Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Military Channel Documentary on Urgent Fury

Here is an old documentary on Operation URGENT FURY  that aired on the Military Channel. The YouTube notes say that it aired in 2006. The producers interviewed me in New York in July 2005. 

I flew to New York and I stayed at the Paramount Hotel for the interview. I considered it miraculous that I was interviewed, as my lawyer negotiated a strict appearance agreement. The producers apparently wanted me for the project, as they agreed to everything. 

The bottom line was that I must appear in silhouette, and my contemporary likeness could not be used in any way under any circumstances. There were no limitations on the use of my historical likeness. Just the way that I looked at that time. 

The truth is, I had been famous three times by that time, and I did not like it one bit. 

The first time that I was famous, I appeared on front pages nationwide, and I was interviewed for television and Time Magazine. I no longer remember who interviewed me, and I have no videos of any appearances. It almost did not happen. 

Contrary to the plotting of Michael Deaver, Deputy Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan, I was bumped below the fold of front pages nationwide on 8 November, 1983, by Puerto Rican terrorists who detonated a bomb at the Capitol the day before, the same day that Ranger Scott Underdonk and I attended a reception for rescued students from the St. George's School of Medicine. 

Front page, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 8 November, 1983. 

It is different, I think, for a soldier to be famous than it is for a rock star or a celebrity. Strangers who never introduced themselves to me paid my dinner bills in restaurants. Strangers walked up to me and shook my hand. 

I hated the sensation that strangers around me knew who I was. It offended a deep core of privacy in me that I did not know that I possessed. Some Rangers were jealous of this fame, and many considered me a poor representative of the Rangers. I never asked for it. I never sought it. It just happened, I was a pawn of powerful men who decided that they needed a hero, a poster boy, for the Grenada invasion. 

Some of those Rangers later stabbed me in the back, and they whispered lies about me. They know who they are. They know what they did. The worst of them, the Ranger who started it all, came to my apartment in Tacoma in 1988 and he confessed to me. He could not live with his guilt. 

I opened the door of my apartment and he stood there, in tears. I asked him what was wrong and I brought him into my apartment. We had known one another for years, and I considered him one of my closest friends. I was so very wrong. We sat in my kitchen and over beers, he told me that he had been telling lies about me. 

When I asked him why he did it, he said, "because I was jealous!" Sometimes I am not that smart. This was one example. I never saw his treachery and betrayal coming. 

I leave the name of this Ranger in anonymity, because I will not inflict on him what he so craved: fame. He thought that he wanted to be famous. He is stupid. Fame is not what you think that it is. Fame means that people who never met you, people who know nothing personal about you, can write anything that they like. For example, Esquire Magazine wrote that I am only "the second most bad-ass Trujillo ever," giving the bassist for Metallica the nod over me.

That is pretty funny, when you think about it. And I thank the editors of Esquire for considering me the "second most bad-ass Trujillo ever." Second best is good enough for me. I will take it. 

Another example of fame inciting utter strangers to condemn you can be found in the comments section of an article republished by the writer Michael Yon, a good friend of mine. Yon republished an article about my book, A Tale of the Grenada Raiders, that appeared on the website of The Daily Beast, courtesy of another friend, the writer and editor Jake Siegel.

That commenter wrote:
"What a pompous ass this Ranger is! If he wrote this account there are many discrepancies, I especially love this quote "As our helicopter hammers in towards the beach, the door-gunners cower and fire their machine-guns without aiming. I look at them and think that they are cherries. I remember that I am, too". I pray this story was written for him by someone else as it is full of false bravado and panders to those that do not know better. Shame on Sergeant Trujillo. I was a young Sergeant Crew chief on a Black hawk for this operation so I do know what happened and when as I was there from day one and also participated in other operations there long after the invasion was over."
I shut down that commenter with a reply, but I will not republish it here. By now, I am learning to have a thick skin. These people do not know me, but because of transitory fame, they feel entitled to pronounce judgement on me. Such is fame, even the small, irrelevant fame that I rarely experience.

