Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Life Of The Emirate Rich

Dubai was a backwater pearl port for centuries whose Al Bu Falasa tribe seceded from Abu Dhabi in the 19th Century. The Great Depression Thrusted the small nation further into obscurity, however in the late 50s Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum transformed the oil-less economy into a desert financial hub.

No one believe in the Sheikh's dream, but Dubai is now the richest and most populous city on the Persian Gulf.

Wealth beyond imagination.

The Sheikdom has golf.

Luxury fantasy villas.

The world within the kingdom.

Russian chuvas.

And sand.

For sand is what will be left once the wealth is gone.

Photos from Bread and Circuses by Nick Hannes

Surfing in Thailand

I’ve never thought of Thailand as a surfing spot, until seeing the autumn waves on Koh Chang. Growling shorebreak. Some of them had to be rideable and I spotted an ancient surfboard at the nearest hotel. Obviously abandoned, since the deck was wrinkled like a potato chip.

First problem.

No wax.

Undaunted I tucked the board under my arm and waded into the sea. Locals gathered at the water’s edge. I slid onto the board and paddled into the wave. I miraculously glided past the break and sat on the board, my ass slipping from side to side like the board was slathered with eel juice. A wave approached, I turned and paddled for my life. The surge caught the wave and I tried to stand.

Close-out and I was sentenced to the turgid tumble. 

My next two attempts were equally as disastrous and I gave up for the day. My wife was fairly surprised I hadn't drowned and the native spectators left to find another diversion.

I later learned this break was well-known amongst surfers in Thailand

Sai Keow

Koh Khang gets monsoon waves and a nice beach break with great jungle scenery.

This episode whetted my appetite and I searched for a break around Pattaya.

Not a wave on Pattaya or Jomtien Beach. Koh Lann was equally flat.

I head of a swell in Rayong and checked the following two breaks.

Hinsuay Namsay – Rayong has a natural left hand wave, which only rises from May to Sept. If you’re lucky, very lucky, it could get to 4-5 feet. Mostly it’s knee-height, but can be pleasant as the warm water is clean and the Tha├»s have fished all the sharks out of the Gulf to feed the Chinese tourists Shark-fin soup.

Mae Ram Phung – Rayong is another break with erratic wind-driven waves during the monsoon season. The best spot is toward the cape as it’s protected from the wind.

Further away from Pattaya

Chaweng beach - Koh Samui

I love Chaweng beach. Water is clear as gin. There’s a small reef break near the rocks and off shore the waves can get glassy during Monsoon. Otherwise you’re looking at a bathtub.

Kalim beach – Phuket

Kalim lies at the northern end of Patong. When the swell is running obliquely, then this break is one of the best waves in Thailand along with Kata Yai and Noi. Rideable at all stages of tide. Watch out for the coral bottom and also the locals get a little fierce. Since when did anyone own the ocean?

Kata Yai - Phuket

This is a fast break for lefts and can build to overhead. The current is also swift so it’s a struggle to stay at the break. You can rent from Phuket Surf. Mostly long boards.

The best wave to ever hit Thailand was probably the monster wave of 2005.

No one has mentioned trying to ride this Hell.

Surprisingly the woman in this photo survived this day along with her children.

Unless you’re coming from Indonesia, it’s not worth the effort to bring your stick to Thailand.  Boards are rentable in Phuket and you can possibly purchase display models at the various Quiksilver shops in Thailand. They run from 14000-17000 baht.

Thailand is not Bali, but it can be good fun and a nice break from lying on the beach doing nothing for weeks on end. Then again why bother?

Surf's up!

Palm Beach Massage

Not many people have my phone number. Friends, family, my wife and mia noi, so I was surprised to see a Thai phone # appear on the LCD. At first I thought it might be the Bangkok cyber-crime police wondering whether I wanted to work for them as a spy, then I recognized the # as belonging to Jamie Parker.

"Where are you?" I asked wishing I was wherever he was rather than Palm Beach.

"Soi 6 and having a good time. Any go-gos where you at?"

"One named Rachel's. $20 for a three minute lap dance." About the price of a short-time visit to the upstairs chambers of any Soi 6 establishment.

"Any skinny girls?" Jamie was privy to my predilection for skin and bones.

"I wouldn't know." I hadn't enough money to visit the West Palm go-go bar and bicycling in that area was potentially offering your possessions and life to the various gangbangers dominating the nightlife of West Palm Beach.

"What are you doing for money?"

