Dream on the night of the Iowa Caucuses

On the night of the Iowa Caucuses I had a dream that Bernie Sanders did surgery on me. He cut open a little door on the back right side of my head. Cut into the skin and skull and opened it up just like a door. Then he shot a few electrical pulses into my brain with some kind of instrument I couldn’t see (since it was behind me) but I got a feeling was shaped like a soldering gun.

I’m not sure what they did. It was Dr. Bernie Sanders and an assistant, who might have been Ben Carson but I doubt it. However that would have been funnier, so I should have just went with Carson for the purposes of an entertaining dream recounting.

Dr. Bernie Sanders and his assistant explained to me that the whole purpose of the surgery was to see if they could weld the door shut properly. Even having just had my brain fried with electrical pulses, I was rational enough not to believe their explanation for my brain surgery.

A vague amount of time went by in the dream, and it occurred to me to ask Dr. Sanders a question about my surgery. My question was: what symptoms might arise after such a surgery that I should be concerned and call you about? I was in the lobby of a catholic church I went to as a child. And I saw Dr. Bernie Sanders pass through and wave to some cameras, as people gathered round him. He passed quickly through the lobby and gave one of his nerdy awkwards smiles and went out the door. He didn’t seem to notice me, a person he had just performed some kind of brain experiment on dream-moments before.

(what happened here was my brain was taking memories of moments at the end of mass, where the congregants would file out and shake the priest’s hand and share a few words. In fact I think Bernie wore a purple scarf. The priests used to wear purple vestments at different times of the year).

But since it was the night of the Iowa caucuses, both in real life and in my dream, I figured I would ask Dr. Sanders questions about my electrical-pulse-directly-on-my-brain-via-a-door-through-the-back-of-my-head surgery at a later time.

There wasn’t any kind of satisfying conclusion. It’s a dream, not a story.

It could be that the Clintons bought ad space in my psyche and they’re trying to convince me Bernie Sanders is brainwashing me.

In reality I just support Bernie Sanders so girls will notice me. Thanks Gloria Steinem.

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Watch the Republican Debate Feb. 6 7pm-10pm CST with Me

https://www.ustream.tv/combined-embed/21940679?videos=gallery&videosCount=8&html5ui

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The week in Sloov #4 – first week in February 2016

I broke ground on a garden yesterday. The soil seems really good. Easy to work with, not too much sand or clay. Tomorrow I’ll probably walk up to the extension office with a soil sample so it can be tested. All my farmer friends know I’m too late in doing all of this, but I don’t care, because it’s not my job any more. garden

I’m remembering things about when I was a farmer, like how much fucking seed potatoes cost. I still get seed catalogs from the old farm. Was looking through one and the cheapest 5lb bag of seed potatoes cost $17.30, which I guess is fine if you’re selling some or you’re a rich hobby farmer. You’re supposed to grow potatoes from seed potatoes, not just a sack you buy at the store. But this year we’re trying it from a sack you buy at the store. One point of growing for personal consumption is to save money. All the farmers used to get together and bulk order seed potatoes from some company to save money, and we’d all drive to one farm. And a semi with 18 bald tires and an angry underpaid black woman driving it would show up, pull to the side of the country road and get stuck in the mud, and we’d all take our four or five boxes of seed potatoes.

We also bulk ordered feathermeal for a nitrogen source. Feathermeal is ground up chicken feathers, a byproduct of the meat chicken industry, so it satisfied organic standards, which I no longer care about… though in gardening, because of the small scale, it just makes more sense to hand-weed and try some home remedies for bugs. People who are all against organic farming think the food is grown in raw shit and it causes salmonella and ecoli, but it isn’t. It’s even written in USDA organic standards that manure has to be composted, meaning it’s sterilized by the sun and the composting process. There were news reports about some conventional farms spraying sewage sludge on their fields for fertilizer, because they don’t have rigid standards. The point is, I never knew an organic farmer in North Carolina who used raw manure for fertilizer. And we weren’t certified organic anyway, because it was turning into big business, and we didn’t have the extra $100 a month it costs to get certified.

