literature, politics, writing

The Fall of a Nation

In the process of making America “great” again the new administration is ripping it apart. No longer is it respected internationally. Mexico has been alienated, Canada disillusioned, Puerto Rico ravaged by hurricanes and then insulted by their own “president”. Afghanistan has dragged on for almost two decades, parents and their children find themselves together on the battlefield, some too young to even recall 9/11. It is not considered to have a free press and has violated countless human rights. Racism is more open and prevalent since it has been in the ’60s and mass shootings are a common occurrence. Immigrants are being expelled with nowhere to go while the jobs they did stay vacant. Many top government positions sit unfilled while education standards are plummeting. Student debt is so high that most people will be paying it off for the rest of their lives. Women’s rights are being abolished and the clock is turning backwards on civil rights.

After third wave feminism there came a backlash from single young white men, who felt that their place in society was being usurped by people of colour and women who they felt owed them sex just for being nice. In anger and frustration many of them turned to the far right via the internet, to nazism and white supremacy. Trying to disguise hate speech with the first amendment they became the alt-right who helped move that moron into the Whitehouse and marched under swastika banners in broad daylight. The suicide rate is going up and will soon surpass tobacco, cancer and heart disease as the number one killer, especially for young men. Millions of people are addicted to drugs, a large majority of them prescribed from the system itself. Meanwhile fentanyl is becoming the scourge of the drug world, 100 times more potent than morphine, 100 times easier to smuggle than heroin and much cheaper.

Twitter journalism has replaced real journalism and opinion is more important than facts. The lies are flying so fast no one cares to even keep track. Stadiums are filled with people paying hundreds of dollars to see a hologram of a dead musician perform while ignoring the beggars outside on the streets. It has become illegal in some places to even feed the homeless. They would rather see them dead than in their neighbourhoods. Security is up at airports and borders, where rights are routinely and thoroughly violated. The president is trying to take healthcare away from the poor and the dying, food from the elderly and disabled, money from the taxpayers to fund his lavish lifestyle and nepotism. Elections are being toyed with by the Russians and Putin is now the world’s most powerful man.

All America has is a massive foreign debt and army budget and a large arsenal of deteriorating atomic bombs and nuclear missiles. North Korea threatens the U.S. with destruction and they threaten to wipeout North Korea. Yet almost all of the president’s internal policies have failed, he is by all accounts a terrible and offensive diplomat who goes through staff members almost as fast as he does money. His staff go on TV and advertise his family’s businesses, the conflicts of interest are too many to count. He encourages police brutality and uses them to enforce his will on the people rather than protect them while building more for-profit prisons to house the most inmates in the world, the new gulag. He says America First, an old American nazi party slogan, then outsources jobs to China, which becomes more powerful with each passing day. It is shining with gentrification in some places, while others barely have infrastructure. Its been battered by floods and hurricanes. All this in less than a year.

In Canada we watch and wait, 30 million to 300. Our massive neighbour to the south has almost as much, if not more influence on Canada than our own parliament sometimes, and thats a sad fact. They are our largest trading partner. Thus the Prime Minister must tread carefully. The president goes against almost every Canadian value: multiculturalism, politeness, equality, legal weed and a preference for peace, his election has emboldened the racists and Neo nazis up here, and while they were hugely outnumbered by counter protesters they tried to have their own little Charlottesville, which was confined to an underground parking lot. Still your media prevails over ours on TV, the radio, the internet. We’re our own country but America is the apartment downstairs and the guy that just moved in is fucking nuts. He makes fun of cripples, is scared of blood but likes wars, is always saying racist bullshit and beating his wife and family but the sherif is on his payroll and he walks around with a loaded shotgun, pointing it at anyone who pisses him off. He hasn’t pointed it up, but we’re worried he might, or end up burning the whole house down while we’re all still in it.

America is not what it was. The foundation is cracked and the structure is faulty. Every country has repairs to make but America is starting to fall apart and if it collapses well, I live in the apartment upstairs.

Jack Blare, Monday October 9, 2017

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Donald Trump is Mentally Unfit to be Left Alone for Five Minutes

Donald Trump hasn’t been able to string together a sentence since the beginning of his campaign. H.S. Thompson said Raegan’s Alzheimer’s probably started prior to his presidency and with Trump being the oldest person ever elected to the office its not a stretch to assume that he has at the very least, mid-stage dementia. He has the typical symptom known as “word salad” where the patient just strings together a bunch of words unrelated to the situation. He can’t answer direct questions and his remarks are usually out of context and grammatically incorrect.

