voyages of the bloody, snake, chariot

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Saturday, November 25, 2017 - post date

JOHN WAYNE IN MULEGE

Midway between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, it is
believed by many cultures, that the cosmic membrane separating the
living from the dead, weakens and becomes less impermeable.
The dead may come into the realm of the living, the living into the
realm of the dead.
In the first moments of November 1, 2017, the first day of the dead, I
was soundly sleeping, on the bus from Ensenada to Mulege in Baja
California, Mexico. And then a window of the bus slowly, and yet,
inevitably shattered.
It had probably been hit with a rock that had been kicked up by a
passing truck. And yet, the window disintegrated in a weird, scary
way, accompanied by a sound that made my hair stand, all over my body.
We had to wait three hours in the moonlit Baja desert night for the
next bus to come. And while we waited the dead were, no doubt, with
us.
When I arrived in Mulege, I realized that something of Marion
Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979, known to the world as John
Wayne, nicknamed Duke, had crossed the barrier, and was with me.
In Mulege there are the ruins of a hotel Wayne stayed at. I went to
the ruins of the Hotel Loma Linda, also known as the old Hotel Mulege.
There were surveyors, there was heavy equipment being moved to the
site. The demolition of the ruins and the conversion of the site into
a gravel pit had begun.
This is the surviving monument of what some call Baja's Golden Age.
The likes of John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Jayne Mansfield, Edgar Bergen,
Jacque Costeau, Oliva Newton John came to Mulege. The town had the
best sport fishing in the world.
The demolition, of these ruins, of this monument was about to happen
unremarked, unnoticed.
And yet, Wayne is more powerful dead than he was alive. He is a
polarizing symbol in this time of resurgent 'white nationalism'.
In the game of thrones, in the campaign that got Donald Trump elected,
a pilgrimage was made to the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in
Winterset, Iowa.
In January 2016, early in the campaign, Trump was introduced by
Wayne's daughter, Aissa Wayne, as they stood in front of Wayne's
larger-than-life statue. Aissa Wayne told the gathered reporters " if
John Wayne were still alive, he'd be endorsing Trump's campaign, too.
"The reason that I'm here to support Mr. Trump is because America
needs help," she said. "And we need a strong leader. And we need
someone like Mr. Trump with leadership qualities, somebody with
courage, someone that's strong like John Wayne."
Trump said he was a "longtime fan" of John Wayne.
And yet, son, Ethan Wayne, quickly refuted any family endorsement of
Trump and said he didn't think his father would endorse Trump, if he
were alive.
"John Wayne Enterprises and John Wayne Cancer Foundation wish to state
that Aissa Wayne acted independently of both organizations and the
Wayne family in her endorsement of Donald Trump," he said.
The presidency of Donald Trump, the role Trump is playing is an
unending, horrible parody of Wayne.
It is true that Wayne's political career started with his presidency
of the Motion Picture Alliance for American Ideals and the
blacklisting/the purging of Hollywood leftist who were mostly Jews.
There's also a 1971 Playboy interview.
Duke said, "With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment
along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all
of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the
leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the
blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in
giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to
irresponsible people."
And as for American Indians he said, "I don't feel we did wrong in
taking this great country away from them...."Our so-called stealing of
this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great
numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly
trying to keep it for themselves..."what happened 100 years ago in our
country can't be blamed on us today."
In his movies he was always killing American Indians, killing
Mexicans, killing Japanese.
And yet, in real life, Wayne, like Trump was a draft-dodging chicken-hawk.
Wayne was 31-years-old when Pearl Harbor happened.
As a result of his chronic infidelity, his torrid (even by Hollywood
standards) affair with Marlene Dietrich, his first marriage to
Josephine Saenz was crumbling.
And yet, he had three children.
His career was just beginning to take off. He was just beginning to
make money. Established stars such as Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, and
