Tag Archives: Hot Spring Honeymoon

Showgirls

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From Australia with Kate Wright Dynamite… Best Showgirl the other side of Hawaii

If you are in the juggling game you find that each phase of life is building toward the next phase. Hopefully the next phase begins before the present phase ends.

We try not to be phased by any of this. Instead we try and stay ahead of the changes and welcome the next phase while trying not to be caught clinging to the previous phase.

While you are in the thrall of your youth most of this counts for nothing. You are too into the launch phase. You hardly notice that ahead will be a labyrinth of complex choices to navigate on your journey up then down and finally out… also known as the final phase.

In one phase we go indoors. In certain venues we are dealing with cigarette smoke, scantily clad showgirls and magicians that like to drink whiskey after shows in the cheapest saloon they can find.

The showgirls and want-to-be boyfriends tag along every night. Cheap whiskey, road weary magicians and showgirls are a jugglers fringe benefits.

Jugglers pound out decades of work. By the time we are near done we are like Fuller Brush salesmen; we’ve almost knocked on every door in every town.

Showgirls are like meteors. They get a contract, tour with Ringling for a year, pick up a second season at a theme park cast as eye candy in the killer whale show, and if they are really lucky end up in Las Vegas closing in on the end of their careers in one of the cirque du soleil shows.

You get to thirty and you are top dog in the chorus. Those slender hips are looking voluptuous by now. You’ve been glueing eyelashes, blowing kisses and winking at the curtain calls so long you honestly can’t remember a month since forever that you didn’t read Vogue cover to cover backstage waiting to come on to do your tits and ass closing number.

And for what? So you can be on a diet? All so you can go have a lousy drink with some want-to-be boyfriend and a couple of jugglers lousy with misery over missing their wives?

The showgirls are tough as they come. They got trick knees, sore hips and bad backs. None of the want-to-be fellas got the guts to fight off the racking jealousy that comes with tramping with a lady dancer entertainer.

That’s show business. You get in, you get a gig, and one day all too soon you get out. Curtain closes and nothing but a ghostlight on stage and nothing left but a few pictures in a scrapbook of you with a pair of the best pair of legs any man has ever wanted.

Showgirls are nothing but rotten lust and heartbreak. Break a dads heart, break a fellas heart and break a jugglers heart watching them kill it every night and for what? So, they can retire at 37? So they can go start a family before its too late? Tough as nails these dancers.

It’s not living the dream so much as having surviving the heartbreak of starting the next one…

Extinction Event Bribery Style

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Monument to Civilization, Stratosphere

“Why are you picking a fight with the Chamber?”

“Just standing my ground.” Keefe said.

“We usually go around him instead of through him.”

“Well, it’s a new day for Meadowhawk,” Fletcher said.

Gallup that fabulous polling organization that quantifies what we already know has confirmed what we already knew: our political leaders are in a knotted stinky quagmire. That’s right they have been bought.

Our journalists, especially the partisans brainwashed and paid off inside the beltway are infected with the disease of seeing things the uber wealthy way as well.

Nobody is paying me squat for my point of view and like a lot of ordinary American’s I’m pissed off. The fact is I’m mad because if they’d give me a good chunk of bucks and I’d sing their praise too.

Sadly nobody seems to want to influence my opinion and so I am in the position of having to call them like I see them.

Let’s review that list of matters that concern American’s but are of no concern to our Beltway Babies who have their lips firmly clamped upon the moneyed….

Take fixing our roads, bridges, airports, water treatment facilities… it is called infrastructure. We used to fix things.  Take my unpaid word for it the uber wealthy in this country fear they might be taxed to make those repairs and thus block new funding. New infrastructure is a loser.

Did you know that 7 out of 10 of us are for clean air and water? Fuck that too. We just elected to Congress the largest group of climate change deniers east of the Mississippi. No deal there.

Criminal background checks? Nope. Ain’t going to happen. 9 out of 10 American’s like the idea of background checks. But, listen to me, please sit down and let me read you the facts of life. You don’t buy elections the NRA buys elections. Your opinion is spit in the wind.

A mere 20% of our citizens believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. That’s right where I come from that number is even lower. Evidently they hooked up with the NRA because we are dismantling Roe vs. Wade board and nail across every red state in this union.

About 90% figure there is some good in birth control. A bunch of sorry ass fanatics went to the Supreme Court and they said it was against their religion to be part of family planning. Sorry ladies you are on your own.

So, you see this is what money in politics does to democracy. Right now as we speak oil has just sunk below the $50 threshold, some figure it could go as low as $20.

