Tragic-comic reindeer eating

Might taste good, but make me feel bad...

A good street show is funny. You need to appeal to people’s better natures, they aren’t looking for Lear. They don’t want to know what the hell Congress has done now.

Of course the pantheon of the tragic-comic life is littered with many terrific examples: George Burns losing Gracie and then rising from his loss to laugh once more. There is the famous Lewinski fiasco that our recent President was unsuccessfully impeached for.

This is what I think was missing in Sarah Palins theatricality. She was too bellicose sexy and not big enough to laugh at her outlandish disguise. She was all glamour-puss and no wink-wink, nod-nod, look at me ain’t this grand even the Arctic bombshell can have a day in the sun.

I think a lot of the women I know would find George Clooney a great surrogate for Camelot. They could have a principled affair, surrendering to their lust and be all the better for it in the end. You never get that same vibe from Sarah. It would be like telling someone you buy Playboy because you really like reading the stories. Come on, who you kidding?

Lust, drugs, money, greed, thinking you won’t get caught and then you do, under certain conditions this can turn out sometimes as not too awful. A torrid affair with your wife (lust) after a sublime bottle of wine (drugs), while plunking down a fair chunk of cash for a hotel room with a spa on the balcony is benign, harms nobody. Do the same thing with someone you ought not to be with while using legally forbidden substances on an expense account you are not supposed to be using for such purposes and we have all the trappings of what we now seem to understand as an ordinary day in the life of corporate privilege of a kind.

I am most pleased by small tragedy to be followed by a larger more laughable comedy. Springtime for Hitler in Germany was Mel Brooks doing pitch perfect what I am talking about.

I find economics a great source of tragic-comic players. They do their deadpan so well. I feel like I am visiting a financial mortician sometimes, they are a kind of like the gay florist who pretends he’s straight. It would be so simple if we were all just one thing, but the biggest laugh isn’t who we are, but when our mask slips and the world gets a glimpse of not just our preferred self, but our whole self…the best of these disguised players it turns out are something less than half bad, and that’s about as good as it gets.

I used to worry I might turn out to be rotten to the core when in fact I was just a little too ripe. Most of what I am turned out to be not too bad, but still you have to be realistic. The half-life of tragic is still relentlessly in the hunt to spoil the punch lines of balance that is comic. Next time you flip out in rush hour traffic take a look in the rear view mirror. Who is that you see? I hope your answer is Daffy Duck….



Infinite Pleasures

Waiter I think someone put something into my drink...

Everything I thought I knew has been thrown into doubt. I had thought today could be much like any other day. I thought I’d go along and get along.

I made the mistake of listening to a physicist. It seems that this one universe we live in might be just one out of an infinite number of universes. Let’s make our basic units stars. We orbit around one. Next, depending upon who you ask and how they count there are 200 billion stars just in our one galaxy, the famous Milky Way, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. So, how many galaxies are there in the universe? Seems like a reasonable follow-up question doesn’t it? Here’s the number… in the visible universe it is estimated there are 125 to 550 billion galaxies, perhaps more!

I asked a math person how many stars was that? The answer: there are more stars in our universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on earth.

And then comes the smoke and mirrors moment. We have never actually been able to see an electron, or for that matter a second universe, or for that matter most of the galaxies in our universe. We detect them and infer their existence!

It is how things are done. They say inferring is reliable. I’m told by my sources that if your girlfriend has a vintage pink Cadillac convertible parked in front of her house that when you knock on the door and there is no answer, although you hear music and the sound of a headboard knocking against a wall from inside while listening with your ear against the door, that you would be accurate in inferring she was probably in that apartment doing exactly what your inference imagined she was doing. Worse than that it appears all the more probable that by visualizing this it is likely to encourage the very thing you are trying to avoid.

My sources tell me that it is possible that for each individual universe we might well have a god dedicated to just that one universe. Since there are possibly an infinite number of these universes there is likely to be an infinite number of these gods. Since in this system where there are an infinite number that this infinite number might best be expressed by use of a single integer. That what might be happening is that it isn’t just all for one, and one for all, but that one might be paradoxically the most divine mathematically succinct way to express the infinite! And since I am but one of 3.5 billion men on this planet the fact of whether it is me in that apartment or another man might not matter and the fact that I seem to care about whether it is me in that apartment or not is really a delusion and that on a quantum level this would prove to be an insignificant rounding error.

