Thursday, August 31, 2017

"A Moment from My Life"


I'm remembering a psychedelic experience.

Long ago while listening to music. I took a small dose of LSD. In a short time I was on, and within a dark blue world. The music I was still hearing turned to musical notes flying through the sky. Great flocks of musical notations. These turned to birds which turned to leaves.

All this in the bright burning colors of deep fall.

I was taking my afternoon nap, and it all came back to me. This as I was waking up. I experienced it exactly as I did well over 40 years ago.
Our bio-hard drive keeps everything. From the first prenatal proto-memories to the very last emotions, and thoughts.

One only needs the right electro-chemical key.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"Bucket List"



( Life goes on. Just ask our pal Godzilla here as he paints his new digs in Queens.)

It was July 4th two hours ago, and now September is in our faces. With it comes "Labor Day" the "official" end of Summer. Granted summer doesn't really end till September 21st, but ya see what I'm saying.

When you're young a year seems like ten years now it's about a half hour. You watch it'll be Christmas in two weeks.

Been a hell of a ride.

'Been looking at that "Bucket List". Stuff I mean to do while I still have time. First what have I done. Well I was in a police raid of a Gay Bar as a kid. I had lunch a number of times on the ledge of the 96th floor of the Empire State Building back when I was a transmitter engineer.

I dangled my feet over the edge while eating "Arbie's" pastrami.

Went to a Nude beach with pals for a few summers. Was in a race riot, and had a car explode in near me. The fire ball went on forever! Overdosed on narcotics. Died three times because of it. Foolishly came back each time. Been to any number of "Be-In" events. Ask ya hippy grandma what that was.

Had a bullet just miss my head on Albany Avenue in Brooklyn during the 1990's Crack Wars. It's true what George Washington said about that. Not the Crack wars...bullets.

"Fired musket rounds have the Deep Hum of Angry Wasps."

It did.

I slept outside with pals on the balcony of a skyscraper in mid-town. This while a full summer moon rose over the Chrysler Building behind us. There were the green streaks of meteors as well. A night to remember indeed.

I nearly drowned as a lad.

I remember being knocked down by a Huge wave, and being dragged out to sea. I saw bubbles grains of sand seaweed, and that would have been the last thing I saw.

However I wasn't getting out of this "job" that easy.  Because after the sand, and sea weed came this bleeping big arm with an equally big hand attached to it.

There was one of them Army wrist watches on that arm which grabbed me, and hauled my little butt back to the beach. I think I was too freaked out to cry.

All I remember is being hauled back up, and I think passed on to my Mom. There was all this noise yelling I think crying...my Mom I guess. I don't remember anything about the man that saved me.

Other than his big hairy arm, and his watch.

Mind you I've nearly bought it any number of times since. However that one stays with me. I'm here today to whine, and complain because of some neat guy with big hairy arms.

Ain't life something.

As for that "Bucket List"...the British Museum Paris Disney World that place where they 'really' stash the them space aliens, and Santa's Work Shop are on it for sure. Other stuff too, but ya know.

Since you're here there's something else on my mind.

This country would be better off certainly more Just, and sane if it were smaller. Say seven or eight states. Yeah that makes sense. New England, and a few others...maybe up to Pennsylvania.

....that sounds right.

The rest of them "Murakans"can drink heavily praise jeebus burn books beat'n starve their children abuse their wives, and shoot each other as they do so well, and often.

Meanwhile we'll just collect maple syrup have community feasts sing songs plays, and write bad poetry.

I like it.

Oh,...the Vermont New York, and Maine Air National Guard keep all their Phantoms, and F-16's/18's along with that stash of nukes the feds hide in New Hampshire.

Okay we're Hippies, but not stupid.

"Mericans"


I got caught up in a chat with some lefty conspiracy fanatics on Facebook...always a mistake. Anyway it was the usual. I really have to be more careful. It's just when I trip over a bunch of self righteous morons I can't help myself. I fight in the mud with them,...actually it was fun in a way.

Like being in a spelling bee with semi-literates.

So here's my last post to them swell folks:

"Yeah we're really evil." 

Wow yeah!

