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Insects Interview by Brother Grether

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Dumperfoo Interview by Phil Freedom

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Cool Ass Mofos

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Shakespeare, the Greatest… WGAF.

shakes beer

Disclaimer: I never liked him, didnt care for his work, and avoid renditions. Though I have referenced him before and know the stories vaguely, and I see some of the beauty in some of the poetry and appreciate it (a little). I’m tired of teaching it, and I only did it for one day! It was Romeo and Juliet. They were freshmen. We actually didnt read it most of the day. Instead, we watched a few youtube videos about it, and I checked the sparknotes.
The 6th period class read it. Well, its bastardized/dumbed down version, cause I’m sure the original vocabulary is all but lost on students. So, about 4 young teenagers took turns poorly reading simplified interpretations of dialog from 16th century iambic pentameter saturated in abstract anachronisms about an overnight-teen-lust-affair-gone-double-suicide.
Somehow I escaped high school not realizing Juliet was 13. Somehow I didnt know that Romeo was hung up on a different girl that morning. Somehow I didnt realize that the church Friar blessed the secret marriage of a teen boy (lets hope, it doesnt say his age, just no face hair) to a barely teen girl whos families had extensive drama, who had known each other for less than 24 hours. Maybe I never was really familiar with the story, but now the absurdity of it all was perplexing (and a turn off) to me.
High schools everywhere and teenage students with developing libidos and heightened senses of emotional attachment (to almost anything), are going over a “love story” where a boy hung up on a girl in the morning is professing his love to a post-tween in the evening. They get the blessing of the church (whoda thought?), secretly marry, spend the night together. Then she takes drugs to seem dead (cause thats her best option), then he drinks poison to join the suicide (cause time is of the essence), she awakes, finds him dead and then stabs herself. Awesome story US curriculum builders (or non builders, I guess)!
Didnt the US shed the crown in 17 seventy-something? 300 years later and we cant come up with better stories for students to read? Anything more relevent and less morbid?
He’s one of the greats. So, of course students should know of him. Should they also know he, ahem, borrowed the story from Arthur Brook’s 1562 poem titled virtually the same “Romeus and Juliet”? Or that, many of his stories are “borrowed”? Of course many artists borrow, steal, and adapt. Its just that when we put people up on pedestals, they become less relatable to others, and more specifically students. I intend to inspire students but these encrypted stories left over from before industrialization, are hard to connect students to.
I am actually more interested in the Shakespeare conspiracy, or the authorship question. I just find it more fascinating, regardless of it being true or not. Check that here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespeare_authorship_question
A recent film was even made about this issue. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/07/who-wrote-shakespeares-plays-anonymous_n_846303.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shakespeare/debates/conspiracy.html
     I’m actually shirking teaching duties as I type. I tried though. Made all the students read out loud, whatever they were reading on their phones and laptops in an effort to show how reading and writing english (I welcomed spanish as well cause irony in the classroom can be fun/ny) help us do so much. Some students say they hate reading (just now! here, in class), one of which I saw browsing paragraphs by phone. Maybe “reading” seems different than just, you know, looking at words and making sense of them.

I am just a substitute teacher so there are very little expectations on me. I do value education, I just place relavence above classics. I’m sure many students may come to appreciate Shakespeare this season and the next. And the next. I would just hope we can develop or locate some decent poetry, prose, and plays, with a subtext that examines love and lust in a more thorough and thought-provoking manner. Maybe even some stuff the local students would enjoy.

Proof on the Web of Compositability 1st Draft

[gview file=”http://PHOLX.COM/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Web-of-Compositability-Proof.pdf”]

Criminal Alliance Chapter 1

Criminal Alliance

[Assata Wallowa, is half west African (Sudan) and half native American (Souix). She is a strong minded, ingenious, and supra-naturally empowered woman. She is an agnostic/atheist anarchist feminist. She enjoys getting involved in the random and mundane situations of daily activities and turning them fantastic. She is obsessed with radical cultural history, art and activism, street performance, and literature.]

[She lives most of the time in the urban metropolis wasteland reclaimed on the west coast after Wall street and the Federal Reserve crashed during the 2016 investment hoax. Since then, old European powers divided up the east coast, China declared an Asian cultural monopoly throughout the bible belt, and the entire southwest had been in a state of flux of sorts. The old system had consolidated into one organism where government had seized control of all corporate business when the bottom dropped out of the dollar. A second system had emerged as well through the evolution of the cultural industries, where local indy commerce was taken over by hundreds of autonomous networks engaged in histories largest non-hierarchical social system. The working name of the region became known once again as Aztlan*. The city she dwells in is called Legend City*.]

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Its the same thing Alan Watts was saying minus the religiosity and poeticism.” I tried to appeal to their sense of sentimentality.
“About experience being the all encompassing reality rather than the individual’s own sensory experience?” Anais knew exactly what I was talking about.

