30.3.10



Searchlight Serenade

Momma def poppa
returned from their
red, white and black
road racer rally car

trip to Nevada
dehydrated
from drinking
too much tea

On the way back
they discussed
checking the brakes
at the East India
Trade-In Company
then stopped off
at the Wal-Mart
to buy a Krate
of Klassic Koke,
an eighty-four percent share
in Monsanto korn seed,
Kool Aid for the kids,
got home (paid for), checked
the U.S. Mail, tested the Teev-Ho
for the latest on the NFL draft,
and any new instructions

from Poppa Bear
on how
to resist
socialism
and thought
control

Unlike the usual church sermon,
they still had visions of posterized
black-faced Obamas dancing
in their heads and their bull eyes
kept konjuring the kulars:
Black, white and red ...

They found the kids at home,
waiting, playing Monopoly ...

They were playing with their
children, and the children
of their children ...

Momma def Poppa
had just missed the debate

about the rule about the rule
about the rule of how and when ...
you simply toss the board

and start over again
when nobody
has any
money


Reshuffle the deck ...
Good game theory ....



Despite the appeal
to those eeking
it out on Baltic Avenue,
too many remained
unconvinced the gig
was up, and they klung
like bees at the bank window
to their paper money
hearts
of reds, black and white,
to their pixilated imaginations

of digitized seas of more time,
more money
waiting to appear
if they just pray and work
hard enough

Meanwhile, Pablo sat
out on his porch

listening to Norteno
way too loud
into the night

since it was a full moon
and he could still
dream of amnesty
and learning how
to read
Thomas Paine

~ The Daily Dash


26.3.10



What's Next for Joe the Terrorist

This just in from Fox News:
Coach Boehner, well, he got bad blues,
gonna put an oven in the eyes
for and you and you and you

Like a rough beast backbeat back at last
the popular rage rolls in real time fast
flinging flags with snakes on the porch
of Democracy, livin' free while you die

... and all that know-nothing why

This just in from Fox News:
Joe the Terrorist just got refused


~ The Daily Dash



Bury My Heart at Broken Knee

They were high sock days,
white cleats, hard rock days,
daze of football glories
when I could sail over their eyes,
duck around their walls
since getting tackled
was well ... inconvenient,
hurt like a sucker, yes,
so I learned to run in fear ...

At homecoming assembly,
Coach Boehner cheered us on,
Lombardized and lobotomized
since winning was everything ...

Yeah, the kid's mind went squish
in that game last week, and yes,
we do teach our kids
to tackle like torpedoes

It's just a wink you know
O, certaintly yes it's
unAmerican to aim to kill

He just stood there, the tragic suited one,
at the kickoff, he did, and there was violence
and a collateral cry across the field
and the kid stumbled toward us, in a daze:
Fortunately, Coach told us later,
his dad was a brain surgeon

But now my broken knee has been plowed
into ploughshares, my swords, cow-pastured,
thirty years from that yesteryear
believing in that gridiron dream
imagined into a pre-existing condition
of crunching bone and graal ...


~ The Daily Dash



Being Red, Day One

My first day as a red
went okay, I guess ...
we poisoned the apple
of knowledge
at the school teacher's
desk and I shouted
her down when she told
us about the census

I tossed a rock at her
on the way home from school ...
Then, at football practice,
we were given a rousing speech
to hold our ground

Coach Boehner, too
had been especially
incensed about the new
social contract being
passed around

Funny, he'd been so quiet
for nearly a decade ...

Shit, we are going to
hafta, like, take care
of each other now

Later, we went home
and watched bully pulpit
teevee and it lit up
the oven in our eyes


~ The Daily Dash


Look for the new album this spring ...


Dead Peasants Revolution

See there, over the Holy lands,
the lost McDonalds arch
over the sea
over the winds
between the digitized clouds
of moneyed imaginings ...

A toast to all, a call
to the muse, once forgotten,
now nobody, nothing, plain,
wandering the land ...

Summon the post-insurance marvel,
confounding the co-fathers,
the commercial second foot ...
about to draw ... media mad ...

Like in "Network," yes, "Network..."

