The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

The Story of Me

There’s a website, a forum, called “A Lonely Life,” which I ran across a few days ago.  I sort’of jumped in to see if I could meet people and find fellow travelers in this fucked up world.  I was prompted to explain why I am lonely and started writing what turned out to be a little autobiography.  I realized it would be too long for a post so I decided to put it here on my occasionally visited and off the wall blog.  The website is  Here’s my would-be post:

I’ve been thinking about some things I might post on here but I hesitate to write some things and others I haven’t quite nailed it down.

I found this forum by typing in “I have nobody” in the Goog.  That’s not exactly true.  I’m married and have two little kids, well, not so little any more.  I have a wild-child friend in San Marcos, a 22 yr old rock and roller but never get to see him.  But outside of those people and a couple of my rock band buddy’s friends I have no real friends at all.  It is probably my own damn fault but there’s still little I can do about it, or know how to do about it.  Thus my search and arrival here.

On another place here I talked about how humanity seems to be divided into two types: sheep and goats.  It’s an analogy that comes from christianity.  The majority are sheep; happy, or at least content to be secure, in a fantasy world created by their Masters and held together by determination and fear.  Those Masters are religion, government, peer groups, sometimes family.  Goats, a minority, are those who cannot and will not live in a fabricated world.  They must see the world and everything in it for what it is.  They recognize the Masters as evil and self-serving.  They demand truth, insist on evidence, refuse to suck up the bullshit the Masters dish out.

It is no accident that the sheep/goat analogy is deeply planted in christian mythology.  Along with it comes promises of good stuff for good sheep and curses for goats.  Sheep can stray and be found.  Goats are doomed by their very nature.  Goats are to be scorned, abused, ran off, or killed.  Christians have compassion, theoretically, for sheep, lost or found.  For goats they only have hatred.  Remember, the devil himself is depicted as a goat.

This cornball analogy translates in the real world to how people act, what they believe, who they follow.  Christians, religious sheep, are incredibly determined to believe an extreme load of bullshit and illogical ideas.  They follow the Masters, those who claim to interpret ‘the word’ or speak for Jeeeezus, and rarely question.  Of course sheep of other herds do the same.  Non-religious sheep find another Master to drop in behind.  Maybe they follow some corporate schmuck or suck up the lie of capitalism.  Many fall into the liberal camp, actually think O’BamBam is trying to be good, and join the right wing fools in scorning those who point out the absolutely obvious truth that 9/11 was a lie and a setup.  Whatever.  Sheep follow.  Sheep have their fuzzy little heads up their asses.  Sheep are cowards.

To christians, goats are atheists, evolutionists, hedonists, etc.  People of other religions, to christians, are merely misguided, but those who dare question religion itself, those who scorn and scoff at the idiotic ideas they teach (and point out how really badly they follow what Jesus taught them themselves) are goats.  And goats deserve no mercy, no rights, no respect, and no love.  Why bother, they’re bound for hell anyway.

The US is dominantly, and frighteningly, christian.  Right wing nutcases are in a minority but they push the buttons of a lot more christians by designating goats as the cause of all our ills.  They always exaggerate and lie, but what the hell, sheep don’t question and never look up facts themselves.  Just consider the politician who called for a “registry of atheists” a few days ago.  We who question the status-quo, who dare challenge the violations of our civil liberties by DHS, who demand an end to war, etc., are not the opposition.  We’re ‘terrorists.’  We are the Enemy.  The right wing sees its supposed rival as no problem.  The opposition “liberal” class is a collection of pansy-ass do-gooders who spend their corporate-supplied dollars at Whole Foods and moan quietly about the environment or some bullshit while they nibble on sushi and drink expensive wine.

My story.  I was, at one time, an extreme christian zealot.  I believed the shit my mom and the church taught me.  As a kid I saluted the fucking flag every night when the TV station signed off and played the national anthem.  (Ahh, the sixties!)  But I believed if christians were going to be christians it was their responsibility to BE christians.  I tried.

