Isolation Report #15
It is an absolutely picture perfect day here in Breckinridge County, Kentucky! A good day to spit some truth, I guess. I am not very happy. Happiness comes and goes, but today feels like a seriously difficult day. The fact is, I am isolated and that is good in the context of what I am trying to do here. But, many of my friends took to the streets last night and it got real ugly, real fast in my hometown. Louisville, Freaking Kentucky. So, not only am I now isolated and sheltered in place, a feeling of helplessness and dread is hovering over my last couple of days. I can manage. This is not my first rodeo! Won’t be my last. I have been religiously taking all the medicine I use to fight depression, doing my work per se’.
First of all, I do not do drugs! On purpose! None. Except nicotine and caffeine. I have been drinking a shot or two of Bourbon here and there. Old Forester 86. I do that to keep just a little bit of that Whiskey Gentry flowing in my veins. To maintain a certain sense of place perspective. It’s a Kentucky thing, many wouldn’t understand. So last night, I was watching one of my favorite movies, Hearts of Darkness, about the making of Apocalypse Now until I switched over to watch a friends live stream of the protests right as a protester rips King Louie the 6th’s hand off. Hell fucking yes, I thought. How freaking historical is that! I watched several hours of live-streaming from the front lines and finished my movie and went to bed.
Tonight the protest, the protest that is sanctioned mind you, is being called to start at the Muhammad Ali Center. Really? If last night the King’s hand was cut off, hell, what could possibly happen when folks show up en mass at Cassius Clay’s house. Maybe throw the King Louie statue from the second street bridge? That would be something to live stream and not to mention one hell of a splash. And that is it! Louisville! We are fucking crazy! The other medicine that I have been taking, other than watching movies about journeying into the self, has been listening to Hunter S. Thompson’s essays about Louisville and Ali. My question to the maker of the poster for tonight’s party at Cassius Clay’s house is: Has the Freak Party been reorganized? The poster looks like something Hunter would have done. Fuck, work it … I need a glass of water, boy oh, boy it’s good to know ya. Sorry. I have a celebrity crush on Missy Elliot and Louisville is on the cuff of the Dirty South, I digress, often.
My twitter is blowing up. I am @rivercityjp reporting and the Trillbilly Workers Party retweeted my tweet about Louisville cutting off the King’s hand. Twitter is a bad neighborhood I try not to get involved with. But, if you want to hang out with reporters and writers, you gotta go there. The Trillbillies made their fame being crazy redneck, lesbian militant, red and in your face. My kind of folks. I think I was one of the first to support their Patreon. I can’t support it now and they don’t need my help. They are making shit tons of money from their Eastern Kentucky jive. I am broke. Yeah goddammit. However, nobody likes a complainer. I am a fan. They get it, many don’t.
One of my friends on the front lines of last night’s wild cat freak out in UofL’s town, Hunter’s Louisville, is a feller who was over in Charlottesville for that bloody Harlan style union struggle. He is what they call Antifa. He is an old head puck rocker. Been in many rodeos. So, he is my go to for inside information when it comes to police tactics and protest strategy, Charlottesville started when Antifa and other protesters, clashed with white supremacists over a Robert E. Lee statue. See, friends, listen; What the hell am I writing? This is supposed to be an isolation report from a guy hanging out in the country. This is starting to sound crazy. Yes! Goddamn right, never get out of the boat! In many ways, I feel like I got out of the boat and did what Kurtz did in that insane movie Coppola made. I split from the whole fucking program. This fucking place I am at now is called Lothlorien. I am ready to get on the sailing ships and sail away … the battle for Middle Earth, I digress, see, I can’t help it.
I digress because I have been devouring the Sufi work of Idries Shah, Joseph Campbell’s audio books, watching Tolkien movies, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rocky Horror. The Horror. The Bourbon I have been taking for medicine was given to me by an Arab woman. She is an international photographer. A couple of weeks ago we had a shelter in place party. She had never seen the hippie version of the Jesus Christ story. She did see the Tunisian revolution first hand. I am not sure she knew what really was in that Bourbon she gave as a visiting present. Old Forester is the elixir of the gentry! It is why the Kentucky Derby is decadent and depraved. Mix 1 part Brown, with 1 part Bingham, add some Anne and Carl Braden and you will have a loaded, volatile drink that will set the streets of Louisville on fire! We watched The Southern Patriot as well. A documentary about Louisville’s Carl and Anne Braden. They sold a house to a black family in 1954 and the shit hit the fan.
Jesus! I feel like Hunter Thompson is here in this room saying yes! Keep Typing! Yes brother freak em out! Go For it! Go .. and I never really paid any attention to Hunter’s work until just recently. That’s my friend Ron Whitehead’s department. As a writer, I guess I am that now? I know to be careful name dropping. As a folk musician, well, Woody Guthrie’s guitar killed Fascist so I guess I’ll keep going, I had a chance to speak with Hunter’s son, Juan Thompson several times. Once at one of Ron’s events. We ended up talking about a Sufi friend of mine from my railroad days. I saw Juan at a Homefront event and we talked briefly. Homefront is the Louisville equivalent of a Pete Seeger hootenanny. I saw Juan a couple months ago at a Sufi Circle. I wonder what Hunter would think about that. It makes perfect sense actually. Sufi is radical. Very. Just ask Idries Shah.
So, back to the fighting depression part of this report. I am lonesome as hell. I have a PHD in railroad lonesome metaphors. Last week I drove over to Rosine, KY, the place that High Lonesome Sound of Bill Monroe was borned. I am several clicks above the bridge of no return, on a self help retreat in fear of never coming back, I have been talking to the heir of Harlan Hubbard’s throne just about every other day. Harlan got off the boat and split from the program. I feel almost certain that when I do come back to town, things for me will be quite different. This two months in almost absolute isolation other than very slow rural-Internet rendered social media has been a blessing in disguise. Duality. It takes two to tango and there is certainly two sides to every story. I think today’s medicine will be to overdose on some Sun Ra! Lanquidity to be exact. “There are other worlds, they have not told you of, that wish to speak with you!” Space is the Place. Shit, Madrid, Kentucky. I am waiting on a mission, going crazy and having a time!
John Paul Wright