So, you can see this isn’t turning out to be a good day. Not only have I got to figure out how many gods there are, and if any are any better gods than we have thus far identified, after all replacing an existing god for a new and improved god seems a bit judgmental. And when I finally confront whoever that was who was having his way with my beloved, when I look into his eyes, according to this physicist it might just turn out to be me looking at myself. This is not my idea of a wholesome sexual fantasy. This is what science would identify as one potential sexual reality. And maybe that’s why we eventually die, because otherwise it would just be too much sex for us to get our imaginations around.


I Knew Norman Mailer, I met Norman Mailer, I Miss the Man

Dusk Settles in on what we thought was true...

Writers have this obstacle to overcome in the ongoing tension between modern brain research and western psychological model and spirituality. As such authors are required to either conform to the conventions of the day, or if they do not invent methods to circumvent these limitations.

Here is Norman Mailer in conversation, “When you write novels the person who tells the story is crucial to at least half the success of the novel I would say depends on how the story is told. Is it told by one person sitting in their own mind and giving you objective external descriptions of everyone else, or do you have a omniscient narrator which was common to the 19th century novel where literally you have to assume that this person has godly powers and can enter every single mind. And that worked very well for the 19th century because then most people believed in god, most people who read novels believed in god, and therefore the novelist could be analogous to god for the sake of enjoying the fiction. It was just easy to enter everyone’s mind, you could do it and now you can’t with the modern canon which really feels they got rid of this medieval nonsense through the enlightenment through the last few centuries and that most people can do without god and the devil, they certainly don’t want them intruding so the notion is that you stay in one intelligence, one consciousness, you don’t try to cover everyone, and that’s inhibiting, in you get lots of problems of development when you only have the consciousness of your narrator.”

Freedom to Roam

With the rapid developments in neurobiological research we are discovering that this scientific point of view of consciousness is not very precise, research is proving that it is not contained, that it is not located exclusively inside a person, but rather being more a part of a larger system of energy and information that extends beyond the boundaries of the physical body. In short a kind of biological explanation for what is sometimes called “having a meeting of the minds,” when two people are interacting.

In the planning stages of making a novel the author builds an outline that they will work from. I have been concerned not just with a plot, but I have been interested in the metaphysical implications of making a story that is more in accord with our most recent mind science research.

If the world is not made up of discreet individual human consciousnesses in the most rigid sense of this model, but is rather a more networked, more a blended neurobiological phenomena, that is one part made up of a brain where is born what we call mind, but that this mind exists more like a receiver and/or more like a transmitter, and more likely to know and perceive and understand its external world out there because of the energy and information that is readily available in its environment, then we can build new fiction by ways that have until now been held in obedience to this 20th Century model of the mind.

And I am not talking science fiction here, but general fiction that is made of stories describing common events in everyday life. It isn’t that there is a right answer to this issue, just that it is something authors deal with throughout the telling of a story.

Why do we know what someone is going to say before they say it? Often an unfaithful spouse’s partner doesn’t need anyone to tell them if their partner has been cheating. These are examples of information existing beyond mind.

These are exciting times. Writers can work beyond these previous boundaries. Still it isn’t just psychological restrictions that are overcome there are also literary habits that necessarily have to evolve as well.

What is this all about? It is how we explore and expand our understanding of the world we are all born into. Picasso revealed to us a world as never before ever seen. The ancient cave paintings in the south of France are artifacts of neurobiological evolution. They literally exemplify the metaphorical leap of the mind. That moment in time when we first began to be able to think in the abstract. Wasn’t long before man invented the wheel.

Dawn of a New Day


“What have you done?” he said to that glimmer of self in the window. “It’s over man, how can you fix this, what you going to do, this time, you don’t need another job you need another you.”

Ry Waters lifted his hand to his hair and dug his fingers into his scalp while scratching with his thumb against an itch on his forehead. “Where do you begin?” He felt groggy like it was dawn and he was just waking up. “My whole life is a stinking mess.” He was determined to go out a class act. He would not allow his shoulders to slump. He was going to leave with his chin up. The last day on the job turned out to be a one man going away party in vivid, painful, living color, until this man Ry once knew appeared in the window and called him to account. 

Bankrupt Heart Copyright © 2011 by Dana Smith

Biography · Performances

Free to Play the Game

Couple of Old Dogs Caught in the Act

To celebrate the first day of the rest of my life I had oatmeal. For dessert I took my supplements and finally to get the start of the day off to a rollicking hilarious start I just completed ninety minutes on my recumbent bike.