“And Identity is the same thing as experience. Think of describing the identity of the Earth. Of course your perspective is skewed by the human condition and its point of relevance at any given time. Tell someone what Earth meant say before Copernicus, like 1000 years ago during the dark ages. Now tell someone about _Earth during the time of the First Enlightenment when John Sartre and Frederich Nietzsche were alive. Your entire story would change depending on what epoch you were standing at explaining about identity. The Earth is obviously much more dynamic, but the individual is much more dynamic than we think as well.” Damn. That Earth analogy just popped into my head.

“So, I’m not who I was a few years ago?” Beauvoir, chimed in to the resonance.

“Sister, you’re not who you were a few minutes ago?” Grant Morrison would have been proud.

“Why the fuck does it matter if I’m a different person than I was before?” Anias swallowed a large sip from her Pad Thai Martini* thinking this ish is just some philosophical nonsense.

“The point is, my friend, that identity is not so much a constriction on our behavior as it is a general tendency of behavior.” I retorted. “And more importantly, the life-style patterns people carve for themselves can be altered by identity expansions.”

Beauvoir laughed spitting up some of her Black Dragon back on the plate. “What the fuck do you mean by identity expansions?’
“I didn’t make this shit up, ok, there’s chaos magician/improv poets out there doing this shit all the time trying to get the norms to stray off of their beaten path.” I didn’t feel like telling them yet, most of the free-thinkers felt that the norms were doomed to perpetual·slave-robot-hood.

“You’re not attending those OTO meetings again, are you?” My sisters were not fond of the freaks at my old order.

“No no no. This is all strictly free form. Its like a space where the magicians quit taking themselves too seriously and the poets begin to take themselves a bit more serious. Its fucking crazy. You guys should check it sometime, people do some bizarro prophetic street performance shit, and try to snap people out of their robot mode. You ever hear of the Living Theatre?”

“Yea, those hipniks that got naked and shot heroine on stage as part of the performance, back in the 1960’s?” Anais knew her 60s counter-culture.

“Those “hipniks” were fucking revolutionaries. They would have plants in the audience, incite people to react, and if they didn’t, the plant would step forward to demonstrate and initiate the interaction. It really pushed people out of the mind-frame of passive consumer. This is like Living Theatre meets Guerrilla Poets.” I knew they wouldn’t care unless they had seen what I had.
“Who gives a fuck? The ‘norms’ are not interested in being ‘snapped’ out of their reality.” Anais was the realist among us.

Maybe under the right persuasion…” Beauvoir smiled slyly to the side flapping her eyelids like giant dragonflys’ wings, slowly over-exaggerating each swish…

Anais and I both busted, blowing sea-spray martinis into the air.

Wiping my face with the hemp-blended cloth, I manage to regain linguistics and recruit “Lets get up outta here and check the Network Co-op, I hear the Brewers Guild has kicked down cases of the new nut Brown recipe.”

“Jasmine. We good?” I just had to check in with the waitress, my credit was good everywhere… Everywhere I needed to go that is.

“Drop a few coins for the sister, ladies, I got the meal.”

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It was coming on 8pm and the ladies wanted to get to the show, but I felt like it would be good for us, to check the ANC, the Anarchist Network Co-op, there was a local one just up the way at the old Hotel on 1st street. We walked south down 4th to the herb(not the cooking herbs, that one is over on third) garden co-op where every stage of marijuana cultivation was in a constant process. I was a part-time volunteer down here, so I had a good eye on where the best of the fruit was kept. There’s a lab where seeds are cloned. acre-sized green house for growing, patios for shucking, wires for hang drying, screens for keef and hash, a school for learning all of the process, and a rooftop, for you know, experiencing it. I usually worked in the field trimming. I had some special strains that I had been working on with one of the lab techs, one of which was geared towards mind-clearing meditation for delving into those catatonic trance states of sensory exp…you know brain-deadishness, its called, Mind Ruin. The other one was a sensational overload aimed at turning the ordinary into a mystical experience. It can turn your day dream into wet dream, some 1990′ pop-rock into a classical symphony . .. this shit would have you staring at the ground for hours mesmerized by the non-patterns of dirt. It had been titled messianic since so many fools “find god and become one” on it.

Instead of playing with either of those we stuck to some good ol’ fashion dime store candy; blueberry bubblegum. I gave a pinch of my vanilla flavored local organic tobacco to Anais and she converted it into a spliff. The heads at the herb garden were busy working so we maintained pace, puffing down Fillmore. We were busy strolling, cackling it up, laughing about Anais’ latest victim when I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Holy shit, like a litter of kittens stashed and forgotten about, a pack of norms no older than 13. Ribs protruding, cloth barely adorning their bodies, lay huddled about each other in the shadows of a building with a paper sign asking for change.

