Thursday, January 01, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The war is not over yet, and I am still poor and whining, loveless and musing

It’s 10:25 pm, PST, Wednesday, December 31, 2008—as I write this with a heavy heart.
Right at this moment, in between drafting a few news-feature stories, I am watching a TruTV show with B/C-celebrities like Gary Busey, Leif Garrett, Danny Bonaduce and Tonya Harding commenting to some stupid, dumbass shenanigans—in between shots of Smirnoff (to keep myself warm from Lakewood CA’s 48 temp), iced tea chasing it down.
And I am not even laughing… Um, these two drunken college buddies got ticketed for jaywalking at a secluded New Hampshire street, at 2am—seen on “Speeders.” The less-smashed one said, “I am the designated walker tonight!” What about these Thai dudes who’re playing around with Crocodiles—ushering their arms in those deadly mouths—at a community festival? What’s up with these guys? Not funny.
I don’t really feel like it’s a new year… You see, the war is not yet over—so, no exclamatory mark of elation. “Happy” (in Happy New Year) is wishful thinking. We do this each year at the end of the year. Hopes. Changes. Dreams. Plans. More often than not, we end up “surviving,” eking out a living, barely scraping through the day—and then, we do it again.
We are back in the streets, protesting the same protest, year after year.
Do you know that the top three Internet searches in 2008 are: Britney Spears, professional wrestling, and Barack Obama? Glitterdom idiocy and caricatured violence as the foremost, utmost concerns of people last year? And what made poor, pitiful Filipinos happy last year? Boxing. When the Pacman beat up the Golden Boy to a pulp, everybody applauded.
Obama is a good choice, that should make us happy. But then, we are still awaiting one sign of positive vibe from our incoming president. So far, none yet. When? The next three months, after the January proclamation maybe? The sunny state’s Terminator Gov Arnie isn’t talking about new jobs—instead, he’s still pretty much intent on making California a utopian environmental idyll for super-healthy people. Forget jobs, roofs over yer heads, or food on the table. Uh, probably, there’s a place for malnourished bodies cramped inside their beat-up sedans?
What I read, so far: More than 300 of the 1,125 billionaires tallied on Forbes’ annual list last March have since lost at least $1 billion; several dozen lost more than $5 billion. So what? CEOs are still begging for bailout billions; why can’t souls on foreclosures, slashed pay, and near-starvation all mass outside and scream, “We need bailout!”
The wealthy cries rescue, while the poor still cling to their earth-bound honesty. You read about a mother who found a box of cookies at a store, stacked with $10,000, and then returned it? The supposed owner of the stash took it back, but never rewarded the beautiful soul who found her “life’s savings” a cent. She’s no different from a greedy Chief Executive Officer of some gargantuan automaker, right?
The evil sting of the laid off, dumped man who took 13 lives (including his own) in Covina cut through the core like a lingering, nagging nightmare. But it’s real—not a bad dream. The Devil dressed in Santa Claus, with Death-Red all over.
New year’s resolutions? Wake up before 7am (how could that be, when I’m still awake at 7am, mostly), lose weight (there’s nothing to lose except my mind), eat healthy (like what Schwarzeg says? $26 for a hummus dinner?), balance checkbooks (balance what?), quit smoking (I don’t smoke), earn more money (what?!), be friendlier (with whom?), adapt a dog (I should be adapted instead).
Boring life.
Whatever it is—as usual, there’s still a lot of work to do. On my part, I haven’t really done things—this passing year—that I can be called, “accomplishment” or “progress.” Everything is relative in a society that is so reliant on mouse clicks, or in human responses that are drawn to fears/doubts and anxieties/paranoia.
I moved from Asheville NC to Las Vegas to the South Bay. But that doesn’t amount to a “change.” I’ve been moving all my life. I didn’t date, or gone out with, with anyone in the past year, maybe that’s a “change.” The Traveling Bonfires has been doing gigs at least 3 a month, but that isn’t “change,” either. I still don’t know how to figure out bank situations, bills payments or how to keep track of “hidden fees,” or whatever it is that comes with “living in the USA.” Nothing changed. I have been churning out an average of 5,000 words a week as a paid journalist—but that’s not “change.” I chucked my problematic two-door Buick (+ car payments etc) for a Montero SUV, provided by my generous boss. Is this change? Might be called “perks.”
My boss also bought me a new Toshiba laptop and a Canon digicam—and obliged to move our Eagle Rock office (3 freeways away) to Santa Fe Springs, a good 2 or 3 miles to my Lakewood residence. But why am I NOT happy still?
Or am I just getting bored of life?
I need more action., more skirmish, more laughters. I am also getting lonelier and lonelier each day, each night—I am about to post my “best” photo in the next ten personals sites that get in my spam box, seriously.
Now, I gotta watch “Hellboy II.” We seek peace in the unreal, we do… Despite all these, I give 2009 a low-five, just the same. Please watch my next poetry reading at Viento y Agua on 4th Street on Jan 10, Saturday. Meantime, see ya wherever, whenever—but, as ever, live good, love good, and eat only good food!

Lakewood, CA


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