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Sunday
Jul222018

Happy Meals

Immediately after 9/11 world children scrambling through dust pawed soil looking for energy cells. Emergency air raid sirens exploded. Everyone scrambled into bombed out buildings.

"Hey, check this out," said a hungry refugee, "I found a case of Democracy. The Republican label says it spreads easily."

"Is it crunchy or plain?"

"How do I know? It’s just plain old Democracy."

"I hope it’s better than that old rancid Freedom Sauce. Let’s give it a go. Democracy is a good idea, in theory."

They opened the box, took out a jar, unscrewed the top, grabbed sharp knives, broke bread and slathered on Democracy.

"Wow! This is yummy."

"Yeah, well I got some stuck in my throat. It tastes like sand."

"It’s protein."

World tribes collected their Democracy.

"We need more energy," someone said. "We need music, news, a weather forecast. We need to know what’s happened."

"Need a clue? Take a look around you," said an illiterate person. Twin Towers, Iraqi and Syrian villages, and Afghan mountains smoldered on the immediate horizon.

"It looks desperate," said one.

"Eye, it does," said another. "It’s always darker before the dawn."

Sirens stopped and they emerged from darkness.

"We need shelter," said a family gathering leftovers from the World Bank. 65 million internally displaced people struggled toward hopeful futures. They sang, “Give me shelter. Shelter from the storm.”

"Beware those who live on dreams," said a rationalist.

"We need a committee," said a company man. "We need order."

"May I take your order?" requested a disembodied voice from a black box in a drive-thru combat zone.

"One happy meal to go," cried a distraught family trapped in a massive traffic jam. It was bumper to bumper on the highway of death between the airport and Baghdad.

Where the rubber met the road.

Their digestive systems were backed up for miles with sugar, fat, grease and carbohydrates.

"Consider the essentials will you," pleaded a small voice from the back seat trying to get a dial tone, trying to get through, trying to find a rhythm inside swirling chaos.

It threatened to swallow everyone into a black hole sucking everything into a parallel universe.

Weaving A Life (V2)

Wednesday
Jul182018

Blues Music

One day I wrote Blues Music Story on a broken green Fujian, China university board with flakey chalk.

I discussed the African Diaspora, history, suffering and slavery on farms for small money and how they gathered to make music after long hard days in the sunshine of their love.

How the blues manifested as men and women left rural villages on economic migrations for city jobs like China now. Floating people in a floating world.

How the blues expressed feelings of loss and separation from family and friends. It’s an emotional, deep in your spirit soul music. 

I pulled out my blues harp and they said, “Oh it’s a cochin.”

“Want to hear some blues?” 

“Yes!”

I blew sweet slow stuff picking up the tempo blasting rifts wailing train whistles. Giving them a real sense of loss forever.

“This is called, ‘Spoonful' by Howling Wolf.”

“When you’re a wandering minstrel or a Griot - a West African performer who perpetuates the oral traditions of a family or village by singing histories and tales, considered by musicologists to be a link with the acoustic blues - or a Seanachai - a traditional Irish storyteller of myths and legends - or a magician, seer and Adept this is natural. I am merely a conduit for music. It comes through me.”

After the blues lesson we practiced making a sandwich. Assemble ingredients: bread, tomatoes, mayo, relish, turkey slices, mustard, onions and lettuce. How do you eat a sand wish with chopsticks?

Let’s eat. Asian mantra.

New music echoed. Everyone ran to a window. 

Across the street an Indonesian boy sat on a piece of plywood in the shadow of a long tall Sally art deco three story building.

It towered above a gated Jakarta community filled with designer homes, wild tropical blossoming fruit trees, displaced dysfunctional spoiled offspring spinning yo-yo’s and orphans sleeping on broken bamboo bed springs or swimming to Utopia through flooded dreams. 

In his left hand he held a shining silver chisel. In his right, a flat edged hammer. He slammed metal against metal on a bronze bridge between the Stone Algae and the Iron Algae.

Between knowledge and wisdom.

Between an object and a concept.

Tap-tap-tap. Music flaked dust. His chorale was an old tribal creation song remembering family and soft rice paddies. Wind carried his life song.

A slave girl offstage in life’s dramatic interlude using a brothel broom of thinned tree branches whisked a gentle rhythm. She created her symphony of sadness and neglect waiting to be abandoned like a vignette.

The Language Company

Saturday
Jul142018

Draw The Dead

The Maija artist in Fujian, China accepted a photo from a grieving relative, set up his easel and studied a face with a magnifying glass.

His pencil sketched an 8x10. On chipped plaster walls were images of farmers, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, young and old Pioneer Communist members with tight red party issued scarves knotting necks suffocating passion.

This day he sketched a stoic resigned peasant woman. She’d suffered at the hands of the Nationalists then Communists then corrupt greedy economic free market revolutionaries before facing the indignities of old age.

Old age is a killer.

A battered three-string wooden musical instrument hung near red streaks of paint in his fine art museum. A black fly on the artist’s left shoulder rubbed feelers together. Tasty.

An emaciated smiling ascetic friend of the artist wearing a skeleton face with paper-thin arms opened a bag of Fujian tea. He poured tight compressed leaves into his bony right hand dispersing it into an old chipped blue pot. He added water from a battered red thermos. We shared tea watching the artist. The likeness was perfect. The tea tasted acidic.

