I had a dream last night that I was hitchhiking. I was n the road, making good time, and I got picked up by a man in his fifties. The man is none other than Ernest Hemmingway.

Ol Ernest and I got to talking, and he invited me back to his house for some iced tea because it was just so god damned hot outside. He and I sat on his back porch, drinking arnold palmers because his wife had been so kind to pick lemons that afternoon. Oh yes, his wife was very kind to me.

After a spell of talking about guns and hunting, Ernest told me about the last hitcher he picked up. Poor bastard died of dehydration before Ernest could get him a drink. Well, now Ernest couldn’t just let his body lie, so he put him in the freezer. Keep him cold, because he was so damned hot when he died.

Around then was when I woke up, because Ernest showed me the guy in the freezer. he looked just like me.


Hitch 3

And stood.

A guy stopped, but was headed in the wrong direction.

And we stood longer.

A lady finally pulled up in a Saturn SUV. She let us climb in before informing us she never picked up hitchhikers and we should feel lucky. She was going a half hour up the road, but would drop us off at a great spot to find a ride.
She put us in urban sprawl hell. There was a 4 lane road intersecting with the highway, and large No Hitchhiker signs at the mouth of the onramp. There was no place to be seen and no place to turn off. The drizzly sky opened up and the rain started.
We went to a grocery store and got some meat and bread. The rain continued. We went to a bus stop to see if we could ride out the sprawl. The next bus was in five hours. The rain got harder. We walked to the highway and hid in some trees while we finished eating. They slowed the rain but didn’t stop it.
We set up camp on a drive out of the Wal*Mart and hoped for a kindly traveler. None showed. We canvased the gas station for cars with northern trajectories. None. We split up and took two close but different roads, well within view of each other. A BMW coupe pulled up to me, the driver had hair the same silver as the cars sleek body.
I died a little inside when I saw the lack of a back seat. I told him to go on, that I couldn’t abandon Amelia. He drove off and we stood in the rain. I was ready to get desperate when a portly gentleman asked if we were headed north. We piled into the front of his little pickup and shot down the highway. Forty miles from him. I told him that I was headed to Evergreen the next fall, he warned me to not become “one of those damn environmentalists.” I assured him I wouldn’t with a snort.
The next two rides were odd but safe, just people doing their jobs and helping out a fellow human. One worked with Dominoes pizza, he offered us free grub anytime we stopped by the store. He was trying to flirt with Amelia, but she deflected his clumsy jokes with ease.
The last ride was a twenty two year old girl. She was quiet and maybe a little nervous, but glad to help us out. She dropped me off at my front door.


Hitch 2

I never tried my thumb in America. My co-workers were full of fear, always berating me for thinking it acceptable to rely on the kindness of strangers. They would tell me that death was sure for any road warrior, I would counter that death was sure for everybody.
The final plunge took place during spring break this year. A free spirited redhead named Amelia was to join me on a short journey. We were going a few hours down the road. The majority of travel would be on a two lane country highway, connecting the desolate olympic peninsula to the south puget sound, to Olympia. There are a half dozen villages on the road, but mostly just oyster farms and logger homes.
This is native country, so it only fit that our first ride was with a native couple. The rotund couple were crammed in the front of a miniature pickup with four children. We jumped in the back and rode for a half hour. Along the way we saw a large fogbow, a full circle rainbow around the sun. I took that as an omen of our good luck.

From there the rides were fast and reliable. The waits were short and the ride entertaining. I never felt uncomfortable with the drivers. We got dropped off a few blocks from our final destination.

The ride home was another story. The first ride was less than a mile, just to the edge of town. We rode in the back of a red pickup with a massive propane tank. Then we stood.



When I was sixteen I found a worn copy of On The Road in a little newsstand. I had never been to this place before, and never been back, but it helped introduce me to a new world. Since then I have been a champion of the hitcher. Nearly any sorry sap with the effort to raise a thumb gets a ride in my car.
The first person I picked up was a young hispanic girl. She was walking down a dirt road at night. I nearly hit her, clad in black jacket and jeans with a hand cocked to the road. I pulled my truck over and threw open the door.
I was on my way to my girlfriends house, but this girl was in need. She had been stranded by some asshole guy at a party full of people she didn’t know. She had a vague idea where town was, but was lost. She was 12 miles from her home in the ghetto, a short detour for me. She got home safe and I had good karma for the week.

