THAT LONG TRAIN RIDE

I was right
About all the little things that didn’t matter.
I was wrong about all the big things that did.
But youth is for foolishness and mistakes.
The concept being that you will eventually learn from mistakes and your heart will grow a harder layer of protection. This can be a lifelong education of regrowth if you don’t pay enough attention to details.
One theory is that we keep falling in love with the same person, over and over, like some weird drunkard’s dance in a Groundhog Day scenario. Even if that person was all wrong for us in the first place. So is it familiarity that attracts? The devil we know is better than the saviour we don’t? Perhaps we just tire from the waiting and settle for what we know. Attracted to those who remind us of ourselves? Or marry for money and security even though that brings in its train a lifetime of boredom and unrequited dreams and hopes? But surely that is not a living, but a dying? For money proves to be a cold companion and takes more than it gives. Doomed to buy all the toys and trinkets to impress others whilst your subsequent depression stemming from your inner knowledge that nothing purchased brings any lasting pleasure. You are a compromised person and although you can lie to your conscience your sub-conscious knows the truth, and forces you to spend most of your days sleeping. Hiding from life. Avoiding waking to the horror of who you really are. A prisoner trapped in a cell of your own making. Spending all your approved allowance on the best drugs to dull yourself to the harsh reality that you are already dead.
I took myself to Disneyland today.
Why?
I wanted to return to a simpler, safer time when I believed in dreams and heroes.
All around me was the sound of the laughter of children and the look of wonderment in their eyes.
They are years from cynicism and reducing the world to something they can understand.
I had a photo taken with Mickey but my idol Donald Duck was nowhere to be seen.
Disneyland was conceived and built by a sad and lonely man who acted childish at times. Because the truth is he was still a child and needed to build a romanticised version of his childhood town – a place where it was always clean, and wholesome and safe. And contained no tyrannical father. Ironic huh? Was he insane? In most people’s terms, yes. But at least his dreams were safer than those of young Adolf Hitler, a failed painter from Austria. Y’know, if young Adolf had’ve sold three or four landscape paintings the whole Second World War may have been avoided. I always say, “Be careful about pissing off creative people. That creative light force once turned back on itself can become very dark and destructive.”
On the other hand, all of the world’s great accepted visionaries were a little looney tunes. Some, very much so. Fortunately their insanities were focused towards something more publicly palatable than the Third Reich or the NWO. They risked everything thinking outside the box. Their own lives became secondary to their dream. And many died in their footsteps upon that lonely highway. They sacrificed romantic relationships, friendships, their dignity (as many were publicly ridiculed), their personal happiness, and a comfortable safe life. Why? And what for? A higher calling? Immortality? If there is no God and no afterlife why do people do this to themselves? If we’re just here marking time until the long darkness, why not just put the tools down and embrace the fairly interesting train ride to nowhere?
It’s the same with love. If it’s not a God-given gift to share then what exactly is it? Why care so much about it? Or anyone else?
I pondered all these things as I sat in my chair looking out the window that was shaped like Mickey’s head on the Disneyland Express on my train ride back to somewhere.

(C) Frank Howson 2018

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THE PEOPLE OF DARKNESS

The living are always under attack from the dead. As night follows day so do those of darkness target those of light and stalk them with words of hero worship when,  the truth is, the mere existence of those with a spark irritates them and they consciously or, in some cases, subconsciously,  work toward the extinguishment of that flame. Wilhelm Reich writes about this condition in detail in his book The Murder of Christ.

The people of darkness use many tools to bring down the envied. Negative rumours, stories that are unfounded in fact, and a whole range of politically acceptable words to discredit their target i.e., Narcissist (this applies to anyone who is successful in showbiz who uses social media to promote their latest ventures) because the fact that someone may actually be getting off their fat ass and doing something reminds the person of darkness how meaningless and unfocused their own life is; Nazi (it is acceptable in today’s politically correct world to call anyone with an opposing opinion this and get away with it. This is disgustingly outrageous and unfair to their target whose only crime may be to have an original thought, as well as, obviously, making light of what the real Nazis did). But let me not bring logic into this lest I be called names. Anti-Semitic is a good one too in some cases. I have even witnessed Jewish people being called anti-Semitic because they dared to have an opinion that didn’t sit comfortably with the party line. Such is the out of control world we live in where the militant wheel gets oiled first and the logical debate is not only not considered it is condemned. Here we have a perfect storm for the people of darkness to not only hide within, but thrive.

Bob Dylan has predicted for some time now that we have entered the end game. Anyone who has studied theology and the predictions of the old prophets would have to concur. In my opinion we are currently engaged in the final war between good and evil, darkness and light, and the shadow people are only going to get more and more hysterical as things don’t go their way. They are currently very confused as to why things aren’t going the way of the Polls. Could it be divine intervention?