Channeling theocracy they are
the Fox net whizzes

A toast. A toast.
Jelly and jam for everyone ...
Falling from grace, falling

Juniper walks in, the challenger,
the maker of tastes, sweet whispers
of things once forgotten, now remembered:

She sings, leaning into the sea, O Juniper!
Juniper!:
"Storms, storms across America ...
conjuring up Tiamat from the depths,
from the depths, from the depths ..."


~ today's dash
by Douglas McDaniel

24.3.10



Bury My Heart at Broken Knee

They were high sock days,
white cleats, hard rock days,
daze of football glories
when I could sail over their eyes,
duck around their walls
since getting tackled
was well ... inconvenient,
hurt like a sucker, yes,
so I learned to run in fear ...

At homecoming assembly,
Coach Boehner cheered us on,
Lombardized and lobotomized
since winning was everything ...

Yeah, the kid's mind went squish
in that game last week, and yes,
we do teach our kids
to tackle like torpedoes

It's just a wink you know
O, certaintly yes it's
unAmerican to aim to kill

He just stood there, the tragic suited one,
at the kickoff, he did, and there was violence
and a collateral cry across the field
and the kid stumbled toward us, in a daze:
Fortunately, Coach told us later,
his dad was a brain surgeon

But now my broken knee has been plowed
into ploughshares, my swords, cow-pastured,
thirty years from that yesteryear
believing in that gridiron dream
imagined into a pre-existing condition
of crunching bone and graal ...


~ The Daily Dash



Being Red, Day One

My first day as a red
went okay, I guess ...
we poisoned the apple
of knowledge
at the school teacher's
desk and I shouted
her down when she told
us about the census

I tossed a rock at her
on the way home from school ...
Then, at football practice,
we were given a rousing speech
to hold our ground

Coach Boehner, too
had been especially
incensed about the new
social contract being
passed around

Funny, he'd been so quiet
for nearly a decade ...

Shit, we are going to
hafta, like, take care
of each other now

Later, we went home
and watched bully pulpit
teevee and it lit up
the oven in our eyes


~ The Daily Dash


Look for the new album this spring ...


Dead Peasants Revolution

See there, over the Holy lands,
the lost McDonalds arch
over the sea
over the winds
between the digitized clouds
of moneyed imaginings ...

A toast to all, a call
to the muse, once forgotten,
now nobody, nothing, plain,
wandering the land ...

Summon the post-insurance marvel,
confounding the co-fathers,
the commercial second foot ...
about to draw ... media mad ...

Like in "Network," yes, "Network..."

Channeling theocracy they are
the Fox net whizzes

A toast. A toast.
Jelly and jam for everyone ...
Falling from grace, falling

Juniper walks in, the challenger,
the maker of tastes, sweet whispers
of things once forgotten, now remembered:

She sings, leaning into the sea, O Juniper!
Juniper!:
"Storms, storms across America ...
conjuring up Tiamat from the depths,
from the depths, from the depths ..."


~ today's dash
by Douglas McDaniel

22.3.10



Being Red, Day One

My first day as a red
went okay, I guess ...
we poisoned the apple
of knowledge
at the school teacher's
desk and I shouted
her down when she told
us about the census

I tossed a rock at her
on the way home from school ...
Then, at football practice,
we were given a rousing speech
to hold our ground

Coach Boehner, too
had been especially
incensed about the new
social contract being
passed around

Funny, he'd been so quiet
for nearly a decade ...

Shit, we are going to
hafta, like, take care
of each other now

Later, we went home
and watched bully pulpit
teevee and it lit up
the oven in our eyes


~ The Daily Dash

21.3.10


Look for the new album this spring ...


Dead Peasants Revolution

See there, over the Holy lands,
the lost McDonalds arch
over the sea
over the winds
between the digitized clouds
of moneyed imaginings ...

A toast to all, a call
to the muse, once forgotten,
now nobody, nothing, plain,
wandering the land ...

Summon the post-insurance marvel,
confounding the co-fathers,
the commercial second foot ...
about to draw ... media mad ...

Like in "Network," yes, "Network..."

