Monthly Archives: June 2020

6.5 billion reasons to live TODAY

Jack wrote this in February, 2006:

Hi blogsters:

I saw a post on the Reiki group I mentioned yesterday, someone wanting all Reiki Masters to take a specific day for a world-wide healing project.  Try to cure every ailment human beans have in one fell swoop.

Guess I’ll take a pass on that one.

Saw on one of the blogs the previous day that the world population has reached 6.5 billion.

I’m not overly fond of the human genre.  My general feeling is that 650 thousand would be a more salubrious number of souls to occupy the mudball, though I’d be pleased enough with 6.5 million if I didn’t have to live in close enough to see what they were doing.

On the other hand, 13 billion’s all right.  That would happen a decade from now if humanity prospers.  It’s okay by me because I feel 100 percent confident it won’t happen.  A long time before 13 billion human numbers will come nearer to reaching 650 thousand.

This certainty is based more on gut feel than anything else.  I suppose there’s a segment of the younger population who can fathom 26 billion souls, or 52 billion squeezed up here, elbowing one another when they’re my age, clogging the highways with quantum RVs, playing golf and watching television.

I can’t.

Everything I know about the way the life-energy-matrix on this planet works and has always worked tells me otherwise.

More likely there’s a surprise brewing out there in the life-soup somewhere between here and 13 billion humans to do a bit of culling.  I’d call it a tragedy if I weren’t certain all you humans will end up in another life afterward.  One where they don’t have television, most likely.

If some of you blogsters are accomplished remote viewers, take a peek at anything you find interesting after 2012.

Just my thought to brighten your day.

You folks who are spending your lives on autopilot figuring there’s plenty of time to get your affairs in order later might want to do some thinking about that.

The number of times you get to circle this star in a lifetime doesn’t count for much.  If you live to be 90 without doing anything besides watching television and worrying about what might kill you maybe nothing will.  You’ll just die without something killing you.  


How are we doing here? from Jeanne

Jeanne and Jack

Just wanted to check in with Jack’s readers. Here’s what’s happening on my end. I’ve been going through old files nearly every day, culling material from previous blogs, poetry, and the Q&A site that I think make good blog entries. At this time, I have posts scheduled ahead two or three times per week up through June of 2021, and I am not nearly through looking at the material I have. I have another month or so of free time available to me to keep doing this if I feel like it.  The blog will always be here, even if I stop adding more material.

Some people might wonder why I am doing this. I’ve thought about that some, and of course it’s more for myself than anyone else. I’m not willing to let his words die, and it helps me a lot to have those words in my head as I get used to not having him around the way I like. I always thought his writing and ability to think were unusual talents, and I know you regular readers feel the same.  I don’t have what it takes to put together a book about him or a book of his writing, so the blog format is easy and as permanent as I can make it. Also, it helps to have something to distract me during these terrible times we are going through.

Even though he’s not responding to comments anymore, I enjoy reading your comments and will try to respond to them or answer questions.

You readers are helping me through a difficult time, and I appreciate it.


The Yin Yang Conspiracy 

Jack wrote this in March, 2006:
In 1970, the University of Texas was squared off against itself.  The frats, the student government, the sororities, the administration, the ROTC department, and the cops on the one side, and us on the other.

The Vets against the Vietnam War, the Wobblies (IWW), the Panthers, the Young Socialistist Alliance (Trotskyite), the RYM2 (Revolutionary Youth Movement faction of the Students for a Democratic Society), Weathermen (the other, more interesting side of the SDS), and hundreds of other splinter groups were taking a fair beating, though we had the numbers.

I was in the middle of all that, writing for the alternative newspaper, the RAG, and trying to get an education dovetailed with sex, drugs and Rock and Roll with helping organize an occasional riot, march or rally thrown in for good measure.

