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LAST WEEK's EDITION
MEET THE G-CREW! These are the people behind this jam-band every week. AND there are GUIDELINES FOR YOU TO JOIN THE BAND...
A full 61 days after our dimpled chads were rendered null and void, the bad ju-ju arrived in Telluride, Colorado, like an inevitable wind from some foul and gassy pharaoh perched, with a long, long rifle, on the Grassy Knoll of our times. That is to say the Savage Pilgrim was fired from his job at the local bakery. This after joking with the owner that he should be sued for selling the locals bad milk. The Pilgrim exercised his free speech, and then paid for what a donut hole really costs.
Next, he wandered up the street on Colorado Avenue on a sun-drenched spring-like day -- despite it being February at 9,000 feet in the Rockies -- and commiserated with the rest of the high-life wannabe denizens of town, all of whom were happy for him and sunning themselves on the smoker's bench in front of the Screaming Bean Cyber Cafe.
Still, it hurts. This much we know about the Pilgrim. He's both sensitive and dysfunctional, a canary in the coleslaw mine. That the bad thing can come this far up the hill, isolated as we are in the southern Rockies, only goes to show how deeply entrenched the Machine Mind is on the American landscape.
But recovery of what's lost is not only possible, it's inevitable. And under the right conditions, the transformation can take place in a blink of an eye.
"I'm getting over it already," the Savage Pilgrim says in movie star sunglasses, wide-open shirt collar and his patented leather pants, shiny as black licorice in the bright sun. "But it's a personal thing. It's the kids. The betrayal. I can understand -- but I cannot . He gave me a check that said 'zero.' It was just being totally mean."
He hunched down in his seat, back in the glaze of the rejected. The Pilgrim, a creative genius with film scripts spinning their way up the food chain in Manhattan, is rendered null and void by the mere failure to fit in as a grunt laborer. He was fired by a man who, by all reports and my own understanding of his history, is a cut-throat mine boss of the 33rd degree, the very worst kind of low-paying capitalist exploitation creep.
I remembered another former Baked employee, a waster of time and scammer on the streets, who now lives in the woods this winter after being fired for giving free pastries from a throwaway bin to other street people, or "woodsies," one of the many who live in a network of yurts and small cabins nestled in the higher elevations. (A whole sub-culture of people live in these places in a way that's reminiscent of a Walden Pond ethos.)
Of course, the Savage Pilgrim is a city slicker, which means he prefers to "couch surf," yet another way to live free or die in Telluride.
Sure, it's springy and warm and a guilty pleasure since everything points to still more global catastrophe, but it's colder than hell at night at 10,000 feet in southwestern Colorado.
"Fired from Baked," the Savage Pilgrim groans. "This is what happens when you go to work with leather pants."
OK, OK, it has been well established:They burn their witches everywhere. This is the way of the world, and we have already established that free speech in America is a crock. What's more deeply concerning is the fact that even in utopia the very worst are full of so much passionate efficiency.
I look at my own pile of ashes on my desk here in the Nugget Building, home of the old theater in Telluride where the soundtracks for the films thunder through the floorboards in the evening (usually a hellish noise, since that's where the popular arts are these days in Glasnost Lost) and I think: Well then, at least I'm a little farther down the road from my own failed dream of becoming a dysfunctional half-baked employee, a grunt laborer. That is to say, I'd only discovered a few hours before that I was unfit to sell carpets to the public. Overqualified, basically. So I went back up to my office to write some more --- since I lacked any more reasons to avoid art, philosophy and poetry ... and this text is what happened.
And what do I think about, having failed to make an honest day's living? A mere three months ago I was drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes in some grand old Boston hotel, doing research on Dr. Joseph Warren, the Grandmaster of New England, who, as head of the Boston Committee of Safety, sent three horsemen to warn the outlying villages that the Redcoats were coming.
Well, they are back.
And what do you know:I find out at the office in Boston --- an hour or so later -- that I'm too much of a loose cannon to be trusted with the "vision" anymore. That is to say, my vision was too, um, visionary. It would possibly overwhelm a carefully constructed less-costs-less multi-media paradigm of this, the age of diminished e-expectations.
