What should we do about police brutality and racial profiling?

cant breathe

I have been puzzling over the death of Michael Brown, as well as the other tragic, stupid, avoidable events, and pondering mightily. Actually, “events” seems a strange way to refer to murders. They are murders.

If indeed they are “tragic”, then like true tragedy it leaves us stunned into silence. Zamboni is no politician, and frankly, I have hard time with these questions. Silence in this case is useless. Why is it so hard to talk of skin color?

To adress these issues let us embrace the following;

1. Bring back “Beat”cops. When cops had a “beat”, an area they walked around in and policed, they knew people. It’s harder to choke to death someone you know or you know their aunt. I would guess. Police are always in their cars these days.

2. Let’s act as if  it’s the most important thing in the world right now, and create and attend large protests, protesting that Black Lives Matter. The more it happens, the more we become both numbed and outraged. Paradox. Even Zamboni may get off the couch to this Saturday’s  protest in San Francisco. Yes there are many ills and evils in the world, but at this very time, today, this IS the number one- if only because momentum toward change is here.

3. Civil Disobedience. Do not use senseless violence to protest senseless violence.

4. Empathy. Last night Zamboni spoke to a policeman guarding a barricade. His job was to stand all night near a barricade, just in cast someone did something. He was there for 5,6 hours. Street was dark and quiet. It must be hard to be a cop these days, I said. He said they are trained professionals. They know how to react.  I’m not sure what he meant by that.  His tone was blase. We have to remember they are scared people. Perhaps more scared than most because they have to remain stoic as “trained professionals.”

5. Hey idiots- no more “Anarchy” Breaking windows at Trader Joes insn’t helping.

An injustice to one, is an injustice to all.


Will our gun laws ever change?

This was asked to me, great zamboni last night, July 20th, 2012.

Yes, of course. Many things we in the olden days thought would not change have changed and now we look back and say, like “duh!” yes women should vote, of course the weekend should be two days not one, yes children the age of 9 should not work 12 hour days in dangerous mills..

But at the time, that was “how things were”.

But some things do not change. There is an old Estonian saying, “you can take the goat out of Estonia, but it still eats grass.” Your country, this great America, has in its DNA much lonliness, rage, violence, emptiness of plains and emptiness of heart. Emptiness must be filled. Americans love their guns, but even more they love freedom, and one of those freedoms is to have gun. Back in colonial times, it means that the Brits couldn’t push us around. In WWII it means that Hitler could not push us and the Brits around. But now a lonely person can have gun to push others around because they too feel pushed around.

Once I learned to shoot a gun at a target range in Vegas. I loved it. It felt like nothing i’d ever done and it was powerful. It didn’t feel violent or dominating to me. It felt clean, like holding on to a bolt of lightning while it strikes. Silence -then great noise- then even a deeper silence.

Many of us look for causes and logic when violence happens-it’s the movies, it’s technology, urban sprawl, disconnection, etc…

No. Maybe some yes, but mostly no. Once ten years of bloodshed began because of a pretty face. It’s pretty logic-less.

Yes, in 50 or so years the laws will change. Human nature, no.

http://www.esquire.com/features/obama-lethal-presidency-0812-5 (This may take your mind off Colorado, but here Barack is the killer, and he’s acting with much thought. Is that better?)

Dear Zamboni, who’s texting me?

Dear Great z-

I just got a text of an intimate nature. The problem is, I don’t know who the sender is- and don’t know how to find out without being rude or hurting their feelings. How do I do this slyly, without just saying “who the hell you are?”

-Awkward J

Dear Awk J-

Is funny. I myself great zamboni just received a text yesterday at midnight which said “hey, what are you doing right now?” and my old cell phone the size of beer can shows only for caller ID “Lisa F.”

Who the hell Lisa F was I did not know! But I had to find out without hurting the feelings of this alleged female. What if we had been intimate once making what we call in Estonia “a warm sushi party” together? What if it were my second cousin on my aunt Svetlanika’s side- what if both were true?

So, to be safe, I text back: “I am thinking of you”

She respond: “?y?$%#$^#@@!!!!! HEEE!!”

