Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘fear and loathing on the campaign trail ’72’

The Medium Is My Message

In Activism, art, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, blues, Buddhism, Charles Bukowski, depression, Fugazi, getting old, getting sober, going for the throat, Henry Rollins, Jim McShea, mental health, mid life, middle age, Music, new journalism, news media, Poetry, published poet, publishing poetry, punk rock, RADIO, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, songwriting, Spoken Word, straight edge, suicide, working class, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on August 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Proud and excited to announce this week’s post is featured on Medium!  Please go there and show me some applause (icon of hands clapping at the bottom of, or just beside, the piece).  Feel free to leave a comment, too, so they know we have arrived.

Thanks motherfucker!

 

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New Century Blues

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Buddhism, buddhist, christianity, employment, hometown, mental health, mid life, middle age, Music, new journalism, Poetry, poetry reading, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, punk rock, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, Spoken Word, working class, WRITER'S BLOCK, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS, yoga on June 29, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Greetings from the wasteland and hello from the high rooms.  I’m writing this from the War Room, a kitchen in an apartment of the last Confederate Governor of the U.S.’ old place, in sweltering downtown Austin.  I’m writing it on a Monday so I can get the world off my neck.  The afternoons are best for poetry but I blew it out yesterday with a poem so bitter I won’t be able to share it with anyone, except maybe the Devil himself.  Although, when it comes to offending folks, the creation of Art usually wins out.  As it does over:  sentimentality, decency and even privacy-yep, all of these and especially privacy are rolled over in favor of getting product out.  Be it a poem, blog post, Youtube clip or article-content trumps everything.  Which isn’t to say I wanted to hurt you.  That’s not true.  There are some of you I was trying to hurt.  At least I’m not trying to offend.  Whoops.  That’s not true either.  What do you want from me?  I’m a digital garbage man so stick out your can.  If I don’t put out at least 600 words a week, black detritus piles up in my mind and I start weighing heavier and less savory options, if you know what I mean.

I started this blog 7 years ago, emulating Dr. Thompson and all but killing for his place on the pulse, his connectivity and prescience, his wit and high drama and even his gloomy war drum tone.  His predictions always came home to roost, leading Frank Mankiewicz to dub him the “least factual but most accurate” reporter on the Campaign Trail in ’72-and we all know what’s happened since then.  Trust me on this, Brother, if it got too weird for Hunter Thompson then you know we are in for one hell of a ride.  Nutter’s Rule.  I’ve written on it before.  A future on the order of raining frogs and swarming clouds of locusts is all but imminent-because that is the power of dreaming and it’s all those Nutter’s could hope for.  The music they play in mass alone should hip you to the sad imagination of folks who don’t have premarital sex and are afraid to die.  In their defense, we’re all afraid to die-it’s just that some of us have the sense to understand the Wisdom that living their way is just like dying, so we may as well get on with it, which is probably what Dr. Thompson was thinking on that black day in Febuary 2005.

That’s what is wrong with my generation but don’t get me started on my generation.  Or, do.  It’s only Monday.  My next 600 ain’t due up until sometime Thursday, and that’s plenty of time for me to examine my place in this culture and where I fit in to my Generation-because I certainly didn’t know it or fit in at the time.  Shaving your head and donning braces and boots wasn’t popular where I come from.  Neither was skateboarding, or doing anyting except getting your 12 year old girlfriend pregnant and drinking a case of Bush big boys at the trestle on a Friday night.  Playing in a band wasn’t either, believe it or no, at least not the type of music we were playing-but we did it anyway.  Of course I’d want to go back there, like the song says, but if I can’t then I’ll settle for the attitude we had back then.  Because goddamnit, the Buddhists were right, attitude is everything.  We did shit back then, that no one else was doing.  Because we were bored and our parents didn’t care.  We smoked and drank post-Nevermind, and we wrote.  Those journals are gone, or burned, or on a shelf in a cold garage in Middletown, Delaware at my father’s house.  It’s a shame what happened to those journals and the young idea is gone.  We’re all alone in the New Century but connected somehow in the hall of mirrors of social media.