On this board (A Lonely Life) I read young folks’ posts.  They sound like I would have thirty five years ago.  My home life was  hell growing up.  I went to a redneck segregated school where the only available victims redneck bigots had to torment were the clumsy and the fat.  I was not a lot of either of those but I was available and enough of both to start catching hell in grade school.  My first name didn’t help.  The cruelest thing my parents ever did was give me a name that is sure to bring ridicule.  My parents’ feet were deeply planted in the ground where we lived so I endured year after year of the worst kind of hell from the same people.  Picking on me was institutionalized by the time I reached High School.  And it was such a part of my personality I manged to carry a target on my back wherever I went for a long time.

Rather than coming to hate all those people who shoved me off sidewalks and stuck gum in my hair I felt sorry for them and wanted to get them saved.  I started a decades-long crusade to save the whole fucking world.  I bashed my head against walls over and over.  I tried to rally the ‘christian soldiers’ so many times it ain’t funny.  But they sat on their lazy, cowardly ass and called me a fanatic.

The older I got, the more I read about the sheep/goat analogy, the more I began to think I was a goat.  I felt it in my gut.  It scared me but I just made up my mind not to be one.  Years passed and my open eyes and ears saw and heard just how stupid, blind and dumb sheep are.  Eventually I saw  how stupid, blind and dumb I was, too.  One after the other the things I thought were true proved to be bullshit.  There finally came a day, far too late in life, that I finally realized I had been fucked over, there is no god, and I’d been a total fool for decades.

The thing is, most people saw that I was a goat even before I knew it.  I had too much confidence, even when I was confident about things that were not true.  I had too much determination.  I was not one of them.  I was not accepted.  Goats never are.

I’m not a blubbering sod but there is a deep compassion in me.  Always has been.  I hate bullies and mourn for their victims.  I hate all things that destroy humanity and the earth.  My conversion from patriotic right wing nutcase to extremist socialistic pacifistic environmentalist came about because I saw how destructive and horrible super-patriotism and blind faith can be.  I studied war in great depth.  I recognized the cruelty of religious domination.  I’ve been broke and homeless and I’ve been a welfare caseworker so I came to understand and care about even those who are often considered trash by the world’s standards and even by religious people.  I’ve been a foster parent and learned the depth and breath of the horrors children suffer from in this country.  All of these things are important because they have motivated me to try and DO SOMETHING, over and over.  But I’m a fucking goat.  People don’t like goats.  I’ve built several organizations over the years, worked my ass off and spent thousands, only to have it blow up in my face because so-called christians walked out when things got a little bumpy.

I’ve suffered humiliation and repeated defeat.  I have literally become everything I used to warn people about.  I love Heavy Metal music.  I smoke.  I drink any time I can afford it and excessively ever chance I get.  And I don’t give a fuck how fucking offensive my goddamn language is.  But I am still filled with compassion, a desire for peace, a wish for a world where humans are respectful to each other.  In that world my music, my habits and my language would not matter.  What would matter is that I’m a human being worthy of respect, love, companionship.  But we don’t live in that world.  We live in Orwell’s world, a world of cruelty, selfishness, hatred, meanness, and vanity.  The only difference between the christian version and the ‘secular’ version of this nightmare is that christians wear crosses representing a man they claim to worship but upon whom they piss with regularity by their attitudes, actions, and beliefs.

I am a goat.  And I am pissed off and disgusted.  I believe in the principals of peace taught by Buddha, the real one named Gautama, because they are the answer to the world’s problems.  I am convinced Jesus was a Buddhist, too, but self-serving bullies preempted his teachings, bound them to the nightmare world of Judaism, and created an oppressive,  hateful fake religion which they used to manipulate the sheep for centuries, and still do.  They have so ingrained the western world with this horrible shit that goats never stand a chance.