There is a worldwide glut (that means there is too damn much of the stuff on the market) and what is the first legislation the Senate wants to pass? That’s right the XL Keystone Pipeline

This isn’t the people’s business that is being done. This is the business of a couple of Libertarians from Kansas being done. This is Big Business slapping the spineless bought off legislators around.

It would be swell if our problems were ordinary. If it were merely a banking crisis. If it was just that we needed more teachers and better schools. But, it is much bigger now that we’ve squandered all this time pretending to be a democracy. What we have is a full blown crisis of civilization problem.

I used to think we just had ordinary human problems. I wasn’t really thinking my pigheaded generation was going to close its eyes and plug its ears (for a fee…) and allow the world to go all to hell. I wouldn’t have believed that at one time in my life, but that was then and this is now.

You don’t like what I got to say? Well, come on, give me a little something and might be I’ll sing a different tune. Until then I am speaking truth to the spineless bought off money grubbers of the world. You know who you are. You should be ashamed…

Richard Pryor- A Funny Motherf…..ker

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Comedy as Hope

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“Of course conventional demolition work didn’t pay nearly as good as nuclear annihilation, but Fletcher rightly calculated that there wouldn’t be much use for money in a world that no longer existed.”

The street act is all cocktail. It is a mixologist mash-up with monologist. The lone wolf soloist jerking the innocent and unsuspecting into the loyal oppositions world view.

There are two dominant elements that appear again and again. One element is visual, busking makes use of what the audience sees.
The other element is what the audience hears. The majority of busking shows are kinetic and comic.

We part company in many ways with standup comedy. We may slip our social criticism into the shows, we may flirt with the seditious, we may appear to be mainstream renegades but by most reckonings we are practical voices for the common man. 

The comic may be vulgar, obscene, and explicitly sexual. People buying a ticket to their shows know what they are getting into. Stumbling into an impromptu street show set on the sidewalks of the city center is another venue altogether.

Still we work our edges and by that I mean we don’t just have well polished punchlines we have cognitive boundaries of what is regarded as social and political good taste. That is an edge we may flirt with but at great financial peril pay dearly if crossed.

Scott Saul’s new book, Becoming Richard Pryor describes how Pryor in his early days of the 1970’s is casting about for the means of bringing comedy and social criticism together. The excitement of Pryor’s act wasn’t merely the punchline it was the outrageous edginess of the content.

Lenny Bruce and George Carlin each devoted their work to this exploration of cutting social commentary as comic standup.

But, look it isn’t the sex. It isn’t the smutty language. Those are mere proxies for what they were getting at. They pulled back the curtain on the world and they “outed” all the scams… that list is too long.

If you were doing stupid things they were going to say stupid things about you. If you listen to Saul’s interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air you’ll hear Pryor riffing on being pulled over by the police. What Pryor had to say in 1971 remains as relevant and on topic today as it was a half century ago.

The current moment in our history reeks with the profane. There is this palpable obscenity that torturers go unprosecuted, the summary executions on the street by police are given a pass, and that Wall Street not Main Street has paid for the best government money can buy.

Street theater when it burst back onto the world’s stage in the 6o’s and 70’s was countercultural and against the Vietnam war. Time has passed and we’ve been mainstreamed. Look at us. We are on cruise ships, shopping malls, county fairs and world expositions. We are for everybody (soothing middle of the road) but if I have this right everybody (except the elites of the world) has just about had it with bully billionaires and an amoral workers be damned capitalism.

So my busking brothers and sisters put that in your pipe and smoke it then next time you open your mouth on stage try to find the words to speak about the world you see. The world’s audiences need you now more than ever…

“It was common knowledge that the most qualified man in the county for blowing things up was Fletcher McCrea. Out of the blue, more than two decades ago, just like that he lost his stomach for enabling a worldwide thermonuclear Armageddon. Just wasn’t as much fun as he thought it would be.”

Beaujolais Nouveau

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Nothing welcomes this traveler home better than autumns release of this years newest youngest wine… Beaujolais. It is a chance to check on whether this last summer was as delicious as I remember.

Beaujolais Nouveau was lost on me until November 2001. That year I drank from a cask of Beaujolais at Nizza La Bella a neighborhood joint on San Pablo in Albany. It was all so complicated.

What happened is that I tasted youth and time. I drink wine it is as simple as that. It tastes good, it doesn’t taste good. Seldom does wine taste of youth. Rarely do I find myself thrown back upon an August nights full moon lighting a mountain ringed river bottom.