It’s all fucked and I guess it always was.  The real kick in the balls is that never stopped me before.  I haven’t been breathing right for the last year and a half.  It’s been a long time that I should be far from here.  I got a Monk’s Robe Orange 2009 Honda Element with 53,000 miles and some hail damage on it that bothers me way more than it should.  I’ve got 64 copies of All in the wind’s pressing of 150 left, and orders are still coming in.  I’ve got clips of me reading and telling stories that I shouldn’t post if I cared about certain poets in my commnuity’s feelings, which I don’t, so I will.  In 23 minutes I’ll have to report back to my boss, smoke him out and make a dinner run.  5 years ago I walked out of the food service industry for good.  I threw out my serving blacks and began the search for meaningful work.  I’ll let you fill in the blanks as per if I’ve ever found it, and offer that the only meaningful work there is is for yourself.  You can be a slave in the service of another but you’re still a slave.  You can draw your own conclusions, of course, but I should’ve been gone 2 years ago, when I looked back at my life in horror and knew that if I stayed any longer I’d only be dying.

See you coming out the grave, motherfucker.

The Coarse Grind, Becoming The Media

In activism, ANTI-WAR, Being A Writer, blogging, journalism, music performance, news media, observation, PACIFIST, PACISFISM, Performance, punk rock, War, working class, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on February 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

Whoa.  Part 3&the final installment of The Coarse Grind, written in better and far less ominous days.  The message is the same.  VOX POPULI VOX DEI (the voice of the people is the voice of God).  See you next week motherfucker.

Aho, good reader.  Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with The Coarse Grind because today I’m going for it.  Last we spoke, I confessed that after 19 years I finally knew I was a writer and it was all ’cause I started a blog.  It’s true.  I won’t get into the vast saga of a backstory  behind it but I tapped into a medium that was immediate and honest.  I had, or felt like I had, an instant audience.  I’ve always looked at writing like performing so blogging really gave me a charge.  The way you feel right before you go on stage.  Super, all too, human.From that saga of a backstory I will offer this- my heroes have taught me well.  My heroes were on the outside and they broke in.  The rules didn’t apply to Hunter Thompson which was hardly always glamorous.

This will not be a recipe for how to be a successful writer, at least not the accepted definition of success.  Do consider however, if you want to be a successful writer, one who gets paid, then you must write.  Have a system or M.O. that you know will keep you writing.  Willing.  Enthusiastic, even.  The thing that keeps me writing is my interest in it.  Sadly what is of most interest to me is myself.  Nothing else.  In fact, current events really bum me the fuck out and opinion pieces are odious.  It all feels like programming to me and all of it just swirls into a hulking barrage of sights and sounds, horrors and “truths” that I must isolate myself from.  Thank god for writing because it has become my refuge from the dark spinning world.
My point is why would campaign manager Frank Mankiewicz attribute Hunter Thompson as “the least factual, most accurate” reporter on the Campaign Trail in 1976?  And, why are we finding out now that this country was dragged into war under false pretenses, that the freedom we were fighting for was only being taken away from us by those same warlords, when we have a free press in America, and reporting is held to a high standard of objectivity and truth?  Without the internet or a distant relative living in the middle east-without Twitter, for Christ-we would have no idea what the Arab Spring was all about.  Well, some idea, and probably a spun one, provoking a reaction that could then be reported on until it was true.  I started Going for the Throat just as Arab Spring started rumbling, just as the stanchions under memorials to dictators were giving way in the parks and out on the street.  I’m not a journalist.  But I am a reporter.  And that, good reader, is the magic of writing.
None of these are reasons why after 19 years on the daylabor circuit I knew I was a writer.  I know that I’m a writer because I write.  I don’t ever not write.  And it’s all because I have found a medium that is as inexhaustible as it is exhilarating.  I have instant material simply by getting out of bed in the morning and with the click of a mouse it’s out there with all the “real” journalism.  I have stepped into the Arena.  I’m up there in the hot lights with all the shit-savvy  polished faces and grim intellectual voices of news media.

Is what I write true?  Better believe it.  Or, don’t.  And start your own blog now.

