Summer Bummer

we're actually back from the east coast .... we came back late on a saturday, after a twenty hour coast-to-coast death march ..... travel in this country is not something i enjoy; i'd rather squat in a bathtub filled with shards of glass and lemon jello and eat my flesh, and i say this as someone who started flying intercontinental and internationally when he was six years old; i flew on lockheed tri-stars, where multi-course meals were served on china; on dc-3's, dc-4's, dc-6's'; i flew across the pacific on double-decker pan am boeings, the kind with a nice spiral staircase that took you to a lounge where you could sit comfortably and have stewardesses bring you drinks in crystal stemware, and there were pullman bunk beds that'd fold down for your sleeping comfort .....those planes'd go two hundred and forty miles an hour, at what? ten thousand feet?

i flew through typhoons and monsoons; i had engines catch fire, i watched an engine fall off the plane and, in all the years of travel and touring, i think i've missed one flight .....

it was all preferable to corporate travel in the homeland in the wawr on terrah years ...... did you know that corporation airlines no longer place family members together? we had to scramble on each and every flight to get seated next to our two-and-a-half year old sons ..... and we didn't get a lot of help or sympathy from our fellow travellers: eeeee, i can't move, i've GOT TO SIT NEXT TO THE WINDOW/THE AISLE/THE BATHROOM .......

it's a lot to ask of any organism, to sit motionless and be deprived of food and water and personal hygiene (remember now; you can't take toothpaste on a plane because it's a terrah taktik), but to ask that of a two-year-old, well ..... it's like asking a christian to be logical, intelligent, humane, yada yada yada yada ..... nor do airlines carry milk and, while i'm not sure that what they used to serve qualified as food, they don't even make the pretense of serving food any more .... oh, they'll sell you sandwiches, just like they sell you water in the terminals, water from fucking coca cola that's got a focus group name like "fragrant waters" or "totally pure and natural" or "fish fuck deluxe" or "did you know that fish pee in your water?" and they'll shill that they're the "official airline" of the so-and-so bank and you can get your wombat air credit card and get thousands of miles for just applying and you can shop while you're on the plane and you can accumulate miles and the overhead tv screens never stop and they play the stupidest fucking movies ever made and i'd rather drive red hot knitting needles into my fucking eyeballs than endure the patronizing and insulting shit they inflict on you and you can't get away and people snarl at you if you want to read a book with actual light from a window and when that shit and drivel winds down it's time for promos and commercials and reminders that you can shop on the plane even though you can't move while you're breathing recycled farts and and the stink of stale crotches and festering armpits and all kinds of wonderful bacteria are doing triathlons through your immune system and meanwhile the kids are getting really antsy and kalevi didn't want to go to sleep and fended sleep off until he was quite psychotic and then he blinked out like a light but what i'm saying is there's no rest while travelling with young'uns especially if they're not sleeping and so we were up for over twenty hours straight and it wasn't great plus we were really really without television and "newspapers" and "news" and radio for two weeks and it was wonderful because nothing every changes anyway and then, BANG! fucking jesus there are tv screens every ten feet in the airports even though there aren't any places to sit down and they're all cranked to the fucking max and they play the same litany of garbage, horseshit and lies, over and over and over and over, and one of the "stories" was "head of homeland security says al quaeda attack imminent; details at eight" and it was one o'clock iin the afternoon and you'd think that if there was really to be an attack they wouldn't wait another seven hours but then i remembered,hey, this is america, they knew all about the 9/11 attack "bin laden determined to attack the u.s. and they didn't do a thing about it except allow bin laden's brother and other family members to get on their private jets and leave the country right after the attacks, the brother who'd been sitting with george bush the first when the first plane hit the first building, and i remembered that i used to carry earplugs when i was touring but i didn't have them this time around so i ripped up paper napkins and shoved them into my ears and i watched as people stared, slack-jawed and drooling at the tv screens, even though it was the same shit, over and over and over and over and .....

there's no difference between supermarket tabloids and "mainstream media;" they all are a tribute to press flacks and publicity whores: they present the same cast of characters, week after week, in the national enquirer et al: brad 'n' jen 'n' tom 'n' suri 'n' angela 'n' wombatina and i don't know who the fuck these people are or why they're there ...... hey, who the fuck is jen anyway? what does she do? i'm sorry, but she wouldn't have gotten backstage at any of my concerts, if you know what i'm saying and i think you do .....

it's the same thing with the "news:" it's hillary 'n' barak 'n' george 'n' mitt 'n' rudy 'n' john and it's the same set of values: there were no reports about anybody's policies on heatlh care or education or drinking safe water or breathing clean air or eating safe food or not getting your nuts shot off in an illegal, immoral, unjustified and unjustifiable pre-emptive occupation of a once-soveriegn nation that just happens to have a shitload of oil: what all the papers report on is:

how much money the candidates have ....