It is difficult to untangle yourself from a person of darkness because they are cling ons – spiritual vampires sucking your energy. And the more you give them the more resentful they will become towards you. For even your kindness is an irritation. A reminder of what they are not. They will insult you by praising strangers and even abusing and opportunistic ex-partners above your efforts to help, give and support. This is to make you crazy and so confused you will cease to be able to function and end up zombie like staring out a window into the light that was once your source. Do not under any circumstances feed them. Let well enough alone. Danger and madness this way comes.

(C) Frank Howson 2017

NIGHT MOVES

 

 “The Cave” opened in 1912 and was located in the basement of the Gruenwald Hotel (later the Roosevelt) in New Orleans. It is now believed to be the first “nightclub” in the United States.

From the early 1900s working class Americans would frequent honky tonks or juke joints to meet people of the opposite sex and dance to music played on the piano or a jukebox. During the US Prohibition years when alcohol was made illegal the night clubs went underground and were controlled by the gangster element. These clubs were known as “speakeasys”, the name deriving from the fact that the clientele had to know a secret word in order for the doorman to allow you entrance into the place.

The banning of alcohol during these years should’ve been a lesson to governments that the banning of any substance is futile as those who want it bad enough will always be able to obtain it. All it does is give the product to the control of criminals and make them wealthy in the process.

 When the Prohibition law was repelled in February 1933 the night clubs really took off in a big way. Such iconic venues as New York’s Copacabana, the 21 Club, El Morocco and the Stork Club went all out to set a high standard and capture their share of the market. Many former gangsters became legitimate businessmen and went after the night-owl market. Maybe they liked the feeling of power that owning a top night spot gave you. In those days the entertainment music was supplied by big bands featuring New York’s top jazz players.

In Harlem, Connie’s Inn and the famous Cotton Club were hugely popular venues for white audiences.

The success of this formula soon swept across America and then the rest of the world.

 In Occupied France, jazz and bebop music, along with the jitterbug dance craze, were banned by the Nazis who saw it as a decadent American influence. I guess they thought killing men, women and children was acceptable but having a dance and a drink on a Saturday night was going too far. The French, not known for taking no for an answer, took to meeting in hidden, secret basements. These places became known as “discotheques” and the music was supplied by playing hit records on a single turntable. Even in Germany the Nazis were fighting an unwinnable battle trying to keep music, alcohol and “decadent” social gatherings away from their citizens. Underground discotheques popped up in Berlin basements and were patronized by anti-Nazi youth called the swing kids.

 After the war, in Paris, a club named the Whiskey a Gogo set into practice what would become  the standard elements of the modern night club by laying down a dance floor, suspending coloured lights and using two turntables so that there would be no breaks between the music.

By the 1970s the disco night clubs came into their own and record companies began producing long versions of songs that were ideal for keeping the patrons on the dance floor. Some of the most prestigious clubs were outfitted with elaborate lighting systems that throbbed to the thumping beat of the music.

There also began a thriving drug subculture that chose Cocaine to enhance the experience of music and lights. Amyl nitrite (also known as poppers) also became popular as did Quaaludes which affected motor coordination and turned your arms and legs to jelly. Again, these illicit substances attracted the gangster underworld and they were more than happy to supply to demand and make fortunes from the trend.

The environment and drugs also fuelled rampant promiscuity and the new age of night clubs, heralded by New York’s infamous Studio 54, became cocaine-filled hangouts for celebrities.

 For the wealthy, they slept all day and partied all night. The scene became their lives. And, in some cases, their deaths.  In the words of the Danny O’Keefe song of the time, “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues,, “…you play around you lose your wife, you play too long you lose your life.”

(c) Frank Howson 2013

ANDRE

(Written in memory of George Andre Cohn who was just 12 years old when he became a victim of the holocaust.)

 

I wish you could’ve seen today

The sun was out

And the warmth made you feel

That the world was safe.

I wish you could’ve touched my hand

And known for sure,

That the darkness was gone

And the good guys won.

I wish you could’ve looked away,

And never seen

All the shadow people In their uniforms.

I wish I could’ve saved your life. I wish, I wish…

 

I have a photograph of you, smiling,

Happy as a child, captured in a frame.

Perfect light, before the dark clouds came.

I wish you could’ve seen today

The sun was out

And the warmth made you feel

That the world was safe.

I wish you could’ve seen today

The sun was out, Andre,

And the world was safe…

Today. 

 

Recorded by Judith Durham & Andre Rieu..

 

(c) Frank Howson 2012.