151 Band

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

What's Good for President Bush is Good for President Obama

There is a solid argument for mandatory military service in this country and it is evidenced by the hatred and anger about our President.  Military service would show these miscreants how disrespecting the office of the POTUS is, and always will be, uncalled for and our children are learning from us that it's okay.  

Future generations are learning right here and right now that virtually every form of authority is a bad thing and should be defied and defamed.  It used to be an issue of the far left and some of the borderline anarchist views of life.  But then, America elected a President named "Obama," and it was like an open invitation to be asses.  

Think about this...

Law enforcement is questioned at every turn about their tactics and efforts to stop the bad guys from doing bad things.  There are always going to be a handful of jackasses on the force who do not play by the rules and they should be (and are) dealt with decisively.  Now, children from families on both sided of the aisle have a disdain for the men and women who awaken every day, willing to kill or be killed to make our communities safe.  They do a job that 90% of the population would piss their pants even attempting.  

Teachers are another segment of our population that is disrespected and their authority questioned.  Our children's teachers are the first leaders they experience in a social environment.  The extreme right believes that teachers are overpaid and the rest of the universe feel as though they should be paid a hell of a lot more than they are right now.  After all, they are overseeing the education of a generation of self-important, spoiled, entitled, and petulant little brats on a daily basis.  The kids active up in class are doing so because parents are too bloody lazy to be proactive.  

POTUS.  When "W" was president, the conservatives gnashed their teeth and ran around in sackcloth and ashes when anyone spoke ill of the president; going so far as to call people "unpatriotic" who didn't support the most expensive "war" ever waged by the United States.  When liberals brow beat former president Bush, conservatives and neoconservatives alike lost their damned minds.   Now that we have an African-American, Democrat president, the same hypocrites who bitched about the criticism of President Bush are ripping President Obama to shreds.  Glenn Beck, the talk show host who is most likely certifiably insane, has said that the President was "delusional" or the "dumbest sonofabitch on the planet."  His blatant disrespect of the president of the United States is deplorable and anyone who approves of that kind of rhetoric should not listened to under any circumstance.  As a man who stood a post, I am offended by the people who are offended by the fact our president is black, and liberal.

The defense of the office of the President should apply across the board no matter who is in the Oval Office.  The office itself commands the respect of the American people and I don't give a damn who holds the office.  Conservatives who are bitching about the president now were the same people who wanted to arrest and detain the left for "treasonous acts."  The hypocrisy climbs to such heights these days that even the Space Shuttle couldn't keep up.   

So, the next time you read commentary from someone spewing bile against the POTUS, ask them how they would feel if Reagan or Bush were insulted in the same manner.

We can disagree with a policy platform without being an ass about it.  We can dislike a president's viewpoints but never is it appropriate to disrespect the man personally because to do so is to defile the office itself.

We should know better; and before you accuse me of being a liberal or anything else for that matter because I am defending the office of the POTUS, go stand a post and get back to me. 

Just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Friday, December 04, 2015

We Lost Another Life

Whether it be acts of domestic terrorism or suicide, we are losing far too many of our loved ones.  For some, it's a daily struggle to get out of bed in the morning and function like a normal human being and many of those will choose the "opt-out" path.  Still others self-medicate to cover up the pain and anguish they may be experiencing and the aggregate result is addiction that can, and often does, lead to death.

When I saw the reports about Scott Weiland being found dead in his tour bus, I caught myself screaming at my computer screen.  The flow of expletives were generous and I guess that news coupled with all the other crap news we're seeing was just too much.  When I stopped screaming, I had to hold back tears.  A talented, gifted vocalist whose life was cut short way too damned early.

Scott Weiland (48) was the singer for Stone Temple Pilots and later, Velvet Revolver.  Both were in my top 10 list of bands I enjoy and appreciate.  48 years old, my friends.  48.   He and his new band were scheduled to be in Oklahoma City on the 15th of December.

The reports have not indicated what the cause of Weiland's death may be, yet his struggle with drugs in the past has been well documented.  We lost another one, friends.  A talented musician, excellent front man, and broken human being.  He was broken ust like the rest of us, but his brokenness manifested itself in a very public way.  

My advice is to take some time today to just love, to simply be at peace and share that peace with those within your sphere of influence.  We live in a world where conflict is part of our daily diet and it's an all-you-can eat buffet.  We aren't guaranteed any set time on this planet which means that every second is as precious as the previous.  Some will argue, "Gee, Ron, he was just a singer."


Scott Weiland was someone's friend.  He was loved by his wife.  He was a son to his parents.  He was all of those things and more just as you reading this right now are to those around you.  Are you "just an electrician?"  Are you "just a pastor?"  Are you "just a stay-at-home mom?"  Get the point?   We are far more than our station in life, the amount of cash in our banking account, more than where we live or what we drive (or don't drive), we are more than the rice cooking on the stove, and you are more than what you think you see in the mirror.  You are loved, you are valued, you are important, and you are created in the Imago Dei - the image of God.

I used to be one of those "if it was drugs, he probably got what he deserved" conservatives, but that thinking is what makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer.  Someday, I hope you come to the realization as I have that every living, breathing human being has value and should be treated as such.  Except pedophiles and terrorist; they deserve to die.

