Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tribal Thoughts during Cowboys Week
Today was just another day for the Mack, giving rats brain damage all day long like Dr. Mengele until midnight, rumbling my ragged truck home in the stealth of the late night, dumpster diving behind a couple of spots right quick for my pigs in the morning, and getting home late - kids all long been in bed, wife down for the count, nothing to do but stare up at the sky and analyze my spot on this rock. My wife teaches a herbal class once a month, and the women do work study, meaning half a day they be doing shit on our land to better the overall direction of it, and the second half my wife schools them on the this or that of the wild plant medicines. But one work study day a couple months back, they cleaned out a nice hiking path at the back of our land. We don't really have but about a half acre of woodland on our property, but it's thick enough, and they did a great job of making a meandering path through part of that half acre. I like going back there and just walking the path in circles and letting words come at me. There's a couple of earthen mounds back there - from white folks of the past 100 years, not old school native mounds, though we've found multiple arrow heads on our land, including one given to me by a goat we had that was named Kesey - but that's a long story for another day.
Anyways, like I was saying, just another day for the Mack, so I got home and wandered through the dark on the path in the woods, because there's strange energy back there, and I've never really been able to figure out what it is. It feels slightly ominous and slightly supernatural, but at the same time we are so confused by our own techno-babble that surrounds, some straight up real shit from the old school angle - like a still-born child buried in the woods or something - can really tweak us out in strange ways. We've lost a lot in the electro-fog of all we've gained. But I was walking through that path a few times, just vibing on what comes to me back there, because even though it's ominous, I feel like the reason we came to this land and ended up buying it and why I put my pig pen back there and am called back there is my muse is hiding back there. That could be the ominous energy for all I know; maybe the words I was born upon this earth to write are dark and twisted and the nonsense gibberish from beyond I tend to write is not even scratching the surface of my ultimate purpose. I mean that makes sense from the prophesies my half-wild great grandmother used to tell my dad when I was a baby, but nobody really believed anything she said.
I am digressing, as usual. But the thoughts are pushing through my head rather rapidly. I've been working long painful in the soul days lately fairly regularly, and was sustaining myself with coffee but could feel the crash in my blood stream so have been nibbling on eleuthro root powder instead. But when I got home I was wired the fuck up so I drank a healthy shot of wild lettuce tincture and now my body is as mellow as half an opiate, but my mind is still racing, from the long day but also from the walk through the dark woods, as I was overwhelmed with a tribal wildness.
When I say "tribal" that automatically conjures up douchebaggian things like tribal tattoos or tribal music or wannabe indian hippies and shit like that. But I want to be clear here, when I say "tribal" I mean no specific thing or movement or philosophy. I am speaking strictly of the basic definition of a group of people banded together. We have made great moves to being a worldwide people, interconnected via social media and our smartphone robots to a degree we never knew before. We know a little bit more about so many different things it's really amazing, especially if you are an old people. But at the same time, we've become very removed from our immediate world, which is really a microcosm of the overall world, and we know so much less about thinking critically. Having a tribe gave us community in the immediate sense, one that could give us food or fire or make babies with us. I mean the interwebs tries to fill that void, but it does it in distant and emotionless ways that are completely fulfilling.
But what struck me most of all wandering through the woods after midnight on a Wednesday morning is the purity of tribal thought - the purity of loving what you are even if you had no choice in the matter and really don't know anything else, and the purity of hating the enemy of whatever it is you are. This is often replicated in modern man through nationalism, but really, politics is such an insidious beast on all sides, I can't get down with that. I mean, I love being American and shit, but I don't really see how I wouldn't love being a Ghanaian or Salvadoran or whatever if I was born there with the same genetic make-up.