America is the worst nation in 'all' all history. We out do the Hordes of the Khans the Stalinists Nazis the Inquisition the Conquistadors the murderous Incan Empire,...we're the 'worst'. The thing about being in an insulated mindset or cult is that you don't know it. I was Roman Catholic, and a UFO nut. A two-fer. A rather inflexible lot those.

I got out by accident,...long story.

I guess everybody has a comfort zone. An echo chamber. I sure do,..."Dr. Who". We all have something to hide in. Which is why we're all the way we are. I mean I just saw a post from a lady here on "FB" that unfriended near all her friends,...so she said. This because they're not still serious Bernista's, and Hillary haters like her,...yeah they're still around. Even Bernie has disowned his extreme followers at this point. Reminds me of my Maoist friends. I was a serious radical in my youth. Anyway I tell them that now not even the 'Chinese' are Maoists anymore, but on they go.

Aw well.

Btw so you don't have to post raging replies. Yeah I'm a "Sheeple". I'm totally without any authentic progressive understanding of real politics,...guilty. I'm also 67, and have seen a ton of shit, and so have drawn a few conclusions.

Slavery is not Freedom War is not Peace, and Ignorance is not Strength.

See below Che' my hero. Heck in the 60's I had this very picture taped to my Algebra text. Imagine My surprise when I found out he was a bleeping mass murderer. Signing death warrants by the truck load. Swell."

Revolutions never turn out the way you think they will. Listen here to an elder kid. I've lived long enough to experience this first hand. Heck I was a Queer revolutionary as a youth. Look at the mess we made. The whole thing is now a right of center reformist movement. Now we're just another bunch of boring tax paying marrying divorcing republican voting stroller pushing 'Mericans. Not exactly the scary culture changers we had in mind.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"We're History"

                                            
                                           (24th Century Washington D.C.)

There will be another civilization on the other side of all this. The world 'will' go on without us. Their judgment will not be kind. Our real end began with the Second Hundred Years War+ roughly 1900~2030. An era that ultimately will topple the West, and lead to a new Dark Age.

They will see our rot for what it was.

I can read their judgment now.
A short excerpt "From Renaissance to Darkness" The Rise, and Fall of Post-Medieval Western Civilization 1500~2060. Lhasa University Press, 2348 C.E.


                                              (24th Century Tropical Tibet)

"...the middle of the 20th century onward was a time of unparalleled wealth in the West. In particular within the former United States of America. Still there were beggars everywhere. Education was only for the very wealthy the same with health care, and the seeds were planted for climate catastrophes.

In the later 21st century they dispensed with the charade. Western culture openly disenfranchised the majority of it's populations in favor of a tiny insulated wealthy class. This led to the inevitable results described in chapter six of this volume."

"As to the details of how such powerful republics fell so quickly from immense wealth, and influence to sleeping within poisoned ruins..."

"In Other News,...Uncle Sidney Vents"


Me I'm a bleeping wreck. I'm 248 years old! My body is falling apart I'm sad angry crazy tired pissed off sick, and mildly suicidal! Otherwise I'm fine. I'm going out to get some pastry later. Haven't had any in a year because of the damned diabetes.

Right now what difference does it make?!

Then there's that matter of my government being run by actual Nazis, and absolutely nothing as in not 'one' damned thing to watch on TV except the news which is not only bad, but insane. Another thing,...it's 'still' fucking summer, and I 'hate' summer! I almost called 911 because I thought I was having a stroke, but it turned out to be 'gas' bleeping gas! ,...what a disappointment!

Nazi pricks I'll kill 'em all!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"Journal", ...still working on part II




'Being the Journal of Mid-Shipman Jamie Pip. Royal Navy Cadet.

HMS Foretina, May 12th, 1903

I stood "Bow Watch" from quarter noon till sundown. Observed, and reported a French steamer on the starboard horizon. Post noon a Spanish Ironclad "Man 'o War" crossed us heading east then turned true north.

Twin rainbows sighted 12 degrees 'a port. A great storm has skirted us.

...for now.

Most enchanting however at dusk a Pod of Blue Whales rode our bow break. How graceful they glided as they sang to each other.

*********************************************


HMS Foretina, May 14th 1903

17 degrees N/NW of the Isle San Isabella de Angelica. 

It is a full Moon this night, and the North Star is to port. Orion with her three sisters drifts in the sky at our windward. 

The Foretina sings.

