RIP, My Friend

News link

and obituary

We sail through endless skies
Stars shine like eyes
The black night sighs

The moon in silver dreams
Falls down in beams
Light of the night

The Earth a purple blaze
Of sapphire haze
In orbit always

While down below the trees
Bathed in cool breeze
Silver starlight
Breaks dawn from night

And so we pass on by
The crimson eye
Of great god Mars
As we travel the universe

(Planet Caravan, Black Sabbath 1970)


RIP Turtle Dog (2007-2010)

From Drop Box

Turtle Dog’s real name was Myrtle…she was a great little dog. My dad got her as a puppy and her and Smokey grew up together. We haven’t seen as much of her since she moved to Missouri (the above picture was taken in Death Valley, Xmas 2007.) Turtle was born with a bad heart and she was never what one would call healthy, but she had a good life despite her health. She never let her bad heart prevent her from throwing down with Smokey, she was always ready to defend her toys or her favorite spot… She will be missed.

Mike writes up a better eulogy for the Turtle Dog.

Jack Herer, Dead at 70

If anyone can take the credit (or the blame) for the loosening of pot laws it is Jack Herer.  His 1985 publication (and numerous re-publications) of  The Emperor Wears No Clothes is what brought marijuana reform to the public’s consciousness.

In my few interactions with Jack, I found him rather rude; but that in no way diminishes his profound and lasting imprint on society.  The candle he sparked while preparing his book has blossomed into a beacon that will not be extinguished.

Today, do two things in memory of Jack; spark a spliff in his memory and read a book to learn something new.  You never know what impact the insight will have.

RIP: Larry Norman (1947-2008)

I just found out that Larry Norman died a few days ago.  (wikipedia  his website  Reuters obit).

He was the original Christian rocker.   My brother turned me on to him with the release of his 1981 Something New Under the Son.  I remember really liking it. A few years ago I ordered the album off of his website and have enjoyed listening to it since.

Larry’s solo career stated in 1969 with the release of Upon This Rock.  I listened to this album earlier today for the first time.  It is easily as good as Something New, it has a touch of the psychedelic sound to it ala early Traffic or the Turtles.

While this atheist can’t believe that he went to his Father’s house, I do know that he is suffering no more.  I can’t help but believe that his music will live on.  The inevitable tribute albums will introduce him to a whole new generation of listeners.

RIP Malachai Ritscher (1954-2006)

When a person reaches the point that they would self imolate rather than continue to live in silence with their government’s actions, it should be news. People should hear about it! When you make this final sacrifice, when you cry out in your loudest possible voice, with the ultimate personal sacrifice, your voice should not go unheard.

On November 3, 2006, Malachi (can I call you Malachi?) sat down near rush hour traffic, doused himself with gasoline and lit a match…when the fire department arrived they found a sign near his charred body, it read: “Thou shalt not kill.”

He left a suicide note, much of the indi-media asks can we believe the note? Or was it the action of a troubled mind? Is/was he a martyr or a nut? You can read his note here, then you can decide what you want to believe. For myself, I believe…

He also penned his own obituary, it is here.

I never heard of Malachai until nearly a month after his death. It was not covered on CNN, Fox, BBC, etc… While I never heard his cries, I believe he did not die in vain. Like a tree falling where no one can hear…like the sound of one hand clapping…I hear, and I believe, but did it make a sound?

Malachai was without a doubt troubled. However, in a time of national conflagration, it is the un-perturbed mind that is to be doubted (Epicurus aside). In his suicide martyr note he wrote: To the rest of the world we are cowards – demanding Iraq to disarm, and after they comply, we attack with remote-control high-tech video-game weapons. And then lie about our reasons for invading. We the people bear complete responsibility for all that will follow, and it won’t be pretty.

Two years before my birth, Thich Quang Duc–a Buddhist monk–set himself afire in Saigon in protest of US actions in Indo-China. I think his actions helped end the bloodshed there, even if it took another 10 years.

It is not a pleasant death to burn–it is not an action to be taken lightly–and we must not judge it lightly. If suicide was his intent, why not pass quietly into the abyss? Why not whiskey and valium? Who would choose a burst of flame and pain? Only someone with a message, perhaps one last message to mankind.

On another website, Malachi had previously posted the following words:

I believe that God promised us a happy ending, but I don’t remember if there is something that I’m supposed to do, other than just be a good person and turn the other cheek. Even with breathing exercises and a positive mental attitude, it’s getting hard to keep pretending that I don’t have blood on my hands. How many unnecessary deaths have my tax dollars paid for? I keep trying not to think about it. There are electronic gadgets to distract me, and yoga to repress the simmering anger, and sports, and movies, and snacks, and music, and shopping, and so much entertainment that I couldn’t watch it all with a thousand eyes!
But here is the big question, the one that really matters:

We now know Malachai’s answer to his self-imposed question…but the question remains:


Rest in peace dear Malachai, this world is a hard place for one who thinks and feels….you will be remembered…………….