Channeling theocracy they are
the Fox net whizzes

A toast. A toast.
Jelly and jam for everyone ...
Falling from grace, falling

Juniper walks in, the challenger,
the maker of tastes, sweet whispers
of things once forgotten, now remembered:

She sings, leaning into the sea, O Juniper!
Juniper!:
"Storms, storms across America ...
conjuring up Tiamat from the depths,
from the depths, from the depths ..."


~ today's dash
by Douglas McDaniel

17.3.10


Bumcore from the Reverend's Big Damn Band: Recession Era Holy Rollin' Goes on the Road

The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band consists of three people, and they are from Indiana, like a tent revival storming in from the north, displaying the furious sound of the age, "bumcore."
They have been touring for years. They will likely not be seen on MTV.
"We are practically homeless," says band leader, Rev. Peyton, with his big beard and suspenders and Depression era hat as the band continues a roubust lifestyle as just a bunch of neo-hobos on the road.
Right now we are in Denver. Along Colfax Avenue, the longest commercial corridor on earth, 27 miles, to be exact. In front of the Bluebird Theater, where the band is going to play, with American Relay and another local band, Slakjaw, one of whose members, sitting out there along the theater entrance smoking cigarettes well before sound-check, came up with the "bumcore" tag. Lots of souls to save here, for the Reverend and his band.
"Of course they are called American Relay, not American Relay race," says one, knowing full well what it takes for a band to pay $4 a gallon for gas, racing across the state in a compact car full of instruments and amps, to make a good gig ... even if it's just for one hour.
"Screw the Bluedbird," another says as something wild is going on inside as the Rev. Peyton trio goes through its soundcheck. "Let's go watch some porn," referring to the adult arcade next door.
Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band turns out, later on, to be a riotous act. A three-piece band playing with punked-out speed banjo and wild woman washboard, percussion whatever comes handy in Great Depression Two, the outfit belongs beneath a circus tent, perhaps, yes, but also on the same bill as the Pogues.
"We are a punk band," says the Rev says. "Old hippies, you name it ... the meat markets are not the place for us."
The band is a a modern musical revival, a foot stompin' delight to see: Just sangin' and bangin' those punk rock po' boy blues ... resonating with the economic undercurrents of folk-punk, to which, this is all nothing new.
Yep, on the front porch of the rock-n-roll up-and-coming scene, there's a neo-Depression revival underway. Just hours before the show, the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, come out of their sound check dressed in their finest washboard wear: suspenders, fedora and even a flower dress complemented by red cowboy boots.
Blues-rock duo American Relay, late from the previous night's gig in their original hometown, Steamboat Springs, enter into view of this new musical damn-nation. They spill onto the sidewalk from a compact car with their instruments and luggage. They are as friendly as plain folks at a barbecue, smiling, ready to shake hands with anyone and everyone. They are both college grads, bright-eyed, sharp, smart. But without a band bus in sight, one immediately wonders what the apocalyptic price of gas these days means for musicians on tour, the very life blood of rock 'n' roll.
The members of American Relay — guitarist Nick Sullivan, 27, with his Fu Manchu mustache and Hendrix hair, and drummer Alex Hebert, 30, looking all 1930s with, again, the Fedora — have stripped their sound down to the basics: blues, rock, maybe a little bit of punk if you're feeling categorical.
Comparing their economy to another drum-n-guitar duo, the White Stripes, Hebert muses, "We can split our winnings better..." But then, halting, looking over at Sullivan, he says… "OK, accrue the losings more easily." This dry sense of humor finds its way into the music in interesting and satisfying ways that help elevate their songs above the radio-friendly masturbation rituals produced by many mainstream artists.
Onstage, it's easy to see why American Relay's efficient sound appeals to a new generation that has gone bland on the Widespread Panic noodling of the '90s. Their brand of blues-punk is reminiscent of Neil Young's Re-ac-tor phase, of George Thorogood on steroids, of the very dhambala of the blues on speed. It's the synthesis, really, of the bluesmaster tradition that created R.L. Burnside's blistering guitar style, the great grandfather who American Relay is quick to embrace: "He's the reason we are here," belts out Sullivan at the start of their set, which calls out to every white boy and girl in the crowd: Hey, poor boy, how's it feel to really know the blues?
Sullivan and Herbert met in audio engineering class at University of Colorado-Denver, where they learned the technical ins-and-outs of the business, but the professor who really caught their attention was R.L. Burnside. His music and style had a big influence on the budding rockers.
"He was the gateway artist to what we are doing," Hebert says. "No f...ing noodling or anything." Sure, he says, the '90s jam bands "did a lot for the blues, but we're taking business away from those bands."
American Relay's artwork for the 2007 album Corn & Oil conjures Depression-era roadside art deco in a post-9/11 climate. Like their music, it's an ode to tradition designed with modern sensibilities. The album sounds like acetylene sparks in the garage, like early Hendrix without the rocket fuel solos funded by '60s-era NASA. Music that finds a single, straightforward beginning and just sticks to it with razor-steadfastness, the visceral truth of rock.

