t’was only the day after Christ-mas I am reminded yet again of my never-ending courses in wemmins studies – Key West, Florida Keys, and beyond …

nature woman

Mother Nature enlarged

Spider Woman

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A Key West amgia Facebooked me this on Christ-mas Eve:

Feather Talk

Soulful Road
are you familiar with this word?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the jesters in Hopi mythology, see Pueblo Clowns.

A ledger art depiction of a Haokah by the Lakota artist Black Hawk. c.1880
A Heyoka (in Lakota, Heyók?a, also spelled “Haokah,” “Heyokha”) is a trickster spirit, a contrarian, jester, satirist or sacred clown. The Heyoka spirit speaks, moves and reacts in an opposite fashion to the people around it. It is not a spirit that people wish to meet at any time; it usually appears to people when it wishes to take something from you or cause some sort of mayhem. The Lakota people have learned to respect it enough to leave it be, avoiding it as much as possible.
Heyók?a are thought of as being backwards-forwards, upside-down, or contrary in nature. This spirit is often manifest by doing things backwards or unconventionally — riding a horse backwards, wearing clothes inside-out, or speaking in a backwards language. For example, if food were scarce, a Heyók?a would sit around and complain about how full he was; during a baking hot heat wave a Heyók?a would shiver with cold and put on gloves and cover himself with a thick blanket. Similarly, when it is 40 degrees below freezing he will wander around naked for hours complaining that it is too hot. A unique example is the famous Heyók?a sacred clown called “the Straighten-Outer”:
He was always running around with a hammer trying to flatten round and curvy things (soup bowls, eggs, wagon wheels, etc.), thus making them straight.
— John Fire Lame Deer[1]
The Heyók?a symbolize and portray many aspects of the sacred, the Wak?á?. Their satire presents important questions by fooling around. They ask difficult questions, and say things others are too afraid to say. By reading between the lines, the audience is able to think about things not usually thought about, or to look at things in a different way.
Principally, the Heyók?a functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, thereby forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. Heyók?as also have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame — they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.
In addition, sacred clowns serve an important role in shaping tribal codes. Heyók?a’s don’t seem to care about taboos, rules, regulations, social norms, or boundaries. Paradoxically, however, it is by violating these norms and taboos that they help to define the accepted boundaries, rules, and societal guidelines for ethical and moral behavior. This is because they are the only ones who can ask “Why?” about sensitive topics and employ satire to question the specialists and carriers of sacred knowledge or those in positions of power and authority. Their role is to penetrate deception, turn over rocks, and create a deeper awareness.[citation needed]
For people who are as poor as us, who have lost everything, who had to endure so much death and sadness, laughter is a precious gift. When we were dying like flies from white man’s disease, when we were driven into reservations, when the government rations did not arrive and we were starving, watching the pranks and capers of Heyók?a were a blessing.
—John Fire Lame Deer[1]

I replied:

No, but have heard of Loki (Norse) and Coyote (Native American), which are trickster “spirits”; from what I heard and read of Shams [the Sufi poet Rumi’s teacher], he was a trickster (moved and operated in opposite fashion to people around him), Jesus, too. After reading the entire Wikipedia article, my sense is Heyoka is like the old court jester, which is very different from Loki or Coyote, who are mischief makers, something I prefer not having dealings with.

Mud Dawg Mike of Daddy Bones Yummy BBQ behind Checkers on North Roosevelt Blvd. wrote yesterday:

mud dog

MERRY CHRISTMAS Sloan! you need a Happy story for the Holidays! How bout Jeremy and Sara! friendly very smart couple from Louisiana who ask us for work. Jeremy turns out to one of best cooks I ever had or worked with in key west! They were sleeping in the front seat of a small pick up. They never ask for anything. Patti suggested they crash on our floor till they got place. Now less than 3 weeks later they both have 2 jobs and a apt. And still one of best all around good people we have met who just got here. Just glad we could help them. Folks forget sometimes you gotta give back what you can when you can. Most of key west forgets u are not homeless in key west! Key west is home. Least that’s how it used to be. Stop in in the morning meet Jeremy sara works at the little coffee shop on southard by mike zees place. Sure they will make you smile too. Pj said they reminded her of us when we were young and the world was our playground. MERRY CHRISTMAS

OH crap should have ask u to help deliver Christmas eve dinner to the hard working performing artist at teasers yesterday. You slipped my mind.

I wrote back:

Same to you and PJ, Mike.

Well, you old muddy dawg, I was getting all swelled up with warm feelings, and then you went and dropped that Teasers bomb on me at the very end, you do really know how to make a fairly good Christmas Day head south.