There I was, only a few hours away from that point of no return, and I was transcribing the following words about the Jacobin Church in Paris, circa 1790 or so: "But the chief priest and the speakers of this place, as we said, is Robispierre, the long-winded incorruptible man. What spirit of patriotism dwelt in men of those times, this one fact, it seems to us, will evince: That fifteen hundred human creatures, not bound to it, get quiet under the oratory of Robispierre; nay listened nightly, hour after hour, applausive; and gaped as for the word of life."
The effervescent writer, an editor named Tallien, as recorded in Carlyle's Works of the Revolution, Volume IV, 1884, a scribble found on a great old bookshelf of all kinds of ancient texts at the hotel, described Robispierre as "The Trismegistus and Dalai-Lama of Patriot Men."
A few hours from that momentous post-mortem on democracy, on Dec. 13, 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court made George W. Bush president by default, I was molesting a 116-year-old book about a still earlier time when a civic leader -- indeed, a revolutionary and visionary -- could be compared to a mythical metaphysical Prometheus and another cat who comes around every century or so like some reincarnated sparrow who arrives, like clockwork, at the cosmic San Juan Capistrano.
But today, a full 61 days after our dimpled chads, our very imperfections that make us human were rendered void by the Void, more interruptions are on the way.
Stephen Norman, the local Native American scout and cinematographer-without-camera, whose family comes from big-time money in Oklahoma, has entered the building. His timing, too, is amazing. Norman is a pony-tailed self-made shaman who is wired as always with the kind of energy and insight that -- if I didn't know any better -- might be described as "superhuman." Whenever he speaks, which is almost all of the time, the room shakes with the booming voice of a post-hippie preacher on the prairie.
"We've got to start pimping Waldorf," he says, putting the little dog on his lap and trying on my new beret for size. "Do you know how much puppies of Yorkshire terriers cost? Five-hundred bucks, that's how much. I mean, even the dog is a Knight's of Templar Freemason dog, look at him."
The little tyke, brown and black with a pink tongue and more brains than most 4-year-old kids, is a made-for-TV wunderkind. Waldorf is well beyond mere stupid pet tricks and is, in fact, more human than he will ever get credit for, due no doubt to his good breeding and the general fact that his owner is a four-letter control freak.
The dog, Waldorf, is also the ultimate chick magnet in such watering stations as The Last Dollar Saloon.
Now Norman is addressing the dog directly in a "little people" whine that only dogs can understand. "My mom said my whole life you need to be an architect. If I'd only listened to my mom, but instead, we are dog trainers," Norman says in his doggie falsetto. "Your dad don't got no Happy Hour money, so you can't go to the bars and be with your buddies, beggin' for human food."
Oh yeah, the worm has turned. The witches are on the run, sifting through the trash for food, sifting through the antique stores, the pawn shops, the big deep sleeper closets, the empty spaces, all for a sign of economic viability that we can recycle from the heady days of the so-called Gold Rush.
Meanwhile, the local realtors of Telluride are chasing their down spiral of foiled deals, fat cats pulling out of their agreements, bailing on their rent, selling their ranches that were considered to be their "priceless, cherished dreams" only a week before.
In the final analysis, we are all privately discovering the impact of what it means when we are all not as rich as we only too recently thought we were.
But all the same, we are all rich beyond our wildest dreams, if we can only see the trees behind the trees, the sun behind the sun.
Because if "The Mythville Project" is about anything, it's about finding the roots for the new trees now planted in the realm of the invalidated. And believe me, at the end of this foul rainbow, painted by carbon and alien atoms messing with the thyroid glands of everyone who will ever be, living or unborn, there is this deep, broad, humming sound beneath the surface of everything.
My problem is I'm not sure if it's the voice of Hell, Heaven -- or both.
If it's the sound of the Machine Mind, well, pay no heed; it's simply the demiurge uncoiling beneath our feet.
If it's the sound of the Creator, yes, the thing outside the thing, like a train rolling down a hill, heading for us all, with one last chance offered for redemption, well then, maybe we should listen harder.
Maybe we should go back to the beginning; which is to say, go back to the end, on Dec. 13, 2000, when the dimpled chads were rendered null by the all-too-vulnerable architect of the Void.
There I was, meandering my way to work in Needham, Massachusetts, wondering if I would make it, and deciding a little research on my book at the old hotel in Boston would be better than actually completing the 40-mile commute to my office cube. Which I could barely look at anymore...Oh, the stories that need to be told.
Next: The State of the Union speech by the new Robispierre on Newton Mountain, on Dec. 13, 2000
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