I believe the teachings of Buddha are true and good.  I try hard to follow them towards others.  I respect people.  I respect good law designed to protect us all.  I drive the speed limit.  Cruelty, selfishness, and meanness pisses me off.  I hate the actions of bullies.  When I befriend someone I do everything in my power to be a friend, even if it means giving someone everything I have.  I teach my children to respect others, to care when nobody else does, to be good people.  I’m not so good at following his teachings for myself because if Karma is true I’m fucked already and either way I really don’t give two shits about myself.

But none of my compassion, my desire for peace, my choice to respect others, etc., matters because I am a goat.  I am unworthy.

I tried to ‘conform.’  I tried faking it.  But I felt like shit and a liar, and I was.  The last expensive fiasco I was involved in, the one that could have saved thousands of children from abuse and neglect, taught me that the world is a hopeless case.  It also taught me that I am hopeless, too.  I am fucked.

Success in this world comes either to those who don’t give a shit about anything but making it to the top, no matter who they crush on the way, or to pansy-ass sheep who are gifted with a personality that I do not have.  The former are goats without conscience.  The latter are cowards without a conscience.  Neither type speak truth or act honestly.  The ambitious prick does whatever necessary and the pansy will absolutely never do anything to rock the boat filled with his little followers.  Because I am neither I don’t have a prayers chance in the proverbial hell.

I love my family, the three of them.  They love me.  They are the only anchor holding me to this fucked up world.  Even so, my family are also sheep.  I am still alone.  Sheep cannot understand a goat.

My decades of crusading and standing up for what is right has cost me dearly.  I’ve lost the best jobs because I refused to be bullied and/or I took a stand for what is right.  I would do it again, too.  I am incapable of bowing to bullies.  I refuse to lie, cheat, or steal, or fuck over clients/customers, or break the law to keep my job.  Companies want sheep.  They roast the goats.  Thus I’ve been pushed through the exit repeatedly.

I could be called a natural born fuck-up.  No question I’ve had a reputation for being that many times.  But the fact is I have always done my job very well.  I was a damn good driver, a dedicated caseworker, an excellent pizza cook, a skilled technician… the mechanics of a job I do well.  I’ve been commended and respected for my actual abilities.  But when it comes to dealing with situations where ethics are involved things have always gone to shit.  I was fired because a fuck-head driver ran me off the road for reporting his reckless conduct, I confronted him, and he hit me.  They kept the fuck-head bully driver because he got the load there even if it risked lives and broke the law to do it.  I was nailed by a vindictive bitch bully because I filed a complaint against her for abusing her staff.  I did not fuck up, I stood up.  Sheep hate people with guts.  At one job, a rental agent for Enterprise Rent-a-car, a discussion of promotions and ambition came up one day between me and a co-worker.  I said I would never walk over anybody to get ahead.  She said, “you will not last.”  She was right.  The story of my life.

Yeah, I have fucked up quite a few times.  I alienated my wife by my misplaced zeal for ‘god.’  I was a goddamn fool for doing that.  Quite a few times I’ve taken up the banner, collected a few ‘soldiers’ and charged ahead into the battle only to look around and find the soldiers were all chickenshits.  I have trusted far too many untrustworthy people and expected sheep to have balls.  Most recently I worked my ass off for a bunch of bands who sang good songs and who I thought believed what they sang.  Their challenge to the world was bullshit, a lie, and I should not have counted on them to be anything other than the sheep they are.  My bad!

So here I sit in my little shop, drinking my coffee and smoking my little cigars and writing this idiotic little biography.  I am alone.

I am alone because even though I love my wife and she loves me we live in entirely different worlds.  She will not even talk with me about the things I think about all the time, the idiocy of religion, the horror of war, the fucked up state of this country.  I am  alone because the few people in the world I know of with whom I might have fellowship do not live anywhere close and to have their friendship would mean to leave the only anchor in this world I have, my family.  I am alone because I can’t stand the fucking idiot attitudes of these deep woods religious rednecks in this part of Texas and I know full well to them I am the worst of human beings and the most evil of enemies.  I am alone because this fucked up country is falling apart, jobs are hard to come by, and employers not only want sheep but young, healthy sheep.  I am neither young or healthy.  And, of course, I am sure as hell not a sheep.  Thus I can’t even afford to travel occasionally where there are a few sane people I could befriend.