As I say, those who most crave fame, perhaps by proximity to it, typically do not understand it. My friend, the writer Michael Yon, who is absolutely famous by any indice, accepts his fame, but he does not love it. When Yon and I meet for dinner in Bangkok, as we sometimes do, as he resides up-country in Chiang Mai, we have to sit in dark corners out of eyesight. I do not mind, as I sit in places like that out of paranoid habit anyway. 

Yon is often recognized by denizens of Bangkok, as he is universally loved by royalists and reviled by those who despise the monarchy. Yon wears hats pulled down low to shadow his face, and he moves quickly and directly to his destinations, as he is prone to be stopped by fans and enemies alike. Usually they just want to take a selfie with him, and he is happy to comply, but he does not seek out these encounters.  

One time, Mike Yon was having dinner with me and some other Special Forces veterans at USJUSMAGTHAI, and one of his critics came up to our table to criticize him. Nobody likes to be confronted by fools, and this critic was definitely a fool. But Yon sat there and took it, and later, this critic cyberstalked Yon for the next two years and wrote defamatory and false accounts of his encounter with Yon on Facebook. 

Fame is not what it appears to be. 

I may someday tell the complete story of the Ranger who lied about me out of jealousy over my small, transitory fame. If he wants to be famous so badly, maybe I will grant his wish. He will learn what I have learned, that fame is not a good thing, it is a consequence, and I want no more to do with it. This Ranger deserves infamy, and those who know me know that my primary flaw is that I never forget, and I never forgive. 

The second time that I was famous was a few short months after the Grenada invasion. I stepped off a Huey deep in the South Ranier Training Area, the playground of the 2d Ranger Battalion, it must have been around 20 January, 1984, when my boss, SFC George Conrad, pulled up in a jeep. I was amazed that Conrad was able to drive a jeep to our location, this betrayed a familiarity with a very remote area, but then he said, "Doc you are going to DC, get in the jeep." 

I looked at Conrad and I said, "I am walking this patrol." That was where I belonged. Conrad replied, "you are going to DC. Get in the jeep."

Rangers were not in the habit of defying their bosses, not then, not now, so I got in. Conrad drove me back to North Fort Lewis, he handed me orders and a packing list, and then somebody drove me to Sea-Tac International Airport. 

I was met at the airport in Washington, DC by my previous escort from the Old Guard, a Staff Sergeant whose name I have now forgotten. His name may have been Anderson. I will refer to him as Anderson.

He took me to the same quarters on Fort McNair where myself and Ranger Scott Underdonk stayed when we were in Washington for the Rose Garden reception for the rescued students from Grenada, and he took my Class A uniform from me. 

I knew this drill, as SSG Anderson performed this service for me the first time that I went to Washington. He took my Class A uniform and my Corcoran jump boots, and when he came to collect me in the morning, my uniform was perfectly pressed, my brass positively gleamed, and my jump boots were shined to a blinding finish. 

Rangers are pretty good at putting the Class A uniform together, but Anderson was in the Old Guard, and those soldiers knew how to prepare and wear the uniform better than anyone. Once I was attired, I met with an ancient full bull Colonel, another soldier whose name escapes me as I write this in 2017. His name began with a Z, and he worked out of an office in the basement of the Pentagon that had something to do with Special Projects. I will refer to him as Colonel Z. 

Colonel Z told me that I was there to do something for the White House, he did not know what. He said that the project was closely held, and he knew no more. I was released and told when to be ready again, and that was that. 

SSG Anderson picked me up on the evening of 25 January, 1984. I was attired in the uniform that his squad prepared for me, and Anderson had a car and a driver who drove us to the Capitol. Secret Service agents took me from SSG Anderson, who was permitted to wait for me somewhere, but not permitted to escort me deeper into the Capitol. 

The Secret Service agents were friendly to me, but they told me nothing about why I was there. I had no idea. Maybe they did not know. I remember that they shook my hand, which surprised me. The first set of agents handed me off to another pair, and they escorted me down to a seat in the front row of the balcony of the Capitol. I still had no idea why I was there. 

