Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bui – Doi - Stanford at Large in the Modesto Airport District – Ho Chi Minh (Again)

The blazing sun is reaching out across the deserted landscape of Modesto again, although no one will dare admit it in such polite and political company. Man. It's hot. Seriously? Really? Right?

The very same, indeed, as none will admit that when George Lucas envisioned Tatooine, it was all too easy, because he had been raised there. Here, as it were, in Modesto.

Modesto. Where fair weather politicians such as Chris Murphy, feebly attempt to revive long dead corpses, such as George Lucas' interest in Modesto at all...or his father, Darth Vader. Seriously? Really? Right?

Darth Vader, AKA – George Lucas Sr. never left, nor ever cared for his son to leave either.

Luke Skywalker, AKA – George Lucas Jr. never looked back [1] . All was soon to seem forgiven and forgotten except for the things we just simply don't speak of in hick company. Things that make us grit out teeth and tightly rub our fingers together as though it were a tell. Hoping all the while nothing upsets the rocky road apple cart, which is the la la fantasy that every Modestan seems to be inflicted by.

Chris Murphy, AKA Princess Leha - knows that the dark side is important to me. I am the antidote to the Death Star Soma. Thirteenth at the table. The uninvited guest. Seriously? Really? Right?

I saw Star Wars on McHenry and Briggsmore in 1977. I was a fresh 12 year old out of Kindergarten. About a decade later, I was a nineteen year old nurse working at the first year of a posh nursing home by the name of English Oaks, AKA – Michael Ray's New Redbluff Convalescent Hospital.

Michael Ray, AKA the strict Dunkard Director of Nurses (D.O.N.) was more of a hero to me than George Lucas Jr. was. He ran the new facility with even more strict rigor than he did the other facility in Riverbank. Yet, George Lucas was just as much of a hero to me as any Modestan. And that is saying quite a bit since his was the only name they could remember, considering no one here knows that this is where the Olympic Medalist Mark Sptiz also grew up. Seriously? Really? Right?

Twas' one fateful night that I did find myself, literally cradling Darth Vader in my arms, in the process of changing his linens. Frightened he was. Shivering he. Never looking at nor acknowledging me at any time. Oblivious? I doubted and doubt now. What could one expect from a person, left to die in a nursing home? Seriously? Really? Right?

All of Modesto's claim to fame celebrations are absent the presence of the not so prodigal native son. If this was a perfect world, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce would have done a Ribbon Cutting for Vader and Son's Office Machines.

The Multi-Million Dollar Modesto Gospel Mission, AKA - the People's Temple is under new management now. Though most certainly a God sent blessing for a chosen few – the price is still your soul. Assistance in exchange to an inquisition type acceptance of the doctrine according to Billy Graham. Heart disease and diabetes slopped onto a prison tray, even if you bow down to the Holy Spirit of Bill Graham, they will still treat you like a derelict [2]. Whether you truly be one or not.

Now they have their brown shirts riding around in golf carts as though the parking lot of the Mission and Ho Chi Minh were the sole property of Billy's. Everyone is a potential target. The only thing that protects me from them, is that they think I am a cop. Seriously? Really? Right?

And now we have a new mayor. Another shill, put up by the agricultural killing machine, AKA – the development industry. And a new City Council. To me, at the very least. I have not spoken to them for quite some time. I was estranged as it were. It was a few years that went by, if I can recollect correctly, but I had to approach them nevertheless.

It's all about freedom. It's all about holding the Pigs of Modesto's Great Camelot at Bay. Yeah, I know. I get frustrated too. I hate having some unshaven, toothless junky blowing their stale alcohol breath on me like a dragon of old.

“Hey. Hey. Buddy, do you got fifty cents?”

“What? You actually think I'm going to give you money? Fuck you, bitch.”

At this point there is a fork in the social and legal road that is ignored by both the media and the Chief Carrol of the Modesto Police Department, AKA lipstick on just another pig. Both from pressure from a City Council that is propped up and placed by what? By what? Developer interests. And what is it they ignore? The rights of an individual to express their need to another. Seriously? Really? Right?