Warmest Greetings from the War Room

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, day job, media, mid life, middle age, new journalism, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, recovery, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, submitting poetry, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on November 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm

The main problem in any democracy is that crowdpleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzythen go back to the office & sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Hunter S. Thompson

Each network is a corporation unto itself, with nearly infinite money to spend and the unbelievable power to shape your opinion and mine.
-Henry Harvey

We’re not coming. You’re not paying attention.
Sex Pistols Letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma.
Bhagavad Gita

This post has nothing to do with National Politics.  If you came here to prove a point I’m sorry.  Maybe you can  hang it up and listen to me bitch for a little while?  I’m aware of the ineffectiveness of apathy.  Not caring might’ve worked for the last twenty-six years but it didn’t help-and things have only gotten worse while I was banging down blue streets strung out on a poet’s dream and railing against unrequited love.  So, I was foolish in my youth, with my time and my everything.  I’m here to make amends.  What else’s a kid suppose to do, in this country or anywhere else?  It seems to me like they die for it over there, in the other hemisphere.  They lay it on the line for the kind of freedom you and I only piss and moan away every day.  This ain’t in defense of apathy but neither your crusade.  The only change I can affect is within and I can barely handle that.  If shaking my lower middle class karma was as simple as quitting cigarettes and alcohol, I’d be home free.  I’m watching you get played by an Oligarchy on tv, a system where the house always wins, but I’m mad at myself for laying down this long and being too cool for school while the world only spun on, deeper into its oblivion.

It’s only getting worse.
-Lamb of God

The real dilemma is that I’m stuck in a glorious grind.  I’m called to the real work but the money and the perks of this gig are alright.  I don’t know what it looks like, to be on the road for long stretches of time; just that I can’t seem to do more than send a few letters out on shift, or post a blog and other incremental types of checklist tasks that forced me to fire my therapist and quit therapy.  I’m sure I’m doing just fine.  Plugging along.  Seems like every week I get the good news that my work will appear in another mag, journal or anthology.  I’ve been hitting the road, too, taking long weekends to the East and Gulf Coasts.  I’m bound to Portland in December, for a workation that’ll yield the next collection and sharpen my printing press skills.  I’m happy about that.  If I step back, I can see that Art is needed on a heart and blood level.  The colors we splash onto the canvas are alive and the characters we write are drawn to collide.  The world we create is full of lovers running into and from each other’s arms.

But I’m short a grand from travel, and the War Room&MAMU aren’t completely set up.  Besides all the ways I’m coming up short in my efforts toward being an Artist full-time, I’m wasting away.  As glorious as this grind is, it’s still a grind.  It stabilized me and picked me up, put me on a regimen with meals and a bedtime.  It was exactly what I needed after I totaled my car and was out of unemployment compensation and the only thing on the horizon was donating plasma and a temp job with the University COOP.  This job’s been a godsend.  I’ll have 3 collections of poetry published by the time I quit here but I’m feeling tethered, tied down and dragged.  It’s time for something else and I’m gonna have to get creative, good Reader, find a way to diversify my talents so that the cheddar can keep rolling in while I plot the next jaunt and get the next collection together, book the next show and find some print for my work.  This post has only put me where I am.  Which is fine.  The pale hot afternoons on shift make me jiggy and it’s not unlike me to feel like I’m spinning my wheels.  So I reach out to you.  Write this screed, edit it and post.  You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall. I’m about to get back to it now.  Working full-time and then over time to ensure the market for an independent singer-songwriter, published poet and hack journalist.  Please send love and if you’re at the show offer to put me up.  As far as the election is concerned take C.O.C.’s suggestion and vote with a bullet.

See you next Thursday motherfucker.
Trainer
Going For The Throat
Austin TX-Nationwide

Slow Day At The Office

In alcoholism, anger, anxiety, Austin, austin music scene, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, day job, getting old, getting sober, Jim Trainer, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, new journalism, PDX, Performance, politics, Portland, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, working class, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS, yoga on October 21, 2016 at 1:40 pm

It had nothing to do with drugs, the F word or being cool, and everything to do with the fact that Thompson never lost his sense of appropriate outrage, never fell into the trap of accepting that moral compromise was somehow a sign of growth and adulthood.
-Matt Taibbi’s Introduction to the 40th Anniversary Edition of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 by Hunter S. Thompson

Nothing on climate change, nothing on poverty, nothing on ending the war in Afghanistan, nothing on banks, on housing, on education, on campaign finance, health care, racial injustice….