That’s when we invented the Yin Yang Conspiracy.  An ad hoc political party.  We ran a longhair named Jeff Jones for student body president, and we threw the bastards out, lock stock and fraternity pin.  Lordee we thought we’d done something fierce, beating the system that way.  Hot diggedy damn.

Anyway, this blog entry is in memory of that microscopic triumph among people who had in common only that they opposed the War. 

The Yin Yang Conspiracy.  A tiny piece of winning the Vietnam War by bringing the troops home.  Winning the easy way.  Coming out in the open, looking those cops, those stay-at-home flag-waving patriots in the eye through their riot masks, and saying, “Enough is enough!”

We learned a lot.  Surveillance, provocateurs, intimidations probably weren’t so pervasive in those days.  No yes-man Congress had passed a Patriot Act, so we still had some rights and protections under the US Constitution.   It would be a tougher gig today.

But, if that was now we’d be doing it again.  We’d be working in both, subtle and overt ways to bring those boys home.

Trying to get them out of there before too many more get all shot up and crippled up and be completely forgotten by the patriots who are waving flags back home.


The Toothless Soothsayer

3.22.03 and back ups 756

The Toothless Soothsayer

I must have been four, or maybe five
When grandfather said, with a snicker,
“Where a man wouldn’t go with a Colt .45
That boy will follow his pecker.”

Half a century now mocks:
I’d surely be elated
If Papa’s eye had turned to stocks
Or land speculated

A momentary double-star and out of the frying pan:

Jack wrote this in March of 2006:


Morning blogsters:

A ray of sunshine to all of you.

That picture is where I’m sending it from.  You are looking at the home of an experiment …. a series of them performed at Sandia Laboratories.

Without expecting to do it, nor understanding how, they’ve managed to create a reaction generating temperatures of 2 billion degrees Kelvin.

Double the heat inside a star.

By accident.  Repeated the experiment several times to make certain the accident happened on each occasion.  It did.

Accidents do happen.

Gratitude Affirmation #1, Thankee Universe, that it was a fender-bender and not a head-on collision.

Ohhhh.  Yeah.

Another gratitude affirmation challenge.  Some other laboratory somewhere else, presumably inside the US:

“Researchers have found that by putting one or two mutations into the H5N1 bird-flu virus, they were able to give it greater ability to slip into human cells. The new information will give virus-trackers something to watch for as H5N1 expands to new territory. “

How many labs in the world, we wonders, did it take to screw in that light bulb?

The challenge this morning is to find something in that italicized jewel to be grateful about.

  • Thankee, Universe, for allowing some of us humans to be smart enough to convert a virus that was killing only birds, to one that will kill humans.
  • Thankee, Universe, for giving those clever folks the wisdom to announce it to the world so nobody else figures it needs doing again.

Well, there are a couple.  Feel free to be innovative and make a few of your own.


Quote of the day:

George C. Scott playing a Major General in Doctor Strangelove:  “I wish we had US one of those Doomsday Machines”.

Ancients of the SW US

Jack posted this in February, 2006 but I think it was written much earlier.

The mountain I used to prospect for several years is covered with ruins wherever there is water.  Big ruins.   I used to sit on one near my camp and try to imagine what it must have been like.

One summer solstice afternoon I was sitting on the cliff boundary of the ruin watching the sunset.  In the basin below there’s a volcanic knob out toward the center of the plains.   I’d discovered a single kiva on top of it years before and puzzled over it vaguely.  What was that kiva doing there, miles away from the big houses?

But because that day happened to be solstice, I suddenly noticed when the sun went down, it vanished directly behind the point of that Kiva knob!  Yon damned Chacoans used it to mark summer solstice!

A place like that fires the imagination, and I spent a lot of time thinking of those people who lived in that ruin. Some of these groups had evidently been in the same locations for 300-400 years, and suddenly their government leaders decided they had to leave.  They probably watched and even hosted strings of these travellers along the trail until their own turn came.

Then one day they  just left.