“Holy fuck. Is this real?” Beauvoir managed to speak while Anais and I stood for seconds staring.

You guys, ok?” I asked hoping for some dim dull spark of promise.

No answer.

Are you guys hungry?” I felt they might need a direct route to Maslows hierarchy, rather than a side street. “Dont you guys know about the vegetable garden with the fruit trees, over on 3rd ave? Food is free, why dont you guys go get some?”

Somehow they still weren’t processing it. I couldn’t bring them with me, I had been chewed out by most every scene around here bringing homeless norms to functions.

“Yo, lets get.” Anais was like most of my friends, she couldn’t care less about norms.

Figuring this to be another lost cause, I explain with a sincere effort, “If you guys want, there is a garden and an orchard four blocks west of here. Just walk that way, you cant miss it.”

My trio shakes it off and strolls to the ANC. It still is way beyond me, how so many people stay so hibernated in the old world way of being, rather than step outside of their routine even just for a moment, to see what else is out there. Fucking gardens and orchards in every district and these poor souls are here unknowingly condemning themselves to their own personal damnation.

This neighborhood ANC was being held at the Newsroom. It was basically a big mess hall-slash-public library that also played host to town hall and community health meetings. Most of the time people were just hanging, snacking, drinking, or partying. There was a stage there and couches for days. Most of the Network Co-ops were like that, places of refuge, where food and news would spread like wildfire. This was one of the better ones cause of the large arcade wing, and it was basically the most central, meaning more diversity and influence.

The meeting was already underway, which was good for us. I knew I couldn’t keep the ladies here with me for more than an hour, even if there was free beer. I mean if you are connected, not like kingpin drug dealer connected, or side-kick trustafarian connected, just well, even slightly connected, than most of the necessities had been anti-capped, or anticapt. It just basically meant that food, clothing, or shelter had better be free, cheap as shit, or it would be stolen and become anti-capital. It developed out of a spoof art movement in the days of chaos following the 2016 hoax. The artists were suburban white teens just fucking around, but people took it serious, or at least their project, and formed a militant group around the posters and the ideals they were sharing. Then one night about 40 affinity groups formed, most of which were in this city and they looted every single mall and high end store and burned it to the ground. While I do not totally agree with the methods used I feel that the end result, that everything is cheap as shit, is most righteous. So, even though the price of beer is peanuts in most places, I still love to drink free beer. And damnit this beer was brewed and bottled just up the street!

“At least they brought the Vanilla Cream Ale,” Anais grabbed one from the cooler and popped the top into the used lids bin.

“You gots to be kidding, they put macadamias into the nut brown. Beauvoir?” Those cats at the Brewers Guild were always mixing it up. I pop it and motion to her.

“Yea, thanks.”

“Cheers.” I grab another and we all clink with a menacing wink and a sly smile. “Eight?” Anais could kill any game of pool, but she favored eightball.

“Go ahead sisters, I want to catch some of the meeting.” I sit on top of one of the chairs nearest the back, so I can keep them within earshot.

The meeting material was pretty bland most of the time if you already knew the agendas….When the imported fruits and veggies were coming in, which garden co-ops needed assistance, which free schools needed teachers, any new art movements/projects or shows, and the news I wanted to hear, what the sustainable farms were doing. The sustainable farms had all been functioning solid with the wisdom of the elders from the Navaho, Hopi, and the Apache tribes. After the Repatriation Reparations Revolution, or R3, the native tribes reclaimed most of the southwest and they allowed Immigrants from all over to live and work on the sustainable farms. Now and again, one of the younger elders, Chakra Yakub, would speak at Freedom Universities around the SW and stop by the downtown ANC to update the people on different farm happenings. This was one of those times. The summer solstice was around the comer, so the tribes would put calls out to bring people in. I planned on relocating to one near the Mogollon Rim as soon as I handled some projects in the ‘Tropolis.

I had to time this just right to be able to keep my friends interested, and skip the preliminary meeting process and speakers. Yakub is a fucking badass, I know I have a lot to learn from him in the future. Many write him off as too radical, but I’ve witnessed his ability to connect, not just to people, but to animals, to machines, to nature. He’s been pursuing the arts of weather control, mostly cloud-bursting, but its not 100% so people lose faith. He was here now speaking of the Mike Reynolds and Paulo Solari inspired Post-Consumer Commons Castle being built on the hill on what once known as Miami Arizona. Partially dug into the mountain, it is a sort of Mad Max castle of Montezuma, with over ten layers of housing. The genius behind the project was that it incorporated rain water into the very structure, allowing it to cascade off when necessary, or collect, for cooking or cleaning. Grape vines hung in every direction providing shade and food. He was asking people to imitate the project in their own way and develop other functioning ecosystems that are able to exist with or without supervision and control. Most people felt that he was too ambitious, you could hear strictly doubt in their questions, but damn, that really spoke to me. I am definitely going up there, somewhere, soon. Theres just too much to take care of here for now.

