"Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug."SANTA CRUZ, California — "Take me off of your mailing list you arrogant, ego tripping ass."
— Mary Chapin Carpenter
You'll have to say please.
"I am not a pacifist Mike. Either remove me from your email list or if/and when you come to Portland you will leave in a body cast!"
That was an email exchange from one of my admirers after the column I sent out about Homeland Security and immigration from Douglas, Arizona.
Anyway, onward, huh?
I was in Los Angeles on Friday, at Track 16 Art Gallery in Santa Monica. Four of us who are in Cost of Freedom — Elena, Thomas, Rex, me — had a discussion with about twenty people about the war, war protests.
Part of the back-and-forth was about the lack of effectiveness of what we are doing to really do much to stop the war.
It's true. From way back when I started to write "Killing George Bush" up in my room in Iowa, one of the difficulties, besides knowing how to write a novel, was what good will it do.
I dunno. I did it anyway.
For all you who sent up prayers to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost causes — driving in Los Angeles [I call it L.A.] was fine.
I was even early and found the beach at Santa Monica, the place where they filmed some movies I'm sure, and the opening to "Three's Company," remember that shit show? Well, it's got the long line of palm trees and sand and skateboards, and now it's got an imprint of my fat butt in the sand. Maybe you'll see that in some of the movies they film there from here on out. I know I'll be looking for it.
Then on to San Francisco, the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair in the Haight district, Golden Gate Park. I missed one of the turns on my Mapquest directions and drove around Chinatown for a while.
I sat at a table with Dan Benbow and Paul Corman Roberts, who also are in Cost of Freedom.
Lots of people there. Lots of people wearing black. The young people must do that these days. Didn't sell any books, but I was able to get the need to attend book fairs out of my system, probably forever.
I got to meet Tom Edminster, who was in the Community for Creative Non-violence in D.C. back in the day, along with Mitch Snyder and others. Tom now teaches ESL at a San Francisco high school. Tom and I have been exchanging emails over the years and Tom took the time to
come over and see me while I was in town.
Also talked to Jim Fleming from Autonomedia and New York City, the one who risked his life to fight the crowds away after my reading at Bluestockings bookstore last year so I could make my escape into the night.
Afterwards Dan and his friend, Larry, and I went walking around the Mission district. We had a drink on a rooftop bar, looking out at the skyline of San Francisco.
Then we had supper, spaghetti, garlic bread, wine, prepared by Dan's girlfriend, Ariel.
Water for me, please. No drinking on this tour. No puking on church front lawns. I am waaaay too smart for that.
Larry wants to get a job in Bangkok. Dan is going next week to spend two weeks in New York City by himself, writing. Ariel is a Witch, capital "W." She is a nice Witch.
Today is Santa Cruz, at the Center for Nonviolence. I have a parking spot for my car and I see there is a movie theater close by. I might go see that show about prehistoric times, what's the name?
Tomorrow it's up to northern California for three dates.
See you there.
Here's something on the whole immigration-terror-Ammurikan issue from Iowa Terror.
Pinch Puta Store Detective
I am sitting in Gregg's Hometown Foods.
Store Detective, looking for terrorists, securing the homeland on the front lines.
As always, just trying to do my part to ensure the freedom of my fellow Americans.
I am looking for Mexicans who might be illegally alive, who do not have the proper stamp on the papers in their pocket, and thus deserve to be separated from their weeping children and sent to wherever we want to send them in a hot, crowded white INS van piloted by highly trained,
intelligent professionals with their uniformed butts smearing Ho-Ho's into the vinyl seat.
The whole thing is planned by licensed Christians in churches, in chambers, in Congress, to keep poor people and their children from having Frosted Flakes in the morning.
Because ... their crawling from zero to one might conceivably hamper us from getting from ten to eleven.
If you can see me from where you are seated you know that I am also sitting, on the floor, in the corner between the white milk and the tortillas, at the far end of the Mexican Foods Aisle.
It is my charge to find any Islamiscists, Hispanunists, or other terror-type individuals.
I am also to tackle anyone I suspect of being from Nebraska. Gregg says.
This is where I will find my insurgents.
And though I do not understand their language, I know enough to know when they are hiding something, or planning to meet with Jesus Iowa to topple the towers, collapse Casey's, dump the Dairy Queen, pillage Pizza Hut.
That jabber-jabber is all about planning with other foreign types to seek out sales on box cutters, steal leaves.
These they get here have dust and weird stickers on their shoes from walking all the way up through El Paso and shit, and Agua Prieta, Douglas, all those off-brand towns.
And they have to leave their home towns behind or maybe, probably grandma and their new puppy.
Whatever. My grandparents probably did the same thing.
I can almost taste the salsa in the jars across the aisle.
I like Mexican food. Everybody does.
I've never had any other terror-type food, expect Fred claims the sandwich came from Iraq.
That sounds like bullcrap, but I wonder if I would like Afghan pizza ... or Nebraska corn.
I am undercover, as per usual.
I am wearing a big, wide sombrero.
My head is drooping to my knees.
But I am not sleeping. Sometimes I am sleeping. Sometimes snoring. I get a beeper.
I am wearing a new, white T-shirt with blood-red letters: Pinche Puta Store Detective.
Go about your day.
I got this.
March 23: Santa Cruz, CA
Resource Center for Non Violence, 4-6pm
March 24: Fort Bragg/Mendocino
Fort Bragg Public Library Conference Room, 3pm
March 25: Chico
Glenn Hall, Room 212, 6:30pm
526 Broadway 95928
March 26: Eureka, CA
100 Fires Bookstore