Add to my writing chores I also continue to perform. The show is mix of circus arts stunts, most of it juggling, some interactive audience material, and then the odd nut of this or bolt of that. It isn’t just standing up in front of an audience.

Three shows per day are physically and mentally challenging. It is fascinating how some days our mouth just doesn’t work. We can’t get the words out. We blow the rhythm. When we improvise in a situation our inventions can land with a dull thud.

For the longest time it seems static. It seems that who we appear to be on stage is much the same as the person we were last week, two months ago, or even two decades ago. I think where things get tricky is when our act is derived from a point of view that might be entirely against what we might really seem to be. Power solo juggling acts often are too often based upon wise-cracking, smart aleck, juvenile points of view. There is nothing wrong with that! But, it will only get you to that same place and it will take you no further.

There/Then Here/Now Where does the time go?

That’s what all this oatmeal eating is about. It is about doing what is necessary to stay in the game, to remain on stage, in front of audiences. But, performing isn’t art unless you act like it is and do something about it. What we can do is keep our minds open to not just what we’ve been, but what we are. Vaudeville is legend for trapping an entertainer in the act. It becomes a straightjacket that they cannot escape from.

Flying a plane is a skill taught by a teacher. Creating a show is an accident, a coincidence, a lark that lands on a good idea that is played out over time. Then, one day we reckon with the reality we are at an entirely new circumstance and that if we want to treat ourselves to the full thrilling creative ride that is a life in the creative arts that we must shed our skin, climb out of whatever and all of what we’ve done and begin again.

Most of what stops most of the people I know from remaining on stage is created out of the fear of letting go of who they were. As the lyric in the song says, “The road gets rougher, it’s lonelier and its tougher…”


“So, Mike, tell me when was the last time you were talked down off of a limb you climbed out on, you know what I mean? According to my understanding on these matters, a man has to do what’s in here,” Nick pointed to his temple, “and down there,” he pointed somewhere south of his belt buckle, “they both get to have a say so, they get to speak their piece about what a man has to do, and then, once its settled, just let the chips fall where they may.”

            “You know, Nick, I’d say of all the men I’ve counseled, Ry is among a handful that has never needed any coaching. Of course, he wasn’t in circulation, and even since he has been back out, he hasn’t been able to jump off that bridge, at least not yet.”

            “Well, I’d say the time has arrived. And this could be it.” Nick said. “Now, the only question that I see remaining to be answered is, if our friend here has the god-given courage to act upon the truth running through his veins. And I don’t mean tomorrow, or two weeks from now, I mean right here, tonight, at the reception.”





Deep Background on an Earl Warren Supporter

ecclesiastical faith based winemaking....

Back in ’64 when cigarette smoking remained a virtuous activity for an aspiring up and coming young man San Jose was a place where one of the largest stone fruit crops in the world was still grown. Apricots, peaches, and nectarine orchards were still a defining feature. The Jesuits were still growing wine at the Novitiate up in Los Gatos. They didn’t just turn grapes into wine they were busy forming men into priests. Our current Governor Jerry Brown was making grapes into wine there back in the day. But as it turned out the Jesuits were unable to turn an unwilling Jerry Brown into a priest.

Albert Gonsalves, my grandfather was in the last years of owning his saloon. Sinatra in 1964 was recording Fly Me to the Moon, The Best is Yet to Come and My Kind of Town. It would be a few years before we all would come to understand the meaning of all of this.

In the end it all became crystal clear. My grandfather would end up buying up most of the Novitiates Vintage 1964 Ruby Port.He kept the cases at Tambo’s the saloon he owned down at the corner of East 14th Street and 98th Avenue right there in the heart of Elmhurst- a neighborhood on the south side of Oakland.

Back in the Day

At home in his closet was stacked a good five cases of the deep red port wine. I’d come by now and again. My grandfather enjoyed a good one way conversation. This was one of those can’t get a word in edgewise type of conversations. In point of fact you couldn’t find a detectable gap in his speech where it seemed it might be alright to butt in and form a dialogue. No, this was impossible. Grandpa was a monologist, a man who pondered conundrums, scolded the morally weak, and waxed eloquently on the beauty of the steam engine and its close second cousin the whiskey still of which he had first hand experience and was something of an expert in how to use one of these devices.