“Ladies.” I interrupted, and slid beer 2 into their hands, and refocused with my trio.

“It was the same way with both of them. They should have ducked out and dropped off the radar once they figured it out, made their statement, and did their actions.” Beauvoir still believed that the 1960’s could have created the alternative system.

“They would have lost impact and not made their statement as loud as they wanted therefore losing the ‘umph behind their

revolutionary ideals.” Anais thought things all happen for a reason.
“Who?” I had a hunch but hate assuming too much.

“Weather and M.O.V.E.” They both snapped.

“How can you be so sure that they didn’t have members drop out?” I love casting doubt.

“The F.B.I. dropped a fucking bomb on their house, Assata! Even if people did make it out, they didn’t construct an open alternative system, which is the fucking point.”

“It wasn’t time for it.” Anais took back over, leaning against the table after cleaning up.

“Process, my friends. Process. That was just the beginning.” My philosophy always comes full circle.
“Oh, shut the fuck up. Are we catching the show or what?”

“Yea, let’s get.”

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The E-Main (electro-magnetic train) would take us right to the club. I really only wanted to catch the main act, after that we had another affair to begin unraveling. It was coming on midnight already, which was perfect. The 2nd show didn’t start till after and lasted until about 4am. We would be outta there before that, doing what I call, restoring justice. It was simple really, we just wanted back what was rightfully ours. ‘Fuckin pigs been stealin our videos, artwork, and paraphernalia for years, and damnit, I want it back. We need it back. Its our fucking cultural history. So thats what were up to, even if I have to get it my self. The sisters were down to help and I have a solid plan, the props, and the familiarity to handle it quicklike.

I popped one of my synthetic eyes into my mouth and pretended to scour the scene with it.

“How’ld you get the DNA code from the pig?” Anais didn’t know the depths of decoding.

Traditionally it was necessary to undergo a number of processes for organ replicas. I spit out the eye and explained “Organ replicas can be done now almost flawlessly just by standard measurements and identification information which can all be accessed from the police headquarters website.” I had a friend at the community hospital lab that was assisting most of my projects. “I gathered the info and the Doc spit out a set of eyes.”

It was funny to me that after so many waves of technological innovation and socialization, that the government was still using eyes scanning security systems. I guess its all they have to go on.

You bring some candy?” It was the only thing I needed that wasn’t already dialed in.

And you know this.”

It was a bit like cocaine, except instead of speeding up your tongue, making your palms sweaty, and pushing your guts through, it made you drop to the floor and visualize yourself floating through space. It became a favorite for anesthesiologists all over. And it works with such a low dose that its relatively undetectable.

The wagon is going to be dropped off at 2:45 out back, behind Snaketown. The clothes will be inside. If we separate, meet me a few minutes before. Your clocks say 12:14 right now?”

Thats affirmative captain.”

Eye, eye, sir.” Everyones a smart-ass when they can be.

“You got a paddy wagon lined up?”

Hells yea sisters, and right before we get in the wagon a call will be made stating that two prostitutes were picked up and being taken in. I’m telling you, this is all on me, and its all covered. Just pretend you’re a street worker until we see the goods, grab everything we can, and peace the funk out.”

I was hyped. This was going to be fucking big.
The Emtrain quietly slowed to a stop.

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Snaketown was booming. The deejay circuit was out of control. A collective of deejays had emerged that kept every DJ interested, traveling. You could spin every night if you wanted in a different city. Of course that was possible independently, but to be part of the network would guarantee a full house in even remote communes. It also kept all the music fresh. They are like nomad gypsy deejay warriors battling the encroachment of silence and machine hum the world over. Tonight there was some cats from Japan, Africa, the tribal Lands, and Australia. The band I came here to see is a group of people descended from Manu Chow and Fela Kuti, both in family lineage and style orientation.

While I love the music that comes through here, I have to admit its the ambiance I come here for. Most of the thug-life wanna-be-hard rocks died off during the last Gang Wars to the Front Lines Farce. Every few years the government’s Ministry of Disinformation would create skirmishes between local gangs to provoke them into killing each other. It is extremely successful. At times I feel sorry for the kids that get tied into it, but I just keep telling myself that they make these decisions with full awareness. Its some sort of cultural phenomenon, or a self-imposed suicide pact stealing the souls of potential revolutionaries. I guess they need to live and die as robots first.
Women are hella respected here too. After a few groups of radical feminists publicly lynched a number of rapists during the days of chaos men began behaving with much more respect for women. Now we can dance like we feel without every Dick with a swollen member thinking we want to fuck him right here and now. No more of this “show me your tits” objectifying bullshit that went on in my grandmothers day.

