Tribe of Weird

Providence is a haven for weirdness and weirdos.

This is what makes the town so great.

Dreamcatcher_lrg Where else can your day start with a phone call from a Cheyenne “hobo,” checked in to the RI Hospital for a suicide attempt, and end with synth rock played in a downtown “gay” bar full of rockers, trannies, bears, and at least one WASPY dude.

J.W. was beat to hell from a mugging — no joke, he has the scars to prove it — and called from the psych ward, which he said, under his breath, as he assessed the likelihood that I would actually follow through on my promise of sending him back to Billings, where his tribe could take care of him, was partly to get him out of the cold, apparently related to the failure of the sober house to keep him so.

J.W. is big.

And real.

He gave me a dream catcher when I loaded him with provisions, with a medicine stone, that he said he made for me, as soon as he got my email telling me I’d buy his ticket home.

Having grown up with a master prevaricator alcoholic brother, I have a strange yin/yang revulsion/predilection for the grand deception. I’m not sure what to do with the gift made by a man whose own medicine is made of stuff concocted by white men to keep us all under control in a world.

Not in control.

Did it work for him?

The sane idea? A graspable concept?

A national popular vote?

The evening invested at the Ballot Bash by Rhode Island Fair Vote.

How is it that almost 800 years after the Magna Carta we are still fighting the same petty battles? Are we not all entitled to vote? One person, one vote?

dick_cheney_turbaned Has it not made the wealthiest of the wealthy prosperous beyond the neo-feudalist mythology of the  all-father (image courtesy of

That’s the question that keeps coming to my mind, when we live in a world where only political will prevents us from ending poverty, starvation, deprivation, isms of all sorts. What kind of growing of the light, winter solstice, Kwanza, Xmas, Hannukah, Saturnalia, shall we celebrate? santa_burgermeister

In the end, after plotting the enviro legislative agenda for 2009 later in the morning (most of which was vetoed in 2008 by our own strangely self-defeating CEO-Burgermeister Carcieri), doing my best to get our own folks equipped with the war machines of the age, the only thing left is to make sure to get a little dancing in – in this case Triangle Forest, at Wheels, and massaging the aching joints of a 15+ year old Siberian Husky, happy enough still to snuggle in the leaves, as our forebear, Roger Williams, was happy to spend the night betwixt two bear skin rugs.

This seems like every day in Providence to me. An embarrassment of what cheer.

Hanging out with the freaks and weirdos who believe there has to be a better way than what we are told is right.


Tribe of weird.

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