Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hell's Fury

From the Absolute Pits of Hell
Yo, bloggers of Hell, tis the Hell season to be jolly.

I was thinking of flying the coop and heading toward one of my hideaways, but, hell, it was over 100 in Iowa yesterday; 101 in Minneapolis, the city where your shoes freeze to the sidewalk in the winter, so with no cool hideaways, I decided to stick it out here in the Apple, fry my eggs or the sidewalk, so to speak. All across this land that's your land and my land the temps are creepy over-one-hundred from just outside Los Angeles east all the way over to HERE. L.A. is finally getting a break in their heatwave today.

New Yorkers are being gleefully told by our voices of warning authority we have two more days of Hell, 102 today, 101 tomorrow. ConEd, our god of power back here in the jungle of the East, is still slipshod to the point power is still off in the now stilled huge city of Queens, NY. I can't imagine what I would do if my electricity went off today and the temp is over 100, but I know, given ConEd's profit-making attitude, it sure could go off at any minute. Can you imagine? There's nothing when the power goes off; no elevators in hi-rises, no phones, no appliances, no computers, no water, absolutely nothing that is cold anywhere, unless you're rich, like our esteemed billionaire mayor and you have back-up generation on your many estates around the area and certainly at his well-protected office and Manhattan digs-- and our poor little billionaire baby mayor probably with big investments in ConED can't bring himself to criticize his pal who's CEO over there, "You're doing a heck of a job, Goofy," is all he'll commit himself to. In fact, the billionaire mayor has pretty much shut up about it of late; I haven't seen him on teevee defending ConEd lately; I haven't even seen him promoting one of his new development plans--like huge sports complexes we don't need, though I did see where he sneaked past us a billion-buck rejuvenation of old weirdo Mayor Crotch's (that's Koch to you outlanders) folly, the very tacky Javitts Center [every time I see it I always think of Geraldo doing this poor bastard Javitts's wife while he was at death's door confined to a wheelchair and a respirator--once Geraldo stirred Mrs. Javitts's passions to such a height, they actually abandoned old Jake, left him dangling in a room to go screw in an adjoining room--that's what the Javitts Center means to me]. So billionaire Mikey is refurbishing the joint and proudly adding a luxury hotel to its eyesore complex--some foreign developer just got a gold mine dropped in his lap given the development tax and land usage breaks this billionaire little mayor gives them--big tax breaks; with city subsidies to help them through the tough times--but, oh, yes, we need more luxury hotels, because this billionaire mayor has declared NYC's main industry now is tourism and we old time New Yorkers now have to kiss tourists deep in the cracks of their assess because we depend on them so--can you believe that! NYC, one of the world's largest cities, is dependent on tourism to keep it going? Is London dependent on tourism? I don't think so. Tokyo? Singapore? Beijing? Mexico City? Paris? Then why NYC?

I'm getting riled, sorry.

I thought I would be hasty with this post, you know, "Hell, it's too damn hot to write on a stupid blog, so adios, amigos," but just look at what getting riled up can do for ya. It's kind'a cooled me off. In fact, right this minute it's very breezy and nice in my hotbox room. I don't know what it got yesterday, high nineties, but I was very comfortable all day yesterday, with the exception of the middle of the night last night when I woke up hot and sticky and then was unable to sleep for awhile. I thought today would be lower than a dog's mangey belly by now, but so far, Praise the Lard, we are cool as a beginning-to-rot cucumber.

I refuse to get on my knees and pray to ConEd.

In the big blackout of 2003 where the electricity was off in Midtown Manhattan for 33 hours straight, you definitely had to put yourself into a character who can bear such natural oppression, like a character from a Dostoyevski novel. I didn't do so well that time. I had company. I like to figure out crises by myself. My company was a woman and she immediately started pestering me about was I man enough to enjoy it or was I a "chicken" (a coward). She had survived the blackout back in the sixties, the one Doris Day made a movie about, and she was going on and on about hey everybody just settled down and partied hearty then, so let's go out and do that now. I shied away from moving. She left me. I mean it was getting dark and this woman tipped her hat to me and walked down eleven flights of steps and out into the streets to walk to Brooklyn to her son's fabby apartment, where, she later reported, she had a blast and enjoyed every minute of the blackout. [She has always been contrary to me.] In the meantime, I had to sleep with my head hanging out one of my small windows to the side of my big bay window. I put a pillow on the window sill and hung my head as far out into the boiling night air as I could get it; finally I gave that up, climbed back up into my Hadean-fireplace-like loft bed and gave up the ghost. The ghost awoke the next morning to find there was no water left in any of the many Poland Spring bottles around the room. It was too hot to go without water, so I trundled down the eleven flights and ran right into a young enterpriser from a part of New Jersey where they still had power to make ice and he had a huge ice chest packed with bottles of ice-cold Poland Spring--at two bucks a pop. Hey, a man has to make a little profit off the woes of his fellowman, come on, it's Amurica, pal.

languagehat Is 4 Years Old
Check out www.languagehat.com -- l hat has managed to survive 4 years as a blogger. thegrowlingwolf has been aware of this blog since its beginning--it seems I can lean back and look across a certain space and see languagehat being prepared, conceived, then born--plus I even know the hats. l hat I consider a good friend and that goes for "Language" as well as "Hat."

One thing disturbed me though in l hat's 4th anniversary post:

Blogs without comments are like artificial flowers, if you ask me: they can be pretty but they don't hold the interest.