We had picked up a few beers to support the artists and ‘maintain the fade. Since the club was collectively run, most of the money went straight to the artists without passing by a landlord or a government process first. I kept zoning out on the overhead projection, thinking about tonight and how it was going to focus my direction. The 3D hologram projection field made the skateboarders look as if they were going to land right on the crowd. The sisters had found some friends to blab it up with and I was drifting in and out of semi-sensitive trance keeping my alcohol level constant. Dont want to be sloppy drunk, just confident drunk. In and out. Get what I want and just a few other things. Should be cake.

My band was playing so I moseyed to the front and let loose. It was a 15 person ensemble, with a large drum and horn section that electrified the air. They played a good 45 minute set, but I swear I fell into a trance and entered a timeless state. What they were saying melted into the sounds and the harmonic background vocalizations. There were a few lines in particular that really spoke to me and stuck inside my internal narration. It went like…/ patterns are rhythms / rhythms repetitions / repeat all intentions / to solidify your wisdom /. I thought it was brilliant, Ima keep that one with me. One of the guys invited me and anyone with me back to an after party. I was feelin like bedding with some foreign dude, I just have way too much shit to handle tonight still.

It was after 2 already so I started gravitating to the ladies. I wanted to make sure they didnt get too smashed, fucking lushes. So many kids are so used to consuming as much alcohol as they possibly can. Its as if its normal to be an alkie.

Aye,” I figured that would suffice.

Gimme 5.” Anais was pulling clients. She secretly hated men. Thats why she would talk them into trying DOM and then just punish the shit out of them. As if they had all wronged her somehow.

I drifterd towards the back to see the wagon fall into place.

Beauvoir was back there making out with one of the female performers. She claimed bi, but I dont think she really liked men either.

“Ahem.” I had to. This was serious.

“Oh hey. This is Fatigo.” She’s from Ghana. “Assata,” as she casually waves her hand towards me.

“Pleasure.” I would love to talk. But again…

“Call me if you come back through,”

“Goodnight” and she blackened into the darkness.

And like a clown car, the paddy wagon bounced around the comer into the light. Holy shit, its all about to happen.

Jayce jumped out. “Yo, you wanted this?”

“Hell yea.” Damn I love integrated connections. “You good?” I hate leaving people hanging.

“Yea, but you stole this thing if it comes out, drugged me and left me behind. Comprende?”

“Si. Gracias mi hermana.” I look to Beauvoir. “Anais?”

“U…h….mmm.” and she appeared as Beauvoir stretched out her drunken uhmm.

“Lets do this.” and I opened the back.

“You sure about this?” of course they had doubts.

“Absofuckinglutely. Get in.”I jumped up front and changed clothes. The wagon was still running. The sisters changed as well.

“Yall ready?” My blood began to pump faster, my pupils opened up and I started with some deeper breathing, as I stepped on the gas. I flipped the coppers sirens on for a few minutes since I doubted this experience would come again soon and its always been a fantasy of mine.

“What the fuck are you doing?!?” They demanded.

“ok, ok, I’ll flip em off,” we should be a bit careful still.

“What the fuck? Dont drag this shit out, Assata.”

“chill. Its nothing. You guys ready?”

“Yea, we’re fucking ready.”
“Alright, were almost there.”

We pulled into the alley behind Madison. “Here we are.”

I used the magnetic card strip Jayce left behind to get into the lot.

Over to the left, around the 1st loading dock, and into the second.

“Oh shit. Here it is.” I had my hat pulled down tight, slightly hunched to conceal my chest, and I walked around the wagon to get the girls out. “At least pretend to have the fucking handcuffs on!” Damn it, this is the sketchiest part. “Come on ladies,” I banged the baton against the truck, pigs were always doing dumb shit like that.

I had Anais with my right arm, while I held my second set of eyes with my left for quick removal. Beauvoir followed.

It was about 3:30, the end of a long shift for the internal desk

clerk who was seated just inside the door.

“Hows the sweets?” This needed to be done very swiftly.

“Ready to explode,” Anais was with it.

I took one last deep breath and leaned forward into

the identification screen with my replicas of Officer Dave Dickowitz’s eyeballs, the main coordinator of the evidence room. He wasn’t due in for another half hour. The doors opened right up.

“Morning Dave,” fucking idiot didn’t even look up. Anais had blasted him with a cloud before he even realized that no one here was Dave, until it was too late. He smacked his head on the desk as he passed out. I quickly rewound the security tapes and hit play, showing only a minor glitch and giving us about 15 minutes.

“This way!” I shouted as I ran down the hall to the evidence room. I had grabbed doofus’ ID card and opened the evidence room with it.

“Holy Shit,” I stood there and took it all in, with the sisters absorbing it on both sides of me.

“Wow,” they were blown away as well.

