Browse Category: Social Commentary


(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)

There is a critical mass building inside me. It’s dark and depressing and angry. I fear the explosion will be devastating. I just don’t have the patience for all the shit in life anymore. I seem to be handling it less and less well. I get annoyed and sigh and mumble about nearly everything these days. The multitude of small things that piss me off is growing. I’m telling you, you do not want to be nearby when the bomb goes off.

Today was a typical day with a fair amount of bullshit. For instance, I had to have a damn root canal this morning. Why? Because I broke my damn tooth on a piece of Valentines candy last month! Sweet, right? When I got to the dentist’s office, the receptionist told me that the insurance company rejected my son’s bills because he is over nineteen and has been dropped from my policy. And that is all because the company I work for switched dental insurers and the previous dumb ass insurance company didn’t inform the new dumb ass insurance company that my son is disabled and needs to be on my insurance policy. Now I have to make dumb ass calls to this company and try to straighten out their dumb asses. This is the very kind of thing that drives me nuts! Dealing with insurance companies, or utility companies, or the motor vehicle agency is an energy sapping ordeal. I hate it. And this is only part of what turned out to be a disappointing portion of my earthly existence. I can’t even write about the most upsetting part of the day because I’m still pretty goddamn upset. Plus, all the teeth on the upper right side of my mouth hurt like hell tonight. They’re all sympathetic for the one that had its guts yanked out, I guess.

Anymore, it feels like every day is like this. There just seems to be so much horseshit every day. And a lot of things that didn’t used to be considered horseshit are looking more and more like horseshit in my opinion. It’s stacking up in piles. A large portion of the horseshit pile is the way people can be so inconsiderate when it comes to some very basic aspects of life. For instance, on Saturday morning, I took a walk over to the Dunkin Donuts. It was a beautiful morning. I decided to walk a little extra and just enjoy the fresh air. Do you know what happened? Some big-assed bastard in a big-assed SUV nearly ran my ass over while I was crossing a street! Those signs that say “Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk” mean NOTHING to those who drive SUVs around here and feel that they can plow their way through everything. I waited for the damn white “WALK” sign to light up before starting to cross the street. I was in the middle of the damn lane when the SUV prick decided to make a quick left hand turn and cut in front of me. He was so close that I could have reach through the passenger window and popped that fucker in the mouth. Lucky for him it wasn’t down. At least he got the middle finger waved and a “fucking asshole” shouted at him. He probably didn’t even see it with all that ozone-depleting, lung-destroying exhaust pouring out of that big vehicle. That’s the problem with SUV owners. They just don’t give a damn whether they kill one guy crossing a street while in a hurry or if they kill all of us in the long run.

And what about the people that walk right the fuck into you while in the mall and don’t even say “Excuse me” or even acknowledge that they just bumped into another legitimate human being? That happened to me on Sunday. This stupid blabber mouth girl ran right into me while yakking away to her boyfriend. I had to stop and move out of her way before I could catch up to the person that I was walking with. That fat mouth didn’t even look at me and I was close enough to ram something up her ass good and hard. Maybe I need to start doing that so people will at least know that I exist. I mean, I’m just talking about basic courtesy here. Everyone needs to stop being so goddamn stupid and self-important. There are other people around you who don’t want you blubbering up against them.

There is so much more to complain about. Rising prices of shit is a good one. Yesterday, I had a lunch meeting with some people from work. We went to a restaurant near the office. I ended up paying $5 for a glass of iced tea! Beware of carelessly ordering an iced tea thinking it’s one of the least expensive drinks in the house. It never occurred to me to check the price on the menu before ordering a simple thing like iced tea. I shouldn’t have to check the damn price. One glass of tea should not cost almost as much as a whole meal at McDonalds! Luckily, I had eaten at the office previous to this meeting and didn’t order a meal. Those who did paid $17 each! The price of gas is another cause for complaint. Right after Hurricane Katrina the gas prices in the US shot through the roof. The head dicks (dick heads?) of the oil companies told us all that it was because so much damage was done to refineries and oil rigs in the Gulf region. A few months later, those head dicks announced to the world that their companies had made billions in profits that quarter. No???? Really???? So now, why is the price of gas still sky high???? We need to change this country’s motto from “One Nation Under God” to “One Nation Under Gold”. The greed for it is the controlling factor in nearly all that goes on in this country. And while the corporations amass their gold, the nation is buried under the debt of gold. The national debt in this country is now over 8 TRILLION DOLLARS. According to one article I read, “If you spent a million dollars a day for a million days (2,739 years), you’d hit $1 trillion.” Or… “To spend $1 trillion in the average American life span of 77 years, you’d have to be on a lifetime spending spree of about $35,580,857 EVERY DAY FROM BIRTH.” But the current executive administration of this country continues to give tax breaks to the extremely rich while taking away aid to the very needy. Where the fuck is fucking Robin Hood when we need him? Somebody needs to save us for the certain doom that awaits.

But who am I to talk about such things? I’m just a ticking bomb with bad teeth and a website right now. These words won’t change one fucking thing about any of the shit I just complained about. It’s not like I can go to Washington, D.C. and reason with Congress with any success, or shake the living shit out of President Bush. Nope. So, I’ll be shutting up now. I just hope I’m in a fairly solitary place when my meltdown begins. Pray that it doesn’t happen in the mall.