The daughter of President Reagan, Mrs. Maureen Reagan, shortly made her way down to sit next to me, and we were soon sharing inside baseball gossip about the assembled luminaries of official Washington seated below us in the gallery. She knew the dirt on everybody. Some of the gossip was horrifying, and it made an impression on me that endures to this day. 

I really liked Mrs. Maureen Reagan. She was a hell of a lady, and she was a plotter who knew the ways of Washington. I was surrounded by political wives of the powerful, and I nearly choked on the heavy floral perfumes that they wore. They smiled on me, but they did not speak. 

Then the FLOTUS, Mrs. Nancy Reagan, joined us, and the President himself made his way into the room below us, shaking hands and greeting everybody as he made his way to the podium. 

I wrote a story about what happened next, it is in my third book, Tales of the Rangers, so I will not detract from it. When Tales of the Rangers is published, then everybody can read about it. I will include a couple of photographs that I just found when I did a web search on my name. 

At the State of the Union Address, 25 January, 1984. I do not remember the lady to my right, she was the wife of a powerful Senator, and she had no time for me. Mrs. Maureen Reagan, the President's daughter, is on my left. She was seated on my right, but she moved over to hug her mother when the President mentioned her during the Address.

This photo chronologically preceded the one above, and was taken when President Reagan mentioned his wife, the First Lady, Mrs. Nancy Reagan. I was actually seated between Mrs. Maureen Reagan and Mrs. Nancy Reagan for the entirety of the Address. The First Lady did not have much to say to me, which was fine. Her daughter was a superb hostess and she kept me well entertained in the run up to the Address. 

Returning to the video, my friend the historian Joe Muccia was involved in some way with the project, it may have been Joe who brought me into it, or maybe I brought him into it, I forget now, twelve years later, but his involvement definitely improved the project. 

Joe Muccia probably saved the project when you get down to it. He says that the original script was a horrible politicized mess. I am very glad that the result was a video that focused on the valor of the participants, and not on the politics of an evil imperial hegemon invading yet another small innocent Caribbean nation. 

So thank God for Joe Muccia

I remind you that on Grenada, the date of the invasion, 25 October, 1983, is considered their Thanksgiving Day

I was rolling in money at the time that I was interviewed, so I flew Business Class from Bangkok to New York on Thai Air. The ticket was more than $5,000. It sure was a pleasant experience. The episode producers gave me $500 to defray my expenses, which was nice. I paid for my own hotel room in the Paramount Hotel, which at that time was on its last legs, soon to be refurbished, but it was an oddity in New York, an affordable hotel that was not a total dive. 

The producers ended up using the Paramount for the project, renting a small conference room to shoot interviews, and I believe that they put up other Rangers and soldiers interviewed in that hotel as well. 

The interviewer and the cameraman knew their business, they showed me a script, and their questions were not bad questions. They knew what they were looking for, and they put together a decent documentary. I appeared in silhouette, and my likeness was not exposed for a third time. 

So photos and video of me available on the clearnet internet all date back to the 1980's and 1990's. This is as I want it. I cherish the ability to walk through Bangkok with nobody recognizing me. No one recognizes me as I clear Customs and Immigration on the rare occasions that I return to the US. Anonymity is a gift that only the famous truly understand. 

The third time that I was momentarily famous was on April 7, 1992, when my Shining Path articles appeared in The New York Times

My article "Cocaine and Corruption in Peru" appeared on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times on April 7, 1992. It was followed the next day by "Peru's Maoist Drug Dealers."

These articles are published on my Academia.edu page. You can read an article that I wrote about them elsewhere on this website, and click through to see them if you are curious. 

My likeness was not important for those articles, so no photos were taken, even when I went to The New York Times building in New York City to meet with the editor of the Op-Ed page and the editor who edited them. 

I remember that I had a meeting with an editor at Crown with my agent, then Mr. Robert Dukas. Mr. Dukas was an ancient gentlemen at that time, and I knew nothing of his personal biography. He was in fact a well-known agent, and I was lucky to have him. 

It turned out that the editor at Crown was looking for another book like a then-bestseller, Red Cell by Dick Marcinko. That was not what I was about, so our meeting ended. I could not believe that the editor could expect me to write anything like Marcinko's works, which were heavily self-aggrandizing. 

