Friday, September 07, 2007


Friday ... short week but long on tension. We got a new big boss who is cool and long and suave and assured. He speaks about change, and we all know that work is change now. There are no sureties; nothing today is as yesterday and tomorrow will not be recognizable. But talk about change in the abstract is like the joker in a deck of cards ... you can lay it any way in your mind and only in the event will it make sense, and only then once the die has been cast.

I like the new big boss, though. He has the "kavorka."

Ah, work ... '"curse and foil". What would it be like not to work, not to have as a supervening concern a conjuncture in which you are involved but which presents itself as artificial as if invented out of whole cloth.

Watching TV ... Dan Ortmeier, young guy, hits a homer to give the Giants the victory over the hated Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth. We don't care other than because they care because they are in it and we are not. The first walk off home run by a Giants hitter this year.

Meanwhile, spent some time watching three shows at once ... the Giants, a new prison documentary on San Quentin, and the inimitable Cesar the dog whisperer. A Friday night, just chilling, trying to hide away, the dog asleep at my side. In between books not so much because I am not living in the midst of a vast library as because I have chosen the wrong book for my next venture. So three silly shows.

Prison reality shows are a guilty pleasure. I have been tortured ... well low bore torture at worst ... that I might some day be imprisoned ever since I first read about the unjust conviction of Steven Truscott when I was a mere slip of a boy. But that is a little quirk. Watching these shows reveals how little the state cares about the human garbage heap it has created by the now decades long American "tough" attitude in politics. Tough on crime, tough new laws, tough sentences, tough prosecutors. Tough, tough. Tough on the prisoners, tough on discontent, tough on poverty. It is a disgrace that the state cannot control the prisons it created.

I found a little hope in this latest documentary on San Quentin which featured the SNY ... "special needs yard". Once a prisoner has done something to rile up the the gang bosses who run inmates' lives, he has no choice but to bunk up with child molesters and other of the damned. But, curiously, this appears to be the only place in San Quentin where tolerance is required and exercised. Queers and trannies and ex-Nazis and ex-NorteƱos smilin and chillin and getting along.

Sort of like the rehabilitated dogs on Cesar's "calm submissive" Dog Whisperer" show. I like Cesar, and I have used his methods to reduce sweet Loki's irrational over-reaction to big dogs on our walks. But the thing that sticks out the most in his Dog Whisperer show is how idiotic most people are about their dogs. Everything he says is pretty much obvious. But in the human mind, the obvious is not necessarily clear. So telling the dog "no" seems mean, just as rewarding prisoners for tolerance is "soft".

Obviously prison is hell, and obviously dogs need control. But what is obvious does not always or immediately seem right or real or actual or better. Change is obvious, and it seems so unreal.

And work, which is obvious, gives you no clarity, no surety, nothing upon which to rely, even though you want to feel as if it does. That is what change means in the real life. We do not want it to be a threat, but we are here and we are fine, so a change presents itself first as something that can only upset the balance.

No way to escape it though. So embrace your master. Thank you, sir, may we have some more.

Friday ... two days off ... then back to being human.

No comments: