Rooster man of Chaparral, NM – 2008
He has been raising these birds since he was a teenager. Fighters are they, he and his birds.
Now, cockfighting is illegal in New Mexico. Outlawed. “Civility,” has come to the funklands. God help us. Now come the thiefs with pens. They been fighting this since Billy the kid.
The rooster man keeps raising his birds. Doesn’t know what else to do.
He speaks of the “Old Man,” and “Ralph,” “Juan Pedro,”and the others. Each has a name. There are hundreds.
When he speaks, he says their names softly, a Lover’s murmur whispering his loves’ names.
He feeds them and plays with them and, ocassionaly, shows them to strangers.
He’s puro Americana.
Good ole boy.
He is sincere and empassioned. He believes in something. He knows what he likes. He drives a big pick up too. Eats meat. Spits. Says “mame,” and “sir”
A dying breed?
It’s an intersting time to be in America. We have changed, and that was going to be good…essential, right? What was wrong is made right. Right? Change. It’s good for you.
So, now what is is wrong is what is right? Right?
Do you follow that?
Don’t bother, it’s tiring to even try.
Here’s the Rooster Man, out in the boonies of Neuevo Mexico. He’s the opposite of convolution. Perhaps we shouldn’t outlaw that, maybe we should build memorials to it, to its clarity, to its vigor and passion and rarity, yep, maybe like all things past we should build a sculpture to conviction and hope.
Who’s got that anymore, and when does that not get proven to be the problem, the grand flip flop, happening at an ever increasing speed, in no time at all.
All is hype, our most prolific and abundant national commodity. The latest Latest Thing. We’re bounced around like a bunch of marshmellows, from one “solution,” to another, one God to another, one firm assumption or another. And most of us never feel like we really know anything and it goes on and on, decade after decade.
Does anything really change?
I don’t know. I do know when the birds are all safe, the secondary smoke is gone, when you drive around on a battery (do batteries provide the energy to make the batteries?) and turn on your lights with a windmill, when you are forced to live healthily so no one has to -allegedly- pay your medical costs, when, what you think is going to be the last ounce of prejudice is tamped down into invisibility, it will spring up again in some crazy yin/yang nuttiness of hate, somewhere else, you will be paying through the gazoobo for a doctor and the rich guy won’t pay a thing, the windmills will make you pay more (and kill a whole lotta birds that try to get past them), the last die-hard smokers will be banished to the woods which makes you cough when you hike past them and, probably, the stinkin’ roosters will stop reproducing because their testosterone has gone bad (do birds have testosterone?).
There goes breakfast.
Unintended consequences, mon! Always. The oppressed oppress. Progress turns into retrogression. Nazis become weakling Germans who can’t even replace themselves by reproduction and so-called liberals become oppressively fix-everything-that-is-wrong-with-everyone-else do gooders…or else!
It’s the way of things ese!
So let the guy have his stinkin’ birds and let him and his pals do what they do in the shadows of wherever they do it and hope that it ain’t you that gets put in the ring fighting for your last breath.
It’s the way of things.
Relax America. You can’t get control of everything and if you try you’re gonna get controlled.
It’s the way of thngs..
Face it, things have just gone to the birds.