So that was the third time that I was momentarily famous. It fizzled into nothing, as I returned to active duty in the US Army later that year. By the time that I was again a civilian, in 1994, I was old business. 

I am braced for fame, yet a fourth time, should it transpire after my first book is published. I have not talked about this book very much lately, both because I am giving it time in the hands of an agent, and because I am tired of it. If the agent does not place the book by the time of the anniversary of Urgent Fury, I will publish it myself on iBooks and Kindle Amazon. 

This time, I will permit no photographs of my present likeness. Should anyone seek to interview me, I will permit unconditional use of historical photos from the 1980's and the 1990's, but no contemporary photos. 

I will pull a Salinger, or if you prefer, a Pynchon. Both of those writers carefully protected their anonymity despite great literary fame. I am under no illusions that I will ever experience literary fame on their level, but like them, I will remain anonymous. 

This dispatch was heavily rewritten on 19 July, 2017, after I stumbled upon the complete documentary on Urgent Fury


Monday, March 20, 2017

Corruption and Cocaine in Peru, New York Times, April 7, 1992

A friend found this copy of my first article published in The New York Times, April 7, 1992. I published a follow-on piece the next day, "Peru's Maoist Drug Dealers." I posted both articles on Academia.edu, and I will republish them in coming books. So if you are curious, just search under my name on Academia.edu and you shall find them. 

These two articles are teasers, if you will, of the sort of content that will be featured in my fourth book, projected for publication in 2018, In the Valley of the Shadows: A Place of Smoke and Rivers Like Mirrors.

That was the book that I was writing in 1991, and I adapted these articles with an NYT editor for publication on the OP-ED page. We were going back and forth in an interminable process, when President Albert Fujimori perpetrated what history remembers as the autogolpe, and we went to press the very next day. 

I actually went up to New York on that day, my good friend Herb Bryant helped me, and I met with an agent who got me a meeting at Crown. The publisher there wanted me to write a book like Marcinko's Red Cell, and I had to tell him that that was not what I was about, at all. 

It has been a long, lonely road writing in obscurity since this early and isolated success in 1992, but I do not regret it. My first book, Idioms of Dreams: A Tale of the Grenada Raiders, is in the hands of an über-agent in Los Angeles, and I pray that he decides to represent the manuscript. I think that it would make a great screenplay, and that is not just greed talking. 

The Grenada memoir, which has been complete for some months now, has been reviewed on a secret Facebook page by all the Rangers named within it. They responded by sending me a deluge of further materials, which made yet another book an inevitability. 

That book is now titled Tales of the Rangers: The Oral Histories of the Early Modern 2d Ranger Battalion. It is now up to 777 pages, I am not kidding, and it consists principally of the stories told by Rangers to other Rangers around fires deep in the South Rainier rainforest. Much of it was written by those Rangers who lived those stories, and there are some doozies in it. 

Idioms of Dreams, in fact, was pulled from the first chapters of In the Valley of the Shadows, it was the first chapters of the larger masterwork, and then it just kept getting bigger and better. So I had to yank it out and publish it on its own. 

Then the bridge chapters that connected the Grenada tales to the Peru stories got too big, and I had to pull them out of Idioms of Dreams, and they now comprise my second book, Seeking the Rosetta Stone of Memories

Seeking the Rosetta Stone of Memories is mostly complete, as far as the narrative is concerned. I have some work to do sourcing old documents and photos to illustrate it, and I will get to that as soon as I get Idioms of Dreams into print. 

I apologize that this process is taking so long, I am very much a cherry where the publishing world is concerned, and I have to place myself in the hands of smarter people than me. 

Many of you know that I am now in Orlando, getting treatment at the VAMC here. I am in good hands, but they are very slow. So I wrote a letter to President Trump. It went out in Saturday's mail, so we shall have to give it a couple of weeks and hope that it does not get lost in the deluge of mail that the leader of the free world assuredly receives. 

