Due to publisher prompting I’m working hard to finish the book, “Severe.” I’m down to the technological aspect of recovery from brain damage. It is hugely frustrating that the ‘therapists” I was involved with had not a clue relative to what I needed. The attempt was made to teach me to walk when I had neither the ambitious will, nor the sense of balance which would make it possible.
My vestibular system is severely damaged. I doubt my “therapists” and possibly not even my doctor knew nor knows what a vestibular system is. Balance is a sense. A sense we don’t know we have, until we loose it. Loosing ones vestibular system in relationship to balance, is comparable to losing the retina in relationship to seeing.
In any case, research for my book has led me to some magnificent chunks of modern medical wisdom relative to brain plasticity (the reason I now know my name, earned a degree and am working on my MA). In any case, it’s all rather groovy, and the next thing you know I may be ballet dancing… Hopefully not alone!
OK, pretty unique evening Saturday night (April 9, 2016). Mason & Bacon decided to go to the Clash MMA 17 at the Ellen Eccles Ice arena in North Logan, UT. I’ve never attended such a thing in the past and thus had no idea what to expect. Twas an evening of surprises! The first was the size of the crowd. We arrived 20 minutes before start time and the parking lot was practically full. The next surprise was security (over the top in my ever unhumble opinion). They were patting people down and searching their packs. I wasn’t allowed in because of my Swiss Army tool (???). Back to the car to dispose of my weapon…
We return, are allowed in, but when we enter the stands, it turns out there is no handicapped accommodation whatsoever (I was minus a leg, a sense of balance, and was in my wheelchair). We end up seated at floor level, in the aisle through which people enter and exit the stands. I shall have to guard my precious Macbook Air with my life!
During the first segment of the event our view is mostly blocked but we are able to see some of what is going on. Security people materialize before me. No, it’s not me they’re after, thank goodness. Evidently they’re tracking a young lady who might have, of all the damnable things, alcohol… but maybe not.
Ok, security gone, first round is over and now a couple of nice looking young ladies are positioning themselves in my line of vision. If they’d take their shirts off and turn around, that’d be cool, but I rather suspect that’ll not happen. Ah, the fight’s on again. One big guy apparently banged the other’s head against one of the support beams of the cage. He’s back on his feet now. Holy smoke, I’m actually seeing some action! I must admit this is cooler when you can see it. Ah, new lady moves in to block my view. At least she has a nice ass. Round 3 coming up. One feller has a boring strategy. Grab the other guy, push him over backwards and then sit on him. Oh, fight’s over. hmm… Next time I’m gonna study up so I know what the hell the rules are ’n such…
OK next fight between deeieiidkals KKSOoeeeaaaaaa! and whoever. Pretty poor acoustics. This looks more interesting. Much better. They ended up on the floor, but there were some pretty impressive moves… Whoa! knockout! excellent fight! Groovy. That was more like it..
Next fight… eventually… reminds me of Mexican slasher derbies. A lot of time is wasted between matches. One of the sponsors is BLO BLO BLEEP!! A guy in the ring is talking about t-shirts… global blu blah t-shirt. bleed blah blah blah, t-shirt!
Girl fight coming up! Well hoopie guadaloopie this ought to be interesting.
Well… It WOULD be interesting, I suppose, if I could see it. Shit, it must be awesome, the crowd’s going completely abstract batshit crazy. Standing up, on their chairs. So it’s become a matter of looking at people’s backsides, listening to incomprehensible audio, and people screaming… I don’t see a damn thing. I’ve no idea what happened but GlaAABMLEEE BLAABLAAAHALLLAAA won. She’s talking, “bleebleem a boodllldi BLES BLAH BLAN and gooblesloboo” ‘er something like that.
Next we move on to title bouts. The crowd relaxes and sits down, thus I finally get to see some action! A title fight next. The girls are done fighting so everyone’s sitting down.
Holy shit, fight’s already over. I saw it and still don’t know what happened.
Next, a welter weight title fight: Nino Genoa 3/0 / Michael Garcia 5/1: Plainly these two are on a different level than what we’ve seen so far. They are both in very good physical condition (even though they’re not ladies), and appear to be significantly more skilled than what we’ve seen so far. Round 4 coming up. Fight’s over. I’m not sure what happened. Looked like Garcia kicked Genoa in the leg… Maybe that’s against the rules… I don’t know. Anyway, it’s over and Garcia is declared the winner.
Next is a professional bout between Miles Welp??? vs Devin Knight???
Fight’s over, one of ‘em whooped the shit out of the other of ‘em. Miles Welp??? got the other feller in a choke hold and he tapped out.
OK… All in all, this has been a well spent evening. I’ve learned a few important things: First, purchase VIP seating; 2- Don’t bring your Swiss army tool (nor whiskey flasks); 3- arrive early so I can score a seat as close to ringside as possible; 4- bring a better camera. In the mean time, study the sport so that I know what the hell is going on.
Alrighty then… Apparently, I’m a fan!