Beaujolais is like that. You can count the mere weeks since you last tasted the very same night that the grapes like you were still clinging to the vine. August nights of love and romance and it is so fleeting, so sweet and like everything vanishes into the next moment and becomes past until this youthful wine jolts you back into the prime of all primes those sultry late August end of summer nights.

Beaujolais is for me sentimental and I am if nothing else entirely too sentimental. I am a flaming sentimentalist. And gullible. I believe in keeping love and hope alive and as I plunge into the work that is winter. A winter so soon upon us there is at least this last fling to have with Beaujolais.

She is so silly. A puppy all floppy ears and ready to play while I am bundling up and hunkering down. I am reminded of imperfection and I am accounting here at the end of the year for all the glorious imperfections I have been allowed to get by with.

I will never drink Beaujolais Nouveau with any kind of gravity. I will never take my affair as anything other than a passing fling. But, that is what she is this wine. She is nothing but a one night stand and she was never meant to be anything else. To drink her and to love her for what she is and then for the rest of your autumns, all those years later as you part reluctantly with  glory of the past year you may ring the minds memories one last time of that summer the gods allowed to slip through your fingers like sand.

Long Hops and Short Stops

Eating it Up
Eating it Up

“My flight down to Cancun was a little bumpy, but the water landing was very smooth. By the time I swam to shore and got out of my wet clothes and hat a shot of tequila it was like wow… here I am.”

The shift is on. I return to San Francisco tomorrow. I have been in Playa del Carmen, Mexico since late September. After fourteen weeks of work the show is changed and so am I.

If you spend enough time somewhere your perception shifts. You see a place for what it is. I am comfortable here now. I can do the work. Of course I am a foreigner and here I am guest. I get that. That’s good.

Tomorrow I fly. The next weeks ahead I will memorize. I will perform at a few events around Arizona. I’ll write more jokes. I’ve got props to build. I’ll advance all of that in the weeks ahead. I ought to have the memorizing, script development and rehearsals completed by the end of January.

More ongoing process is ahead. I’ll be disconnected from the day to day contact with audiences for the time being. That’s good. It is time to go back to the laboratory and concoct the elixir of new show.

We’ll be aboard our sailboat in Emeryville for a few weeks. Getting out on the water seeing friends and settling back into the day to day sounds perfect.

“She’s perfect, and you’re perfect, the whole thing is perfect even though you know there is no such thing as perfect and that’s perfect… It’s Fukushima with a happy ending.”

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La Buena Vida, Akumal Cerveza and Snorkeling

 

End Stupid Stop Stubborn

Hot Fun in the Setting Sun
Hot Fun in the Setting Sun

 

More Off the Cuff Links…

We take you to the streets of London where students are marching for, “No tuition fees! No education cuts! No debt!” Let’s go to Milwaukee where what passes for progress we have this pathetic excuse for policy being implemented. Sorry folks we can’t get to the new economy everyone is talking about by dismantling our education system.

Dismantling programs isn’t policy, it isn’t even constructive politics. It is something else. While you were looking to the  left the right was running so far to the right that they’ve run out of room. And speaking of running out of room how about another Robin Hood in reverse episode. Speechless…

And speaking about criminals that never get charged, never are tried, and now no longer go to jail there is this nifty little bit of complaining by the Fat Cats. And Robert Reich explains how the big money boys do it. So, what do you do when the wheels on the bus that keep going round and round seem to be about to fall off the bus? Why you call the Vatican and ask the Pope to come speak truth to power.

Do you love answers to those persistent questions? Like for example how do you give a man a raise? By paying him more.  This “more” we are talking about only works if we don’t blow up the world’s economy. I’m not one of those doomsday machine types, but some of the policymakers in Europe are.

Finally, words of advice from one of the better minds in our country.

“I’m here in Mexico, Playa del Carmen. In my neighborhood there is a man who sells bottled water. Did you know he has a sister that sells hot water that a married man can never get out of?”

 

 

 

 

The Great Dictator’s Curtain Call

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Coatimundi tracks in Talum, Mexico

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe?
And he keeps it out of sight

During hyperinflations grip on the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s Bertolt Brecht struggled with the question of how to dramatize the complex economic relationships of modern capitalism.