If it somehow makes its way from the White House mailroom to his desk, I am confident that things can happen at a faster pace. I asked him to delegate my case to one of the young killer interns that he has working for him, I need someone to wave a magic wand for me here in Orlando and to crush some heads. I am surrounded by bureaucrats, administrators, who are trying very hard to handle an overwhelming crush of veterans seeking treatment. 

They seem to think that I need to have a heart attack before I see a cardiologist. I beg to differ. I would like to see a cardiologist before I have a heart attack, I have already had several false alarms, "unstable angina," my cardiologist in Bangkok called it, so we shall see what happens. 

It is sad being in Orlando, though I am staying with very, very good friends. I miss my wife and my silly cat in Bangkok, and after 13 years residing there, Bangkok is very much my home now. 

Anyway, the MSS of Idioms of Dreams is complete. Fingers crossed. 

Convene a Joint Special Committee on Mass Surveillance

Finally, InfoWars publishes proof of suspicion-less mass surveillance of Americans. 

And this will be just the tip of the iceberg. FBI, CIA and NSA will deny everything, they will demand proof, they will admit nothing and then they will make counteraccusations all day long. Some of us went to the same schools. We know their dance. 

But here is evidence. And more will come. 

There are patriots in the ranks of these intelligence agencies. They will leak. 

Time to convene a Joint Special Committee on Mass Surveillance, and bring all of these agencies to heel. Cut their head counts. Cut their budgets. Audit their black budgets, demand accountability. 

The last time that America had hearings on the intelligence community was 1976. We are due. These agencies and the mandarins that run them have been running amok. They are a threat to democracy, they are a threat to we, the people, they have all of us under suspicion-less surveillance, they hoard our data in gigantic databases and they query it at their will, sharing it among agencies like never before. 

They are engaged in a massive project to surveil the planet using FVEY. No one audits FVEY. There is no oversight over it, and no one, in fact, actually controls it. The only control that NSA wields over FVEY comes from its funding which uses unaccountable black budgets, and again, there is no oversight. Zero oversight. 

Time to drag these agencies out into the harsh glare of full sunlight, and time to depose the slimeballs who built FVEY. 

Time to depose Mr. William Binney before Congress under oath. He can set the table, and explain which scumbags need to be deposed. Mr. Binney has been talking himself blue in the face over the violations of the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment, the serial billions of felonies committed by the intelligence community every month. 

And then all the Michael Haydens and the Keith Alexanders can be introduced to the American people. We deserve to know who perpetrated the worst violations of American civil liberties in the history of the Republic. 

And then they need to be prosecuted and imprisoned. In real prisons. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Four Words of the Magus

In occultistic lore, Scire is the first “power of the Sphinx” that the initiate needs to master. 

The four powers are ScireVelleAudere, and Tacere, or To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silent. 

Eliphas Lévi wrote: 

“To attain to Sanctum Regnum, in other words, the knowledge and power of the magi, there are four indispensable conditions—an intelligence illuminated by study, an intrepidity which nothing can check, a will which cannot be broken, and a prudence which nothing can corrupt and nothing intoxicate.

TO KNOW, TO DARE, TO WILL, TO KEEP SILENCE—such are the four words of the magus, inscribed upon the four symbolical forms of the sphinx.” 

Eliphas Lévi, Transcendental Magic (1896), 30."

Zippo Sends: Mark Smith, US Army Special Forces


No doubt about it. 

They made Perot quit because they were going after him and trying to embarrass those close to him and then when he came back his third party bid cost the Republicans the election. 

Actually there is some justice there, going back to the media literally driving Dick Nixon, the ultimate outsider, over the brink.

What was his true crime?

He had in a very short period brought an enemy, the media and most of America deemed 'unbeatable', to their knees and crying to crawl back to the peace table.

I was in their POW camp and believe me they were in shock when Nixon loosed the dogs of war on them after their leftist American allies said he would lose.

They had to bring Nixon down and they were so good at shaping the lie that they created a paranoia in he and his staff, when he was walking to reelection, that he ignored the great silent majority and he went down after winning and a won war was lost.