Scott Weiland's death sucks.  Losing anyone for whom we care sucks.  Death sucks.  

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong.  Wait.  Nope.  I'm not wrong.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Let the Carnage Begin

Going back to the first Thanksgiving I can recall, the atmosphere was festive and vibrant with a lot of turkey zombies walking around, drooling on themselves until they got fed.  In the background you could hear the announcers on television giving play-by-play of the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins football game.  My little brother would be hanging out in the kitchen with mom and whomever else was helping out in the kitchen.  It was one of the coveted locations in the house because mom always let us sneak a taste or two.

Dinner itself always started out orderly and pleasant, but about the time folks were ready for seconds, the carnage had begun to take shape.  Slowly but surely, the warm turkey began to do its magic and some would get sleepy.  Now, where I'm from, you can't eat if you're asleep so the struggle to stay awake was real; as was the grouchiness.  Mom could sense it rising and she put a stop to it because on Thanksgiving Day, she was the last one you wanted to anger.  After all, she may not let us have pie.  And we have to have pie.

I suppose what I miss the most is how close we all seemed to feel on that one day.  It was about giving thanks and celebrating the family and how far we'd come over the previous year.  My son Matt and oldest daughter, Heather were always a hoot to have around during the holiday.  When my youngest son, Mason, and my youngest daughter, Madison, were baptized into the Gluttony Family, we had it down to a science and timing was everything.  Now, we're all spread out across the doggone country and it stinks.  My oldest has his own family now; starting his own traditions with his wife Kristina and my grandson, Rylan.  

I remember the carnage like yesterday and one time being freaked out over what the turkey looked like when it was stripped of its yummy meat.  It was a skeleton and I remember saying, "What the hell is that?"  

After I had my mouth washed out with soap, my mother explained the process in detail.  I think I can still taste that soap.

The devouring of food is particularly delightful, however, it pales in comparison to the memories made and the experience of family.  Though my memory continues to give me fits, the feeling of love and passion permeates the fabric of my being.  I hope that is the case for you too.  Take a look around today while you're eating and just watch everyone.  Soak it up and let it overcome you.  Food will come and go, but memories of life are eternal.

Of course, that's just my gluttonous opinion and I could be wrong...but I seriously doubt it.

Your Thanksgiving Gorilla

Monday, November 23, 2015

We Took A Wrong Turn

I can remember back in my Navy days when a handful of my shipmates and I would hop in the car and just drive.  One summer morning, we decided that driving from San Diego to Yuma, Arizona would be a lot of fun and we would see some sights along the way.  We didn't really plan too far in advance, you see, because we were driving in a 1972 Camaro with no air conditioning.  We did, however, manage to pack an ice chest with ice and soft drinks.  About a third into the drive, we were using the ice on our heads.

Did you know that between San Diego and Yuma, there really isn't much at the temperatures can get over 110 degrees?  We didn't either, but we know now.

There was a stretch just before Yuma where there were signs for a lake and we were so hot, all we could think about was jumping into the lake to cool off.  We took a road where the sign said the lake was supposed to be and it became very clear very shortly that the Camaro was just not designed to handle rough, rocky, and sandy roads.  Finally, we could see the lake and let loose with a roar of approval and excitement.  We were able to drive right down to the small, rock-surrounded beach and that was what we did exactly.  My friend shut off the car and left his wallet and keys behind and ran to the lake and jumped in; yelling with joy the whole way.

I opened my passenger door and put my foot in the sand and that is when I saw it.  

Right under my feet was a shed snake skin that was the size of a Buick.  I was frozen and my mind immediately considered that there is a possibility that a snake that large could very well be hanging around, waiting to make me its dinner.  Then, I realized that the weather was super hot but snakes need water too, so there were probably snakes IN the water with my friend.  I screamed out some extremely colorful and descriptive expletives which drew the attention of my friend who ran up the beach, certain that I was having some sort of mental breakdown.

I explained to him the eminent threat we were under and it was time to go do DEFCON 2.  

He reached down and picked up the snake skin and I noticed that it wasn't quite as big as I thought it was.  He laughed, I didn't.

As we tried to leave we realized that we could not because the car was, you guessed it, stuck in the sand.  Fortunately for us, a park ranger lady came by and broke protocol and helped us get out of that dire mess.  She got back into her truck and smiled at us and said, "I think you boys took a wrong turn because the beach with parking is about 1/2 of a mile east of us."

We eventually made it to Yuma, and found nothing there so we drove on to Phoenix.  And no; no more wrong turns.

There were times on that trip when we was sure that we wouldn't make it and were going to have to go full commando to survive because we didn't have a map and they didn't have GPS readily available then.  Somehow we made it.  There are many who would call it Divine providence, while others would call it dumb luck; it was a warning shot over our bow, I think.  It was the Creator telling us that the events of that day were symbolic of many days like that in the future.  My friend seemed to be paying attention more than I was because I keep on making wrong turns.  Even so, I still seem to make it back on track.  

I've gone through some changes in my life and some of them were phenomenal while others scared the crap out of me.  Even in the midst of changes or revelations and lessons learned, there will always be skeptics who will try to devalue what you're experiencing and wrestling with.  If we remain vigilant however, the naysayers will be silenced and left only to question whether or not they should be experiencing something similar themselves.  

