Friday, February 05, 2010


We're not doing the world any good when we bankrupt

ourselves fighting wars all over the place.
We will extinguish the great beacon that we are
--Henry Clay

As many as 20,000 Americans are in a vegetative state,
meaning they are
alive and awake but without any apparent sense of awareness,
and 100,000 to 300,000 are in a related condition known as
a minimally conscious state,
in which they exhibit impaired or intermittent awareness
--In 'vegetative state' patients,
brain scanners show some alert minds

Perhaps we should re-name ourselves, The Minimally Conscious States of America (somehow, the numbers seem far too low.)

It was not the Summer of '69, but rather '64 when we graduated high school and were college-bound. Everywhere we went we heard Chuck Berry's "Maybelline", due to the fact that we hung out in hillbilly bars slap filled with Kentucky hicks. The knowledge gained from this drunken journey was nothing worth repeating.

Our three-month summer factory job was just a blip on the screen
of a limitless horizon. We were passing through, but the hillbillies were there to stay, and this fact has not been forgotten. Our lives were expansive, but they were stuck in that shithole factory, and they felt happy because they drove hot-rod Lincolns and had access to cheap booze.

Now we hear these guys in Kentucky and North Carolina are losing their once-secure jobs in manufacturing and textiles and having to retrain in their 50's and 60's for jobs that are not being outsourced. Even those who make it through the IT programs face tough competition from the younger applicants and indeed, their own fellows (
Job Retraining and Long-Term Unemployment.) Some estimates say one in 50 graduates will placed. Hot cars and booze still can't make that an appealing prospect.

That fall we entered Bowling Green State U, and Edd "with two D's" flunked out and went into the Army. Upon his ETS he attended my commissioning and that was the last time I saw him.

He's been dead 23 years, but I'll bet he is still hot-rodding somewhere in hell. Here's to you, Edd.



Anonymous barcalounger said...

Just a little fact from the January NFP seen at zero hedge "In January, the unemployment rate of veterans from Gulf War era II (September 2001 to the present) was 12.6 percent, compared with 10.4 percent for nonveterans."

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 9:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so i went to work today. feeling a little guilty all day for saying how useless most people's jobs are. knowing mine could easily be interpreted that way. then it came to me. a noble, interesting and important time-consuming job. inspired by iran's recent accomplishment and like sifting for gold these days, but way more enlightening and life-saving. asteroid/comet searching. breaker breaker. incoming incoming.

Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 12:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yeah, there are a whole lot of kids i grew up with, most of them were right there in the melon fields with me every summer to get money for clothes and books, who did just like edd (with two d's).

i left. (some might say escaped) most didn't.

it's strange though. i just got back from a trip to the rez. most of my memories from the place revolve around hunger, neglect, hopelesness, and the overwhelming drive to get myself the fuck out of there, yet, it calls to me. there are those rhythms, the subtle beats on tribal drums that speak of home.

(although i also remember getting a "d" on native american studies in college. the professor wanted me to "show the class something from your culture" so i built a bonfire and tied her up)

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 1:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

MB says,

"the professor wanted me to 'show the class something from your culture' so i built a bonfire and tied her up"

--a delightful provocateur, you are!

I think you would have peaked my interest.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 3:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i was a contrary student. i began that class by challenging the whole concept of "native american."

the apache, and all native cultures here, predate america, especially the united states, by many thousands of years.

how in the wide, wide, world of sports can we be considered native to something we're older than?

i know, and respect that people are trying to make an effort to treat us with something approaching human dignity. why not call us what we are called? apache, like many other nations, is actually a zuni word which means "enemy." the spanish came to new mexico and asked the zuni "who are those ferocious assholes up in the mountains." the zuni said "apache." it stuck. we use it.

the whole idea of native american implies a contextual entity that doesn't, and never did exist. the cultures that get lumped into that context are incredibly different. among the apache, hell, most of the time we don't even get along all that well among ourselves. it's that whole "separated by a common language" thing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 4:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

It's what you did after you tied her up that earned you that there D.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 6:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I appreciate your rejection of the contextual and contingent nature of the definition, Native American.

The "victors" get to designate the appelations of the "conquered", yes?

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 8:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Long-time RN said...

Thanks again to everyone here for the writing, commentary, and as always, the continuing education from MB.

Enjoyed the previous comments on imprinting. I've been fortunate to work with a horse whisperer from Washington state on my frequent trips to Vegas where my friends have 5 paints brought in from N. Dakota. We imprinted a colt a few years back, worked him much as was described, and you're so correct, getting into the saddle is anti-climactic by the time he was ready. Communication and teamwork.

Well, The Who is on Super Bowl half-time right now. Watching Roger and Peter is reminding me of just how old I am...

Best to you all.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 8:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


See Me
Feel Me
Touch Me
Heal Me

Thanks for joining us, and for all you do.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 9:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, well now don't I feel like a complete asshole.

There I was a while back talking about my times on the White Mountain Rez and wonderful this and wonderful that, while you lived it with all of its not so wonderfulness.


Monday, February 8, 2010 at 6:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I've done a post on the WHO and ttheir 1/2 time performance.
Watch for it later in the week.
I used to go to John Lyons training sessions.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 10:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
Thanks for the talk-i enjoy horses and felt this was pertinrnt to todays economic woes.
The horse business is always a good economic microcosm of the economy.
IMHO the horse has gotten ahead of Obama and our dear ,little boy of hope is just about to get thrown.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 10:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Long-time RN said...

Look forward to The Who post. John Lyons sessions, luck you. It's fascinating to watch people who talk horse work with horses.

Lisa-I like your selection of lyric. Much better than 'hope I die before I get old', talking 'bout my generation!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 7:47:00 PM GMT-5  

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