You're probably like, "What the fuck is Raven talking about? I've read like 19 paragraphs of him wandering in the woods talking indian bullshit, and there's nothing about football yet." Well yeah, but it connects. You see, I was talking to my boy Mike Gee last week when we went to a local high school football game together about how his dad, who had always been a supporter of one college football team, switched allegiances to their state rival about five or six years ago. We both agreed this was a terrible and dastardly act on his father's part. You can't have a team you are a part of - emotionally always, physically as often as possible, and forever spiritually - and then jump to another side. That's switching tribes, and tribes don't take in enemy tribesmen, ever. It weakens the tribe. And really you never know how fucking shady and conniving the enemy tribe could be; they might be sending spy fuckers into your camp to create chaos and disorder in your own tribe. You just can't trust those fuckers. But Mike Gee told me his ol' lady was a Cowboys fan, and she told his dad, who is a Redskins fan, "What, are you gonna switch to the Cowboys too?"
I laughed at the story, but it was unsettling, because that's basically what we're talking about here. You can't switch like that, ever. As much as I hate Dan Snyder, he could have the entire team eat babies for team dinner and then they all raped innocent women from the town I grew up in, but I would still be a Redskins fan. It is my tribe at this point, and for better or worse, I am going to ride that until the end. And there is no more untrustable and evil enemy than the Dallas Cowboys. Which is why Cowboy week, even when it's at the beginning of the season, is such a huge deal. Always.
I do not like the Cowboys, obviously, but also do not like people who like the Cowboys. There have been many times where someone I was friends with for a while, I'd lose massive respect for them by finding out they were Cowboys fans. I even dated a girl one time who it ended up was a Cowboys fan, and we lived together, and I tried to make it work, thinking maybe I was being simplistic stuck in my ancient tribalism thinking. But she ended up being a crazy ass bitch who left me for another guy, and it didn't really hurt because I could see it coming, and I tried to be like, "Yo, you did this to another dude when you dated me, and now you're doing it again, so maybe you should just step back and evaluate yourself emotionally, and get your shit together. Not with me, because fuck it man, I ain't down with this bullshit. But for your own sake." I was being a bigger dude, trying to help someone I loved, but she couldn't do it, because she was a Cowboys fan. The dude that she left me for, they moved to Washington state, and then she left him for another dude, and he was stuck all the way across the country, so I guess I got off easy. Me and him are good friends now, which is nice considering I was high on mushrooms and Jack Daniels one night and called their house (which had been my house), saying they better leave my dog (which I left with her because I was homeless) on the side porch because I was coming to get him and go to Montana, and if he wasn't on the porch I was breaking into the house and killing every fucking body there. (The dog was on the side porch, by the way. I didn't move to Montana either, as I passed out drunk in a stolen van behind a K-Mart somewhere just across the West Virginia border.)
Cowboys are a vile organization, and when I think of their influence on my team, I think of two things: Norv Turner and Deion Sanders. Sanders was a buffoon of a free agent bust when Dan Snyder first bought the team and thought spending money on famous people made you famous too. But Turner was head coach when Snyder bought the team, but was also previously known as a famous offensive genius for the Dallas Cowboys. I have always felt that this was an insidious move to fill the Redskins franchise with mediocrity and football impotency. And Snyder tolerated that dude briefly, but also it seems to me, that was his first example of head coaching, so Snyder came in polluted by Cowboys-ness. Which is why that little fucker hobnobs with Jerry Jones, in Little Caesars commercials and on vacation trips, and in luxury boxes together during big Cowboys/Redskins games. Seriously, I read that Snyder and Jerry Jones have vacationed together. Can you imagine that? Hanging out leisurely with the leader of your sworn enemy? I think that's part of the reason Dan Snyder has been so unsuccessful is that he doesn't get it. This is not some little bullshit. This is the Cowboys. Fuck them. They cannot lose enough or feel enough pain to satisfy my bloodlust. Fuck them all day every day. The Giants and Eagles are division rivals, and I do not much care for them either, that is true, but they are not the Cowboys - a team that makes false claims to being America's favorite, and has a long history of drug-addled sodomites who are not even the good-natured fun kind of delinquents, like Dexter Manley or John Riggins, that you can feel great about. They are societal miscreants, great examples of why the death penalty was re-instituted in the '70s (which is about the same time this Cowboys franchise of demon hedonism grew to prominence).