When I was young, in the military, I didn’t have too many friends but enough to not always be depressed.  Even so there were times I would go to a park with my guitar, alone, and sing songs, wishing I would attract some person or a few people to befriend.  Through the years I had friends, virtually all of which turned out to be less than I thought them to be.  I did not abandon them, they abandoned me.  Sooner or later, being the goat that I am, I fell below the standards they had for friends.  People, sheep, set limits and boundaries of acceptability.  One must not go outside those or the sheep will scatter.  And people, sheep, are cowards.  Challenge them to have courage and they evaporate like water on a hot skillet.

I’m not like you, I just fuck up.  Words from a song by Slipknot called “People=Shit.”  If people, sheep, especially christian sheeple, actually gave a damn like they say they do me being a fuck-up would not matter.  But they don’t.  And they get all snooty and self-righteously offended and indignant when we who do fuck up, who are goats, who refuse to kiss the Master’s ass or accept his bullshit lies say and do things in protest.  Only we understand the meaning of “People=Shit.”  They just think we’re being rude and crude.  Slipknot and many other metal bands sing their rude, crude songs to young crowds of kids who feel something just ain’t right, who feel the need to rebel, but who eventually will sink right into the morass of shit, follow a Master, and look back on their days of “rebellion” thinking how silly they were.  Not even they really get it, except for the few who are goats.  Those kids, I so feel sorry for them because they, like me, are fucked.

I am alone, most of all, because I just don’t understand sheep.  They are an absolute mystery.  They do stupid shit, think stupid shit, act stupid, and then look down their self-righteous noses at goats like me even though I know more and can do more and have a hell of a lot more respect and compassion for my fellow man than they do.  I do not fuck up in their eyes because I am a moron.  I fuck up because I’m like a redneck in Japan, a guy far from what he knows trying to survive a culture with extremely alien ways.  That is the way it is.  It cannot be changed.

There is no hope for this world.  Everything will get worse.  The earth is doomed.  Sheep are going to follow their Master vultures right down into the abyss.  And I’m going to sit here in this little patch of woods being lonely, hurt and bitter for another few years, maybe a decade or two, and then I will die.  I’ll watch with a broken heart while everyone sinks into the shit.  When I die my family will mourn me, miss me, and then follow everybody else right down into the pit.  This is about as fucked up as it gets.  And then, the end.

September 22, 2011 Posted by | Blather, Religion | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom’s birthday.  She would have been 87.  One year ago today she was facing a quick end to her life and suffering from cancer.  In my archives are the stories of her struggle and the part I played in being her caretaker.

I wasn’t a very good son sometimes.  I didn’t visit enough though I tried to make sure she never needed anything.  We were pretty close.  I called her every day.  It’s those phone calls I miss the most.  At times off and on during the day when I had a thought I’d call her up.  If I built something or came up with a new idea I’d go show her or go bring her here.  She was always complimentary and kind.

My kids loved her dearly.  She loved them, too.

Mom had a long life though I wish it had been longer.  I hope I last as long as she did.  I’m convinced she would have lasted longer had it not been for her local water supply that was terrible and full of toxins that cause the kind of cancer she had.  Woodlawn water killed her, of this I have no doubt whatsoever.  (Our water isn’t any better.  We now have filters.)

When my dad died I crawled into a hole and didn’t come out for over a year.   I took it hard.  Mom, like dad, was a good friend.  Friends are few and far between with me.  It is selfish of me to think “I lost….” as if they lived for me.  But in reality for most of their lives and mine that’s the way I viewed the world–though I would not admit it.  We humans tend to see things as they relate to us.  “Our” wife/husband, “our” kids, “our” parents, like they are there FOR us.  How selfish.

