Archive for the ‘Escape the Grid’ Category

Winter storms in the jungle of Bayou St Bas

Winter storms in the jungle of Bayou St Bas

When the power grid takes a hit, electricity slips out from underneath us like a cold turtle dick. It happens with a flicker at first, the lights overhead dim, losing their tug-of-war before giving up entirely. There may be a glimpse of hope, a brief respite from the darkness with a last dying gasp of electricity before… Everything goes black. Night is victorious over the park, at least until Prometheus and his sister-cousin Promethia light the cardboard of their single grandmother’s funeral casket after dousing it in rando ingredients they found in the burnt-out meth-lab in the back of the dollar store which ignites a St Elmo’s glow of unnatural flame that will startle the gods and burn out your nostril hairs at a hundred paces. Other creatures inevitably come out of the woodwork, dragging yester-year’s Christmas tree (hopefully, once, a living thing), beer casings, broken banjoes, frost-bitten T.V. dinners and record covers from the 1990s their incapacitated parents left unguarded; all of it fodder to create light in the dead of night throughout Bayou Saint Basil Trailer Park. These are fires not lit on these nights for warmth (it is Florida for fuck’s sake!), nor are they lit to appease their instinct for safety within the light, no, but rather to illuminate the serpents in the grass. Without the light there would be a darkness so utter, you would never see Stick-Finger Lloyd crawling through the window of your commode, all sticky extremities scratching their way like a roach into your abode until he finds the safe built under your bed he spotted a month back when you paid him a sawbuck to rid your trailer of the rabid possum. Utter darkness would have Professor Erasmus shooting at any shadow or shade of shadow that neared his porch. Utter darkness would have the feral kids and their uncanny night vision, crawling through the hole that once pump-fed your septic tank to steal away your girlfriend’s pet pooch to offer up to their dreamt-up gods as a sacrificial lamb upon the altar of the coffee table they stole from Lloyd the last time he took out the garbage without locking the door behind him. Utter darkness in Bayou Saint Basil is not a good thing. Better for yours truly to grab his paddle board and escape into the reptilian safety of the bog than to remain behind in the caravan of societal fringe.

To the East, over the Bayou, a new Spy Satellite is sent up from Cape Canaveral

To the East, over the Bayou, a new Spy Satellite is sent up from Cape Canaveral

For now, though, the darkness is young and not all encompassing. Peering into the distance, I can see the reflection of near-distant houselights on the atmosphere. It is the glow from Winter Solace, the neighboring community of old money Florida whose lights never seem to dim in power strains such as these. It is my gaze upon the Winter Solace glow that assures me no Electro-Magnetic Pulse or Pole-Shift has rendered electricity defunct for the indefinite future, no… No, this was just a minor outage caused by another drunk behind the wheel of some inane tank, veering off the rain-soaked freeway and into some crucial component of the electrical grid, rendering this neighborhood without juice. This is what utility and insurance companies call “an act of god.” More like an act of Todd and the three too many shots of Jaeger he consumed along with the pitcher of fermented soggy bread that should only pass as “beer” when home-brewed in a prison or for a community college dormitory, certainly not to be canned and distributed domestically.

Yee gods, it is hard to write on nights such as this. Even the raccoons react when the whole world is a shadow – they emerge to enact their territorial squabbles, squealing at each other like an old tape player fast-forwarding your Best of Hall & Oates cassette as it spits out spent tape. There is a gun-shot fired from this side of the water or the other (hard to tell the way sound travels in the swamp) and the r’coons go silent. So too, momentarily, do my keystrokes.

I manage in such situations. I have the solar-powered & hand-crank-powered flashlight a survivalist friend gave me. I had failed to set it within sunlight in recent weeks, but a few cranks and I am able to keep reading the book before me (a smut novel from the 1930s detailing the secret life of Helen of Troy). Scented candles I purchased at the urging of my sidekick to impress wayward lady-folk (should any accidentally wander into these quarters) keep my room alight in the dearth of electricity.