Finding Sackcloth in “Speak Bird, Speak Again” was somewhat of an adventure. Discovering a tale of the same tale-type as many of the old Indo-European Folk tales, Cinderella from Germany, Katie Woodencloak from Norway, The Broken Pitcher from England, Ashley Pelt from Ireland, The Sharp Grey Sheep from Scotland, The Hearth-Cat from Portugal, Little Saddleslut (love the name), The Baba Yaga from Russia, and many more. A version appearing from the folk history of Palestinian Arabs was somewhat of a surprise, as were many of the tales presented here. Sackcloth is the one which sparks my own interest most keenly. In my world, anything coming from Palestinian Arab origin, is somewhat like originating in Hell. Prejudicial?Indeed, but there ya go.
There are many tales of the same type, for reference here, I am using the brothers Grimm version of Cinderella as translated by Margaret Taylor in 1884. That the two tales spring from the same root is quite apparent. The stories share more than just a tale-type. Various motif similarities fall one after another throughout both versions of the tale, beginning with the title itself “Cinderella,” pointing to the girl in cinders, as it were, and “Sackcloth” her very name referring to coarsely woven fabric. Both, daughters of successful men, have lost their mother. Living lives of trouble, both end up at parties of royalty with their true beauty, previously covered by sack cloth and cinders, now exposed. Both end up charming a prince with their inherent beauty and to the prince, end up married. The two, in many ways, the same story.
The interest I have is spawned in the differences which can be traced to the cultural roots of either version of the tale. The antagonist in Cinderella is the wicked stepmother which is relatively typical of this type of tale from the Indo-European perspective, however in Sackcloth’s case the antagonist is her step-father who rather than servitude from the stepdaughter, is seeking something dangerously close to incest, marriage to the stepdaughter. A conflict of a type much more typical of the cultural environment in the palestinian Arab environment. An environment in which there is apparent conflict between religious allowance and societal beliefs. The folk tales reveal the peoples truer and more personal feelings towards technically acceptable behaviors. The sexual/incestual aspect is absent in the Indo-European version where the type of domineering environment is more likely to be found at the hands of a “wicked stepmother” than a sexually interested stepfather treading dangerously close to incest.
Absent from the Indo-European version is the disguise of dressing as another sex. Dressing as a male to avoid the sexual advances of a stepfather. The prince dressing as a woman to gain access to the hidden identity of the maiden who held his interest. This aspect of the tale would not fit in so nicely in an Indo-European community, particularly the cross-dressing aspect, but in the Palestinian Arabic realm it fits quite nicely and the lesson of the tale is enhanced. The incestuous aspect of the Sackcloth version carries an important cultural vibe which would be absent in the Indo-European surrounding of Cinderella. The domineering behavior of the stepMOTHER and stepSISTERS are not necessary in the Palestinian version. Such is not a typical moral situation found, at the time, in Palestine.
We find motif similarities such as L131, Hearth abode of unpromising heroin, N711.6 prince sees maiden at ball and is enamored, R213 escape from home, and others.
The overall lesson of the abstractly abandoned child, missing the mother, finding and putting to use her own innate beauty and coming out on top in the end, is driven home in both tales and is done so in a fashion relative to the cultural environments in which the differing tales were told.
These two tales are a nice example of the type of tales which spawned the modern usage of the terms “folk psychology,” “Cinderella philosophy,” “Cinderella complex” and the value of folklore is amplified… again.
Alrighty then, from the left, Jed, Homer, Bacon, Bart and unknown woman of mystery.
Caught performing at Sofa’s Corner in Garland Utah at a Benefit show for Dallas Nutt, who survived two tours in Iraq as a Marine, is an honor student at USU and works in the VA at USU. Dallas experienced two ruptured brain aneurisms. He came close to leaving this world but is doing much better now although still not out of the woods entirely. Homer arranged this magnificent event at which several bands performed and a marvelous amount of money was raised for a gentleman who deserved it!
I’ve had a lifelong struggle with religion. Believer? Don’t believer? Yes today, no tomorrow, I don’t know on Wednesday. A religion I’d grown up surrounded by yet doubting soundly, eventually got its hooks in me. I think the fact that I’d grown up such a rebel, surrounded by family that didn’t believe this particular faith, ended up arming me with the fortitude I needed to shake the hook. I now see that faith as absolutely ridiculous, yet I know very intelligent people who believe it, absolutely.
Seems if we grant power to a God, ANYTHING is possible, yes? Even the illogical, yes? Even the impossible? ABSOLUTELY! You see, we have Satan here making the truth look bad, so the truth I recognize is under constant attack by a magical, demonic, entity of immense power, so naturally it’s hard for you to see the truth. Apparently God likes the controversy since he doesn’t step in to correct it. This is why we call it a “test”.
But why does the being of ultimate power, wisdom and understanding, who knows everything, sees the future, knows the end before the beginning, and has no limitations outside of following the laws he, himself created, need to test anything?