I have a sign on my bathroom wall advertising a wooden rose (a rose carved out of a piece of wood)--the advertisement says, "Looks real; feels real; smells real; everlasting wood." So if l hat is correct, and I've never known him not to be [I jest, of course, but do I?], The Daily Growler is definitely an artificial flower, but of the "wood rose" type: it looks like a real blog; it feels like a real blog; it smells like a real blog; and its made out of "everylasting wood," namely the staff of woodenheaded raconteurs that post it daily. That The Daily Growler gets no comments doesn't seem to bother anyone at the beautiful new below earth offices of The Growler in the abandoned mineshaft of the San Tomas Mine, just a little west of Laredo, Texas. There is a large sign over the publisher's desk: "No Comments, Please."

l hat's absolutely right, though. You must maintain someone's interest and languagehat certainly does that. I'm not one who's very careful about my language usage, as you can easily tell by trying to read one of my rambling posts, but languagehat has opened my eyes in a lot of interesting ways to the fascination of why we speak the same things so differently in our different languages (or animal calls)--and yet we are all saying the very same things, expressing the same emotions, fears, alarms, happinesses, hungers, poetic quests, etc.

I live in a predominantly Korean neighborhood and languagehat's post today gives direction to a blog by a Korean woman who is saying how the American [I refuse to say "English" when it's American we're talking about] use of the pronoun "You" set her free as a person, so individual a usage of "You" evidently not really appreciable in the many layered Korean language. That's because, I think, one of the meanings of this country is for giving our individualities freedom to try and make it "on our own," and that's why pronouns like "You," and "Me," are so much more liberating in our language where they are confining, say to a class system, in other languages, especially British English.

In this Korean neighborhood in which I reside, the signs, the people, the language are all in Korean--except this neighborhood is currently under the threat of luxury apartment building development and the billionaire mayor proposing a huge tunnel that will connect shoppers mainly in the 34th Street area and also give a convenient access to the subway system for this new class of luxury apartment renter and owner and it will run directly under this neighborhood. Ironically, this Korean neighborhood is being crushed by foreign developers, one of the biggest of whom is the People's Republic of China. In other words, the Koreans are being bought out or driven out of this neighborhood by a new breed of New Yorker, a true mixed bag New Yorker, since some of the people flooding into these new luxury buildings, ironically, are young Koreans.

The Koreans are a very assiduous people, though the new generations of American-born Korean young people are turning against the traditions and that includes the very difficult language and becoming more and more everyday Amuricanized.

I find the Koreans much more adaptive to the Amurican way of life than the Chinese or the VietNamese, of which there are also large numbers in this neighborhood. Most of the Chinese in my building, both young and old, cannot speak English [yes, now I'm using it as "our" language category] and if they do it's pidgeon-like at best. The VietNamese, the same; they find it very hard to speak English. The Koreans, however, seem to learn English fast and smoothly, plus they seem to learn Spanish very easily, which is why they use a lot of Mexican help in their delis--and the Mexican immigrant is the new New York City immigrant these days. There was a time in NYC when most of the chefs and cooks were black. Now they are almost all Mexican. I don't think I'm exaggerating either; and I mean the people who prepare restaurant and deli food in NYC; I'm not talking about high-profile chefs, which are in actuality a minority of NYC chefs and cooks.

The Koreans, I might add, also take to Christianity like a duck takes to water. It amazes me how Christian some of these Koreans are. I mean, they've got Christianity down to a tee. Poor misguided bastards. Being Amurican to these people means being Christian, too. That is a shame to me.

So, I raise a glass of pilsner to l hat and the languagehat blog. Four years of true dedication from a master linguist, and I don't give out many huzzahs to masters on this site, but to this one goes my most ululating honorable growl that leads to a trumpeting howl of respect. Black coffee; several good beers; and a big "cowboy" steak at my favorite Irish pub is the feast of the day in honor of l hat. Keep on Keeping On Blogging, old chap.

for The Daily Growler

Addendumb: The Daily Growler
noticed this morning full network coverage of a few hundred "Cuban refugees" gathered in Miami gloating over the news that Fidel Castro was entering the hospital for an operation and had turned power in Cuba over momentarily to his brother...is it Raul? These good Christian Cubans, most of whom looked too young to have actually ever seen Cuba except on a map, were cheering for Castro's death. Condo-leasing Rice has already fueled the fires of revenge by saying the U.S. gooberment would retake Cuba should Castro die. She didn't put it in that precise'a language but that's what she meant. I mean, we've known a while that Fidel had gastric-intestinal problems; hell, he's 80 something years old and still wearing army fatigues, what do you expect.

Back in April of this year, over a million of us marched down the middle of Manhattan Island protesting the Bush Regime and the War in Iraq. This massive movement of pissed off people got absolutely no true media coverage and when it was mentioned the talking heads nonchalantly mentioned it in passing from there normal intense reporting on a police shooting in Bed-Sty or an SUV entanglement of death on some helicopter-monitored area freeway--"About 30,000 people marched today with little notice from the media, mostly hippy and druggie types carrying their usual pro-Communist slams on PRESIDENT Bush interspersed with anti-Democracy statements calling for cutting and running like cowards in this very profitable corporate/religio war in Iraq. Now back to Jo Tang Poon for more on that breaking child-abuse situation in Harlem."

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