And then the wildly Canadian-Canadian Naomi Klein’s new book argues that for the world to do anything about climate change we will have to rewrite how capitalism works. We are finding it nearly impossible to change our economic model because vested interests will not surrender their present profits for future generations benefit. Those Canadian’s…

Since the global financial crisis profits have gone to the elite while virtually every other segment of society has watched while wages have flat-lined. Frustrated with Washington voters vented their anger by electing Republican majorities to both houses of Congress. I’m unaware of the newly elected majorities wanting to do anything that squares with what nonpartisan policymakers might suggest is best. Capitalism is complicated where anger is simple. The electorate vented their spleen. We will regret playing our politics on the basis of bile.

Like Brecht’s struggle to dramatize the complexities of the economy of his era our society has failed to implement the best policy responses to our present situation. Wall Street wants nothing to do with shrinking the size of our big banks, and they certainly don’t want any constraints to be put on carbon based energy companies.

Capital is ascendant and labor’s share of the pie is on the decline. The circular firing squad arrives and future profits are defended by the very people that are harmed by that choice.

This is what is so dangerous about booms and busts. They confuse and frighten people. In this emotionally charged state of mind people vote out of fear, the very fear that FDR suggested was the only thing we had to fear.

I am in the earliest stages of plotting the next comedy. What I am thinking about is the same thing that Brecht was thinking about. We want to understand the world we find ourselves living in and we want to know what path to take to fulfill our promise for a prosperous future.

When capitalism goes bust people go crazy. Depressions are depressing and extremists lurk in disguise at every gate luring the fearful into actions that might well result in tragedy. Chaplin skewered the wicked of his day with The Great Dictator. History might not be repeating itself but it certainly is flirting with the idea of rhyming.

There’s a tugboat down by the river, don’t you know?
Where a cement bag, just a’drooppin’ on down
Oh, that cement is just its there for the weight, dear
Five’ll get you ten Old Macky’s back in town

“The slacker dude no longer has to make an excuse about not having a good paying job because since the global financial crisis there are no more good paying jobs…”

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover
Get it here…

“The story follows a cast of interesting characters in a small desert town as they work to save their local economy and play the games of love.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for fun yet heartfelt read.”

Relevant Links…

Let’s go to Berlin…   Story of internet activists hiding in Berlin from NSA

Modeling other capitalistic enterprises…   Let’s talk about Republican’s and capitalists at their birth

The Mystics Guide to Pointlessness

Light Show in Atlanta
Blinded by the light…

“She’s perfect, and you’re perfect, the whole thing is perfect even though you know there is no such thing as perfect and that’s perfect… It’s Fukushima with a happy ending.”

I use the Eastern psychological model when planning a novel. It is simple. Characters can be described as acting in a wholesome and skillful way, or they can act in unwholesome and unskillful ways. Fortunately for the sake of drama most of us make the simple mistakes that make for such enjoyable reading.

The Eastern model of mind allows me to scrub the psychological field of play of all sorts of useless and misleading terms that seem to come overloaded with baggage I don’t need my characters forced into carrying.

My characters inhabit a world of virtue and vice. They lapse into this or rise up to that. We don’t need to have this mysterious world of the unconscious mind of a person accounted for. Those dim corners seldom carry the narrative to much besides confusion.

Most severe wounds leave unspeakable chaos in their wake and untangling it is flirting with pointlessness.

In the world that I live in people succeed and fail all day long in quite ordinary ways. They run red lights. They might lust for someone. Perhaps they don’t offer compassion where they see suffering. We each have some degree of capacity to help or not to help.

A good person isn’t a perfect person. They may well be an awful person who happened into their better nature for a moment in time. We live across a continuum of skillful and wholesome means. There are no endings. There is really more of this incessant doing that keeps happening. The phenomenal is quite exquisite and complexity astounding, but the fewer the brushstrokes illustrating consciousness’s mystery the better. I like the way that sounds even if it is not always true.

Eastern psychology is smudged with a divine simplicity- this is the mystic laughing, it is revelation, the magic of mind unmasked. The spiritual explorer’s for centuries now have traveled into the deepest parts of inner space and have returned with the ultimate fact about the nature of mind. It is at its essence quite simple. Eastern psychologies framework is not complicated. It is based upon how the mind actually works. Imagine that…

 

“How does the world’s greatest lover stay on top of his game? By asking his partners to lie down on the bed first…”

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover
Click and Get a Laugh

 

His depth and wisdom give the reader a surgically precise but comic look into the relationship between the sexes.

 We loved it.  Upon deeper reflection, “Everyman” merges with “Everywoman”  to become “Everyone” in a small, dusty desert “Everytown”.