We’ll start off with all kinds of greens and stuff, then try some onions and potatoes, then have a summer garden. I hate telling people what I’m going to do instead of doing it, then showing them, so I’ll shut up now, because I’m cursing myself to failure by announcing tentative things.  We are probably going to get chickens too though. I used to raise a shit ton of chickens when I was a farmer. I know more about them than I do raising produce.

Back in 2008, everybody was all hopeful about Barack Obama. They thought he was Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. I knew that was bullshit, because I saw where his money was coming from, and I listened to his rhetoric. He wasn’t going to hold Wall Street to account for the financial crisis, and he wasn’t going to end the war, he was going to continue it. And he proved that 3 days after his inauguration, when he was responsible for the death of his first child, and 8-10 other adult civilians in a drone strike in Pakistan.

Bernie Sanders is an actual anti-war, pro-economy option with an actual, viable candidacy for the first time in my lifetime. The last time this happened was when Senator George McGovern won the 1972 candidacy for president. He lost against Nixon in a landslide.

Ted Cruz reminds me of Nixon playing a televangelist. Very ugly, bland, and puppet-like. Everybody hates him save for the rubes who prop him up. His college roommate, who has a hilarious Twitter account, says Cruz was “the least authentic person I’ve ever known,” mentioned that he never got laid the entire time he was in college, and that he left a slime all over everything his dorm mates called “cruhz”.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Cruz is the current front-runner of the Republican candidacy for president.cruz

Bernie will win on Tuesday in New Hampshire, but Hillary’s war machine will just keep cranking up the attacks. I hope Bernie can pull it off, and I’m voting for him in Oklahoma’s primary on March 1st, but I’d be surprised. And should Bernie pull it off, will we have a repeat of the ’72 campaign, the last time a genuinely good man ran against a slimy evil fucker and lost big? Who knows. Bernie’s youth know how to vote for him in online polls, but do they know where their polling place is? I have hope, why not?

As I said, I didn’t buy Obama’s hope. While he was a far better president than either of his Republican opponents would have been, he still played establishment politics domestically and abroad. Yet on that snowy inauguration day I walked around the quiet farm where I lived and became emotional at the simple fact that a black man became President of the United States. As much as the pragmatist in me knew that it didn’t mean much of a change in real-world empire politics, I am a sucker for poetic symbolism and its long term implications. I also liked Obama, which is a bullshit reason for voting for someone. I dislike Hillary Clinton, which is a bullshit reason for opposing someone. However I imagine I’ll feel the same way I did on Inauguration Day 2009 should a woman be elected President this year.

 

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The Week in Sloov #3 – late January 2016

I don’t know people. I can’t get hired here. When you can’t get a job as a shipping clerk or a Trader Joe’s crew member what the fuck are you gonna do? The economy is bad out here. And a bad economy in a Republican state may as well be a desert. Not like we have liberal democrats running things elsewhere but my god man. The oil industry is in the slumps and the fat cats and their concubines in government are using it as an excuse to tighten the purse strings. Teachers get paid peanuts here. I’m drinking vodka on credit. My lady is keeping me out of debtors prison. I’m supposed to keep the house clean but the kitchen is a mess.

Part of the reason it’s a mess is that I’m learning how to bake things. I just made a dozen bagels, they turned out ok for a first batch. Boiled them and everything. In 2013 here in Oklahoma was passed a cottage food law that stated you could sell baked goods out of your house, to not exceed $20,000 in sales, as long as you put those baked goods in a package and put a sticker on said package saying these were goods baked in a facility that the state didn’t inspect. Well okay then. Redhead makes excellent cookies and I make a damn fine sweet potato cake. And as far as I can tell there’s only one bagel shop in town that makes them east coast style, so it’d be a good skill to learn.12553066_10153614136148751_7421793906183579349_n

I’m also thinking about setting up a Patreon. Patreon is a website that allows people to donate to you for creative endeavors. Like if I promise to write a blog every week, and an essay every week, make a podcast every week, make a video twice a month, how much money per month would you give me? I don’t know, but I see people getting a couple hundred a month on there for doing heavy metal covers on a banjo and mandolin and taping it, I’m interested. Would you be? I’ll set the thing as low as $1 a month.