Of course, that is just my opinion and I hope I'm wrong.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Silly Putty Brain

Something snapped in my pea brain after I turned 51.  Everything had a renewed sense of urgency because I was once again coming face to face with the reality of my mortality.  I'll be honest with you; it sucked and still sucks.  Perhaps you have found yourself in a similar situation.  Maybe you had a couple near-death experiences that left you with the same type of Silly Putty Brain (SPB) as I have.  The brain ceases to function normally and everything is urgent, every circumstance requires immediate attention and then seconds later, you're all, "Ooh, look at that shiny thing."  

I know I'm not alone because there are plenty of traces left behind from fellow SPB sufferers on social media like Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.  There are the left SPBs and the right SPBs.  There is still a large contingent of American voters who still seem to think that President Obama is running again in 2016.  He's not.  Let me open your eyes for a moment:

Polling data shows that there is a strong dislike of President Obama among conservative and Republican voters.  The GOP candidates want to garner that vote so what do they do?  They target the POTUS with ridiculous accusations and attacks.  The sad thing is that their campaign consultants know for a fact that it's going to work and thus the little sheep are led astray while ignoring the truth of what each of the candidates represent themselves.  It's as though whichever GOP candidate gets the biggest "gotcha" moment gets the most votes - AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

I've been criticized in the past for my criticism of criticism of the POTUS just for the sake of criticism.  (Wrap your head around that one.)  I don't really give a hoot because he is still the POTUS and is deserving of the respect that office commands.  If it bothers you and gets your rebel flag panties in a bunch, take two aspirin for headaches, Midol for any cramps.  You've been duped and frankly, you probably shouldn't be allowed to vote anyway.  
On the other side of the spectrum, it's almost as though the Democrats are constantly on the search for the least popular issue to be their cause célèbre'.  Yes, there are certainly Syrian refugees who deserve to be here and the GOP has gotten it all wrong.  No doubt that innocent children and families are in need of sanctuary.  But  look, there are a lot of folks who call themselves "refugees" who are just ass hat terrorists taking advantage of our kindness.  We have to find a method to process these refugees and determine whether or not they are the good guys or the bad guys, and I acknowledge that it won't be easy.  But the rhetoric makes the Democrats look like a bunch of do-gooder whiny bitches.  

At least that's how my SPB sees things right now.  At a time when we need to be working together to ensure our nation's safety, we're too busy either trying to prove who is the most "Christian," or pretending like a term-limited President is the AntiChrist.  Poppycock.  Just stop it and think rationally and reasonable for just a couple hours.  This is and always has been a great nation but we're turning into a bunch of petulant children.

Of course, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We Are Losing It

Scan the news today, particularly that being pushed on social media.  I dare you.  The stories of doom and gloom and horrific events are a little overwhelming.  Actually, they are a lot overwhelming.  It seems as though we are consumed by negativity, surrounded by blight, and yet we miraculously survive.  The panic, the chaos, and the level of hyperbole has reached epic proportions and I decided to write down a few notes about what I've seen today (and over the last few days) to share with you.

Pakistan, Mexico:  Yes, the SHTF in those two countries as a result of natural disasters.  Tragic as all hell, no one can applaud when horrific things like that take place, to be sure.  Churches are falling all over themselves to pray and try to find some kind of help for the people of Mexico as well as the people of Pakistan.  Let's think about this rationally for a moment, shall we?  Pakistan is a nuclear-capable nation who has been tinkling on the boots of India (another nuclear power) for a long time now and it isn't getting any better and the puddle is getting larger.  Oh, and by the way...Pakistan is where we found, shot, and killed Osama Bin Laden.  How have we forgotten this? Our government stopped asking questions once his life was terminated, but these questions about why the Pakistani government didn't nail his ass a long time prior befuddles those of us who are still awake.

And then there's Mexico with their cartel-run establishment who has the potential to be an energy producing behemoth, but have instead decided that drugs and human trafficking is the way to grow their GDP.    Sure, we're supposed to pray, but I suggest that we be careful what and whom we pray for because it could come back and bite us.

And speaking of praying and perhaps meeting need, has anyone taken a look at what is happening with the poor in Oklahoma City?  We are furious about how foreign governments treat their citizens while we are doing the very same damned thing to our citizens.  Whether it be the anti-panhandling propaganda or the loss of affordable housing, we have some explaining to do.

President Obama:  The GOP seems to forget that he is term-limited and won't be on the ticket in 2016.  What is happening is that the pollsters still see the President as a hot button issue among the GOP faithful, so the consultants for this band of blathering boobs attack the President as though he was their primary competitor.  I'm serious, folks.  This is exactly what they are doing!  They look at the polling numbers just like any product marketing professional would and  create a message predicated on what the numbers show the constituency to prefer.

Simply put:  They are using information you provide to sell you a product (candidate) you have said that you want. They are packaging dog feces and telling you its caviar.

I think it was John Calvin who said, "The demons whisper in the ears of the false prophets and they repeat every word of it."  And the elitist within the GOP apparatus wonders why Trump is polling so well?  He appears to be a real person whereas the others are thought of as demagogues with a teleprompter.   It's agonizing to watch and even more pathetic to be a part of it all.  They are marketers of a message; trying to convince you that they are better than the next one, but they are just marketing professionals.  Bill Hicks said it best:

We have become so blind to the falsehoods of the messages we receive that we are really starting to lose our grasp of reality.  A huge percentage of the Evangelical community lost their damned minds over John Hagee and his bullsh*t "Blood Moon" hype.  It makes you want to cuss it's so ludicrous.