Clark Gable, enlisted. Wayne saw the opportunity.
He specialty was war movies. He rationalized his draft-dodging,
claimed he could do more for the war effort by doing the movies that
were his specialty.
Wayne obtained 3-A status, "deferred for [family] dependency reasons."
He told friends he'd enlist after he made just one or two more movies.
Wayne made thirteen movies during the war. He became an established
Hollywood star. There is some evidence he made attempts to enlist.
And yet, it never happened.
In late 1943 and early 1944 he appeared at USO shows in the South
Pacific and Australia. Men who had served in hard combat were
contemptous of the man who spent the war on movie sets, wearing
make-up and firing blanks. He had fights with men who served.
In 1944, Wayne received a 2-A classification, "deferred in support of
[the] national … interest." A month later the Selective Service
decided to revoke previous deferments and reclassified him 1-A. But
Wayne's studio appealed and got his 2-A status reinstated until after
the war.
Wayne was tormented by his failure to serve in the military. Like
Trump, Wayne tried to wrap himself in an American flag, present
himself as an unflinching patriot. And yet, they both had the chance
to do more than just act the part, and in the end they did no more/do
no more than act the part.
And yet, unlike Trump, Wayne did have his authenticity. At his
cinematic best he evoke's D.H. Lawrence's description of James
Fenimore Cooper's Natty Bumppo/Deerslayer/ Hawkeye/ Pathfinder, of
'The Leatherstocking Tales.
"And Natty, what sort of a white man is he?" asks Lawrence. "Why, he
is a man with a gun. He is a killer, a slayer. Patient and gentle as
he is, he is a slayer. Self-effacing, self-forgetting, still he is a
killer...
"This is Natty, the white forerunner. A killer...
"He lets his consciousness penetrate in loneliness into the new
continent. His contacts are not human. He wrestles with the spirits of
the forest and the American wild, as a hermit wrestles with God and
Satan...
"...True myth concerns itself centrally with the onward adventure of
the integral soul. And this, for America, is Deerslayer. A man who
turns his back on white society. A man who keeps his moral integrity
hard and intact. An isolate, almost selfless, stoic, enduring man, who
lives by death, by killing, but who is pure white.
"This is the very intrinsic — most American. He is at the core of all
the other flux and fluff. And when this man breaks from his static
isolation, and makes a new move, then look out, something will be
happening."
There is something of this in Wayne when he is at his cinematic best,
and when he is at his cinematic best it was, most often, under the
direction of director John Ford.
The actor John Wayne was a creation of Ford.
Ford first noticed Wayne in 1928. He was herding a flock of geese on
the set of Mother Machree. He seemed innocent, he was a college
football player working as a property boy, an extra. Ford judged him
as being unready, said he needed some pain in his face to offset the
innocence. He was cast in his first lead role, in The Big Trail,
released in 1930. He changed his name to John Wayne.
The Big Trail bombed, big league. For the next decade Wayne made
mediocre or downright bad movies.
Then Ford saw Wayne fishing off of a pier in Long Beach. He made Wayne
a part of his inner circle, his drinking club.
Wayne, with actors Henry Fonda, Ward Bond accompanied Ford in
drunken, whoring, fishing trips on Ford's motor yacht, the Araner.
That's how Wayne first came to the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California.
That's how he first came to Mulege.
Ford was appointed a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval
Reserve in September 1934. And used the Araner and the drinking,
whoring, fishing trips as cover for espionage missions.
In December, 1934, Ford, Wayne, Fonda, and Bond cruised to Mazatlan,
purportedly to go marlin fishing. On December 31, they drunkenly
cruised the bars, and whorehouses wearing clothes splatted with fish
blood, with a mariachi band that was paid to follow them They were
arrested and thrown into jail twice. And then told to get out of town.
Between 1935 to 1939 Ford spied on the Japanese shrimp fishing fleet
in the Sea of Cortez. He reported that the crews of Japanese shrimp
boats off the Mexican coast were spying and constituting “a real
menace” to national defense. Ford reported there were Imperial Navy
officers aboard the trawlers and that the Japanese were familiar with
every cove and inlet of the Gulf of California, a potential invasion
route into Arizona.
Ford was commended for his “unselfish and patriotic work,” by the U.S.
Navy in 1940.
Some say Wayne knew of and assisted Ford's espionage work. Some say he