great bleeding wombats in fucking heat! i'd ask the rhetorical question, is this what qualiifies you to be "leader" of this "great country?" having lots and lots of money? which kind of pre-determines who's going to get into the whitehouse as the latest corporate spokesperson? like you can buy your way in, just like you could (and probably still can) purchase papal indulgences after you'd fucked a goat in the ass or killed thirty-two school children or had hamsters running around up your butt ..... but the answer is so patently "yes," i won't insult your intelligence by asking it ......

we're coming down to the same kind of hyperbolic headlines: george to john: you suck! laura to george: please eat me? pentagon's shocking call to hillary: fuck you, bitch! george tells america, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

i didn't miss the "news;" i mean, who would? you already know what it's going to be: death, mayhem, confusion, graft, corruption, war profiteering in iraq, where things are going really really well and if you question it you'll give aid and comfort to that dirty enemy and ha ha, we said that we'd re-evaluate the "surge" in "september" but we had our fingers crossed when we said it, so fuck you, we're staying over there until we've milked the treasury some more and remember to give the troops what they need like a hot lead enema and scooter the pooter-dooter libby got commuted but that isn't news, that's just business as usual, perpetrated by a cretinous asshole who refused to review the 154 executions of retarded, misrepresented, falsely accused mostly dark-complected folk in texas although there were some whities who rode the chemical rocket into never-never-land and i don't even know why that got print although all the shrieking fucks who chased, panting, after clinton's cum spot for four years were exultant because finally we could put a partisan-induced trial behind us and get on with the business at hand which seems to be staying psychotic and delusional while ass-fucking the country because that was then and this is now and the business at hand is being as large an asshole as you possibly can and ..... no, george bush saying everything's going great 'n' give it chance and can i have some more money? doesn't qualify as news, so why even print it or report on it?

silly question, right?

the east coast was wonderful, unseasonable cool, rather than the heat and humidity i abhor ...... wonderfully black nights, unnervingly silent, impenetrably dark while, during the days, the cumulus clouds would pile high into glowing white and shaded glory; thunder would resound through the rip van winkle mountains, and the big fat drops would spatter down while the air burst out in ozoned freshness; the rain keeps the hills lush and green, unlike mediterranean california, where the once verdant hills have turned sere and brown ...... this is a spectacular area for young boys: rocks to clamber up on, creekbeds to explore; flowers, frogs, and fish; caterpillars are endlessly fascinating, and there is no shortage of small defenseless creatures that can be eviscerated, dismembered, impaled, why ..... it's all on-the-job training for a future as a prison guard or service in the military or a contractor at one of the black hole prisons we don't really operate although we do and it's not as though we enjoy ripping out someone's nails or ramming red hot rebar up their rectum because we don't but hey, you gotta take the gloves off when you're fighting an implacable enemy, which is, i think, america's reluctant liberals .....

when not descending into the macro world of caterpillars and ants, the boys would accompany us on walks .... they picked fistfuls of wildflowers for us, a charming gesture, even though all the flowers were, so to speak, nipped in the bud, without any stem that might help them stand upright in a vase .... this is bear territory and there are regular bear alerts ....we encountered an adolescent bear on one of our walks, but the boys have read too many books about bears and weren't really as excited and upbeat about the bear as we were ..... the bear kind of rolled along with us, then melted into the woods; like so many of america's homeless or poor, he was probably looking for a dumpster or a garbage can, all part of our food chain here in the land of the free, the home of the slaves .....

jesus, pete; it sounds like you need a vacation ..... you're ..... you're ....... you're kind of peckish, aren't you?

yes, little caterpillar ..... i am ..... i am because we came back ....

earlier this week i drove north to rehearse with my bass player: we have a television show in a week ..... someone dogged my tail, while i was driving eighty, then cut in front of me ..... he stuck his middle finger out the driver's window when i honked my horn, so i pulled along side and showed him my spiderco blade, the one with the serrated edge that's so sharp it won't even stain with blood when you slice through a femoral artery ......

this excited him a lot, and he drove after me for the next thirty miles, gesturing as though he would cut his throat or or my throat something to that effect ..... i yawned, tipped my hat to him, and waved .... and thought about dialling 911 on my cell phone, but he gradually disappeared behind me ......

gee, it's great to be back! and that was some vacation, eh?

but it may have cured me of reading the news ......

next: dr. pete relaxes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PETER KAUKONEN, San Francisco Bay Area guitarist, has played, toured, and recorded with Black Kangaroo, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Johnny Winter.

2 Comments

Steven Schuster says:

That will teach you to fly first class. The folks in the castle on the hill don't have to live like cattle like you whining peasants. If you'd get off your ass and think your way in an entreprenourorial manner into a wealth creating situation (think Haliburton + Iraq e.g.) you will find the stewardesses will bend over backwards (hired from the French-Canadian circus schools?) for you. I heard from another friend/veteran of the airports, that for a fee (ah, Amerika) you can get special queue jumping id, so you won't have to mingle with hoi polloi. Stop whining, start exploiting.

Steven

Submitted by Steven Schuster on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:39
Nick aka "Enfield" says:

Glad yer back Doc! We missed ya. I kinda figured Homeland Security might have "secured" you someplace as scarce as you've been lately.

Nick

Submitted by Nick aka "Enfield" on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:39

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