 

The Idiots Guide to Discovering Surefire Laughs

Edmonton Streetfest 2014
Edmonton Streetfest 2014

This Doesn’t Just Happen…

This is one way to be ready when a moment like this is gifted to you by laughter’s angels

“People are always trying to figure out who I am in my novels. I seem to be drawn to playing extremely fertile women who know next to nothing about birth control. That’s a man pretending to be a woman right there.”

I have been hitting my glass ceilings, picking myself up off the floor, feeling boxed in, while doing what I can to escape limitedness of my imagination. There are several pathways being used to produce a new way forward and they need to be orchestrated by a conductor who knows what the composition ought to sound like when played to laughter’s unbridled romp into the present moment.

I have been writing new material for the show. I’ve been thinking conceptually about what I want to say. I have been on stage negotiating this material with my audience while alternating back and forth between the new and old material. The new material comes without all those hooks and handles where the older material is surefooted. There are in the tested show material reliable notes that I might hit just the right tone as I wend my way from start to finish.

The degree that I go off old script and into new script is where I reap the whirlwind. Sometimes you are able to seize the audience and take them with you, sometimes they are reluctant guests, and sometimes stubborn and lethargic. Lesser energetic audiences require veteran composure. We are so burdened with simply holding our audience we haven’t much space to discover where those fresh new hooks and handles might be located.

I can fit a funny line here and there into any show. It is another thing to leap off into a longer unguided journey of ‘hookless and handleless’ material. Where the laughs might be located is only approximate to sometimes nonexistent. This is the classic rat in maze moment. We go one way then another trying to escape from the labyrinth of our expectations and our preconceived blueprint of where we feel an audience might allow us to take them.

For the last 24 shows I’ve advanced and retreated while working on the first 10 minutes of 20-25 minutes of material I have written. Now, I’ve jettisoned one third of the first 10 and now I am preparing to introduce another 15. I have another 26 shows to work on this puzzle. Of course this all part Virgo energy and part rat in maze.

Creating a cognitive framework allows me some means of measuring my progress and forces me to go against fears grain. You really must put your shoulder into your material or you’ll get stuck doomed to repeating the older material and never quite getting around to dealing with all the difficulties inherent in breaking in new material.

Finding laughs is not for the weak or timid. You have to be willing to stomach the unpleasant feelings. The result of these experiments is a reliable and well tested routine. I am a soloist’s team of rivals. I am writer, producer, director, and performer. Those tough nuts can be tough to crack. This is my work.

Passing on the tradition
Passing on the tradition
Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover
Check it out, click on cover

Available Everywhere on Earth… Really

“Bambalina made me smile and laugh… She may have been one of the best characters in the book and that says a lot since she is a burro! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for fun yet heartfelt read.”

The Luddite’s Guide to Grand Theft Auto

Juggler juggling
Juggler juggling

Raise a family and juggle like this… that’s a hell of a bunch of stuff to keep in the air…

 Want to try my game? I’m playing the comically summarizing getting married game. The couple survives the decade’s long ordeal of raising kids. Then, they devote what is left to their lives beguiled by some post-parental mirage that leads them into the realm of self-rediscovery.

This is the era when they start doing their own thing. It’s a return to the all about me phase, but with a twist, it really never will be all about them.

They take yoga and study meditation. They learn not just about ego, but about how form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. That there is no-self, and that everything is a delusion. They have a lot to learn.

Now, we revise, polish, memorize, test, cut, punch up, and try in front of an audience again. I have to isolate the stage instincts I have from the hard cold blueprint I am presenting. Am I having an off night? Is the material connecting? Not all the new material does, knowing where to cut, where to revise is a key skill in the game of routine building.

This reads a little edgy, but then comedy does sometimes glance off the darker corners of the human experience…

For some reason your kid thinks everything you have in the world is actually all theirs. Everything in their bedroom, the car, all the food in the refrigerator, everything: it is all theirs. And the more expensive the stuff the more likely it’s theirs.

That’s right the blue ray, the flat screen, the Bose sound system, game console it’s all there’s. Why don’t you know that?

And of course your wife, the woman known to them as mom, is now the object of their attention, any of mom’s distractions are your fault and in case you don’t know when they are old enough to finally leave they’ll be taking their mom with them.

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover

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“Veteran Vaudevillian puts down his torches, picks up a pen and delivers all the laughs and charm we know from his show.  Quirky, odd, fun… hijinks, heartbreak and sexual redemption. And it all happens in Nevada or as Dana would say:  ‘Lust in the dust’.   Give yourself a treat and go on a:  Hot Spring Honeymoon.”

Glenn Singer–Hero