I am sorry, mom and dad, for thinking you were there for me.  I was wrong.

Though it is part of the Christian belief, this idea of serving others, it is not quite so practiced or even understood by Christians.  It wasn’t until I no longer believed in that religion and became a Buddhist that I finally understood what Jesus taught, better said by Buddha, regarding our selfish nature.  (Of course it might have been better said by Jesus but two thousand years of manipulation and “interpretation” changed things.)   I learned my lesson too late to be the son I should have been.

I can say that I learned early enough to be there when mom needed me at last.  I am  happy to have had the time I did with her, difficult as it was, during her last days.  It was those times between trying to keep her in bed and watch nurses and doctors and so forth that I found time to read and contemplate about where I came from and where I need to go.  It was in letting her go that I learned how to let Christianity go too.  Both passed away from me entirely at the same time.

The suffering we have is often self-inflicted.  I caused myself suffering and inadvertently caused mom to suffer because I was possessive of her: “My” mom.  I should have been her son instead.  I was her son at last, though.  After she died I could have let guilt and sorrow drag me into a pit as I did when dad died.  But that is suffering too.  Instead I understood that as Buddha teaches everything is temporary.  There are comings and goings of all things.  Learning to accept this is an end to suffering.

Finally, I could be guilty for not being mom’s son rather than believing she is “my” mom.  I have forgiven myself as I know she forgave me.  That is the nature of love: forgiveness.  This, too, the Buddha teaches, that others are important but we, ourselves, are important too.  If we neglect ourselves we not only cause our own suffering but we cause others to suffer.  Thus I choose to forgive myself.

My mom loved me always and forever.  When I was a child she was not always kind.  Sometimes she was abusive.  I forgave her of that many years ago and loved her in spite of it.  Then she had to learn to forgive me and love me for seeing her as “my” mom and for my not being her son.

Our life on this earth is short and temporary.  It would be much longer and the value of our lives would all be extended, however, if we would all learn a few lessons from Buddha’s wisdom.  The most important lesson we can learn is how not to see other humans as possessions, “my” family, “my” friends, etc.,  and instead see them as valuable beings to whom we should give ourselves.  When we change this single attitude we change the whole world.  Suddenly all those things friends and family do that hurt us no longer sting because we realize  the stings are caused by them not bending to our will.  But why should they?  It is our will that should bend to theirs.  Then they are happy and, after all, is that not what we hope for if they are friends and family?

In turning loose of mom that day last November I learned to turn loose of self.  I watched Christianity fail her and my family.  Buddha’s words did not fail me.  It was the  ultimate test.  The greatest gift mom gave me besides her love was the opportunity to see truth revealed and and in becoming her son I at last found my foundation in Buddha.

Thanks mom.  I know you would not be very happy about my Buddhism but then you always hoped for my happiness more than your own.  I finally understand why.

I miss you and I love you always.

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Blather, Religion | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace. It’s not just for wimps!

A little over a week ago my wife and I did something we have not done for many years.  Seven years, in fact.  We went on a little trip all by ourselves.  It was great.  We had a good time and grew our relationship.

My wife, as usual, wanted to shop.  We spent some time in a mall west of Houston.  When we left the mall we went in search of a grocery store to get some snacks.  Waiting to turn under a freeway I saw a man with a sign: “I’m Old, I’m Ugly, and I’m Hungry.”  He looked pretty ragged.  I took a few bucks from my bill fold and gave it to him.  As usual, all my money was in the bank so I didn’t have much cash.  I wanted to give more.

Leaving the man behind I drove half a block to a massive super HEB grocery.  It was a huge store, the largest HEB I’ve seen.  The amount of food in that store and the incredible variety and the price of most of it made me very guilty.  What a contrast, a man probably my age in ragged clothes begging for money half a block from a store with enough food to feed a whole community for weeks full of shoppers spending hundreds of dollars for expensive wines, fancy cheeses, foreign delicacies, and so much more.  There’s just no equity in this world.  Life is not fair.

