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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,703

Journal Archives


"Without followers, evil cannot spread."

-- Spock

It's real this time.

My old friends - the cedar waxwings - have returned

There is a cherry tree outside my office. This time of year, it is of course denuded of leaves, but there are still many berries left on the branches. The occasional bird flits in, dines, and departs...but last year, at about this time, a flock of about 30-40 cedar waxwings descended all at once like a riot of color, stayed all day, and stripped the tree bare of its remaining fruit. I was positively mesmerized.

A few minutes ago, I saw a flurry of movement out of the corner of my eye, and looked out the window.

My friends have returned.

Four Tao philosophers as cedar waxwings
chat on a February berry bush
in sun, and I am one.

Such merriment and such sobriety--
the small wild fruit on the tall stalk--
was this not always my true style?

Above an elegance of snow, beneath
a silk-blue sky a brotherhood of four
birds. Can you mistake us?

To sun, to feast, and to converse
and all together--for this I have abandoned
all my other lives.

- Robert Francis

Snapshots From the Apocalypse

...and if you have the right kind of eyes, it all really is astonishingly beautiful. Plus, it's a balmy 23 today. Beach trip!

I finally figured it out.

Bill O'Reilly is Bluto from "Animal House," but without the social skills.

It all makes sense now.

Had to dig my way to the next cord of wood

That was fun.



Bike path.

The Wreckers' Grand Canyon Intentions

Sarana Riggs, left, with Save the Confluence, and Roger Clark, program director for the Grand Canyon Trust, above the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, where a proposed billion dollar development project, the Grand Canyon Escalade, would be located, in Arizona, Nov. 20, 2014. The proposed development is the latest, and arguably the most ambitious, in a long and contentious history of attempts by developers to build near the Grand Canyon, a national landmark which draws 4.5 million people a year. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

The Wreckers' Grand Canyon Intentions
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Saturday 21 February 2015

Twenty years ago, my friend Kevin and I piled our ragged belongings into the back of his Chevy beater and drove from Massachusetts to California. It was November and we were worried about weather, so we dove south and traversed the country in a giant loop. We stopped in DC to visit friends, stopped in Alabama to visit family, and stopped in New Orleans for a night that will live in infamy.

From there it was on to Texas to visit more friends...and after that, we were on our own - no more friends or family to offer a bed for the night - so we decided to bomb straight through the second half of the trip and not stop until we got to San Francisco.

Which we did, with one exception: we paused at the Grand Canyon. We pulled into the entrance at three o'clock in the morning, the only ones there. As we drove up the long route, deer and jackrabbits flashed past the headlights. We parked in a viewing area on the western rim of the massive gorge, which was nothing but a vast black hole at that hour.

Kevin wrapped himself in a blanket and immediately passed out - we'd been driving non-stop since College Station, Texas - but I couldn't sleep. I stood at the rail before the canyon with the cold November air on my face. Above shined the Milky Way like I'd never seen it, before me was that fathomless darkness, and in my exhausted, elated state, I felt as if I was swimming in space. I stood, and stared, and contemplated all the turns of fate that had brought me to that place.

And then the sun rose, and devoured the darkness, replacing it with an astonishment of color, a riot of hues, and it was the most beautiful and fulfilling moment I have ever shared with Nature. The sunlight poured through the windshield and woke Kevin up. He gave a brief honk of the horn and startled me out of my reverie. I dumped myself into the driver's seat, pulled out, and we didn't stop until we hit Clement Street. I needed no sleep; if God exists, I spent that night and morning staring into Her face, and it changed me forever.

If an organization called Confluence Partners has its way, however, not long from now the next person to stand in that spot and watch the sunrise will be presented with a different vision: a 420-acre strip mall perched on the eastern rim of the Canyon, complete with stores, chain restaurants, a massive RV park, and a gondola to carry swaths of American laziness past all that natural beauty straight to the canyon floor...but only after they enjoy some jalapeno poppers and a large Diet Coke at Chili's.

It is difficult to wrap one's mind around an idea so comprehensively awful as this. They are called "Confluence Partners" because the project looks to be built at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River, which are only the lifeblood of the ecosystem there. A massive construction project, followed by the arrival of thousands of people and cars with their attendant garbage and petroleum fumes, will obliterate the environment in one of the planet's most glorious natural habitats.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/29221-the-wreckers-grand-canyon-intentions

Ten Years Ago Today

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun – for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax – This won’t hurt."

Here's to ya, Doc. You broke my heart...but you went out with one of the greatest parting lines in history.

"Relax - This won't hurt."

...and then bang. Your way. Your way, always.

"Tonight I will drink to you all evening long." -- Barleyjuice

So here's some surrealism for your morning coffee

My daughter Lola's favorite toy right now is a little figurine of Santa from the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV show; he looks more like an elderly cobbler than a traditional Santa, to be frank, but whatever. The toy has a button on it, and when she pushes it, the Santa spouts lines from the show. She pushes the button all the time.

Meanwhile, I've got the Beastie Boys' "License to Ill" on in her play area. She likes to dance to the beats, and I'm not worried about the lyrics because she doesn't understand them. Soon enough, I'm going to transition her to The Meters, but not yet.

Finally, she has been singing her favorite song - the ABC song - incessantly.

This is what my house sounds like:

"Livin' at home is such a drag Merry Christmas H-I-J-K your mom threw away your best porno mag the island of misfit toys W-X-Y and Z you gotta fight for your right to Merry Christmas!"

Who needs drugs.

This guy did it right.

You may have heard of the "parking wars" in Boston that take place after significant snowfall. You break your ass to shovel a spot out, and when you drive out of it, you place all manner of items - chairs, trash barrels, pianos - in the spot to claim it as MINE so no one parks there.

It is a sacred tradition, and only terrible jerks violate it...to their peril. People flip all the way out when their spot gets stolen, especially during winters like this, when keeping the spot clear involves back-breaking labor (Where am I going to put the snow? Oh, I'll just walk every shovelful 100 feet that way, no biggie). People who steal snow spots have had their windshields caved in, their cars keyed, their tires slashed. It's a no-fucking-around situation.

This guy did it right.

‘Guy Took My Spot ... So I Put the Snow Back’

Vengeance is indeed a dish best served cold...and the fact that the car had NY plates is what makes this art.

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