Knocking around with some vicious van dweller criminals out on Higgs Beach earlier this afternoon, down by the little pier, one of them told about the performing artists at Teasers, Ricks, etc., how much they make in tips if they are lookers – gobs of $$$$ – and some of them save it all and are quite well off now, and some of them are crackheads and their Bahama Village dealers show up where they dance just before they get off and take them into Bahama Village and get all their money earned that night away from them, in exchange for enough crack to carry them through the next night. A slightly different hard working folks story.

Back maybe in 2004, or perhaps 2005, a fellow who wove palm fronds on Duval Street talked me into going into one of the Duval strip joints one night, he was really into it; five minutes was about all I could stand, didn’t do anything for me, I felt terrible over what I was seeing, the hustling going both ways by young girls not then dancing with young men. I told the weaver fellow I was leaving, he tried to talk me into staying, it was going to get interesting, I could slip tips into the girls’ g-strings. I said I was out of there, and I left.

A month ago, I pick up one of the girls on US 1 and give her a ride as far as I am going, and she tells me KW cops are giving the strip clubs protection, in exchange for being able to traffic narcotics in there. That really uplifted me to hear. I heard much the same on Higgs Beach earlier this afternoon. Also plenty of conversation still about the dead Thanksgiving Day tourist.

One of the people at Higgs, not a vicious van dweller criminal, he has a condo down here, is here 5 months a year, a retired cop from New York City area, said the Thanksgiving dead tourist situation smelled to him. I said if something doesn’t pass the smell test, then something’s wrong. He agreed.

I told of a plaintiff lawyer friend who took in a case about a mother taking her young son to a hospital for a test, and the child died in the hospital. When the defense tried to get the case thrown out on summary judgment, the judge asked my lawyer friend what he had to say, what was his counter to the motion for summary judgment?

My lawyer friend said, “Res ipsa loquitur, Your Honor.” The judge asked for explanation. My lawyer friend said, “The mother took her healthy son to the hospital for tests. The boy got sick in the hospital, was kept there and died. Res ipsa loquitur.” That is Latin for, “The thing speaks for itself.” The judge denied the motion for summary judgment.

I told the ex-NYC cop that the dead Thanksgiving tourist case looks res ipsa loquitur to me. The fellow came down to Key West to check it out, to see if he wanted to live here. The next day, Thanksgiving, he was pulled over for changing lanes in an intersection. He was profiled as maybe being homeless in a PT Cruiser.

It got weird after that. A slow chase ensued. He drove to the end of Duval Street, and then out onto South Beach, where, in the video made by a bystander, he got out of his PT cruiser and walked farther onto the beach and lay face down on the sand, apparently as ordered by pursuing KW cops. Three cops approached him with guns drawn. They gathered around him. They were on him. He was moving. Then, he was dead. Res ipsa loquitur.

His body goes missing in a local funeral home for three weeks. Finally the coroner’s pathologist examines the body. Sand in the nose and mouth. He reportedly had turned blue right before dying. More res ipsa loquitur.

The Citizen doesn’t pick up the case and run with it. More res ipsa loquitur.

The Blue Paper busts the case Friday before last, with the video, then the Citizen reports the case the next day, without mentioning the video. More res ipsa loquitur.

This situation is res ipsa loquitured out the wazoo.

I told the ex-NYC cop this looks like another case of Bubba Justice. He said the redneck kind in places like Alabama?, not knowing that is my home state. I said, no, the Key West kind, worse than the kind in Alabama.

Maybe a good thing you and PJ went over to Port St. Lucie for Christmas. It just don’t seem particularly safe these days in Key West. Tell PH I said to keep her AK 47 oiled, locked and loaded. Never know when it might come in handy again, especially in Key West.

AK 47 woman

I told the criminals on the beach this afternoon that it might get a lot worse in Key West, because of how the city treats homeless people. Might not even be safe for criminals down here any longer.

Ya’ll drive save coming back. Maybe you can take me to the coffee shop and introduce me to Sara. Don’t think I ever was in there before.



Mike wrote:

i only go to teasers on xmas because like you, except she was on ground zero in 80s. she feels for those girls so she picks diff club every yr and at 6pm sharp i deliver monster d bones dinner gratis! see even teasers was good christmas. Cant save the world but we can make it bearable for sum least for a little while.

I wrote:

I understand taking Christmas to the dancers, it’s just rough on me to be in there while they are working.

Mike wrote:

ok. But ya can tell they are truly thankful someone cares enough to stop by for christmas. For a tiny little hellcat pj got a really. big heart.