did serve his country by being part of these drinking, whoring, sport
fishing trips. And yet, there is no evidence Ford told any of his
drinking buddys of his spying missions
And yet, perhaps in these voyages of the Araner there were mythic
things happening to Wayne. Perhaps in these voyages he began, "the
onward adventure of the integral soul...Became "...a man who turns his
back on white society..."
Wayne was married three times. All his wives were Latinas. Wayne
seemed to prefer being in Hispanic culture
over American Anglo-Saxon Culture.
It was after one of these voyages of the Araner in 1938, that Ford
offered Wayne the lead in Stagecoach. Stagecoach launched Wayne's
career as a Hollywood star.
At it's best the Ford, Wayne collaboration brought mythic themes into cinema.
Ford's films with Wayne as the leading man portrayed the history of
the United State's as a mythic thing. He made Wayne the
personification of the national myth, of the white, American male.
Wayne brought a reluctant power to these roles. Ford came to believe
that Wayne's portrayal of this reluctant power was the personification
of America's mythic greatness.
The responsibility of being the personification of America's mythic
greatness was an intolerable burden for Wayne. This and his guilt
about dodging military service drove Wayne into his lunatic
right-wing, racist, chicken hawk politics.
Trump, on the other hand, has no excuse for his lunatic right wing,
racist, chicken hawk politics.
John Wayne used only one match each day, to light his first cigarette.
He lit all his other cigarettes with the one he was putting out. From
his early teens he smoked between three and six packs daily. In 1964,
when he was 57. Barely able to get through a scene of Otto Preminger’s
In Harm’s Way without a coughing fit, he went for a medical
examination that revealed a golf-ball-sized tumor on his left lung.
He had surgery to remove most of the diseased lung. The surgeon had to
go in through his back, and removed parts of four ribs.
He kept on smoking, but switched to cigars.
He became a frequent visitor to Mulege. He would visit on his motor
yacht, the Wild Goose or fly into town. He made plans to move to
Mulege. He took Spanish lessons. He delighted in the sport fishing,
the killing of the great creatures of the sea.
Wayne is said to have coined the phrase, the Big C. After his lung
cancer operation he claimed to have beaten the Big C. But the Big C
was back. This time it was stomach cancer.
He was an alcoholic. Directors would try to film all of Wayne's scenes
in the morning because by the afternoon he was often a mean, surly
drunk.
In 1969 he made True Grit. It won him his only Academy Award. In 1975
he revived his character, Reuben "Rooster" J. Cogburn in the sequel
Rooster Cogburn which co-starred Katherine Hepburn.
There is much of the dying Wayne in Cogburn, and this is the John
Wayne that Mulege got to know.
Like Cogburn, Wayne never had an alcohol free day in his adult life.
They were both alcoholics. In his lifetime cinematic work Wayne was
defined as a killer, as is Cogburn's life. They were both fat, old,
and determinately killing themselves in their failure to change really
bad lifestyles. The real Wayne was ruthlessly cruel, part of a
ruthlessly cruel thing in his persecution of his political enemies,
his Jewish leftist purge of Hollywood. Cogburn had served under
Confederate General William Quantrill, infamous for his atrocities.
They both fought for white supremacy.
And yet, in the end, you still can't help liking them, for their grit
in the face of death, for their compassion, and kindness, as their
lives were ending. For their perseverance in finding a kind of
redemption.
They both were cultural explorers who preferred living in other
cultures. Cogburn lived in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the back of a
Chinese dry-goods store, along with the proprietor, his friend and
gambling buddy Chen Lee. Wayne, as he was dying spent a lot of time in
Mulege.
Natty Bumppo died high in the Rocky Mountain among the Pawnees, who in
the end were his people.
Wayne came to Mulege for the fishing. He came here for the towns authenticity.
He is remembered for his kindness, generosity, for getting to know
many people in town, being interested in their lives.
He is remembered for his last fight - his fight with cancer, his fight
with his death.
Wayne wanted to be buried under a tomb stone with three Spanish words
- and nothing else.
FEO (ugly)
FUERTE (strong)
FORMAL (dignified)
And that's how he's remembered in Mulege.
He was ugly and bloated by sickness. A lot of pain had come into the
face of the young man herding ducks that John Ford had seen.
And yet, he was strong and dignified in the face of death