“Beauvoir, get the black books! Anais, the paraphernalia! I’ll get the hard drives!” I shouted as I grabbed a box and dumped everything in.

“What the fuck are these books?” Beauvoir was talking about the stacks and volumes of literature and research that seemed to make up most of this stuff.

“Just fucking grab as much as you can, NOW! Stuff it in a box, we’ll sort through it later!” We didn’t really have that much time.

I had gotten all the digital media I could find and the ladies boxes were almost full as well and then I saw it. “Wa, wa, wa what the fuck is that?”

“A Glowing orb,” Anais acted as if she had seen one before.

“what the fuck does it… Fuck it, I’m taking it. You guys

ready?”
“Ready.”
“Ready.”

We hurried back to the paddy wagon and put the stuff inside. I jumped up front and we zoomed out of the lot. I had arraigned for a graffiti crew to pick us up behind 4th ave and Jackson and leave the pig vehicle there. We grabbed the shit and piled into my mans white van, finally cracking smiles and a few anxious laughs.

“What the fuck is that?” It was kinda hard to not notice

the glowing orb. It was almost neon.

“I dont know yet,” kinda figuring I could find out soon.

Substitute Institute

The Institute of Substitute

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.” 
― Ivan Illich

Guest teacher. Thats my latest title. Not sure if the administration and high school culture is trying to phase out the idea of a substitute teacher but it does not appear on any documents. Guest does seem to have more room for respect than substitute, tho the students still alert each other when they find out before class that there is a sub. I dont think it matters much, just an interesting adjustment to a system doomed to fail itself.
I gave up my sweet shift and position at one of the coolest coffee shops around (of course I acknowledge bias, but lets be real, the valley of the sun is not swimming in fantastic hangouts… no offense if you’ve got a favorite, and no a corporate joint does not count). I mention this cause I was overdue for a… ahem…career change. I had actually typed up different cover letters and sent them off in different directions. I blame the economy (for everything), the recession (for a seemingly dried up workforce) and corporate cultural hegemony (in phoenix).

I could have tried and wasted more energy in more directions. I do still. And really, subbing is supposed to be a temporary situation. So, I’m always looking, as well as constantly trying to dream up more small business projects and hustle design along the way. Besides, once that sun hangs high in the sky the education jobs out here will be dry…
I have told a few classes of students that substitute teaching is like flipping burgers with a bachelors. Not quite the lowest you can go, but a common baseline for interested workers with a high school diploma, I mean Bachelors Degree. Lots of “retired” teachers, a few new soon to be teachers, and then just a random spread of people with bachelors degrees and no other job.
The ‘choose when I want to go in’ part is great, but sometimes its a crap shoot. Its like watching the free listing on craigslist for free junk, or bidding on an ebay item last minute while 5 other people do too. A sub job (any high school in phoenix metro) pops up on the site and sits there until someone grabs it, which is usually a few hours. You can watch the site listings at any time but most teachers call out early in the morning. Recently, I have been checking the site by phone (not an app, but at least it can be done in seconds from under the covers). So you can get a job at 6 and be expected to be at any school by 7:30. Show up with your lanyard/id, grab the attendance roster, grab security to open the classroom, and babysit, I mean teach.
To babysit teenagers is the (bad) running joke. Guest teachers are also often set up to fail, tho you cant really blame a teacher who is unexpectedly out. Often the answers are not readily available, so unless you are already familiar with all material, you have to stumble back through it with the students. Often the answer sheets are no where to be found, so if its polynomials or the unit circle, you best be up on your maths. I will try to quickly find the students who ‘get’ the material and have them help me work through the problems for the rest of the class. Sometimes, it seems that no one gets it. Sometimes theres no book to look back on and see the course of the material. Then what? Struggle? Or talk about something else, I guess.
Youtube is my ‘go to’ when we are unable to come up with any assignments, or if the work is quick or lax. It seems like every classroom in phoenix metro has computer access, a projector and some sort of sound system. I typically favor socially conscious rap or friends with music videos, but I always also encourage students to request videos. Its interesting, I had kind of assumed that lots of students already know each other and are familiar with each others interests, but that’s not the case. So sometimes, it just lets the students loosen up a bit and peer into the preferences of their peers. I don’t lean on it, but I really love having the projector option around.

