Saturday, June 13, 2015

CRAIG EDWARD KELSO, Big Booty Mamas and Osama bin Laden

*Written Summer of 2011, when Craig was at the start of his parole and working as a dishwasher in La Jolla.

He’s 22, an aging college student.

VERY good-looking dude. Very. Women die for him. It’s uncanny. Gets more ass than a toilet seat.

We talk, and he asks me questions … questions to clarify this or that.

Recently he made a fleeting comment, something like, You know, every time we talk, I learn something. You’re like a teacher!  

And that statement was made with great perplexity. He doesn’t know ANYTHING about me. Barely knows my real name (I have a Spanish nickname, and that’s the one people in our circle use to refer to me). He’s stung because of my place within that circle: I am at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom. HOW could I know some of the things I do? Doesn’t add up.

The problem comes when he catches me in an unguarded moment. 

I try to read away from the group, but inevitably one of them finds me. 

They’re fascinated by someone in my position reading what appears to be intellectual literature. Or, they’ll goad me into a conversation on a current controversy, and I’ll chime in with a line like, Well, the government, by definition, has a monopoly on violence, so … and then I’ll catch myself. 

Their faces turn, confused. I’ve nearly given myself away several times (the event just prior to the one I am about to describe came from a BEAUTIFUL woman in this circle; she is beyond gorgeous – WOW – and she has no interest in me whatsoever; she comes up to me and asks what I am listening to on my iPod; I answer, Tchaikovsky’s piano concertos, and then I gulp because of the quizzical look on her face; I should’ve just said something like, Big Booty Mama Hit You With My Crack Pipe … ; I think THAT would’ve satisfied her; as it stands now, she gives me the strangest looks, like, WHO IS THIS GUY?). I’ve got to be more careful!

Anyway, quite a lot of what he and I speak about involves matters of the heart. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, What the hell do YOU know about that subject! I’ve failed so many times that I am something like an expert at this point. There’s a lot of learning in failure. At least I hope so! 

Unlike the other dudes he seeks advice from, I won’t down women. I won’t belittle them. I guess I am a reverse sexist. I actually believe women to be superior, … they SHOULD be superior. This makes me different, and mostly because I am the same way in public as I am in private.

The aging college student is in no mental space to settle down, to attempt a serious relationship. One theory I have is that MOST people are as faithful as their options. I know that reads cynically, but for the most part it has fleshed itself out as true in my experience. A young, good-looking guy doesn’t want to limit himself. He wants as much strange has he get into. Crass? Sure. Correct? Yep. 

The only thing I tell him is to be honest with himself and the woman. Honesty at ALL times. He is, for the most part. He does juggle a few babes at once, but he assures me he doesn’t tell them they’re exclusive. Maybe. I dunno. I’ll take him at his word. It isn’t the sex that is the problem. It isn’t the number of partners, real and potential, that is the problem. The key to life is honesty. Honesty with oneself, honesty with others. The dramatic failures I’ve had, I’ve had because I’ve not practiced either/or.

I direct him to what I believe are objective aspects of universal morality. At times I come across as a religious believer. I tell him I am not. Religious believers, I’ve found, are mostly relativists. They do what they want because they know they’ll be forgiven in the end. This can make them hideous actors in many ways. As an atheist, I cannot afford a karma credit or layaway plan. I must, MUST decide how to act NOW, and I must act that way in order to keep mental sanity. But the thing he trips on the most is my claim THERE IS a universal, objective morality, and how a person doesn’t need revelation in order to find such axioms.

Our discussions recently have fallen away from things-vaginal, and have veered into actions of violence.

Recent news had Americans singing, dancing, and crying over the murder of Our Official Enemy. The aging college student/hot guy was callous and belligerent in his support of President Barry’s tough routine. That the Great Nobel Peace Prize Winner has upped troop levels, sent in numerous drones to bomb Pakistani civilians, sortied Libya, and so forth, doesn’t bother the hot guy in the slightest. 

Not a bit. 

Did you go to public school? I rhetorically ask. Of course. He’s a good US student: unquestioning, ready to party, can’t do basic math, can barely read, and hasn’t a clue about world cultures or geography – and he DOES NOT CARE. He’s carried his idiocy to college, where his professors are all too ready to apologize for their Great Leader. On it goes.

I attempt to slow the conversation. He exhausts me. His type of person gives me chills. If he lived in the Weimar Republic, he’d slip on a Brown Shirt. I haven’t time to waste on people who are dark. I appreciate his inquisitiveness, but there’s only so far I can go before I throw up a little in my mouth. Even I have my limits. 


After a few days, he comes to me and asks if he offended me. I told him he’s Peter Pan, and I don’t have time for such people in my life. Talking to him doesn’t seem to go anywhere, so I figured it might as well end. Damn, he said, you’re fucked up. I guess. I further explain how what the point of our talking is when he won’t engage in the ideas, won’t delve deeper. Let’s just talk about bitches and sports, I tell him. You’re not ready for mature conversation

Before I go too far, truthfully, very few people ARE ready to speak thoughtfully about life and our relationship to others. It does take years. The deepest most people get are through their respective religious views, and even then they merely repeat what they’re told. So it’s not JUST him.

You’re just mad, he said dismissively, because I was glad bin Laden was killed.  

I reluctantly started again.

If the government does something, is that something RIGHT and CORRECT and MORAL simply because it’s done by the government, by a guy or gal in government dress? I asked. I’ve been told over and over and over again how YOUR government is a Rule of Law type arrangement. Right? This dude, this incredible monster created by the same government and media, was MURDERED. Smoked. He cannot defend himself. He cannot tell HIS side of anything. He is gone. Dead. What happened to the Rule of Law? What happened to claims of due process and the like?   

The hot guy glided comfortably into his public school morality: everything is okay so long as the government says it’s okay; conversely, everything the government says is wrong, is wrong.  He didn’t SAY that exactly, but he did imply it. Didn’t matter the gross distortions of reality, he, time and time again, fell on the side of the creeps who rule him. EVERY time. If an action is cloaked in official statements, run on media of all stripes, he accepts it whole. Amazing. 

My point was minor. I don’t care about some lone desert maniac, some flickering media creation. His living or dying has no impact on my life. What I do care about is moral consistency, and the questions we need to ask in order to ferret out truth. That IS important. The latest news headline was just a way to get to a larger concept, to get to abstract thought.

We returned to talking about bitches and sports.

And I mean it.

Craig Edward Kelso is the author of Anarcho-Capitalism (2014), a primer on the philosophy of peaceful, stateless cooperation. His curriculum vitae include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate secondary education credential in both Social Science and English Language Arts. Kelso taught for nearly a decade in the American public school system, and was voted by colleagues Teacher of the Year, twice in his short tenure, earning numerous accolades from chambers of commerce, mayors, state assembly persons, governors, congresspersons, senators, and even Wal-Mart. Currently he struggles to earn an opportunity to be employed, working as a laborer, dishwasher. He is deliriously happily married to Myra Kelso, living in Southern California with their adorable children.

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