Since then I have had countless people in my vehicle. I had a guy start screaming that we were going the wrong direction, he tried to get me to pull a u-turn on the expressway. He babbled on about how the government was out to get him. I grabbed the first exit ramp and shuffled him out.
One guru told me this sage advice- “When its summer, it’s OK to be homeless. It’s all warm and you an just lay around. But in the winter it’s cold and dark ‘time to get a job at Burger King.”
A man, a true vagabond, pulled a knife out. Not to use on me, mind you, but to show me the case he had made for it from Elmer’s glue and newsprint. It was painted yellow and the hinge was coming apart.
One night I picked up a dark figure in a snow storm. He was near hypothermia, just an unlucky soul out of gas and walking to town in sneakers and a thin shirt. He knew my sister and went to my high school.
I never took the plunge to trust my life in the hands of another driver. My thumb never saw the road until Mexico. A buddy from San Francisco had me meet him in Chetumal for a whirlwind trip, San Christobal de la Casas, Palenque, Tulum. We took busses for a spell, until we managed to chance the fate of thumbs.
The rides were fast and consistent. We never stood on the road more than a few moments. We rode with teachers and vacationers and retirees and fruit vendors. Our last night a truck pulled over. It’s driver was thirty and columbian. He and his french friend took us to a strip club and bought beer and lap dances. He was a coke trafficker and happy to spend time with boring folks like us.


Space God!

According to CNN news, George W. Bush has a moment of silence and prays for each fallen soldier in Iraq. Lets see kids, four thousand dead kids equals four thousand moments of silence, means about 66 hours of prayer. Or, since he has been president this buffoon has spent over two and a half solid, compete days talking to himself. This isn’t the good for sanity “I’m bored and driving so I’m talking” or the understandable “I’m awake at night because I have caused the death of thousands of innocent people so I’m talking”

This is the fucking nuts “I have an imaginary friend who can beat up your imaginary friend” type talking.

GWB is in charge of the strongest military in the world. He has atom bombs at his beckon call. He has caused the murder of thousands of people(US military, blackwater, Iraqi, I don’t care, they are all PEOPLE! They are all worth as much as another you fucken’ klutzes) and shows no remorse over it. Instead, he talks to his magic space god.

And your tax dollars paid for him to do it for sixty six hours.


Chill out

Taking a cue from the far more eloquent Richard Dawkins, I would like to show you a very big and very important idea. I will start with a letter borrowed from the book A Devils Chaplain.

You appeal for money to save the gorillas. Very laudable, no doubt. But it doesn’t seem to occur to you that there are thousands of Human children suffering on the very same continent of Africa. There’ll be time enough to worry about the gorillas when we’ve taken care of every last one of the kiddies. Let’s get our priorities right, Please.

Now it should seem obvious that to waylay the protection of an endangered species until global poverty(eat up me ‘hearties!) is solved is a foolish plan. If we did that, well, there wouldn’t be a world for those poor little kiddies to grow into. They would enter a world with no biodiversity, no wild places, no resources, no topsoil, no clean water, rampant desertification, an oily seashore and yellowish atmosphere.

Not even entertaining the minds need for wild spaces or Abbeyian though(Ha, I bet the cranky ass would roll over at that one) this should obviously be a bad idea. Just imagine dropping environmental protection to concentrate all resources into the little kiddies. Fuck, it makes even me shudder.

I am not saying that we should drop the research and humanities work happening in places of abject poverty, the squatter cities around the world. These problems make the plight of the gorillas/orchid/spotted owl/knobby rams-horn conch even harder. More people means more land means more food means more energy means more dead animals. Continuing this work does not mean we shouldn’t commit ourselves to saving a world for those kids to live in.

If you disagree with me on that topic, I suggest you stop reading. I will now be leaving anthropocentrism behind, treading close to the waters of misanthropy.