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - post date

Shakespeare's world, like our world, was/is a very dangerous place.

The bubonic plague swept through London in 1563, 1578-9, 1582, 1592-3, and 1603. The outbreaks in 1563 and 1603 killed as much as a quarter of London's population of about 500,000.


Each outbreak of the plague brought the development of the city's young, burgeoning theater industry to screeching halts.

England was in the midst of the Religious Wars of the Reformation. Elizabeth I, the Protestant British Monarch of Shakespeare's London was in constant danger after Pope Pius V issued the Bull Regnans in Excelsis of Excommunication and Deposition - a green light for Catholics to rise against and kill her.

The Privy Council/Star Chamber, became England's version of the Inquisition. People perceived as religious or political opposition to Elizabeth I, The Church of England, the established order, were horribly tortured, broken, imprisoned for life.

Shakespeare and his London playwright contemporaries, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Thomas Kyd, lived in fear of the police knock on the door, the dungeon, the torture chamber, the 'justice' of the Privy Council/Star Chamber.

Thomas Kyd was one of the most important figures in the development of Elizabethan drama. Some scholars believe he was the author of a Hamlet play pre-dating Shakespeare's, which is now known as the Ur-Hamlet.

On May 12,1593,  Kyd, was arrested for allegedly posting "divers lewd and mutinous libels" around London. He would later say he had been the victim of an informer.

His lodgings, which he had shared with Christopher Marlowe, were searched. A tract was found that was said to be "vile heretical conceits denying the eternal deity of Jesus Christ..."

Kyd was tortured, and broken.

He told his torturers that the tract belonged to his fellow dramatist and former room mate. He said Marlowe was a blasphemous traitor, an atheist who believed Jesus Christ was a homosexual”.

Kyd died from his injuries, less than a year after being tortured.

Marlowe was summoned by the Privy Council/Star Chamber.

Christopher Marlowe, also known as Kit Marlowe, was born in 1564, the same year Shakespeare was born. When Shakespeare arrived in London's world of theater sometime around 1590, Marlowe was the most prominent, celebrated playwright.

At the very least he was Shakespeare's biggest literary influence. And yet, there are prominent Shakespearean scholars who claim Marlowe was much more than this.

Last November, Oxford University Press released its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare. It credited Marlowe as a co-author on the three Henry VI plays.

Marlowe was released. But he was commanded to report to the authorities, "each day there after until licensed to the contrary".

Ten days later, he was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer, a government secret agent.

Henry VI was one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. And yet it clearly states his perennial themes of political overthrow, legitimate vs. illegitimate princes, usurpation and tyranny, power and it's abuse, the ways in which ambitious men plot to gain power, usually the throne, by illegitimate means.

Henry VI, Part 3, is the latest of Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s (CSF) 2017 “Original Practices” productions in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. These productions attempt to duplicate the practices and performances of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

With the performances of Henry VI, Part 3, the final play in Shakespeare’s War of the Roses chronicle  (an inspiration for HBO's Game of Thrones series), August 6-8, CSF completes the 37-play Shakespeare canon for a second time.

Why Shakespeare wasn't arrested, tortured, imprisoned for life for writing another play 'Richard II' (which was performed by CSF in 2013) is a historical mystery.

The play tells of Henry Bolingbroke, who becomes Henry IV, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.

To become king Bolingbroke usurps the rule of a weak, effeminate king.

Some scholars say the play demonstrates Shakespeare's support of the Essex Rebellion against Elizabeth I.

"...let us sit upon the ground/And tell sad stories of the death of kings,” says Shakespeare's Richard II, shortly before he is himself murdered; “How some have been deposed; some slain in war, …/Some poisoned by their wives; some sleeping killed;/All murdered.”

In February 1601, on the eve of a failed rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I. The Earl of Essex, a former favorite of the queen, paid for a special public performance of “Richard II. When the queen found out about these performances she recognized, “I am Richard II; know ye not?” 

“This tragedy,” she noted, “was forty times played in open streets and houses.”

And, though Essex was beheaded, Shakespeare suffered no known consequences for seemingly writing something that supported Essex's rebellion.

And yet, 416-years later, Shakespeare is again in political trouble.

New York City's  Public Theater’s production of “Julius Caesar” in Central Park depicts the assassination of an aspiring dictator, much like Donald Trump.

Two corporate sponsors of 'Shakespeare in the Park,' Delta Air Lines and the Bank of America, withdrew their support. President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., has asked about the "taxpayer-funded" support of Central Park's free Shakespeare.