At night she sings. From her rigging's sails boards comes music. Her timbers groan her bow a soft choir, and oh how cleanly she cleaves the sea.

The ships bell chimes as a call to prayer.

*********************************************


HMS Foretina May 17th, 1903

A new lad came aboard by launch from the port of Isabella. His name is Aliabad Wellington. He is kindly in disposition, and comely in appearance.

A "Black 'a Moor" he is, and poetic in his speech.

I though a Jew shall be so forward as to befriend him. Perhaps he will smile upon me if I gift him my slim though precious volume of Sufi poems, and prayers.

*********************************************


The 21st of May 1903,

9 degrees E/NE of Saint George's Atoll.

The a 'fore mentioned gales have caught up with us! We suffer within her sharp teeth! The Captain has ordered we sail into the wind. Waves lash the decks The sea looms over us. Fish rain down as "Manna".

Cook says, "...if we ain't pulled to the bottom we'll eat well this night!"

So fearful yet beautiful is this.

The sky a blur of colors, bright arcs of lightning dance on every horizon. The sea illuminated the masts ignited by "Saint Elmo's Fire!"

The bow digs deep yet rises again the rigging makes her strange music. The good "Foretina" yaws hard to port then starboard then again dips even more deeply.

The eyes of the younger Cadets are wide with terror yet wonder too. So it was for a night, and a day.

Fading drifting sand in a gentle wind...

A dream,...how... why.....the ship the storm Aliabad faded slowly...vanished.

Even myself...gone.

*********************************************

I'm reading a book. One made of linen. It's pages it's leaves flutter in the breeze. It speaks to me this linen book. Telling not only the written story within, but how it came to be.

How it was cut sewn stitched. How the words were so slowly, and carefully threaded together.

This book of cloth told me of it's inner life. About the lives the ways of all the books like her.

Then gone.

...like the "Foretina" gone.

***********************************************

I enter another world in mid-sentence.

Friends. Three women friends of which I am one. In dreams you live whole lives in moments. I entered a world with life long friends about me.

I yearned to tell the 'secret' my great, and terrible secret. What for them was a lifetime was for me a moments fancy as I lay asleep in another world.

We sat, and laughed at the folly of the world. A world I was about to leave. Leave, and forget. This world, and my 'momentary' friends will vanish.

Leaving not even dust.

*********************************************

I awaken with the fragments of lives on the tip of my tongue. Fragments which as the moments passed melt away to nothing.

Amen

Friday, August 25, 2017

"Gifts"


As King Empress of the Earth, and outer Colonies. I give to each of my good, and loyal subjects one of these for your birthday. Above a prototype. Style, and colors on the way.

It beats a hover board.

It's a fusion powered ramjet pollution-less safe via variable force field "Floatercycle". Btw you could run into a wall with this all day at 50 mph, and at most just get dizzy. You can't run anybody over either...even, and especially if you tried.


Comes in all colors including those beyond the human eye frequencies.

The Ministry of Imperial Research has made this actually "Human Proof". Something heretofore thought impossible. They are also currently working on 'safe' greasy foods, and Algebra for idiots.

You're welcome.

Part II


Another missive from the King Empress of Earth, and the Outer Colonies. "...ahem, ...The response to the Floatercycle was so good that I've directed to "Ministry of Neat Shit" to make new stuff."

So besides the birthday gift to all my subjects of the Fusion powered Ramjet Floatercycle. I've added a replicate 1966 Citroen Hover Car with of course the variable force field safety feature,...again you're welcome. This gift is optional as are all gifts from the "Palace of Heavenly Coolness".


Unlike previous forms of rule that just robbed or killed you. The new Order mostly stays out of your hair. That's why you can shit can the gifts if ya don't want 'em.. Hey it's cool. We just here to keep the roads in repair the Bullet Trains running, and basically all the neat Welfare State stuff humming along. I mean what else is government for.

Well okay we had to deal with the Moon Mice, but that worked out okay when we opened them cheese plantations up there for 'em. Also negotiations with them Jovian Balloon Fish guys continues...suborn bastards. I mean all we want is to open low gee ski resorts on Europa.

Anyway enjoy the Hover Citroen", and we're working on making baseball actually interesting. This is proving 'much' harder than we thought. Still be patient, we're getting there. Also we've put the Kibosh on teleportation for now. A universe of unforeseeable consequences there. We're working on it. 