And why is that so important to me? Because I know some things OK? For instance, I know that you may very well be able to wish success upon someone, even if it is someone you have never seen or even been near. Or it could, perhaps, be a large group of people that you may certainly, by all means, wish to be successful. But the success of this is not very successful. We have to deal with reality. And when we deal with reality, it is inevitable that we must talk about opportunity, if we are going to realistically talk about success. Not how much any individual deserves to not be a success.

And what that means, is that a person will inevitably increase their chances of getting their need(s) met by expressing their need to as many people as possible. I also know that there are many more than not that do not spend, nor intend to spend the money or resources they receive on drugs or alcohol. And the most compelling thing that I know is that it is their first amendment constitutional right to do so.

But there is a downside. That fork in the social and legal road that I mentioned. They do not have the right to continually harass or hound an individual that has indicated in any way that could be reasonably understood by the solicitor that they do not wish to yield. Seriously? Really? Right?[3]

That is one of several ordinances that I am attempting to challenge, not in the court of public opinion, but by Civil Disobedient Extortion. And kindness along the way, wrapped up in a big wad of shock value.

Yeah, that's where the real juice is. Right there. At the dais I told them the truth; that I have the solution to homelessness. Love, compassion and understanding. Enough of any one of those would solve any social problem we would ever have. That's just common sense. For those with frontal lobes.

Yes, it had been some time since I had addressed the council or anyone else for that matter, and I knew it was going to have to be orchestrated, professional and as precise as a neurologist's dull scalpel. Seriously? Really? Right?

And just outside is the Modesto Gospel Mission Secret Police, salivating at the thought of intimidating me somehow or getting me to do something simple like leave the premises altogether. But the pull of the golf cart is too much for him and he cannot escape the very idea of racing through the black top of the vacant parking lot with the wind blowing through his hair and the Windsong 1977 commercial soundtrack playing for him in the back ground. What a weirdo. Seriously? Really? Right?

To enjoy the company of an elderly indigent is far more validating than compliments from fake activists or fascist local politicians mistaking me for a Caucasian. The conservation of my saliva alone, makes it all so much grander. It feels as though I should be setting miniature plastic china for an imaginary tea time. Why not? It befalls the wickedly pretentious avows of recovery. Some of which I can now say I have been told by some for four decades. By some, I mean so few, as so many missed many of my tea times. You know, due to sclerosis of the liver and other natural causes of a tragically blind suicide. Quite natural, all the same, as it always is. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Never mind. Just the mutterings of a burned out missionary in my position.

I don't smoke anymore and if even I were to, it would make no difference at five o'clock in the morning, after a hectic night of doubling down on black jacks and splitting tens, raising the ire of my Mom, Chin, AKA – Cinnamon as they call her, I am sure down at the strip club, where she has been having to perform to keep the Vietnamese Refugee Camp operating. Within another hour I would be pulling into Ho Chi Minh and if I were to be early enough, I had an actual refugee to smoke cigarettes with and discuss my many wins, losses and arguments of the previous night that I had with Chin, AKA the Vietnamese Gang Prison Killer.

Those days are a not so distant memory now, as he was shot in the head only to have his wife, also to be shot in the head, not to mention his daughter with down syndrome shot in the head too. I think she was the sole survivor for a few minutes. Just before the Modesto Police Chief, Harden used the entire affair as a photo op. He laughs at the expense of my loved ones getting shot in the head and then gets mad when I make fun of his name in a council meeting. But I'm not bitter. Seriously? Really? Right?

So I have been working on branding myself with an image that is peaceful innocent and pure. It's my new message – Love, Compassion and Understanding. Yes, I have finally succumbed to the subliminal lyrics of an Elvis Costello song. But he was right. And what's more, that sweet girl with down syndrome could tell you that. If they had not shot her in the head. Seriously? Really? Right?

Footnotes, as if you didn't know.

  1. What? Do I have to spell it out to you? Seriously? Really? Right?
  2. If you understand that sentence, than you certainly too, have been inflicted with the generalization disease of this local “community”.
  3. I don't care if you don't agree with me.
  4. You guessed it.

Copyright 2016 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.