Trump thought Karl Marx was Russian, that Frederick Douglas was still alive, had no idea what the nuclear triad was and still doesn’t seem to be aware that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. His moods sway unpredictably and his position changes by the hour probably because he can’t remember what he said five minutes ago. In most people this would be sad, in his case its just disgusting. They handed the reigns of the world’s last “superpower” to a racist, sexist old bigot who is completely out of his mind, along with the “world’s best army,” supposedly, since the only real victory they’ve had since The Spanish American War without allied help was Guam. Korea was a failure and now it looks like the grandchildren of the idiots that started that war are going to be the ones who have to suffer through finishing it. Vietnam was a total loss and the Gulf and Iraq wars gave us Daesh while soon children will be dying alongside their parents in Afghanistan for an attack that happened before they were born.

The man is so absolutely clueless that he shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car or go out on his own. If he wasn’t rich he’d probably be in a senior’s home on the floor for neurodegenerative patients no longer able to function by themselves. Instead the Secret Service has been reduced to the status of geriatric caregivers for a feeble old man who just babbles about whatever comes to mind (“Words? I’ve got the best words.”) He’ll be 74 by the election and 78 if he lives to see the end of a second term. Hell half of the Republican Party is probably already wearing diapers, why do people vote for the generation that fucked the world economy and kept us on the brink of nuclear war for fifty years while drafting people to die in proxy wars they held no stake in? Kim hit the nail on the head when he called Trump a dotard. Someone his age still living in North Korea is almost miraculous. He’s more likely to stroke out like Stalin than live to see the next decade and his son Eric “American Psycho” Trump will probably be waiting with a pillow to finish him off just to get his inheritance a day earlier. The only tears to be shed will be by hired mourners while the rest of the family dissects his estate joyously before the body is even cold. His ascent to power will be remembered for marking the end of the mere 25 years of American hegemony since the Cold War ended. The office of US president has turned from one to be respected to one that is demeaning to even be associated with. Nixon’s corpse is laughing in its grave, knowing that the running joke of his failed presidency will be replaced by 5 decades of mocking Trump if we don’t all die in a nuclear war because he’s been playing with the nuclear suitcase.

Whether you love him or hate him he isn’t going to be alive all that much longer and the presidency prematurely ages people. He’s already aged beyond any other president when he took office. No president has received as much deserved criticism as the failure of a decent human being he is and no president has been so easily wounded and manipulated by that glaring flaw. He will be on his death bed and still obsessing over the pitiful size of his inauguration crowd and his record low approval rating, without ever having realized that his life has been wasted on a series of failures, culminating in his media sideshow of a presidency. He’ll die the way he lived, miserable, insecure and lonely but still too stupid to know why.

Jack Blare, Oct 1, 2017

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independent, literature, Uncategorized

Shattering the Stone

Arguing with Trump’s supporters is like teaching a cow to read. They are stupid people that believe what they want to hear no matter what the truth is. Cognitive dissonance. They reject all evidence that doesn’t support their opinion. They will misdirect and misrepresent you because they cannot refute you. They want things to change without time, effort and work. Trump’s rhetoric, if it even warrants the term, is based on getting everything done right now. “There will be a wall. Mexico is paying. Fire and Fury.” His fanbase loves the action talk but he never takes action because he can’t. He needs a new headline every couple days to distract the masses from his latest political fuckup.

His government is an authoritarian kleptocracy rife with nepotism and continually unstable. Neo-nazis may support it but this is no fourth reich, its a crumbling mess being held together by law but he can’t pay for his secret service, his Winter White House. He’s more like the last Tsar of Russia than Adolf Hitler. He can be forced to make concessions. He is not respected. Only his family’s jobs in the White House are safe. He’s paranoid and politics has made it worse. Its a volatile situation, something is going to spark and then the whole mess will burn, hopefully not taking us with it. We must be unrelenting. We must apply constant pressure from all sides to dismantle this beast. At this point the lines are drawn. You can either love him or hate him but you can’t do both. His supporters have made up their minds. The time for friendly discourse or persuasion has passed. They only understand action. They only see in black and white, and it will be their undoing. The time for reconciliation is over.

The democrats can’t be counted on to fight this battle. When workers are oppressed they organize into a union. Your country treats most of you like employees and tax revenue. Strike like employees. Withhold their revenue. Turn away the tax collectors. If he can’t pay his own secret service, hit him wear it hurts, in the bag of money he has between his legs instead of genitalia. Agitate in the best way you can. Politicians can’t save this sinking ship of what was a short-lived superpower only the people can.