There is a simple painful beauty in tribal hatred. It is pure. And I am thankful I get to exorcise this hatred this coming week, on the national stage of Monday night football. I know this 2-0 Redskins is a smoke-and-mirrors new NFL undefeated, where it means nothing, and we could end up going 4-12 just as easily as 12-4. Our tribes are not kept as pure as they used to be, which means all tribes have become more mediocre. I can accept this. But I also know that this is a hatred that the veterans, the former players, and us fans, all make sure is well-known.
Tony Romo may or may not play, having a cracked rib and punctured lung, and I guess it will be a matter of how well he can focus while on painkillers. I hope he can play. I really really hope he can play. Because you know who else is playing? Laron Landry. His hamstring has been hurt, and he's not hit the field since injury cut short his potential defensive MVP season last year, but when asked about playing this coming Monday, Laron said, "Of course." He knows the fucking deal, and feels the fucking tribal hatred. His tribe is Redskins, and there is no fucking enemy greater than the Dallas Cowboys. Like me, he will be drinking three drops of steer blood in his gatorade, to get the taste in his molecules for Monday night.
I feel sort of sad (just barely), because one reason Tony Romo lacks the respect he probably feels he deserves is he doesn't get it like he should. Sure, he gets great stats and is wonderfully magnificent according to whatever that new trumped up QBR bullshit ESPN is always pushing calculates by. But Romo stumbles in spotlight moments, in those shining incidences where the whole tribe is either rallied to euphoria by the collective adrenaline rush of pure victory, or the is decimated spiritually by the thoughts of what might have been, that can never be answered. Romo is a fun-loving, normal guy who somehow ended up in a prominent position in tribal warfare. It is beyond him to understand exactly what this means. But he knows that his tribe questions his heart, and he doesn't know why. He can't, he's not one of them in spirit. He's not a Cowboy, not even a football player probably. He seems like a natural born Seahawk or Cardinal or something, but not a Cowboy. And yet here he is. I hope the sadness of not being accepted by his tribe forces him to go against his better self-preservational judgment and throw on a flack jacket and go out there next Monday, for the Dallas season opener, on ESPN. Because Laron Landry will be lurking, and he is a football player, and he is a motherfucking Redskin. He gets it, and gets after it.
These tribal warfare battles are when legends are made, for life. Lavar Arrington, for all his shortcomings, is a Redskin forever. I know this because the concussive final hit on Troy Aikman plays in my head to this day. Mark Brunell to Santana Moss twice in a 4th quarter on Monday night has caused me to tolerate and love Brunell and Moss more than I ever would have had it not happened. These are the two games a year I need my tribe to win more than any other. I would take 2-14 with happiness if those 2 were against Dallas. And the game in Dallas, in that monstrosity of a football field that is a monument to the garish psychology of America, and a shining testament to why we are a nation in permanent not temporary decline? Oh man, it is still five days away, and already it's about all I can think of in my idle moments. Laron will be back, hungry for heads. And where both teams usually wore home whites, which matched with every other team's home darks, now the Redskins have taken ownership of the burgundy jerseys, wearing them at home both games this season thus far. It will not look odd those blood-colored tops coming out the tunnel to start the showcase game on the cable televisions, on the road, in the belly of the enemy beast's monument to commercialized football, in that obese self-important state that such a beast is perfectly matched with.
I know my tribe's owner will make friendly with that tribe's owner, and they will be pals of the upper financial stratus. But such indiscriminate mixing does not trickle down to my level. I am ready for destruction of the opposition, and if we can't win the game - which we may very well not - then let me at least see #30 get a scud missile shot on Romo. Or better yet, we have been teased by this pairing of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, who may blossom into a two-headed beast of a bull rush on passing plays. Let me see the two of them converge on that sorry, sad-eyed Romo, and crush the fighting spirit from this Cowboys team right before our eyes, to be replayed on those 900 foot Babylonian overhead screens, over and over, until silence falls over that ignorant populace, because not only have they been beaten, they have been crushed, and we will till their playoff hopes and sow salt into their barren dreams, and laugh from afar as they struggle to maintain relevance for the rest of 2011. This is what I want from my Redskins.