You're Back and I'm Back

Commentary by Michael Bonanno.

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You're Back and I'm Back

Post by Michael » October 4th, 2010, 12:02 pm

In 2000, three years after The Dow Chemical Company decided to “delayer” me, I began looking around on the internet. It was really new to me at that time.

Consequently, it took me a little while to realize that if I wrote the word “poetry” in the little box at the top of the page - I don’t know if was The Google or some other page - the screen on top of the table or desk or whatever the screen sat on top of would automatically change the channel and bring me to a page with a list of places to go to read poetry or talk about (actually, type about) poetry or become involved with poetry in some way. I didn’t even have to go up on the roof and adjust the antenna.

The internet is somewhat intuitive, but it’s really only intuitive if one knows how to navigate the internet. I actually had cable TV at the time, so the thing about going on top of the roof was a bit of hyperbole I used for affect. Did it work? I didn’t think so.

Anyway, I came to two places which looked interesting. I’ve since forgotten the name of the first place, but the other was Arcanum Café.

I visited both places fairly equally until the first place was “attacked”, as they said, and it took months to remake it.

Of course, in my mind, someone had burned the actual physical building down and they had to rebuild. I didn’t know that someone could do so much damage just by typing a few keys.

So I was stuck at AC and I’m glad that I was stuck at AC. I became a moderator and then an administrator and then I quit. I didn’t quit under unfriendly terms, but, as I used the net more and more, I learned different aspects of it.

For example, at first I thought that only special people could have a web site. I thought people had to get a license from the FCC or some other regulatory agency in order to create a web site. Then I got what I have since learned is spam in my email inbox. It was from Bravenet and they said I could have my own web site and for free. I had plenty of stuff to put on a web site. I had my poetry, which I had posted at AC, songs, whose lyrics I had posted at AC and I even had opinions about what is known as “politics”, some of which I had posted at AC.

When I went to the Bravenet site, I found that, for a mere $125 or so, I could get the top shelf web site. So I did.

At about the same time, I think some other spam came into my inbox from a place called blogspot. I found that blogspot was a spot on the internet where people created blogs. After learning what a blog was and that I could get that for free, I got one of those, too.

While at AC, Doreen asked if I’d like to post some of my rants at Studio 8. At the time, I’d talk to anyone who would listen. Not many would listen, so I settled for writing for anyone who would read.

I took an HTML class. HTML, as it was taught in that class, is like Latin now, isn’t it? There’s CSS and other ways of talking internet. I still use the original HTML because, for the most part, it still works.

I set up my site, my blog and I came over here to Studio 8. It was all so cool. Not only did I write, but some people were even interested and responded.

I had been writing letters to the editor, but newspapers allow you to write one letter to the editor every three to six months and it can only be 200 words long. 200 words! That’s usually my first paragraph! And I’d have to wait until they printed it which, in many cases, was after whatever issue I was writing about had been resolved one way or another. Or someone would respond to my letter three or four weeks after I’d written it and I still had two to four months before I could respond to the response.

The internet brought me to seventh heaven - well, I don’t believe in the first one, but you know what I mean.

I found CommonDreams, and other news outlets and started submitting my opinion pieces to those places. For the most part, the newspapers were kinder to me than the online news outlets.

Finally, I submitted an opinion piece to and it was accepted. OEN started asking for volunteer editors and I volunteered.

From 2005 to 2007, I wrote about everything. The Regime gave me plenty of material which started with 9/11. I thought that I was getting famous until I got a stat counter.

I never gave much thought to the idea that Bravenet and other hosting services were inviting others to create their own web sites and blogs.

There are about 6.5 billion people in the world and my stat counter has told me one thing for sure. I haven’t yet had one of those 6.5 billion visitor days yet. I have, however, had some 6.5 visitor days and I’ve learned to be happy with that.

I didn’t care. I couldn’t believe how obvious everything was to me and I thought that I was the first to get certain books and I wrote about what the books had said and I thought that I was teaching people something.