...Btw there's a 1958 Chevy Hover unit coming soon. Watch ya emails.

Monday, August 21, 2017

"Time, and Again"


I haven't seriously spoken or written about my time on the "outside" in a while. The "Outside' being Homeless. I lost my house about a decade ago, and was outside for a little over a year. Staying with friends at first then at the radio station I worked at. However ultimately on the actual street.

There I am above six months in. Blank dead eyes, and all.

I found that even among the homeless there was a pecking order. At the bottom those with no options. These slowly fell to pieces mentally, and physically. I was in what could be called the upper middle class of that demographic. In that I was still employed had insurance friends,...options.



I kept a photo/written journal though my family didn't know then.



I told only two close friends from my broadcast life. In fact I came out as homeless on one of my radio programs. Only in America. Anyway I didn't at first know how to be a houseless person. I tried the subway for 'one' night.

Eventually I figured out what most employed homeless do. The Railroad. The commuter lines. One buys a weekly ticket, and there you are. A place to sleep, and pass the time. In the beginning I used Amtrak.

The Grand Central to Washington D.C. round trip. It takes a day, and keeps you off the streets,...but eventually was just too much hassle, and too expensive.

So the L.I.R.R. Midtown to the tip of Long Island,...Montauk.

If one behaved, and appeared like a regular commuter fine. However I noted some who were at it for a while we're losing it. One does go mad out there. They stopped caring for their appearance or began bothering other passengers.

Ticket or not they were ejected at the next stop.

Of course the conductors knew who we were,...they saw us everyday. However if we were cool so were they...live, and let live within the rules. So after my radio engineering shift to Grand Central, and sleep. I'd get to Montauk in time for lunch, and time at the library. Then back sleep, and get to town in time for my next shift.



That was it except for a few months in the parks streets or sleeping in the store room at the radio station.

On the streets I remember being always wet, and cold. Always moving. You can't stop. A great danger if you do. If you try to sleep really deep sleep you'll be found by cops or crazies. Even worse by those wanting to "help" you. They were paid by the head. For everyone they "helped" toss into the system they got a bounty. Nice huh?

My ankles, and feet became swollen because I was on the move for so long....you don't dare lay down. One finds a niche, and crouches. You cat-nap for ten fifteen minutes at a time. This is why we all seem so bleary eyed to you. Tranced as if in a sleep walk.



This because we are.

One's hearing also becomes acute. This because you are surrounded by constant danger. My brother said it was the same for him in the war,...the Vietnam war. He also said I was finally a veteran since I like him had spent a year in constant danger. 

All this for just over a year. However I lived. I survived.

Yes it's left it's mark.

Like being in a war it never leaves you. You have vivid flash backs,...I still do. I'm writing again because they're back. Just as war came back to my brother. So the streets have once more come back to me. They will they always will to my last day return, and return.



When my sister found out, and helped me find a new home, and I began to heal. I sought help. Although I found there were many agencies, and programs for those near being homeless or already so. However none,...as in NONE for those that were recovering from it.

Finally I saw the truth of it.

So 'few' return from that state there's no incentive or funds to help us. Homelessness is a plague with a 98% fatality rate. The surviving 2% are on their own.

So here I am treating my wounds by posting this.

Enjoy the eclipse.

Mind has gone on for near 10 years.

"One Size Fits All"



Looks like them Nazis  didn't show for their rally in New York's Greenwich Village. Guess they had other chores to do. A Brooklyn visit to me my pals the Orthodox Jews Haitians Queers, and assorted do-gooder commies would have been nice too. I mean I would have heard them out. I believe in free speech...mostly. Reminds me of the Great Klan March that didn't happen in Harlem in the 1970's. If only! That I would 'a 'had' to see.

I could be telling my grand nieces, and nephews about it today.

Being a peacenik I'm all for the most extreme folks coming to the ground zero of those they got problems with to have their say. Ya know sort of like "The Che' Guevara Revolutionary Assassins League" doing a demo in Klantown Kentucky,...on Jeff Davis's birthday. No honestly if they came to the 'Hood I'd hear 'em out, and take part in the question answer back, and forth after. No threats no harm to them just hear 'em, out, and chat .