There's a certain one-man-blues-band quality to it, and a true sense of gospel somehow leading back to Howlin' Wolf roots. It's as if George Thorogood had been served up for human sacrifice.
When told it sounded like they were out to digitally deconstruct that type of blues-rock influence, Sullivan says, "George Thorogood is still kicking it out, so he ain't dead just yet. And we got a lot of respect for how he does business."
Throughout the night, during the interview and after Reverend Peyton's show, the spirit and intensity of the tent revival is not so much felt as drained out through the sweat glands. At the end of the day, it feels like some kind of redemption has taken place: the audience drenched from the relentlessness worship service, the endless swinging and stomping and raising of the spirit, the cleansing...
After the show, blues brothers Sullivan and Herbert are waiting at the door for one more greet and a smile. Asked if there's some kind of religious belief system at work here, Sullivan says, "Not much of instituted religious experience growing up, but there is a definite faith in the power of roots music."

13.3.10

Taking the Boss for a Bruising

I have always loathed Mr. Bruce Springsteen. And it is more than just having the Boss hanging around, bossing around my radio airwaves for decades and decades. Not so much the music I loathed, but his fame (especially this crap about him being the Boss). Not so much his fame but the people who made him famous, that is, his fans and his fawning critics. Not so much all fans but just the few that I have known over the past, say, 30 years. They were all people full of passionate intensity, and as W.B. Yeats wrote, they are the worst kind of people (compared to the best, who lack all conviction, I guess). Maybe not so much full of passionate intensity, because I am one of those big, bad, willful people, too, and the truth is my reaction to these fans and the fawning critics has always been a little too strong. In fact, I have always kind of admired Bruce Springsteen, but the real truth of the matter is it all got ruined for me a long time ago.

In the new century of exclusion (as opposed to inclusion), membership still has its privileges. For that reason, I endorse the BMG Music Club, of which I am now a member, and now I bring to you critical news of what landed on my doorstep, "The Essential Bruce Springsteen." The triple-CD collection of basic Bruce, of course, for the most part, nobody needs, except for the 12 bonus tracks, which most true fans will find to be รค um, essential.

My loathing of Springsteen goes back to those so-called Glory Days at my high school (Chaparral, Scottsdale, Arizona, class of 1978), and a girl I was secretly in love with named ... Now, like most of the femme fatales in a Springsteen song, she was not the prettiest girl in school. But I never went for the kewpie dolls anyway (and they never went for me). It was all made more complicated, though, by the fact she was ... was ... that's tangential, because we were all dazed and confused, listening to the Who, Genesis and Pink Floyd.

Now, at that time, I was a total Anglofile. In fact, I still believe those Brit bands of the 1970s != your Led Zeppelins, your Yes men, Your Genesi (with Peter Gabriel), your Crimson Kings != were pretty much the final angel prophets of our time sent to gong the electronic trumpets of the Apocalypse for the generation before it all went down ... Like I said, dazed and confused.

So when this girl, now an old woman, old as me, at least, chirped in that the only true god was this wannabe Elvis they called "the Boss," well, it just ran against my doctrine at that time. Then she said he was the sexiest man alive, and so I was jealous, and that was simply more than I could take.

No more. As this essential set reveals, Bruce is all about passionate intensity and there's nothing sexy about it. Rather than polishing the sacred gemstone of stoned souls or wooing the ladies with the Elvis routine, Bruce plundered the depths beneath the dark cities of the American dream, finding not so much light down there, but dignity. A lot of it.