I know that I was teaching people about my music and poetry as I know they’d never heard it before. So what! I’ll just build up a following.

Then I heard about the Brad Blog.

Then I heard about The Huffington Post.

Then I was almost shocked when I found out some people were actually using the internet for commerce. I thought that the internet was a radical left poetry, music and information platform. People were selling stuff on the internet. Some people were selling shit and others were even selling porn.

I didn’t need the internet to sell me porn. All I had to do was to walk down to the local store and buy a magazine or rent some videos -- - - wait. Stay at home, all by myself and watch porn up close and personally or go through the trouble of having to put “real” clothes on, open the front door, walk out of my house down to the corner store and….porn on the internet started to make some sense for me. Not that I’m interested in smut, mind you, but there are different opinions as to what art is and bla , bla, bla, bla.

It’s 2010 unless you’re Jewish, Chinese or a myriad of ethnicities who believe that it is not 2010. I ranted and raved about “politics”. The Regime was bad. It set up 9/11 (or it didn’t, depending on your opinion, I guess), it went to war with Iraq because it felt Iraq had nothing better to do than to rebuild itself after we destroyed it, there was an election in 2004 between George W. Bush and another guy who agreed with George W. Bush on almost everything and then there was the historic election of 2008.

The first American whose ethnicity was significantly sub Saharan African enough that he looks like an African American was elected president of the United States of America. The right thought he was the reincarnation of Karl Marx and, surprisingly enough, so did much of the left.

Even before he was first sworn in as president, my writing picked up a little. I started doing a thing called Letters to the Editor; Debatable Opinions. I did this at OEN and with my personal mailing list, which I had picked up along the way.

My writing picked up a little because I found myself defending Barack Obama against ridiculous accusations that were so obviously based upon a deep seeded hatred of dark skinned people that they had to be called out. That grew old quickly. It grew old quickly, especially in light of the fact that, as historical as it was that Barack Obama was elected president, he started to use the same political speak that every politician I’ve ever heard had used, is using and will no doubt continue to use.

During his administration, nothing has been done that the left can be very proud of and, in fact, most of what’s been done should be pleasing the right. However, no matter how many things this so called “president” does that the right should love, he hasn’t been able to change the color of his skin. What a conundrum, hey?

So my writing has really fallen off.

Most of the time I look around at what’s happening and I’m so frustrated. I’m frustrated not because of what’s happening, but because it won’t stop. The truth is I’ve written about almost everything there is to write about, even stuff that hasn’t happened yet. I say that because “there’s nothing new under the sun” is beginning to carry a lot of truth for me.

Before Obama became what we call president, I really had never heard of a Tea Party. However, looking back through history, I should have been able to predict it.

I never knew we would attack Iraq based upon lies before we did that, but I lived through Vietnam and Grenada and Panama and Serbia and I should have been able to predict it. If I had the resources, I should be able to manufacture a coordinated video of Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and both Bush heads saying the exact same words to get us into war or keep us at war. Obama is saying those very same things today about Afghanistan.

So, whereas I wrote my rants with vigor and a feeling of self righteousness, I now wait for a time when my brain somehow tricks me into thinking, “Write now, about this. This time they’ll read it and say, ‘Hey, this guy has a point here’.””. Those times do show up, albeit less frequently than they used to. I write when I can’t take it anymore and, in as much as no one other than Studio 8 or AC or OEN publishes me, I have even less influence if I go out and make a scene, standing along the side of the road holding a sign which reads: WHEN ARE YOU PEOPLE GOING TO REALIZE THAT NONE OF IT IS REAL.

People won’t even know what I’m talking about. No of what is real?

Look at all the progress we’ve made under Obama. Of course the reason why we haven’t made more is because of the stubborn Republicans.

Look at all the progress we made un Reagan. Of course the reason why we didn’t make more is because of the stubborn Democrats.