Everything has hinged on  "I know a secret about you," and they now ran into someone who says:

"I am fixing the whole corrupt system, from the use of government agencies for political purposes, to the designation of who is a war hero and who is not."

Good God, they made Hanoi John Kerry a 'war hero' and only were side-swiped when they awakened veterans who did not care what you said about them (THAT IS EXACTLY WHOM TRUMP HAS AWAKENED!!).

Did not take the system long to fix that and they nominated someone, a veteran, who did care what folks said about him.

All was lost that day.

We are still fighting a war and the media has shaped an argument that it is over while our troops still stand and fight.



Why does Trump appear to be standing on the stump alone?

Simply because he needs no flying squad of character assassins to protect him.

Obama was simply the ultimate trick on the nation. 

A bought and paid for dope smoking son of stone socialism, consort of terrorists (Remember Bill Ayers?) and the most corrupt political regime in the nation.

Why do they want to kick Jackson off our money and replace him with a woman, any woman?

Jackson did not care who you were and if you wanted to belittle him or his wife he would shoot you!!

So guess what America?

Trump is the gunslinger who has rode into the political town not giving a flip what anybody says and the political 'system-ites' are hiding behind the curtains scared to death.



Elephants Cry

My suspicion is that dogs and cats are reincarnated humans ascending a spiritual scale of evolution. They are angelical creatures, closer to God. Animals are inherently far more moral than people, you see. Animals do not know how to lie. 

You see improbable friendships between incompatible animals all the time. I think that such creatures knew one another in an earlier incarnation, and across time, beyond corporeal forms, they remember their friends and their loved ones from another life.

Horses that have a doggie friend. Cats with squirrels, even cats with birds. My wife sent me a video of a dog with a turtle friend yesterday. Dogs and cats in America in particular coexist in our hearts and in our homes.

I have known goats that were a higher order of being than humans, and I fear that our cattle policies, the way that we treat pigs, jeopardizes the very soul of humanity.

The Nazi holocaust is the only event that compares to the way that we treat the animal kingdom, and it is a wonder that the animals do not rebel and kill us all. Sometimes they do. Elephants in Thailand rampage all the time. 

If you have ever met an elephant, all that you need do is look into its eyes. You will inescapably sense a soul looking back at you.

Elephants cry.

The Mind of God

Washing the tiles in my front garden I perceive that the bricklayer incorporated subtle and gradual undulations. It is not flat, not flat in the way that an American bricklayer would do it, using a level with a bubble to ensure utter flatness. 

No. Gentle undulations are the pattern, so that water washing the tiles will flow from back to front and out into the street. Such undulations are too gradual and too minute for most humans to even detect.

Most people will think, “this patch of tile is flat.” When it will not be. But some will notice: “this patch of tile is not flat.” There is not a word to characterize the undulations, as the undulations are too broad, too gradual, too subtle, for most people to even perceive. 

But I sense that an ant, walking on these interminable tiles, knows that there are heights, and there are easy downslopes, and the undulations are akin to the rising and fall of actual terrain. The world is different for an ant.

I can imagine that to an ant, these tiles, which seem so smooth to me, are marred by pits and holes and rough sections. Such is an ant’s world.

Then I imagine how we perceive our world. We perceive heights and depths and holes and rough sections.

What does God perceive? Every minute imperfection? Or flawless endless smoothness? 

And She Laughed

The desert stars are so bright that they cast shadows.

She stood illumined like a primordial goddess with a panoply of stars above her, and she reminded me, just by the way that she stood, that humans are also gods, we each have a spark of divinity within us, and in some of us, it burns more brightly than in others.

The same fire burning in the desert stars also burns within each of us. Just looking at her, shrouded in the starlight of the universe, I was reminded how casually we humans toy with the most powerful and misunderstood force in the multiverse, the urge to procreate. The urge to procreate inspires all species, even, I believe, the trees, for whom time moves very differently.

Of course, she laughed. There may be no more quintessential human activity than the ability to mock ourselves and our own plight in the multiverse, where a mere four percent of all mass comprises our detectable universe, and the remainder, in the forms that we call dark energy and dark matter, is denied to us. We know that it is there. Our mathematics, which is one language of God, tells us so.