I wrote:

I went back out to Higgs Beach for a while and one of the fellows who was there earlier today said it’s safer being around criminals, than being around Key West police. He’s been hanging in Key West for a long time, mostly living in his van, but he has stayed at KOTS and probably less ritzy places.


In a dream early this morning, my mother came to me and told me she and I came in last in a three couple bridge game.


I said I don’t know how to play the way she plays. A few days ago, several dreams left me feeling I was supposed to start fielding everything served up to me in the female way, and leave off the male way of responding. I told the angels it reminded me of early 2004, when I was given the same assignment, starting with my mother coming into me in a dream with much the same message, after I’d had earlier dreams saying the same. I blew that assignment entirely, nearly went mad, pulled out of a county commission race against Sonny McCoy in Key West, which I had entered as a write-in candidate and then had gotten a great-write up from Alyson Matley (now Alyson Crean), then Key West Bureau Chief of the Keynoter. It took the angels two years to straighten me out.

The angels then had me for the county commission again in 2006, by then I was living on Little Torch Key, so that time I ran against George Neugent. During that race, I became aware of stuff that had recently happened in the Keys, which I felt was very wrong from Mother Nature’s standpoint. I was outraged, asked the angels how they had let it happen? Then, it dawned on me: I was not there during that time, I had gone mad, pulled out of the 2004 county commission race, so they angels had no one to use to challenge what had me so upset. I felt terrible. The dreams last night, and something else that happened before I turned in, left me feeling I am right back at that precipice from which I fell in early 2004. So, I’m slowing way down, picking my way, like a blind man.

That was my Christmas present yesterday. That was the lady I had told God I wanted to have a nice long roll in the hay with – The Holy Spirit in Christendom, The Divine Feminine. That said, here is further back and forth with Tim Gratz, of Key West, which happened yesterday. That’s done, nothing I can do about it.

He wrote:

Tim Gratz

You wrote:

Fair enough. What Bethel wrote about FF was his opinion of it. An opinion shared by you. I don’t recall Bethel dragged the Bible or Jesus into it, but since you did that for him, and since you and Bethel want the city government to yield to your demand to abolish nudity from FF, and since your and Bethel’s demand comes from your and his view of the Bible, the city cannot yield to your and Bethel’s demand, because to yield would violate separation of church and state, which would violate the First Amendment of the United State’s Constitution.

SLOAN, you are so intelligent and with a law degree it stuns me that you could argue that because a statute or ordinance is consistent with or even inspired by Scripture it is therefore unconstitutional. This is just nonsense.

The Ten Commandments prohibit not killing but murder. By your logic, all laws against murder and attempted murder are unconstitutional.

The Ten Commandments also prohint theft. So a court should declare all laws against theft and burglary unconstitutional?

Well, lest any despair that all our laws would disappear if any court would adopt your logic, I am not aware of any Biblical injunction against jay-walking.

By the way the Constitution never requires the complete separation of church and state, a widely held misapprehension. Read the text of that amendment. It prohibits, rightly so, the establishment of a state-sanctioned religion.


Then he sent:


You may appreciate this article. The author once arrested Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis and reported that Sturgis had confessed his involvement in the JFK assassination.

I wrote:

Yes, Tim, it’s terrible, and there is nothing you can do to change it.

As is terrible, Key West’s sex-drug corridor, which apparently bothers you not, based on your not taking out after it like your very soul depends on it. Instead, you go after Fantasy Fest, which is tame compared to what goes on in the sex-drug corridor. No risk to life and limb going after Fantasy Fest, going after the corridor could get you cut up into tiny pieces and disappeared.

Your stated reason for going after Fantasy Fest, Tim, as you wrote, was because of your religious beliefs. That’s what God is looking at, not a city ordinance. The Fantasy Fest case is being tried right now in a Court which is not of this world. Everything I am given to engage is tried in that Court.

Re: Thou shall not, as you read it, murder. How many tens, or even hundreds of thousands of people did George W. Bush murder, not counting those physically maimed, nor those mentally, emotionally and spiritually maimed? Where is your crusade for G.W. Bush to get what’s coming to him? Ironically, as terrible he did to other people, including his own military personnel, he will not die and go to hell and burn there forever, nor will Osama bin Laden.

You really do need to stop preaching as true what you only believe to be true because of how you interpret the Bible.

An old Sufi saying comes to mind:

“Let God kill him who himself does not know yet presumes to show others the way to the door of His Kingdom”.

You really do not know, Tim, what awaits anyone, including you, in the afterlife. Nor does anyone you know know what awaits him/her in the afterlife. You will see that you did not know when you get there, if it is not shown to you before you leave this life.