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got hold of a nerve that makes things go viral. Last week as documented here on Sloover.com I took a video at a Trump rally that’s nearing 50,000 hits last time I checked. A sticker I used to put up around Pittsburgh got tweeted out by this band I jammed with for a few months called the Beagle Brothers, and the mayor of Pittsburgh replied to it, and then it was mentioned by Mike Pintek on America’s oldest radio station, KDKA radio. Weird random shit, I would have loved it if something I had actually worked on got attention. Before that I had a Craigslist ad go viral, and Shooter Jennings saw it and invited me to his gig where I drank whiskey with him backstage. This is all from nothing, it seems to me, just dumb luck and me being funny in an attention grabbing way, I guess. Forget all the shit I actually worked on, like essays and research pieces I spent hours and hours on for 30 hits, a podcast I spend countless hours on, and the band I spent years in. None of that I regret. But to take a minute and 44 seconds of video and have it seen by 50,000 people, or write some dumb ad when I was drunk and have it be seen and appreciated all over the internet. It seems wrong and weird.

When I first got out of college I probably read a book every week. A novel, a history book, a philosophy book. I had spent 4 years reading what I had to read for college, and then coming out with the urge to read what I wanted to, I learned more in the next 2 years than I had the previous four. I went through all of Bukowski, all of Kurt Vonnegut, all of Mark Twain, Henry Miller, Emma Goldman, and others, all in the span of a couple years, mostly spending time in Davis Library at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In the last, damn, nearly a decade, I spent time reading the internet and only maybe a book a month, then one every three months. Snippets, clickbait, news stories, politics. Much of it very substantive, but very fast, very temporary and fleeting. Not like Moby Dick. I sure haven’t tackled as many white whales like I used to.

I don’t know what it means. I don’t know if it’s good for me or bad for me. I don’t think good for you/bad for you framing works for any real insight into the nature of things. Sure I’m reading a few books at any one time, all the time. I’m reading a Philip K Dick novel and a book on Nazi doctors right now, but it takes me a lot longer.

We went to some wineries this week. I wanted to talk about that. The one winery had this elegant website and it turned out to be two old people at the end of a dirt road serving wine out of their garage. I don’t know why they had an elegant website like it was goddamn Northern California. I’d rather it be a Geocities site that says “Ed and Edna Make Wine in their Bathtub”. They were a nice old couple. The old lady said her mom’s family was from Meadville. It was just me and Redhead in the garage. Their fruit wines and whites were excellent and their reds tasted like something made in a prison toilet. I’d give them nothing but 5 stars on Yelp though.

We went to another one which was more fancy and overpriced. It’s Oklahoma wine. New wine and new wineries are by nature not as good as old stuff. I’m not an expert but French wine is the best I’ve ever had. It tastes old. And it’s subtle. It’s a tradition passed on through generations. Sweet fruit wine here and in North Carolina is excellent, because it’s traditional. In any kind of agriculture, winemaking included, it takes time. When I was a farmer I soon found out that when you learn a lesson, it takes a whole nother year where you can apply the solution.

I don’t know if it ties in with everything else I was talking about. But maybe it does.

We’re digging our garden tomorrow. Maybe go out and see some comedy tonight.

I miss you guys.

Peace and love, peace and love,

-Sloover

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I keep trying to get out, but Pittsburgh keeps pulling me back in

peduto sasquatch

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Peaceful Protesters Roughed up by Trump Supporters: A Journey into a Reality Built by Greedy Maniacs

Oral Roberts was a brilliant liar. With his Hitler-like powers of oratory, Oral created his own reality and broadcast it over the airwaves, generating millions of tax-free dollars donated to him by millions of American rubes.

To those of us on the outside, the televangelism Oral Roberts pioneered seems blatantly fake and insane. But he ran a line of bullshit through the American Bible Belt as far reaching as lines of rail in civilized countries. Most of us can’t conceive of sending money to some goofy, horrible actor who claims a 900 foot Jesus talks to him, and that God told him personally that if he doesn’t collect $8 million, he’ll be swimming with the fishes in the Arkansas River. But the rubes bought the bullshit, and blue haired, uneducated old ladies sent him their life savings, thinking he could heal them.