Ya know sit down at a rib joint later, and hash it all out. That's the American way. We'd even give them "Harlem USA" or Greenwich Village t-shirts as they leave, and they'd give the Assassins "Klantown" sweatshirts when they finished up.

That's the American way too.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Eddy Guevara"


Facebook just tossed *this at me from my archives there on "FB".

New portraits of "Che's" little known twin brother Eddy.
Unlike his deranged brother Che. Eddy spent his life quietly. He was a school bus driver, and part-time accordion repair man in Dayton Ohio.

The most exciting thing that ever happened to Ed Guevara was his meeting Walt Disney in a gay bar in Berlin in 1958.

Mr. Disney paid Eddy two million dollars to keep quiet about their one night stand.
True to his word Eddy kept Walt's secret, and his money
Btw he gave most of the dough to his brother Che for the Revolution. Che put it to good use too.
So we can indirectly thank Walt Disney for Castro, the Revolution, with all of it's contradictions, and murderous faults, and generations of Che t-shirts.

Anyway this is why Leonardo da Vinci in Purgatory,...yeah he's still there. This with Oscar Wilde looking on is Lenny honoring Che's quiet, and unassuming brother with a series of Andy Worholesque portraits.
.
..imagine that.

*A Sydneytoons Production

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"The Great Departure"



It began with reports of tragic incidents in parks senior centers even churches.  Older people were taking their lives singly, and in small groups. Older Black people, and 'only' Black people. It was just a few at first. Local news gave minor coverage.

Reporters interviewed family, and friends of the departed. They had no answers. To all it was inexplicable. There were some doctors giving chapter, and verse about depression among the elderly but that was it.

These "departures" as they would soon be called went on for several more days. Then stopped as suddenly as they had started.

Life carried on. The suicides were buried as other news cycles piled on top of them. Celebrity scandals, and other trivia took their places as the centers of interest. 

However a few months later it began again. This at the start of the Holiday season. Once more just a few happenings. Again no apparent reason. Slight coverage, and once more forgotten.

Then came Christmas night. 

All across the country from coast to coast came reports of not just handfuls, but of whole communities of Black people departing. The dead were found everywhere. In places of worship homes their cars public transportation even sidewalks. 

As the night progressed it burst onto the many mediums. What was this "Black Death"!? Some suspected everything from poisoning by the government to space aliens.

Emergency medical teams all over the country were trying to save those they could. How could this have come to pass. The truth though before us was unseen.

Except for a few.

Some more thoughtful commentators noticed that it was mostly the "Civil Rights" generation of Black Americans. The late middle aged, and elderly that had decided to leave.

An "Exodus" of a kind was in progress.

The year 2017 had seen the spread of regressive politics all over the world. America with it's recent election of a President sympathetic to white nationalism was no exception. Violent incidents against the "usual suspects" in the wake of that election. Especially in the summer, and fall of 2017 was particularly troubling.

...the leavings continued.

Emergency services were overwhelmed. Mass burials commenced. Parks ball fields even playgrounds became final resting places.
This as political, and religious leaders pleaded with those likely to depart to reconsider.

As
the new year came, and went others applauded the horrific "Event". David Duke spoke at an early spring mass Nazi Klan rally in Atlanta. A city with now with only a portion of it's former Black population.

Duke said to cheering tens of thousands of white nationalists, "...I see the hand of G-d in these glorious days!" "He has made his judgment, and returned America to it's rightful owners!"

'And so it went.

The National Guard performed regional mass burials. Regular Army units defended the former communities of the departed where there were still many Blacks living. This defense was against organized raids by white nationalist militias. They were looting shops, and homes of the departed. That, and lynching what living blacks they could find.

The president had no coherent response.

However the vice president in a rare show of humanity made a special nationwide media appeal to those yet to perish.

He said, "....I know,...we know how our great nation has failed many of her loyal citizens. Yet we have made progress. Yes I admit slow painful progress towards justice. I plead with you to have the faith in this great republic you have always shown in the past. We are brethren."

The departures continued even increased. 

The numbers are not complete, but as of the present date December 25th 2018. The first anniversary of the "Great Departure". It is estimated that one fourth of the Black population of the United States is gone. That is 9 million 400+ thousand people of African American decent have taken their own lives rather than live within our borders.

The Departures continue.