Three months ago my faux F1 business was providing my family with more money than the average Thai banker and allowing me to live like a duke in Pattaya. Now I was mansion sitting for $50/day. Main duty consisted of walking an Airedale named Cujo.

"Not much."

"How you like to make some money?

"Love to," I answered cautious since Jamie Parker loved to take risks with other people's freedom, but at this point I really was dying to return to Pattaya and any other city in Thailand as long as they had cold beer. "What you have in mind?"

"How about opening a massage parlor on Palm Beach. One girl, one guy, and a ladyboy for anyone in-between? I know the rents are expensive, but I'm sure you could recoup any expenses within the first week."

Jamie was right about that. Bentleys, Rolls, and Maseratis would be double-parked on Worth Avenue. Sex in Palm Beach was mostly extra-marital with surgical-enhanced blondes. Only one problem.

"I think it would be hard getting the licenses." The Palm Beach cops would be difficult too. "This isn't Thailand."

"Hey, I've been to Florida." He had spent two months in Dade County jail for vagrancy in 1978. The charges stemmed from his falling asleep in a Miami Beach movie theater. "You have to admit you'd clean up if you opened a massage parlor in Palm Beach."

"Better to have an escort service. These rich people like to be discreet."

"The trio are already in New York. You want them to come down. Maybe they could stay with you at that mansion."

"I'll let you know." I hung up before I could think about too much, for while Jamie's plan was a sure-fire way of making money, it was also guaranteed to place me in jail and Florida jails are no fun in the summer time. Still Palm Beach Massage has a nice ring to it.

Especially in florid neon.

Oh so Palm Beach.

Bizarro View Of Thailand

I found this wacky website spoofing Wikipedia thanks to friskdude in Pai

It offers a Bizarro vista of Thailand.

Here's the intro.

Thailand is a very sexy country in Suwannabhumi, in the polar regions near the equator. Everyone in Thailand wears a thai, both men and women, as casual clothing is one of the country's most favorite sports. They also eat Thai food most of the time.

Thai people are once in a very rare while kind and generous, but have cold mean hearts...for most of time. However, if you win a lottery, you will see an even higher amount of the greedy side of Thai people.

Half of Thai people will claim they're related to you (being your missing dad, reincarnation of your dog, your old car reborn into a human, whatever) and now need some cash now. The other half will just dauntless ask you to share some of your winning cash (at gunpoint). If you refuse, or give them too little cash, they will insult you, call you a mean person and even threaten to harm you. In fact, they are so hungry for extra cash, they may even kill you. The typical Thai's hunger of (your) money is unprecedented, and as soon as they see that you have some, they will extract every penny (or Baht) that you have.

One of the traits of Thailand, is that due to rampant dishonesty in their culture, you are likely to be harmed whenever interacting with them (unless you pay them off). Doing business in Thailand is considered about as safe as doing business in Nigeria or San Quentin Prison.

For more of this alternative vision of Thailand go to this URL

http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Thailand

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fat is Beautiful for Feminists

Several summers ago Jamie Parker drove up on his motorcycle from Pattaya to Sriracha. Mutual friends back in the States had been casting aspersions against the paternity of my son. Mam had heard the same from her family. She offered to submit Fenway to a DNA test. I wasn't having any part of it. I knew he was mine, but said nothing as Jamie entered my house.

Fenway was watching Ultraman. He lifted his head for a second. His eyes shifted to his mother and me. I half-expected him to cry, when Jamie picked him up in his arms. The skinny ex-convict was scary to most people, but Fenway stared him cold-blank in the eyes.

"Damn, the Thai gene is strong, but yours is stronger. I feel like I'm looking back into the past. Fuck everyone in America. They're all KKK." Jamie put down Fenway. My son returned his concentration to the cartoon. "Good-looking boy. Same as his dad."

"Thanks."

"Only telling the truth." Jamie was from New York. White Boy same as me. We knew each other 30 years. Many of them no good. The bank robber had moved to Thailand after 9/11. He spoke Thai better than me. Jamie wai-ed Mam. He pointed Fenway's and my faces. "Just like looking in a mirror."

"Thank you." Mam was grateful for the compliment, but still wanted to prove her doubters wrong. I didn't care. Fenway was handsome. Same as his father. That was good enough for me.

Mam cooked food, while Jamie and I drank Leo beer on the porch. The neighbors strolled by the house. Sricracha isn't Pattaya. Farangs are an oddity. We paid the gawkers no mind. Jamie and I were oddities back in the States too.