Now I would like to pose a further question. Who would you save?

A single gorilla or a single child? Do you save the life, provide the needs of a child or a gorilla?

A child needs food, water, shelter, work, purpose, space, air, dignity, and fire. A gorilla needs land. Lots of land. Hundreds of acres of land with a complete ecosystem, including trees and plants and water and air and bugs and birds and all the trappings of a true jungle.

Of course the guttural reaction is to save the child. (or not answer) The human child that is. It’s just so like us, a human, it’s hard to say no. A distended belly, round faced, wide smiled little african kid is so innocent that nobody could give give the poor bastard a thumbs down. But this world will lose based on emotion, win on facts.

Emotion gives us lenient prison sentences for violent offenders, Fact gives us lower drug offense sentences. Emotion gives us strip mines, Fact gives us renewable energy. Emotion gives up revenge, Fact gives us justice. Emotion gives us church, Fact gives us science. Emotion gives us yelling, Fact gives us discourse. Emotion gives us wild swings in political direction, Fact gives us direction. I am not discounting emotion. There is a place for it. The exuberant howl at the moon, the grind of a lovers thigh, the rush of adrenaline, the serenity of a quiet place, all wonderful places for emotion. But at the end of the day, Fact will trump Emotion when lives are at stake.

So let us look at the facts.

There are six and a half billion people on the earth. Human population is rising as a whole, even if it is stagnant in some smaller and older countries. Humans are poor and starving on a continent basis. Humans have the tools and the technology to fix their problems but let greed and anger cloud their judgement. Humans have created chemicals in the environment that will outlast any civilization. Humans have cordoned of their world from the world of everything else. Humans are arrogant enough to assume priority over the world.

Given their course record and their history, it can only be assumed that this human will need more land, more food, more energy, more more. More more more more. The cycle of more doesn’t stop. Just this moment I ramble on about this while sitting in a fancy coffee hut typing on a two thousand dollar machine and bitch abut out consumption. I am a hypocrite but I a damned right hypocrite nonetheless.

The human will consume like a virus until he turns soylent green. And even that wont stop him. A veritable locust removed from the ecosystem.

There is around one hundred thousand lowland gorillas(this is according to the WWF, not the wrestlers mind you) and only around seven thousand lowland gorillas. The populations of each group are slowly declining as habitat is turned into pasture, they are turned into bush meat, and bits a pieces of the poor bastards are sold as talismans and alternative* medicine.

The gorilla simply needs land to live and to survive. He needs enough land to maintain a healthy diet, clean water and clear air.

The difference in terms of need is the human has become a tool of destruction towards his own needs while the gorilla has done nothing but try and maintain a foothold on survival.

I am sure by this point that you have intuited my answer to that question. I would gladly sacrifice the life of that human for the life of the gorilla. There are to many god damned humans and not nearly enough gorillas. Too many locusts and not enough grizzlies.

Now a note to the first smarmy son of a bitch who wants to ask the obvious question. If I could sacrifice myself and ensure that that gorilla(I would prefer a grizzly though, maybe a wolf) will die in some years of old age instead of a poacher rifle or starvation, I would. At least I hope I would. I cannot say for sure, as this is all a long string of parabolic tales laced with deep amounts of conjecture, but I would give anything to save a griz. The grizz and the gorilla and the wolf and the antelope and the zebra snail did nothing to destroy their world, but the human did.

(notes: This is some fairly vitriolic and angry shit. It is meant more to make you question your stance on the world and its constituents and their billing. Is a man an animal, are animals less worthy than man. Are we all just really fucking hypocritical when we talk about what’s wrong in the world. Read at your own risk, and chill the fuck out)

* just a kind word for bullshit



I don’t care about your kids. I also don’t care about your parenting problems.

Here is a list of 100 professor blogs, and nearly all have something real cool to say. The problem? all the female professors want to talk about their little munchkins. Fuck, I just want to real about your classes, your intellect, not your ability to fuck correctly.

Thats it, all my favorite writers are men. I cannot think of any female writers I like except Greta Christina.

Quit talking about kids and I’ll stop being misogynistic.