I am working on a re-write of my book The Lies, The Truth, The Way.  When I finish that I’m going to write a short book called Buddha is not God… and other things Christians need to know.  Those are top priorities.  But they are yesterday’s projects.  I have to decide what I am going to do next.  Where shall I put my effort?

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May 14, 2009 Posted by | Blather | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talking Back to First Assembly

On Christian common sense…

If you’ll take a look over on the left column you’ll see a blog titled “Selling God.”  It was all about First Assembly of God in Lufkin’s car giveaway.  Being me, I wrote a letter to the paper.  Find the letter here:

Christian Giveaway

(If the links don’t work click the Contact Me link, let me know and I’ll send you a copy.)

Of course, First Assembly being one of the two local Megachurches, there were more than a few people unhappy with my letter.  Several letters appeared in the paper countering my unkind words.

Read the rest of this story on the update 042809.

Click here!

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I found answers!

I’ve been reading a magnificent book called What Buddhists Believe.  The copy I have was printed by the Texas Buddhist Association*.  I’m a bit slow in getting through it, haven’t finished it yet, but on about every page I find stuff that just thrills my soul.  What a wonderful world this would be if people would abide by what this book teaches!

Consider these examples:

In the world today, there is sufficient material wealth.  There are very advanced individuals, brilliant writers, talented speakers, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, religious advisors, wonderful poets and powerful world leaders.  In spite of these intellectuals, there’s no real peace and security in the world today.  Something must be lacking.  What is lacking is loving-kindness or goodwill amongst mankind. (p165)

Man should learn how to practice selfless love to maintain real peace and his own salvation.  Just as suicide kills physically, selfishness kills spiritual progress.  Loving-kindness in Buddhism is neither emotional or selfish.  It is loving-kindness that radiates through the purified mind after erradicating hatred, jealousy, cruelty, enmity and grudges. (p166)

All my life I’ve had one question on my mind.  That question is WHY?  Well, there’s actually a few thousand questions that begin with the word, “why?”  Why are humans so cruel, so hateful, so rude, so selfish?  I grew up in the sixties.  The news carried video of dead VC, gave body counts, told about the war in Vietnam.  The next story on the news was of some race riot or protest. It was a quiet day around the house when someone wasn’t arguing, mom wasn’t complaining about some illness, or some other crap was going on.  Why?

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April 7, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buddhism: Dispelling the Myths

…and finding answers.

It’s not what you think.

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January 25, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life After Mom

Not long after my mom died I concluded I had to write something with the title “Life After Mom.”  I had to explain the before and after of my life, my beliefs, my direction.  I let my mind ponder through the holidays.

Totally without any planning today I wrote what needed to be written.  The following essay began as a response to an email to a new friend telling about my history and beliefs and morphed into what it is now.  I re-wrote the letter to the friend and revised the rest into this work.  (And I’ve revised it again having read it out loud and found some terrible writing!)

I will at some point expound further on these thoughts but for now this is what I want to say about….

Life After Mom

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January 5, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Year’s Day… no resolutions

The month of December has been a month.  I mean, it was just thirty-one days, one day following the next, moving forward like a train without breaks.  I can’t say I was particularly sad or happy or grieving or resolute, I just was.  Things were.  They are no longer because those days have gone.

I lay in bed early this morning, around one thirty, after we and the kids finished watching an old movie, and told my wife I have nothing to resolve.  I have no vision, no dream, no wish, no hope.  Every day is like every other day.  It is just a day.

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January 1, 2009 Posted by | Blather | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Vow.

As a believer in Jesus, the Son of God, who became a human, lived to teach, died to save, then appeared alive to humans after his crucifixion, I have forever sought the best way to serve him. Christianity does not provide a Path, a detailed explanation of HOW to serve Jesus from one day to the next. I know there are those who will disagree. Of course they will. They won’t understand, they won’t try, they’ll condemn me. So be it.

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July 3, 2008 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment