Tuesday, April 29, 2008


A friend sent me these. I thought they were quite nice.

Oh God are you listening?

I am crying, I am weeping, I am wailing
I am shouting, I am screaming, I am yelling
I am speaking, I am talking, I am telling
I am thinking, I am planning, I am organizing
Yes God I will listen
Oh God now I am listening

God, will you walk with me today?
Yes, God I will walk with you today.
God I need you at the start of my day.
God too many times I have had to come to you at the end of the day to ask you to bless my mess.

But God I want, I need, and I hurt.
I need it now oh Lord
Please check your clock
I need it now
Tomorrow is too far away
I need it now
This afternoon is too long a time to wait
I need it now
Oh God when I remember
Your answers
Your love
Your care
Your creases
Your gifts
Of the past
I have need for nothing more

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Higgamus, hoggamus, woman's monogamous. Hoggamus higgamus, man is polygamous.

So … I wasn’t gonna get into this. I just wanted to lay out the “due process” scenario – that I felt was being grossly ignored. Lay it out there with the hope that someone would agree with me. That was the plan.

But you kept asking really good questions.

So here we are, back with “Scary Texas Polygamous Mormons, Part Two.” (Note to Julie: Is there a movie in here somewhere? A “B” movie, at least? Straight to DVD? Cable?)

Anyway. Let’s get one thing straight. The other day I was passing by a heated conversation and heard a man say, ”See? That’s why Mitt Romney should never be president. He’s one of THEM.”


Excuse me, oh great stupid mouth, weren’t you paying attention? Regardless of how you regard their religion, the Mormons outlawed polygamy a hundred years ago. This Texas bunch SPLIT from the Mormons, and are no longer card carrying members. Got that? They call themselves Mormons, but in certain and less than subtle ways they are not – not not not a part of the bunch who come around to thump on your door. I mention this only because I know an honest-to-goodness Mormon family. I have found them to be honest, generous, and certainly trying hard to live by a higher moral standard than I have. Since my nature is to be contrary, I bring up the subject of polygamy at every opportunity … and they still continue to invite me over to their house.

Meanwhile, back in Texas …

Here’s a brief re-cap of the allegations that disgust many, and apparently appeal to the prurient interests of others. A supposed polygamous sect in Texas is invaded by government authorities, and 450 children are removed. 23 mothers are included because they are age 17 or younger. 6 adult mothers are removed to “battered women” shelters, and the remaining 47 adult mothers return to the FLDS sect complex. It is ALLEDGED that the majority of the children are girls, destined to be willing or unwilling participants in polygamous marriages anytime after they reach the age of 13. It is ALLEDGED that the majority of boys are encouraged/forced to leave the sect at an early age, theoretically so they will not be in competition with their fathers for the available females. (And now you know why I refuse to judge them. If these allegations prove to be true, then these people are revolting well beyond my ability to understand or forgive. Here abide monsters.)

In addition, there are a few observations to be made. In a tour of the complex, it was revealed that the children live in a communal relationship – all together. Where are the parents? Further, all the commentary on the part of sect members has been given by women. Where are the men?

Now. From comments I’ve received, it appears obvious that we, as observers, fall into two camps.

One side says that these women are purely evil. How could anyone – especially mothers – allow such outrageous acts to be perpetrated on their own children?

What makes them different from the World War II female concentration camp guards?

Yet their grief is real.

So could this ultimately be the real victim here?

The children are gone. That’s a fact. But – let’s face it – they are easy to replace.

Is the government planning a raid every ten to twelve years?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thank you, Herman

December 1, 1991 - April 24, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Texas Polygamist Mormon Sect GUILTY!

There! I said it – guilty. Guilty guilty guilty!

Boy, do I ever feel better. So – whadda ya say? Let’s send those people away for a goodly long time. Maybe we can do a 60 Minutes Special on the first anniversary of the arrest. Or … better yet, sometime in May, a year from now (during sweeps.) Hey, don’t dismiss the idea without giving it some thought. And – oh, this gets better. Five years from now, maybe ten, we can drag one or two of the Mormon kids out of mothballs, to tell us how their lives were ruined by … by …

What was that again?

Oh. Yes. They’re Mormons. That’s enough. They are guilty of being scary Mormons. No, they split from the scary Mormons, so that makes them even scarier Mormons. I mean, isn’t that right up there with Martin Luther splitting from the Roman Catholics? Uh … maybe not. Better to not go there. I’m sure it will all be straightened out in the made-for-TV movie.

But they’re guilty. Must be. CNN says they are guilty. I mean, CNN, NBC, everybody calls them a polygamist group. And they couldn’t and wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t true.

Could they? Would they?

… on the other hand, if they were called just a small farming commune in backcountry Texas, that probably wouldn’t make much of a grabber headline. So, in spite of the fact that they haven’t been convicted yet, haven’t even been charged yet, they must be guilty. Nancy Grace says so.