What I came to understand about my grandfathers speechifying was that he had found in that Novitiate Vintage 1964 Ruby Port the perfect elixir to serve as a way of softening up  any guest so that he might turn that visitor into his audience where he could demonstrate his most amazing oratorical talent of telling stories in such a manner that the only way to get out of such a fix was when my grandmother would come into the room and by way of mercy save grandpa’s now Port soaked victim from her husbands singular talent of holding a person speechless against their will.

My grandfather and I played a game of cat and mouse as those years rolled by. I’d show up for one thing or another and he’d walk out of the closet with a bottle of the vintage ruby port. All I had to do was agree to have a glass of wine and next thing you know there I’d be right back at the dining room table right back in the same fix all over again.

Port wine induced listening

About all you need to know now is that I loved my grandfather, even though I can’t remember a thing he said I still seem to have a vivid memory of that wine, you could say it was almost a religious experience.

BANKRUPT HEART                                                   THE SECOND NOVEL

            “Look at me, why, why do I always pick the biggest dreamer in the crowd.”

            “I guess you like big dreams…”

            “They’re always these tough guys, cooking up adventures to go on, nobodies making plans to stick around,”

            “You wouldn’t be attracted to that guy…”

            “Guys like that see me coming a million miles away…”

            “Jackie, the dull guy who’s buying hooks at the Western Bait and Tackle knows better than to try and take a bite of your apple. Man who’s got the courage to feast in your garden, that’s a different beast, whole different critter, this a feral animal, mercurial, master marksman, he devours weaker creatures, those are one night stands, women like that don’t stand a chance, but when that man spars with the likes of you, look out, sparks fly, man like that goes to the edge of the known world, you take him, force him to walk up to the cliff, and its like you take his hand and say come on let’s jump, mister tough guy,  lets fly, I’ll take you to places you’ve only heard of…”

Biography · Books · Performances

Grass Roots Audience, The Small Time Entertainer, The Fully Funded Heart

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow...

The grass roots audiences the small time entertainer plays to is located closer to the heart. We are literally physically closer. Venues are scaled to size. Expectations are held in check. We are paid less money but we acquire a greater bounty of intimacy.

We begin our performing careers creating material that is both visually appealing and acoustical. In particular my style invoked the power of the word. Upon a clean sheet of paper are placed words. We place the words there to drive the show forward. We drive the show forward with laughter, applause, suspense, surprise and sometimes messages. We train in juggling, acrobatics, magic etc… perfecting our skills and then blending the two elements into a presentation.

It is not the line, not the trick that we present as important as those elements are but, it is our insight into how to be a more openhearted fully evolved functionally compassionate person that finalizes our evolution as an artist. It means that the more authentic a person we become the closer our audiences can get to us. The distance we keep between ourselves and others is the distance we maintain between those parts of ourselves that we prefer others not to see. And time and time again I have watched a good act fall apart in front of an audience when what comes into view isn’t what they are doing but when the least preferred parts of who they are come seeping out.

One of the most difficult actions a person can take is to work on those parts of who they are that are veiled, ignored, unrecognized, denied, or when acknowledged are thought to be perfectly fine just as they are.

I’m not talking about insincere sweetness or patriotism on steroids, or being nice no matter what. This is not what I mean. An authentic performer will handle a moment as truthfully as necessary. If something painful, something difficult arises then at least it will be handled by someone the audience can trust.

Our capacity to be more open, more aware, more awake, more compassionate, more kind to our audiences and to ourselves as well can be grown and strengthened and featured in our presentation in ways that can expand not just our authenticity as a human being but as an entertainer who points toward something greater than the accidental unmasking of their smaller self.

BANKRUPT HEART                              THE SECOND NOVEL

“You two just
can’t get enough of one another,” Ry said, “kind of like it spicy, don’t you?”

“I’ve just found
out that Kristine has decided that there is no way, she could ever tell me that
she loves me.”

Jackie laughed. “Perfect…I see, this seems
to have turned out just the way I thought it would have. I thought you said you
were going to tell him?”

“Well, I was until
I looked him in the eye and he got that look, that look on his face,”

“What look?” Ry

“He looks,”
Kristine paused then spit it out, “confident,”

Ry looked at Finn’s
expression, “He can be overbearing on occasion, seems to know things, what to
do, how stuff works, gets on my nerves too.”

“He swaggers,” Kristine
said, “he’s brash, certain of himself. It’s so annoying.”

“Finn, why do you
have to be so damn sure of yourself?” Ry asked. “Why can’t you look a little
less confident, act like you just don’t know, maybe she’ll come around.”