"How's it back in the City?"

"Okay, but the fat people are taking over America." At 90 kilos I was no longer considered overweight. My jackets had shrunk in size from XL to L. My BMI told a different story.

"That's what I heard and I blame them for Global Warming."

"How so?" I had a feeling Jamie was regurgitating some of my old blather, but I was curious about his re-interpretation.

“Think of those millions of fat people’s body temperatures and their sweating on a warm day and don’t forget about the friction of the wind hitting their plus-35 BMI.” Jamie’s previous theory about global warming had to do with Earth passing through a warmer section of outer space left over from the Creation, which got him a job with the GOP. It lasted about three weeks.

I’m much kinder to fat people, for unlike Jamie who’s very thin, I have suffered from Orson Wellesitis throughout my life. Not that I ever challenged the fakir of fat, although I once found a his cape at a Provincetown antique store. The owner wanted $200 to the circus tent. I offered him $50 cash. He turned me down, but I think about Orson often.

He was big and so is most of America. Bigger than big, however many of these over-sized people think of themselves as normal, especially the women and no one forgives these little elephants more than feminists who are constantly fighting man’s attempt to focus beauty on one ideal form ie a skinny model or a sex bomb starlet.

Skinny is not normal for feminists according to a UK study. Members of a survey shown a set of photos of women were asked to identify with the fattest and thinnest women in the photos. Most women picked fat.

After all most women are fat if only to project enough body mass to scare men from having sex with them and I can’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to have sex with me either.

Fat women of the world unite, but I have to warn them not in one place, because I wouldn’t want the crust of the Earth to collapse.

And neither would Fenway.

He still has a lot of living left in his tank.

Not Again Not Ever

The KKK was founded by Southern white supremacists after the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865. Armed bands of ex-soldiers roamed the night to terrorize freed slaves and elected former CSA General Nathan Forrest was elected Grand Dragon of the racist organization. Thousands of blacks were killed during this first reign of terror and the election of 1868 was a disaster for anyone not voting the Klan line. The federal government and northern veterans attacked Klan members through the law and violence. By the mid-1870s the Klan faded from the political stage, but they were merely in hiding.

DW Griffith's BIRTH OF A NATION rekindled The KKK, especially since KKK President Wilson supported the film and the movement to fight black progress and the threat of communism. The protestant churches refused to back the Klan, but the next three presidents were also Klan members and in 1921 over a quarter-million KKK members marched in Washington, a predominantly black city.

Like blacks whites from the south migrated north.

And the nation was ruled by racism.

The burning cross.

Their popularity diminished in the 1920s and membership dropped from 6,000,000 to 30,000.

The KKK never went extinct.

They hated blacks, jews, hippies, unionists, Catholics, socialists, spics, foreigners, gays, lesbians, TVs, Asians et al.

Hate was their drug.

It wasn't for everyone, however in the last decades the KKK have bonded with the Nazis and White Supremacists to create a united front.

Their rans have been swelling in resistance to the tearing down of Confederate statues.

History shall not be replaced.

Blood and soil.

This week hundreds if not thousands of them gather in Charlottesvill VA to protest the removal of Robert E. Lee's statue.

They shouted racist slogans and the police stood doing nothing.

They are KKK members too.

The violence escalated.

The Nazis marched at night.

And their leader gives them the green light.

One dead and a score wounded in the battle.

Many of the Nazis wore Donald Trump's golf outfit.

None of them were as fat as Fatso Trump.

A Nazi through and through.

And they have no rights in America.

None at all.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fuck Fatso # 45

The less said, the better.

Fuck fatso.

He'll never be my president.

The First Battle Of Chancerllorsville

Throughout April of 1863 the Union Army of the Potomac under the command of General Hooker concentrated over 120,000 troops to threaten the Confederate Capitol of Richmond. The Rebels led by Robert E. Lee numbered half the opposing forces. Defeat seemed imminent at Chancellorsville, however Lee divided his forces and flanked the Union with Stonewall Jackson's Brigades routing the Union XI Corps.

Unfortunately Old Stonewall was accidentally shot by his own men at battle's end.

The Battle was the second bloodiest of the Civil War.

Five days later Hooker's troops retreated from the field of combat.

This victory convinced Lee that the Army of Northern Virginia was invincible, leading to the disastrous invasion of Pennsylvania a month later and the defeat of Gettysburg.

The end began with the victory at Chancellorsville.

