she had yesterday) before I would change anything. And would I really change anything? her deal (the girl from yesterday) is that the media and the government would rather stab themselves in a soft sensitive area then let any of us plebes know that something is going down. I agree. But an asteroid collision in 2012? That might be hard to hide. Unless of course all those who spoke about it were Quacks, then most people would react just like i did.

Anwayz, in related news, ignorance reigns as usual in the White House, no matter who we got in there, as Iran spins along divided on what the REAL ISLAM is and Obama and Congress try hard to figure out what exactly is going on and how to react to it.

Again, i suggested to all and sundry to read Reza Aslan's book "No god but God" in order to get a little knowledge about Islam's origins and trajectory as a world religion.

Obama ain't peeping this site, though he should.

And even more related news, I am blogging periodically for this site here, "Who will win the 2012 election" (Coincidence? I think not.) Feel free to drop by and take a look. Its just a lil baby blog right now, though it looks good, but i expect it to be more robust in the coming months.


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Saturday, June 27, 2009

What sammy said last night

I need to record this fool, kinda like my Native-Black-Polack-Commie homeboy Charlie.

Last night Sammy came back from the mini mart and said:

"dude, mini-marts are like bugzappers for lunatics. And in our neighborhood, there be lotsa lunatics."

its true. If you hang out all day at the minimarts you'll see people surviving/thriving offa deep fried garbage and snacks. In fact, i am guilty. i am a lunatic. i get zapped. i be eatin $1.49 packs of tortillas with the eggs i steal from Nicole's chicken coop. but recently i have been bleesed cuz Nikki and Sammy decided to bury the hatchet with quiche and salad. two days in a row. so now i eat good. if they keep fighting and making up, i'll keep moderating and fillin my belly.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I like that "feelin it" style

thats what my boy grant said to me a long time ago while we were in his dj dungeon listening to a little known dj named Fresh who was juggling some funk. man i started gettin up and groovin. at the time (and even now) djs were into that technically ridiculous style.

but i've always loved that feelin it style

and i am feelin portland these days. i been out and about the past few days checkin out sites for the tea house and doing other things and i have seen a lot of beautiful women, which is nice, and a lot of friendly peeps, which is also nice. but there are also a whole legion of bums ranging from drunk crackers to tattooed outcasts to colorful crazy women to the black and indian nation. i give smokes when i got em, flash coins if they jinglin and i always stop and bullshit for a while to let me and them know we're all still human.

its as much as i can do. preaching all of this "one love" here in the blog i have to pull it into my lifestyle or all goes wrong.

as for the tea biz, the "first transport is away" as geeks would say. The loan application is in and i now await word from the duplicitous stingy bankers who once threw cash around (when rates were high) but now say its too tough (cuz rates is low) and that is basically how it is done. Wish me luck, all 6 of you cats out there who read this.

feelin it
feelin it
in the mornin when libberz comes to wake me up
feelin it
in the noontime with a smoke and a cup
still feelin it
i got my music wherever i go
i keep feelin it
no matter how low it gets
how dark it gets
its so easy to keep
feelin it
feelin it
i betchu ya'll feel it too
cuz i be feelin it

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