Tag Archives: california

Son of Amity by Peter Nathaniel Malae

DEAR MALAE: I swear I offered this to a bunch of publications in the straight community but no one wanted it, at least not from me, so here it is on an insignificant blog. I tried! Feel free to use. –N

Peter Nathaniel Malae’s new book Son of Amity begins with themes familiar to his readers: violence, incarceration, cultures tangled and erased by poverty, hatred for the consumer and the less-dedicated, and perhaps the Californian writer’s greatest contribution to twenty-first century literature: an identifiable search for the use of masculinity in our time.

As before, the economy of description is refreshingly socio-economic. Malae’s mission to portray common people brings us undernourished, overfed, jelly-spined poor whites, but also dignified and convincing portraits of men forgotten in prison and in Bush’s Middle-East conflict, and women rejected, imprisoned, by the ignorance in their environments.

But this is no rerun of What We Are: like Jimmy Baca before him, the author’s own evolution since he disappeared into the “Pacific Northwest” makes the reader an attractive offer to evolve according to his characters’ examples. There are three males in this dialect-rendered story. Which is the titular Son of Amity?

Here Malae repurposes his previous characterizations to disarming effect. For a start the writer’s voice, mercifully, is separating from the narrator’s. Malae always demonstrates an ear for specific slang, something that really impresses academics, but in Son of Amity, especially the memories of prison, we finally get to observe what this slang, in its various pressure and quantity, really means between characters.

Central to the three adults’ seemingly-doomed cohabitation is a highly-realistic evolution of characters’ wills and desires, something unfit in What We Are’s immediacy. Starting with revenge for a rape, the characters’ common ground shifts under them as the victim of the violence takes the will to both choose forgiveness and transform the violence into a child: Malietoa to his Samoan uncle, Tophat to his veteran father, the latter crippled by the former.

The use for masculinity is found in a shared faith in family centered around the child Benji, and not in an act or a gesture. The outcast’s longing for a family to serve –and worth serving –in previous work has arrived. As What We Are’s exasperation before an expanded mind rouses similar feelings to Immigrants in Our Own Land, so this meditation on refocused life approaches the glorious beauty of Black Mesa Poems.

Throughout the book, Malae turns his previous work’s conceits against themselves using time and natural renewal: here we hopelessly serve our past even as the future offers us a ride without reservations, in this case the innocent child at the lead. The book’s greatest charm lies in watching the three adults reluctantly choose the boy’s inspiration over their baggage. Who, then, is the Son of Amity? I would argue that it’s the boy, and I propose that the narcissistic masses of this country read this book and follow their own Malietoa, their own Tophat.

Malae never neglects the portraiture of people trying to both live up to the past and make some way of living in the present. Perhaps the clearest symbols of this are Pika’s Samoan umu Thanksgiving turkey at the book’s finale and Michael’s worship of the Vietnam vets. But the conceit and the dignity lies in Sissy’s internal monologue throughout, in which the urban, feminist, progressive reader must coexist with the fact that Sissy’s post-rape decisions come from a need to move forward without any plan.

Highly recommended for those needing an immediate dose of reality.

9780870719455.jpg

 

Advertisements

The Real Three Californias

Three Californias: it’s one idea that appeals to both idiotic white trash and the technocrat fascists whom they worship.
Us versus them, dude! Self-determination, dude! Local, brah! But it’s really about what it’s always really about: a legislated goldrush. In this case, that’d mean annihilating a tax base and maybe a commercial system that barely hold things together as they are.
For you consumers who don’t pay attention to who and what make this state go, here are some realistic, yea, likely inevitable scenarios for a rich man’s three Californias after the November 2018 election. Vote yes, vote no, but vote your ethics!
Negro3californias2018.png