I gave up on my first day. Well, in a sense. Somehow I was under the grand illusion that these students were hungry to learn and combined with my super abilities to make fun of everything and engage even the most withdrawn individual, we were gonna kill it! The demon of ignorance, that is. Or at least really enjoy our time together and learn a little something…. Maybe one thing?… Nah, fuck it.
“You smoke weed?” That’s the question I get asked the most. What am I supposed to do, lie to these guys? Is that how I can help them, by pretending that I escape the vices of our culture? Pretend that I don’t appreciate the concept of self and recreational medicating? I quit answering no. Sometimes I don’t answer. My favorite response is “why, do I smell like it?” Often I bypass the answer by mentioning the current changes in law. The first time I was asked was my 1st class, my 1st day. At least in public school. This was by the kid with the vaporizer he hit in back while I was taking attendance.
“Aye! Put the vaporizer away” I defeatedly eject, shaking my head in disbelief ever so gently, as a vapor cloud is ejected and quickly dissipates from the lungs of 1st periods class clown.
“He knows what a vaporizer is!”…they snicker to each other.
“Man, I could outsmoke your whole crew!” Just kidding… My ego is not quite that fragile.
Really I deflect questions about my personal substance abuse levels, my not so popular views against all laws pertaining to partaking, and other views I hold that are not widely embraced (yet).
It wasn’t him. He actually said hi to me later when he was with his friends, so it didnt feel like his behavior was hostile. Just defiant. It wasn’t just the other class performer either, who kept rolling around the back of class with the roller chair. I could easily win in a roller chair race too. Just kidding. But I’m not above it. I love anything that rolls. Those are the main incidents that stand out that day. The main issue though, was a general lack of interest in the subject matter. Thats where the teacher is supposed to come in. I get it. It just felt upstream. I celebrated the content. I mean shit, the content was about banks! I love banks. I mean, I hate banks, but I love talking about how fucked up they are. Andrew Jackson was kind of a badass when it comes to the bad business of banking. So I read aloud. I pointed out how important it was, and more importantly it is now, to know about money, how its controlled, and its critiques. It felt like I was out of place regarding the students and the teachers expectations. I wasn’t gonna write kids up. I wasn’t gonna stand over them and make demands about performance. So, I gave up my expectations. I still wanted to give something.
I decided to read out of the book I was reading. It happened to be Paolo Frieres “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. I had just started reading it. I read from the intro. I wrote conscientização on the board and challenged them to say it. Then I wrote the definition and had them read it. It means critical consciousness, and more thoroughly, to be critical of society and inequality. The book encourages educators to cultivate it in students. I felt better after that.

I browsed job listings on Indeed for 2 hours right when I got home.

I had to get over the idea that I was going to teach. It can happen, just not like I imagined. I mean I was a high schooler. I didnt care that much either. Lower your expectations pard’ner. Its a job first.
Now I feel like I’m just trying to understand it all. I’m the student. I’ve been mistaken for a student by other students. The other day a principal walked in to chastise the wearing of pants a little low, and again I felt like a student. I like to think I’m a cultural anthropologist attempting to understand the limitations of schooling, here and now. Learning the structure of the system as well as the diverse interests and ways of the teenager. My interests are in facilitating the development of culture, teaching is just a part of that. I open up a lot more now. I let the students know a bit about me. Now we trade music and discuss popular culture. I’m open to learn from everyone. This is no different. Now I’m just a peer with more years. And you can see it in the heightened comfort levels of the students. Still just getting started and comfortable. I really enjoy it so much more now. I’ll handle what the teacher expects and when theres a little bit of free time, I got that covered too. I’m into education and no school can stop me.

Numbers Spiral Poster

[gview file=”http://PHOLX.COM/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/NUMBERS.pdf”]

The Number Spiral

Check this out. Joeys 1st attempt to explain the number spiral

Download and Print the Numbers Worksheet!

ocho and the numbers web

Help Ocho color the numbers web!

The Numbers Web (Grethers Spiral)

grethersspiral

all numbers are related as systems revolving around the number 12.

 

The Numbers Web

numberswebzine

Turn on that 2nd Stereo (or d.A.D.D.)

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“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties”
-Erich Fromm

“Well, its my old friend the future again; continually restoring the old face; reacquainting it with that which has yet to be.”
-Sun City Girls

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oh no, dad took over the drawing table again

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my block stacking ability hints at the repressed desires of an would-be architect

Though I have never been diagnosed with any attention issues, I am willing to spend time arguing about how boring things are and how much more engaging and exploratative conversation can be when jumping from subject to subject and back. Even regarding learning I find that when we leave the matters open to constant slight tangents, we make the interaction of learning more relevant and meaningful, no matter how silly the tangent may seem…. may be I would even argue that schools are failing (in the most generalized, agreed upon sense) because they are boring rather than the students home lives are hyper-stimulated through electro-media.