Well, he’s doing it for us. Can a God not simply “inject” us with the wisdom needed? Apparently not. Instead he/she/it creates us, places here, gives us an obscure, endlessly debatable, non-provable, illogical, difficult set of guidelines, which he places in the hands of human “messengers/profits/philosophers” to pass on to the rabble and himself, makes no appearance (except to Moses & Joseph Smith). And why? Well, that depends on which messenger/profit/philosopher/scientist/witchdoctor/hoodoo-guru you decide is correct and choose to believe.
Interestingly, I was visited yesterday by a good friend, Jesse, who is a “Christian”. He doesn’t use the label “born-again” but I figure that’s where he stands. We’ve had many “religion” discussions in the past, some of which have been almost frightening, in terms of his attachment to reality. He uses a lot of words to say little… hmm.. does this make me a hypocrite? Still I hold him in high regard. Yesterday he pointed out what he sees as a mistake made by many, the belief that there is a price for redemption.
This places me at the doorstep of a big mystery… Redemption from what? Did God create fallen beings? Was there some sort of pre-existence during which we fell? Is our own simple existence somehow faulty? Were we some sort of mistake? Whatever the answer is, it has to be God’s fault, which would make “redemption” God’s duty (by any typical ethical standard).
Jesse didn’t make this particular argument but the end result, the fact that there is no price for redemption, makes perfect sense in light of this logic. “Bacon, don’t look at it as making a trade. Redemption is done. What you’ve done in the past, and what you’ll do in the future is irrelevant.”
Not having a particularly firm belief in Christ’s actual existence, particularly the deity aspect, I’ve yet been magnificently impressed by his story. The last days in particular. The suffering he endured at the hands of the very people he was suffering for. Even the aspect that I can comprehend weighed against his ability to end it at any time. Mercy amplified!
Although a great deal of the most horrible atrocities in history have been performed in his name, the example he set in the story is peerless mercy, nobility unequaled. Even if Christ is fantasy or fiction, following his example could only be a good. Christ performed miracles of mercy and didn’t require payment. There are no examples of “I’ll cure you if you pay your tithing, if you go to church, if you go on sinlessly…” Nope, what he said was, “freely ye received, freely give.” He did, however say, “your faith has healed you”. So the closest thing I see to a price is belief or faith and I don’t know if even that is attached to redemption. If we are indeed the products of a deity, belief seems a small price to pay for redemption.
Unfortunately, due to a lifetime of being surrounded by multitudinous misrepresentations, a great many conducted by the “religious”, my belief vault is empty. Nevertheless, I deeply respect the principles Christ represents and so I’ll go forward and believe as best I can, follow as nearly as possible the example of humanity set by Christ.
Come on now! I see that sneer…
Well hell, here I am with nothing to say… Tell me that ain’t unusual!
Let’s see… Oh yeah! I’ve got a shitload of stuff to say actually. OK, here it is.. Decided to walk over to ma’n Pa’s, talk ‘em out of somethin’ to eat and then get a ride home. The walk from here (the Liquor Store) to mom & dads would be the longest actual walk I’ve taken in 5 years… by far. (Five years ago I had two legs and a keen sense of balance and was in monstrous good shape.) Turns out it’s more of an obstacle course to a fake-legged, severely brain damaged feller with a very inhibited sense of balance.
I brought Alice, my trusty little girl friend and headed out. made it over there fairly well, sweatin’ like a stuck pig. Later on this evening I said something about this to Bart’s daughter, at LD’s and she said pigs don’t sweat. Is that true? I don’t know. Chances are high that I’ll continue to use that phrase one way or the other. Anyway, once I finally made it over there I removed my fancy XXXXX beaver cowboy hat (the hat was a mistake), so I wouldn’t ruin it with sweat. Grabbed the doorknob.. Locked! Yahoo!! I was, believe it or not, exhausted.
The feeling was precisely the same as the feeling I had when I took my first truly long distance bike ride. I rode north through Preston, to Strawberry Canyon and headed up towards Bear Lake. I had it in my head that Kim was gonna head out in an hour or so, catch up with me and we’d load up my bike, go eat and head home. I made it all the way through Strawberry Canyon over to Ovid (yep there’s a town named Ovid”) and when I got there I began to accept the possibility Kim wasn’t actually coming. Still, I felt pretty good so I turned around and headed back towards home. Made it back through the Canyon (full canyon, up one side and down the other). Back to the Bear River bottom and finally reached the hill back up out of the Bear River valley. HUGE hill. Steep, long, with demons waving pitchforks and fat old ladies screaming obscenities scattered along the several mile long, steep uphill stretch. I looked at that climb and the feeling was identical to the feelin’ I had today upon realizing that I had to make the treacherous walk back.. Makes me feel pretty manly ‘er somethin’. Turns out the bike ride might’ve been preparatory for todays walk. I made the ride, thinkin’.. no.. certain that I would die at any moment. I remembered the ride as I was makin’ the walk and figured, by God I’m gonna fuckin’ make it! I did. Then walked to LD’s for a grilled cheese and fries, fer good measure!.. Oh! Gotta remember to call Bart’s wife tomorrow. They’re gonna pose on Bart’s chopper for a picture for me, on Saturday.
He he.. Alice is exhausted.. One thing about only havin’ one leg… only one leg hurts.