Bankrupt Heart Copyright © 2011 by Dana Smith

Books · Performances · Uncategorized

Changing Ground Rules for Teens

One Hundred and Forty-Four Feet of Consortium Change The Lovely Artemis in Nantucket

It is hard to read the paper and have the headlines not change your mind. What the heck is going on? All I want to do is a show now and again, get a book published, and enjoy the good things life has to offer. I think Syria is easier to understand than a credit default swap, but then is the tyranny of a dictator all that much different than a financial sector that runs amok, blows up, reconstitutes itself and in its wake destroys the wealth of so many millions and millions of the worlds citizens? Now, on top of what appears to be revolution across the Middle East we have social unrest (polite term for revolutionary action) popping up in London, Liverpool and Manchester… It appears to me that capitalism left  unfettered, unrestrained, to its own devices will do whatever it is allowed to do to maximize its share of the opportunity. If we allow it to pollute it will. If we allow it to compensate its executives unreasonably it will, if we allow it to smash unions and diminish wages and benefits it will. It doesn’t do this with emotion, or with ideology, it doesn’t do this necessarily with any evil or malice. It simply does so by using its guidance system…profits. Giant profits beget enormous
profits. Money captures politicians, then regulators, then think tanks, then public relations firms that concoct messages that attempt to capture the people. If they can’t win with a message then they will attempt to muddy the waters, obscure the issues, raise doubts to the facts of the situation, and regroup and then once more the organization will reintroduce its new message and try again to prevail. It isn’t a black and white world. Yes, there are corporations that seem constrained and well controlled. But, when one of these really big behemoths breaks out of the cage, and many do, a great deal of a corporations goal’s are met at the expense of the will of the peoples. It isn’t binary. Do you understand? It isn’t either/or. It is a matter of good governance. We create frameworks for these institutions to function within. They don’t set the framework, the people do, through their governments. Here’s an idea! Let’s say I’m a teenager and I want to date your daughter. Instead of the parents setting the ground rules I get to. I tell you what time I’ll bring her home, tell you what you can and can’t know about what we are going to do, and when it seems like something just doesn’t seem right about all of that, I’ll
flood your house with phone calls, emails, and messengers to your front door all raising doubts about rules you thought you might enforce. It is possible I might just get away with it for a date or two, but then nine months later? I think the parents might regret having ever changed their minds, but by then it’s too late. That’s what I like about a good idea, its fool proof, why a really big idea in this day and age as come to be know as “too big too fail.”

Bankrupt Heart               The Second Novel 

“Dad,” she said with a question in her voice.

He echoed her tone, “Sophia,” Ry continued washing
the dishes, drying them, finding their place in the cupboards.

She sat down at the dining table.

Ry used the dish towel to dry his hands. He sat down
next to his daughter.


She didn’t know the answer to her question. Finally,
she gave it up, she said, “Sharks!”

“Sharks,” It was out of the blue.

She’d become more brazen, “yeah, sharks, are there
sharks in the water?”

“You mean big sharks, man-eaters, Great Whites?”

She was growing cranky. She put her hand on her chin.
She stared straight ahead. She thought the question had merit. “I don’t know
what kind of sharks,”

Ry put his arm around Sophia. “I’m not going to die from
a shark attack.”

 “So, if the
boat sank sharks wouldn’t kill you?”


The Prison of Thinking That Can Not Be Changed…

It is too dangerous to go in there...

I noted in my surfing the digital highways this morning that in two sites,   here that there is indeed a measurable difference in the way our minds work from one person to the next. The workings of political liberal minds activate different regions of the mind than conservative minds. Hard wired into our bodies are tendencies of cognitive inclinations to see things from the way our particular mind has been wired by our DNA to work. These brain mapping results are just the initial steps being taken by researchers to objectively understand how we arrive at our point of view, how we decide how we feel and think about a particular topic, and what if anything we can do to open our minds to seeing a bigger playing field that is not held captive by our inherent physiological structure. Walk away with me for a moment from the hot button issues of the day and imagine with  me a world in which you explore an area of information with a curiosity to see into something you don’t know much about, that you evaluate the subject areas facts independent of your minds tendency to resist them, that you are self aware that the topic is flipping involuntary switches off inside your mind, shutting you down, arousing immediate skepticism, and that your intuitions and instincts suggest none of this can be true. I think it is becoming clear that we all have “a mind”, but it is not necessarily one that is “our mind” to do with as we wish, but rather a rather “independent mind” that we have to keep an eye on, and take care of, manage, and restrain from doing whatever it pleases after an unexamined, unsubstantiated, likely false thought rushes through our mind and before we think twice in some spontaneously bizarre action commit an irreversible action, or say something we will later regret because we confuse the fact that our mind does much of its thinking independent of us. In that sense we have to learn to take care of our mind rather than trusting it is always right and will always take care of us.