Just because you can say something, or think something, does not mean that you have mastered it. It is a step. But we have not yet unlocked, deciphered, decrypted, the words of power that will explain the mysteries of dark energy and dark mass to our meager minds, capable of sensing the phenomenon, but not capable of knowing them. Yet.

So I am left with the immortal immensity of the desert sky, uncountable billions of stars casting shadows over an infinite expanse of desert, with a woman, an innate priestess carrying in her womb the potential to unmake all creation. Anything can be born. 

Her laughter is the most beautiful thing that you will ever hear. 

Nothing could ever mock so sweetly.

For the Digital Proletariat

We created the net, yes, but the net is creating us right back. It is changing us. I just watch it all, while I frolic in it up to my elbows, marveling at the beauty of it, loving its precision and reach. 

Here is an example. I am writing a book, as many of you know. Portions of that book were previously posted on an earlier iteration of my website, Magic Kingdom Dispatch. I took them down, I saved copies, or so I thought, and I continued to march.

Well. I went to use those copies, and suddenly, I could not find some of them. The best that I can imagine, is that I copied most of that old site, but I missed a few pages. One of those pages had a photo of my old Ranger company. 

For a long while, I thought that I just lost that photo. I have been kicking myself. Then I realized, "the WayBack Machine copies everything." Maybe. Maybe it stored a copy. What the WayBack machine does is it archives the net. It creates a snapshot of the net on any given day. 

So I went to archive.org, and I searched. And I found that old photo. The WayBack Machine did indeed archive a copy of the net which included  that old version of my blog from the early 2000's. 

This is seriously cool. 

The WayBack Machine operates at the mercy of charitable donations. So we see how it works. 

Something like Google, on the other hand, its business model is not a secret, really, but most of us have no understanding what Google does to get paid. 

What Google does is, it monitors and records everything that you do on the net. Your every digital act is archived and processed by unimaginable algorithms which enable Google to create a product consisting of your digital profile, which it then pimps out to advertisers. 

It is easy to see it at work. Amazon feeds ads into pages that I scan in my daily life. I wanted to send my wife a photo of a dinosaur bone, my term for those big cow femur bones that are smoked and sold for the delight of doggies in the land of the big PX. 

My wife has never been to America, she does not know what it is like. There are no dinosaur bones for sale in Thailand, because the Thai people do not interact with their doggies in the same way that we do in America. 

So I went to Amazon and I searched and I found dinosaur bones for dogs for sale. I grabbed a photo, and I sent it to my wife. 

Well. Since then, Amazon ads are following me around the net. I see dinosaur bones for sale on Amazon everywhere. Amazon knows that I looked at dinosaur bones. It knows that I searched. It knows that I downloaded a photo. It also knows that I did not click on "Buy," and I did not purchase one. 

So Google figures, "this dude is thinking about buying dinosaur bones." I really am not, but it is a machine using algorithms and access to unimaginable quantities of data, it may have a form of consciousness, but what it is supposed to do is sell shit. It is supposed to close the loop behind me, the customer, and the seller. 

So now I see dinosaur bones everywhere that I go on the net. 

This is how Google gets paid. Just one revenue stream among many. Google is one of the wealthiest companies on the planet. In my nightmares, Google inherits the earth of the future. Google is pervasive, it is everywhere, and it is doing things that we know nothing about. 

When I saw that Europe imposed a "right to be forgotten" law, I celebrated. Google hates these laws, because they force Google to set up an expensive and non-revenue producing activity that responds to end users. 

More, these laws force Google to amend their rolling copy of the net, collected and archived by spiders and bots, and to remove tendrils connected to Europeans who wish to edit the digital record. 

I do not feel sorry for Google. I think that we all should have the option to edit the digital record that it maintains of us and our activities. 

The right to be forgotten is much more than that. 

On Coleridge's Kubla Khan

I see no ships to carry me to the history of the future.

When I ponder which ship can carry me home across such a wide sea, I tell myself that home is where I hang my hat, home is where you are. There is no ship. There is no sea. 