What a thing it must have been to be one of them on that last day, saying good bye to the place your great-grand-dad, your granddad, your dad, and everyone else as far back as anyone could remember, including you were all born, lived, and mostly died.

Everyone voluntarily packed a few belongings, a medicine bag and blanket or two, a stone hatchet and a few scrapers, and left, leaving corn in the bin for those coming behind.  Abandoned pots lying around all over the place measured the things they couldn’t carry.

Sometimes sitting on that mountain early in the morning it sort of overwhelmed me, the pain and sorrow in those villagers.  Probably they all left in the morning one day, after a while of maybe being notified it was their turn.  A few weeks of  planning.  What to take?  What to leave behind.

Finally they probably finished the last minute packing the night before.  At dawn they made a line down the basin heading south, looking back over their shoulders as long as they could, feeling so sad.  Knowing they’d never go home again, wondering about the place they were going.

Remembering how it was playing on the mountain with their grandads when they were  kids, remembering the special, secret places kids always have.  Just looking and yearning to stay, and already missing that long home where their ancesters had roamed for 2000 years.

They’d have tried to keep it in sight as long as they could, each one stopping to wipe the trail dust off his face, pretending to catch his breaths.  But yearning back at the old home place, piercing the heat waves with their eyes, straining to see it one last time, maybe crying, certainly crying inside.  The kids probably screeching aloud enough to cover everyone elses grief.

As they trekked south they were joined by other groups from the neighboring villages.  The dust rose on the trail making a plume, a cloud around them.  They examined these strangers who were now trail mates and wondered who they were.

Some, they probably soon discovered had a mother-in-law, or uncle who came from their village.  They got to know one another better there on that hot, sad, lonesome trail away from all they they’d ever known, and they shared the hardships of the journey together for a long time.

Today, it’s just piles of rock, potsherds, holes left by scholars and other diggers for spoils.  The land still falls off across Johnson Basin, sun going down over that volcanic nub that once measured the time to plant.  Cow men ride their motorized hosses across the old trails, cows stomp around looking for grass, making the pottery fragments even smaller.

But sometimes late at night when the wind howls down the mountain a man might hear, or think he hears an echo of the chants, the drums, the night mumbles and whispers of lovers, the ghosts of lovers.  Pulls the bag tighter around his ears and wonders.


Orion’s Phallusy

 Orion yearned those Pleiades


In endless stellar chaste pursuit

Loved them as no mortal man

Ever loved a woman

Who ever caught one


Orion never had to gnaw off that starry arm

That held the club

To let her sleep

While he got out

The morning after


Orion never had to say,

“I’m going out for smokes

I’ll be right back,” at 3 am

When she said,

“I think I love you.”


From Poems of the New Old West

Copyright©2002 Jack Purcell

I was an outlaw motorcycle mama and other historical anomalies


Jack wrote this in March, 2006:

Hi blogsters:

Sometimes trying to piece together our lives can be quite a chore.  Peaceful Warrior posted something on one of the groups about the way his name has been a problem to him, got me thinking about it.

I was given a name at birth that nobody since was able to pronounce.  They followed that with another one nobody’d ever heard of.  So when I exited that berg at the age of 15 or so, I left those two names behind and became Jack for most purposes.

But as a struggling young writer in the late ’60s I found myself needing yet another handle…. I was writing for the hairy chested men magazines… Men, For Men Only, a genre of magazines that vanished by the mid-1970s.

They usually had a picture on the cover of a Marine with a machete struggling with python wrapped around a half-naked woman in some jungle.  That sort of thing.

Well, fact was, in those days I thought there was half-a-chance I’d want to be president, or try to get a decent job sometime.  Didn’t want stories like, Viet-Cong Seductress, or The Half-Million Dollar Sex Salon The Texas Rangers Can’t Find following old Jack around the remainder of his life.

Adopted the pseudonym, Frank C. Riley, which worked well enough.