Probably the best thing about this triple-CD isn't the music at all but the collection of the lyrics of all of his songs in a single booklet. His words can stand alone. With passages too numerous to write down for these purposes, his lyrics transcend the last decades of the 20th century. His words come across like political propaganda, too; but no, what I mean is this: Bruce has been used, quite incorrectly, it seems, as political propaganda.

Which brings me to another one of those Springsteen fans whom we all used to call the "human storm cloud." I just didn't like this guy, we didn't get along at all, since he was my boss, and it did not help that the real ascendant rock God by the mid-1980s was U2.

Nevertheless, in the 1980s, somehow, the song "Born in the USA" -- even though it chipped huge chunks out of the self-assured armor of the American century -- somehow (I guess it was just those Teflon times) became the anthem for the Reagan Era. Read these lines and explain the fallacy of this reading by the masses:

Born down in the dead man's town
The first kick I took when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's beat too much
Till you spend your life covering up
Or this:

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain't nowhere to go


Reading these lines, I just don't feel so lucky being born in the USA. I wonder if I'd have been better suited as a Tibetan monk ... or a Vietnamese fisherman (another story there, too).

My old hated boss later moved on and became some kind of Las Vegas gambling guru, last I heard. I bet, though, that for a time he lost touch with the Boss, as we all did. Springsteen entered a period of contemplation and resignation and happy family life. As other bands such as REM and U2 went on to conquer the world, Bruce descended into the "Tunnel of Love," penning somber folk songs about the interior lives of quiet, little, marginalized people. Except for a few exceptions, his music was no longer the soundtrack, the background music, of our lives. It was more like the museum of our lives.

Which is perhaps why I stopped hating him so much. Until Monica. Now, the person I am referring to is not a real person. In the 1990s Monica, a character on the show "Friends," was the fussy girl. I have no idea what the actress who played her, Courtney Cox, is really like. I think she's really hot, as kewpie dolls go. However, I always identified her with Bruce Springsteen because she was basically discovered when she was brought on stage to dance in that horrendous "Dancing in the Dark" MTV video.

Now, Monica was a clean freak character on the show, of course, and there lies the rub for myself: Clean freaks are the most controlling, manipulative, contradictory, conspicuous consumers on the face of the earth. All of that soap. Chemicals in the home that will give you cancer. Bug killing agents with fumes that you soak up yourself. And paper, tons of paper. And trash bags piling up in small mountains worldwide.

So there was Springsteen, contemplating his folksy navel in the older-is-wiser middle-age years of the 1990s. Meanwhile, squeaky clean Mall America became the safety zone for all of this poisonous whitewashing of the landscape. The Boss was too focused on decrepit street folk and dignified bikers on the fringe to really spend much time on the Monica virus.

Just as a bizarre composite of consumerism was moving into the far corners of China -- forget about compromised Ohio -- just as the Internet gold rush was taking place; the I-am-the-Walrus marketing guru was climbing into the pilot seat of Air America; just as Deadhead stickers were stuck on Cadillacs; just as Las Vegas was remade into an All-American Disneyland for the kids and folks, well, the Boss was plain missing from his throne.

Even worse, while on tour during the past few years, his old fans, his constituency, the common man, needed to apply for financial aid to see his shows.

If you look at the demographics of this nation, the common man could only marginally afford to enjoy Bruce Springsteen as an American Natural Resource. As one of the richest entertainers on an annual basis, he is actually a major Third World Nation now, asking for a handout. Oh sure, this has really nothing to do with the quality of his work but the fact is that after the lilting eulogy to AIDS victims in the song, "Philadelphia," Springsteen waited until after 911 to resurface as, well, himself. That is, the Boss. Except, the song, "The Rising," still sounds like a lot of foaming at the mouth as it plays to the culture of vengeance as hip.

But now that the Bank of America logo is tattooed on the ass of pretty much everybody's favorite pop star (even U2 has caved, pandering to the marketgeist by co-branding a song from its new album to also help sell iPods), Mr. Springsteen is just another voice in the wilderness of big, bad money. Too bad he couldn't have found himself sooner, like say, 1996. All I know is my BMG Music Club is charging me $29 for this triple-CD set, which I am glad enough to own, not that I am not sure if I can afford that. Probably have to send it back.