Jeffrey St Clair on the Presidential Debates on Wednesday 

Welcome back motherfucker.  ‘Tis I, the bitter and grizzled one.  I’m siting here sipping iced coffee with a bum leg-amidst piles of poetry, calendars, lists, and Hunter Thompson books.  I just finished Generation of Swine this week and I’m a quarter into Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72.  I have a lot to say about the good Doctor and his eviscerating view of politics in this country but not a damn thing to say about what was going down on just about every TV set in the country last night.  To the disappointment and chagrin of every hard working and earnest participant in this thing we call democracy I am not voting on November 8.   That’s about all I have to say about it.  One less voice oughtn’t tip the scales, right Brother?  The way some of you are carrying on, my silence can only improve the landscape, or at least afford me the peace of mind to get these 600 words written and posted up for you, good reader.

The psoas is cranked tight.  11 days on shift with an anger problem has fucked me, Pilgrim.  I take hot baths and do what Yoga I can.  That, and sessions with the lovely Cecily, coupled with long bouts on my back has been the sum total of my time off so far.  I stepped out to see Turning Tricks With The Darlings chop a man’s dick off onstage last night at Bedpost Confessions; and with these scant hours before my Third Thursday at House Wine tonight, I’ll try and get to the kernel of it.  The Wisdom, as Dr. Thompson has eloquently referred to it.  The reason, the meaning, the gist and the thrust-the why if not the how.
Truth is I can’t tell you nothin, man.  I mean I just spent 296 words telling you how I’m gonna come through with 300 more, and that they will have weight and discern some meaning from the spinning circus of birth and death we are all caught up in.  And just as I set that up and build enough tension and thrust around the thing, I tell you I’ve got nothing.  That I’m laid up in between gigs and the day job with a bum leg and an anger problem.  That I couldn’t give less of a fuck about the dog and pony of Presidential politics, I’m behind deadline on the next book-I should’ve been in Portland by now, and without drugs or alcohol, without the cigarette I need so fucking bad right now, the only thing I can do is write to you.

Oh but what a blessing, eh Sister?  That what’s wrong with me is what’s right with me.  That anger and anxiety, lust and greed and spiritual poverty-this is what spins the wheel of dharma round.  That I’m totally gone and halfway to nowhere.  I don’t mind standing at the back of the theater, dressed in black and sipping seltzer, laughing at Nikki DeVaughn.  That I’m the King of Irish Goodbyes and I don’t mind being alone for long periods of time.  I’m a freak and you’re a freak and we’re all freaks in this Circus-except for the squares, who ain’t right, at all.  In a geeked out way I feel I’m really coming into my own.  I feel like I’m gonna wanna be sober for what comes next.  Life is the strangest trip and I don’t want to miss a thing.  The dark can take its turns, the job can take its pound of flesh.  And the TVs can blare blue light into every house and home as the Autumn rages on-and our days dwindle and we find what little love there is in these waning hours and dare to give of it and make it last.

And that’s all it is.  This blog.  You, me.  This thing we got.  A torch.  Thank you for burning yours back at me.  See you next Thursday motherfucker.

Trainer, Going For The Throat
Austin TX-Nationwide

Dharma…it has to do with one’s life calling. It seems that many people either get way off-track or come close but no cigar. Few actually hit it right on. I’m not necessarily talking about the ‘dream job’. It’s nice to be able to monetize a passion, but there’s often a compromise that happens there.
It’s bigger than that. It’s the burning desire that drives you… its the process of it, the feeling you get from it, it’s all that good stuff you’d do if money, situation, practicality and laziness were not an obstacle.  All of it.
I feel like you have to persistently and tirelessly head in the direction of your Dharma, always. You might feel depressed and unfulfilled if you don’t. Sometimes that can be suppressed and sometimes you have what I call a “self-correction moment”-a midlife crisis, a Saturn Return, a meltdown, or just a big, bold-as-fuck life changing decision. The decision has to be to move toward your Dharma.   It has to be. 
-Brother Chris, from out on the road somewhere in the Pacific Northwest