God, what a mess religion has made on this world in Your name.


I feel I am on trial myself in any case I try in that Court.

I found myself wondering last night what it is like for people who have regular dealings with Tim, knowing he is convinced, because they are not “born-again Christians” by Tim’s definition, when they die, they will go to hell and burn there forever?

I wonder how many Christians today were born-again in the way Peter was born again?

My father was a Christian, but was not a born-again Christian. He drank heavily most of his life. He was a womanizer much of his. He did many good things for a lot of people. After he died, I heard in my sleep, “Chips going to heaven.” That had to be my father, whose company made lots of Golden Flake potato chips, corn chips and tortilla chips.

Then, in a dream, I saw my father walking and talking with people, it seemed he was being oriented by them to where he was. He left them for a moment and came over to me and gave me advice on something I needed help with.

Although we were estranged many years before he died, my father had frequently come in dreams and given me advice. After he died, he continued doing that. I never saw him in a dream when he did not seem to be in heaven, with God.

Well, back to not knowing how my mother plays bridge, the female way.


I tinkered some with yesterdays’ Christmas post, and then submitted it to Key West the Blue Paper – www.thebluepaper – for this Friday’s edition. I’m now going to send Naja Girard an email retracting that submission, not because I don’t like it, but because I don’t think it is what the angels wanted me to submit.

Maybe they wanted me to submit another poem, like I did last week. I had the beginning of a poem coming to me yesterday morning as I pedaled my bicycle to Harpoon Harry’s to have Christmas breakfast. Maybe I should have stuck with that poem. I will see if a poem comes later today, which is busy because it’s the day I drive up to Marathon to play duplicate bridge in the Keycard Bridge Club at the Senior Center, with my dear friend Al Morgan, who is about as far right as I am left. Seems we went around different sides of the moon and collided on the backside.

I never even heard Al talk about being a Christian. His wife is Catholic, but she seldom talks about it. I cannot  imagine they will not go to heaven when they leave this life.

Meanwhile, I saw something yesterday on Facebook from a woman who used to be an active member in The Resistance, in county affairs.

I knew she had experienced medical troubles, which I imagined had diminished her activism. She once told me that she meditated a lot, and during meditation she was shown lots of stuff she needed to see, but did not necessarily care to see. I can’t imagine what she is going through right now, but I can imagine she needs all the help from the angels they can provide.

holy fire

Sherry Phillips
As I come up on two weeks since my heart surgery it seems apropos that the time of year most of us take stock of our lives is upon me after a life-changing event. I had cancer when I was 21. They used a lot of radiation to my chest area. It caused a lot of health issues over the years but none so startling as finding out that my valves in my heart were damaged. That’s a big pill to swallow. Because I am active and it was drastically affecting any exertion it was an easy decision to go ahead with the surgery even though I was scared to death. I loved my surgeon; and the entire process, while excruciatingly painful, was filled with love from most of the hospital staff and all my friends. Recovery started out as quite frightening but now that I am home each day gets a little easier. My thoughts today are for all of us to appreciate each day that we have. Look for the good in all of our experiences. We are spiritual beings learning how to be humans and there are many lessons. It’s not about what happens to us but how we respond that is the real journey. Let’s all learn to respond with love towards ourselves because that is where we make the most impact. It touches everyone from that place. Being our own loving friend is the best gift we can get and it’s the best gift for the world. My wish for all of us is to have a 2014 that is filled with self-love that then reaches out and touches the world. Thank you all for being a part of my journey.

Also yesterday, from Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, retired, of Key West area:

psychiatric help

Sloan: fabulously entertaining; –your blog today!!

I made the Citizen’s
voice 3 times yesterday—from a Psychiatrist’s
and human being standpoint—FF is about
dispatching for a brief time inhibitions (up to a point).
No nudity, no debauchery 000 —50,000
people would not show –maybe 500;– FF would be
OVER—–we are animals with a thin veneer of socialization.
(Bethel’s article isn’t even in the ballpark —doesn’t get it)

Also the disabled people that used the FKCC pool for
much needed “therapy” are suffering–some in agony.
Closing the pool for NO reason –voted one of the
brutal acts of 2013…!!!!!! closed for over 2 weeks.
Inhumane !! (great X-mas gift from the (ignorant)
president of the Community college)

Mary Lou Hoover’s remark —-concerning the Helpline
phone calls being “old fashioned-“—most ill-informed
brain-function of 2013: some of these people that is the
only call they might get all day–it is warm and human —
relationships are built up–they are reminded to
take their necessary medications—the ones I know are
GRATEFUL !!!!!!! many do not even have computers that
function. Does she suggest Carrier pigeons.??
Another sign of our ongoing “alienating” society…..!
she is suppossed to be the president of Helpline
which is vital social service that NEEDS a sponser—they
need support.. Not stupidity from their president.