So we argue like fools about Republicans and Democrats and, if you think back to Johnson and Nixon and up to today, you see that nothing much is different. 17 years of Democratic administrations and 31 years of Republican administrations has kept things progressing, or, at least, moving in a very consistent way.

So, nothing surprises me anymore. I don’t like to say that things “never cease to amaze me” because, in reality, things have definitely ceased to amaze me.

However, I asked Doreen to activate this column again because I will write. In spite of the fact that I’m an unknown quantity whose opinions, although so often legitimate, are ignored with impunity, I’m going to write.

One of the astronauts on Apollo 13 was asked, and I paraphrase, “What would you have done if you’d gotten to the point at which you realized that you’d done everything possible, a point at which you realized that, in your wildest imagination, you couldn’t think of another possible solution for the fix you were in and you just knew you were going to die? What would you do then?”

I don’t know who the astronaut was, but he said, and, again, I paraphrase, “I’d keep thinking and keep trying until I couldn’t think or try anymore.”

I guess I share that malady with whoever that was.

To friendship,

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” - William James

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Re: You're Back and I'm Back

Post by Michael » October 4th, 2010, 6:52 pm

neologistic, may I call you neo, I'm glad that you romed into this forum and responded to my column, typos, spelling mistakes and all.

Actually, I was going to fix the typos and mistakes, but I think I'll wear them as a badge of ignorance. After all, ignorance is the new badge worn by proud Americans, is it not?

To friendship,

Steve Plonk
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Re: You're Back and I'm Back

Post by Steve Plonk » October 4th, 2010, 7:35 pm

I've been here a little less than a year. However, this is one of the most wonderfully profound and ,at the same time, cynical pieces I've read lately. Glad you came out of your "bunker" and posted. I share a column space next to you in "Life in the Horse Lane". My horse being "Stewball" the rocket horse, for a rocket age. The astronauts & cosmonauts are my heros. Hey, and I'm kind of fond of farmers, also. Soldiers and politicians have me in a lukewarm state of being...Politics is a perennial "shell game" and there are rubes on both sides of the aisle. Hopefully, the Democrats will retain power and we will see some more good legislation happen...

I wish folks would ban the bomb, but I don't think it is going to happen. There are always going to be wars and rumors of wars to come...That is almost a biblical statement. Obama is my president at the moment and all of ours. I support most of what he has done. However, he could improve in being more
of a champion of the environment. However, as Dylan says, "It's all good." :lol:

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Doreen Peri
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Re: You're Back and I'm Back

Post by Doreen Peri » October 5th, 2010, 9:49 am

Welcome back, Michael!

Thanks for the history, and as always, your elucidations!

It's great to have you back! :D

Soon, btw, we will have an mp3 upload & embedded mp3 player at Studio8, so I hope you'll also share some of your fabulous music!

Announcement of the new feature coming soon.

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Diana Moon Glampers
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Re: You're Back and I'm Back

Post by Diana Moon Glampers » October 6th, 2010, 1:15 pm

Sometimes I think I ought to write more letters to the editors. There must be something I can do.

I read the the news compulsively, but not much TV, (the nation,, huntington post, washington post, new york times, tomdispatch, alternet news, a lot of other places all over the net, I read my favorite pundits and then thinking I am well informed I cast my vote for somebody.

And go to bed thinking what a good citizen I am.

Michael I hope you take Doreen up on posting your music here.

I can't tell you how many times I have listened to this

It's Not Clear to Me
ten or 15?

Slowy dawning on me what Free Trade is all about.
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"a sixty-eight-year-old virgin who, by almost anybody's standards, was too dumb to live. Her name was Diana Moon Glampers."

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Re: You're Back and I'm Back

Post by Michael » October 7th, 2010, 2:33 pm

Doreen, Diana, I just signed in to write another column. I saw these responses and they warmed my heart.

I hope to be able to upload some of my new music, collaborations, like the one with Doreen and even repost some of the older stuff for those who've never heard it.

It's great to be back!

To friendship,

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