Coleridge dreamt his poem about Khublai Khan, but he was interrupted by the door bell.

When he went back to sleep, the rest of the poem was gone. He could not remember it.

I keep waiting for someone else to stumble across the rest of that poem, in the form of a book, the least of books, as a manuscript, a palimpsest overwritten by tracts of forgotten heresies, the least of manuscripts, in the immortal and boundless library that some call the Akashic record, and others our vast collective unconscious.

Some say that this collective memory must be finite. If you accept that each cell remembers its origins in a primordial ooze, perhaps from a comet seeding the Earth from distant stars, it is possible that a start point, a singularity, once existed in the ineluctable moment before an orgasmic spasm started time. 

But our cells remember the endless dream of potentiality that preceded that first moment. That dream is infinite. It predates time.

Coleridge's poem is part of the patrimony of humanity, it belongs to all of us. Coleridge did not write it. He remembered it. He heard it. It already existed.

Has no one else read the rest of it? Has no one else heard its forgotten staves? Can no one else remember it?

How many of us children of haphazard fathers are the progeny of a moment's abandon, the infinitely collapsing milliseconds when the imperative to create overflows the universe? Who predicted us? Who envisioned us? Who crafted the template of our consciousness? Who wrote that poem? 

Perhaps we are collective motes of an infinite Godhead that dreams us. In our own collective trance, we dream poems.

You say that humans cannot experience a black hole? You say that humans cannot experience infinity? I say to you that the miraculous infinitude of orgasm refutes you. Orgasm is an echo, a glimpse, of the oblivion that birthed us and to which we are blessed, or doomed, to return.

I often write under noms d'plume. We are not authors so much as conduits, anyway, we are mediums for the expression of the collective conscience that we share, our timeless racial memory that demands to be pronounced through acts of artistic creation. 

Our memory is stamped on our DNA. A byline is vanity. Your name does not matter. Hence the motto on all my websites: Writing for Oblivion. 

Homer lived thousands of years ago. Only strange people like me read Homer anymore. But his ideas, the myths and the legends and the memories that he recounted, those are immortal, insinuated into our collective conscience. Those we remember.

That is the best individual immortality that an ego can encompass, as we all ultimately return to energy and dust that gradually and inexorably trends towards entropy. Then there will be peace.

I wonder, after we rejoin the Godhead after our physical death, if we can still participate in the collective dream of our species?

As we dream, so we wake, and so we live. So we remember. 

Let me know if you remember the rest of Coleridge's poem.

A Beautiful Rebel: Michael Hafftka

My friend, Michael Hafftka, a beautiful rebel, in a film about his art circa 1981.

For me, studying Michael's oeuvre over the years has been an exercise in unmasking what is normally hidden, exposing what is usually forbidden. 

For me, the Hafftka experience is intensely personal. Scrutinizing his work can be jarring, because he unflinchingly portrays subconscious truths that most of us deny even exist within ourselves. 

Most of us are invested in denying the realizations that Hafftka reveals. For some, the confrontation with the feelings that he evokes can be supremely emotional.

It is difficult to write about Hafftka, a sure sign that we are in the presence of fundamental forces that displace vast gravity wells within our psyches.

I think that Michael Hafftka succeeds as an artist because his work is a challenge, a challenge to bring insight and integrity to the viewing, a challenge that most of us fail upon first contact. When you gaze at a Hafftka illustration, you eventually realize that his portraits are mirrors, you are actually seeing yourself.

No other artist depicts the dark side of the human animal like Michael Hafftka. His work is often characterized as disturbing, but we all bring our own baggage to every experience of a work of art. If Hafftka's work is disturbing, it is because there is already something disturbing inside of you. You just may not be aware of it.

Every Hafftka illustration is a mirror. We each experience something secret if we have the integrity to honestly see what the work shows us. 

Michael did some illustrations for the Hafftka edition of my book Idioms of Dreams: A Tale of the Grenada Raiders. I cannot wait to release the text and illustrations into the world.

Coming soon.

Illustrations by Michael Hafftka are now in museums worldwide. 

This short film portrays him as a young artist, before his later fame.