And he did it all from my current home of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Those dollars created skyscrapers, a prayer tower, a giant statue of Oral’s hands, folded in prayer, and the Mabee Center, seating 10,000 or so, where, over the years, there performed a lot of Oral.

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It was an overcast morning. The CityPlex Towers (formerly the City of Faith hospitals where the 900 foot Jesus appeared to Oral) are three skyscrapers that jut out in of the middle of nowhere, like the Emerald City. The clouds hung around the top of them adding to the Oz vibe. “Optimistic Voices” (The “You’re Out of The Woods” song) played in my brain, as though I just skipped out of a snowy poppy field on a chilly January day. Unfortunately all I had in my blood was ibuprofen for a sprained foot. And a nip of 100 proof vodka mixed with black cherry koolaid in the car after I parked.

All the folks parked at CityPlex made a slow pilgrimage across a great field of dead grass and mounds of mud to the creepy, space aged campus built in the late 60s to attract the young people. Oral Roberts University has become one of my favorite spots in Tulsa for it’s weirdness.

The line at the Mabee Center snaked around the parking lot and up toward the prayer tower, a line full of a diverse group of off white, to very white people. The only black people I remember seeing all afternoon were working there. A guy was walking around the line selling buttons with slogans like “Bomb the Shit out of ISIS” and other sayings the Muricans would like, and he seemed to be doing okay. I liked him, he was funny. I had no idea if his politics were sincere, but can you blame a guy for making money off these rubes? And what an appropriate place to take cash from rubes.

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The reason for the long line was caused by only a single door being open, which upon reflection was almost certainly a show business decision on the part of Trump’s organizers so the cameras would show the long lines. Protesters lined up along Lewis Avenue, holding signs like “Trump KKK Rally ->>”, and “No Hate in the 918”.  A few Trump supporters yelled at them, some just wanted to take their picture and did so with a smile on their face. And I figured if I couldn’t get in, I’d go stand with the sane ones.

But I wasn’t here to protest, I was here to get front row seats to the freak show.

Just after the above gloomy photo was taken, an event volunteer, a blond woman in red/white/blue came around to tell us several other doors had been open, presumably after media took enough pictures of the line. I sprinted to a very shorter line for another door.

Through the metal detectors, I found out my reservation meant absolutely nothing as no one was scanning them, and managed to find a seat positioned at center stage in a packed venue.

A long baIMG_20160120_122327[1]ck curtain hung behind the stage, sectioning off part of the venue. On the stage were American flags interspersed with Oklahoma state flags. And the podium with that Dickensian name in all caps, insisting:

“TRUMP”

The crowd waited, and waited, and waited as, sadly, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and the Beatles played over the sound system, the same handful of songs in a loop. Great music used for these purposes was cause for depression for the sane people who attended. The crowd became restless and booed as “Rocket Man” played a 4th time, then a 5th.

Finally there were stirrings among the security staff. A man brought a stack of papers to the podium. The crowd cheered, thinking somebody was finally about to speak, but the man went down the stairs, and the crowd booed again. Making them wait is textbook show business.

About an hour and 10 minutes after the slated start time, Trump finally appeared from behind the curtain to cheers from the Muricans. He spoke briefly and introduced Sarah Palin.

I started to giggle when she came out in her leather skirt and fuck-me boots, and when Palin spoke I laughed so hard tears were coming down my face. I bit my shirt to keep from laughing out loud. Then came side looks from my neighbors in the stands. They may have thought I was crying with the rapture of seeing such a force of Murican-ness. But I was like a toddler watching a cartoon. For some reason she was funny to me, a silly clown.

As usual she rambled through and hit the lines that the Muricans wanted to hear. The media in the past 24 hours has made much about her blaming Obama for not taking care of veterans, like her son, who was just arrested for domestic violence. She sounded a bit drunk the whole time, but when she spoke of her son, and Obama’s indirect role in his arrest, she was holding back the tears of a crazy lady desperately trying to hold on to a more comfortable version of reality than the truth.