I sit hidden in the privacy of my porch and watch my neighbors barter their reserves of booze (but never the true reserves) and banter their reserves of anecdotes (but never the true stories). In my peripheral, I see bright flashes and I am unsure if that is winter lightening on the horizon or my own brain synapses misfiring as I fight off sleep with more of Gustav’s Venezuelan Rum made from the waters of the Orinoco. I need to find more time for sleep, but this is not a night for that.

There is a flicker of light and a general consensus of glee as the inhabitants of Bayou St Bas return to their suddenly illumined mobile homes to watch more Duck Dynasty, only to be disappointed when eleven minutes later the lights flicker to another unassuming demise. I remain within the shadows of my porch watching the eternal glow of light beyond the swamp in Winter Solace. I once dated a girl who went to the private college there… She would put me on display amongst Winter Solace: a real live “savage without religion” who was “meagerly educated at a state college” with a paranoia for “a totalitarian government which heeds the wishes of its corporate sponsors.” She would feed me gin and I would do her monkey dance. All spectators would laugh and clap along. I was young, then, and young romantics are fools who think love is humility for the sake of love and no else. Aye, I have dated a few Winter Solace girls; however, I have also dated a few Bayou broads whose step-fathers (usually a year younger than me) would call yours-truly, “high-brow” or “bookman” or “Vic Never-mind”. These bog people may gossip, be belligerent bigots and siphon gas out of your car when you are not looking, but as long as they think you’re insane and their offspring tell ghost stories involving you, they tend to leave you be. Which is why I am here: on the outer-cusp of civilization, I am entirely off the grid… especially on a night such as this.

The lights re-flicker and I am reminded I have a load of laundry waiting for me up the embankment. I should hurry to race the feral children to the dryers which they use to “microwave oven” your girlfriend’s pet pooch. Drying towels within such an apparatus after a religious sacrifice is a bad idea.

Double-Rainbow over Bayou Saint Basil

Double-Rainbow over Bayou Saint Basil

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Once again…welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.

― Bram StokerDracula

Living in the post-9/11 world is a drag if you are prone to dissidence. The United States has a hyper-active immune system, employing a host of white blood cell agencies to destroy anything remarkably unfamiliar by sending the invasive element to confinement in some secret prison or another. And eternal confinement is the best case scenario (though death-by-drone might be preferable to constant water-boarding in a Croatian cement hole). What began with the aloof Commander-in-Chief GWB after September 11th, 2001, was an acceleration of National Security into a Police State Complex. In 2008, a new Chief took over. The candidate for “change” kept Guantanamo open despite campaign promises. In fact, President Obama has done everything to expand his power and limit that of the citizen. American citizens overseas have been targeted and annihilated by Obama’s pet drones. And Obama has the right to choose to take any uncooperative American citizen and essentially bury them in a foreign cell without benefit of a trial before peers. What’s more – the federal agencies responsible for protecting the citizenry have reverted back to old policies of the agent provocateur:  just look at the case of the Cleveland Five, where a few lost-soul stoners were recruited and entrapped into becoming terrorists. The Police State is grooming their own villains and if you are not careful, some agent provocateur may very well poison your well.

Or you could heed my advice.

(at the end of this blog, I have links to anti-National Defense Act and a great article on the “Cleveland 5” by Rolling Stone)

Rule 1 (because rules always come in multitudes and you need to begin somewhere): choose your friends, do not allow them to choose you. Be wary of anyone’s approach. Small talk is for assholes – do not engage in it. Do not trust anyone who backs their car into a parking space. People that back into parking spaces are assholes too – their disposition for reversing into spaces has to do with paranoia at their own duplicity, which is what drives them to such lengths to allow a quick-ish getaway. But enough of the small talk, avoid the senseless conversations with strangers. If they insist on small talk, engage in some alternative lunatic fringe speak to frighten them away. And if they do not fright – they are most exceptionally dangerous.