CSF 2017 is also performing Julius Caesar. The production is said to be about "Lies, scheming and scandal."

And yet, there is nothing about 'Julius Caesar' that is subversive that advocates political violence/assassination.

The message of 'Julius Caesar' is that political violence - no matter how well-intentioned - no matter if it's done to protect democracy from tyranny - will backfire and will undermine democracy and bring tyranny.

Hamlet, which will also be performed at the CSF 2017, has a much more dangerous message for this time.

The message of Hamlet is there is no compromise, no negotiating with illegitimate, unnatural, rulers.

They must be revealed for what they are.

They must be killed.

 And you must be willing to die in the struggle.

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Monday, May 8, 2017 - post date

IN THE STYLE OF MARUATA

IN THE STYLE OF MARUATA

A repeating theme in this ‘narrative of the voyage of the bloody, snake chariot’ (www.libbyhome.blogspot.com) is being really low on money, taking refuge on a tropical beach, where I live as cheaply as is possible, go native, take life as it comes, as I try to figure out how to get to the next place I need to be.

Its happened to me at Nama Beach at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, on the Red Sea, in 1979-80. It happened to me in Tulum in the Yucatan in 1997. It happened to me in Miami, Honduras in 2005.

Now it is happening in Maruata, Michoacan, Mexico.

Every time I have been stranded on a tropical beach there has been the invitation to go ‘native’, to take on the color, culture, style and consciousness of where I am.

I have never refused this invitation.

These times on the beach have defined who I became, who I am.

This being stranded on the beach is an experience I share with Herman Melville

And yet, Melville refused the invitation to go native.

Melville coined the word, ‘beachcomber’ in his first book ‘Typee’, published in 1846. The word describes Europeans and Americans, who became resident on South Pacific Islands, who ‘combed’ the beach for anything they could use and trade.

When a beachcomber had ‘gone native’, gone renegade, abandoned their original culture, and that culture’s values - they were, in Melville’s eyes, despicable outcasts.

In Typee, Melville deserts a whaling ship and is given the invitation to go native on the island of Nukuheva in the South Pacific.

This became a terrifying thing for Melville. He feared he would be forced to have a tatoo on his face. He feared he would be cannibalized.

Something went terribly wrong with a leg. It began to rot and stink.

When the Polynesian who was his friend, who had been only kind to him, who most directly gave the invitation to be in the community of the beach, to go native - when this man tried to stop him from escaping Nukuheva, Melville stabbed him in the throat with a boat hook..

In his immaculate soul Melville was a wild man’s wild man. He was a PROPHET.

And yet, he writhed, and suffered, impaled on the pin of Victorian morality and conventionality, the expectations of ‘society’, the expectations of others.

I read and study what people regard as HOLY SCRIPTURE, as literature. And yet, there is LITERATURE I read as holy scripture.

This is how I read ‘MOBY DICK’.

The book tells of the acceptance or rejection of the invitation of the ‘WONDER WORLD’. It tells of the posture to hold in the face of MYSTERY.

And when I read ‘MOBY DICK’ I can’t help but to wonder what comes after the ‘Pequod’ is rammed, staved-in, sunk by the monstrous, mutant, albino sperm whale, with the loss of all aboard - except for one Ishmael?

And what happens to Steelkilt and his Mutiny after, “a certain wondrous inverted visitation of one of those so called judgments of God which at times are said to overtake some men”, that took the form of MOBY DICK?

The answers are in Chapter 54, ‘The Town-Ho. The only part of the book that takes place after the ‘Pequod’ has gone down.

Melville came to understand his inability to accept the invitation to go native was a serious failing.

On the thick-gilt-tiled piazza of The Golden Inn, in the city of Lima, Peru, one saint’s eve, we see a much changed Ishmael, two years after the MOBY DICK APOCALYPSE.

He’s smoking really good cannabis, and drinking the best chicha, (Inca corn beer), with his particularly close friends and associates Don Pedro, and Don Sebastian.

They are described as ‘Spanish Grandees’. And yet, they are Peruvian Creole Aristocracy, who probably have Royal Incan ancestry - whose mandate to be aristocracy is more based on their Incan ancestry rather than their Spanish ancestry.