The Evil of Slavery

Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, has been widely cited for stating that the Civil War was not about slavery. Modern supporters of the South add to this quote that not every southerner owned slaves and claim the defense of Dixie was to protect State's Rights. Unapologetic slavery advocates say that African and Arabs sold their people into bondage and that the plantation system in the Old South was a benefit to the 'negroes'.

Their points of view has spread over the old Rebel territories to be accepted as a truth as holy as the Bible, but this is not the case.

Slaves were whipped mercilessly.

A life in chains was not an exception.

Hangings and lynchings were a common practice to instill fear into the captive race.

There is no sugar-coating the evils of slavery.

For while an estimated 1.6% of Americans owned slaves, a larger number worked for that peculiar institution as overseers, traders, carters, and slave hunters.

Slavery was the GM of the South.

The source of its wealth.

Hell on Earth.

So fuck Massa Robert E. Lee and bring down all that cracker's statues.

Friday, August 11, 2017

My First Film SHICHININ NO SAMURAI

My grandmother lived in an old farmhouse in Westbrook Maine.

She had served with the Royal Canadian Medical Expedition in the Great War. My grandfather had been a doctor for the allies in France. Mementoes of their meeting in 1916 were scattered throughout the house.

Zeppelin debris was stashed in the desk drawers. Helmets, bayonets, and uniformed hung into the upstairs closet. A mural of a French landscape decorated in their bedroom.

I never met my grandfather. He died a year before my birth.

After two years' exposure to the horrors of war my grandmother hated violence, but in 1960 she pulled me into the living room.

"What did I do wrong?"

My older brother was out on the lawn playing with matches. he was a harmless pyromaniac.

"Nothing, but I want you to watch this film." She turned on the TV. It was 3 on a Saturday afternoon in Westbrook. The men are the mill were working overtime. Boys were meant to be out of the house.

"What is it?" I sat on the couch.

"THE SEVEN SAMURAI," she explained the story about seven Japanese ronin or lordless samurais protecting a peasant village from outlaws.

"That sounds like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN." I had seen the cowboy movie at the Cornwall Drive-In with my family. I loved Steve McQueen.

"Hollywood stole the story from Japan." My grandmother sat down, as the opening credits appeared in Japanese.

"Japan?" Our one-time enemy only made transistor radios.

"Watch."

Horses rumbled across the screen. There was a small village. Battles were fought with ruthlessness. I read the subtitles.

"What are samurais?"

"These are knights without a king. They owe nothing to anyone other than honor. Watch."

I obeyed her command and my older brother came into the living room.

"Watch."

My grandmother pointed to the sofa.

For the next three hours we were transported from a Maine paper mill town to rural Japan and I understood that the Japs were people just like anyone and that meant that everyone was like everyone. It was a great lesson for a young boy and even today.

To View the trailer of SHICHININ NO SAMURAI, please go to the following URL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mw6LyyoeGE

Cumberland County Kingdom

From the Kezar Pond to Saco Bay. Old Orchard Beach to Bailey's Island. The land of my youth The summer camp on Watchic Pond Built by my grandfather. An orphan became a frontline surgeon in WWI France. A retreat from the horrors to Maine With a nurse, my grandmother. A noble woman from a 9th generation Maine family.

Gorham was their refuge They had a family And moved to a huge farmhouse In Westbrook under the shadow of the SD Warren papermill.

Cumberland County was a land of tall pines. My best friend was Chaney. He found a basket of dead puppies. We threw them into Portland Harbor. The tide took them to sea. My innocence was destroyed by death In 1960 Chaney drowned in Sebago. He was only eight. I never saw his gravestone.

Four years later a big-breasted girl working at a drugstore counter asked, "Will you walk me home?" At 12 a walk was a walk. I stuffed my comic in my jean's back pocket. And drained my glass of vanilla soda. I accompanied the girl along the Presumpscot River past the paper mill. No houses. No voices. Only the grinding of the wood saws across the river And the murmur of cars along Route 25. We stood in the woods. She lifted her dress over her head. Her breasts rose as puff pillows. I ran. Ran fast chased by her laughter. Running to my grandmother's house. Upstairs to a bedroom with sea murals I lay in bed. My innocence gone.

In 1975 my grandmother passed away. The camp was sold. The house on Main Street too. Chaney's family moved north. I went south. To New York. A city of too few pines to soothe old ghosts Of an exile from Cumberland County.

Target Guam

North Korea's nuclear strike capacity has improved greatly over the past ten years.

