My visual, audio and literary stuff is free here, but my hold-in-your-hands books, prints, and CDs cost real money. If you want to buy something tactile from me, contact me at stujenks at gmail dot com, or message me on Facebook. If you simply want to look and read for free, that's fine too, but don't hesitate to send me your sofa change. My snail mail address is P.O. Box 161, Tucson, Arizona 85702. Keep those cards and letters coming. And sofa change too. Love and light, Stu.
Images from top to bottom: "The Wall, West Of Naco, Montezuma Pass, Coronado National Monument, Arizona", "The Digital Wall, Montezuma Pass, Arizona" & "Trump Pinata, Tucson, Arizona" (c) 2017 Stu Jenks.
DIGITAL, PHYSICAL, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WALLS by Stu Jenks.
There are already physical walls on the border. Lots of them. Also, The U.S. Border Patrol has very advanced digital monitoring systems all up and down the Arizona border. They have for years. I talked briefly with a couple of the officers yesterday and thanked them. I'm a progressive Democrat but I greatly appreciate the work these men and women do.
But I can only imagine what some of them must feel when they hear what Trump, their future boss, said in his press conference today, that the border is wide open, a complete mess, a disaster.
It is not wide open. Hasn't been for a long time. It is not a disaster.
You will be seeing more politic posts from me on Facebook, and on my website in the future. I really don't care if it affects the sale of my work. Fuck it. (By the way, I've closed my Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts. Can't stand those platforms.)
I'm going back to Virginia and North Carolina next week to visit with friends and to see an ailing family member. (Say a prayer for Victoria and the Hardy family.) I'll also be in Washington, D.C. either on Inauguration Day or the day after. Plan is the visit the new African American Museum. Not sure yet which day I'll be there. Depends on a number of things. I'll keep you posted.
Lastly for today, I watched both Trump press conference and Obama farewell address this morning. I wonder what my British and Canadian friends must think, seeing the stark contrast between those two presentations. How could we go so wrong in our election, they must think?
Well, I can only speculate. And coulda, woulda, shoulda, we are long past that now. Donald Trump will be our President a week from Friday. I did predict Trump winning the nomination back on the Summer of 2015, but I didn't see him winning the general.
And I have another prediction today.
Trump will either be impeached or removed from office, probably in two years time if not sooner. It will take time to build a case against him either for mental instability or for corruption, using his influence with foreign governments to line his own pockets and that of his children. If things go south economically, and the Republicans get creamed in the midterms, look for President Pence in 2019.
But I could be dead wrong. Worse things could happen.
Trump will start a war, perhaps using small or large nuclear weapons, and what I write on my blog or on Facebook won't really matter very much.
Or there is this.
The percentage of the American people who support Trump and the Republicans (It's really only about 30% of all adults in America.) will continue to be misinformed at best or blatantly incurious and dumb at worse, blaming whatever bad things that happen on Obama or Clinton or whatever paper tiger they come up with. And about 10-20% of Americans are perfectly happy with a bully, a narcissist, a crazy man as President. (I heard people laughing in the room at the Trump press conference today when he was rude, obnoxious and insulting to reporters. He actually brought in Trump supporters to a press conference to mock the journalists.) Some Americans love this guy. He truly represents them. That is a fact. So things will get worse and the conservative media will gas-lighting the living shit out of it. And many people will believe the sky is blue when it is really black.
Enjoy my factual photos of how the Arizona/Mexico border is actually quite secured.
And pray for all of us.
And for Peter's sake, people, vote in the mid-terms in 2018. We can roll back this shit.
Photographs from "The State of Hate and Extremism in American" on Monday, April 16th, 2012 at the Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts, sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (c) 2012 Stu Jenks
Google any and all of the names above, or click on the links to the film or to the Center.
I need to rewrite my will to make it simpler to administer. (I've learned a few things about wills in the past year. My will is a bit of a nightmare right now. I'm OK, my health's fine, but I don't want to leave a mess for my executor.) In the new will, I'm going to bequeath 5% of my assets to the Center. You might want to, as well. Just a thought.
Fun fact from the night: I saw a photo of a Klan leader that the Center successfully sued. (The KKK and other hate and 'patriot' groups despise the SPLC because they take their money, their land and their stuff and then give the assets to the victim's families.) On the side of the Klansman's head were tattooed two words: Fuck SPLC. Donate as you can.
Been a long time coming for The Transpersonal Papers (1861-2010).
Three editors, two proofreaders, two designers, four printers, and hours, days, weeks, months, years, lifetimes, (I know I'm overstating), of writing, traveling, shooting, editing, remembering, hiking, and more writing, shooting, and editing, but I'm not complaining. No, no, no.
And apologies for not having the dough right now, to print The Transpersonal Papers as a coffee-table book as I had originally planned. ($10,000, it would have cost. Maybe someday.) But you now can buy it, for $14.95, as an Ebook on the Apple IPad, and I expect it to be available within a couple days on the Nook and the Kindle as well.
I just looked at it on my new IPad. The photos, text and design look grand.
