yank a nostril hair to submit

Four determinedly disenfranchised, dissymmetrical, dis-addicted working stiffs wedged into a colorless Horizon along with boards, long and short, stacked like Dick Dale's pancakes on the rusted roof, headed for the surf beach, our beach, me at the wheel and one of my favorite things to do to cross this crew is turn on NPR, especially the old BBC Wo'ld Service comes up before Morning Edition and first light. The groans and sounds of spitting are deafening, symptomatic of the companeros assembled being distinct and distinctly twitching niches, unusual in one bonded male unit perhaps, but what we are, what we are united by is a mutual disdain born of recovered instinct for nearly anything definable and joined by other things than what is news or even music with one allowing into his woolly ears only gossip and indie rock, one only hoot owls and the old country, one only sports on Mexican, single oh, radio, and one poor sniveling junkie listening to everything he can lay ears on.

"Listen up!" I say, as Nigel, the intrepid Auntie correspondent begins to push an earnest portrait through the tin Mutterola hanging by two wire fingernails from the dash . . . 

"In the dim dawn there's the dull thud of dazed mortar fire and a pall of thin, acrid, seemingly penitential smoke hangs between the dark and ancient mountains, squatting like gargantuan grand dames in the portable toilets left behind by the retreating armies, their sides scarred by strip mines, mimicking the lacerations of Lazarus and the various saints so popular in these ageless hills, and the beleaguered villagers, drinking tea and smoking rank, unfamiliar cigarettes, speaking in tongues now known only to the forgotten tribes of a lost region, they lead us, like weary leather automatons down a trail through the dense jungle on the track of our mysterious agenda, towards the final goal of our laborious quest and as we inch forward our feet crackle on the brittle pathway, as if stepping on the vast car park of plastic toys and thingamabobs belonging to the arguably spoiled children of the allegedly developed world, and in the background, the faint sounds of the hurdy-gurdy man singing songs of . . . "

"What in the holy fuck is he talking about?" asked Zack returning from the febrile abyss of bad muffler delirium in the backseat.

"The upshot," I say (and see what you think), is that there is an international . . . sort of . . . effort to bring these different ethnic and religious groups to the table so they can share the little piece of smoldering desert they live on without killing one another."

"So, when you think they comin' here?" Derrick asked rolling up the devil tattooed on his forehead in a tsunami of thoughtfulness furrows. "How long you reckon before they send some Tasmanians and Timbuktuians over here to sort out these Cheesewhizz people sittin' on the good stuff?"

"You mean the people who want to turn the Supreme Coat into a Baptist church and the White House into headquarters for America World Inc.?"

"I said the Cheesewhiz people! Don't try to confuse me, I kill ya."

"Listen!" said Jeeter, "The expert American who's been asked to comment on the report is about to speak!" Then in his best weed, whites, and wine shaped and generated idea of a think tank professor voice Jeeter begins to exposit: "But, at the same time, and far be it from me to say 'ironically,' in many of the countries from which these agents of negotiation and peacemaking, both armed and unarmed and hard-to-say are dispatched, there is increasing divisiveness, in Europe and particularly in the US, a divide represented quite strikingly by the marginales in this chemical spill Plymouth who have fled and must flee incessantly the suckered tentacles of mainstream culture for all they are worth. We are not ha ha coming together here in dis country. We are not sharing movies or music or books or religion or politics or nothin' as a society. We, the different people, go to different physical spaces, different virtual spaces, different god-forgive-me 'spiritual' places. The various minority peoples move to different cities, different states, seeking relief from fear, exhaustion and despair, seeking refuge and hope in the company of oh please!somebody like-minded. Depending on our how-shall-I-say head-set, we make our livings differently, even when we work the same job, and certainly more and more as commercial potential determines the official truth, we, The Unassimilated, will seek information differently about what the hell's going on than does the great permanently stimulated, doped-up, soon-to-be wrinkle-free body of the Consuming and Consumed. Though that seeking is absolutely necessary it can have as a by-product, a widening and deepening of the gulf between . . ."

"In one ear and out the other, that's the way I like it. Nice and clean!"

"Yeah me too! And if these waves ain't decent I want to go to the nude beach and scout for lesbian coeds!"

"Count me in!"

"As long as there's dialogue!"

"Yes! Keep talking! With everyone! No hunkering down just with your own kind!"

We pulled in, and started to unload, and the dark and the cold made us quiet, as it will, even the rhinos among us becoming reflective, down from the trees and upright and now with bare feet on the wet asphalt sensing in the vague discomfort of twilight the great distance between here and the prospect even of reconciliation. But as we got to the top of the dune, the sun stuck the first bit of its fiery eyeball up over the edge of the ocean and the big, fast-moving waves were blowing up on the shoreline, filling the sky with meteorites, and we knew for a fact that the peacekeepers had arrived, we knew that peace, a peace, the peace was at hand, not provisional peaces as exchanged in fragments by human beings peeking tentatively out from their various and delusional states of isolation but the peace that we throw away that if you remember came in the box free along with our life and death on earth.

[Mr. Painter also wrote this.]

[Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/bluehelmets.html

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& so now there's this semi-sexy hoops-type article thing
by the eyeshot editor about sex and the sixers
& how the sixers' scrappiness has made
them sort of sexy in the past
(now appearing
on pnote).