Wake up, friends.  We have people in this country with little to eat, fear of losing their shelter, and that's stress that most of the propagandists cannot understand.  Most of them have lived sheltered, entitled lives but they have the audacity to bitch and moan and cover themselves in sack cloth and ashes about welfare;  this while their corporations, their businesses are receiving corporate welfare.  Of course, it has more to do with favors to campaign contributors, but that's a whole different story.

These are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Polishing the Brass On the Titanic

I didn't watch any of the debates, nor will I.  Sitting back and observing the shenanigans put on by supporters of this campaign or that campaign is entertainment enough.  Old school terms like "socialist" or "fascist" are being tossed about like bread crumbs at a duck pond.  The supporters eat each other alive while the candidates and their consultants ride along in their luxury bus, enjoying air conditioning and not being troubled to get their hands dirty.  Sadly, this isn't the first election cycle to see such mayhem.

There have been vitriolic campaigns in the past on a state, local, as well as federal level that have been nothing short of blood baths.  The John Kerry Swift Boat attacks, previous Congressional races where the big question of the day was, "Are you now or have you ever been a Democrat?" Of course, there was the now famous Willie Horton attack ad campaign, and now, negative robocalls have replaced door hangers largely.  

The truly sad thing about it all is that this fighting, bickering, attacking, and abuse are doing nothing but feeding the flames of the militants on either side of the aisle while the Average Joe is opting out of the "gotcha game."  If we don't get our shite together, we're headed for disaster.  In other words, we're polishing the brass on the Titanic as it's going down.

One would think that in this day and age, common sense could be included in the process, but unfortunately, it is as elusive as Bigfoot.  Here are some common sense answers to questions that I think could be easily adopted and solve a whole lot of problems.

1.  School Nutrition:  This should be a no-brainer, kids.  Children are going to school hungry and in this great country, that shite just doesn't need to happen.  Yes, it costs taxpayer dollars but since we're a "nation founded on Christian principles," makes sense that our charity would extend to feeding children.

2.  Environment:  What in the hell is wrong with us?  We have scientific evidence that humans are jacking up the planet - like the deal with the rubbish island floating around in the Pacific Ocean.  That's just ate up with stupid and we should be doing something about our end of the madness.  We are messing with entire ecosystems and that is wrong no matter how you slice it.  Unless you're Rush Limbaugh or Shawn Hannity and produce more methane than a 5,000 head cattle ranch.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
3.  Guns:  I believe that the Heller decision was the right decision and yes, I'm a beastly 2nd Amendment supporter.  There are some things that need to be fixed, however.  We need to make sure that parents who own firearms are held responsible if their children access those firearms and cause bodily injury or death.  Common sense, people.  Yes, concealed carry permits should be issued for college students who meet the already stringent requirements (you gun-grabbers forget that you have to be 21 to even own a handgun).  

4.  Welfare Reform:  Those receiving government welfare should be means-tested to ensure that it is warranted even though 90% of the time, it's not.  We have created a generation or two of dependency on the government teat to gain sustenance and it's wrong.  And that's just the oil and gas industry.  (See what I did there?)  You see, my friends, the oil and gas industry have these little associations that are created to lobby for bills that benefit the oil and gas industry.  Most of the time, it's to eliminate taxes as much as possible for them.  They hire these "legislative liaisons" who are little more than brothel employees, deciding which candidate gets the "VIP treatment" while fundraising for elections.  Meanwhile, the poorest among us are struggling and oil and gas CEO's are struggling to decide what Bentley they will drive any particular day.  It's common sense, people.  If a company posts profits, they don't need corporate welfare and an argument can be made that no company should be receiving government hand outs.

Those are just four ideas upon which maybe, just maybe we can agree upon.  Both sides of the aisle need to shut the vitriol down and start providing solutions.

Of course, it's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.  

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Oklaboro Baptist Legislature

I remember when I was on WKY and interviewed the daughter of the now deceased Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist.  She was just as tenacious as her father, except I thought her to be a bit louder than he.  Her arguments had been well planned and structured in such a way that they sounded as though she had gone through them countless times before and they were just something she had drilled into her head.  She was angry when I confronted some of her interpretations of Scripture to the point where she eventually hung up and ended the interview.   

She expressed their belief that God pretty much hated everyone except themselves and they just weren't going to be shy about it.  This morning, I was remembering that interview while reading an announcement from an elected official who is going to be doing some work with a Presidential candidate, and I have to say that it didn't surprise me at all.  It's the way of politics in Oklahoma.  In which the Legislature is looking more and more like "Oklaboro Baptist Church."

Think about it:

1.  Westboro Baptist hates alternative lifestyles and the legislature tried their hardest to show their true colors in opposition.  

2.  The Oklahoma legislature wants to force the conventional religious preference down everyone's throat and will do so by any means necessary - including wasting taxpayer funds to defend having that 10 Commandments monument.  Westboro Baptist communicates their message to proselytize, though they are just about as successful as the legislature in gaining converts.

3.  Both the Oklahoma legislature as well as Westboro have either an outspoken (Westboro) or clandestine (Oklaboro) legislative-church-of-we're-better-than-you dominion theological twist to them.  Oh sure, they'll argue that they want a theocratic government, but if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it's probably a duck.  .

Now, tell me - what does it look like to you?  What does it sound like to you?  What does it act like to you?

I am a believer as well, and the doctrinal constructs of these people eludes me.  When I write a blog such as this one, there is always blow back from Doctrinal Delberts who have IQs barely above room temperature and think that since they watch John Hagee (who has been hyping up and raking in the cash from his "the sky is falling," convoluted douchebaggery), they are Biblical scholars.  My faith is called into question by these folks and it only serves to prove my point about them.  

They are mean-spirited, haters.

I am a Calvinist with a Lutheran view of the sacraments, I affirm the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds,  I am a preterist, I abhor televangelists, and I am the Chief of all sinners.  Period.  So, if you want to argue doctrinal validity, we can do so.

For some reason, we in Oklaboro continue to elect zealot Pharisees who wouldn't know the Constitution (or Scripture) if it jumped up and bit them on the rear-end.  Do I sound like a hater?  I hope not, but I can understand why one may think that.  

Those were just my opinions and I could be wrong - but I seriously doubt it.

Your Fuzzy Ape


Friday, September 25, 2015

Kick That Dog!

"He was a quiet man, friendly of course, but not one who had mastered the art of conversation.  To look at him, one would think that he was just another middle-aged white guy with questionable fashion sense.  His mannerisms and body language was always downtrodden.  He avoided eye contact, he spoke in low, soft tones that were both soothing and unsettling.  He lived alone, though his attempts at marriage resulted in complete failure, and he had gotten comfortable with his routine.  He really only had one source of irritation and it was from a coworker.

There are bullies in the workplace and he hated them.  He had spent his childhood at the hands of these brute beasts - coming home from school with his clothes ripped or stolen, his face scratched or bruised, and sometimes missing homework.  When he would return home, he had to face his father who would in turn beat him severely for being picked on.  All of these events would lead to one tragic day.

The workers were on a break where they often went to enjoy some sunshine, the rooftop of the 5-story brick building in the industrial district of the city.  The bully was there and he was again in his top form.  Laughing, poking, and being commanding, controlling.  He was standing close to the edge of the barrier on the rooftop when the bully said something about bedding his mother.  He grabbed the bully and held him in his arms in a bear hug and walked backwards.

When the two of them hit the ground, the sound of bones crushing and breaking echoed off of the other buildings.  Their demise had drawn the attention of neighboring workers who came out to see what had happened.   He had reached a boiling point, the emotional point of no return where self-harm and destruction were merely a means to an end.

It's how many of us live our lives today."  ~ 'Killing Me Softly,' Ron "Gorilla" Black

My mother used to tell me in her marvelously country accent, "Butch, if you kick a dog often enough, eventually that dog is gonna bite ya."  It's a lesson that I've had to learn the hard way throughout my days on this big blue ball.  It's a reality of the human pathos that is virtually unavoidable, regardless of how faith-filled a person may be or even how gentle and sweet an individual may appear.  There comes a saturation point with each of us that pushes us over the edge and we're willing to go down with the ship just to ensure that the kicking stops.

Most recently, this saying was put into practice when the Oklahoma GOP decided to elect a ultra-conservative to chair the party.  People within the party had heard for many years how the grassroots efforts, the development of candidates, and affiliation with the various Chambers of Commerce were going swimmingly - and they were.  The problem is that the core of the GOP is not a fan of the Chamber's agenda at some points.  Apparently, these points are so sharp that it's worth breaking fellowship.

That is what happened when former State Senator Randy Brogdon was elected as chair.  In many ways, the "group think" was most likely punishment for the many years of centrist ideologies and the disdain of the party apparatus who treated the conservatives in the party as dirt on their $695 Salvatore Ferragamo dress shoes.  The Chamber crowd got bit and now, the party has suffered as a result.  There's no need to go over the multitude of mishaps with Brogdon at the helm, but in a way, the party sacrificed itself to get a point across.

How this all pans out is anyone's guess.  

This is just an opinion and I could be wrong.  But I'm not.

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Right Now

What are you doing this very second?  What is consuming your mind?  Other than reading this blog, is there something that is bouncing around in your mind (or your heart) that needs to be dealt with?

Those are some of the questions I found myself asking after revisiting a Van Halen video from days gone by.  Music itself is designed to stimulate your mind and take you to another place - that is what happened to me.  I watched the video and really paid attention to what was written on the screen.  The goes through a series of scenes with various backgrounds while placing text over the picture.  The writings are sayings that complete the first two words - "Right now," just as the title of the song implies.  

Here are a few of the "Right Now" phrases that piqued my interest:

Right now:

1.  Justice is being perverted in a court of law.
Of course it is.  We live in a fallen world with fallen critters trying to run the show.  Justice today is a far cry from either the Biblical meaning or the intentions of this country's founders.  Do yourself a favor next time you have time off during the day - go the the County Courthouse and spend some time in the gallery of family court proceedings.  It's a mess and you too will walk out of there saying, "justice is being perverted in a court of law."