California:
1. Governor Antonio Villaraigosa, often costumed as a sea otter
2. Populated exclusively by billionaires paying each other no taxes
3. Populated exclusively by billionaires, no one minds that water from the tap costs $1.00 per gallon from those hicks in Northern California
4. Soon the entire entertainment industry is made of degenerate inbred celebrities from Los Angeles, who have to be made attractive using After Effects
5. The frigging air is “organic” and “artesanal”

Northern California
:
1. Governor Greg Gopman, because people fall for “redemption” in the media every time
2. Populated exclusively by billionaires and nonprofiteers
3. Constant warfare with the South over the aqueduct system, disguised as more-distracting hate crime
4. Robotic service industry: cooks, cleaners, landscapers, all of it
5. Every lightswitch and streetcorner is named after fucking Steve Jobs or fucking Ed Lee

Southern California:
1. Governor Don J Grundmann (after he gets booted from the North), because people fall for “redemption” in the media every time
2. Anything green to eat from Salinas or Santa Rosa basically costs a month’s rent
3. Robotic police, medical and service industry bought at a huge price from the North
4. Fresno finally gets to be the capital, with a banking system of crystal meth and slaves
5. Yosemite

In General:
1. Salinas, Pajaro, Santa Inez and Santa Maria valleys are to be bent to feed the Los Angeles Basin, while Sonoma is to feed the San Francisco Bay and the rest of the Northern state will likely be deforested to grow weed.
2. Northern and Southern states will be one continuous swath of freeway-dominated suburbs with no recycling, each population 50 million and therefore,
3. No government will ever be up for election not made of executives from Hovnanian, Alliance, Irvine Company, Webcor, Granite, etc., and therefore,
4. The Sierra Nevada will be completely deforested and exploited for all possible minerals in order to build houses and California’s tech gizmos, except Yosemite
5. Humanitarian crises at borders with California, each other, Arizona and Baja. At the border with Baja, a world-famous child-rape sales industry. The border with the North becomes the busiest and most violent border on Earth, bustling for a chance to work for Google, Apple, or Starbucks
6. 100% charter schools or straight-up private schools, and you can forget the state college system
7. The need for an enormous genocide against people of color in order to even get the thing to work

The fascist Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, who really has nothing better to do than sponsor this bill, not pick up garbage, not rent housing to people for cheap because he doesn’t need the money, not help the state buy up old ranches for open space, said the following:
“Three states will get us better infrastructure, better education and lower taxes…”
Such a brazen lie gets past voters all the time. What he means is better control of infrastructure, education and taxes that favor the interests of the rich; not the self-determination of a working republic who don’t have to choose housing over healthy living, but the self-determination of plutocrats who redraw a country in their own image. One thing’s for sure, it already can’t get any worse for the immigrants who will continue to come because no in all three states will pick their own food or clean their own house…

UPDATE 18 JULY: the California Supreme Court, whom you really have to piss off in order to get them to work, found an embarrassingly lame loose end in the proposition process and took the Three Californias piece off the ballot, so that’s the end of that. This asshole Draper spent enough money on his campaign to have paid how many elders’ medical bills. But the real losers here are Californians, who still believe enough in the libertarian drivel jackoff dream to desire the creation of two Red States in order to pay fewer taxes that they can afford and in fact must pay in order to go around being Libertarians on Californian freeways and drinking from Californian pipes…

Eastside Meadows Loop Ride


Found my new favorite ride in the Sierra de Santa Isabel region of San José this morning, which I dub “Eastside Meadows Loop.” I’d been looking at the maps and interested in two new routes: Sierra over this gnarly fire road back down into Alum Rock Park itself, and another route that went up Clayton over either to Alum Rock or Quimby via 130, the very top. I’ll write more about Sierra when I get around to it, but it’s a widowmaker, and I want to ride it strictly out of completism.

Instead of heading to specific spots, I started out straight down Story and just went until I ran out of road. The backroad that joins to it is called Fleming, which went northwest the high road along a nice deep cut between the first hill out of the city and the proper rise of the mountains. When the sun is behind the trees, it’s cool even on summer mornings. It’s definitely suburban, but there are spots that are still more country, even down that low. Beware: Corralitos Road, which sounded good, doesn’t have a dead-end sign like its neighbor roads, but is indeed a dead end, and steep one at that.

