02/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011


Went to the memorial of a great American the other day: Sponto. The "Mayor" of Venice Beach lived behind his storefront art gallery. Ran many things through that cramped space: Movie nights, poetry readings, poker nights, North Venice beach's polling place. He sold mind-altering shit to pay the rent and endow his many community enrichment programs. Smoked more shit than he sold. Probably what killed him. That or the rising rent.

Several hundred aging hippies and youthful ragamuffins eulogized his legacy on a hill over-looking the reality of the homeless jugglers and unemployed runaways and, of course, the coastline with its ever-present oil tanker tapping the spigot. A myriad of old friends and lovers took turns at the solar powered microphone. Sponto came out to Venice during the Nixon years and managed to live almost through the end of the Bush years. He was a great houseguest. He made you feel good about yourself. Loved football. Never went for the mortgage. Didn't have health insurance. Always made you feel safe.

We all said goodbye by raising our voices to the heavens and chanting, "SPONTO, GET ME HIGH!" Watching the memorial of a "great" American. Bush. The "President" in name only. Lived behind his store-bought cynicism. Ran many things through the cramped space between his ears. Oil Company record profits. Unjust wars. Katrina. Torture programs. The death of Capitalism. Disenfranchisement of the polling place. He was also a salesman of mind-altering shit while he tried to kill endowments to any community enrichment program. Smoke-screened while he sold us all shit. Probably what's killed our standing in the world. That, or the rising rent.

Several aging hypocrites have tried to eulogize his legacy overlooking reality. Homeowners juggling their debt. Unemployment running away. And, of course, the ever-present oil tankers tapping the spigot.

He has no friends. Only lovers of power. Bush came of age during the Nixon years and also seems to have lasted almost to the end of the Bush years. He was not a great House guest. In fact, he basically ignored or bullied the House. He acted like he didn't care how people felt. He did love football I guess. But, he never went out of his way to protect mortgages. Didn't regulate health insurance. Never made you feel safe. I think we all should say goodbye to him by raising our voices to the heavens and chanting, "BUSH, YOU MUST'VE BEEN HIGH!"