Highway Home                  The Novel

” It was hard to let go, might be an empty
and open country ahead. Riding off the mountain meant he’d be leaving this
experience. Things must come to an end.  Time was running out, he’d never be able to explain it, but he had this land
pictured now—the way lakes gleamed like jewels, the crests of glacial-cut rock
ridges, groves of brush and trees mixed and weaving through the mountains, each
community suiting itself to some piece of shade, some advantage of elevation,
some right conditions that sustained them.”


Defiant Experimental Discovery of Change

The Biggest Little Defiant One of All...

We all have to do what we have to do. We might have to learn how to play guitar, parachute from a plane, water ski, or hunt for mushrooms. What is in my cue? What have I got to do? I’m not talking about chores. I’m suggesting that there are actions we can take that go against our instincts, but in so leaning against them we discover a new way forward. You might notice the nature to experiment seems inserted into us at birth and we begin exhibiting a tendency to push boundaries right off. Still seems to me we are prone to lose our spirit, our nerve, our conviction. One of the big traps of street theater is polishing an act until it is efficient, until you can draw a crowd, do a show, pass the hat, and get a
dependable return on the effort. After a while an act can get stuck. Finding new material always seems to set back the edge your most polished routines have over your new bits. This paralysis sets in and in the flash of a lifetime you
end your career too close to where you started. My show dog Lacey is 14 years old. She is deaf, she is gimpy, she is cute, has heart, and she is retired, she couldn’t do the act if she wanted. That is the second dog I’ve gone through
this with, and in each case the journey to a new show has been awkward, uncomfortable, painful, one step forward two steps back, and in general difficult, what we might call a giant pain in the butt. Still another colleague of mine has a fake animal act he has been doing too long. Been a real gold mine for him, and has provided a living for decades now. He’d love to do a new show, scrap out the old one, start with a clean slate. Problem is he’d have to take the old act down to the county dump and toss the thing in the garbage. Otherwise it’s just too tempting, too easy when he hits his first rough patch to get the old act out and show his audience a thing or two. Letting go is way hard, in variety show work it is almost impossible. It hurts like hell to fall into this hole.

Highway Home     The Novel

“Noel was chilled, but it was exhilarating
and the more he moved the more comfortable he was. Leslie came up for air. Noel
dove toward her and swam deep beneath the surface of the stream toward her. He
looked up, and when he saw her feet kicking he ascended right up and into her
arms. He put his arms around her and they both sank below the surface. Noel
kissed her.”


Radical Glacial Revolutionary Change

I Don't Care We'll Get Out and Walk if We Have To...

Just the idea that I have to do something different is enough to vapor lock my starting motor on a hot day in the middle of traffic. I like things just the way they are thank you very much. I’d certainly be glad to take a look at it, see what is in it for me, but I can’t make any promises. Frankly, I tried that and it just didn’t work. Nobodies tried harder to find a way to make this thing work, but it just doesn’t. If we do consider it I’m not sure how soon we’d be willing to adopt the new policy. Take a number we’ll call you when it’s your turn. One of the great advantages we have here is hindsight, and we now know from previous experiments that this just does not do what you claim it will do. Personally I am all for it, but what am I going to do nobody else is. Ultimately it comes down to whether you believe you are going to be better off with this new
system. If you like the old system you can keep it until we can figure out how to destroy it and force you to try the new one. No, we don’t mean blow it up, we mean we’ll just tinker with it until it isn’t anything like what it started out to be. It will begin as a trickle and end in a stampede. Eventually it will have to be replaced with something better….

 Highway Home     The Novel

“He looked around and suddenly didn’t like
what he saw here: these vagabonds at this truck stop, these nomads and gypsies
all spoke of souls hollowed out by the weariness of the road’s empty, and
lonely, endings. There was too much of the sense of crawling into a sleeping
bunk at the end of a long day, alone out on the road, parked at a truck stop.
This life, alone, was what was waiting for anyone who picked this trade. It was
a vacant and solitary toll, and Noel took it to be a sign, a life lesson for him.”