Monday, August 14, 2017

"Irony"


Oh the ironies of our shared history. Here a Black State Trooper "protecting" Klan, and Nazis. This as the chant hatred to Blacks Jews Queers, and the other usual suspects. They have their rights as all American do.

Even the right to wish mass death to everyone except themselves. Another irony of a free society,...while it lasts. Still protected they must be. So long as they don't overtly act on their wishes.

I still shudder from "Orlando". Anyone remember that. It was a thousand news cycles ago. Which is to say last year. 100 Queers were machine gunned down at one time in one place. More than half killed the rest maimed. We forget even such things so quickly.

The national memory used to be about five years. Now it's less than 18 months...much less. I'm at a near loss. What to say that hasn't been said to our already convinced leftwing echo chamber choir.

I'm 67 years old. ...a mere breath from 70.

Even saying these words makes me tired. I am tired. So very tired.

Good luck to you all.

"The Series"


Trying to put a human face on these recent goings on. I just thought up a baseball version of this demented mayhem.

Frist game!

"Uncle Sam's Dodgers vs "The Nazi Pig Fuckers", and their "Klan Butt-Boys". Bottom of the ninth. Bases loaded. Nazi's lead 12 to 3.

Himmler Jr. is at bat. It don't look good for Sam's "Dodgers".

However cheer up gang this is just the 'first' game of da series. It's still anybody's season. Meanwhile hot dawgs popcorn, and soda pop to calm da nerves.







"Nuff Said"


Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Agents of Shield"



Above is a photo of one of the "Queer Anarchist Shields" found on the field of Battle in Charlottesville. As I said I so wish I were there. This to face off with our historical enemies the Klan, and Nazis.

No!

It turns out we will 'not' go quietly into the Camps. Which happened before, and now again in Chechnya. Whatever happens we'll give them something to remember us by.

"Next..."


Saturday, August 12, 2017

"Remembrance"


One is amazed that so few generations later. So many have forgotten what the Nazis were. What they did, and what it took of the whole world to stop them.

I found this video of Black Women serving in Europe during WW2 against the Nazis. I thought today,...now especially now it should be seen.

"Kick Them in Their AXIS!!!"



"Crimson" ...there are now three dead in Charlottesville.



"This Just In..."


This just in. Nazis hold torch light Bund Rally at University of Virginia. Also gun show, and pig roast,...all welcome. Some carried their semi-auto  heat to the party. Virginia is "open carry",...smart move guys. They said they carried torches to honor their Nazi cousins during the Third Reich.



They chanted, "...We will 'not' be replaced!"

Eh,...sorry fellas too late. In 2010 more technicolor babies were born in the U.S. of A. than pink ones. Been getting born by the metric ton every day all day since then. The first Majority non-white American Population is now in pre-school.



So you're fucked,...still nice armbands.

There was a fucking riot the next day in Charlottesville Va.,...one dead so far. The fucking Nazis had a big demo to show their flag, and spout their plans for the usual suspects. Well the suspects, and their pals showed up to face off with them, and a hot time was had by all.



Bats bottles smoke bombs somewhat nasty words, and evil spells were exchanged. Yep America in the summer! David Duke who was there for the party tweeted Trump to remind him where his base came from. 

"...look in the mirror. You're in the White House because white men put you there."



Um,...embarrassing somewhat.

Anyway the Resident of the United States gave a speech in 'Jersey saying how we should love each other, and how, "...we're Americans before anything else. We must restore trust between us."

How I wish he has actually written that, and meant it. Still at least he read it. Though being who he is he couldn't help but go into how great he is, and how lucky we are to have him. 

Sure whatever.



All this was topped off with a car plowing into the anti-Nazi counter demonstrators...plus two uninvolved cars crashing into the back of it. many badly injured one dead.  Swell ending to a swell day.



However did my heart good to see "Queer Anarchist" facing off with they're natural enemies the Nazis in real time. Note how our Queer heroes have locked shields Roman style. Them fags went, and did their homework.

As a history fan I am amazed at this sight. They stand off like Legionaries' in battle. Interlocked shields pikes, and all. The historic ironies here can't have escaped either side. 

Oh to be 16 again, and there!



I'd have earned my "American Culture Wars Purple Heart" for sure!

Stay tuned to further reports from the fall of the American Empire.