Brainwash by Rudolfo A. Serna

We seemed to have lost. Those that had resisted with youthful zeal became a part of the problem. A generation that was told that there was nothing to worry about, no bombs, no fascism, and that the environment, both man made and natural were doing just fine. Instead we were encouraged to fall into line, sedated with the excess of privilege by the previous generation who had already long ago lost their own rebels, folding under the pressures of conformity, eventually giving in to the trappings of growing up in a highly materialistic, consumer world, while the rebels and artists who were mocked and made fun of eventually retreated into the background, forced to make a living.

Mediocrity always seems to win out, except for those without anything to lose, and who are left in the struggle to live, to climb out of poverty, anonymity, struggling in a society that has it out for those that do not conform. While the poor are demonized and made to feel as if they were the ‘losers,’ making them excess humanity that is not worth saving, except as labor for service jobs without adequate pay.

The army of those in their suits and ties, and the proper attire, the proper phrases like code to open doors to the promises of capitalism. Meanwhile, the ‘creative’ lingers, retaining the imagination of a child, remaining free, however, for the most part, unless funded or supported by old money by what Brokaw sentimentally referred to as the “Greatest Generation” (meanwhile condemning Raza for not conforming enough) the artist will go poor. But the struggling artist has no choice but to create, like the rebel that has no choice but to resist, without the sense to give up and give in, unable to navigate their way like many who were left behind in the social climb with the promise of excess if they just did it right, while watching all those they grew up with getting old, hording their material goods, vacations, and a false sense of security.

It’s sad to realize that we lost. Like the generation before us, the children of the ‘60s that gave in to trends and their middle class American privilege. The majority of GenXers who are now middle aged have also given up, or maybe there was nothing to give up to begin with. And the crime that was done to us is being done to every generation, as if the old mechanical miser in the tower cannot die, but continues to get upgrades, keeping it living indefinitely. 

As a young generation, we were supposed to dig loud fast music and be idealistic, and we were being convinced that all of the racist and social inequities had been put to rest. But again, maybe there was nothing there to begin with as our generation didn’t seem to amount to shit, and it just goes to show how humanity as a species is myopic at best. If we had amounted to anything we wouldn’t have the chaos and the continual decline of living conditions and the degradation of the environment for the past twenty years.

The same type of brainwashing is being done to the next generation and will continue to be done to every generation after that, until maybe we achieve nirvana or total destruction. And it is sad to see another generation being forced to participate in the bullshit. That they’re being promised freedom when there is none, being promised a future that is under attack by the ideals of a sick society. What’s even more frightening is that they are being more easily indoctrinated and brainwashed into passivity through the power of electronic devices being wielded by the government and corporations, as always, promising freedom, and that they won’t even be able to see the nooses being slipped around their necks, and will go happily to the gallows in exchange for some comfort that will never be found.

Article on Daniel McCoy Jr. in The/Magazine

Daniel McCoy Jr.’s father was an Irish biker and his mother a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Tribe of Oklahoma. His paintings bear influences from both sides, the aesthetic of psychedelic counterculture melding easily with the modernist flat style of mid-century Native painters like Fred Kabotie and Woody Crumbo. The day we met, he reverently pulled out examples of his father’s drawings on old paper bags from many decades past.

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Memories From the Planet: #2 by Rudolfo Serna

I know I was there. The house in the city in the shadows, it crumbled, the roaches ate the pile of canned meat we dumped out on the sidewalk. We shot at those walking with a BB gun, and we burnt the front lawn with a fire started in a toilet that had been dragged out from the bathroom after I had broken it while drunk and stoned, and I did not realize that porcelain burned good with enough heat applied to it, stuffed with pieces of broken fence. We laughed and laughed and drank the wine, stolen or given to us, but somehow we had it.

Down the street was an abandoned high school. Razor barbed wire rimmed the campus, we hopped the fence, nothing but broken glass and pigeon shit. We went into the locker room and saw the holes dug out of the world beneath the stained tile of the shower stalls. Where the homeless crawled in and out, and the murderers were found hiding. 

How long will I remember, until the brain matter fades, getting old like my father on a six pack and half pint a day, his dreams gone "bye," maybe not so sure whether or not life actually happened. 


Memories From the Planet by Rudolfo Serna

TG&Y was at the Big Rock shopping center in the middle of town. Inside were the records for sale, Def Leppard's Pyromania, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Styx's Kilroy Was Here, with the song, "Mr Roboto." Outside on the sidewalk we ran the shopping carts like the Indy 500, better yet, like NASCAR, wrecking them into each other, heading towards disaster, plummeting over the curbs. Disaster awaited us in the thickets next to the irrigation ditches, and on the pebbled pavement as our bikes collided and we ended up twisted and bloody. Outside the borders of the neighborhood were the sandy hills and limestone, the Land of the Lost, the borderlands of the unknown, where all fantasy goes when you get old. Hanging from the windmills.

The record player skipping again.

Green carpets, yellow linoleum, gravel and weeds. Splinters from the brown painted wood peeling.

It existed, I know it did . . .

Moon Drive by Rudolfo Serna

Late night moon drive.

It was the "Misfits" I remember on the stereo in the long copper colored convertible, with a large block motor, and the twin pipes that rumbled out on the mountain road.

A friend and I drank and smoked dope, and it was a full moon, and we were listening about teenagers from Mars, and the car was special. I had driven it to Mexico, to the ocean and back through the desert by myself, and then there we were, in the mountains. And if the car failed we would become stranded, and then the forest would certainly take us in, and leave us there without music, booze, or weed, the night would become infinite. We would have to sober up and the evening would be ruined. But the car did not fail us, and we descended back into the valley, crossing the bridge and the river, again and again, like on playback--the desert--the mountains-- midnight ride through the valley.

Why did I go out there? I know it's cliche, but it was for a girl that I didn't even get to see, but I would love all the same.

Acid and the green by Rudolfo Serna

Down in the ancient wash is where I found the bottle, green and cracked, pulling it from the sand. I stared through it and saw the green sky.

There was the time I took a capsule of gel acid and all the lights of the convenient store, the dash board, and street went green, and I swam away from the opened door of my car in the night, and if it wasn't for the person who I was supposed to be giving a ride to, I would have never made it to the city.

Green's the color of the mountains, where I should have remained in the cradle of a small shack put together with parts gathered by Jesus Jerry. His eyes were not green, but killer blue.

I had floated above the hunters in the shack.

I took some Dr. Seuss acid from a Dead Head show. I saw green in the shimmering surface of the lake water that lapped up over me in waves of glittering transmission.

Return me to the ditch.



Heavy Metal, neo-pagans, & Sci Fi by Rudolfo Serna

I remember held by mother, fascinated with the idea of eternity in space. Ace Frehley laser eyes. The original Battle Star Galactica with Lorn Greene. The original Chicano in space, Edward James . . . The fantasy love affairs with robots. A cyborg's lonely tear making them human again.


All the biological horrors from the original classic. The thrill of the end, an apocalyptic theme, changing globally, atomic or supernaturally.


Constant mutation, different dimensions. The badlands of BLM, forest, and the thick cottonwoods along the river through a desert of old nations. A fascination with the end times. The human’s deep need for the end, to start again, rebirth, something we should all have a chance at.