But they force young girls to marry old men. How ‘bout that? I know this for a fact. Just today, a man in the Target store told me it was true.

Oh. Oh. You can’t dispute this one. Have you seen the sect women? I mean, can you believe that? They all dress like pioneer women, talk in low monotones, and have 1950’s James Dean hairstyles. Anybody who lives like that must be guilty of something. I've seen enough movies to know that. Why, you’d almost believe they were pretending to be Amish! At the very least, In spite of their constant denials, they must all be brain dead.


Oops. Sorry. I meant to say they are brainWASHED! The women who dress and talk funny, and are brain dead … they all live in Southern California, don’t they? Yo, dog! My bad!


Eventually, in due time and course, the evidence will be gathered, charges of crimes against society will be made, trials will be held, and individuals – I have no doubt – will be convicted and sent to jail. I’m not foolish. I’m inclined to believe that the government rarely acts without good reasons.


But before that – now - this group has in fact been tried and found guilty. They actually believed that they would be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Where on earth did they come up with THAT dumb idea?!

I must admit, my friend, to a great sense of relief. I belong to a church approved by everyone. I’m a …

On second thought, I … don’t think I wanna tell you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sometimes Being Stupid Isn't A Bad Thing At All

My first play was produced nationally in 1964. (Or it might have been in 1965 or ’66. At the moment I don’t remember, and it doesn’t really matter.) I had been writing local TV shows for a few years, and a friend suggested that I could probably have a few produced as legitimate stage plays … for money. I found a list of agents at the local library, picked a few, and sent ‘em copies of a few plays. I got a letter from an agent living in Florida. She was interested in my writing, and asked for a copy of what I considered my best work. I sent her a copy of Another Dumb Ghost Story, and for a number of years she would send me checks. We had a wonderful relationship.

Emerging playwrights today scoff at me; saying that I was too simplistic – that a system such as I describe could not and would not possible work. This makes me nervous. Does that mean I should give the money back?

Recognize this actor? His name is Robert Lansing. When I knew him in the late 1950’s, he was a radio DJ working in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We were involved in a local production of The Crucible, when he started talking about dropping out of radio, and doing a show on Broadway. Behind his back, everybody snickered at his naiveté. The play closed, he quit his job at the radio station, and a month later he was acting on Broadway. The following season he was starring in a TV series. In later years he would be featured in many other television programs, movies, plays, and blah blah blah. Somebody should have sat down with this man and told him he couldn’t DO this stuff – it doesn’t work that way.

Here’s what got me started along this chain of thought. I have a young friend who is a dancer. That is, she has taken lessons for years, and danced in school and church presentations. But she would like to do something more with her gift. With head shot and resume in hand, she just finished auditioning for Walt Disney World. Will she make it? No. Certainly not. She has everything in the world working against her. The problem is, she doesn’t know that. And BECAUSE she doesn’t know that, it wouldn’t surprise me to see her dancing in front of the magic castle any time now.

So here’s my point. Is there something you want to do? What’s stopping you?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Understand Where Madness Lives

I once read that Howard Hughes would fixate on a word or a phrase, running it over and over in his head like a mantra. Only it wasn’t intended as a focus for meditation. It was nothing like that. Rather, it was the will, puzzling in unexpressed wonder as a small instant of thought refuses to progress past a severed line of nerve path. And, having no memory of experiencing anything like this before, at that point curious inquisition presses the issue again and again, following the only route it knows. Eventually – perhaps – an alternate path is discovered. Or perhaps the mind simply becomes bored with the nagging issue, literally seeking stimulation along lines of lesser resistance. Or perhaps, that solitary millisecond of consciousness, left to expire in the void of self, does not die alone. Might it transmit the novel experience to the entire of itself? Slowly then, the thirsty awareness of self dims. Imperceptivity at first, and then with a smile it reaches for the sweet embrace of forever nothing.

What remains? A husk remains. It moves, breathes, rises in the morning and sleeps at night. It experiences hunger and thirst. It reacts more than it relates. It has a shallow sense that something is missing that once was there. Fragments appear in dreams, misunderstood and only vaguely disquieting. Will remains, triumphant, freed from the constraints of subtlety and difference. Everything has effect, nothing has significance. It affronts the very creativity of God.
It seeks self. It finds self.
Madness begins.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Help ...

How Did They Find Me?

It’s scary. A little bit. I received a letter today from my High School Alumni Association, inviting me to a class reunion. A big reunion. High School.

My first reaction was – how did these people find me? I’ve outdistanced two colleges, a handful of trade and specialty schools, and – ya know? I like it that way. No junk mail. No urgings to continue education or requests for money. Since John Kennedy was president, I’ve moved a whole bunch of times, and I don’t recall ever contacting any past school – ever – and saying, “here I am. Come get me.”