They have come into a precarious control of the new/old country 20 years after the Simon Bolivar War of South American Independence.

The new/old country is trying to invent/re-invent itself. And yet, the people are more oppressed then they were under Spanish Colonialism.

The rule of the government, the rule of law is weak.

It is all dynamic uncertainty.

And there is much money to be made from, coastal, guano deposits which are being transported to Europe and the United States for the manufacture of explosives and fertilizer.

And there is much money to be made from the burgeoning export of coca leaf. And chemists have figured out how to make cocaine.

Ishmael/Don Marinero (Sir Sailor), as he is called, has a narrative style different from the rest of the book. It is a style in which Ishmael is trying to convey he not only speaks Spanish, he is eloquent in Spanish. He is drunkenly glib in Spanish.

He calls this ‘The Style of Lima’.

The masculine is overwhelming in the book. There is almost nothing of woman. But even though there is no female character in Chapter 54, The Golden Inn, this place which dispenses very fine, very powerful chicha - feels like its a very elegant, female space.

Perhaps, the Golden Inn is a brothel. And yet, it definitely wouldn’t be a business-as-usual brothel. Perhaps a kind of temple of the Chosen Incan Priestesses - the Akolona.

The outcast who starts the book by enlisting on a whaling ship rather than blowing his brains out - the lowest ranked whaler, with the smallest share of the Pequod’s profits, is now a - LORD OF CREATION.

And there is no doubt he has gone native.  

What is this going native that I’m speaking of? What does it mean to go native in Lima, Peru in the mid-19th Century. What does it mean to go native on the Michoacan Coast in the early 21st Century?

It is the breaking of the containers of personal identity. It is the breaking of our containers of culture, nationality, opinion, race, prejudice, religion. It is the realization that we are not our containers, but the free flowing essence within the containers.

It is the vibrating with the world Columbus found.

It is the coming into more life in life.

Maruata in the early 21st Century is much like Lima in the mid-19th Century.


In Maruata, I live/sleep in a hammock in the open, thatched, sand-floored, house of Don Chimmy.

Chimmy is A RIGHTEOUS FISHERMAN of 50 years.

Also living there is his lovely bride, Simona, their youngest daughter, Lupita, and her puppy, Killer.

Chimmy and I have become good friends.

He is a leader of the fishermen. He is a leader of the about 2,000 souls of the Pueblo.

The men gather at his house and smoke the best motor/weed in Michoacan.

Chimmy lives where a very small river meets the sea. It is where the launchers (the 22 - 26 foot, heavy fiberglass, fishing boats, with large outboard engines) are. We do a lot of pushing these boats across the sand, to get them in and out of the sea. We push them out-of-the-way of the boats we are pushing in and out of the sea.

There are also many old trucks that need to be clutch started. There is much pushing of trucks.

We talk about women, life, diving 100 feet down and hunting octopus/pulpo, cannabis, growing cannabis, and recent history.

Between 2005 and 2013 the evil cult/cartel The Knights Templars ruled Michoacan.

It was a rein of blood and terror, of extortion, kidnapping and murder. No one’s property was safe. No one was safe.

And yet, as a testament to the magical reality of Maruata , it was a free zone. It was ‘libre’. Things remained chido/cool.

Maruata got a special deal.

Perhaps The Knight Templars wanted to nurture cannabis tourism in Michoacan before they seized and extorted it?

Miraculously, the moment-to-moment of Maruata was little effected. It remained a really cool place - a kind of Mexican Jamaica, better than a Mexican Jamaica because Maruata is not an angry place.

Chimmy played a big part in this.

And then in 2013 the people of Michoacan rose up and overthrew the evil cult of death/cartel, and the police who were employees of the Knight Templars. The people seized control of cannabis production, distribution. The people became the police.

The Government of Mexico - being rotten with corruption - had done nothing to help the people of Michoacan. The police and the government were in the evil cult/cartel’s pocket.

And yet, after The Knight Templars had been driven out of Michoacan the government made a show of embracing the vigilantes.

They deputized some. Officially made them into Mexican police.

And yet, the government was mostly about disarming the vigilantes as quickly as possible - a very dangerous proposition for the vigilantes in their on-going life or death struggle with the cartels.