Palin did offer a tiny bit of substance, however. She spoke to the frustrations of not just the Muricans but Americans as well. She spoke of joblessness, and the distrust of the establishment. Part of her speech could have been written by a drunk Bernie Sanders. However, the causes of the problems mentioned and the solutions are batshit crazy. Answers based on unevolved hatred and gut reactions rather than intelligent analysis and compassion. It’s ISIS, it’s illegal immigrants, it’s poor people, and on and on. All these answers that have kept the working class down for decades, and dangerously drawn to messianic clowns. Trump is a billionaire, yet one of us, she said to the crowd of citizens. But we can root for him, because he’s not part of the establishment.

Trump spoke, and it was, like Palin, his own brand of gibberish, sloppy meandering, saying nothing of substance, but hitting all the notes.

After a while the protests started. some shouting, but many were silent.

At first, the protests seemed to fuel the crowd. Trump, who has a history of involvement in the WWE, takes pleasure in saying “Get ’em out!” Not very far into the speech people began walking out in droves, with their Trump signs, having waited for hours (the venue opened at 10am), and were content to see the celebrity, and why sit through the whole speech if he says nothing? The protesters added excitement in the audience, acting as pro-wrestling heels, and keeps the crowd in their seats… so much so that I was wondering if Trump had planted some of them.

Trump, the candidate with by far the most media coverage, then turns to the media platform, explaining that he loves protesters because it’s the only thing that will get them to turn the cameras and show the big crowds he’s getting.

Suddenly, in front of where I was sitting, on the landing to go into the lower section, two men stood silently and embraced. The crowd began booing them. A man in a baseball cap, goatee and plaid shirt, who was sitting in front of me the whole time, who had elbowed my knee and apologized several times, and who was quiet through both speeches, rushed down in front of the silent protesters and got in their faces. I got my camera out. A few of the protesters’ friends came to stand with them. The man was telling them to get out. The protesters did not move, so he shoved them. They continued to stand their ground. The man in the white shirt was Brandon Smits

Then a big fat Boss Hogg looking guy with a cowboy had ambled down the stairs, grabbed Smits in a headlock, and attempted to drag him upstairs. Security rushed in saying “Hey Hey Hey” to the cowboy, and also grabbed Smits by the shirt. Smits stood for a moment, and just before he was escorted out, flipped Boss Hogg’s hat off. Trump began wrapping up his speech as they were escorted out. Here’s the video I shot:

I caught up with the protesters and spoke to them a bit in the parking lot afterwards (video forthcoming). Brandon was wearing a shirt with “We come in Peace” written on it, and a yellow sticker with “Mexican” written on it. We speculated as to whether Trump wrapped up early, noticing that things were starting to get ugly in the stands. Which would mean that the protesters effectively shut down the rally. They, much like Rose Hamid (the Muslim woman ejected from a Trump rally in South Carolina), decided to protest Trump not by shouting loudly, but by standing silently. They briefly recounted what happen. A friend said a man told her “I’m not afraid to punch a woman.”

A group of younger high school kids came over, and got their picture with them. I walked with the high school kids toward my car, and we talked about Bernie Sanders.

I’ve been to pro wrestling, and I’ve been to campaign rallies, and this was pro-wrestling, but with thousands of people who don’t realize it’s entertainment, much less possess the ability to fathom the disastrous results. Trump and Palin are creating a bizzarro world in politics, a power apparatus not built by any substance, but by hallucinations about Muslims, Mexicans, liberals already flowing through the public like the poisoned waters of Flint, a reality where Trump is the 900 foot Jesus that will save the good and cast out the evil. As funny and cartoonish as these strange mega-celebrities seem,  their success in the political realm means doom. Their followers are loyal. Dragging people out for disagreeing, denying denying denying in the face of truth. Denying what was plain as day in my video. This is the stuff of beer hall putsches. No amount of logic could have kept the blue haired old ladies from donating their life savings to a greedy pig like Oral Roberts. No amount of logic will stop the Muricans from lying themselves into a warped, horrifying vision of reality, which Trump and Palin are all too happy to profit from.

Sloover is a freelance writer and musician from Pittsburgh PA living in Tulsa OK.

 

 

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Trump supporters get violent with peaceful protestors

I took this video today at the Trump/Palin rally in Tulsa OK at Oral Roberts University.

More on this later, including a short interview with the protesters.

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