2.  Blacks and whites don't eat together much.
That statement offered up to us in the 1990s rings true today.  There are racists who exist on both ends of the spectrum but that's truly not representative of our culture as a whole.  In order to really communicate, to provide solutions for difficult situations, we need to be able to just sit down and express our feelings without fear of judgment or presupposed notions.  Breaking bread is a great way to do that.  

3.  Guilt is tearing someone inside out.
Whether it be religious constructs or environmental issues, guilt is a killer.  Guilt turns to angst, which turns to anxiety, which turns to physical ailments, and possibly even to death.  Today, the mainstream of the Christian community finds itself one either end of the spectrum.  Either they are "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," or they are in the fire and brimstone fear-mongering churches.  The aggregate result of either extreme is guilt and shame.  Today, more and more people are looking for answers and they are taking those questions elsewhere because they don't take the Church seriously because today, the Church isn't serious.

4.  There is a bomb factory hard at work.
True story.  War is big business and as a Navy Veteran, I am rather partial to the Department of Defense.  The situation is dire, though, isn't it?  There are wars and propaganda all around us that no longer takes into consideration the frailty of the human condition and masks it with a jet fighter.  The military industrial complex is alive and well and thriving.  The veterans, however, are committing suicide, becoming homeless, suffering from emotional issues that no one can truly understand unless they have been there, and they are morbidly underpaid.  

5.  Oil companies and old men are in control.
If there were ever any doubt to this revelation, just look at the members of Congress who have been there for longer than some of us have been alive and they have been propped up with cash from big oil, big coal, big whatever.  Their messages finely crafted by the best orators in the world, and their tanks full of fuel, they are often told what to say and how to say it with the purpose of getting their agendas passed.  A man gets arrested for an ounce of marijuana and spends a decade in prison, an oil company spills millions of gallons of crud into the ocean and the CEO gets invited to Presidential dinners.  Do the math, friends, and wake the hell up.

6.  Nothing is more expensive than regret.
We have all done things or experienced things that we regret and it becomes seared into our existence, influencing everything we do and say.  In time, the regret will eat at us, cause us to question our judgment, and more importantly, could cost us our very lives.  I know that my life is filled with regrets and it has cost me pieces of my soul.

7.  Science is building a better tomato.
Genetically modified foods may be effective for producing massive quantities of fruit and vegetables, but that doesn't mean it's any better for us.  In fact, some can be dangerous.

8.  People are working to hard for minimum wage.
Nothing could be more truthful.  My brethren on the right often complain of the laziness of the lower classes and those who receive government assistance, but the truth is that it's what we have created or ourselves, isn't it?  Corporate America has sacrificed the availability of American-made products at the altar of profit-centers.  Profits are good, but what profit it a man that he gain the whole world and lose his very soul?  Imagine that you have only $500 per month upon which to live.  Find an apartment, budget food, budget electric bills (the average for even a small one-bedroom apartment averages $70/mo), and of course, transportation to and from work.  Can't do it, can you?  Think about that the next time you start bitching about the minimum wage being raised - and how about Congressional pay?  They automatically get a pay raise every time federal workers get raises, yet you're not bitching about that...

Again, I ask you:  What is going on in your life at this moment?  Are there family members you need to contact?  Have you told your children that you love them and are proud of them?  Have you decisions in your future that if made incorrectly, you'll regret them for the rest of your life?

We're the greatest country in the world and trust me, I've seen other countries that are hell holes.  We have an opportunity to create real community with one another, we just have to do it.

Of course, I could be wrong but I seriously doubt it.

Ron "Gorilla" Black

And here's the Van Halen video...

Friday, August 14, 2015

RIP Reid

Sometimes I look around me and see some of the most wonderful, joyful people being taken from us while bottom-feeding piles of human stink go on stinking.  It is frustrating, infuriating, even.  When I saw the reports that Reid Mullins had passed, it was both saddening and maddening.  He was a spectacularly kind and generous man, whose heart was filled with compassion and love.

Red Mullins was a good guy - one of the "white hat brigade," and though I didn't agree with him on some issues, he was always respectful and made one feel guilty for disagreeing with him.

It was one thing when he was gone from the airwaves at KTOK for reasons that only God himself knows, but to have him called home?   I want to just go outside and scream at the top of my lungs, "Why?!?!?!"  It's not fair.  It just isn't right.  I'm being honest with you all.  I am angry, confused, and I seriously disagree with God's choice where Reid is concerned.  I know all of the Scriptures that talk about loss, that tell us that His ways are mysterious, that we have to be patient and trust.  I know, in theory, those are all true.  But back here on planet earth, I don't get it and it really pisses me off.  Some of us deserve to be taken out of the game, but Reid?  Heavens, no. 

As petulant as I may seem to you, I understand if you frown upon my response to Reid's passing.  I've just reached a saturation point of seeing so many of the good guys taken from us, leaving the remnants of mouth-breathing creodonts to dwell among us.

May your thoughts and prayers be extended to the Mullins family today and every day. 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Jesus Loves You (Everyone Else Thinks You're An Ass)

At very heart of most religious expressions is the desire to forgive, love, and live at peace with one another.  Sadly, it's the ones who preach the loudest that I find horribly difficult to tolerate.  These Christian Dominionist windbags are constantly bemoaning the fear that we may "lose our country" or "allow the Godless, heathen hordes of liberals" take over our nation.  It's a classic fear tactic that sadly works on the already deceived - even though most of us recognize it as a recurring theme from the Music Man.