The Citizen article –
Helpline calls it quits after 31 years

KEY WEST: Helpline, Inc., which for 31 years has offered a 24-hour crisis hotline directing callers to services, will shut down in the first quarter of 2014, its board of directors said Tuesday.

Volunteers will continue to answer the emergency line until the nonprofit finds another agency to take over the service, said Helpline board chairwoman Mary Lou Hoover.

The nonprofit’s board made a unanimous decision earlier this month after an emergency meeting.

“This is with a heavy heart but a clear conscience,” Hoover said. “Technology has changed. There are people who have managed to change with that.”

Helpline’s newly hired executive director Kristin Wheeler resigned, offering to work through the year’s end. The nonprofit with an annual budget of $150,000 lost $40,000 in funding last year.

The decision is the result of financial struggles, a decline in demand and the fact that telephone calls are becoming almost old-fashioned, said Hoover.

Helpline also has a reassurance call program for the elderly and homebound, which the board wants to transfer to another nonprofit.

The first three Citizen Voice comments below are Jerry’s:

“Obviously the Voice discriminates
against the handicapped,
refuses to print anything about
the closure of the FKCC pool
— critical therapy for the disabled.”

“The FKCC pool closed for all
— some swimming for health and
others for fitness, and others for
rehabilitation of disabling conditions.
Closing it down does a
horrific disservice to the community
and it sits idle — what is the
sense? Closed for more than two
weeks — sad.”

“End nudity and you end
Fantasy Fest, which is all about
letting oneself go; and lowering
inhibitions — the 50,000 that
grace our island will drop to 500,
if that. Bethel misses the point

“To those who would disagree
with Harry’s Bethel’s guest opinion
I give you four words to ponder:
‘Visualize Harry Bethel body

“Loyd Wallace, in his letter to the
editor, said he knows of no city
other than Key West that allows
body painted women to walk down
the streets. Try Orlando (host to
North American Body Painting
Convention); Las Vegas (host to
Face & Body Painting Convention);
and Nanaimo, BC (host to Body
Painting Competition.) Body painting
is all over the world and all
over the streets of towns everywhere.
Not just this tight little

Lloyd Wallace’s letter to the editor:


O’Reilly’s not the problem; lax laws are the culprit

I am writing in response to the front-page article in The Citizen. The problem is not with the story on the Bill O’Reilly Show. The problem is what is allowed by the city of Key West.

If you want to change the image of Key West and/or want it to be a family vacation spot:

1) Shut the “hookers” down.

2) Stop the nudity in public (body painting, etc.).

3) Stop the public intoxication.

In fact, there was an article in The Citizen following Fantasy Fest about some of the city leaders thinking that maybe things have gone too far. It has! And guess what? If you talk to someone that does not live here, the one thing they all know about is Fantasy Fest.

I do not know of another city that allows people to strip their clothes in public and get their body painted. They then are allowed to freely walk up and down the streets exhibiting themselves.

Code Enforcement will not allow most businesses to even display “images” of what they sell to be outside a business. But they allow the “adult entertainment” clubs to exhibit their “products” live on the streets, sidewalks and porches of their locations. This is something that is not even allowed in “Sin City.”

Drinking while walking on the streets is one issue, but public intoxication is another. Some party towns allow drinking in public, at least at certain times or events. Even those have laws against public intoxication, and laws prohibiting serving those who are obviously intoxicated.

Loyd Wallace

Personally, I would love to see Harry Bethel in body paint on Duval Street. I would not love to see me in body paint there, however. Nor would I care to see me in the buff on a nude beach. Doesn’t mean I don’t think Key West should not have a nude beach, or body paint at Fantasy Fest, however. Both are totally in keeping with Key West’s soul :-).

There was a good bit of “body painting” and “nudity” in yesterday’s Christmas post. Today, there is this above, and me wondering if I will get it right this time, or will I have another 2004? – a truly terrifying thought.


Sloan Bashinsky


About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; spoken for; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days at goodmorningkeywest.com, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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2 Responses to t’was only the day after Christ-mas I am reminded yet again of my never-ending courses in wemmins studies – Key West, Florida Keys, and beyond …

  1. cptgulliver says:

    Where have all the good vibes gone?

  2. Sloan says:

    My good vibes? Key West’s good vibes? Florida Keys’ good vibes? USA’s good vibes? Humanity’s good vibes?

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