And as an extra surprise, Bozo In Love is now up on IBooks too, ($9.95), as well as the rest of my catalog: Flame Spirals, Hoop Dancing, and Dementia Blues, on IBooks, Nook and Kindle.
Just in time for Christmas.
And don't worry. All but The Transpersonal Papers can still be bought as a book book through Fezziwig Press. I have plenty. Just go to www.fezziwigpressonline.com, for the hardbounds and paperbacks, but go to ITunes, today, (and Kindle and Nook, soon) for the ebooks.
Heavy sigh from my third story apartment balcony. I look out onto the Tucson city lights in the valley below. Cold, dry air embraces me. I inhale deeply. Exhale.
A very good night in the desert.
Think I'll make a cup of coffee with egg nog and play some Angry Birds on my new IPad.
"Emmitt Till & Medgar Evers: Civil Rights Memorial Center, Montgomery, Alabama" (c) 2010 Stu Jenks
I am an old woman named after my mother. My old man is another child that's grown old. If dreams were lightning and thunder was desire, This old house would have burnt down a long time ago.
Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery. Make me a poster of an old rodeo. Just give me one thing that I can hold on to. To believe in this living is just a hard way to go. - John Prine.
John Prine plays in my head as I find a place to park. Grab the Canon and look for the entrance. On the way to the Center, I pass the Memorial: an inverted cone of black marble with the names of forty people who died in the struggle for racial equality between 1954 and 1968. I touch the water as it flows across the smooth surface. I see the names of Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmitt Till and Medgar Evers. I think of taking some pictures, but decide to shoot them on my way back to the car. I enter the Center and pay my two dollar admission. My long lens catches the guard’s eye. “That’s some camera you got there,” he says with a big grin on his face. “Yes, it is,” I reply, smiling back. The guard and I hit it off and we talk about my camera, about football, and about the weather for a while. I then walk through the metal detector at the entrance of the museum. Metal detector? “I guess some of my white brethren don’t take too kindly to this memorial,” I say, trying to be witty. The smile falls from the guard’s face. “Some folk fire-bombed the first Center,” he says. I stop smiling too. I say my goodbyes, grab my camera from the x-ray tray, and walk inside. The Center’s main display chronicles the history of the Civil Rights Movement from Brown v. Board of Education to when King was assassinated. I see many names I recognize from my childhood: Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, George Wallace, The Freedom Riders, and many bronze plaques for those who were killed: Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Martin and others. I think of my family: a father who would often accuse me of spending money ‘like a nigger on a Saturday night”; a mother who tended to treat everyone she knew as her slave and servant, for her family had both, and a sister who has developed a great distaste for The Brown People who live near her, who have immigrated from South Of The Border. How in God’s name did I escape becoming a bigot, being a white middle-class boy born in Richmond, Virginia and primarily growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina? Then I remember that one summer afternoon. We were visiting Dad’s parents in Richmond. We had recently moved to Upstate New York. I think I was seven. It was 1961. They were repaving Monument Avenue which was just up the street from my grandparents’ house. I was bored and I went to investigate. Back then, asphalt machines moved very slowly as they applied the new pavement, with a dump truck that would refill the hopper of the giant paver, every so often. I was fascinated by the whole process. And I made friends with the four men who ran the paving machine. They showed me how it worked. They protected me from the hot asphalt. They told me jokes and I laughed. They really listened to what I had to say. In all the many visits to my grandparents in Richmond over the years, that one afternoon with those four men was my happiest time, hands down. And all four of the men were black. I leave the display room at the Center and enter a large darkened room. A floor-to-ceiling video wall glows with multi-colored names of people I do not know. Their names float in a black background for a while and then disappear, replaced by other names. I wonder what this is? I read a small display. Seems this is “The Wall of Tolerance.” Says I can add my name to the many, if I feel committed to working for justice, equality and human rights in my daily life. I cry as I type in my name. Then suddenly, the name ‘Stu Jenks’ appears large and bright on the black wall. I quickly photograph my name. I bring down my camera from my eye. I then see my name shrink to a smaller size, change color, and mix with the other names on the wall. Names fade out. Others fade in. Finally, my name disappears altogether, replaced by the name of a woman I do not know. We are never truly alone as we struggle, but we often think so. Even if we can’t feel them, we still invisibly hold the hands of those who are also fighting The Good Fight and who also know that the only God is Love. And it isn’t hard to feel some of that connection, once we begin to throw away the egotistical fears and prejudices that block us from each other. I firmly believe our souls and brains are hard-wired to feel love, faith, equality and compassion. We don’t have to build these abilities. They are already there. They are universal, intrinsic, God-given. We just have to bring down the walls that block us from the Light and get out of our own way. And that’s where the real work begins. It’s a daily practice for me, to not judge, for example, the powerful in my country who only pretend to care for their fellows. It’s no easy task to find the common divine thread with everybody, loved ones and jerks alike. I guess if it were easy, there would be no need for a Civil Rights Memorial Center, would there? Seeing these dozen of strangers’ names glowing on this video wall makes it clear to me, once again, that we are one people, one race, one planet. Always have been. Always will be. And anything else they tell us, or I tell myself, that contradicts this? Well, it’s a lie, either yelled by others or whispered to myself.