There's trouble in river city!


They are peddling a brand of "Christianity" that is bordering on the heretical because it is based on fear, the concept of human potential to usher in the second coming - all that's needed is to create a theocratic environment and Jesus will magically show up and send all of them "liberulls" to hell and the only people to be saved and have dominion over the earth are the ones who believe that Ronald Reagan was some kind of a prophet and that Obama is the Anti-Christ.  They stir up trouble, they propagate fear, and what is truly heartbreaking is that so many people actually believe their tripe.

There's trouble in river city! 

They are "whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones" and "broods of vipers."  They maintain a cloak of godliness, but underneath, they too have a demon inside.  They all have skeletons in their closets but they think that they can hide it from the rest of us.  They think that we don't notice the flaws in their humanity and that they closely resemble our own.  This group of hypocrites are the most dangerous since the dawn of the Christian faith.  And we have been warned about them. 

One ass hat was talking about ways to ignore the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage (better not read Romans 13 - actually, just rip those pages out of your Bible) and let the states decide what they want because, apparently, gay marriage is destroying traditional marriage and the SCOTUS can't interpret the Constitution as well as a few whipper-snappers in the Legislature.

This same dominionist is married to someone who had children before he and his wife got married.  Let's see what Jesus had to say about that in Matthew 5:32...

But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  ~ NASB
Game.  Set.  Match.
Of course, this is just an opinion and I could be wrong, but I truly doubt it.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

And the TRUMPet Sounded

I had an interesting conversation with my son today.  It was really nice to catch up, discuss some of the happenings in our lives and even a little politics.  He asked me what I thought of Donald Trump as a ladder climbing POTUS candidate for the GOP.  My initial thought was that Trump was little more than a blowhard voice screeching in the wind and will get creamed by the Bush money.  But watching some of the news stories and the comics about Trump have made me think a little more seriously at the whole mess.

First, let's consider some irrefutable facts:

  • GOP is scandal-ridden.  Just look at Oklahoma and the party pissing contests that have gone on of late.  Former State Senator, former Gubernatorial candidate, former U.S. Senate candidate and present chairman of the state GOP, Randy Brogdon was elected and it wasn't a week before he was stirring the feces and now, the party reeks from the stench of it.  
  • The GOP doesn't like its choices.  They wanted a hardcore, line in the sand cat for leadership, and now they are whining about his leadership?  A leopard cannot change his spots and Brogdon is a special breed of leopard who couldn't give a rats ass what anyone thinks of him.  That's what he was elected for, remember?
  • Donald Trump is a very wealthy man, and though he has filed bankruptcy more than once, he always lands on his feet.  It's hypocritical for anyone to chastise him for that (particularly in the GOP) because when you think about it, under the GOP leadership, we have spent trillions of dollars on a never-ending war on whatever the hell is over on the other side of the pond.
  • Trump is saying out loud what the GOP used to have as a bloody platform.  The GOP used to be the party of legal immigration and hatred of illegal immigration.  Suddenly, the GOP wants to court the ILLEGAL immigrant vote?  Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican. 
  • If the GOP puts up another Bush against Hillary Clinton, he will get his ass kicked like a Klansman at a Black Panther rally.  And justifiably so.  With the GOP abandoning its roots of reasoned approaches to issues of immigration (an 80 percentile issue, by the way) and surrendering to big oil and gas producers whose subcontractors hire illegals.  But that's another topic altogether.  
The Trump whom we all wish would run for POTUS.
But Donald Trump is a target.  Stupid, stupid move on the part of the GOP.  It's so ridiculous for the GOP to cut off its nose to spite its face in this manner.  But let me tell you some insider information:  The hits most likely are not coming from the candidates themselves, but rather their slime-slinging consultants who become intoxicated with the nectar of their own vitriol.  It's mess at that level and if you think otherwise, you're a damned fool.  The GOP will eat their wounded faster than any other critter on the planet.  Greed, avarice, and the hunger for power is transcendent at the POTUS level.  Sad, but true.

To truly answer my son's inquiry, my summation is that Trump is good for the GOP.  He is separating the Shiite Republicans from the Neo-Cons and taking advantage of the bump in the poll numbers even though he's under enemy fire.  If he can keep himself in a positive light in the media, maintain a cool head, and get an image consultant, he very well could be the one to take on Hillary.  But then again, none of the choices right now are very appealing.  

They all look like monkeys trying to make love to a football.

This is my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Waitin' On the World to Change

The world isn't a horrible place.  This country is not the throne room of the AntiChrist.  President Obama isn't deliberately scheming to remove freedoms.  The GOP is not a blood-sucking, money-hungry coven of sick bastards who would kill their mothers for a buck.  Conversely, neither are the Democrats.

One of the reasons there seems to be widespread mania is that the paid media wants that to happen.  As a rule, insanity sells and the crazier things become, the greater the opportunity to exploit and and increase the crazy quotient by hyping it up for ratings.  As human beings, we are created with an innate desire to find an antagonist to the story of our life.  We want to find the "boogeyman" and point out to the world that he is, in fact, the boogeyman.