The vigilantes who became deputized, who became police, in some cases gave up good, automatic assault rifles, M-16’s. In return they got weapons that are jokingly/seriously said to be the same weapons used by Pancho Villa, 100 years ago.

They have the shirts but they don’t have the pants of a police uniform.

The vigilants who didn’t give up their weapons are said by the government to be in alliance with rival cartels. Or the government says the vigilante organizations are now cartels. Or the government says the vigilants have been infiltrated by cartel members.

These vigilantes remain at war with the federal police.

It is the War for Michoacan. It is Michoacan re-inventing itself. It is the on-going War for the Americas.

The Federal Police drive through/patrol Maruata in big, black pick-up trucks. There are six to nine men in these trucks. All the men are packing machine guns, and M-16’s.

They can kill a lot of people - quickly.

On the third day I was in Maruata, I found all the police in Maruata in Chimmy’s house.

The front of Chimmy’s house is Simona’s Restaurant. The police had taken this space over. There were eight men and a pretty young woman. Some of the men, had stripped to their underwear and had gone swimming at the near-by beach. Others were searching Chimmy’s property

Chimmy wasn’t there, nor was anyone in his family.

I went into the house to watch the police.

The leader/commandante of the police is Carlos. He is in his 30’s. He has his charisma. He is ambitious. He is dangerous to the people under his command. He is dangerous to the people he ‘polices’. He is dangerous to himself.

Carlos was showing his physical agility by attempting to climb one of Chimmy’s trees, laden with ripe coconuts.

It was impressive. He almost made it to the coconuts. And yet, in the end they drove the police truck to the tree, and harvested Chimmy’s coconuts from the roof of the truck .

When I walked into Simona’s Restaurant, I immediately became the center of attention.

I was, no doubt, a person of interest.

Carlos asked if I spoke Spanish.

‘Muy poco’ (very little), I lied.

He then asked if I smoked motor (weed).

“Si, Mon,” I declared.

I explained, in very bad Spanish, that I smoked medical cannabis. I explained it was legal.

The police searching Chimmy’s property returned to Simona’s Restaurant with a wild, small, immature cannabis plant.

It was on the edge of Chimmy’s property. Probably not on Chimmy’s property.

The police passed it around.

And the way it was handled, the comments made about the plant - it was obvious, all the cops smoked weed.

It was then that Chimmy returned.

He was immediately confronted with the plant.

He chuckled.

“Its springtime” he said. “There’s many plants like this - all over the place.”   

Carlos accused Chimmy of having fields of weed, nearby (there aren’t).

Then he began speaking of Chimmy’s brother.
Carlos said he knew, was good friends with, the cop Chimmy’s brother shot.

He said that cop was never going to walk again.

Chimmy’s brother, one of his eight siblings, and yet, a brother who was closest in age to Chimmy, a brother who had a wife and four children, this brother had his cannabis grow raided.

There was a gunfight. A cop was wounded. Chimmy’s brother was killed.

In a voice that cracked with emotion, Chimmy spoke of how close he was to his brother. Yet, Chimmy said he had nothing to do with what his brother was doing.

The police didn’t believe him.

And yet, they were moved.

To lighten the mood, Carlos began calling me “Papa.”

Carlos joked that one of the cops looked a lot like me.

He asked if I was the cop’s father.

I walked up to the cop and looked at him with interest. I looked at him closely. I looked at him for awhile.

Finally I lifted up my arms, shrugged my shoulders and said, Quien Sabe/Who Knows?

There was this beautiful sound of mirthful, Mexican belly laugh.

Carlos began speaking of Trump. He said if Trump doesn’t want Mexicans in the United States. He doesn’t want gringos in Mexico.

“PINCHE, CABRON, GRINGOS!!!”, I said in enthusiastic agreement.

Again there was that beautiful sound of mirthful, Mexican belly laugh.

Carlos asked me why I had medical cannabis.

I showed him my right ankle that has a metal plate and two screws.

A cop came forward and said he had a metal plate and two screws in his left leg. Other cops came up to me to show me their wounds.

I told them they should smoke more motor/weed.

Before he left Carlos said he wanted to spend his vacation in Chimmy’s house - like I was doing.