Then the market collapsed for hairy chested men stories.  Best paying hack-writer market left was something called ‘Confession‘ mags, which must have been read by the mothers of Romance Novel readers of today.  I figured, what the hell.

Popped out, I Was An Outlaw Motorcycle Mama, sent it off, got a nice letter back telling me there was a middling amount of what they read they liked, but that I needed to work on my female perspective a bit.  Eventually they published it, but they never bought another, though I tried.  But unless I’m mistaken, Motorcycle Mama was the only time I ever succeeded in passing myself off as a woman.  Only time I really ever tried, during that confessions market thing.

Amazing the things a man will do for money.


Ask Old Jules


Harper, TX 2010 123
For a long while, Jack occupied his time on a Q&A site that gave him lots of entertainment as he looked around for questions to answer. I saved some of the more interesting answers just for this opportunity to post them.  I have scheduled this kind of post for a couple of times a month, but it’s hard to imagine how this looks to an outsider, so comments are welcome as always.  Some of them are hilarious, and some may be perceived as offensive, but I plan to stick to the interesting ones that feature his unique personality that shows in his writing and thought.  For this first post  I’ve chosen shorter answers.

Old Jules, are we entering a new dark age?
I haven’t seen any evidence we ever came out of the last one.

Old Jules, what’s your definition of an idealist?
An idealist is a person who locks his teeth into the ankle of an abstraction and doesn’t let go, doesn’t look for another ankle, doesn’t look closely at whatever’s above and below the ankle.

Old Jules, if you have truly forgiven someone, should you be free from the pain that person caused you?
Not necessarily. Sometimes you have to do it repeatedly for a long time. Forgiveness is close to magic, but not quite.

Old Jules, why/how is the Ego good?
The ego provides a pantheon of ways to make you feel good about yourself in every facet of your life without having to do a single thing.

Old Jules, where do we see examples of Darwin’s theories today? Are they positive or negative examples?
I’ll give you one example: bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics. Evolution, plain and simple.
Positive or negative? If you’re human, it’s negative. If you’re a bacterium, it’s positive.

Old Jules, what does it mean to say that evil doesn’t exist?
If good and evil exist they ought to involve a cultural and historical consensus. They ought to be vulnerable to universal definition. They don’t and they aren’t. There are larger reasons they don’t exist, but those might be subject to argument. That one isn’t.

Old Jules, what is actually the purpose of recording history if we still repeat the same mistakes?
It serves as a means of anticipating the mistakes we’ll be making in the future.

Old Jules, if an atheist knocked on your door and said, ‘Don’t believe in God’, what would you do?
I’d do the same as you. A good horselaugh while I spewed my coffee.

Old Jules, when will religion not be a major war issue?
When humans are able to admit they went to war over power, resources, or territory owned by someone else without dredging up religion as an excuse.

You Stole my Flag


US Border crossing byo2

Fresh crisis ideas welcome. No return on empties.

Jack wrote this in June, 2006:

Not too many decades ago,

a person who venerated the ideals enshrined in the US Constitution and

respected the ideas incorporated there, and loved this land,

while recognizing human weakness and failure,

could proudly fly and salute the stars and bars.

Today that banner’s been stolen.  

The flag of the US, today, has come to mean that the person flying it believes in:

  • An America with the power and will to attack sovereign nations without being attacked,
  • A population cheering for a chief executive who pre-empts the powers of the US Congress,
  • A country where due process does not exist,
  • A country burgeoning with prisons filled with prisoners convicted of crimes without victims.

I will not fly that flag.

I will not salute that flag and what it’s come to mean.

I refuse to respect those who do.

Those who love what the stars and bars have come to represent should carefully fold that banner along with what it once meant to those who venerated it.   Folded as tradition suggests, it should be burned, the ashes buried with the ashes of the US Constitution.

Flag wavers of today are waving the wrong banner.  The one at the top of this entry’s far more appropriate for them.   (Note from Jeanne: I no longer know which photo he chose for this blog, so I picked this one).