So I received this letter today from one of my classmates.


No no. That was the draft board. And it wasn’t today.

The letter today was from Nancy E. I remember her as being slight, cute, and popular within a somewhat tight circle. Her invitation was warmly persuasive, and contained more words than we had exchanged in the entire four years spent in class together. This failing at the time was certainly not her fault. It was mine. At the age of 14, I started performing in semi-professional theatre, missed most of my high school activities, and quickly grew to have virtually nothing in common with my classmates.

So why on earth do they want to make friends now?

I avoided going to reunions when I was first out of school. Several of my friends died in Vietnam. I didn’t need reminders. Still don’t.

The letter mentioned two new education buildings named for teachers I knew. Given enough time, it’s amazing how individuals can become so much larger than life. One of the teachers I liked. I would pay money for a statue to be erected in memory of the 2nd teacher. I would insist that this statue be prominently displayed in an area frequented by pigeons – lots and lots and lots of pigeons.

So here’s my question. Should I go? If I decline the invitation, it’s not like I’m avoiding anything traumatic or even important in my life. It’s High School. At the same time, I admit to being apprehensive. Does that mean something? Anything?

Anybody have an opinion or experience to contribute here? I’d appreciate it.

And how was your day?


Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Question

What is your one thing?

What is your one thing?

What is your one thing?

I don’t know.
What is your one thing? Whatisyouronething? I don’t know. Maybe I don’t have one thing.

This came from Julie’s blog – One Lap Around The Sun.

Today I’m reduced to this – commenting on someone else’s blog – someone else’s original thoughts. Not for the first time I’ve done this. Someone else’s material.

If you’ve noticed, please don’t tell me.

Idle thought. Maybe Hemingway had the right idea.

What is your one thing?

I DON’T KNOW! Alright? Lemme alone.

Maybe …

Maybe I’ll know better tomorrow.

Maybe I will.


See … it’s like this. There are those writers who … write through the pain. Ya Know? Someone dies, someone leaves, the writer leaves … something. And then, at that point, there are those writers who will step into the fire, knowing … knowing knowing knowing that … something will be burned away.

And you can say, “Yes, yes. I know people who would do that.”

And whatever it was that burned away was impure, was slag. And in burning away, that which remains in the bottom of the cauldron is pure – only the essence remains. Truth.

How do they know that? How do they know that will happen?

I don’t write through pain. I already know the truth. In order to burn, fire needs fuel, and there’s …

The hanger was empty. He could see that. The windows – those few remaining unbroken – were caked with years of unattended grime. Even the concrete floor was cracked and uneven, powered like an ancient face. Only the remains of an oil leak connoted the possibility that anything had ever occupied this space at all.

Jack Bunny ground the cigarette underfoot as he entered the tomb-like structure. There was a feeling of profound solitude here – the kind of stillness that defines itself in hoary age. The silence screamed.

Walking carefully through the semi-darkness, Jack easily avoided what appeared to be the machined airplane parts covered by now rotting canvas covers. He smiled slightly. If the original intent of these covers had been concealment, it was doubly wasted. Other than one moldy tire, Jack recognized nothing.

Along the rear wall was a long workbench, still littered with paraphernalia. Here was an incongruous coffee cup, delicate, the remains of something now black covering the inside. Here – and there – yellow note pads had aged almost golden, scattered among the rusting and dust covered saws, hammers, screwdrivers, and safety glasses. The impression was that a large number of people had left for lunch one day, and simply failed to return. Jack smiled again. He knew that was exactly what had happened.

About three-quarters of the way along the bench, Jack – almost by accident – came across the object of his search.

The scrapbook had not aged well. The cover was missing, and the clippings on the first page had aged a darker brown than the sandy colored page. Still, the header on the first article was easily readable – “Buck Bunny Rides Again!” Although the accompanying photograph was grainy, Jack easily recognized the glint of eye that matched his own.

The first article interested Jack only slightly. It was dated in late 1938, and consisted of a speech by chancellor Hitler, defending his decision to invade Czechoslovakia, that country considered by Hitler as being a threat to the German peoples. Another article justified the curtailment of certain human rights within Germany, explaining that this was a necessary – and temporary – step to be taken in order to expose the few subversives hidden among the population. Both articles had the support of the Prime Minister of Great Britain, so it must have been okay.

Jack passed over these articles almost unread. Something written in 1938 would have no comparison to events in 2008. And even if an unlikely comparison could be made, the people groups of 2008 United States would be considerably less gullible than the nation of 1938 Germans …

Satisfied, Jack carefully tucked the fragile scrapbook into a large briefcase, and picked his way back toward the opening that had at one time been a door. With luck, he could make it back to town in time to take Nicki to lunch. She had mentioned coming across a flock of sheep on the sidewalk in front of her house. That was something.

What is my one thing?

That was it. Do you see it?