Chimmy said he was free to rent a cabana or camping space from him, just like everybody else.

Lima in the middle of the 19th Century is like Maruata.

Ishmael’s/Marinero’s friendship with Pedro and Sebastian is like my friendship with Chimmy.

They stand together in the midst of the police.

And when Ishmael/Marinero is telling the story of Steelkilt and his Mutiny, he speaks of the mariners of that great, inland sea, the Great Lakes of North America, the outlaw Erie Canal Men, the distrusted men of Sydney, Australia.

Pedro and Sebastian interrupt the narrative to get more information about these people. Because this is the kind of humanity Pedro, Sebastian, and Ishmael/Marinero stand in the midst of.

And they stand together.

Together, they conclude, the rest of the world is much like Lima.

Pedro and Sebastian have not heard the story of Ahab and the MOBY DICK APOCALYPSE - yet.

Ishmael/Marinero is introducing MOBY DICK in the telling of the story of the Steelkilt Mutiny.

And what is the point of the story of the Steelkilt Mutiny?

Ishmael/ Marinero is talking gospel.

He is telling the GOOD NEWS.

He’s talking REVOLUTION.

He’s talking ULTIMATE HERESY.

He’s telling Sebastian, Pedro - all those drinking chicha at the Golden Inn - that ugly, tyrants can’t help themselves. They will try to keep you down. They will oppress the Human for no other reason than its shining with DIVINITY.

Ugly, tyrants will whip you to within an inch of your life.

And yet, there is no keeping DIVINITY down.

When Humans stand up for their rights, are true to their DIVINITY, when you let IT shine - MOBY DICK, “a very white, and famous, and most deadly immortal monster”, is all for IT - he has your back.  

Those listening to the story are rightfully concerned about the Inquisition.

When Ishmael/Marinero is asked to swear on a copy of the holy evangelists (the bible) to the veracity of his story/heresy, he raises the stakes by asking that the priest who has the book, be produced.

He swears to the Truth of the story, and adds he has seen and spoken to Steelkilt since Radney was killed.

Which means he has seen and spoken to Steelkilt since after THE MOBY DICK APOCALYPSE.

Which means that Steelkilt could be in South America, too.


What comes after the ‘Pequod’ is rammed, staved-in, sunk?

And what comes after the Steelkilt Mutiny and “a certain wondrous inverted visitation of one of those so called judgments of God which at times are said to overtake some men”, that took the form of MOBY DICK?

There is the traveling of the world. There is the breaking of containers. There is going native. There is the seeking and finding of the the home of a Righteous Person(s). There is the finding of a place like The Golden Inn.

And in a place like the Golden Inn, there is the telling of THE GOOD NEWS, there are MIRACLES, there is HEALING, there is MORE LIFE IN LIFE, there is the WONDER WORLD that covers the earth if only you have eyes to see.



May 5, 2017
Playa Llorona

I’m up the Michoacan Coast at Playa Llorona.

The population here is said to be 44.

And yet, I’m not sure if its accurate. It could include some of the beach’s more notable dogs

It’s the place I need to be.

I live, sleep in my hammock in the house of a RIGHTEOUS FISHERMAN, Don Seraphim, a friend of Chimmy’s.

Here thunderous, huge, wild, crashing waves pound the beach.

There are no surfers here.

And yet, there are interludes when its possible to boogie board, to body surf.

Here at Llorona I am coming into my 62-and-a-half year.

I am, no doubt, broke-ass.

And yet, I delight in my life, this imaging of what comes after. I delight in this blazing, glorious Indian Summer.

For it is an Indian Summer in that it follows hard-frosts of mortality.

The other day I saw a very endangered, about three-foot-long Pacific black sea turtle crossing the beach to get back to the sea.

After traveling thousands of nautical miles, she had returned to the place her mother had deposited the egg from which she hatched. She had just dug a nest (she may have dug several before she dug the right one), laid and buried her eggs in the sand at the edge of the beach.

And she was now crossing a wide expanse of burning sand under a hot sun.

She was exhausted, struggling.

I did not interfere with this.

I walked beside her and made sure the beach’s dogs did not bother her.

And I looked into her eyes, watched her exaltation, as we walked into the surf and were swept by the waves.

And I know I will get to the next place I need to be.