These images decorated Asian family altars and collected dust in temples. Ancestor worship and the fear of ghosts is a big deal.

Do all the ancestors hear, understand and acknowledge the yelling? Yes. Do they open their mouths requesting a little peace and quiet? Yes.

On anniversary death days they meet ghost ancestors in cement alley mazes where piss, drain water, used cooking oil, daily slop and vicarious liquids flowed into small holes.

The dead formed a rubber stamp committee addressing Asian family noise.

“It’s come to our attention dear comrades, beloved family and friends...we have a communication volume problem in the neighborhood. Silence. We are trying to enjoy a long peaceful restful sleep. Leave us be or we will return to haunt you. Forever.”

The Language Company

Sunday
Jul082018

Dance

“We climbed up. We descended,” said Zeynep breathing through her shamanic mask.

“Is it carved from tribal memories?” said Lucky.

“Masks are symbolic manifestations in diverse cultures. Mask dance is a ritual, worn in a dance trance. Wearing a mask you become the thing you fear the most, your essential nature. Masks hide a human’s consciousness of fear.

“Dance is about process, becoming from stillness, from nothing. Shiva symbolizes the union of space, time and destruction. Dance is ancient magic. People seeking transformation wear masks representing gods or demons. Dance is the incarnation of energy from the source. We are from the source. Have courage to wear your natural face mask. The entire universe is a vast theatre. Death does not exist.”

“Humans evolved their ability to scheme and deceive behind masks,” said Lucky. “How do they manifest compassion and love without projecting guilt and shame on others while wearing their mask?”

“That's an eternal life quest,” said Z. “It requires daily practice and letting go of ego. Cogito ergo sum. They think their mask is reality. It's not. It’s artificial, an illusion, a myth, a projection of their fear.”

The Language Company

 

Hanoi Ethnology Museum

Sunday
Jul012018

Fear Motivates Earthlings

Part 3.

Mr. ON speaks to his English class at Chinese Pineapple Appliance Factory #8...

Learning occurs in the context of task-based activities. In other words you learn by doing. You do and you understand as we say, said, do, did, done.

In exhaustive detail we will discuss four important appliances and their English A/C-D/C let’s see connections. They are: washing machines, air conditioners, vacuum cleaners and microwave ovens.

These machines are now essential and fun to operate in one’s life. They are labor saving devices. Don't ask me what that means.

Maybe it’s a labor of love, like labor pains or an educational experience at a popular Re-Education-Through-Labor Reform gulag in the Gobi Desert.

You don’t ever want to go there. Trust me.


I don’t know and I don’t care to know. You know heavy deep true love because it is your job to put machines together with meaning. It’s like English. Putting words together makes a sentence or phrase. Pass the syntax please.

For your final exam you will assemble a Freeze & Point Refrigerator and extraterrestrial Moon Rover named Jade Rabbit.

A simple sentence is: I NEED HELP. Three essential words.

Or: I need food or I need a job. I need water. I need sex. I need freedom from need and a need for freedom. I need to be a free person in a free country. A Chinese immigrant waif named Curious in Turkey, not the bird, teaching Mandarin in Ankara said that with mindfulness.

Some English sentences are brief and precise. Some are gibberish. Many stream of consciousness sentences are composites of useless idiomatic semantic syntax, which is not the same as income tax, however both are expensive.

Life is difficult. Art is easy. Make the reader/observer work hard.

Write this down. English in >English out.

More vocabulary = more speech. Use it or lose it.

Say new words three times and make a sentence to retain restrain refrain vocal volcanoes.

Open your head, heart and mouth. Eat English. Empty your vowel bowel movements.


Please open your creative notebook. Using a simple writing tool like a pen or #2 getting the lead out with a fast pencil answer the following questions using simple English.

Be brief. Be concise. Be short, fast and deadly.

What is life? _______

How did I get here? ______

Why am I here? _____

Am I a machine? _______

Am I a tool of factory #8? _______

Am I a tool of nature? ___________

What is a human machine? ________

What is my motivation to learn English? _________ Secret answer – MONEY with a capital M

Here’s life's equation. No English = no job. No job = no money. No money = no food. No food = starvation.

I am sorry. Bye-bye. Good luck to you and your family.

Your supervisor has instructed me to motivate you. She loves rules and regulations. She eats rules 3x day. She expects me to demand you arrive on time, complete assigned tasks and pass exams. Her authoritarian management style commanded me to use fear as a form of discipline with you.

We know how phobias motivate Earthlings.

If I fail to pass you I will be executed. Survival is my fear-based motivation. It is my DUTY to push you through. You WILL pass because my life depends on it. No quest-ion about it.

Fear is a funny word. How do four little letters enable esoteric ephemeral trembling meaning and sensation? For example:

Fear of starvation.

Fear of poverty.

Fear of losing face.
Fear of failure. Fear of failing better.

Fear of humiliation or shame. Greater than Death – the Grim Repair.

Fear of not meeting family expectations.
Fear of speaking in public.
Fear of ancestor ghosts.

Fear of being ordinary.

Fear of success.

Fear of crossing a transcendental border.

Fear of______(free choice). Fill in your Tabula Rasa.

In our next lesson we will discuss parts and functions of a language washing machine.

One more thing. Normal is a cycle on a wishing machine.

Doctoral students will construct, operate and defend their dissertation using The Dream Sweeper Machine.

Thank you for your short attention span. See you when you see me.

The Language Company