In 2006 the Hermit Kingdom announced a successful nuclear explosion. Pacific Rim nations have attempted negotiations with the hardline Communist dictatorship. Kim Il-sung and his youngest son Kim Jong-un have confounded diplomats attempting a negotiated settlement to curtail North Korea's developing more powerful weapons of mass destruction. Talk is futile and China, North Korea's trading partner, has been silent on the matter.

This week Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea will conduct a missile test aimed at Guam, a US territory in the Pacific. The island's residents have been warned not to look into the blast flash. President Trump has promised that the US military is ready to strike with the full force of its might and Japan has upgrade their defense status. China has said it will defend North Korea against any preemptive attack, but will remain neutral, if North Korea hits Guam.

People are scared.

They think WWIII is about to happen.

Personally I think nothing will occur.

Hitting North Korea's missile sites is no walk in the park.

They are well-protected.

Invasion is out of the question.

A bloody war involving millions is not an option.

However #45's political base is itching for a fight.

And the Pentagon has been planning this war forever.

"We can win."

Obviously none of them learned anything from Afghanistan

RESIST THE WAR

It only leads to ruins.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

May 2, 1978

Am I a poet?

People think so, but they consider poets wastrels without money. Throughout time poets have suffered scorn, hatred, ridicule, apathy, love, and poverty. Hart Crane wrote THE BRIDGE. Sailors threw him off a ship in the middle of the Caribbean. Poe died from drugs, Byron succumbed to disease in Greece, and Joyce Kilmer was slaughtered along with his generation in the trenches of France. None of them sought these deaths. They just happened, despite the magic of words and syllables set to a cadence. They mold languages far from the public. Few people read poetry and even fewer hear it spoken. I recite my poems to the walls. My drunken neighbor at the SRO hotel bangs on the wall.

"Shut up already."

His three words cast a spell.

I go silent.

The only poets making money are singers.

I can't sing, so I work as a waiter.

As the Rolling Stones said, "It's the singer, not the song.

LATER

I played softball with the crew from EST. My position was right field. No one hit in my direction. Ann took over pitching in the fourth frame. I hit a triple in the fifth and our side had a one run lead. She kept them off the bases. In the last inning a young actor from Kansas hit a ball sharply. Ann raised her glove too late. The ball struck her face.

She spun around, as if she had been shot, holding her head. I ran from right field. Her theater friends clustered around Ann. They stood shocked by her pain. I kneeled and held her right hand. Her left hand covered that side of her face, which was red from the impact.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," stammered the young actor."

"It's not your fault," answered Ann and the studio director, Kurt Dempster, asked, "Do you want to go to a hospital. Maybe your nose is broken."

That was the last thing any actress wants to hear and I said, "It looks fine to me, Ann. Breathe deeply."

After a minute Ann stood up. "I'm okay."

She sat out the final outs and I sat by her side.

After the game we went downtown to my place. My drunk neighbor was playing on his sax. I asked Ann if it bothered her.

"No, I like Coltrane. Will I have a black eye?"

"No, but if you do, it will be cute."

LATER

Why am I content with poverty?

I haven't had a ten-spot in my pocket for days. My Irish grandfather and namesake would leave the house with less than $500 and that was in the 40s. I wish I was the same, instead I'm a pseudo-intellectual beggar.

After our fight about Anthony accusing me of stealing money, she said to him, "Peter wouldn't steal. If he wanted money, he'd get it from me."

I do love her.

In the meanwhile I'm waiting for my tax return check. I'm getting thinner and thinner. Marc Stevens asked if I wanted to deal cocaine. I said no. I tried dealing in Boston and only ended up deeper in debt. Right now I owe everyone money. I see no solution other than work. I tried to get a taxi job. I needed $75 to get the licenses. Nothing is free.

Ann is in love me with, but fears dependency on me. She'll probably leave for her own good. I wish I could do the same. Sadly I'm stuck with me.

Summer is getting closer.

Last year in Brooklyn was a disaster.

This summer is looking to be a repeat.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

That's the best poem I've written this year.

No Left Turn For J Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover famously never allowed his drivers to turn left.

When I first heard that story, I thought this edict was due to his hatred of the Left and fear of Communism, but actually his command was based on his limousine getting t-boned from the left.

An additional note UPS plan out driving route with mostly right turns to save gas.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rocket Lawnmower

There are no lawnmowers in Space.

At least not in the pre-Jetson era.