Instantly I recognize this is that Lisa F. -a snake charmer I met at a Taxonomy convention in Chappaquidick and this was our code word for “watching TV”

Now if this had been my grandmother, she merely would have said something like, ” how sweet you are my little zamboniman (: ”

My point is this: In this situation say something bold yet vague, that way you will get a reaction. And positive or negative, a real reaction is better than no reaction.

The same is true for life. Speak up, even if you say something offensive or taboo- at least it will keep other people- and you- awake.

Remember what the Buddha say: “there are three things that cannot be hidden:the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

Choosing between things- How To Do It!

@jordanwiner Question for Zamboni: When it rains it pours. How do you choose when you have more than one good offer?

This above question was twittered to me via the computer box.

My uncle Snorblatt had a saying. He was a master cheesemaker, but also an excellent hang glider. In his early twenties, he hanglided across Transylvania and was on the verge of a profitable career in professional  gliding when he was struck down by a Tasmanian virus. Sweating and convulsing on a his deathbed, he had a vision. In his vision, a giant sword hung over his head and a goat the size of Godzilla wielded the sword with ferocity. Behind the gargantuan goat, a smiling rabbit did cartwheels spraying rainbow dust out of its ass. These seemingly incongruous things continued in his dream, until Dick Cavett appeared and said , “Ladies and, uh,  gentleman, please welcome, Norman Mailer!”

When Snorblatt’s fever broke, he recalled the dream down to the last detail. Carl Jung came all the way from Bavaria to decipher this dream using all his archtypes and oneric knowledge. His verdict? Snorblatt was fucking crazy.

What does this have to do with your question? ha! I am teaching you this. The point is, never ask someone for advice when making decisions- why? because no one can make a decision for anyone else without making it for themself.

Like Ayn Rand demonstrated,  people are -and should be- selfish. If you ask me to help you find your decision, I will naturally make the one that happens to serve me, not you.

My child asks where to go to college- naturally I will say Transyllvania A & M because I was kicked out due to a stunt involving several abandoned toilets, and wish to make my revenge on them. But this is decision best for me– not my child.

So when you have more than one good offer- always make the decision that you will not regret when you lie on the deathbed- which could be any time…

And be selfish- you owe it to the world.

And that’s the double truth, Ruth


Friar’s Blues, or The Futility of Trying To Solve Other People’s Problems

I recently had the honor of playing Friar Laurence in a production of Romeo and Juliet. The Friar is the brilliant thinker who marries the two teens on the sly, hustles one out into the country, gives the other one fake poison, over-relies on the postal service, and in about 48 hours ushers each one to a dramatic suicide. This after giving a boatload of advice including, “wisely and slow; they stumble who run fast.” That’s fer sure.

Each night, as things inexorably rolled from happy to shitty, I’d joke backstage, “well it seemed like a good idea” or “Jesus friar, they’re thirteen for fuck’s sake.” Questions arose, like why does the friar have a SuperRoofie that can put someone totally out for 48 hours anyway? Another actor said, why not just get Juliet outta Verona and put her on a bus headed for Romeo’s hideout? Good question.

The best morals I can draw from this are: 1)beware of trying to solve other people’s problems, and especially, 2) beware of people who are bent on solving your problems for you.

I personally am guilty of the first. I’ve been an uber-listener and giver of advice all my life. In fact when I was ten I put a sign on my door, “the Psychiatrist is IN” Not a good sign.

The second I guess Zamboni himself could be guilty of. But he often makes clear in his advice to people that he is merely getting people to admit what in their hearts they already know. At least when he’s at his best he is.

Friar Laurence takes it upon himself to bring two lovers together, which is ironic since he can’t have this himself. He loves Romeo,  absolutely, but he ends up destroying him. Is all his “help” just a subconscious way of destroying what he loves? A revenge for his own celibacy? I don’t know, but as the good book says, I think,  “by their fruits shall ye know them” and the fruits of his help be rotten.

So beware of those bent on helping you, and beware of asking for help. You might be better off reading Shakespeare, and then just going it alone.

Then again, don’t listen to me, I’m the friar. -jw