Title - Kevin Michael Vance - writer/musician/purveyor of raw materials
Kevin Michael Vance
Writer - Portland, Oregon

When creating this spot for my web page I was trying to think of how I might best not come off as the biggest buffoon on the forehead of this great, big, planet. Then I realized something... I am human. For me this bespeaks volumes. It means that I am fallible, that I am not perfect. I have made mistakes, am making mistakes even as I write this, and will, inevitably, make mistakes in the future. When I wax romantically about myself and my role in this cosmic-shit tub we all dubiously call life I like to think of myself as the warrior- strong, loyal, full of discipline and honor. In reality, there are parts of me that follow those codes, but more to the point, I am a worker, and very proud of that. I finish what I start. I relish the journey. And I live... as well as any 38-year-old white male could hope to live in this world of skewed ideals and twisted attitudes (holy crap! I wrote this drivel five years ago. How time light speeds).

Suffice it to say, here within these "random thoughts" I will contradict myself, I will be wrong in some points and right in others, and I will make mistakes. However, as always, I hope in a small way that you, the reader, might garner a modicum of enjoyment.

Hell! I know I do.

June 15, 2018
One more truth among many...

And the truths just keep comin':droppin' 'em like grenades... like a mic'!  Whatever.

The image below represents a stop light, and or, stop light traffic signal.

For as long as I have been in Portland (over 20 years), Porltanders have had a very difficult time understanding the three different color codes.  (Much as it pains me, I cannot blame this particular failing on Mellenials or California transplants.)  Allow me to define each color now. 

Red- means stop.

Yellow- measn "proceed with caution".

Green- means go.

The color in which all of you seem to struggle the most with is green.  Green means go.  It does not mean to continue texting or snapchatting or yelping or tweeting or googling or checking email.  Green means go.  Put down the coffee and the cellphone and pay attention to what you are doing; which is simply disobeying the law.  Gods, I get so frustrated with self-entitled self-absorbed morons who either do not know the rules, or believe that the rules do not apply to them.


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June 05, 2018
Mr. Ray Bradbury...

Six years ago we lost one of this countries greatest authors. Six years without another story. Six years his voice silent, his poetic prose inert. Six years without his particularly skewed, imaginative, and dark brilliance. Mr. Ray Bradbury is sorely missed. If you haven't read him, do yourself a favor and do so. If you haven't read him in years, pick up "Something Wicked this way Comes" or "The Illustrated Man" or "Fahrenheit 451" or the "The October Country" or "R is for Rocket" or any one of the amazing, fantastic and weird stories he has graced us with throughout his incredible life and relive the magnificence, the majesty and grace of the author- Ray Bradbury.


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May 31, 2018

All right, you misguided misinformed misanthropes, Uncle Kevin is going to, as the kids like to say, drop a few truths for you. We hold these truths to be self-evident; not under some imaginary god, but under the evidence of human emotion and human thought and physical reality. If you do not hold these truths to be self-evident then you, sir and madam, are idiots. Now this rant is distinctly and uniquely directed at the swarming plethora of self-entitled Portlanders, or, as the case is becoming more and more painfully apparent, all you Californians recently moved into my beloved and drenched city. So, shut the fuck up, put on your big-boy boxers and your big-girl panties, step outside of your self-righteous bubble and let a man who has lived shy of half a century some much needed time to talk.

Truth number one-You know that sign that has recently popped up on Portland city streets... the one with the pedestrian and the bicycle image?  This sign-

And this one-

The first sign is called a “Multiuse Path Crossing”, and it is defined as thus- “Bicyclists and pedestrians regularly cross the road in the area.”  The second one is a bicycle crossing sign.  Neither of these signs means that you should stop for bicycles when they are stopped at a stop sign or stop light.  I repeat (at this point, I should apologize for shouting, because I’m about to shout)… IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU STOP FOR BICYCLES. Let me say it just one more time- IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU STOP FOR BICYCLES! Bicycles are required by law to follow the same rules as a motor vehicle, with only a few exceptions. You, as a driver of a motor vehicle, should never yield to a bicyclist who stopped at a stop sign; you, as a driver of a motor vehicle, do in fact have the right of way. The point is stated quite clearly in the Portland Bureau of Transportation leaflet “Rules of the Road and Safe Riding tips” we share the road. And the optimal word here is SHARE. Bicyclists do not own the road, nor do motor vehicles, for that matter. Don’t be an idiot. Follow the fuckin’ rules. (That goes for you too. I see you! You flannel-wearin’, skinny-jeaned, hairy-faced, ridin’ with no light, no reflectors, and no helmet hipster!)

Truth number two-

It is illegal… I repeat, ILLEGAL to park on the wrong side of the street. I don’t care if you’re dropping your sniveling little brats off at Tae Kwon Do or delivering a kidney, it is, and always has been, illegal to park on the (in this country) left side of the road. (Unless, of course it’s a one-way street. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve “googled” this shit!)

Truth number three-

When speaking into your asinine cell phone on “speaker” phone, you are in fact yelling into your asinine cell phone. I know you think you’re not yelling, but you are. Just stop it. I certainly do not wish to be privy to the unfortunate and somewhat nauseous meanderings of your inept life; nor does anyone else in the grocery story or whichever public arena in which you deem it necessary to have an egregiously loud and private conversation.

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March 10, 2018
Romero's nightmare... come true.
We are a society of technological zombies.

We shamble mindlessly over concrete and gravel, stopping in mid-stride to stand motionless while we answer the fatuous call of our brightly bedecked machines which chirp and chime at us like mechanical companions; our faces lowered to the twinkling screens of our blackberry’s and i-Phones, LG’s and Android’s, Galaxy’s and Droid’s. Senseless and immobile, gape mouthed morons that only need a string of drool to complete the image of the aforementioned metaphor. We stagger unawares, unseeing, deaf, amidst a teeming world of natural beauty and incomprehensible magnificence; our hearts and our minds, our very beings captured by the colorful bubbles of the unreal, the vacuous world within a world, the world of falsities and sound bite icons; blissfully ignorant of all the wonder and horror that transpires around us; ignorant of the sometimes overwhelming physical reality that blinds and stings, and that teaches us there is such a thing as corporeal truth… whether we like it or not. And yet still, we stand idle, swaying back and forth on our heels, tapping out nonsensical messages with our thumbs and then tossing them into an imaginary ether-world to be judged, and ridiculed: George Romero’s darkest fantasies come to life. We are trapped, shackled, imprisoned… all of it voluntarily; constantly prostrate before our mechanical gods. Our own personal safety forgotten, or even, discarded in our perverted need to be connected in a manner completely contrary to our mammalian origins. Our own betterment garbled and made inconvenient amongst the sweet trivialities of social media: at once dissociative and distant. Into the unreal world we hem and we haw, we yammer and we yowl; judgment and punishment doled out in equal measures by those faceless presences hiding behind the anonymity of pseudonym’s and call signs. Information is like a vivid riot, a violent storm of vacuous images with no meaning, no purpose, and no impact. Meaning has no meaning, truth is not true, manners are rude, and privacy is antiquated. We are lost. And we are dead: the living dead. The human part of us (the best part) frozen solid in an iceberg of cold system reboots and algorithms.

I say to thee and thine look up! Raise your face into the light; release your eyes from the swirling glittering quagmire of the inane, the toxic, the unimportant. Life does not happen inside your pathetic little phone, life happens outside of it… in the real, real world.

Stop being a zombie.

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