Jack Blare, September 5, 2017

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Bliss Blood Leaves Me Stunned

I rarely do reviews on music, I don’t think I’m qualified to critique musicians that are in many cases much better than myself, but when I heard Unspun, the new album by New York based duo Bliss Blood (Moonlighters, Pain Teens) and Al Street, I felt a duty to share my impression of this ethereal album.

Unspun begins with the hypnotic, acoustic and almost psychedelic, Entropy. The language play and dreamy rhythm guitar in the song recalls some of Syd Barrett’s solo work, but with virtuoso Spanish guitar work by Al Street quietly complementing the song, adding a bit of edge, flare and flavour. Above at all of course is the clear voice of Bliss Blood. Alternating between different singing styles, such as in nuyaim, where the vocals recall an almost Middle Eastern sound, to an old time style give me lots of sugar, which could be right out of the 1920’s. No One Gets It All is a catchy, emotional, modern song driven by Bliss Blood’s ukulele and honeyed voice, which has taken on a mournful, regretful mood, supported by intense bursts of flamenco guitar from Street and haunting lyrics from Blood.

Unlike too many performers these days, Bliss doesn’t try and over-sing, but restrains her powerful singing voice, complimenting, but not overwhelming the songs. Mixing her trademark old time Jazz/Blues/Hawaiian sound with some more sad, atmospheric and personal lyrics than her work with The Moonlighters.

Despite the fact that many of the songs have a dream-like, mellow psychedelic folk sound, the album never becomes boring; each song is exactly as long as it should be. In snowmelt, Bliss’s voice washed over me like sonic honey and morphine.

I can’t pick a favourite track on this album, but the title track of Unspun is a strong contender, with its driving rhythm and intense and emotional solos by Street playing back and forth with Bliss’s singing. My friend and drummer said that vixen reminded him of an Elliott Smith song with a female singer, and I can’t say I disagree. This is the only song on the album that employs electric guitar, and it is employed to the best effect, coming out of nowhere like a bluesy, rockabilly dust storm. In Pitfall, Bliss sounds like a seductive and untouchable 1930’s Jazz singer.

Unspun is a beautiful, emotional, and intense album that fuses together old Jazz, the Blues, Hawaiian music, acoustic music and intense lyrics all woven together by Bliss Blood’s dreamy, seductive, opium smoke vocals and Al Street’s perfectly timed and executed Spanish guitar parts. Its far too easy to miss great independent performers these days, and if you want my opinion Bliss Blood and Al Street are two that you don’t want to overlook.

This is by no means Bliss Blood’s first album, and you can check out her Bandcamp profile for more albums by her and Al Street, the Moonlighters, and Pain Teens. We’ll be taking a look at some of those other albums in the near future so stay posted. Until then, do yourself and independent music a favour and get yourself a copy of Unspun.

-Jack Blare

Download Unspun Here: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com/album/bliss-blood-al-street-unspun

Bliss Blood’s Bandcamp profile: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com

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alternative, independent, literature, mortal, politics, Uncategorized, underground

Canadian Blood Services Would Rather Let You Die Than Receive Blood from Gay Donors

The link between HIV and homosexuality was thoroughly disproven in the ‘90s yet CBS will not let any man who has had sexual intercourse with another man within 1 year donate blood. HIV doesn’t leave the blood after one year and affects men women and children of any age or sexual orientation.

Would you rather die than get blood from a homosexual donor? CBS has taken that choice from you. There is no shortage of donors or blood, in fact CBS turns them away on a daily basis on unscientific and clearly homophobic grounds. There is more than enough blood to save everyone that needs it but CBS sticks to outdated and discriminatory policies. If anyone you know has died of blood loss its because CBS is vetoing over 5% of the population who could potentially donate. This homophobic and unscientific process has led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people in the guise of public safety. We need policy change NOW.

Enough lies about blood shortages when you won’t accept healthy donors. They would rather let people die and continue their pseudoscientific anti-gay policies. Test the blood. If it contains blood borne diseases then veto it. If not then it should go to save lives and those responsible for this policy should be fired and have their licenses to practice medicine revoked.

This is a follow up to an article I wrote while still in college seven years ago. CBS employees I spoke to promised change “in the near future.” There have been no policy changes in nearly a decade. This amounts to little more than judicial murder backed by doctors who seem to either be unable to understand how blood borne viruses work or have personal issues with gay people. In either situation they need to be replaced by doctors who are able to do their jobs without prejudice, which CBS has proven they cannot.