In the meantime, I will e-mail some of his best lyrics of the past to people I love, miss, friends like that Courtney Cox or a holographic Monica will be interested enough to call. Or maybe even the Boss, finding the true connection to the real common man, no Woody Guthrie style bullshit here, will pen an anthem about some idiot driving a Humvee to the cleaners around the corner.

Finally, you might ask, do I recommend this, based on the quality of the bonus tracks? Well, maybe. Depends on your station in life. I would just hate to think about what kind of soul-wrenching experience it would be to find out what it costs at the mall, or to learn what mass production on this scale really costs; in terms of the paper, the CDs, the electricity to burn it, the bottom line for the record company, the publicists, the marketing, distributors, retailers and so on, in order to repackage the non-bonus CDs. Apparently, the Boss was one of the first of his generation to DIY these early recordings and sell them on his own. Now that was a beautiful idea. Now that was essential. Now that was what it was really like to be born in the USA.

Mythville MetaMedia - Lulu.com

Take the road to Mythville ...
Mythville MetaMedia - Lulu.com

4.3.10



2012 film offers terrible treats for terrified audiences

To believe in the apocalypse, or to not believe in the apocalypse in 2012? This is now no longer the question due to the mind’s eye of film director Roland Emmerich, director of this week’s mega-blockbuster DVD, 2012.

By all grim appearances in accordance with his work, 2012, that big blowout year in the Mayan calendar is a vivid and foregone conclusion.

Does that make him a prophet, a film visionary, or, a salesman? Movies are made to please pre-existing markets, especially on the mega-scale of this seamless, somewhat revealing examination of what life might be like as the deal goes down. The film is a real chance to schadenfreud oneself into a tizzy with an eye-full of god-wrath, as we watch each character, each necessary human figure in the film, get fried, flooded or simply shaken right out of the big script of life. Except for the lucky ones (Oh yeah, have faith!) Fairly much preaching to the choir then, is 2012, a tasty treat believers rapt in the eye candy of no more future … no more, well, everything …

Certainly fun to think about. And a terrible beauty to watch, 2012 is, yes it is …

However, with daily television news broadcasts confirming the collective psychology that the end is near, rendering such imaginative works less fun to think about, the popular attitude that the sky is falling, one can only go back 1,000 years to find a culture whose sense of doom was so widespread.

In their respective millennia, the creators of great apocalyptic works of art were sparked by minds overwhelmed with turmoil. So it is with 2012, the film, which provides the imagination with more than it can handle, an everything in one box disaster film for our times.

Frederico Fellini’s 8½ had a moment when the jaded director portrayed in the film declared that all he was trying to do was fulfill his vision of a film where “everything happens.”

To be a blockbuster filmmaker in the 21st century, you have to do pretty much that: One man, or woman, goes out and saves the world. Wish fulfillment theater at its finest. It is a common theme in the human psyche. This need to channel all of the chaos the earth can muster into a digestible apocalyptic thriller, in which the evil doers are done in, once and for all, as we enjoy the collateral damage of what is, in the end, a happy ending.

Since the mind is a relevance machine, the end result, in all cases, is an overpowering distortion, but nonetheless valid expression, of the news of the day. Unfortunately, as beautiful and fascinating and awestruck we might be from all of these hell-raising conceits, there is a danger. There is a malfunction, yes, that almost works like bad code embedded in a computer. The kind of thing that can make the mind shut down.

Which makes the popularization of the idea that the world will end in 2012 so laughably unfortunate. Forget to even try to study the origins of the Mayan myths on 2012. The way it was popularized by the Harmonic Convergence in 1987. Forget even to have to get rid of that old SUV, or hell, even take out the garbage. There are forces out there larger, Emmerich tells us, than mere global warming. Climate change plays no part here (item for additional research: does the media empire involved in the making of this movie have in stock in Exxon? Hmmm … Sony Pictures … big Godzilla vibe only, one supposes).