Anyvays….I find the constant juggling of roles and responsibilities, or the metaphorical spiraling of day-to-day engagements best handled when having the space and ability to jump from interest to interest. I say that cause I have this functional vision of spinning through a vortex of relationships, engaging with my partner, my 9 year old, my toddler, my friends, my work, my projects, my father and sister, as well as with food, drink, intoxicants, and all the other funk. I find this visualization useful cause it acknowledges the cyclic reality of habit structures. If I feel like if I was un-engaging in any of my relationships, I can address it again soon. I also see the day like this, as if our brains are spinning like the earth, handling our biz while we face the sun, until we spin some more and switch conscious states towards rest.
Some projects, I dream up with no realistic sense or situation of achieving them, for now, and they drift off into some future time when the conditions or necessary partners comes into site, often through some long drawn out triggering of unknown trajectories…

All that’s just some blab bout the manifestation of ideas and the patterns of necessary human interactions, I mention it cause we all possess deficits in attention to some things, yet we still go on with our lives and interactions. I may seriously have an attention deficit to paying bills and doing stupid shit. So we define it as a lack in amount or quality, a deficit, that is. It’s latin root describes it as wanting. Attention wanting disorder? So do we lack a want to be Attentive, or do we want to be paid attention too? Either way, my answer is still the same. Shits too boring. I blame the centralization of popular culture and non-development of local relevant culture. But really…I blame that junk for everything.
This is not why I chose to write this, damnit. I am a dad that gets bored getting kids to do boring stuff.

I often turn on a 2nd stereo with music I have picked. That may be what sparked some of this. If you have to turn on a second stereo, you may be easily bored, or your house may not be super stereo wired to kick speakers off and on in different parts of the house and yard. I guess I’m both.

wheres the dad shit? Oh, right. D.A.D.D.
So you know it takes quite some grooming and instruction to get these human types to not piss and shit themselves. Theres no set date or month but it takes almost 3 years to let go of the sweet satisfaction of shitting yourself. Say you pee 5 times a day and poo about once. That’s 1000 shits you are going to take that some other adult person/parent is going to clean off of your junk. About 5,000 bladder drains. And we think we so smart.

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my creativity oozing forth through mr. potato head

Ahem, so uh, as I uh…became a dad, or whatever, haha, uhm. ..
I have my 9yold with a previous partner and we did cloth diapers back then and homebirthed her and gave her, her own last name. With my partner now, we also homebirthed, are doing cloth diapers, and gave her the same last name as her sister. When Azs was in diapers, we had a cloth service that would pick up a giant bag of shitty diapers 2 and 3 times a week. It could sit on the doorstep for a few hours in the sun before the diaper fairy would snatch them. I cant imagine why that went out of business. This time around, we are washing them at home in the wash. Its normally no big deal, but we are almost 2 years deep into this and the other day I (hope I) hit one edge of the extremes.

Now when I dad-out or bond with other stay-at-home-moms, we relate on this basic level of dread when discussing the cleaning of diapers. Its mostly left at that, the gory details are left unspoken like the idiosyncrasies of your own bowel movements. I want to point out though, that unless you have hand washed the “fiber,” or the shit off of a dirty diaper in shit water with your bare hands daily, your diaper woes just aint the same.
You can kind of cue in to the behaviors and expressions of your toddlers, develop a pattern of food intake and output, but not always. I think this baby dumps 1 every 21 hours or so. I bring it up to this babe, Indy, and often she responds acknowledging but not excepting.
“Are you wet?”
Defiantly, and definitely, “No.”
“Do you need a diaper change?”
without pause, “No.”
I do not make it a big deal, nor do I reprimand. I’m just aiming for understanding.
You also have night time diaper changes where the parents/partners try to do the least amount of work as possible…often a quick, prepped change, with the soiled shorts finding a temporary home on the floor until morning when you actually admit you have to get up and do things. In between the quick change and the standard changing table change is a giant grey area with a number of variables. Its an extra sketchy situation when two drowsy adults experience a “night poop” and have to be brought form out of a dead sleep and hastily handle wiping unexpected shit off of a sleepy baby.

The other day while moms was scrambling to get dressed, done, and out the door, I dropped the baby onto the bed for a quick change, popped the snaps open to handle one of the quickest changes ever, only to reveal a heap of dark fibrous stank.
Fuck. I panicked and tried to contain the funk within the diaper, yet the baby who was already squirmy, quickly smacked her hands into it.
“Ahhh!!! Moma, I need help. Fast” darting to the bathroom, she had already smeared her mud paste onto the sleeves of my light grey sweater and her shirt as well. I felt like I was tasked with disarming a bomb and it had already gone wrong. Red wire, green wire. Fuck! I’m holding a shitty diaper with the surface spread of a half jar of chunky peanut butter, an irritated baby with a contagious stanky funk coating her grasp, wearing a contaminated sweater, feeling like a helpless confused puritan unable to fathom the next step towards soul sanitation. I was caught cursing the function of processing organic matter and our desire to shit ourselves. I doubt I could have handled this shitty situation if moms hadn’t grabbed the baby and threw her into the tub. Finally, sense was restored in the universe and this disastrophe had reached the final scenes.
While I am interested in carrying-on about funny and silly interactions between me and the tiny, we are already 1200 words deep and theres a few diapers I must be washing…