Meanwhile, the management at radio stations and televisions see their numbers go up as does their salaries.  They make the decision to streamline even further to increase their bottom line - they replace talent with marginal talent and the aggregate result is hyperbole pouring from the mouths of the uninformed into the ears of the easily influenced population.

I've written about this before.

Inaction doesn't work.  Action works.  The song, "Waitin' On the World to Change" is a happy feeling song, but the lyrics are wickedly intense and describes a much darker reality than what appears on the surface.  Dig deeper and you'll see.

We can't change the world sitting on our asses waiting for someone else to do it.  Become active either overtly or covertly.  Inform others without being a dick bag about it and becoming one of those "sky is falling" idiots we are protecting ourselves from.

To be the solution, we have to do something, and typically it starts at home.  It's up to you.  Do you want to wait for the world around you to change or do you want to be the change?


Friday, July 03, 2015

Independence Day Weekend Shenanigans

I can remember a time when we took the kids camping or out to do some outdoor activity during Independence Day Weekend.  In the beginning, it was a great release, a respite from our madness to just soak up the outdoors and celebrate our independence, well, independently.  Things began to change, however.  More and more people came out to the lakes, an increasing number of partiers began to litter the state parks.  I can recall one time when I almost got into a physical altercation with some mouth-breathing, Natural Lite-drinking, wife beater shirt-wearing, troglodyte who was certain that everyone in the state park wanted to hear his obnoxiously loud rap music from his boat's sound system. I asked him nicely to turn it down just a bit to which he responded with some slurred gibberish followed by him spitting on the ground dangerously close to me.

He turned down the volume.

That was really the end of it though.  It had become too much of a hassle dealing with all the drunk buffoons and their angry little offspring during the holiday weekends.  Camping was fine, but not during the holidays.  Law enforcement has their hands full on the holidays at the lakes, and I don't envy them one damned bit.

There are, of course, the city-sponsored shindigs wherein you pay for parking, you fight the hipsters and the soccer moms to get comfortable, and of course, it's mandatory that you hear all about their friend who just had breast implants and Botox, and how they too are considering the procedures.  God, help us.

Now, Independence Day has become more contemplative for me.  My band, Signal 8, is playing a private gig this weekend and that will be fun.  But it is an intimate affair and already I'm anxious about the traffic that will no doubt end up being problematic.  Even with all of the idiots out there, I love Independence Day.  It is when we celebrate our break from tyranny, and the birth of something completely different.

I suppose that freedom means that the goofballs mentioned previously have a right to be goofballs.  It's part of this experiment in self-government we find ourselves creating.  They probably shouldn't get on my nerves as they do, and it's something I need to work through - I'll get to that AFTER the holiday weekend.

From me to you, have a safe and sane Independence Day.  Party your all-American asses off, but do NOT drink and drive.


Thursday, July 02, 2015

They Got It All Wrong

I found myself deep in thought today, thinking about some of the things my parents taught me, some of the things our communities preach to us and swear are true, and even some of the things my pastor from junior high school taught me.  To a person, they all got something wrong along the way.  I thought that I would share these with you and perhaps you would agree with me.

First, there is a very popular restaurant in the central area of Oklahoma City that is the "hip and happening" place for all of the go-getters to be seen.  The place gets marvelous reviews as some of the best Mexican food around.  Well, they lied.  The food is an odd combination of Mexican cuisine and hipster sauces made from stuff none of us have heard of before.  The presentation of the meals is good, is suppose, if you don't mind eating something that looked like Picasso puked on your plate.   The colors are pretty, I suppose.  And it's expensive too.

Second, I remember my pastor when I was a kid who used to preach the virtues of marriage, extolling the great many benefits of a monogamous relationship and how God really digs it when we stay married for a very, very long time to someone we have grown to not like being around.  He would talk about how important the sanctity of marriage was and how divorce was of the devil.  He didn't really feel that way after diddling the church secretary though.  Maybe God changed his mind?  Well, he got it all wrong.  Marriage is a tough racket and for those reading this who have stuck it out decade after decade, I tip my hat to you.

Third, my parents always told me that country music was the best to listen to.  That was just wrong of them to do.  There is so much more music out there than just country music - which has its virtues, but to compare Don Giovanni with Red Solo Cup is a bit of a stretch.  I don't think it was very nice of them to do that to me.  They were SO wrong.

Fourth, I remember Pat Robertson saying that God would destroy Orlando because of the gay pride day at Disney World.  He got that all wrong, didn't he?  Then there was the whole Oral Roberts extortion gig of $5 million or something.  He too was wrong.  I've come to the conclusion that televangelists are a bad idea as a general rule.

Fifth, at my last birthday, I turned 50.  My friends told me that it would only get easier from there.  They were totally wrong.  It hasn't been easier, it has been a larger pain in the ass than I imagined.  Getting old sucks.  I am a 30 year-old trapped in a 50 year-old body and there is nothing whatsoever I can do about it.

Lastly, people who are on a sugar-free diet told me that sugar-free ice cream tastes like the real thing.  They lied.  It doesn't.  And the sweeteners used in it have the same effect on the digestive system as Liquid Plummer.  But then again, it's better than not having sweets.  I just eat it on the commode to save myself the trip.

Well, there you have it.  Your Thursday thoughts.  Hope you've been entertained.