FOR EXAMPLE: whenever a stranger engages me on the weather or says good morning or something painfully ordinary like that, I revert to a discussion on PanspermiaPanspermia, at its heart, is a relatively sound scientific concept. In fact, unless you believe some unmoved mover created all that is heaven & earth, Panspermia is likely the key to the origins of life on Earth. Panspermia is a concept about how life began on this planet and the assumption that it derived from an extra-terrestrial (be it bacterial shite or fungus spore from some meteorite) element. Still, if you mention Panspermia enough times in a given paragraph, especially during a conversation with a nosey neighbor, chances are the irritant will likely excuse themselves and turn-tail. So Panspermia it is. “Looks like we may get some rain…” a wayward pedestrian mentions to me. I respond with, “Perhaps more Panspermia?” Note emphasis on the “sperm” root of the word. End of conversation, close the curtains because the scene is over.

Rule 2: do not trust those that are too closely like you. If you are on the grid, there is a file on you. The file has all of your credit card purchases, all of your library check-outs, all of your medical files and somewhere in Utah at Crypto-City the NSA has stored every single text, email and phone conversation you have had since 2004. It would be ridiculously easy for the powers-that-be to create a doppelgänger of you. Imagine – your own reflection walking into your life and wanting to be friends. “You like Battlestar Gallactica? So do I! Let’s be friends (forms the shape of a heart with hands).” This guy is an asshole and you do not need any more friends. Just move along…

Vic’s 6’3″ Doppleganger, or Father and/or DB Cooper

There is nothing more frightening to me than the thought of a doppelgänger. I am uncertain if I could co-exist with a fellow-me. A generational gap would be acceptable. Old Man Neverman and myself were essentially the same entity, just years apart. Part of me is suspicious that the old man wasn’t ME – Vic myself – sent back into time to swim out into the Gulf of Mexico and rescue younger me from certain peril, only to stick around as a father figure. I remember it well – my being a child and stupid and lost at sea and he, this elder me, mustachioed and swimming out to the rescue. But now that I realize it is unlikely I will never grow another 3 inches in height and that wearing a mustache is not coming into vogue anytime soon, I have come to accept that the doppelgänger posing as my father may very well have been a different person from me entirely. Perhaps even my biological father, if not DB Cooper. Or so I suspect…

Karlo Dubacki, a carpet salesman once accused of being Vic Neverman based on the resemblance of the mustache.

Either way, doppelgängers are dangerous. Of course, I once gravely feared doppelgängers because I was convinced that for a lad such as me, there could only be one possible lady candidate for mating (or at least willing to practicing the act of mating). If there were two of me and only one woman who would even conceive of a potential companionship with one of us, my likelihood of winning her over would be cut in half by the doubling of mes, you see. Since those dark years, however, I have learned that despite my paranoid schizophrenic behavior and my sharp canine teeth and my propensity for impersonating yeti, there are actually dozens upon dozens of women agreeable to shack up with the likes of me. Of course, many of them may very well be agent provocateurs.

Charlie NeverDog

This is what we writers call “a segue”.

Rule 3: be on the lookout for agent provocateurs. They may come from anywhere at any time. This is why I say to not allow others to choose you as a friend. I tend to distrust anyone new that arrives into my general sphere of proximity. Such distrust is helpful. Yet, there is a tragic flea in my mustard, dancing in an increasingly slow somber salsa as its wings cease to flutter against the yellowed anatagony – my flaw: I tend to go stupid in the company of beautiful women. I say this with hesitation because obviously I am showing my hand to all those card holders who oppose me. They now know all they need to defeat the mighty paranoia of Vic Neverman is to produce a lovely lady to twirl my sound sense into knots of nonsense. So be it. If I took half of the notches out of my headboard, I would likely be a much more prosperous individual. Would it be worth it? The core of this Vic responds with a resounding NO.

Rule 4: just get the hell off the grid. Jesse Ventura ran off to Mexico. You can too. In fact, I have decided to dedicate a new topic of conversation on my blog: “Escape the Grid” where I will outline some of my favorite places to escape to.

Stay tuned friend…

For an article on “the Cleveland Five”, a band of loser Occupy Wall Street protestors who were molded into terrorists, see below:

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-plot-against-occupy-20120926

To know more about PANDA – People Against the National Defense Act, see below:

http://peopleagainstndaa.com/