(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)

You wake up with a dull grinding pain inside your skull, like someone is pulling a cheese grater behind your forehead. Then you discover that your 18-year-old has used most of the hot water while you were attempting to prolong your last dozing moments. The fact that you even have a kid who is that old, and he’s not even the oldest, doesn’t give you much incentive to greet the day with any resemblance of a smile. But you hop into the pee-warm shower like every other corporate automaton this morning. You need the shower anyway. Your head looks like it’s been mauled by bears sometime in the night. You can’t go out looking like that! You would scare the tarnation out of every silver-haired granny who passed you on her way to the corner grocery. Many of them are Polish in this town you know. Then you remember that you are a little Polish too. Not that it means anything. Just like it doesn’t mean anything that you are also half German and half Irish. The problem is that you are fully American, disconnected at birth from all that your ancestors may have been. You can only trace your roots back to a run down old town in Northwestern New Jersey and a varied array of relations who didn’t talk at all about their Old World heritage. At least, the memory of some of those folk causes somewhat of a smile. Remember Aunt Aggie, your dear old alcohol-loving great aunt? She was the sweetest! Remember her tiny voice and how her lips always got saliva all over themselves when she talked? She was always in the bag, that gentle old drunk, from your Irish side of course. But time is running out, in more ways than one. Better get moving. Put your tie on. Brush your hair a little bit. Brush your little bit of hair. That’s depressing. You sure are a long way away from your long-haired younger days. Who the hell is that looking back at you in the mirror? Some disconnected aging guy pretending to be you? You know things are bad when you can’t stand looking at your shirtless self for more than a minute. But you don’t have much more than a minute anyway. At least you can get by without shaving today. Although, a shaving accident holds more appeal than another eight hours limited to a cubicle again. What is the point of your life? What is the reason for the routine you reluctantly follow Monday through Friday? Is it just for money? Where does most of the money go anyway? Into your landlord’s pockets? Then you realize that your thoughts are so negative that Aunt Aggie’s way of life starts to make sense. But the liquor store doesn’t open before you have to go to work, so you settle for Dunkin Donuts coffee instead. What would the little Polish ladies think of if they saw you brown-bagging it out of the liquor place at 7 AM anyway? They would know you were Irish then! When the counter lady hands you your coffee with no sugar, just cream, smiles and says, “Have a good day, sir,” you recoil from the middle-age-implying “sir”. But the woman’s politeness brings the realization that your brain has been rambling in one solid depressing paragraph since the minute your head left the pillow.

You take your change. Say, “Thanks.” Smile in return. Then you walk through the door, 14 ounces of mood enhancing, headache curing hot coffee in hand, determined to not take the rest of the day so darn seriously.

The Thought Suffices

(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)

“It is remarkable, that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society. The thought suffices them, without investing itself in the flesh and blood of action.”

from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850

There is a remarkable depth to the inner workings of human beings, be those inner workings attributed to heart or imagination. There is a vast unfathomable ocean within the mind of each person. Not even the individual himself/herself can fully plumb the depth of this ocean within his/her own inner being. As soon as she thinks she has set foot upon the ultimate miry deep of her imagination, far, far below the observation of any other living soul, the bottom gives out and she finds herself adrift yet again.

Have you yet discovered Hawthorne’s statement as truth in your own experience? No, I do not ask your opinion as to whether the statement is true. I know it is. I have sped for days through the vast vacuum of my own speculations, my own imaginations and fancies. I have drifted to the orbital limits of the conventional norms surrounding me, to the point I feared rocketing beyond the pull of societal gravity and into the nether realms of insanity. Yet, I discovered that only in severing the tethers which bound me did I find the expansive liberty of free thought. I could live boldly in my own universe… yet, walk undetected in the normality of yours. The thought suffices.


(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)


What is it but a mad dash? A stumble through the darkness? A bashed knee upon the pavement? A “fuck you” in the bitterness and a knife in the throat? A smile in the halls of the office.

* * * * *

Yes, I love the trains.

* * * * *

C’mon, tell me…

If you and I found ourselves sharing a coupling of brewskies over the flaming fields of Armaggedon, what the hell would we be talking about?

Maybe the latest U2 record and George Bush’s foreign policy.

Maybe we’d just swap photos of our kids and duck while the sulfur rained down around us.


(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)

I was quietly reading a book in my car in the grocery store parking lot this afternoon. I was waiting for my son. The sky was finally clear after a week of rain and the air was rather warm for a mid-October day.

I was startled by the voice of a woman as she walked by: “You moved the car?”

“Yep!” her husband replied.

“Why did you do that?”

With a tinge of pride on his voice the man said, “I had a chance for a pull through.”

“A what?” I thought. Then it clicked in my mind. The parking lot consisted of double rows of parking spaces. A “pull through” is when you can “pull” straight “through” both spots rather than needing to back out of a spot.

“How typically American!” I then thought. We are so addicted to convenience that we will drive our vehicles round and round a parking lot looking for the closest possible spot. A typical parking lot only stretches fifty yards or so from a store’s entrance. We will drive up and down the lanes of the lot until we find one of the first five spots open. The seventh spot could be free. But that is not convenient enough for us. So, round and round we go, cursing and spewing exhaust into the already polluted air. How much healthier it is to park in a farther spot, turn our cars off sooner and get a small dose of much needed exercise.

The pull through was a new one for me. Picture it. This guy must have been sitting in his car, waiting for his wife, when he saw two spots open. So, he started his car, pulled through the spots, and parked where he now only needed to pull out, thinking that he just saved himself so much trouble. But then he needed to leave his car and find his wife. She wouldn’t know where to find him in his newly found spot of convenience. I guess he then got the best of both worlds, exercise and convenience, plus a boost to his ego due to such a display of efficiency.

“Wow! You had a chance for a pull through?”

“Yep! So I moved it!”

They pulled out. I pulled through. Just another day in America.