-Jack Blare

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addiction, alternative, depression, independent, literature, opiate crisis, Uncategorized

Plastic Poppies & Blood: A Brief Insiders View of the Opioid Crisis

Back when I first kicked junk, in 2010 nobody knew what hydromorphone or fentanyl even were. People would just look at me confused. “Its like morphine but stronger.” I’d tell them. Back then I was almost exclusively snorting hydromorphone (I had a good source). Most everyone else was into oxy back then. They introduced Oxy Neo as an abuse-proof replacement for oxycontin tabs. While there are ways to prepare Oxy Neo for injection they are quite complicated and take a long time. Some, especially the First Nations worried that entire communities would go into withdrawal at once.

Cops want to stop junkies but junkies want to shoot up more. They have no limits, don’t give a fuck about safety and were dead set on getting their fix. Then came the old standard to save the day-heroin. It was and is cheaper than pills. The doctors stopped prescribing oxy due to the stigma around the name it and needed a replacement other than morphine. They found this in Dilaudid, or hydromorphone, a drug 5 times the potency of heroin, or fentanyl patches which is 100 times the strength.

Now its 2017 and people are dropping like flies. I always preferred hydromorphone because unlike H which is just a powder, hydromorphone came in little balls that were supposedly abuse proof. 30 seconds  with a mortar and pestle beg to differ, however the point is that these little balls are near-impossible to tamper with or replicate without a lab. Lacing them with fentanyl would be more trouble than it was worth. Not so for powdered heroin or easily pressed oxycodone tablets. They started showing up in overdose deaths all over North America. Fentanyl is cheaper to produce than heroin, easier to smuggle and can be made in a laboratory.

By the time I stopped shooting up fentanyl had all but replaced heroin in some places. It was even popping up in cocaine, a stimulant. Even worse were the reports of carfentanil being used as a cut, a thousand times stronger than morphine it was never used by humans until recently. Prior to that it was used for tranquilizing elephants. Shortly before stopping I was sold fentanyl-laced fake oxycontin as well as straight fentanyl. Even snorting a bit of it put me on the nod and I was seeing triple. Lucky for me I didn’t OD and voluntarily signed up for a suboxone program. I didn’t want to go down with the ship.

This isn’t about morals or strength of character-anyone can be an addict. I go to the clinic and see people older, younger, in suits and in construction boots, new mothers with babies. All levels of society, every race. Addiction affects us all. Now more than ever it is clear that we need to treat this epidemic as the health crisis it is, and stop placing blame on addicts. There should be more funding for education and expansion of clinics specializing in addiction treatment and a much expanded needle exchange system. People need to be aware of the other options available to them, such as methadone or suboxone, and a heroin maintenance program should be established as well as safe injection zones. These are proven methods and not only will they reduce ODs but they’ll lower the amount of blood borne diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis C.

Finally and most importantly opioid addicts, as well as their friends and family should always carry or have easy access to Naloxone. A single dose of naloxone will completely reverse an opioid overdose, even fentanyl. You can get kits at your local pharmacy at no cost so there really isn’t any reason not to have it around.

Jack Blare, 2017

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independent, literature, poetry, politics, Uncategorized

Western Civilization

An ordered decomposition,

Erosion by acculturated violence,

Tight-lipped teens crying 44 calibre tears

At the walls of their dearly purchased prisons.

 

The division of the invisible dollar

Sprouts little Stalins from the raw, cold earth,

Flecks of bloody mud in their moustaches,

Dead roots and dead ends tangled in their close-cropped hair.

 

Digital revolutionaries pace up & down

The hairy, distended guts of bedbound banks

Carrying limp signs & political party platforms

Condensed into dull 140 character slogans.

 

The simple has been simplified,

Chewed down & mashed up

For gnashing, sparkling fluoride teeth

Of the swollen Cyber Leviathan.

 

Cameras keep their black oil apertures

Trained unwaveringly on dying fires & past star deaths.

Smog rises in thick obsidian pillars

Choking the last few cancer-ridden voices of organic resistance.

 

Democratic ants armed with computers, smart phones & opinions

Fight skirmishes over tarnished scraps of idealist ideology,

As the invisible monster wraps its tentacles around the bare throats of the poor

& squeezes tighter, & tighter, until there’s nothing left but late apologies

& smoke occupied graveyards.

Jack Blare, People & Concrete (2015)

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