If every sector of society, infected with the doom code, then that society is only further demoralized into hopelessness and inaction. This, when action and participation are really what’s needed. Say you want a revolution? Well, that’s not the message since Fellini made movies. Now it’s: If you want a ticket to the ark, build it first, in your heart, then your head, then start swimming, swim, swim, swim with the shore …



In the past month I've rediscovered the creek that once ran beneath Cave Creek Road, and despite the intensity of that storm, it gave me hope. The run off from the major storm ran beneath the wash into a narrow twin-tunnel, right beneath Cave Creek Road, near the intersection at Grovers. I had heard there once was a cave and a creek and the essential idea of recalling the name of things swelled in mean, since, after all, the preservation of the source of all waters and wells and springs, both of the waters and of the mind, is clearly a solid goal at all times.

The effect of the storm was to create a brilliant waterfall to lead, as the Cave Creek Wash heads southwest under the road. It would, once through the tunnel beneath the street, fall over a cement cascade and then ... below the ground. Otherwise, it would have washed out the dog park, for sure, which is really what I want to tell you about: How dog parks are the new coffeehouses and how, well, this all relates to the well of both doggie beings and human beings at the same time.

People, as a lost resource, are hard to find, generally. They are hidden away, behind their fences, inside their portable headsets blaring private music, behind invisible stares on the bus, projecting themselves across great distances on their cell phones, generally not connecting to their neighbors, fellow pedestrians, everyone in their cars ... everyone, except for at bars (an old) favorite, coffeehouses (if you are a regular), and dog parks.

Yes, dog parks are the new social networks. People will stand there, talk first about their dogs. Their doggie traits. Share there stories. Really breaks the ice. Then, if you go often enough, you really get to know people.

Now, I could roll on a bit about animal behavior. And I wish I had a nickel for everyone I've met who thinks they are some kind of dog whisperer. I think lion tamers had it right. Walking into the cage like you own the place, since, after all, people seem to be attempting to obtain and then grow ever larger dogs ... those pocket poodles being some kind of embarrassment ... yes, large dogs are the new SUVs for yuppies, maybe since having kids in the 21st century seems a tad dicey ... suffice to say what dogs do, sniff and pee, is fairly much the same thing as small talk. Curious thing about all of that doggie behavior, the way they circulate, reminds me of social networks of all kids.

The, you know: the "Will you be my friend part."



Having lost a lot of sleep over the late night talk show drama at NBC, as well as the "Heidi"-style break from the closing Olympics ceremony in order to broadcast Jerry Seinfeld's reality/comedy combine ... not to mention the Amber Alert sent out for Conan O'Brien, we decided to ask Kenneth, the ever helpful page at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York, to give us the code for what, exactly, goes on in his building.

If the entertainment biz tells us anything, Kenneth is telling us even less. Overall, there is only this single truth about what has been projected for decades on the NBC TV screen of your choosing: There is no magic, only mystery.

In fact, no doubt, spontaneous combustion, as much as it can self-create drama and buzz, is the best way to describe the formula working here. Must go back to those legendary behind-the-scenes skits with Lorne Michaels, in which the fumbling and funny activities in the halls of 30 Rock were so cleverly on automated display.

The move to Jay Leno at the 9 p.m. slot (Arizona time), was merely a calculated shuffle to recreate buzz once the Olympics ended. But then, whenever it comes to networks (and networking) there is always some conspiracy buff in the building. Funny it is, though, how this blockbuster Jerry Seinfeld production, "The Marriage Ref," leaps into the picture. Hardly a spontaneous event.

Think of Leno, who sadly and alertly picked up on the new mean lowbrow ... in mean standards ... humor apparently in demand for the mainstream. Conan was simply a tradeoff for Seinfeld and the glorious rack of talent he could bring in ... Conan, the player to be named later here, in a significant trade ...

If you think of lining up intellectual property as something akin to shaking up a baseball lineup. Once you bring in the major free agents, send that up and comer to the minors, and all ... So then Leno goes back up on the mound, armed with his notorious spitball ... but the umps are watching closely now.

In fact, despite the buzz and fuss and drama the network continues to make for itself, although it may not be apparent, everything is clearly in order. These guys know exactly what they are doing: creating the most madcap entertainment entity on earth, a Keystone cops event for the masses. Yeah, there's reality TV and then there is reality.

NBC just figured out a long time ago...there's just no difference between the two.