Saturday, June 25, 2016

A letter to Aziz

It now seems light years since George "Bow Tie" Will got caught with his pants down, stumbling for words and bantering about nonsense on FOX News Sunday (June 12) while the gruesome details of the Orlando attack were first unfolding. On Thursday, President Obama also got caught with his pants down at Stanford at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), as the BBC declared a day earlier that the UK voted to depart the European Union.

To the president's thinking, that pesky Brexit was actually a distant nightmare they never would have. The very people seemingly so educated in predictive technologies ignored the economic seismograph. Then, crack! Thursday's political earthquake happened, and it is now seeking after-shocks. They will be coming in for many months, and it is exhilarating as much as scary to finally see it happen.

World events have supplanted the slumber of the politically correct corporate world of the well-heeled who reaped the profits from the rest of the world's working poor and middle class that they left on the side of the road. The Obama administration foolishly continues to pay lip service to the globalization effort, reflected in an EU trance which changed Europe into a Balkanization ripped from the worst of American business values. American values of the Clinton kind, those that President Bill Clinton espoused with his fellow neocon-in-arms and friendly foe, Newt Gingrich in the mid-90s. Clinton cut his bipartisan sell-out deals that ripped up the welfare safety net, built new prisons, and signed stupid treaties, notably NAFTA. Clinton pardoned crime syndicate bosses and left Leonard Pelletier in prison. And now his wife is picking up his legacy and thinks we Americans should be OK with all of it. Not exactly.

But I digress.

Obama's appointment this week for the CES event at Stanford could not be avoided. Before heading to California, he had assumed that Brits would be as comfortable in their EU skin as the rest of us must be in his politically correct and fashionably peaceful land of diversity, E Pluribus Unum, the land of the so-called melting pot, the one now boiling over. Obama has had it hermetically sealed under a high flame for the last four years. What should he expect would happen? If you said Brexit, "terrorists" and the outed genie of perverted jihad, you hit the mark.

As the president entered the Stanford stage, oozing the ointment of predictable corporate comfortability in the slightly sleazy capitalist zone, he is captured waving at the assembled foreign entrepreneurs there. He secured the 2016 convention in the USA for the first time since it returned from the Mideast and Africa tour de force in the years since 2010. Along with his billionaire supplicant sidekick, Mark Zuckerman, who stepped up in a t-shirt and sneakers, because he can, the stage was set for sharing the love with the hundreds of assembled millennials of the international corporate love-fest, exuding more than a little necessary good business foreplay to offset the farce.

Aziz Anzari writes to the NYT: "There are approximately 3.3 million Muslim Americans. After the attack in Orlando, The Times reported that the F.B.I. is investigating 1,000 potential “homegrown violent extremists,” a majority of whom are most likely connected in some way to the Islamic State. If everyone on that list is Muslim American, that is 0.03 percent of the Muslim American population. If you round that number, it is 0 percent. The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics.
I get it Aziz. Nothing is happening here in the USA. If it is, and it's bad, it must be the whites, the racists.

Before you arrived, my mother got arrested in Selma and Chicago, and I sat to interview the likes of Frank Colin, leader of the US Nazi Party, and Richard Speck, mass murderer of Chicago nurses. I know more than my share about criminals and fascists. In Spain, probably before you were born, I got arrested by the men in the Sombrero de Tres Picos, Franco's fascist FBI that made students like me disappear into the night outside Madrid. How I got out alive is a story in itself, maybe later.

But Aziz, really, I do get it! You have problems here in the land of E Pluribus Unum. You're brown, and others here are white. I say, so fucking what? Race is as old as dirt around America. We were founded killing the native tribes, and the black 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers did it better than any white troops.

Johnny Depp writes about Doug Stanhope, my middle-aged white perpetually drunk comedian neighbor who lived right next door in Bisbee, Arizona. He's a bit crazy, very white. But he is my America, too. I love them all: the White people, some on Harleys, with blue hair, blacks with an attitude, Asians and Arabs with good and bad ideas, Mexicans and Latinos dancing to Cumbia and Norteno, and anyone else on board who wants to take a trip inside what is really happening GOOD in this country in 2016.

Dear Reader, He’s a depraved reluctant visionary and debauched accidental guru who wears old suits that were likely once some dead fucker’s Saturday night prowling outfit - he’s a man of the people who says what must be said for no one else will - total honesty - consequence be damned - no fluffy outside no creamy inside - you get what you get and deal with it - he is our savior - for here in this life where the only guarantee is the ceasing of breath and a healthy death tax for our loved ones he is the one man who dares to plunge the cold dagger of truth deep into the collective brain-dead psyche of our species for the ultimate benefit of all humankind and certainly not since my dearest friend and mentor Hunter (Thompson) have I known an individual with such a profoundly strong sense of moral justice - it makes me sick so I suppose I must ultimately admit that I do not like this man I speak of I fucking love him. Him being Doug Stanhope.
Johnny Depp Los Angeles, CA. 19th February, 2016 
Stanhope, Doug. Digging Up Mother: A Love Story

We are entering a new time in America. It is not the way so many describe it, as if a Trump presidency would turn us all out of the closet as little Hitlers and the like. That is bullshit. But I wish I could convey how much I also loved my poor Arab friends in Iraq who took the bullets for me after I came safely home and Obama abandoned them to death by ISIS. One friend in particular was in Kirkuk, and he was helping some American soldiers keep the peace at night when every single Kurd, Arab and other gotta-get-even killing machines came out like bats in the night.

That night, a Ha-boob like the Apocalypse came in. A real doozy of a storm, it moved a half mountain of sand through the air for forty endless minutes and buried our tents, equipment and their MRAPS mired in the sands of the streets of Kirkuk. No one fought that night.

"I got under my blanket because the whole MRAP was swaying side to side, and I know the guys (the soldiers) heard a lot of "Allahs" coming out from under my blanket that night." Oh, how true. There are no atheists in a foxhole, or a godfearing sandstorm! We live if we're lucky, and hopefully learn a little in the process.

White people are no different than anyone else, Aziz. We are good and bad, and so are all races. Religion, now, that is another story. We have to work a little more on that.

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