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Tommy, we hardly knew ye.

Originally from: FayettEVILle
Currently residing in: Gibsonton, Florida
I've been on arkansasrockers since the beginning of time.
Last updated on Aug 1, 2020 at 4:46AM

In General


"Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return."

-James Baldwin (The VERY best Baldwin brother)

***Rest In Power John Lewis***

What a real life saint.


Justin, Steve, this is for you, but Imna write it as if others are reading, just in case: 

Close your eyes and think about good things. Tim calls it “candy,” but it’s just shorthand for whatever makes you happy (like how sugar can trigger a dopamine release in kids). I think we’re all lacking in dopamine lately, and we all know why. If we’re paying attention to anything outside of our own erogenous zones, not much is going to give us a dopamine release - it’s all just cortisol - it’s all just the stress hormone. 

Practice daydreaming occasionally, pump that dopamine out however you can. We can’t all be anxious and defeated during this time. It’s too important. 

Look, I think that the media we all consume is just a financially-motivated reaction to what they think we want to consume (self-fulfilling system), and I know I’m preaching to the choir on this platform, but it seems like there should be a way to signal that we want more sustenance, and less flimsy drama.

Unfortunately, it also seems like we’ve let the mad cows out of the barn: they are now screaming and determining what we all take in, which is just more poisoned meat.

So, what do we do about it? You can’t talk sense into anyone who believes that Obama eats babies for dinner, because the memes they’ve seen have already warned them that people will try to convince them that “it’s only a republican conspiracy to slander democrats.” They are on alert, on so many levels.

I used to think we could just write those folks off, but the propaganda has gotten way more insidious with the whole global pandemic in the mix, and people are more reluctant than ever to do any real research. So how do you bring otherwise sharp people back around to realize the very real threats (voter suppression, exponential increases in income inequality, police brutality and a focused perpetuation of the racial caste system, to name just a few)? 

And this is where I should clarify that I don’t think democrats in general are all sweet little angel-faced saviors that will magically make it all better…but I don’t think they’ll make it worse, and right now we just need a damn breather. I mean, that’s what I wish for us. Since I can’t see into the future, I don’t know what will be best in the long run, but I think that our future will be brighter if we can get rid of the greedy sociopath with dementia who is currently “in charge”. Just, you know, as a first step. 

I’ve been alive long enough to realize how the parties differ, and I’ve sat on enough porches with buddies to realize that they don’t differ enough…but this is just nutso facto. This has been dipping all the toes into fascism for years now, and we just didn’t know what to do about it. Immigrant kids in cages, and now federal forces illegally abducting citizens in Portland…I know we all get desensitized daily, but don’t you remember being horrified when you learned about the holocaust as a kid?

I’m not trying to artificially sound an alarm, because it’ll probably be different this time since the technology has advanced to a point where we’re all very connected (yet also sort of more distant than ever, in a way), but don’t you remember thinking you would’ve been a good German during the holocaust? You would’ve protected the Jewish families? Even if the Nazis killed you for it? Or maybe you could’ve survived as a double agent somehow, protecting Jewish people while heiling hitler (as a secret farce)? What would that look like in a worst-case scenario USA? How are you preparing to keep your sense of self, your humanity, while kids are forcibly orphaned, while protestors are forcibly and anonymously detained? Let’s hope it doesn’t get worse, but it’s already been a nightmare for many people.

And where are we? Overwhelmed with life, and jobs, and kids and the world being closed, I know. I feel the same, until a Friday or Saturday night once a month when I get a little drunk and feel compelled to update Arkansas Rockers…

The very, very least we can do is call our reps, and tell them what we want. All of it. Make an intern talk to you, or leave a message about police brutality, voting rights, and/or coronavirus aide. They aren’t psychic, and they get plenty of feedback from lobbyists — they could use your input to balance it out. 



Just give them a shout. Next time you want to look at Twitter or Instagram, call your reps instead. It’ll take 10 minutes tops, and you’ll get that dopamine boost I was promoting real hard earlier. Win…Win…Also, tell all your buddies – There’s power in numbers y’all.



I feel like this site should absolutely still be a thing. Even if we all only update sporadically. 

For instance, I’m interested in Steve’s attempt to climb Mt. Rainier. I want to know how that goes down because, much like a marathon, I know I won’t attempt it in my lifetime, but I want to hear a trustworthy account of how it feels. And I realize I could google that shit, but it means nothing to me unless it’s from someone I know / have known / hope to still know down the road. We all can’t do everything, but hearing about other experiences is like a short-hand for being there.

My mom used to write in short-hand, being a secretary from the 70’s-80’s, When I was a kid I would find legal pads with her scrawly notes, and I thought it was like high-school cursive. I thought it was a secret language I would learn some day, alongside trig. Buuuut, it turns out, much like binary code, at some point I realized I’d have to take some archaic class to figure out what the hell was going on there. I still have a faint urge to learn both short-hand and binary, but the effort:reward involved outweighs the true desire. That said, similar climbing Mt. Rainier - it doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about it anyway.


**Also, climbing Mt. Rainier is an amazing physical feat, so I’m definitely not trying to say I can take a class or read a thing to get the same satisfaction - I assume you all get that.


Have you guys been watching real life lately?! I pinch myself every morning, thinking this might be the time we all end up getting a little better. I also often find myself paralyzed in bed, thinking it might be the time we all spiral into that final, scrappy fight which takes us all under.


I’m obviously hoping for the former. So many reasons to be afraid right now, but also so much momentum propelling us toward being ever-so-slightly brave. It’s kind of the very least we can do, to just say something and throw our (however light) weight behind a cause which we all know is long overdue. To be clear, Black Lives Matter. There can’t be a more innocuous statement than that. It’s hard to fathom why people get so angry about it, except that they might be terrified of some biblical reckoning from being horrible to others for no real reason. I dunno. Guilty consciences?


It’s insane to me that I’ve seen multiple (legit) snuff films as an adult, when they "trend" after cops murder people…and somehow they still get away with it. That would have given me nightmares for months when I was a kid - I didn’t even believe that snuff films were real when I first heard about them, and now social media/the news networks will play them on repeat with no real consequence for the perpetrators…until a few weeks ago. I hope this momentum creates real change, but I’m on the precipice of becoming an old curmudgeon, so part of me thinks that Trump will somehow wiggle his way back in, and authoritarianism will take over across the globe until the population dies off just enough to start the fuck over.


Wow, that got dark real quick.


My guess is that the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential election will be based on who has the best mud-slinging firm (like always, but more intense this go-’round), which means that we all have to be hyper-vigilant on which links we share - please fact-check for safety. Maybe this will be the year that proves all voting efforts are in vain, but I still want us all to throw our bodies at that wall, one more time, to be sure.  


*Lately, I’ve been working in the orbit of the editor from The Great Hack, which feels important in some tiny, little, unimportant way. He’s from the farm.



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