Fleming ends at Alum Rock, and then just as it gets steep it connects at right to 130. As the Google Map insists on rendering for you, there’s a shortcut up Porter to Alum Rock. To be honest I still never had done that hill, and I see why those Amgen CEO-ride ninnies use it. They weren’t kidding that it’s the easy way up the mountains, and also the most scenic, with views of apricot orchards, Dario’s Ranch, some old weird dead yuppie palaces with dead-walnut yards and neglected tennis courts, wild turkeys, quail, horse pasture and of course durr. And of course the rotting pustule of Silicon Valley poking out below.

Somewhere around the 12000 address mark of 130 (Mount Hamilton) there’s a doppelgänger for the two shithouses approximately at 4000 Quimby that ruin not one but two peaks standing mightily against the view of the valley. Some douchebags are going around like “hey! It’s the finite resource of two peaks shoulder to shoulder. Let’s wreck it for everyone and put two shite McMansions there!”

Just as one starts to feel the very easy but long 4% climb, the option appears to either keep going up another mile to Quimby or head down Clayton. I’d found Clayton in spite of myself! But the funny part is, when I got down again, I saw that I’d started there and not bothered to read signs to the right when I went up Story! So it was a big perfect loop.

The land up there looks like a solid wall from down in the valley, but it’s actually a slow stepping landscape of slopes and wide meadows. I thought about taking a picture with my Capitalist Scum device, but then I thought, nah. You want to see it, you got to ride it yourself!

I’m glad I did Clayton on the down rather than the up this time, because I enjoyed the Mount Hamilton section more than I otherwise might have. But I did go right past the monastery of the Descalzos and didn’t even notice. Clayton’s land is a little more like Quimby’s, not an easy grade up through high meadows but an express-elevator to the top. Much preferable for making a lovely loop to enjoy the season. Plus, Quimby’s surroundings suck at the bottom; there’s no fast way to get out of Tully-land up to the center of the city.

Once I got down I also accomplished a goal of going to a new liquor store, Jack’s, at the end of Jackson. Where the hell do you go to drink a beer in public at 10am on the east side, besides everywhere? Finally went to Emma Prusch. When you got the best, forget the rest.

Got an under-reported ride in the Santa Cruz or Diablo mountains? Comment it below!

Street Avocados in San José

This late in December, finally the avocado tree at our building is ready to glean. There’s a whole lot of fruit on it. Today my neighbor invited me to borrow his gancho and I took just this much, trying to take from the highest reaches so he could get the easier stuff. As you can see in the photo at left, some even matured on the tree.

20171218_163351

After a mellow but bastard-long summer, and what looks to be another bleak winter, my faith in San José is restored when a distant good winter gives us this many avocados. My landlord is barely aware of the tree and will get nothing from it as he grasps after the paperwork simulacrum of his genocidal private property, where we can now choose to feed ourselves on it or give it away to those who need it more than we do. I sure as shit won’t be letting any millennials make toast out of them!

There’s got to be like $1000 in market-value fruit on it if we could safely get at all of it. No narco conflict, no gasoline, no exploited labor, no dipshit agribusiness, no [further] deforestation, no sprays or chemicals of any kind, no Whole Foods, and no fucking organic certification!

Si se me acaba el dinerohh oohhhhhh … ¡les pagoohhhh con aguacate eeees!!

http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2017/09/08/avocado-prices-soar.cnnmoney/index.html

WeedBnb

NegroWeedBnB11.17

Roadbeers: Coronita

Found this guaife-proof Coronita, seven lousy ounces, once again tossed in the recycling in a pack of empties. Froze solid on top in the freezer. Approaching the mid-20s of how many road beers I’ve found since I started looking!

20171004_183701